Archive for December 11th, 2009

Farewell and good luck to Michael Watson

2CC/2CA’s production guru Michael Watson is leaving the stations after having worked there for 14 years, according to Jock’s Journal.

Michael has done a lot of great work for 2CC and 2CA over the years, although if I have to pick one particular thing which I have the fondest memory of…it would probably be the old Sgt. Pepper competitions on 2CA. I was also particularly fond of the piece he put together (OK, I’m 99% sure it was him…somebody please correct me if I’m wrong) after I announced my (later aborted) run for federal parliament on 2007. Just looking around for that now, I realise that I didn’t ever post it online…so here it is:

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And of course, there was that brilliant remix of my original Samuel’s Persiflage intro

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That anybody could make something good out of that ghastly (albeit fun) original intro is quite an achievement.

Best of luck for the future Michael!

Samuel

December 11th, 2009 at 05:42pm

The radio battle: Channel Nine versus Channel Nine

Further to the last post about Steve Liebmann taking over from Steve Price, I should point out that as of next week, the morning talkback battle in Sydney will be between two Channel Nine personalities. Ben Fordham on 2GB, filling in for Ray Hadley, and Steve Liebmann on 2UE. Admittedly, Steve is technically a Foxtel personality, but it’s fair to say that those of us out here in Free To Air Television land still regard him as a Nine personality as his Crime Investigation Australia show airs on Nine.

One could even argue that it’s A Current Affair (Fordham) versus Today (Liebmann)…but that’s stretching the laws of time and history just a tad too far.

Samuel

December 11th, 2009 at 04:54am

Good morning Steve

Well, at least the callers won’t have to learn a new name. 2UE yesterday announced that Steve Liebmann will be taking over the morning show once Steve Price vacates the chair today.

Steve Liebmann and Steve Price
Steve Liebmann and Steve Price. Image courtesy of 2UE

That picture there was a bit of a surprise to me…I didn’t realise that Steve Liebmann is around the same height as Steve Price. Pricey is shorter than me, and I’m often the shortest adult in a room…I never knew that Liebmann was around the same height.

I enjoy it when Steve fills in for Steve as I think Steve handles the show better than Steve (Oh, alright, I’ll stop deliberately confusing you)…seriously, I like Steve Liebmann and have enjoyed having him fill-in for Steve Price, but is this the right decision for 2UE? That depends entirely on their aims. Liebmann, unlike Price, seems to take a less solid stance on issues, but Liebmann comes across as being more informed about issues. This is mainly due to the rather noticeable fact that Price seems to read whatever is plonked in front of him, to the point that his “interviews” often sound like a series of teleprompted questions filling the void between answers.

Price was clearly forced to tone down his “angry ant” act when he moved from Drive to Mornings, and 2UE have slowly added more and more lifestyle guff to the show at the expense of news related discussion. I don’t think Price sounded comfortable doing the lifestyle stuff, and I can’t recall hearing him being as passionate about anything on the Morning show as he was on his old Drive show. It’s a real shame as, based on his Drive show performance, I thought he would do a great job on the Morning show. With any luck the rumours are true and John Singleton will recruit Price to a 2GB clone in Melbourne, and give Price the free reign that he needs to produce a good show.

Steve Liebmann, as I mentioned earlier, I enjoy listening to, although I have to wonder if he will express his opinions more clearly as the regular host of the show, or whether 2UE are recruiting him in to the role so as to further expand their non news-based talk programming. The Fairfax Radio Syndication website indicates a shift back to news-based talk:

The program deals with issues of importance to NSW and the ACT
Program content consistent with content in the news bulletins

That said, I’m sure that the Steve Price show description said the same thing, and contained the same line as the Liebmann description about the show being a “proven ratings winner”…an interesting line for a show which doesn’t exist yet. A few grains of salt don’t go astray when dealing with Fairfax Syndication show descriptions.

I strongly suspect that the Liebmann show will have at least the same amount of lifestyle guff, if not more, as the Price show had, simply because of what 2UE’s General Manager Tim McDermott had to say about Liebmann:

We’ve conducted extensive research over recent months and Steve Liebmann continually returned strong figures. He’s seen as a broadcaster who can deliver the very latest news and information, mixed with opinion and entertainment

Hmmm, that extensive research would be the “lets pay our listeners to come in to the station and tell us what they think of the station” surveys. I don’t understand the mentality of “lets ask our small audience what they want to hear more of so that we can have even less listeners”, but it seems clear that 2UE have given up the fight with 2GB for the hard-line newstalk format, and are going with a more lifestyle oriented format which, so far, is not rating.

Tim McDermott went on to mention “a fresh Monday-Friday line up on 2UE in 2010” without ever actually saying what that lineup contains. That’s OK though, because we already know what that line up is, because we’ve already been told that it’s the existing line up. John Stanley and Sandy Aloisi at Breakfast, Steve Liebmann in Mornings, Tim Webster in the Afternoon, and “The Two Murrays” at Drive.

A brief aside…Tim Webster nearly made me collapse from shock a few weeks ago when he suddenly changed his tune on the Emissions Trading Scheme in a manner which, if you hadn’t been listening to him previously, could convince you that he had always held his current view. He has been spending virtually all of the year (outside the lifestyle segments) advocating Global Warming Doom, and now, suddenly, opposes the ETS…I’m also regularly amused by the people who call Chris Smith on 2GB and call him “Tim”, and the same people who call Tim Webster on 2UE and call him “Chris”.

Anyway, back to Steve Liebmann, I notice that 2UE are making a big deal out of the fact that he will be working right through Christmas/New Year (he was always going to fill in for Price anyway), but conveniently omit the fact that Steve will be on leave for three weeks in February as he will be in Vancouver covering the Winter Olympics for Foxtel.

I’m more inclined to listen to Steve Liebmann than I was to listen to Steve Price of late, but I do hope for a few things which I doubt will happen…more firm opinions from Liebmann, and less lifestyle guff stealing time from serious conversations…just turn Webster’s show in to a permanent lifestyle show if you must and be done with it. Please, 2UE, leave serious stuff in the morning show. It makes no sense having your overnight programming being more serious than your daytime programming.

Best wishes to both Steves. I’m looking forward to hearing what direction the Liebmann show takes. I am also hoping that Singo’s mooted 2GB clone does eventuate in Melbourne with Steve Price on-board in an unleashed manner, and that it can become a launching platform for a nationally syndicated Andrew Bolt show…I may be dreaming a bit too much on that count though.

Samuel

2 comments December 11th, 2009 at 04:48am


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