Has the giant been felled forever?

Frank Avis by | April 28, 2023 | 2020s

Has the giant been felled forever or will we see the News/Talk superstar, 2GB, mount a comeback over Autumn and winter, unseating that FM "upstart", KIIS FM? Ah, there's a bit of spice added in radioland this year. Indeed '23 could well be the "Year of the Yo-Yo" with survey 2 confirming GB is back up on top of the hill, number one overall, with KIIS in second spot. But Kyle and Jackie O have refused to surrender, hanging on as the top dogs in Breakfast, 15.1 to GB's 14.7. It is SO CLOSE...

We salute a famous radio veteran with the death of Uncle Doug Mulray, at the age of 71. I love his story because it's the classical route via provincial training. Doug kicked off at 2AD, Armidale and 2GO, Gosford before 3AW, Double J, and then Triple M in 1982 where he ruled the roost in Sydney FM for the next decade. He went on to several stints in TV, including one on the Nine Network which was remarkably brief as I recall. Top career man... Cop ya later.

Resident historian, The Radio Oyster, reached me on the blower recently with the really sad news that another one of the originals, Mike Drayson, had left us at the age of 71. You'll remember Drays from 3XY and 2SM and as the legendary King of the voiceover in the trade. We used to gather at our famous Pymble Hotel reunion in years past and Mike and I would take the train back to the city, having a good yarn about the industry on the way. He was a really good bloke.

Mike Drayson, Cherie Romaro, Andrew Kilpatrick

Mike Drayson is on the left, with Cherie Romaro (Super PD) and Andrew Kilpatrick – "Mr Oyster" to you.

I didn't watch the NSW Election – the first time that's happened in memory. Normally, it doesn't matter where it is – NSW, Australia, the USA, UK – I'll be stuck there in front of the TV watching the count, seat by seat, from 7 till closing time. But honestly, we all knew the result four weeks out – may as well watch the footy! Labour used the classic "small target" philosophy: Chris Minns promised pay rises in health and education and then just kept his head down and stayed low to the ground, with a deliberately vague agenda. He really didn't have to dodge any bullets – nobody fired any. I don't think it mattered really, the coalition was done. Talking with a few of my mates in marketing and my opinion was that the Libs had to start doing something dramatic in the last three or four weeks to make some waves. I would have based my Coalition campaign on all of the government achievements – showing footage of rail systems out to the North West with the rail tunnel connecting Chatswood and the City, the massive road tunnels coming in from the West and heading up North, and of course the wonderful Westconnex all the way down to the Airport. The other half of the campaign would show Labor bulldozers and trucks filling in all of the half-constructed projects, painting them as a party who won't do anything, "We'll build it and they'll fill it in with topsoil." As it was, the Government went gently into the night, around about 8 o'clock as I remember it.

The NRL season is underway buoyed by the new franchise, The Dolphins – coached by the GREAT MAN – winning its opening three games. Only Wayne Bennett can do this sort of stuff. The euphoria drifted into League headquarters this week with officials talking about establishing another couple of franchises designed "to make the NRL the number one football code in the nation". "Hold hard Ned... Steady as she goes," I gulped. "One Dolphin does not a winter footy season make." Let's just get back to some basic arithmetic here. The NRL total attendance in round one this season was about 148,000. Round one for the AFL drew 392,000... Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

We've just seen yet another mass killing in an American school with the deaths of three 9-year-old kids and three adult staff by an intruder armed with an automatic rifle. There is no point going into any further discussion. The dialogue is pointless. Anybody with an IQ greater than a South American Sloth knows what has to be done. Everybody in America knows what has to be. We now have to accept that Americans aren't going to do it. The gun is sacrosanct. The right to bear arms is inviolate. America will accept the cost – with thousands killed across the country, in schools, churches, shopping centres, car parks, down at the local market... Whatever. The US will pay that price. They WILL NOT give up their guns. Now it's time for the rest of the world to butt out and let Americans get on with the main business at hand – killing each other.

"Each traveler in the bush carried with him his tinder-box and a quart-pot which dangled at the side of his saddle. Using the quart-pot as his teapot, he put it over an open fire, and cooked corned beef and damper for his evening meal, after which he rolled himself for the night in a blanket or "possum's cloak", using his saddle as a pillow, and slept under the canopy of heaven. This sensation of absolute freedom, when united with the wonder and the mystery of the night, and that exhilaration of the body washed clean in some mountain stream, induced a sense of well-being, a sense of the majesty of life. It was as though life in the wilds of Australia cleansed a man from Adam's stain."

— A History of Australia. Manning Clark (1915-1991)

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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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