The Kiss Of Death Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

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

October 27th, 2006 at 10:15pm

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



Entry Filed under: TV/Radio/Media

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  • 1. Loki  |  October 28th, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Good to see you being very open and honest about Lawsie’s predicament – it shows an impartial and independent spirit!

    That said, I would have expected some feedback, or at least independent discussion about that other “talkback guru” Alan Jone’s ongoing predicament. Do you think the scrutiny of his private life is fair?

    Could it be put down to “sheer naughtyness”?

    As a fiend of talkback radio (that’s you, Samuel, and Fiend is indeed a compliment), I would appreciate your feedback!

  • 2. the_total_cynic  |  October 28th, 2006 at 7:46 am

    That damn Laws ! Didn’t they find him dead behind
    his golden microphone yet ?

  • 3. Roger Mellie  |  October 29th, 2006 at 3:24 am

    I agree Loki. Like Alan Jones, I’m sure Lawslie just forgot to read the fine print of his contract. Money would never influence Lawslie’s opinions because it did not when he had that undisclosed contract with Optus.

    Let’s just hope that Lawslie has not been around any public toilets unlike his erstwhile former 2UE colleague.

    Now Professor Flintoff King has retired to concentrate on other hurdles, he won’t be able to help out this time and I do hope Julian Burnside QC is too busy helping those pesky refugees to cross-exmine Laswle.

  • 4. Roger Mellie  |  October 29th, 2006 at 7:29 am

    I would also like to add to Loki’s point about the scrutiny of the talkback King’s not so private life.

    I have just been through the archives and noticed that Samuel ‘pardoned’ Robbie Waterhouse for his involvement in The Fine Cotton Affair so if all goes well, Jonsie and Lawslie will be pardoned too.

  • 5. the_total_cynic  |  October 29th, 2006 at 8:32 am

    That damn Alan Jones . Didn’t he drop dead yet ?

  • 6. Loki  |  October 29th, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    Yes Mr Mellie, perusing the archives in this blog, I found that comment.

    However, Robbie Waterhouse is a man with a sullied reputation at best, whereas describing the activities of Messrs Jones and Laws as “sheer naughtyness” could land Samuel in legal strife.

    Robbie may indeed just be a sheerly naughty boy, but talkback radio hosts are pillars of the community.

  • 7. Roger Mellie  |  October 30th, 2006 at 6:53 am

    it took me a while to get down here after scrolling past the section 84 update. Now i have forgotten what I want to say.

  • 8. Samuel  |  October 30th, 2006 at 8:22 am

    It might come back to you Roger.

    The_total_cynic, is there anyone you don’t have that opinion of?

    Loki, I think Mr. Jones took a week off in London at just the right time to counter some of the publicity about the book. Other issues during the week on talkback, especially the four teenagers killed in a car accident in Northern New South Wales, plus the latest Sheik controversy also helped to keep the Jonestown talk to a minimum.

    Ultimately Jones is a public figure, and public figures will come under scrutiny…it’ll seem unfair at times, but that’s life in the public eye.

  • 9. Roger Mellie  |  October 30th, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    If Jones ook a week off to go to London, I wonder if while he was there he walked to Piccadilly Circus then because of a full bladder, went to the public toilets. How does the old saying go? More than three shakes is considered a …

    I wonder what our old friend JohnB1 B5 would make of all the Sheiks talk about cats?

  • 10. Loki  |  October 31st, 2006 at 12:35 am

    Yes, I did experience a strange sense of deja vu in a dream about John B1_B5 in a dream after the Sheik’s incoherent cat speech.

    That very odd sculpture that was linked to me also made an appearance, which I found, well, very odd.

    I do wonder about “the_total_cynic”. I do wonder if it could be the blogger formerly known as John Brock’s ever-evolving nom de plumes, and he has made a discreet re-entry after his dramatic exit.

    Am I being stalked? Should I go in to hiding lest I indulge in odd behaviour, like phoning myself late at night only to find the line’s engaged?

    To date, I have managed to resist the urge to post links to odd sculptures.

  • 11. Roger Mellie  |  October 31st, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    Please be careful Loki. I notice in the archives that another contributer named heatseeker started to recieve death threats – from himself.

    He developed some very odd behavior after too many views of dlogwot. He was phoning himself only to get an engaged signal.

    I do suspect that mr cynic may also be a pseudonym for John b1b0.

    I also had a dream about some odd sculptures – one of a public toilet and my hand motioning back and forth while standing next to it.

  • 12. Loki  |  November 1st, 2006 at 12:33 am

    I don’t plan on developing any odd behaviour, Mr Mellie, but I do agree that cynic person’s unwelcome behaviour does make me suspect he is in fact John B1_B5.

    And, yes, I agree, that very odd sculpture he linked us too does prey on my mind!


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