Sydney Confidential

 Fifi Box is poised to be Austereo’s new ratings weapon at breakfast by moving into the all-important early morning slot at Triple M.

It is understood Box and her offsider from the popular drivetime program The Shebang, Marty Sheargold, will be switched to the breakfast slot next year at the expense of the five-person The Cage line-up.

Confidential hears Box has been offered a lucrative new deal with the station which would make her one of the highest-earning women in radio.

“She’s going to breakfast and it’s on big bucks,'’ an industry source said.

Box did not return calls yesterday and an Austereo spokesman last night refused to confirm or deny the breakfast move, saying “we won’t be commenting'’.

Box and Sheargold’s The Shebang was one of the success stories of the ratings year in 2005 and has for some time been touted as a potential replacement for The Cage.

It’s uncertain whether The Cage would be directly switched to drivetime in the shake-up.

The current five-person breakfast ensemble  - Peter Berner, Brigitte Duclos, Matt Parkinson, James Brayshaw and Mike Fitzpatrick - have battled to get a successful foothold in Sydney for the past three years.

A significant ratings improvement in the ratings survey released in August looked to have helped The Cage’s bid for survival but the show again went backwards in the latest survey this week.

It dropped 1.2 per cent to a 6.8 per cent audience share, slipping behind WSFM’s resurgent Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller to seventh in the overall breakfast rankings and fourth in FM.