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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Anthony The Koala
30 October 2019 - 12:20am
Management live or die by the decisions they make. Unfortunately a labour-intensive format such as sports talk did not work. When MSR's ratings was rating below 1.1% in the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne markets, I said that give it time after at most two ratings surveys. The ratings did not budge up even when it was cross promoted by its higher rating "sibling" stations. At the beginning of the year I said that with low ratings it is no way that MSR would sustain itself.

One cannot make the assumption that because we are a sporting nation that somehow we'll listen in droves to a sporting station. That is in the same way that because we are a gambling nation that we'll flock in droves to listen to racing radio such as 2KY. Neither sporting or racing attracted listeners.

Radical changes to a radio format is may be successful or unsuccessful.

When radio stations in the 1960s dropped all remnants of its radio dramas and quiz shows for "Top 40" and talks to great success; 2UE, 2SM 'Good Guys' and 2UW.

When 2GB in the mid 1970s gave up 'talking' for a 'mellow-rock' format, its ratings tumbled until resuming 'news talk'. 2GB's ratings during the the 1990s is another discussion as I mentioned in my review of the book "On Air" by Mike Carlton on this site.

John Laws OBE, CBE in his 2017 book "Lawsie, well...you wanted to know", ISBN 9781742579870, page 222, last paragraph, summed 2UE 'unfavourably' when it was a "Talking Lifestyle" station in three words. I won't replicate them here. Nevertheless those three words may well apply today.

The people who suffer for management's decisions are the workers at MSR for a format that the market could not support.

Yet with Australia's population growing the potential for a larger radio audience is there, notwithstanding competing audio sources such as audio-on-demand whether Spotify, podcasts or music.

What is the fate of 4BH, 2UE, 3EE (formerly 3XY) after the gradual winding down of the sport talkback. Something has to fill the void apart from the purported continuation of live sporting matches. Four possible scenarios: (i) continue as a sport talk format, (ii) run as a complementary news-talk format, (iii) music format - AM music can rate BUT please no hackneyed "classic hits"/"golden oldies"/"hits and memories". In recent weeks the DAB+ band has increased the number of these formats with further offerings from 2DAY-old, 2Day-easy (Austereo), Smooth,Relax,Coles (DMG), 2WS-80s, KIIS-90s (ARN). That is apart from 2CH and BOG's offering of Zoo and Fun.

For the fourth scenario, would be to divest 4BH, 2UE and 3EE (formerly 3XY) to other interests who can see value in the frequency.

Thank you,
Anthony of Belfield which is exciting to be in.
Macquarie Sports Radio axes talkback and reviews all programs
29 October 2019 - 3:06pm
So.. back to music for 4BH 882 in Brisbane and Magic 693 in Melbourne.. and perhaps back to Talking Lifestyle for 2UE?
I worked for 4BH in Ipswich in the 90s and noughties, when it was recovering from a brief flirtation with talk, and it climbed the ratings with the right mix of music and hosts. Music could lift it again, I reckon.
Macquarie Sports Radio axes talkback and reviews all programs
26 October 2019 - 5:14pm
Jon, this is great news, and so well deserved!
Vertigan to become Group Content Director at ACE Radio Network
26 October 2019 - 11:02am
Despite, or perhaps because of, the format barely changing for years, George and Paul host the most entertaining program on Australian radio … and I struggle to think why.
Regular guests, who essentially say the same thing each week, are interspersed with guests who support George and Paul’s Bob-Menzies-era political views. The show finishes with a quiz on topics pre-2000 where one of them pretends to be a woman.
Doesn’t sound like a formula for success but I’ve listened for many years and, damn, I’ll miss it when the show’s gone.
I can’t begin to imagine what dreadful contract condition George is walking out over. I’ll have to meet a radio programming executive one day to see if they are as dumb as they appear.
George Moore quits MacRadio
Anthony The Koala
24 October 2019 - 7:39pm
My congratulations to the awardees Natalie and Erin. It is indeed great to hear womens' voices on the air. Is indeed great to know that commercial radio is recognizing their efforts. By the way I am a listener to the Natalie and Erin on 2GB weekend afternoons. I also listen to Poppy Savvakis on weekend afternoons2SM. How I listen to both programs, it is a possible task.

While I cannot comment on whether female presenters have been given awards and/or recognition for their contribution to their craft, let's not forget the women who present on the ABC such as Patricia Karvelis and Geraldine Doogue, to name a few.

Let us not also forget that pioneers of Australian radio have been women. One who comes to mind is Grace Gibson who ran a radio production company supplying radio stations nationally with radio dramas, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/gibson-grace-isabel-12534.

May I avert readers to the National Film and Sound Archive's website on pioneering radio women, https://www.nfsa.gov.au/latest/women-radio . The website also has research material.

Thus women on radio is not a new concept. It has been with us since the early days of radio. Whether there were awards or recognition for any presenter male or female in those early days, I cannot comment.

Thank you
Anthony of Belfield, which has a very large crane acting like a weather vane.
It's just the two of us with no token man: Natalie Peters and Erin Molan win an #ACRAs2019
Blue Trane
23 October 2019 - 11:38am
This is not surprising given all the litigation 2GB and Macquarie has the potential to have to fight. I bet their premiums have shot up in recent years for obvious reasons.

Given these presenters are on big money, I fail to understand why they can't pay for their own indemnity insurance.
Exclusive: Why I quit MacRadio - George Moore
23 October 2019 - 7:10am
Anthony is spot on. It’s even more challenging given there are two presenters. One could say something that could be considered defamatory and both could be sued. It is a very dangerous precedent. It would be interesting to see if the directors and officers insurance has similar limitations. Exclusive: Why I quit MacRadio - George Moore
Anthony The Koala
22 October 2019 - 7:56pm
This is not a discussion of the Wagner case mentioned in the above article. It is about an unfair contractual term and which party bears the cost of litigation. As I said in another comment, nor will I speculate on the interactions between the presenter and management especially in light of recent management changes at 2GB.

As I mentioned in another post at https://radioinfo.com.au/news/george-moore-quits-macradio, when there is no meeting of the minds especially in regards agreement to the terms, there is no contract.

As this article revealed the disagreement was about the contractual term limiting the liability of defamation against the radio station to the first $50 thousand, no contract was formed because the parties did not agree to the terms.

No one was forced into an agreement, as one of the parties said in the article, "...of course, they have the right to put that limit in, and I have the right to say. no thanks...."

Even if there is no case (that is case dismissed) against the broadcaster and presenter or the litigant is vexatious or a liar, the litigation process may well cost over $50 thousand. Similarly the cost may well be over $50 thousand if the losing litigant cannot afford to bear the costs if the litigant cannot afford to pay the broadcaster's and presenter's costs. It has happened on several occasions.

I have never heard the departing employee say anything defamatory or vociferously attack anyone which could raise a cause of action. An over 40 year veteran in broadcasting would know what's defamatory and could only say what can be proven.

Even with a prudent broadcaster with over 40 years experience, HAD THE BROADCASTER SIGNED THE CONTRACT, there may well THE RISK of a litigant or vexatious litigant who may LIE and have NO CASE against the radio station and presenter still taking the radio station through the litigation process (mediation and trial). Even if the litigation process stops at mediation before going to trial, such costs could well be over $50 thousand.

Thus if there is a litigation process, it is UNFAIR that the presenter should bear the burden of the costs if there is no case OR the case is dismissed, especially if the litigant cannot afford to pay the costs. It has happened before where the litigant lost the case and had to pay costs but could not pay still leaving the broadcaster and radio station bearing the costs.

Thus one has to question the purpose of such a stringent contractual term limiting liability of the employer to the first $50 thousand. Such a term is totally unfair, especially for an experienced professional broadcaster of over 40 years who has never defamed anyone but may be subject to a lying or vexatious litigant and go through the litigation process and it does not reach beyond the mediation stage.

Regardless of employer whether broadcaster or newspaper or other kind of employer, no one would want to work for an employer limiting liability for a cause of action in defamation.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
Exclusive: Why I quit MacRadio - George Moore
22 October 2019 - 12:08am
It's extremely sad that as mentioned in a previous comment that the new owners of Macquarie Media seem to have a death wish which will destroy a great program and will lead to loss of important ratings. My guess is that Management are trying to control the content of the already successful program.
I and most of my friends have followed George and Paul from 2UE to 2GB and we will all move to another station if an when they are snapped up.
I am sure the Macquarie board will regret this move in the future.
George Moore quits MacRadio
21 October 2019 - 10:09pm
It is tragic that George and Paul may be breaking up. I hope Paul goes with George and they get a start elsewhere accessible to regular listeners. We will go with them. Thanks George for having the courage to not compromise your principles. George Moore quits MacRadio


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