Out with the new, in with the old | radioinfo

Out with the new, in with the old

Monday 23 March, 2015

It shouldn’t be like this...

Today, once radio’s favourite daughter, Wendy Harmer, pulled the pin on The Hoopla, just four years after she and co founder Jane Waterhouse had given it life.

Despite this quality online women’s publication pulling almost 400,000 unique browsers every month and growing, it still couldn’t compete in a rapidly changing online environment.

Ms Harmer (left) wrote in her final column, “The online media game in Australia is evolving at dizzying speed and increasingly becoming one for players with very deep pockets – often supported by overseas media networks who are able to absorb enormous financial losses for their forays into the local market. Often the content offered is from writers and interns who work for free; reprinted from other sites or blogs and, increasingly, material under licence from the taxpayer-funded ABC.”

It's a sad day for Australian media.

Meanwhile, Network Ten began a “new era” with the revival of a 45 year old CBS sitcom with a 2015 version of The Odd Couple. Perhaps if you had never seen the original Neil Simon Broadway play, the 1968 movie or the 1970 TV series with Jack Klugman as Oscar and Tony Randall as Felix, you might think this new one with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon is okay, if only because some of the old script has been woven in with a few new, more risqué lines.

Apart from the cast, oddly, the 2015 remake hasn’t changed as much as one might expect in 45 years. The furniture in the apartment, for example, which is the main set, looks and feels familiar. 

But the show’s biggest cue into the 21st century is the occupation of the main characters. While Felix is still a photographer and Oscar is still a sports guy, he’s no longer a columnist at the local newspaper. Instead, he now has his own radio show which he does in his underwear from a studio in a corner of his lounge room.  

Not everything old can be made new again quite like radio.

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