Talking Lifestyle dropped for sports format at 2UE | radioinfo

Talking Lifestyle dropped for sports format at 2UE

Friday 02 March, 2018

A leaked email from Executive Chairman Russell Tate advised Macquarie Media staff that the Talking Lifestyle format will change on March 30/


He wrote: "The “Talking Lifestyle” format which has run on our 954 AM Sydney station since September 2016, and on our 1278 AM Melbourne and 882 AM Brisbane stations since late February 2017, will be broadcast for the last time on Friday March 30th.' 

The email says that Talking Lifestyle will be replaced by a sports format, networked across the same three stations with presenters drawn from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The new format’s launch will coincide with the Commonwealth Games which commence on the Gold Coast on April 4th.

Tate cites low audience numbers in Melbourne and Talking Lifestyle's revenue contribution, deemed unsustainable on current ratings projections, as the reason behind the decision. 

'Our decision to end the “Talking Lifestyle’ format follows a comprehensive operational review of its performance since launch, and assessment of its likely future contribution to MML Group’s ratings and earnings.

'In short “Talking Lifestyle” has not been able to deliver the audience numbers which were hoping it would reach, and that has been particularly so in Melbourne. Talking Lifestyle’s revenue contribution has been relatively good, but is unlikely to be sustainable on current ratings projections.'

Tate thanked the on-air and off-air teams for their contribution, and announced that each of the program teams will be advised of broadcast plans leading up to March 30th, and the possibility of ongoing roles in the new format.


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2 March 2018 - 6:28pm
I loved doing song requests on the Saturday night Pete Graeham show on the Talking lifestyle digital radio station.I'm very disappointed to hear that the format of Talking Lifestyle is going to change at the end of March 2018 and it will become a sports based radio station.I don't think we need anymore sports based radio stations in Melbourne and I think it would have been a lot better if Talking lifestyle would become a music based radio station playing easy listening 60s,70s,80s and 90s and was a bit like the old 3MP and Magic 1278 stations in Melbourne.
it would be really good if the ABC could launch a new radio station like this as it looks like Talking Lifestyle is going to be all about sports.
From Jono and Ben
2 March 2018 - 8:29pm
All sport? Isn't that what 2KY does? This'll fail too! There's already a lot of sport on 2GB and ABC local radio. What once was the great 2UE, and rating better when the format changed, is a former shadow of itself. They should have kept 2UE as it was and not keep changing presenters every 6 months. It was THIS that alienated listeners. It may not have rated as well as 2GB but at least there was an alternative commercial talk station in Sydney. When they changed format I rember ratings were actually going up!! The problem was they became owned by the same network and the powers that be decided the lesser rating one had to go or change format. It's all so very sad.

When George and Paul were moved to 2GB the writing was on the wall. If it's all going to be all sport what will happen to John and Gary? I reackon they're funny and a breath of fresh air. And what about the newly appointed weekend morning team of Rob Duckworh and Mieke Buchan? They were great filling in for John and Gary over the summer break. They should relaunch 2UE as "Sydney's all new 2UE" with a mix of light talk, entertainment, news and music segments. Also, bring back Stuart Bocking, John Cadogen, Angela Catterns and Clive Robinson who will all compliment the great Tim Webster!! What Macquarie Media should do is sell 2UE and THEN the new owners can coax George and Paul back. Now there's a line-up!!!
3 March 2018 - 9:52am
Some parts were okay but 2GB does some of what they are doing ( e.g. gardening).

The station should be another commercial talk back station like 2GB offering listeners another station like this.

There is too much sport - and this will mean that 2GB listeners who do not want to listen to sport on 2GB will not have an alternative talk station. It's really a poor management decision.

The problem is that the announcers on the old 2UE ( like Clive Robertson and Mike Jeffreys) were not well supported by management - listeners loved them - they are classic talk radio broadcasters.

I agree - it was change after change after change - really poor management. Also listeners were not well respected - e.g. emails ignored.

Anthony The Koala
3 March 2018 - 10:00am
My theory for the following scenarios of changing formats: talk(v1) to talk(v2), talk to music, music to talk and music to music.

Applying this to the "Talking Lifestyle" ('TL') format, 2UE(talk) to 'TL' which is a talk(v1) to talk(v2) format, the ratings halved to 3.5 and has been steady. In contrast, the "Magic" to TL which is the same as music to talk, the ratings plummeted to less than 0.5%. This situation has been replicated with 3MP to MTR, 3AK to CBC,

What is the competition? In Sydney 2UE will be competing with 2KY (racing), 2GB(footy), MMM (footy), 2SM (AFL) and 702. In Melbourne 'TL's with SEN (consistently rating between 2.0(Wkend) to 3.2 (Wkday)), 774(AFL) . In Brisbane 'TL' will be competing with 4TAB (racing), 2GB(footy) and 612.

Perhaps my theory will be wrong: will 2UE's ratings be stable and will the 'Magic' branded stations change for the better? For the former, it's a talk(v1) to talk(v2) to talk(v3).

But for the latter, it's wait and see. The dynamic is that talent will be drawn from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. That's a lot of resources with expertise in sports. Are the 'top brass' of MML prepared to go for the long haul over several ratings periods especially in the Brisbane and Melbourne markets.

If the Brisbane and Melbourne stations were to revert to an automated music station, don't go with the 'hackneyed' format of 'hits and memories'/'classic hits'/'golden oldies' because the market is saturated with variations of that format on the AM, FM and DAB bands.

Anthony of downtown Belfield
3 March 2018 - 8:37pm
I really think Macquarie media doesn't need sports because 2GB,3AW,4BC and other stations across the Macquarie media broadcast sports. And also I'm a listener of 2CH easy 1170 I really think Melbourne and Brisbane should bring back the Magic format. I don't think they need to follow Sydney with the change they should of let magic stay.
3 March 2018 - 11:26pm
There has to be a lot of soul searching amongst the management group of Macquarie media, not only did they destroy a proud radio station that lasted for 90 years, also they honestly thought that listeners of 2ue will migrate to 2gb this didn't happen. It's kind of sad to here great personalities like John and Gary do the morning program and talk about how to remove stains from clothing who cares, at the end nobody did listeners left in droves.
Secret Squid
5 March 2018 - 3:33am
They should hand those licences back to ACMA. Convert the cap city AMs to FM and level the playing field.
5 March 2018 - 4:54pm

It’s interesting really to look at the history of a corporate media network, a publicly listed company and wonder how it is able to get away with failure after failure and go almost unquestioned.

Of course, in an organisation where the publicly traded shares are minimal and the majority ownership of one or two people it’s hardly surprising.

Yet time after time we watch formats change, issues unfold and no real consequences for those at the top.

I could be talking about Southern Cross who have let their flagship Sydney station slide to rock bottom with millions being thrown at attempts to save it.

Instead, I’m talking about Macquarie.  In the last 8 or 9 years the network has been rudderless at a radio station level.  Program Directors or Content Directors gone or disempowered, the highest profile announcers left to run their shows unchecked.

It’s rating - and in the case of flagship Sydney station 2GB it’s rating through the roof - number 1 time and time again.

The question is - could it be doing better?  Even if you leave that aside, that glossy #1 title sits side by side with utter disaster.

The network launched a Melbourne Talk Station to rival 3AW and failed completely and utterly. They merged with Fairfax and created one of the most powerful talk radio networks in our time, yet let their second tier stations slump.

Wiping out the historic 2UE talk format and replacing it with “Lifestyle” was a bold move - one that has great merit when you assess the potential of that content type in the modern era of digital and on-demand listening.

However as a “sister” station to the almighty 2GB it got no support - no cross promotion of any value, no shared talent pool, 2GB seemingly worked only as competitors instead of being a united front.

Then more wipeouts, this time in Brisbane and Melbourne - completely and utterly shedding audience.  A relaunch like that requires millions of dollars of marketing investment - instead it was left to on-air promotions of cash giveaways and a few simple billboards to drive audience.

Macquarie Media has been a very successful business, the annual results will no doubt point to that. But it must be asked - how many millions have been lost setting up these failed ideas?

In the absense of true radio leadership, a programming team which works daily and weekly with even the biggest egos in the building - Macquarie Media is destined to have its two flagship stations dominate the markets, with a next to nothing result on the rest of the network.

And on those flagship stations is there a succession plan?  A plan to put in place should there be some loss of talent?  Not likely.

EDITORS NOTE: Identity supplied to radioinfo. Some paragraphs edited for legal reasons.
Noel B
2 April 2018 - 9:16am
Once again Faifax Media looking after small business by destroying big business.
Like many people warned Talking Lifestyle would fail. People do not want these constant changes ,24 hour sport crazy.
Fairfax Media destroyed SMH a once outstanding credible paper now turned into a lefty rag where you cannot believe what is printed.
They would have destroyed 2GB but for Alan Jones Singo and Hadley holding these fools at bay.
Listener for a day
3 April 2018 - 12:58pm
Just heard the BAD news that Linda Ross’s programme is being axed for the sake of sport. Can’t believe the station wouldn’t have polled the overwhelming success of this segment. The vast number of callers validate there are those out there who want this program. More sport???
Good luck, you’re loosing a vast army of listeners. Bye. Please announce when station programmers are replaced with those who are in touch with what the community wants. 954 doesn’t exist for me any more.
16 April 2018 - 7:26pm
24 hours of sport? They've lost me and I can't believe I'm the only one. What are they doing to this once great radio station?
20 April 2018 - 4:08pm
I thoroughly enjoyed the lifestyle radio . No vitriolic anger as presented by the 2GB morning announcer . Enjoyable, positive radio. It was a refreshing change. Well, you’ve lost me as a listener. I’m heading back to FM.
20 December 2018 - 12:03pm
I HATE what Macquarie have done to 2UE. They've lost a huge number of listeners. As my local pharmacist said, there's nothing to listen to any longer. So it was goodbye 2UE and hello FM.

What makes my blood boil is 2UE hasn't even the courtesy to maintain the Lifestyle website. Many of us would love to download old podcasts and listen to them at least.

So typical of modern-day business practice. No consultation with the very listeners who supported the station; just slash and burn.

As for 2GB, it's attempts to coax back listeners by re-introducing SOME of the old favs such as Simon Stevenson - well, it's a drop in the ocean.

I hope there's an entrepreneur out there who will gather the former presenters together and launch a new Lifestyle station.
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