Radio

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Movement at the stations

Although Nova 106.9 has apparently decidedThe Sunday Mail is suggesting that Lukis might get the gig full-time, taking over from Frank Warrick who is returning from holidays not to do the Brisbane weather but to read the Nine Gold Coast News. Of course, Nine is kicking itself for "boning" John Schluter, who has been a big part of the success of the resurgent Channel 7 news, but I doubt Lukis delivers the credibility the station presumably wants for its weather report. Still, with reports that the network's parent company is in dire financial straits, it might be more of matter of who they can afford ... Sami Lukis from Triple M's website

Seen but not heard

She calls herself "Emily Everywhere", but there's one place Emily Jade O'Keeffe soon won't be - on top-rating Brisbane radio station Nova 106.9FM. This story at couriermail.com.au, where O'Keefe has a blog, quotes Nova boss Sean Ryan as saying she was axed "to allow O'Keefe more time to work on her burgeoning television career". At least he didn't say it would let her spend more time with her family, which is what is usually the reason given in these circumstances.

Berkoff's challenge

"Marcel Marceau in combat boots!" That's how the publicity release describes Steven Berkoff's one-man show Dog, which is touring Australia. That may be a fair description of the notioriously "difficult" actor, but anybody who saw this Media Watch item must feel a little sorry for Berkoff. Helen Razer's patronising interview of the distinguished actor was broadcasting at its worst. Apart from calling him "dear" and "Steve", she didn't seem at all interested in addressing the reason for his visit. Every interviewee deserves an interviewer who has done some research and at least feigns an interest in their work.
Dog details are here.
Update: Razer has been sacked, but the ABC denies it has anything to do with the Berkoff interview.

Kyle deal throne out

My heart goes out to Kyle Sandilands and his bride-to-be Tamara Jaber. New Idea has reportedly pulled the plug on a $200,000 deal to cover their nuptials. It's suggested that the lack of a star-studded guest list is the reason - which is odd, given that Sandilands promotes himself as a friend of the famous. I'd suggest it's because New Idea knows that Sandilands - who will reportedly enter the ceremony on a throne (pass the vomit bag, please) - is a polarising figure. In other words, any edition featuring Kyle on the cover might tank.

Dunn like a dinner?


Update: Scan of story at right.
I can't find it online, but the Courier-Mail apparently has a story this morning where Brisbane Radio 4BC boss David McDonald denies rumours "on an entertainment blog" (that'd be this one, I suppose) that he's offered a job to former B105 star Jamie Dunn. My source says McDonald is quoted as saying "these blogging things, I don't put too much weight in them. I don't have any time for those things". So how does he know about it, I wonder - and why are Brisbane radio stories always among the most-read items on this blog?
PS: A cynical source says the rumours "must be true, then." My thoughts: If 4BC's boss hasn't done a deal with Jamie Dunn, he really should think about it. I know the station is doing well financially, but it lags behind the ABC in Brisbane and commercial talk stations in other states when it comes to ratings points. Of course, if the station gets more listeners, it can sell more ads and charge more for them. I believe that's what the commercial radio game is all about.
Disclosure: Brett Debritz used to be heard on 4BC and is now heard on 612ABC. His opinions are, however, his own. For more disclosures, click here.

A Dunn deal?

The radio rumour mill is running hot in Brisbane that former B105 Morning Crew star Jamie Dunn will be returning to the capital from the Sunshine Coast and anchoring a show on 4BC. The talk station is certainly underperforming compared to similarly formatted stations elsewhere in Australia, and Dunn (at left, with alter-ego Agro) would be a big asset given his fan base in the over-40s demographic. The big question, though, is: Will Dunn be doing the drive shift, as has been suggested by some in the industry, or will he take over the breakfast show? Whatever happens, the word is that there will be big movements at 4BC next year, with the signing of other well-known voices and some behind-the-scenes changes as well.

Stern's stunning stunt

American DJ Howard Stern is to auction off a young woman's virginity. She'll use the money to pay for her college education and says her "conservative" teacher mother is supportive. "I understand some people may condemn me," the woman, 22, says. "But I think this is empowering. I'm using what I have to better myself." And will she still feel the same way when the money is all spent - on a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, if the story is to be believed - and her 15 minutes of fame is well and truly over?

Who's rating and who's not

The Australian metropolitan cities radio ratings are out, and in Brisbane it's good news for B105 and 97.3FM, but bad news for 4BC which has slipped to last place among the commercial stations overall and second-last in the all-important breakfast shift. The overall top five were Nova 106.9, Triple M FM104, B105, 97.3FM and 612 ABC; in breakfast, it was Nova's Meshel, Ash, Kip and Luttsy; 612's Spencer Howson (pictured)*; 97.3's Robin, Bob and Terry; Triple M's Ian Skippen and the Cage; and B105's Labrat, Camilla and Stav. The poor performance at 4BC can only fuel rumours (started on this blog, I believe) that former B105 kingpin Jamie Dunn is set to make a Brisbane comeback on the commercial talk station. Before the talk was about him doing drive, but maybe now the station's greatest need is in breakfast to set a higher-rating pace for the whole day. On the other hand, these sixth-survey figures may provide a lifeline for B105's breakfast team. Certainly now is the time that station owners and program directors are making their big decisions about next year's line-ups. One interesting result of the survey is the fact that 612ABC's night-time show, which Katrina Davidson has just handed back to regular host Steve Austin, is No.1 in its timeslot. Also of note is the fact that Nova, although still leading the pack, has taken some big falls across the day, making the whole scene much more competitive. That's a very healthy sign (although the Nova folk may disagree).
Meanwhile, in Sydney, commercial talk station 2GB still leads the pack (despite the absence of Alan Jones, who is recovering from cancer surgery) from 2Day and 702 ABC, both overall and in breakfast,

* Yes, I'm a semi-regular guest on Spencer Howson's show - which is obviously why he is doing so well. For other disclosures, click here.

Broadcasting's best bangs

Radio network Austereo has forecast further earnings growth in a difficult market. Significantly, the money is mainly coming from Western Australia and Queensland. Nick Tabakoff's story in The Australian notes:

While not breaking out the company's Sydney performance, [Austereo CEO Michael] Anderson said he was happy with revenues out of the struggling city's market.

Hmmm, Sydney... That'd be where Austereo is paying a motza (as they say in NSW) to Kyle Sandilands to deliver a slender ratings lead in the FM market. I bet the folks who work for Austereo in Perth and Brisbane aren't getting anywhere near the same money despite delivering the goods where it counts - straight to the company's bottom line.

Telling it like it is

Retired ABC director Ron Brunton has criticised the national broadcaster, claiming the board was lied to by staff to preserve the ABC culture. Obviously I can't comment on the substance of those claims, but I do agree with him on one point - that it is ridiculous for the ABC to refuse to name the commercial sponsors of sporting events while often giving free plugs to authors, publishers and film distributors. It's stupid and confusing to refer to the "domestic cricket series" when all the punters know it as the Pura Cup. Public broadcasting is about informing people, not confusing them.

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