Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Out With The Olds?

Meanwhile on 2UE, a short, sharp shock has been delivered to the entire weekend line-up, with crime writer Paul B. Kidd and occasional John Laws seat warmer George Moore shifted to early mornings and former 2GB overnighter Glen Wheeler (who left the earlier station last year in vexed circumstances after being nurtured by Alan Jones - whatever THAT means) has taken their afternoon shift. On one hand, this is a pretty brave experiment, and potentially a successful one. Early mornings have previously been dominated by pedestrian gardening shows rather than the snappy talk people are used to at the same hour on weekdays.

However, the biggest victim in this arrangement appears to be Murray Olds and his excellent - and apparently short lived - Sunday Morning panel show, which seems to have been axed. Olds presided over probably the only example of genuinely balanced broadcasting left on the airwaves. In a similar way to ABC's Insiders, Olds gathered together two special guest hosts from different walks of life - ranging from the RSL's Rusty Priest, Youth Off the Streets' Father Chris Riley, The Australian Industry Group's Heather Ridout, then-Opposition Leader John Brogden, Unions NSW President John Robertson, President of the NSW Legislative Council Meredith Burgmann and Federal Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek - whacked them together, and had a good old talk. It was a great show, and if it has been axed, I'll miss it.

Olds' fine sense of balance, his level-headedness, his compassion and his common sense towards his subjects is doubly ironic, given that he replaced the odious Malcolm T. Elliott, not long before his short, ill-fated move to 2GB (you can find some of his ... erm, `monkeying around' at Media Watch, but I can give you countless more examples ... the time he suggested that the introduction of the over-the-counter morning after pill combined with the proliferation of cheap airfares would lead to underage girls travelling the country to fill their pockets with free contraception is one classic that springs to mind).

Could it be that 2UE - like Fairfax, if the rumours are true - are hoping to increase its ratings by shedding its more moderate commentators and taking on 2GB from the right? For the sake of fairness and balance - not to mention good radio - I certainly hope not.


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