Are Denis Walter’s days numbered at 3AW | radioinfo

Are Denis Walter’s days numbered at 3AW

Thursday 27 June, 2019

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that 2GB’s proposed move of Chris Smith to nights, and Steve Price to afternoons will be the trigger for 3AW to dump Denis Walter.
But according to the 3AW website, Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang has dismissed the rumours: “Nothing has even been said about Denis Walter,” he told News Corp.

But there was one element of the reporting that really affected Denis, and he got it off his chest during his popular 3AW Afternoons program today.

“There’s an ongoing problem that I’ve had for decades. And that is: There’s only one ‘N’ in Denis, and they’ve put two."

If Price was to move into afternoons in Sydney, then 3AW could take his program in what would be seen as a cost cutting measure for Macquarie Media following the re-signing of Alan Jones for $8 million.

Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang dismissed the rumours, telling News Corp,  “Nothing has even been said about Denis Walter."
The sticking point now is that Smith has reportedly engaged lawyers to fight the proposed move, and Macquarie Media is now hunting for the source of the story being leaked.
The old adage about ‘never go on holidays’ will be ringing in his ears as he prepares to take the next 3 weeks off for a prearranged break that includes a cruise from New York to London with listeners.

It is understood that Macquarie is proposing he move into his new time slot when he returns from the break, during which time they would have an opportunity to bed in the new program with Price.

 See also radioinfo's story on Chris Smith 


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Anthony The Koala
27 June 2019 - 8:12pm
Cutting costs despite the talent producing the results and sponsored segments in order to produce additional revenue.

Prima facie, there is nothing wrong in principle with cost cutting in a profitable business. At the same time if the 'talent' is producing the results in high ratings and higher advertising revenue, then removing that talent is like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

It is not the first time that high rating talent has been replaced to the broadcaster's detriment. 774's (3LO's) Red Symons was dismissed. It is said that breakfast leads the rest of the station. Symons' presented the breakfast program, and 774's (3LO's) ratings halved from 14.8 to 7.4.

In the 1970s 2GB sacked Gordon Chater & Gwen Plumb. 2GB went into a mellow-rock format and the ratings plummeted until its programming format changed in 1982.

In Ian 'Lofty' Fulton's biography, "Lofty, My Life In Short", Ian recalled a story where he was rating very highly at a Brisbane FM radio station. Management wanted to negotiate a lower wage. He produced the goods, but management wanted to reduce his wages the following year. It's an oxymoron!

Thus many comments on the Daily Telegraph's page could be summed up as why fix something that isn't broken. Alternatively quoting the statement from a flyspray commercial "....when you're on a good thing, stick to it...."

Perhaps swapping presenters between the afternoon and evening shifts may well produce results. But the current presenters in their current shifts are already producing the goods. Yes there was some cost cutting in the Steve Price evening show where the former 2000-2100 co-presenter Andrew Bolt did not accept a lower paid contract. But the ratings for the 2000-2100 segment did not fall.

Perhaps I may be going off on a tangent at this point in regards sponsored segments. There is one thing that is annoying about some of the segments on 2GB. While many of the segments are obviously sponsored segments such as the "legal advice" or "financial advice" or "car advice" or "all on four advice", there are some interviews which seem like it's part of the program but get's one to think ' this an interview or a sponsored segment?' For example 'plugs' for certain musicals or a story about 'group homes for the elderly instead of nursing homes'. Very interesting topics in their own right.

However, if radio station was to include more 'sponsored' segments in order to boost revenue, where it is not obvious that the content is sponsored or it is an actual interview, the presenter must mention that this is a sponsored segment. For example on the interview about 'group homes for the elderly', the presenter (Steve Price) could have stated that this was a newsworthy item or sponsored segment. He could have invited talk back calls on the rather interesting topic, especially given the population is ageing.

Maybe I wasn't going off on a tangent. But if a radio station was to include sponsored segments in order to boost revenue in addition to advertising revenue, then where the segment is not obviously a newsworthy or sponsored segment, then it should be stated that the segment is a news item or sponsored segment.

A further comment. Some of the commenters on the Daily Telegraph article mentioned that they have had to do what their employers wanted in working another shift. That is a valid comment. As mentioned earlier, swapping shifts between the afternoon and evening shifts may work and not affect ratings. But for many jobs, it is not the regularity of the shift that is important, but whether you are on call, these include paramedics, nurses, doctors, electricians and plumbers, to name a few. Similarly where a job is commodified it would not matter what shift one performs.

But, there are jobs which are not personality dependent as radio. There are critical areas of our society where regularity of shift is irrelevant such as emergency workers.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting and dynamic Belfield
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