‘Sad, angry and frustrated’ 3AW listeners | radioinfo

‘Sad, angry and frustrated’ 3AW listeners

Friday 16 January, 2015
In his last weeks on 3AW’s overnight shift, Andrew McLaren has been facing a barrage of calls from listeners, outraged that the Melbourne-based overnight show will be replaced with a national program, fronted by Luke Bona, from Sydney.
 
When it was announced on air this week, caller after caller complained about the decision, as one sequence of programming from the 3am hour earlier this week shows (listen below).
 
Caller Mary told McLaren: “I’ll get a good nights sleep now because you are the only reason I stay up overnight… I’ll be listening to the ABC now.”
 
McLaren defended Luke Bona asking listeners to give him a chance, but it was not enough for some listeners. “We don’t care about him, we’re switched on to you here in Melbourne,” said caller John, a garbage collector who listens to the overnight shift while working.
 
“I’m sad angry and frustrated… [management] will rue that decision, it will come back to bite them,” said Margaret, echoing the sentiments of many other callers.
 
“That’s the way things go in the corporate world, money has to be saved,” said McLaren, explaining the decision to the listeners.
 
The new overnight program begins on February 2nd.
 
Before McLaren took over the shift, 3AW veteran Keith McGowan hosted the Melbourne mid-dawn show for 25 years, retiring three and a half years ago. McGowan has now passed away.
 
McLaren, and producer Mark Petkovic are not sure what awaits them. McLaren told listeners “I may do some other fill in things on the station, I haven’t talked to management yet.” It is not known what will happen to his producer Mark, who is regularly heard on air with McLaren, as well as  his production duties.

Melbourne listeners are notoriously parochial about thier media and fiercely resist any networked program thought to be imposed on them from Sydney.
 
After listening to details about the program’s replacement, and callers’ responses, one 3AW listener wrote to radioinfo about the change, commenting:
 
“Three things stand out, the obvious annoyance and despair of listeners at the hostile takeover from that foreign country: Sydney, and the abrupt execution of a favourite indeed vital programme.
 
“The passion and loyalty of the audience and the much higher quality of McLaren, [who is] professional… witty and whimsical. He certainly developed a nice riff with his producer Mark, which is so essential when even mid dawn announcers struggle to keep up the energy.
 
“I think the worst aspect is the obsessive need to wipe a couple of salaries from the costs line, whilst ignoring the impact it has on listeners and station loyalty.
 
“I don’t know the figures but I understand that 3AW dominated mid dawn numbers which must have value in helping their guys stay on top in breakfast.”
 

 
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Nicko
17 January 2015 - 10:25am
Another example of the beancounters taking over an entertainment medium - no understanding of entertainment and audiences. Doing to capital city radio what they did to destroy regional radio.
treeman
19 January 2015 - 12:44pm
Fiveaa did the same thing for weekend Mid dawns approx 10 years ago. Listeners outraged by the decision and I believe it only lasted a couple of weeks.

Hopefully for Melbourne's sake 3aw listeners can do the same.
redwiner
4 February 2015 - 8:28pm
It's a big disappointment to lose our local content. as much as the new presenter tries to fit in to a national audience he does not have the same appeal as it is clear he is a Sydnetite. It does not matter where the program is based but it is important to have a presenter that has local knowledge and an understanding of local psyche, local areas, their nuances and our love affair with Australian Football. I suspect that Luke Bona is on the internet searching for information on areas in Melbourne and Victoria as soon as new calls are received but it is not the same as having the first hand knowledge. It really is a big big disappointment and I hope that 3AW can afford to give a local person or people the opportunity to give us back a program that we can fully enjoy. I accept that things change and maybe it's time for me to change to another overnight experience.
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