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Radio- changes ahoy!

For my second blog post, I thought I’d try something a little different. I’m going to move away from sport for a second, so we’ll see how all this turns out.

The end of this year signaled a bit of a mix up in radio land, with numerous hosts in Sydney and around the national networks switching stations and time slots. Add to this the return of one very prominent figure in Australian radio, and I think that it’s an incredibly interesting and exciting time for those who tune into their wireless (and I mean, who doesn’t?!)

Probably the biggest change for 2011 is undoubtedly Hamish & Andy’s well-publicised move away from their daily drive show to just one day a week in the same time slot. They’re branching out, with TV being a big part of their futures, it seems. I’m sure their competitors are licking their chops, as this is a phenomenal opportunity to grab some of that sweet ratings pie that the lads held. Not a very favourable outcome for Austereo and the Today Network, but hey, at least they’re still around one day a week! It just goes to show how popular these guys have become, and I wish them all the very best with their upcoming projects- I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Besides, I’ll probably watch/listen to them more now that I don’t have to subject myself to the horrible music that finds itself wedged between their hilarious segments.

So while Hamish & Andy are moving to a new chapter in their careers, the question on everyone’s mind was naturally: who would be taking their spot? Enter Fifi Box and Jules Lund. The pair were confirmed to be replacing… Oh sorry, I mean, joining Hamish & Andy in 2011. All the talk was very positive, insisting that Fifi and Jules wouldn’t be taking over the joint, but instead becoming part of the H&A family. Which is fine, I mean, they can position their new presenters in any way they like. Apparently they’re all good friends. Excellent! Now I’m sure they are, but is it really going to be the same? I wouldn’t imagine so. I have nothing against either Fifi or Jules. They’re both proven in the industry, and are great broadcasters in their own right. But, I just don’t think they’re quite the right fit. The problem I have with their appointment is just that- they have vast previous experience. People know them. Who doesn’t think of Getaway when they think of Jules?

If I was calling the shots, I would have handled things a bit differently. Instead of signing up established stars, I would have seen this as an opportunity to develop fresh talent. Think of it as Australian Idol, except without the signing or the reality TV show parts. Find a new pair of young broadcasters who haven’t had this sort of national exposure before. Bring them on as offsiders to H&A. They can be there learning the tricks of the trade from one of the best comedy duos the country has produced, all the while finding their own style. Austereo could have developed their own stars.  Of course, I can see the counter to this argument- their station is driven by popular and celebrity culture, so they want to continue that brand through their presenters. And Hamish & Andy would have had to agreed to work with the new pair, so it would likely be a complex deal. Still, it could have been a possibility, surely?

This wasn’t the only notable change. Paul Murray finished up his time on Austereo’s other network, Triple M, to move across to 2UE. Joining him will be Jason Morrison of 2GB fame. It will be an interesting change for Murray, who, at 32, will be a younger voice in a market dominated by slightly older presenters. It seems that 2UE is preparing for life after Alan Jones. The 2GB breakfast presenter dominates his time slot, but obviously can’t go on forever.

What then is to become of the Triple M drive slot in Sydney? What is the fate of Rachel Corbett, who was so excellent working with Murray on Paul & Rach? Whatever happens, hopefully she sticks around at Triple M- Paul & Rach was a lot of fun, with both presenters bringing a lot to the table. Her services, much like Murray’s will, would be sorely missed.

We move then to breakfast on Triple M… After what was seemingly a successful run for The Grill Team, Stuart MacGill left the show late this year, leaving a spot open for someone to step up. Personally, I wouldn’t mind current sports news reader Dan Ginnane filling the void. He definitely fits, and has existing chemistry with both MG and Gussy.

Rounding things off, John Laws is making a comeback via the 2SM network. After a couple of years of retirement, Lawsie is back and will no doubt be heating things up in the 9am-Noon slot. His choice of station may seem slightly strange though, with 2SM not being a ratings powerhouse. Then again, 2011 could be a breakout year for them- I certainly wouldn’t want to back against a station with John Laws on their roster.

That’s about it for the major changes in radio for 2011. What do you think? Are you going to be switching stations? Do any of the presenter’s new roles have you excited? Who will you be listening to? Feel free to leave a comment below, or email whosplayingwho@gmail.com with your thoughts. All I know for certain is that 2011 is going to be a big year in radio, and I’ll certainly be tuned in to hear what’s doing… Who’s with me?

  1. Anonymous
    December 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Great Job!!! 2SM was THE station back in the day…My my my…history always repeats..:)

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