Charles Wooley’s show axed | radioinfo

Charles Wooley’s show axed

Monday 17 November, 2008
Charles Wooley in the studio at Heart Hobart

It was a bold but expensive experiment. When Macquarie Regional Radioworks (now Macquarie Southern Cross) launched “Charles Wooley Across Australia” three years ago, it was hailed as the only talk program of its kind featuring a high profile presenter and quality production, networked to regional stations for regional stations – not from a major metropolitan station but from Hobart.

However, that was three years ago when advertising traffic was buoyant, logs were full and the Macquarie Bank share price was high.

How things have changed in a few short weeks since the “downturn” began. The program will finish up at the end of the month. Wooley himself could be gone by the end of the week. He told radioinfo that the parting is amicable.

Wooley who, when he started, found Radio a much harder gig than he expected, now says it’s sharpened up a lot of skills, “In particular, its taught me to do three or four things at once.”

From a programming standpoint, the show was deemed a success even though it was never subject to the type of ratings scrutiny that major cap city talk shows undergo eight times a year. However, in it’s three years it was nominated for eight ACRAs, winning three times.

In the end the show was never able to achieve the network penetration that former CEO, Tim Hughes had envisioned when he met Wooley by chance on a flight to Hobart and bounced the radio idea off him.

“The focus changed a little,” says Wooley, “When Macquarie bought all those TV stations from Southern Cross. It meant they couldn’t own TV and Radio in many markets which meant they had to divest a large chunk of my network. And not enough of the new owners stuck with the show.”

Wooley was back at 60 minutes already last night interviewing Hugh Jackman star of the new Baz Luhrman movie Australia. He tells us that he’ll be back on TV full time next year, “But discussions are still open with MACSC about doing an hour or two of a weekend.”

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