2UE set adrift as 2GB sails on to greater glory | radioinfo

2UE set adrift as 2GB sails on to greater glory

Monday 16 July, 2018
Image: Shutterstock

“We had a very good day,”MacRadio CEO Adam Lang told radioinfo after Survey 4 results were revealed last week. 

It was a good day, indeed, for Macquarie Media’s talk network with its Sydney flagship 2GB up 1.3 from the previous book to reach a 14.0 share overall - its best result in five years. 
 
But while champagne corks were popping at their stations from the east coast to the west, over at MacRadio’s second brand, Macquarie Sport Radio 954, there was little joy for the hard-working staff. Despite their high hopes, Macquarie Sport Radio which replaced the ill-fated Talking Lifestyle (itself posting a measly 3.4 in its “farewell survey” a few months ago) has now plummeted to a disastrous 0.8.
 
It is the lowest ratings ever recorded for the venerable 954 frequency that, until very recently, has been broadcasting as 2UE – a station that, in its prime, promoted itself as “Always at or near the top.” 
 
When asked whether 2GB’s success is at the expense of 2UE, Mr Lang answers matter-of-factly, “Yes, it is.
 
“We know that moving George and Paul, our number one Saturday and Sunday morning show across to 2GB has had immediate results. We’ve doubled the audience on weekend mornings on 2GB since survey 1. We think the show's a much better fit on 2GB and 4BC and indeed it’s doing better on 2GB than it has on 2UE/Talking Lifestyle.” 
 
Graham Mott, a Radio Hall of Fame inductee, was at Southern Cross when Alan Jones and Ray Hadley were still at 2UE and the station was number one. https://radioinfo.com.au/news/graham-mott-instinct-radio
 
He was still there when the network, against his advice, did not do enough to keep the pair at 2UE. The station, as we all know, has never recovered from the loss.
 
“2GB has finally got the benefit of killing off 2UE as a Newstalk station,” says Mr Mott in his straight-shooting style. “Make no mistake about that. I’m not saying it was done deliberately of course. Someone had to get the benefit from 2UE falling over. 
 
“2UE did a lot better in Newstalk ratings without Jones and Hadley than 2GB ever did without them. Remember, 2GB used to get in the 3.0’s. 2UE’s been a fly in the ointment for 2GB.”
 
Mr Mott came to management via programming having succeeded at 2WS (now WSFM) and later taking Melbourne’s 3MP to number one.  Asked to take a forensic look at the “death” of 2UE, he declares,“Breakfast Monday to Sunday has been killed on 2UE. 
 
“With most radio stations, and particularly Newstalk stations, 70 per cent of your cume goes through breakfast. In other words, seven out of 10 people who listen to your station get their image of your station via breakfast. So when you take that image away, say to those people, ‘Guess what we’ve changed, we’re not as good as we were.’ Unless, of course, the act you’ve put in there ends up being better. In this case, “no” is the answer to that.
 
“That’s why, in Sydney, KIIS has done so well. That’s why WSFM and 2GB does so well. And 3AW too, because they’ve got killer breakfast acts.
 
“When I say all this, I don’t mean to downplay the role of a Neil Mitchellor a Ray Hadley. They are vitally important in what they do. But without a killer breakfast act you’re going to struggle all day. And even the great John Laws… no matter how good Lawsie was, he didn’t have the same kind of figures in Mornings as he did when he was led in by Jones,” says Graham Mott.

 Peter Saxon
 

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westo
16 July 2018 - 4:04am
2UE was launched 26 January 1925 not 35 as the story states.

The story actually states that the "954 frequency" has been broadcasting as 2UE since 1935. Prior to that 2UE was broadcasting on 1025 kHz AM. -Ed
smerdonp
16 July 2018 - 9:37am
A minor point - 3MP (1377) didn't become SEN. That was 3AK (1116). 3MP maintained its identity through that time. It (much) later became MTR, then MyMP, and finally Classic Rock.

I stand corrected. -ED
Secret Squid
16 July 2018 - 1:57pm
3MP now SEN? You might want to check that.

Did check. You're right. It was 3AK - Ed
westo
18 July 2018 - 9:46am
Peter, it really doesn't take much to check facts.
On 16 July I advised 2UE was launched in 1925 not 35 as the story says, then you justify the mistake with another mistake?
2UE changed to 950khz and was 950khz until all AM stations moved in 1978. After 1978 2UE broadcast on 954khz.
2UE started off as 2EU but within months changed to UE - surely the point of the article was that 2UE was our oldest commercial station - it's frequency then and now is irrelevant. Now please update it to correct your mistakes and false justifications.

EDITOR: Westo, fair point, and thanks for the history details. Amended.
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