April 15, 2015 – 5:30PM
Less than two weeks before his radio program airs on 4BC, presenter Ray Hadley has described the Brisbane radio station as “a poor imitation of the ABC”.
Hadley’s mornings program on Sydney’s 2GB will be syndicated on 4BC from April 27, along with a breakfast show hosted by Alan Jones.
Hadley will replace Patrick Condren in the morning slot.
Radio host Ray Hadley has criticised Brisbane radio station 4BC less than two weeks before his show becomes one of its headline programs. Photo: Peter Rae
On Wednesday he said the challenge of building an audience from a 4.3 per cent market share was “massive”.
“At my age and 32 years into the business, I’m always looking for challenges and I think this is probably my biggest one,” he told Fairfax Media.
“The station is running last. It’s embarrassing.
“I’ve been listening to it for a number of months now to see what it’s like and it’s just a poor imitation of the ABC. It’s a left-wing station that doesn’t appear to have much to say about major issues.”
News that most of 4BC’s Brisbane presenters would be sacked was met with disappointment by several media commentators, and the station’s plight is now being mocked on Twitter by a parody account.
However Hadley said he wasn’t worried 4BC listeners would switch off because of a reduction in Brisbane content and presenters.
“They had a minuscule audience,” he said.
“It’s not as if they had 300,000 people listening. There’s hardly anyone listening to the station. Something has to change.”
“It appears to me not even the entire families of the broadcasters are listening.”
Hadley said his mornings program would be relevant in Brisbane because the topics it covered were either national or of broad interest.
“In terms of Brisbane guests, it’s not a magazine program…It’s a program about news and about opinions – mainly my opinions because it’s my program.”
A merger between the Macquarie and Fairfax radio networks was officially completed on March 31, with Fairfax holding a 54.5 per cent stake of the super-sized Macquarie Radio Network. Most of the job cuts across the network have come from the Fairfax side of the business.
Hadley has in the past criticised Fairfax Media, whose brands include Brisbane Times, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Rival Sydney station 2UE and Brisbane’s 4BC were also Fairfax-owned until the merger.
When asked on Wednesday what he thought of Fairfax, Hadley said: “I have no comment to make”.
“It’s immaterial to me who’s a shareholder and who’s not a shareholder. John Singleton still owns about 35 per cent and that’s who I started working for 14 years ago. I don’t work for Fairfax, I work for Macquarie Radio,” he said.
The Brisbane Times