October 17th, 2011 at 06:47am
Or to be more precise, their friends over at Fairfax Radio Syndication are indicating that changes are afoot.
As many of you would be well aware, 2UE’s Michael Smith has taken 2UE to court in an effort to prevent them from firing him. The exact details of this seem to change from one court session to the next, but it all started back when an affidavit about Julia Gillard’s relationship with a conman was the big story of the day and resulted in The Australian retracting an opinion piece by Glenn Milne, and Andrew Bolt almost quitting the Herald Sun. Smith was going to air an interview with the author of the affidavit, however to date that interview has not met the airwaves.
For the entire duration of the Smith V 2UE legal matter, 2UE have retained Michael Smith’s name in all of their on-air promotions. They continue to air promos mentioning Smith as part of the “new lineup” of 2011. They continue to show Smith’s name and face on their website and on the giant billboard they set up down the road from 2GB’s studios. Fairfax Radio Syndication have even kept the listing for Smith’s show on their website.
However, over the weekend, this has changed. 2UE continue to name and promote Smith, but Fairfax Radio Syndication do not. Both entities fall under the ownership of the Fairfax empire. Interestingly, Fairfax Radio Syndication have retained the listing for Stuart Bocking’s night show.
If I were to read in to this, I would suggest that this means that a settlement has been reached between Smith and 2UE over the weekend, and that Smith will be leaving 2UE with an official announcement to be made shortly. Stuart Bocking, who has been filling in for Michael Smith, will return to his night show, and someone else will take over the afternoon timeslot. Also of interest is that Fairfax Radio Syndication’s information about New Day Australia no longer mentions Mike Jeffreys (host of the weekday edition, who has been filling in for Bocking) and instead says that “Our presenters are no strangers to a news/talk/entertainment format”. Perhaps this means that Mark Kennedy and Tim Shaw will continue to host New Day Australia on a rotational basis and Mike Jeffreys will move elsewhere in the schedule. If this were to happen, my hunch would be that Mike will move to Drive, replacing Paul Murray whose ratings probably haven’t met expectations, and Paul will move to afternoons where he would be freer to utilise his more humourous style.
Of course, it’s also possible that Fairfax Radio Syndication just don’t want to make it look like they’re offering a program which hasn’t really existed for many weeks…but then, why would they leave Stuart’s listing up?
Ahhh 2UE, “where we guarantee you won’t have the faintest clue who will host which show next week”.
Entry Filed under: TV/Radio/Media