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What You Think

User Opinion Story
20 May 2019 - 8:27am
I am not sure how he may have worked it, but advertising is usually a legitimate business expense. Could Clive's big spend have been at the expense of the taxpayer? Oh dear ...
Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat
Anthony The Koala
20 May 2019 - 3:29am
This issue raises issues about the influence of advertising and the ability of media organisations to influence opinion or be active.

One could see the UAP's advertising blitz as a proxy for voting for the Liberal/Coalition. This was especially so in the last week many of the messages (carts) were against the Labor party.

These advertisements were broadcast on 2GB amongst other media outlets.

Another issue is whether 'free' radio promotions of some members of parliament have an influence on the electorate?

For those listeners to 2GB's programs, the continuous promotion of Mr Tony Abbott did not seem to counteract the active 'grass roots' promotion of his rival Zali Steggall by her team and GetUp!. Perhaps Mr Abbott's strategy should have included more volunteers or more resources for a grass roots promotion. Since this is about broadcasting I won't comment on GetUp!'s failed campaign to oust other incumbent conservative Liberal/LNP candidates.

Nor did the constant promotion on several 2GB programs of asking listeners to vote for Sen. Gen. Jim Molan 'below the line' and numbering 11 other candidates seem to influence Sen. Gen. Jim Molan achieving a quota. According to the AEC, https://www.aec.gov.au/voting/counting/senate_count.htm one needs 625124 votes for a quota. Even if one hundred thousand listeners from 2GB voted below the line for Sen. Jim Molan, that would require 500000 plus other non-2GB voters.

We can also go back in history when 2SM had proportionally more listeners than Alan Jones. Two presenters from the breakfast program nominated for the senate and did not succeed.

Then the question arises does the media in general influence the vote. During Zali Steggall's victory speech, there was a heckler in the audience who uttered "....no 2GB or Murdoch press....." It may well be true for Tony Abbott as illustrated above since 2GB did not manage to get Tony Abbott re-elected.

On the other hand, in the 1950s a radio station was able to mobilise thousands of its listeners to the Sydney CBD as a grown man was pushed in a pram. Similarly a few years ago, 2GB's Chris Smith was able to mobilise thousands of listeners to rally in Canberra against the carbon dioxide tax.

In sum, it appears that advertising and the media in general do not seem to influence who could get voted. This is especially in the promotion of 'selected' candidates. It seems that on the ground active promotion in an electorate works. Unfortunately for Sen. Gen. Jim Molan, it may require extra resources since voting in the senate is a state-wide issue. But then, that is about non-media promotion which is outside the scope of this website.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat
Voice of the Flerieu
19 May 2019 - 6:47pm
He might have done better if he'd used a professional voice-over, his voice made it sound as though he was talking in his sleep. Everyone tuned out within a second Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat
Anthony The Koala
13 May 2019 - 9:41pm
I will not go into the discussion of who will be a potential successor to Alan Jones should Alan Jones leave 2GB.

Whenever Alan Jones was absent, other 2GB presenters have filled in and maintained the breakfast ratings for the 0530-0900 shift. I believe that high ratings during Alan Jones' absence was likely due to the goodwill built into the Alan Jones program.

Though the other presenters rate well in their own shifts, does not mean that they will maintain the high ratings for the breakfast shift. To illustrate, one former 2GB presenter was rating highly during his stint filling in for Alan Jones. The 2GB presenter went to 2UE presenting the breakfast competing with Alan Jones and the drive program. Despite high ratings when filling for Alan Jones on 2GB, the presenter did not rate as well on 2UE breakfast.

It follows that It is not just because a fill in presenter for the Alan Jones program who rated well that they will continue to rate well in the 0530-0900 shift if Alan Jones leaves.

Consequently, the problem with 'personality' radio is how management will have a succession plan. A succession plan starts the moment a 'personality' is signed and ready to air. 'Personalities' are mortals. The Jack Daveys, Ormsby Wilkinses and the Eric Baumes("...this I believe...") of yesterday have not been been replicated. If they were replicated, would their style, narrative and structure of presentation last today? That is a moot point.

What we do know about the Alan Jones program is that there is structure. We know what to expect at a particular time: 0530-0600, greetings, news of the day, a few opinions including people he was talking to, what's on the show, sporting news. 0600-0630, an opinion, talkback calls, occasionally some 'guests'. 0630-0700, selected readings from letters to the editor (newspapers), some finance, news from London, sports discussion. 0700-0730, editorial comment, discussion with a guest possibly extending to 0740. 0730-0800, another guest, sports, finance. 0800-0830, editorial, guest or promotion for a musical or book or cause, news from the US. 0830-0900, talkback calls. It is consistent and well-organized. So part of the success is structure, structure and structure.

We also know that Alan discusses the contemporary issues concerning households such as energy prices, petrol prices, the population issue and the future source of despatchable and reliable energy generation.

Then what forms Alan Jones' opinion? His childhood background on a farm, being an English teacher, a sports coach and an advisor to The Right Hon. Mr Malcolm Fraser, PM (RIP) being an advisor to an employers' group and his extensive network of influencers?

Agree or disagree with him, he is consistent in delivering an opinion and whatever is discussed is backed by research.

Alan may have been 'over the top' in regards to influencing policy such as the promotion a horse race on the Opera House's sails when it was not Opera House policy. That could have been dealt on air more tactfully.

Importantly the NSW government did not have to listen to Alan. I know a current Liberal member of parliament who told me a few years ago, that the first thing in the morning is that they listened to 2GB and read "The Telegraph" for a source of what people were thinking. Given that news is 'temporal', the government could have 'ducked for cover' for the next few days until the issue of promoting a horse race on the Opera House went away.

Despite this, governments do not follow every issue that Alan discusses on his program. Many of the issues discussed on Alan's show are what resonates with people: high electricity prices, petrol prices, the size of the population, directing water from North Queensland to drought areas and the issue of supplying reliable and despatchable coal-fired electricity generation when renewables despite being cheaper than coal supply a very small proportion of electricity.

It demonstrates that governments don't listen to Alan Jones and his audiences' concerns about those issues.

The real test of whether 2GB loses audience if Alan Jones leaves is if Alan goes to a station that does not subscribe to the Gfk Sydney Radio Ratings, then that station should re-subscribe. This would test whether Alan Jones' audience would move with him to the new station.

For 2GB management, the lesson is to have a succession plan as soon as a new 'personality' signs with 2GB. The presenter reflect the causes reflecting the target audience's views. That should have been done when Alan Jones was signed up in 2002. The same holds for the management of the new station if Alan signs with a new station.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Time is running out on Jones contract as new owners take control of 2GB
13 May 2019 - 10:09am
I guess the calculation for 2GB is whether Alan is good for another reinvention, and where he would go. There have been suggestions that the 2SM Super Network would pick him up. Would he take his audience there? Even John Laws, who'd done the same trick between GB and UE as Jones did, couldn't achieve that -- although his career was already in decline at that stage. Jones's ratings are still very high, but his audience is as old or older than him, and his ideas don't have a lot of currency with Gen X, let alone the younger generations. But, to a great extent, that's true of Hadley too. I think GB/Nine management will be waiting for the federal election to "take the temperature" of the nation. If the right and far-right parties do well, then there's an audience for Jones, Hadley etc. and maybe their current strategy is worth hanging on to for a few more years. Time is running out on Jones contract as new owners take control of 2GB
Chris McLenaghan
13 May 2019 - 6:34am
Excellent piece, Peter. In my previous full time working life, my employer was the ATO. To work there, I was obliged to sign and adhere to a secrecy oath, which applies for the rest of my life. I cannot breach it in respect of taxpayers’ affairs and other issues deemed covered by that oath by the ATO, irrespective of any perceived injustices I see now or saw in my 37 years there. The parallels to both these men are clear. Be passionate in your beliefs by all means but there is a line you cannot cross. Time is running out on Jones contract as new owners take control of 2GB
Anthony The Koala
8 May 2019 - 6:22pm
I have commented briefly on this site about how the ABC could save money without affecting programs.

* reduce power consumption of transmitters and reduce CO2. If commercial metropolitan and rural transmitters can succeed and survive on 5kW (ocassionally 10kW) and 2kW, why can't the ABC? For example Sydney's 702 (2BL) and RN (2FC) are 50kW each.

* reduce the management levels. During the long industrial dispute of the early 1990s, a person I knew remarked to me that during that time, the ABC hired more managers than actual workers. In addition, given significant technological changes in broadcasting since the 1980s have the hierarchical industrial structures of the ABC kept pace with technology?

An example of keeping pace with technology was the launch of Aussat (now Optus) which meant central distribution of programming material instead of state-based duplication of distribution. This later evolved in recent years of automating and outsourcing its presentation/master control operations to a private company at Ingleburn.

Nevertheless, have the hierarchical industrial structures remained?

* amalgamate childrens' content on ABC2 and ABC3 and put some childrens' content on ABC (main).

I stand corrected on these issues.

It seems that since the 1976 budget freeze of the ABC, programs seem to be affected. Ironically since the 1976 cuts, there is more program output on radio and TV: in radio, RN and metropolitan (702 (2BL), 774 (3LO)) used to close at 0100 and 0000 respectively. Now they are 24 hours. Similarly on TV, ABC TV, the station opened at 0700, there was about four hours of test pattern (Philips PM5544) and music. Now it's 24 hours.

If the ABC is really squeezed for funds, then it may have to look at its internal hierarchical structures, power consumption and extra channels to contain costs.

Anthony of exciting Belfield

David Anderson says staff cuts at the ABC are inevitable
Anthony The Koala
8 May 2019 - 4:54pm
The lotto machine (pictured at top) and combining the music with "gut feel....(rather)...than research" (13th paragraph) suggests something like a cross between shuffle play and a human touch. One wonders whether 'scientific' research used in determining a playlist is overthink with a boring predictable format - think "classic hits/golden oldies" and does not produce results.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
How smooth picks the songs that make it the music leader
5 May 2019 - 11:03am
So what is Clive Robertson up to these day's ?? Networking nights not working for 2UE
Joan Warner
3 May 2019 - 5:55pm
Listeners are attracted to AM radio for the content, the platform of listening is not so important to them so long as they can access the stations they want, using the devices they choose.

DAB+ is a superior format to both HD Radio and DRM and a better choice for consumers because it’s well-established globally and thus there’s greater range and availability of affordable receivers.

The number of car manufacturers supporting DAB+ is not matched by HD and certainly not by DRM. The difficulty of a hybrid model involving two systems is that there are no multi standard receivers.
Is the future for AM radio a switch to digital?


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