Zan Rowe's triple j tweet stirs debate about the youth broadcaster | radioinfo

Zan Rowe's triple j tweet stirs debate about the youth broadcaster

Friday 22 November, 2019
Earlier this week former triple j presenter Zan Rowe tweeted about the national youth station's changed lineup, congratulating the new team and commenting on the sense of disenfranchisement that some listeners may have been felling as their favourite presenters were replaced by a younger team.

She said:
Feeling like all the presenters who you grew up with are leaving triple j? I get it. triple j is a youth station. Our very existence is about renewal. Constantly aiming to entertain and inform 18-24 year old Australians. Older than that? @DoubleJRadio is tailor made for you.
Rowe is now morning presenter on Double J.

The tweet sparked thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments about triple j's latest refresh.

It is the perennial debate about triple j, should the station grow old with its loyal existing audience, or shed its audience and its older presenters regularly so that it is still connected to the youth zeitgeist?

Every decade or so the station regularly does a refresh on its music and presenters to remain contemporary, it seems like 2019 is the year to for that. In 2008, we reported on similar changes that would come into play at the beginning of 2009. In 2016, then manager Linda Bracken told radioinfo about the need for constant reinvention at the station:
It’s a brand that continues to reinvent itself. It resonates with young Australians because it’s authentic, because it has personalities that feel authentic and appeals to them. And it always stays on the cutting edge of new platforms and new technologies.”

Before digital radio, when there was no more available space on the radio dial and there was only triple j, these reinventions sparked placards and protests in the streets, as die hard fans pressured the ABC not to make changes. The situation has now changed. On DAB+, Double J is playing the best of past decades from the triple j playlist and a host of former triple j presenters are now on Double J, or have moved to other ABC stations, such as Robbie Buck on ABC Sydney.

The new triple j lineup has been drawn from the ABC's own internal talent pool as well as innovative youth stations such as FBi Radio Sydney. Zan Rowe began her career at community stations SYN and 3RRR in Melbourne, before joining triple j in 2005. She moved to Double J in 2017.

The outrage has not been as hot this time around due to the availability of Double J and other alternatives, but Zan's tweet did generate some objections form some of her followers, while others agreed with her advice to try Double J. Some said she was being ageist, to which she replied it was simply "an invitation" to try an alternative station.

Some of her followers wore their age proudly, supporting her advocacy of Double J or using the opportunity to validate that triple j was still relevant for them. Some suggested there is a need for yet another new station, 'Single J.'

Some used the comment thread to remenisce about their favourite presenters of old such as Angela Catterns, Helen and Mikey and Chris Winter, while others posted memorabilia, such as the original Double J AM frequency poster and  the iconic exploding head logo.

Kylie Lewis summed up the views of many, commenting:

I remember when Angela Catterns left and her saying that @triplej is about attitude not age. That’s why I’m still listening 20 years later.
One eighty year old follower was having none of it though... he was a rusted on triple j fan forever.

The original tweet is below, click through to view all the comments.

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Anthony The Koala
22 November 2019 - 3:24pm
I still have a problem with the "refresh and renewal" every 10 years. If the former presenters have been able to obtain employment within the ABC that's fine.

Nevertheless, in the name of "refresh and renew" every 10 years, there is nothing in the anti-discrimination laws that exempt JJJ presenters or any other kind of supposed 'youth-oriented' entity. No contract term can override the statute.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
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