Posted September 22nd, 2010 by debritz
Further to my item about Macquarie Radio Network and its plans to go national, I note that the website www.brisbanetalkradio.com is already registered. You might be surprised who owns it (I'll let those of you who can fathom the mysteries of whois find out for yourself; for others, here's a hint) and where it points.
Posted September 20th, 2010 by debritz
"A national talk radio network has massive appeal." So says Macquarie Radio Network chairman Russell Tate in this story in The Australian today. Tate says 2GB star Ray Hadley's new weekly Sky News television show - presumably an attempt to turn Hadley into Australia's version of Fox News's Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck - presents an opportunity to give the Sydney announcer a national profile. If MRN wants a national radio network (despite so far poor results for its MRT station in Melbourne), it would need a presence in Brisbane - which could be a very good thing for the market. But where would MRN obtain a signal? Fairfax is unlikely to sell 4BH if the buyer's aim is to compete with 4BC, and ARN's 4KQ may not be setting the world on fire, but selling it would leave the broadcaster with just half a licence in Brisbane (it co-owns 97.3Fm with DMG). Would a joint venture (as MRN has in Melbourne) be out of the question? If a new licence did become available, where would the audience come from? Well, as I've noted far too many times on this blog, commercial radio underperforms in Brisbane, so you'd have to assume there's a good 10% of people who are currently listening to something other than 4BC (or 612ABC) but would make the switch if the product was right. Then there'd be a significant amount of movement between the three talk stations. And if MRN did have a Brisbane station, whose voices would it feature? You'd have to think that Spencer Howson - the city's No.1 breakfast announcer - would be high on the poaching list (even though ABC announcers have enjoyed mixed success in the commercial world). Also, I'd be looking at some commercial FM people who may suit the talk format as they mature. Meshel Laurie, perhaps? Other than that, Mr Tate, I'd be thinking outside the box. There's plenty of Brisbane talent that isn't on air (or even in the country) at the moment.
Disclosure: Until last month, Brett Debritz had a regular spot on the top-rating Breakfast with Spencer Howson program on 612ABC. Prior to that, he had a long-running stint on 4BC. He is no longer heard on any Brisbane radio station, but ...
Posted September 14th, 2010 by debritz
The domestic sparkling wine corks will be popping at the ABC in Brisbane, with big gains for 612ABC in the ratings across the board, including a giant-killing 15.4pc market share in breakfast for Spencer Howson (pictured). B105 also had a good survey, winning overall and leading the commercial stations in the cornflakes shift helmed by Labby, Camilla and Stav. Overall, B105 was followed by 612ABC, 97.3FM, Nova 106.9 and Triple M on the share, by demographic, figures, with Triple M just leapfrogging a tied 97.3FM and Nova on the share by session figures. In the breakfast shift, it was 612, B105, Nova (Meshel, Tim and Marty), 97.3 (Robin, Terry and Bob), Triple M (The Cage with Ian Skippen), 4BC (Jamie Dunn and Ian Calder), 4KQ (Laurel, Mark and Gary) and 4BH (Moyd and Loretta). B105's overall result was helped by a huge 22.3pc result in the drive shift for Hamish and Andy, who have announced they are leaving the Monday to Friday grind at the end of the year. It was a particularly good survey, too, for Steve Austin, whose 612ABC shift now dominates the night-time ratings. Significantly, ABC youth station Triple J is ahead of 4BH and 4KQ overall, and beating BH in breakfast - proving (as Hamish and Andy have so successfully in drive) that the right networked product can be competitive in what's supposedly a "local" medium. It's only a matter of time before a commercial operator attempts a networed breakfast show. Yes, I know Triple M failed disastrously with this a couple of decades ago, but the economies of radio, and audience expectations, have changed. At the very least, I'd expect stations to use their extra DAB+ signals to rebroadcast interstate signals. In Melbourne, the big story is the continued lacklustre performance of new talk station MTR, with a 1.1pc overall share and 1.3 in breakfast, compared to 3AW's 14.6 and 17. In Sydney, 2GB and 2Day continue to dominate, but DMG's Classic Rock (the rebranded Vega) had a shocker.
(Brett Debritz was heard on the breakfast show on 612ABC for much of this survey.)
Posted September 6th, 2010 by debritz
Fairfax Media has made a few appointments to its board with the view to "renewal" in the lead-up to the retirement of John B. Fairfax. The new board member who interests me most is former Austereo boss Michael Anderson. Fairfax chairman Roger Corbett says Anderson "has had a very distinguished career in another part of media that is also very strongly orientated towards digital media but also has a very strong bias to sales and sales is an important part for all media companies''. I would be very surprised if Anderson isn't already running a mental ruler over Fairfax's east coast radio assets and asking why, with the very honourable exception of 3AW, they are doing so poorly. At least 2UE has the excuse that it's in a competitive market and that its competitor, 2GB, has the services of Alan Jones. In Brisbane, 4BC is the sole commercial talk station and it's not scoring too many listeners. Its 7.9% overall share by session, audiences 10+, looks pretty ordinary against 3AWs 15.4%. (In breakfast, 8.2% plays a massive 19.2%.) The thing about BC, of course, is that (as far as we know) it does well financially -- thanks to an award-winning sales team that punches well above its weight. But imagine, as any board member must, how much money BC would make if it was rating in the mid-to-high teens rather than in the less-than-tens. It's easy -- and, to my mind, very wrong -- to say Brisbane audiences are different to their southern cousins and that there's no more to be gained from the market. It's equally easy and wrong to lay all the blame on breakfast host Jamie Dunn for dragging the station down. Dunn is a great talent who's been moved out of his comfort zone and is doing his darndest. But, in common with voices on commercial radio right across both the AM and FM dials, he's sounding tired and old-fashioned. And in saying this, I'm pointing the finger not so much at the talent as at the programmers. At B105, which has regained the lead in the market by throwing a lot of money at advertising and having Hamish and Andy on in the afternoons, there's a great youngish breakfast talent in standup Stav Davidson. But he's doing "gotcha" calls, because (so the general wisdom has it) that's what you do on commercial FM. A new talent should be doing new things not just on air, but online (where Austereo's, and DMG's, strategy seems to be limited to posting Twitter links to US showbiz gossip). There's now a great moment of opportunity in the Brisbane radio market because there is no natural No. 1 station. Nova 106.9 is in a rebuilding stage after losing Kip Wightman (whose contribution to the onetime Np.1 breakfast program was, I think, greatly underrated), David "Luttsy" Lutteral and Ash Bradnam. I believe (and hope,for her sake) Meshel Laurie will also move on, and achieve great things elsewhere. Triple M is being propelled largely by the skill of its breakfast team, especially Brisbane radio stalwart Ian Skippen, not by its format. Only 97.3FM seems to be on track, with a female-and-family friendly format that snares the grocery buyers. When Hamish and Andy leave Austereo at the end of the year, the weekday drivetime slot and stronger across-the-board figures in Brisbane will be up for grabs. The station that can go in to 2011 with the right line-up, a clear, workable online strategy and a sense of purpose has an opportunity that hasn't presented itself for more than 20 years. There's no reason why that station can't be 4BC, not least because its natural audience is out there somewhere, listening to something else. I know there are some at BC who think drivetime announcer Michael Smith is the answer. Smith certainly is trying hard, but if he's not kicking goals in the afternoon with his rightwing rhetoric, borrowed from the very different US market -- and not, as some may think from Alan Jones, whose strength is not his political stance but his skill as a persausive orator -- he won't produce better figures at breakfast. What all the stations need are programmers willing to throw away a textbook that's clearly no longer relevant in the digital age, and talent that's prepared to engage with the audience and potential audience - be it by, shock, horror, catching a bus or train, strolling through a few suburban shopping centres, going to a show (not just the footy*) or getting online and finding out what's really pushing people's buttons. Nobody in commercial radio land is doing that at the moment, and it's reflected in the ratings.
* I have written before, and will almost certainly again, about how the potential audience's interest in sport is vastly overrated by the media.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is no longer working for any Brisbane radio station, but he's open to offers.
Posted August 25th, 2010 by debritz
Reports that Hamish Blake and Andy Lee (pictured) are quitting their drivetime show, which blitzes the ratings every weekday in every major metropolitan market across the nation, is bad news for the Austereo's Today radio network. It's hard to imagine another act, local or networked, that could garner such consistently high ratings. Of course, it also presents an opportunity for other stations to even the playing field in the afternoons, and that's got to be a good thing for the medium. I'd like to think we'll get some strong local shows, but I fear networking is inevitable. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if 2011 is the year that one commercial network attempts a national breakfast show. I know they've failed in the past, but the times they are a'changing. The shame for Austereo is that, if anybody could do it, it would have been Hamish and Andy.
P.S. One last thing about H&A: they proved that you don't have to be obnoxious to score big listener numbers. They'll be missed.
P.P.S. The duo will still be heard on Austereo one day a week.
Posted August 17th, 2010 by debritz
Scott Mayman has moved on from ABC Coast FM on the Gold Coast following a reorganisation of the station. I'm told that Mayman's afternoon Chillout show has been axed in favour of a networked show to be heard on both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Coast FM, which started out as a unique member of Aunty's local radio family, now also takes Steve Austin's night show from Brisbane, along with the networked Conversation Hour with Richard Fidler, Nghtlife with Tony Delroy, Overnights with Trevor Chappell, AM, PM and The World Today. My source says Mayman, on whose show I used to be a regular guest a few years ago, is now working as an Australian correspondent for CBS News in the US, where he once worked. The change comes just short of Mayman's 25th anniversary as a broadcaster. I hear a celebratory program may soon go to air on another station.
Posted August 10th, 2010 by debritz
In the official radio ratings survey 5 for Brisbane released today, B105 remains no. 1 overall, with 612ABC's Spencer Howson still king of breakfast. Overall, the top four were B105, 97.3FM, Nova 106.9, 612ABC and Triple M. It was a solid result for 97.3, whose Robin, Terry and Bob also came fourth in breakfast after Howson, B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav, and Nova's Meshel, Tim and Marty. 612ABC also had a good survey, adding points across the day, with Steve Austin being particularly strong in the evenings. After recent gains, 4BC has slipped back marginally overall and in the breakfast shift, where Jamie Dunn is now in sixth place ahead of 4BH and 4KQ. Stablemates BC and BH had the biggest losses overall. In the Sydney results, covering the periods May 9 to June 12 and June 27 to Ju1y 31, the top three were 2GB, ABC702 and 2Day. The two leaders both had falls, but not enough to topple them. Biggest gainer overall and in breakfast was 2UE, while WSFM also added audience in breakfast. Nova held steady in breakfast, with a slight rise overall, and Classic Rock and Triple M slipped slightly. In Melbourne, 3AW held its big league, followed by ABC774 and Fox FM. Triple M, home of Eddie Maguire, slipped marginally overall and in breakfast. Newcomer MTR ranked at the tailend, but it wasn't on air for the full survey. The networked Hamish and Andy show continued to blitz allcomers in the drive shift.
Disclosure: Until today, Brett Debritz was a regular on the 612ABC breakfast show with Spencer Howson. He will be watching future surveys with great interest.
Posted August 10th, 2010 by debritz
It was my last regular 612ABC spot this morning (before I head overseas again) and, to celebrate, Spencer Howson and I went to the streets to ask people if they could provide surnames to match 10 "famous" Brisbane first names. The results are here. Interestingly, the three people everybody knew were Anna Bligh, Kevin Rudd and Wally Lewis. In a bonus segment, not put to air, we showed people some photos of famous faces and sought names. Results here.
Posted August 8th, 2010 by debritz
He may have threatened to pull the pin back in March, but the word around the Brisbane media traps is that Jamie Dunn is signing on the dotted line again as breakfast host at 4BC. While Dunn and co-host Ian Calder's audience share has grown a little lately, they are yet to reach the ratings heights of commercial talk stations in other state capitals. The next bunch of figures, to be released on Tuesday, will be interesting.
Posted August 8th, 2010 by debritz
As Peter Preston notes here, video didn't kill the radio star, and UK radio listenership is at record highs. That doesn't surprise me at all, and I'm sure listening figures are still buoyant in Australia too (although last time I looked, the radio audience wasn't keeping pace with population growth). But I must take issue with some folks on Twitter who think this is a good sign for all "old media" --specifically that newspapers will continue to thrive the way radio has. The simple fact is that radio, whether it's delivered on the AM and FM bands, on the free digital spectrum or over the internet, is basically the same beast as it ever was -- spoken word plus music designed to inform and/or entertain various targetted markets. And so long as we humans have to do things -- like drive cars or iron or watch the children play -- that require the separate employment of our eyes, radio has no need to change. Newspapers face a different challenge, because the method of delivery is changing more radically and the audience is splintering. While the printed word will survive as long as people can read, the medium of words on newsprint will decline and almost disappear. There will undoubtedly be, even in the distant future, some people who keep books and old papers, and maybe even some who publish them. But as far as the business side of things goes, putting words and pictures on paper, and delivering the product by truck, simply will not be viable. And, as we've already seen, once you start to publish newspapers electronically, they cease to be newspapers as we know them. They can have audio and video and interactive elements -- and, crucially, they can be accessed from anywhere in the world. So far, newspaper publishers haven't excelled in delivering quality sound and vision, except when it is lifted from their professional colleagues at radio and TV stations. Meanwhile, over at Twitter and other social media sites, the really breaking news is being delivered in 144 characters or fewer and in "real time". So when it comes to news "hot off the press", the whole dynamic is changing. Many newspapers are already evolving into magazines that combine longform feature articles and endless opinion pieces at the expense of actual news. Publishers are investing in a small number of highly paid columnists and other specialists rather than in large numbers of flexible foot soldiers who can dig out news at the local level. Looming large over these changes is the big question: who's going to pay for it? Rupert Murdoch is already betting some of his considerable farm on the fact that readers of The Times will pay for online content, while Peter Preston notes that the UK Daily Mail's website is doing fine by creating its own online niche. He says the online edition could be profitable by advertising support only, without a paywall. Australian publishers are already weighing which way to go. The current thinking is that The Australian will embrace a paywall but its News Ltd stablemates (The Daily Telegraph, Courier-Mail, Herald Sun etc.) will not. Not yet, anyway. Farifax already has internet-only titles in Perth and Brisbane and a recent Macquare Bank report suggests taking the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age wholly online would be a profitable move. What the publishers all know is that print is declining and they must invest in quality online products. And they know there are two groups of readers out there: those who will pay, and those who never will. Readers who decide to pay will demand extremely high standards of journalism that reflect their own world view; those who don't pay will still want a product that engages them and tells them what they want to know. Even the online "freesheets" must have unique, targetted content. There is so much choice out there that readers have no reason to bookmark and regularly visit any one product unless it really stands out in a crowded market. My hope is that publishers will see the wisdom of investing in journalism -- not just big-name, big-buck columnists but old-school journos who know their patch and can consistently unearth good yarns that might otherwise go unreported. After all, if we want to know the latest on Lady Gaga or Lindsay Lohan, we merely have to type their name into Google and select one of thousands of choices. But where do we go if we want to know what's happening in our own backyard? The way things are going, there will soon be no news at all from the parish pump -- and we'll all be the poorer for it.
Posted July 24th, 2010 by debritz
We live in an age of celebrity. You can't pick up a newspaper or magazine, or switch on the TV, radio or internet, without seeing something about Brad and Ange, Tom and Katie, Lindsay or Britney. Like it or not, they've become the subject of many a watercooler conversation and, dare I say it, are genuine "household names". On the national front, there are the big names of TV (Bert, Kerri-Anne, Eddie and Ray among them), plus a smattering of musicians and, largely now-expat, movie makers (Hugh, Russell and Nicole). Recently, the finalists of MasterChef, Callum and Adam, have joined that hallowed society -- but for how long is anyone's guess. You'll note here that I've mentioned only first names but I reckon almost everybody reading this would know exactly who I'm referring to. Which brings me to the big question for Queensland readers only: Who are Brisbane's household names? Which homegrown talents, in whatever field, are instantly recognisable to a large portion of the population (not just the media junkies who read this blog) by their first name or nickname? I've got a few ideas of my own, but I won't be writing them down just yet. Suggestions by email or by Tweet, please. When I've assembled a list, I'd like to test the theory with members of the GP. Maybe we'll all get a surprise as to who's really on the A-list and who isn't.
Posted July 21st, 2010 by debritz
Congratulations to all the nominees for the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (the full list is here), but what a shame that Brisbane is underrepresented in the major categories. No Queensland-based announcers appear on the list of nominees for the big metro awards, although B105's Mitch Braund and Nova 106.9's Ryan Rathbone are up for the best program director award, and Nova's Kate Casey and B105's Ryan Tothill have been nominated for the best music director gong. Peter Verhoeven, of 4KQ and 97.3FM, is up for the most popular station manager award; Brett 'Nozz' Nossiter from Nova 106.9 has a nod in the best new digital format category (for Novanation and Koffee); and Stav Davidson from B105 and 4BC's Jamie Dunn and Ian Calder have been nominated in the best station-produced comedy segment category, the latter for their serial The Rudds, which is broadcast across the Fairfax radio network. Ben Ryan from Nova 106.9 is up for best achievement in production. Brisbane nominees also appear in sales and promotion categories. In the non-metropolitan awards, Katrina Davidson has been nominated for best show producer for her work with 92.5 Gold FM on the Gold Coast, which presumably means she and her husband Stav will both be attending the presentation ceremony the Crown in Melbourne on October 16.
Posted July 15th, 2010 by debritz
Ian "Dicko" Dickson and Dave O'Neil have been axed from Classic Rock 95.1, the Melbourne station that used to be known as Vega. 95.1 now falls in line with its Sydey sister station in eschewing "name" teams in favour of a solo announcer and more music. Of course, the move will save the station some money and may just improve the ratings (as it has, marginally, in Sydney). If the latter proves to be the case, should low-rating on-air teams at other stations be worried? I'd say yes.
Posted July 15th, 2010 by debritz
Kyle Sandilands is right: the gritty details of his split with Tamara Jaber are nobody's business but theirs (unless a crime was committed, which seems unlikely). But I do hope he pauses for thought next time he's about to bully somebody else, set them up for a fall or press them for information that's none of his business. It cuts both ways, Kyle.
Posted June 23rd, 2010 by debritz
At the time of writing, Kevin Rudd has just held a press conference saying there'll be a leadership ballot tomorrow morning. While Rudd is likely to get rolled by Julia Gillard, he's still PM tonight. That doesn't seem to have sunk in properly for whoever updates Facebook for Brisbane radio station Triple M's the Cage breakfast show, though:
I was not alone in commenting that it ain't quite over yet for KRudd. It's a sage lesson for people who rely on Facebook (or commercial FM radio) for their news.
PS: Times shown in screen grabs are UK. Add nine hours for AEST.
Update: To be fair, here's what Channel 7 tweeted in the heat of the moment:
Posted June 8th, 2010 by debritz
I spoke to Spencer Howson from the BBC studios in Edinburgh and the audio, and a picture of me at the mic, is here. We talked about how Blackpool respects and protects its past but Brisbane doesn't, how Birmingham is pretty boring but the chocolate factory is sweet, and why the Scots will be supporting anybody but England in the World Cup.
Posted May 25th, 2010 by debritz
Last night, I went in to the ABC's London studios for my regular Tuesday-morning chat with Spencer Howson on 612 ABC. We spoke about Bangkok, London, Fergie and the Eurovision Song Contest. If you missed it, the audio is here.
Posted May 20th, 2010 by debritz
After an on-air trial, Marty Sheargold is now officially part of Nova 106.9's breakfast team, joining Tim Blackwell and Meshel Laurie, and replacing Ash Bradnam. His bio is on Nova's website here. It's interesting, given the reasons for Bradnam's departure, that Sheargold is described as a "beer drinker". And is Sheargold's obsessive interest in sport a sign that Nova is chasing more male listeners?
Posted May 18th, 2010 by debritz
If you want to hear me speaking to Spencer Howson on 612ABC about the situation in Bangkok as of early morning on Tuesday, May 18, click here. For the latest from me on the situation in Thailand, follow @debritz on Twitter.
Posted May 16th, 2010 by debritz
The Queensland Pops Orchestra and conduictor Barrie Gott teamed up with radio stars Spencer Howson (612 ABC breakfast host), Bruce Redman (612 ABC drive movie reviewer), Loretta Ryan (4BH breakfast co-host) and blast from the past Wayne "Wayney Poo" Roberts for a concert with a difference at QPAC on Saturday night. Here's an exclusive picture of the radio stars:
Here's some audio from the event and here's somebody else playing what they played.
Posted May 13th, 2010 by debritz
Digital radio now accounts for about 15 per cent of all listening in Britain, according to this Mediaweek report. And digital's weekly reach is up to 38.5 per cent of the audience. Of course, the UK is ahead of Australia on the move towards a switchover, but the news is generally good for broacasters that audiences are embracing the new technology. While there is no firm date for a complete switchover in Australia, I'm sure the folks who want to use the spectrum now used by AM and FM stations will be keen for it to be sooner rather than later - at least in metropolitan areas.
Posted May 11th, 2010 by debritz
In the Brisbane radio ratings survey 3 released today, 612ABC's Spencer Howson has reclaimed No.1 spot in breakfast, while Triple M has overtaken stablemate B105 to claim the overall lead. Overall, it's Triple M, B105, Nova 106.9 and 97.3FM in reasonably tight formation, while in breakfast Howson is followed by B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav, Nova's Meshel and Tim, and Triple M's The Cage with Ian Skippen (pictured). Triple M's overall win was helped along by big ratings for its music offerings during the day. 4BC's Jamie Dunn and Ian Calder had the biggest increase in breakfast, adding 1.6 percentage points to overtake 4KQ near the bottom of the pack. The survey included Dunn's on-air dummy spit, where he challenged 4BC management to back him or sack him. (Audio here.) In Sydney, 2GB has again begun drawing ahead overall and in breakfast, with talk rival 2UE well down among the also rans. ABC702's Adam Spencer added points to be a strong No.2 in breakfast, followed by 2Day's Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, who led the FM stations. Eddie McGuire had a setback in Melbourne, where his Triple M breakfast show lost points and is a long way away from leaders 3AW and ABC774. It's too early yet to judge the impact of the former 3MP entering the market as news-talk station MTR.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on Spencer Howson's top-rating 612ABC breakfast show each Tuesday about 6.50am. He also had several guest spots on 4BC, including its resurgent breakfast show, during the survey period.
(Updated Tuesday 23.45AEST)
Posted May 11th, 2010 by debritz
If you missed my regular Tuesday spot on 612ABC, you can listen here. I spoke to Spencer Howson about teaching English to foreign students, finding cheese in Bangkok and how Stephen Hawking may be able to help Daryl Somers an Hey Hey It's Saturday's disgruntled fans.
Posted May 4th, 2010 by debritz
Online listener Roger has branded me "young" and "naive", which I don't half mind, but you can judge for yourself after hearing my segment on the 612ABC Breakfast with Spencer Howson show here.
Posted April 22nd, 2010 by debritz
It seems some bright spark has registered the web name brisbanetalkradio.com. Judging from where it points, I don't think it was John Singleton.
Posted April 20th, 2010 by debritz
My sources say funnyman Daniel Viles will replace Stewart "Stav" Davidson on the "panel of experts" on the 612ABC afternoon program hosted by Richard Fidler (pictured). As reported exclusively here at debritz.net, B105 managment has pulled the pin on Davidson's 612 appearances despite the fact that he's been on the ABC longer than he's been on the commercial station - and the fact that the stations appeal to entirely different demographics.
Posted April 19th, 2010 by debritz
Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven has been named the UK's favourite rock song. In a poll by radio station Absolute Classic Rock, it was followed by
2. The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
3. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
4. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta love
5. Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water
6. The Who - Baba O' Reilly
7. Led Zeppelin - Rock 'n' Roll
8. Free - All Right Now
9. The Beatles - Revolution
10. The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
More here. A friend comments: "Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face, inexplicably, missing. As too the Graham Bonnet version of It's All over Now, Baby Blue. Maybe they creeped in at Nos. 11 and 12."
Posted April 18th, 2010 by debritz
Rumours are flying in cyberspace that 2GB owner John Singleton, who has just launched Melbourne Talk Radio, is considering starting a commercial talk station in Brisbane. The first question is: where would he get the licence? My understanding is that there will be no new licences in the foreseeable future, as the current players have been given a guarantee that their investment in the transition to digital will be protected. So that means buying or leasing an existing station. 4BH is not doing especially well but its owners, Fairfax, are highly unlikely to hand it over to Singleton if he's going to compete with their talk station, 4BC; and there's no reason for Austereo and DMG to offload their successful stations. The only possibility I could see is a deal with ARN to convert 4KQ to talk, in the way 3MP became 3MTR. However, KQ is ARN's only fully owned station in Brisbane and its "gold" format is likely to do better in the ratings as the uptake of digital receivers gains pace, offering much better quality than the current AM signal. Perhaps a more pressing question is: is there room for another talk station in the Brisbane market? While analysts agree that 4BC should be doing better in the ratings, its hard to see a big enough audience for two commercial stations plus 612ABC.
Having said that, Singo, if you're keen to have a go, I'm looking for a gig!
PS: Maybe Singleton is looking at River 949 as a possible talk vehicle. Based in Ipswich and broadcasting into Brisbane's southern and western suburbs and much of Logan, it is arguably in the heart of talk-radio territory. However, it is not officially part of the Brisbane radio market and is excluded from the all-important metropolitan ratings survey.
Posted April 16th, 2010 by debritz
Former Nova 106.9 star Ash Bradnam (pictured with Meshel Laurie) hopes to return to Brisbane radio next year, Channel 9 has reported. The station said Bradnam, who was sacked following a drink-drive incident, had been in talks with a "rival station", without naming it. He told Lane Calcutt: "I can't wait to get back on air and start having fun again." As things stand, it seems there would be no place for Bradnam, who has admitted he is an acoholic, in the Brisbane FM breakfast firmament, although anything could happen before the new year. He is certainly a good talent and, as part of a team with David "Luttsy" Lutteral, Meshel Laurie and Kip Wightman, was a huge ratings winner for Nova for many years. Nova's new team of Laurie and Tim Blackwell has recently ceded first place to Labby, Camilla and Stav at B105, but the competition is very tight.
Posted April 11th, 2010 by debritz
A reader of this blog asks why the 4BC radio newsreaders no longer refer to the Fairfax network, and asks if the station has been sold. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been sold but don't know why the change was made. Can anybody answer? Also, a shoutout to whoever manages the radio widget on the Brisbane Times website. I'm pretty sure Alex Bernard is not part of the 4BC (2GB) Continuous Call team, as suggested by the photo: