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Danny's back on the air

Posted April 9th, 2010 by debritz

Danny Hoyland, for many years regarded as the heart and soul - and visible presence - of Brisbane's 4BC, has been quietly toiling away in Ipswich these past few months presenting a program for River949 FM. Hoyland, who is also well-known in surf lifesaving circles, says the program, Great Weekender, on Saturdays from 6am to 9am, is "radio the way it should be - fun". "It's just me being myself," he adds. If you're not in the Ipswich, Logan or the southwest Brisbane area, you can hear the station online here.
Update Danny writes:

It is a lifestyle programme with a difference, lots of good music with interviews about boating safety, fishing, camping, gardening, quirky interviews, interviews that you probably wouldn’t hear on mainstream radio. It’s like a chat between two mates, laid back, nothing political, no crudeness, nothing contravercial. I try to get them to talk about themselves, what they like, why they do what they do. I have a quickie recipe segment with the International Chef Glenn Austin (this weekend it’s Drunken Prawns), food history with Sizzlers food scientist Jeremy Ryland, and I talk to veteran Channel Nine cameraman Peter Collins about what he has seen behind the camera lens the previous week, I chat to the Voice of the Outback Neale Stuart, who reports in from various outback (Western) locations with deadset Queensland characters, and I have a segment at 7.15am called 60 seconds with Dano that goes for 949 seconds. I talk to well known people, unusual people, people with a different story eg: Wendell Sailor, Wally Lewis, Susie O’Neill, Ray Martin, The Planet worker, the original surfing Gidget, Bepo the Clown (50 years as a clown entertaining kiddies), Tommy Radonikis, Elvis the concierge at Sofitel, horticulturist Graham Ross, Laurie Lawrence, the man who invented a shoe phone that really does work ... anything, or anyone that has a different story to tell, has a message. I keep it clean, non political, happy, unusual, quirky, different, hopefully different to any other radio programme. I call myself Danny Hoyland, the Little Queenslander banana bender from the Great Weekender in the great Southern Land on the hill at North Ipswich.

One for the pedants

Posted April 7th, 2010 by debritz

This clip is from the news on Brisbane's Radio 4BC.

How come I didn't hear about the major sex scandal at the US Masters?
If player does not work, click here to hear audio.

Stav gets the chop

Posted April 7th, 2010 by debritz

Stav Davidson from B105 websiteFor four years, Stewart Davidson has been a member of Richard Fidler's "panel of experts" on Brisbane's 612ABC. For almost as long, he's been one of the stars of B105's breakfast show under his nickname Stav. (You must have heard of him; Labby, Camilla and Stav are pictured on every second billboard in Brisbane.) Now, according to my sources, B105 (which this year is No.1 in breakfast) has told Davidson he can't be on Aunty as well. Such a shame, considering even a cursory glance at the ratings stats will show that 612 and B105 have totally different audiences.
Update: One ABC Radio executive's comment on Twitter: "What a joke considering b105 found stuart via @612brisbane."
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard weekly on 612ABC's Spencer Howson program

On the air

Posted April 6th, 2010 by debritz

If you missed me on 612ABC with Spencer Howson this morning, you can catchup here now. We spoke about the money celebrities earn on the speaking circuit and the upcoming Regent Film Festival. The Regent tenants, Birch, Carroll and Coyle, are sponsoring a film festival and competition before they move out in June. A percentage of proceeds from ticket sales will go to the contest prize pools. Enjoy the Regent while you can - and keep up the fight to save the Showcase Cinema and ornate bar area!

Digital isn't perfect

Posted April 4th, 2010 by debritz

As people who have already bought DAB+ radios know, the reception can be brilliant - especially when it comes to listening to music on the AM stations. But digital radio isn't flawless. If you're not in the reception zone, or you're on the edges of it, the signal will be murky. And in the UK, the Guardian reports that an advertisement from the Digital Radio Development Bureau has been has been banned for "misleadingly implying that, unlike analogue radio, there would never be interruptions in the signal". Here in Australia, you can only currently receive digital signals in the metropolitan area, and only on commercial stations, the ABC and SBS, plus their digital-only stations. Many city community broadcasters will switch on to digital soon, but it could be a while before folks in the regions get to sample DAB's delights.

Sorry, wrong shift

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

Who do you call on talkback radio in the Drive shift? Well, if you're in Brisbane, it's either Michael "Smithy" Smith on 4BC or Kelly Higgins-Devine on 612ABC. But, for some reason, Smithy seemed to be in another time zone when he took this call:

Perhaps, after the Jamie Dunn debacle, the believed he was fronting the BC breakfast show and up against 612's Spencer Howson.
If player does not work, click here to hear audio.

Jamie Dunn: I've had a gutful!

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

Jamie Dunn has said he is staying with the station and is now convinced that comments about him attributed to station manager David McDonald were not malicious. Dunn's spray [the audio is at the end of this story] followed an item in the Confidential column of The Courier-Mail that quotes the 4BC management as saying Dunn is "still learning talk radio". When he went on air, Dunn challenged management: "Either you want me here or you don't." Saying he had "had a gutful", Dunn added that he had been at the station for two years, the ratings were on the up and he was ready to confront management over his future. It came a day after the second ratings survey figures were released, showing a marginal improvement in audience share for the 4BC breakfast show hosted by Dunn and Ian Calder - but they are still a long way from the No.1 spot held by B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav. Dunn's talk rival, 612ABC's Spencer Howson, also has about twice Dunn's audience share while they are head-to-head. As I have reported previously, Dunn is contracted to increase the station's ratings. If he does quit, Drive host Michael Smith is a likely replacement. My sources say he is keen to take on the breakfast show. However, there have been suggestions that Dunn's outburst was an early April Fool's Day prank.
Audio: The audio in which Dunn says he wants to look at his life and spend more time with his kids is here:

If player does not work, click here to hear audio.
His earlier spray is here:

If player does not work, click here to hear audio.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on the Spencer Howson show on 612ABC.

Mayman's big day is in August

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

Alan Jones isn't the only radio star celebrating 25 years on air. Scott Mayman, of the ABC's Coast FM, is also marking the milestone this year. Mayman, who worked in America for many years (and is pictured in the NFL press box at a US football game), writes:
"Pamela Anderson, Sharon Stone, Jack Nicholson have all been invited to a big bash I’m planning later in the year…. They have already replied – saying “We’re not coming. Stop contacting us. We don’t know you!” My wife and I are headed back to the US but when I return, planning for the big silver celebrations has begun, with a function to be held closer to the actual anniversary date in August. My broadcast career actually started in community radio. I was picked-up by 4KQ, followed by the ABC, Sydney radio in the early ’90s then a return to Queensland before jetting-off to the United States and working with CBS News. In 2005, I returned home to Australia with my wife and doggy – and last year we welcomed young Mitchell Mark Mayman into the world."

Congratulations, Scott - and to his ABC colleague Trevor Jackson, who is also celebrating a quarter century this year.

Keeping up with Kip

Posted March 31st, 2010 by debritz

In case you're wondering about the whereabouts of former Nova 106.9 breakfast anchor Kip Wightman, he's been spotted in Bangkok. My spy in Thailand says Wightman, who has been travelling the world for the best part of a year, has just been in Cambodia, where he helped build a dormitory for homeless children. Good on him!

And the winners are ...

Posted March 30th, 2010 by debritz

The second survey results are in, and B105 is again No.1 in Brisbane both overall in breakfast. B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav narrowly beat 612ABC's Spencer Howson and Nova 106.9's Tim and Meshel, with Triple M's The Cage not far behind the pack. Overall, little separates B105, Nova and Triple M. There's some good news at last for 4BC's Jamie Dunn, who added some listeners in breakfast, but is in sixth place just ahead of commercial wooden-spooners 4BH. 97.3FM had some gains overall, but slipped behind Triple M among the much-prized grocery buyers. Nova is also competitive in that demographic. As usual, the biggest slice of the pie in drive, and at any time, belongs to Hamish and Andy with a handy 18.3 per cent of available listeners. In Sydney, 2GB still leads in breakfast and overall, although it has lost some share, and 702ABC remains in front of 2Day to take second place. Nova added 1.1 points in breakfast as its new breakfast team of Merrick, Dools and Rickie-Lee gels - but there's a long way to go before they catch up the FM leaders, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O on 2Day. Mix 106.5 is still struggling near the bottom of the pack, but it added some listeners. In Melbourne, 3AW leads the way, with 774ABC in a close second place in breakfast but third overall to 2GB and Fox. Triple M's breakfast show, starring the well-known Eddie McGuire, slipped a little and has a long way to go to reach the leaders. The continued success of the talk format must be encouraging to 2GB boss John Singleton, who is about to launch a talk station in the Melbourne market. Classic Rock, which replaced Vega, has so far failed to register a strong presence in either the Sydney or Melbourne markets but the survey only takes into account eight days of the new format.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is now on the 612ABC Breakfast with Spencer Howson program on Tuesdays about 6.50am.

A bit Brough

Posted March 28th, 2010 by debritz

An on-air slip of the tongue by an ABC reporter in Brisbane resulted in former Howard Government heavyweight Mal Brough being referred to as Rob Brough, the Sunshine Coast-based newsreader and former TV game-show host.

Not so fast

Posted March 26th, 2010 by debritz

Radio can make or break reputations in seconds, but broadcasters are not so quick to respond when it comes to corrections and apologies. For example, here's a letter from Nova 106.9 general manager Sean Ryan, dated March 16, 2010 and published in the most recent Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland newsletter:

On 3rd November 2009 a number of comments were broadcast on Nova 106.9 involving transgender people, which some members of ATSAQ may have found offensive. Nova 106.9 and Ben Te’o regret this and apologise for any offence caused.

How come it took four and half months for them to decide they were sorry?

On the air

Posted March 26th, 2010 by debritz

On 612ABC this morning, Spencer Howson and I spoke about the case of the 1980s sitcom star accused of abuse, and how it's now time for the media to be quite and let justice take its course; a quick review of Wild World; why it doesn't matter whether Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd are "real Queenslanders"; and the inside gossip on lingerie parties. The audio is here.

The Spencer and Meshel show?

Posted March 21st, 2010 by debritz

Further to my previous item, is this evidence of a new team-up in Brisbane radio? Do they gel well?

Or maybe it will be Labby, Camilla, Stav and Spencer on B105:

Or perhaps Spencer, Loretta and Moyd on 4BH:

New guy on Nova

Posted March 21st, 2010 by debritz

The Nova 106.9 breakfast team now officially down to a duo - Meshel Laurie and Tim Blackwell - after the departure of Ash Bradnam was made official a fortnight ago. In the past week, however, it seems they've been trialling a new recruit. Step forward Spencer Howson, the top-rating 612ABC breakfast show host who was heard not once but twice on Nova in the past seven days. Howson, pictured with 4BC's Peter Dick (who was also a top-rating ABC breakfast announcer before going to commercial radio), has become something of an expert on the Clem7 tunnel and was happy to oblige when the Nova team rang him and asked for a live cross while his own station was broadcasting the news. While he's by no means old, Howson might be just a bit too far outside Nova's youth-oriented demographic to score a fulltime gig at 106.9, though.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on the Spencer Howson breakfast show on Fridays at 6.50am, and was heard last week on Peter Dick's afternoon show, spruiking the Save the Regent cause.

On the air

Posted March 19th, 2010 by debritz

In my spot on 612ABC, Spencer Howson and I spoke about the fate of Brisbane's Regent Theatre - and why the Brisbane Film Festival is using a picture of the Showcase Theatre to promote itself, when that beautiful venue is scheduled for closure in June and demolition soon after - plus my accidental challenge to be the last person to travel for free on the Clem7 tunnel and why the "reply all" function on email should ask you whether you really want to send your message to everybody. The audio is here.

Numbers game

Posted March 15th, 2010 by debritz

In The Australian today, Michael Bodey looks at the reasons the Vega radio stations in Sydney and Melbourne failed. He points, quite rightly, to a failure in the market research, with potential audience members misleading the researchers about what they actually wanted to hear. Of course, radio isn't the only medium that relies heavily on research. Many of the changes in newspapers over the past decade have been driven by surveys and focus groups. And, while it's undeniable that newspapers worldwide are losing readers, the papers that have had the biggest drops in circulation include those that have had dramatic makeovers driven by this research. Television, of course, is in a different situation. Since they advent of people-meters, programmers have an instant, accurate snapshot of what people actually are watching (and what they are not watching) - assuming the researchers have their demographic sample sorted out properly, that is.
Update: A Twitterer suggests that maybe it wasn't the research to blame, but the flawed implementation of the research.

Unchartered territory

Posted March 14th, 2010 by debritz

First up the declaration of interest: I have a weekly gig on 612ABC in Brisbane, so it's possible that what you are about to read comes from a biased perspective. However, I really am confused about some of the recent criticism of the national broadcaster. I received a direct message on Twtter from a person who works in commercial radio, saying that I should "do an investigative piece about how off charter ABC radio has gone". The tweet said I'd be "across it". Well, yes, I've read the public banter between, among others, News Ltd's Mark Day and ABC MD Mark Scott, and I'm reasonably familiar with the charter itself. And, yet, I still don't quite get what it is that the critics are complaining about, especially when it comes to the local radio service. So, I tweeted back to my contact saying that, in my experience, the criticism I hear often applies to material the commercial stations are unable or unwilling to broadcast, but that I was happy to look at any new information. So far, after more than a week, there's been no response to that request but there has been some more sniping at the ABC. I can only guess that the issue here is how remarkably well 612 ABC is doing in the Brisbane radio survey, especially in the important breakfast shift, compared to its AM rivals. In other markets, commercial AM talk blitzes it in. Here in Brisbane, the single commercial talk station and the two AM music stations don't do so well overall or in breakfast (although some of them do well in certain demographics, enabling them to sell advertising and make a profit). The fact, however, is that the ABC was truly to abandon its charter, it could do much, much better in the ratings. For example, the breakfast show wouldn't stop at 7.45am to give way to 45 minutes of sober news and current affairs (which is, of course, unlike anything you'd ever get on commercial radio). And there'd be no such thing as the Conversation Hour, where a whole 60 minutes is given over to a wide-ranging interview with a single subject. And there'd be no discussion of the arts or extensive and expensive coverage of emergencies such as the recent Queensland floods. Commercial stations (possibly to their disadvantage) wouldn't touch any of that with the proverbial bargepole. Having spent a lot of time in ABC studios and talking to ABC employees - and I was one myself once, back in the late '90s - I can guarantee that everybody who works there understands the charter and thinks long and hard about whether every segment they put to air complies with it. In the absence of any specific examples of breaches - and, Twitterer and others out there who may feel the same way, please send them to me - I can only conclude that the green-eyed monster of envy has raised its head here. After all, commercial radio is in the business of winning ratings points, and my complainant and his/her closest colleagues simply aren't doing it.
Update: I've just discovered a Tweet questioning ABC Radio's policy of buying (or otherwise obtaining) tickets to theatre and music events and giving them to listeners. This is in keeping with the charter's requirement that the ABC "encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia". It's also worth noting that listeners who accept "free" tickets are usually asked to file a review of the event for use on air or on the ABC website.

Nova: make it local

Posted March 12th, 2010 by debritz

The Courier-Mail is predicting this morning that Nova 106.9 will look outside Brisbane to find a replacement for Ash Bradnam, who has officially parted ways with the former No.1 station. I reckon that would be a big mistake. There is plenty of talent in this city, and now's the time for Nova to make a fresh start by grooming a local rather than trying to parachute in a "star" from elsewhere - especially since anchor Tim Blackwell has been in town for less than a year. I'd suggest the powers that be spend a bit of time listening to other radio stations (commercial, community and the ABC), visiting comedy clubs and scouring the net.
PS: On 612ABC, Spencer Howson and I spoke about Lara Bingle, Doctor Who and stealing stationery. The audio has been posted here.

Vega changes name and format

Posted March 11th, 2010 by debritz

DMG's Vega stations are to be renamed Classic Rock 95.3 and Classic Rock 95.1, according to a report in Media Week.

Ash Bradnam leaves Nova

Posted March 11th, 2010 by debritz

Meshel Laurie has confirmed on Twitter that Ash Bradnam has left Brisbane's Nova 106.9. Laurie replied "Yep" when asked by Twitterer @iMatt93 if this was the case because only she and Tim Blackwell now appeared on the station's website. Bradnam only rejoined the station's breakfast program recently after a hiatus in which he entered rehab following his arrest and subsequent conviction for drink-driving last year. Nova's breakfast show lost its long-held No.1 spot to B105's Labby, Camilla and Stav in the first ratings survey for 2010. Laurie said via Twitter direct message that she could comment no further.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on 612ABC's Breakfast with Spencer Howson program, which is joint No.1 in breakfast with B105.

Mankini madness

Posted March 11th, 2010 by debritz

Rather than shave his head, 612 ABC's Spencer Howson is raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation, via Sandgate High School, by threatening to wear a mankini if Members of State Parliament don't collectively cough up $1000. You can hear the audio here or donate directly to the Shave for a Cure campaign here.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is heard on 612ABC on Friday mornings at 6.50am Brisbane time. You can listen online (if you have Windows Media software) here.

We salute you!

Posted March 10th, 2010 by debritz

In the UK, commercial radio stations are licensed to provide a certain service. If they want to change their format, they have to apply to the regulator, Ofcom. The Guardian reports that a station in Wales, Nation Radio, has received permission to play "credible rock and avoiding 'manufactured' pop". Well done, Ofcom.

On the air

Posted March 5th, 2010 by debritz

If you missed me on Spencer Howson's program on 612ABC, the audio has been posted here. We spoke about the possibility that I will run as an independent candidate for Lord Mayor of Brisbane -- on the grounds that local government decision-making in the city is far too politicised (and has been since 1955). I also asked: since when is 60 "elderly"?

From the glass house

Posted March 3rd, 2010 by debritz

The internet continues to present a challenge for radio folk who've never had to know how to spell. Here's a bit of my pedantry on Twitter (read from the bottom up):

Search me

Posted February 28th, 2010 by debritz

I am trying to put together a showreel of highlights from my various radio spots and decided to search for audio on the ABC Brisbane website. Although I know Spencer Howson posts my segment every week, a search for "Debritz" at yielded just one result (from 2007, when I co-judged a 612ABC competition with Lord Mayor Campbell Newman) and this message:

Radio star retires

Posted February 27th, 2010 by debritz

Luminaries from the Brisbane media, past and present, gathered at the Paddington Tavern on Friday night to say to farewell to producer Majella Marsden, who is retiring after 30 years working in broadcasting. Majella has worked with 4BK, 4BC, B105, Channel 9, River 949 and, most recently, 612ABC. Among those on hand to say farewell were Wayne Roberts (who is also Majella's brother in law), Rick Burnett, Billy J. Smith, Spencer Howson, Kelly Higgins-Devine, Loretta Ryan, Richard Fidler, Gerry Collins, David Greenwood, Rod "Mr T." Tiley, Peter Psaltis, Donna Lynch, Natalie Bochenski, Peter Gooch and Peter Dick. Earlier in the say, Kelly Higgins-Devine hosted an on-air farewell which included contributions from Wayne Roberts (pictured with Majella) and Jamie Dunn. More pictures from the function are here.

Majella's party

Posted February 27th, 2010 by debritz

He's no Superman

Posted February 26th, 2010 by debritz

"You’ve heard of sexual dynamite, meet the man who’s sexual kryptonite." That's the tagline for the standup shows from Greg Sullivan, better known as Sully from Triple M Brisbane's The Cage breakfast show. He'll appear at the Brisbane Powerhouse from March2-7 as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival which will also feature performances by Wil Anderson, Adam Hills, Josh Thomas, Kitty Flanaghan, Frank Woodley, Melinda Buttle, Felicity Ward, Peter Helliar and the Pyjama Men. Details here.

On the air

Posted February 26th, 2010 by debritz

On 612ABC this morning, I spoke to Spencer Howson about the Deagon Deviation (bags, it's the title of my first novel), why I'm wearing black (it's Johnny Cash's birthday), where the $100 notes aren't (in my pocket) and how, unlike Shayne Sutton, I have a "city-wide perspective" and I'm quite happy to run for lord mayor of Brisbane for any party that will have me. The audio is here. And on the subject of Spencer, although this may seem self-serving, I think it's important to point out (especially to the journalists who made him a footnote in their reports on yesterday's radio ratings) that, while he tied for No. 1 in breakfast with B105, the survey actually covers the period of 6-9am. Spencer is on the air from 5-7.45am and, during that period, he is the outright No.1 in the market. 612ABC's ratings fall when he goes off the air. Oh, and to the commercial radio types who think the ABC doesn't count (and I know who you are): remember, every person who is listening to 612 isn't listening to you - and that should be a matter of concern to you and your advertisers.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz is currently heard on the top-rating Brisbane breakfast show with Spencer Howson on 612ABC, but is open to handsome offers involving regular fistfulls of $100 notes.

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