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Jim Ball resigns from 2GB and MTR

January 31st, 2011 at 12:34am

Jim Ball quit 2GB yesterday afternoon. Warren Moore, who is unexpectedly sitting it for Jim right now, delivered the news as an off the cuff “Jim’s decided not to be a part of the program this year” as he threw to an ad break…which is a bit less than Jim deserves. Ben Fordham heaped praise on his predecessor Jason Morrison when he took over the Drive show last week, but Jim only gets a few seconds of “he ain’t here no more”…doesn’t seem fair really.

Jim has put an announcement up on his website, sighting both the overnight hours and the fact that Ben Fordham got the Drive Show gig over him as reasons.

2GB’s popular overnight host Jim Ball, due back on air Monday morning, has resigned from the station, effective immediately.

Ball who has been off on holiday after filling in for Ray Hadley over the summer break was due back on air at midnight. He says he was trying to catch a few hours sleep on Sunday afternoon after prepping his program for Monday and just couldn’t nod off.

It was then, at that moment, after 11 years on overnight radio including 2 years at 2UE, he just decided that he didn’t have another overnight program left in him, rang the program director, Ian Holland and delivered the bad news.

“..The hours are the toughest on the station apart from breakfast. I suppose working Ray’s shift over summer spoilt me a bit. Not only were the hours civilised but also I had a great team of people helping put the program together. On overnights, I do all my own research, writing and prep, panel and presentation and eventually after 11 years you just hit the wall, and think what the hell am I doing this for?”

Ball has constantly produced high ratings for the station in the mid to high twenties and low thirties.

Another factor that pushed him to make the decision was the appointment of Ben Fordham to the Drive program several weeks ago. “..Appointing someone to a prime shift with little or next to no experience in talk radio, except on a fill in basis, or someone without any demonstrated or proven ability, or ratings success in talk radio does seem rather odd to say the least..”

It seems that years of delivering results counts for nothing, and the Fordham decision crystallised Ball’s thinking that he’s wasting his time. The hours, the slog and the sacrifice seemed to have been for nothing.

I hope that this is only a temporary vacation from radio and that Jim pops up on the dial again in the near future (perhaps in a nicer timeslot, eh Jim?). Jim is too good a talent and too clear a thinker for him to not be on the air.

This certainly leaves a gaping hole in my radio listening with both Jim Ball and Mike Jeffreys absent from the overnight shift this week. Jeffreys is on the 8pm to midnight shift on 2UE at the moment and is due back on overnights next week, but that doesn’t really help me this week.

Good luck Jim. I hope to hear you on the air again soon.

Samuel

Entry Filed under: TV/Radio/Media

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5 Comments

  • 1. padders  |  January 31st, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Having listened to Ball (for the first time, admittedly) filling in for Hadley over the summer, I can’t say I’m disappointed. All that rubbish he went on with at the beginning of his program gave me the intestinals. Having said that, he and I are definitely on the same wavelength (sorry) about Fordham. So much so, that I am almost inclined to forgive Jim for his verbal diarrhoea at the start of his program – almost, but not quite.

  • 2. foxy  |  February 1st, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Samuel, I too was surprised to hear the “off the cuff” announcement that JIM BALL was “not being part of the program this year”. It’s the JIM BALL program, for goodness sake!
    It has been reported that one of the reasons that JIM is not returning, is because he was miffed that relative newcomer to radio, BEN FORDHAM was selected over him for the drive show. I dont blame JIM, after all, he has the runs on the ratings board and 2GB has been the beneficiary!
    It doubly irks me that the foul LACHLAN HARRIS, is working on the FORDHAM program. (HARRIS is an ex Staffer of ex Prime Minister KEVIN RUDD and known mostly for turning his back on the Opposition Leader speaking in Parliament)
    2GB should have stuck with a known performer of substance, like JIM BALL.
    I am switching 2GB off, in protest!

  • 3. Bantam  |  February 2nd, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I agree that Jim’s opening – when he was filling in for Ray – was cringeworthy, eg. “Your call will pump the bellows that fan the flames of democracy”. However, he is way too big a talent to be off air. 2UE were mad not to utilise him better when they had the chance. He could easily have taken over the afternood show – Tim Webster is Mr Nice but also Mr Boring.

  • 4. padders  |  February 2nd, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I think Jim’s heart is in the right place and I do hope finds a gig where his talents will be appreciated. Trouble is, what with radio stations espousing ‘generational change’, whether there is room for ‘old hands’ like Jim (and Clive) in today’s commercial radio market. It’s a tricky one. Certainly there are current radio jocks who have been around for a long time (Samuel knows who I am referring to) who could easily be replaced by Jim or Clive, making for far more interesting radio.

  • 5. foxy  |  February 3rd, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    2GB should have given their resident “Groper”, Chris Smith, the flick, when they had the chance and slotted Jim Ball in when they had the chance. 2UE also wasted Jim Ball’s talent when they had him….so now they both lose out. Jim…if you are reading this, tell both of them to get stuffed.


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