Archive for October 27th, 2006

They’re a sponsor of mine…surely you know that by now!

It looks like John Laws had an absent minded and “whoops” moment recently, forgetting to mention that Telstra are one of his sponsors during an interview with John Howard about the privatisation of the telco giant.

2UE have taken action by notifying the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of the breach of standards imposed by the ACMA’s predecessor, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA). ACMA have launched an investigation.

The worst possible outcome (an unlikely one, but possible) here is that ACMA cancel 2UE’s broadcasting licence, and Southern Cross have to work out what to do with the Sydney based syndicated programming. Could the “John Laws Building” become a mere regional hub, providing programming for places outside of Sydney only? Would Southern Cross move their syndicated hosts to Melbourne’s 3AW or Brisbane’s 4BC? And what would happen to Lawsie?

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that…and it probably won’t…I personally think that ACMA will just send Lawsie a “be more careful from now on” message after a lengthy investigation where they take into account the fact that he is almost always on the ball when it comes to acknowledging sponsorships, but the next little while could be very very interesting none-the-less.

Talkback king’s new cash-for-comment scandal

October 27, 2006 – 7:40PM

Radio talkback king John Laws is in hot water again for failing to
disclose his commercial agreement with Telstra in a recent interview
with the prime minister.

In an echo of the original cash-for-comment scandal, Laws is being
investigated for allegedly discussing Telstra’s privatisation without
mentioning he is being paid by the telco.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today said it
would open an investigation into Radio 2UE Sydney’s compliance with
commercial radio standards.

During the cash-for-comment scandal that broke in 1999 and again in
2004, it was revealed Laws and his rival, 2GB’s breakfast announcer
Alan Jones, received sponsorship money from customers, including Optus,
Qantas and major Australian banks without disclosing it to listeners.

An investigation by ACMA’s predecessor, the Australian Broadcasting
Authority (ABA), found systemic failure in the commercial radio
industry to comply with self-regulatory codes of practice.

The ABA later introduced new standards that ensured presenters of radio
current affairs programs were required to tell listeners about their
sponsors whenever they were mentioned on air to ensure fair and
accurate coverage of matters of public interest.

Compliance with the standards is a condition of holding a licence.

ACMA today said 2UE, a subsidiary of Southern Cross Broadcasting, wrote
to it indicating it had breached the standard when Laws failed to
disclose his agreement with Telstra on his program on August 28, 2006.

“During his program on that day, Mr Laws made mention of the
privatisation of Telstra, one of his sponsors,” Southern Cross wrote.

“Telstra’s privatisation was also discussed in an interview with the
prime minister.

“No disclosure regarding his commercial agreement with Telstra was made
during the program.”

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said the regulator acknowledged 2UE’s
action in bringing the breach to its attention.

“However, ACMA has decided to commence an investigation into 2UE’s
compliance with the standards,” he said.

ACMA had begun collecting documents and would examine them to determine
what steps needed to be taken, Mr Chapman said.

ACMA has the power to suspend or cancel licences.

Southern Cross Broadcasting could not immediately be contacted for



12 comments October 27th, 2006 at 10:15pm

The Kiss Of Death

I had a strange dream last night…I went into the local TAB to pick up a copy of the Herald Sun newspaper so that I could get the form guide for the Cox Plate. When I went to the counter to pay for the newspaper, and for one reason or another pick up a balloon with a picture of a horse on it, I recognised the person behind the counter…it was John Stanley’s reverse tipster, the anonymous Kiss Of Death. I asked him why he was working at the TAB and he told me that he had a really large debt with them from last weeks tips and he was working it off.

If that dream proves anything…it’s probably that I get to listen to the radio at work just a wee bit too much!


October 27th, 2006 at 02:36pm

Zebra Crossing

This week’s Friday Funny is a joke which a caller to John Stanley‘s show on Tuesday managed to slip into a conversation, with nobody realising it was a joke until the end…mind you, he made it sound like he was one of the characters in the joke.

An elderly lady is trying to cross a busy road, but can’t find a long enough break in the traffic to cross safely. After a while a man comes over to her and informs her that there is a zebra crossing about 100 metres up the road, to which the elderly lady replies “Gee, I hope he’s not having as much trouble as I am”.

Do you have something you would like to contribute to Friday Funnies? If so, email it to All contributions welcome!


5 comments October 27th, 2006 at 09:49am

Google Custom Search…not a new idea, just different

There seems to be quite a lot of fuss in certain web circles at the moment about Google’s custom search which allows you to make a search engine which searches only certain websites…a perfect idea for theme based searches.

It’s actually rather amusing that Rollyo has been doing the same thing with Yahoo powering it for quite some time. Rollyo seems to have built up a community of sorts, and is aimed more at personal users than website owners, although it certainly is useful for website owners. Google’s offering has less personal features (such as the ability to create a Firefox search bar search engine), but does have the advantage of offering website owners a cut of the ad revenue through their Adsense program…Rollyo has a similar “partners program”, but isn’t as easy to setup as Google’s offering.

Rollyo is limited to 25 websites per search engine, which probably doesn’t matter for most topics, but is certainly an annoying limitation for others.

Overall I think Rollyo is the more polished product at this stage, with Google’s offering feeling like a mere extension of their “search one site” service. There is more than enough room for both at the moment, but if and when Google decide to come up with the features Rollyo already has…then Rollyo will probably be squeezed out. Actually, that could be the first time in a while that Google have squeezed someone out rather than buying them.


October 27th, 2006 at 06:40am


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