Radio ratings, elections, Brexit and golf

Frank Avis by | May 8, 2019 | 2010s

There's continuing drama at 2GB with Alan Jones still unsigned to a new contract. This absolutely stuns me.
There's continuing drama at 2GB with Alan Jones still unsigned to a new contract. This absolutely stuns me. Apparently, the central issue is that Jones wants a 2-year contract but GB is said to be only offering 1 year. This guy is No. 1 in Breakfast... What are they doing? I'm equally stunned by recent figures for Ch 9's revamped Today Show which has it now trailing ABC TV's News Breakfast. My brain is simply refusing to accept this information. I predict 9 will bounce back this winter with its new, blockbuster series "Divorced at First Sight". My brain is also having a bit of difficulty dealing with the latest news that over a million viewers have been watching a show about Lego.

Just updating the latest figures in Sydney radio showing GB up over a point with Jones and Hadley owning Breakfast/mornings... SMOOTH holding a slight lead over KIIS in the FM arena and Beautiful Music's 2CH losing a point, down to 3.5. Keeping an eye on the old 2UE, now a Sports Format which has remained in disaster territory on .5. This troubles me a little at the personal level because the station has been doing most of the big AFL games, something that greatly assists this geriatric who can watch the first three-quarters of the major night game on TV and then settle back in bed for the final quarter, courtesy Macquarie Sports.

Had a good old talk to a former colleague of mine, Brendan Sheedy (3AK, 3DB, 2DAY FM and Sky Radio) recently, about the state of the industry. We plan to meet up over the next month or two and continue the discussion. If we ever get the chance to talk to Brendan ask about his time as the boss of 2DAY FM when he set about sophisticating the station (successfully too, actually).

He'll have you rolling in the aisles. As Bulletin magazine discovered many years ago: sometimes you've just got to laugh.

The NSW election ended up pretty much as I suggested -- a closely run race with victory to Premier Gladys at the end. It seems only fitting that the Coalition should be in power to see the fruition of a series of major infrastructure projects. We wait on the new, driverless rail link out to the northwest, WestConnex, NorthConnex and the new international Airport at Badgerys Creek with all of its associated rail and road upgrades.

Now to the federal election which is anybody's guess. I'm out there smelling the political winds as they blow this way and that. My initial feeling is that ScoMo will squeak in with a majority of voters preferring to bypass a Shorten Government which would have to spend much of its time trying to appease Labor's Left Wing and the crazies in the Greens. The great unknowns are the Nationals who seem to have mapped out a plan to commit political suicide. And we don't know what impact Pauline's One Nation will have with their vital preferences especially in Queensland and the NSW Country. They're currently running around bashing up each other or flying off to do illegal $20 million deals with the National Rifle Assoc in the US. I have no idea what's going on here and simply can't predict the flow of preferences from One Nation and Clive's United Party. Haven't got a clue. This will be a good, old fashioned cliff hanger. The arithmetic is simple in the end: can ScoMo get enough preferences from One Nation, United Australia and the Australian Conservatives to sneak past Bill, The Greens and the Shooters and Whatever? Some of these seats could be decided by less than 50 votes.

I think all of these elections are having a serious psychological impact on your reporter who has developed this recurring nightmare in recent weeks, where I wake up dreaming it's the Sunday morning after the federal poll and Pauline's One Nation has done a deal with the Greens and the United Australia Party to form a Coalition Government with Clive Palmer as the new Prime Minister. And you thought Julia Gillard was a worry?

Brexit, as we feared, is now an international farce. The great mistake was giving the British Parliament the final vote on the deal. PM Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal plan has been totally rejected. The trouble is they've put half a dozen other proposals to Parliament and they've been rejected as well. Parliament apparently won't vote for anything to do with Brexit. We are where we were with the original vote. It's virtually 50-50 and compromise is impossible. Good luck with that lot Theresa.

Just had a chat with our local golf pro, veteran Terry Ryan, who has a wonderful story from the Australian tour back in earlier days. Terry was playing in the Australian Masters at the stunning Huntingdale course and had booked the final tee time for his Wednesday Practice round.

Just as he was preparing to hit off he heard this foreign sounding gentleman say, "Excuse me, I didn't get a booking in today.... Would you mind if I join you?" Terry turned towards the speaker and promptly nearly fainted. The man was Seve Ballesteros and yes, you bet Terry could manage to fit him in to his busy schedule. He played 9 holes with one of the legends of world golf.

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This is the history of radio newsman Frank Avis who worked in the Australian electronic media from 1954 to 1996.


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