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There has been a mass exodus at Nova radio station – with Chrissie Swan, Sam Pang and Jonathan Brown the latest stars to quit their show.

The trio shocked their listeners on Friday morning when they announced they were leaving their top-rating breakfast program, Chrissie, Sam & Browny, after seven years on-air.

The news came just hours after their colleague Kate Ritchie revealed she was stepping down and taking a break from her Nova FM drive show.

Chrissie Swan (middle), Sam Pang (right) and Jonathan Brown (left) shocked their listeners on Friday morning when they announced they were leaving their top-rating breakfast program, Chrissie, Sam & Browny, after seven years on-air

Chrissie Swan (middle), Sam Pang (right) and Jonathan Brown (left) shocked their listeners on Friday morning when they announced they were leaving their top-rating breakfast program, Chrissie, Sam & Browny, after seven years on-air

According to an insider, the announcement came as a complete shock to Nova staff, with all employees at the station receiving an email at 8.30am from CEO Peter Charlton with a press release attached. 

Chrissie, Sam & Browny will host their final show on December 2 and their replacements have not yet been announced. 

‘We have relied on each other in this studio and it’s a good idea to put a bow on what has been this entire experience for all of us and bow out gracefully,’ an emotional Chrissie, 48, said on-air. 

‘I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved professionally and personally since we first met in 2015 — especially the last few years as we all kept each other afloat during the pandemic.’

Chrissie went on to say that despite the announcement coming as a shock to their listeners, the time was right for the trio.

'We have relied on each other in this studio and it’s a good idea to put a bow on what has been this entire experience for all of us and bow out gracefully,' an emotional Chrissie, 48, said on-air

‘We have relied on each other in this studio and it’s a good idea to put a bow on what has been this entire experience for all of us and bow out gracefully,’ an emotional Chrissie, 48, said on-air 

The popular Melbourne-based star, who also appears on The Project and is a judge on The Masked Singer, said she was preparing to adopt a new role at Nova following 20 years in breakfast radio. 

Meanwhile, former champion AFL player Jonathan, 40, said the team had become ‘like a family’ to him. 

‘Geez we’ve had a good time. The highlight was travelling away, us three knuckleheads all together and we don’t then just walk out, we spend time together. We see each other socially as well,’ he said. 

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Sam, 48, praised Chrissie, Jonathan and his other colleagues for all their work over the years. 

‘You’ve been the breakout star of the last seven years,’ he told Jonathan. ‘It’s been a privilege doing breakfast radio in my hometown. 

Chrissie went on to say despite the announcement coming as a shock to their listeners, the time was right for the trio

Chrissie went on to say despite the announcement coming as a shock to their listeners, the time was right for the trio 

‘I’ve loved my time at Nova and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the show over the past seven years. I would especially like to thank the listeners for their support. 

‘It has been a wonderful experience. I’ve made some life-long friends and feel very lucky to have worked with such an amazing team.’

The beloved trio aren’t the only ones quitting, with their anchor Dean ‘Deano’ Thomas also bowing out after 15 years. 

Deano said he plans to concentrate on a range of projects, including the second series of his animated short form comedy Childish Deano. 

The ACRA award-winning team are quitting on a high after being the #1 FM or #2 FM Melbourne breakfast show 19 times since their launch in 2015.

Meanwhile, Ritchie also stunned Nova fans when she announced she was taking a break from her drive show on Thursday afternoon. She will be off the air for the remainder of the year but will return alongside co-hosts Joel Creasey and Tim Blackwell in early 2023

Meanwhile, Ritchie also stunned Nova fans when she announced she was taking a break from her drive show on Thursday afternoon. She will be off the air for the remainder of the year but will return alongside co-hosts Joel Creasey and Tim Blackwell in early 2023 

Ritchie also stunned Nova fans when she announced she was taking a break from her drive show on Thursday afternoon. 

She will be off the air for the remainder of the year but will return alongside co-hosts Joel Creasey and Tim Blackwell in early 2023. 

Ritchie, 43, who was busted for low-range drink driving in August, explained to listeners she’d had an ‘incredibly hectic and full-on’ year and needed time off.

‘This past year has been incredibly hectic and full-on for both me and my family,’ she said.

‘I have had much change and increased stress in my life, like many of you, in a short space of time. And it has taken its toll.

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‘But still I am so proud that our Nova show, with Tim and Joel and the team, is just powering along, and going from strength to strength.’

Ritchie, 43, who was busted for low-range drink driving in August, explained to listeners she'd had an 'incredibly hectic and full-on' year and needed time off

Ritchie, 43, who was busted for low-range drink driving in August, explained to listeners she’d had an ‘incredibly hectic and full-on’ year and needed time off

She added: ‘We love our audience and they seem to put up with us.

‘And as you may have guessed, I invest a lot of emotional energy into everything I do, my work, and my family especially, and the last few months I have been working on radio, I’ve been returning to TV and in my spare time, I even wrote a children’s book.

‘So, it’s simple, like some of you, I imagine, I’m tired and I just need a break for a short while and have more time for me, and for my family, to re-energise.

‘I have spoken with the bosses at Nova, and they have graciously agreed that this is a good time to take the break, as we approach the end of the year.

‘Nova has been fabulous and understanding, so thank you Nova, and thank you Tim, Joel and the team, and most importantly, thank you to all of our fabulous listeners. I really mean that.

‘It’s time to recharge the batteries and come back fresh next year. And although it’s only for a short time, I will miss you all. I’ll see you in the New Year.’

Peter Charlton, the chief executive of Nova Entertainment, said: ‘Kate is a talented broadcaster and a respected member of the Kate, Tim & Joel and Nova Network team.

‘We are very supportive of Kate’s decision to take some time for herself and her family. We look forward to welcoming her back in the New Year.’

Ritchie, who is currently appearing as a judge on Channel Seven's Australia's Got Talent (pictured), first joined Nova FM in 2007

Ritchie, who is currently appearing as a judge on Channel Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent (pictured), first joined Nova FM in 2007

Ritchie, who is currently appearing as a judge on Channel Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent, first joined Nova FM in 2007.

The former Home and Away child star began hosting the Kate, Tim & Marty drive show with Blackwell and Marty Sheargold in 2014.

Creasy was hired in 2020 when Sheargold left for Triple M.

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Rumours about Ritchie’s future at Nova began swirling in August, after she was charged with drink-driving in Sydney‘s eastern suburbs.

She was stopped by police for a random breath test in her Subaru station wagon at 2.45pm, tested positive by the roadside and was taken to Maroubra Police Station.

Rumours about Ritchie's future at Nova began swirling in August, after she was charged with drink-driving in Sydney's eastern suburbs

Rumours about Ritchie’s future at Nova began swirling in August, after she was charged with drink-driving in Sydney’s eastern suburbs 

There she underwent a secondary breath analysis which returned a positive reading of 0.06 – just over the legal limit.

A NSW Police spokesman said at the time: ‘She was issued with an infringement notice for the offence of Drive with Low Range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol and issued a Licence Suspension Notice.’

Ritchie, who shares a young daughter with ex-husband Stuart Webb, is understood to have been fined $600 on the spot and suspended from driving for three months.

She later issued a statement on Instagram expressing remorse for her actions.

Ritchie is understood to have been fined $600 on the spot and suspended from driving for three months. She later issued this apology on Instagram

Ritchie is understood to have been fined $600 on the spot and suspended from driving for three months. She later issued this apology on Instagram

‘Recently I undertook a random breath test. Although it was low level, the test came back positive,’ she wrote.

‘I made a poor decision and there is no doubt I understand the seriousness of my actions. I am truly sorry.’ 

At the time of her charge, listeners had noticed Ritchie’s frequent absences from the show after she clocked up a series of extended holidays in recent years.

At one point in 2020, Ritchie took seven consecutive weeks of leave from her late-afternoon shift, which one radio figure said was ‘unheard of’. 

Her bumper salary package has steadily grown over the years to an estimated $1million, leading to rumours Nova could seek to replace her with fill-in host Ricki-Lee Coulter, who would cost the network just $300,000 per year.

Ritchie's (left) bumper salary package has steadily grown over the years to an estimated $1million

This has led to rumours Nova could seek to replace her with fill-in host Ricki-Lee Coulter (right), who would cost the network just $300,000 per year

Ritchie’s (left) bumper salary package has steadily grown over the years to an estimated $1million, leading to rumours Nova could seek to replace her with fill-in host Ricki-Lee Coulter (right), who would cost the network just $300,000 per year

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