It’s official…internally official…but official none the less, 2UE’s new night time host is Stuart Bocking.
Murray Olds was going to be the fill-in host this week, but it would appear that John Laws put a bit of pressure on management to give Stuart the job. The noises I’m hearing suggest that Laws wanted a permanent night time host by the time he got back, it’s also claimed that Stuart wasn’t fond of the hours he had to keep on the overnight shift, wanted to move to nights, and got a bit of help from Lawsie to do so. Stuart was previously John Laws’ executive producer for a number of years.
Needless to say, this snap decision over the weekend has caused no end of confusion…mainly for listeners, but also for presenters who have provided some of the most muddled explanations I have heard in a long time.
At least one of my sources backs up my theory that 2UE staff found out about the decision on Sunday, but were told to keep quiet and use an official cover story. The cover story revolved around Stuart filling in for the Monday night show, and possibly being back on his regular shift later in the week…the story didn’t mention Murray Olds, or who would do Stan’s show for the rest of the week…or what anyone was doing really, and this left presenters in an awkward position as they needed to explain why they were on-air when they were, but had to make up half the story in order to make any sense. Poor John Kerr probably got the hardest explanation of the lot as he tried to explain who was doing what on the overnight shift, and ended up saying something about filling in for Stuart so that Stuart wouldn’t do the Tuesday overnight show and be on for 30 hours straight…or something like that.
2UE will make the official announcement at some stage in the next couple days, I’m led to believe that Stan Zemanek will make a statement about the show being in very capable hands and him wishing Stuart all the best.
Stuart was being very careful about it all last night, telling callers who asked whether he was permanently on the night show that his presence was “a stop gap measure”. He did accidentally mention that it’s now his show at one stage…but not very clearly.
Meanwhile Clive Robertson looks set to take over Stuart’s old midnight-5:30am weekday shift. I haven’t heard any confirmation of this, but a few murmurs about it being “almost certain”, and the fact he now has an email address (email@example.com) pretty much make it a certainty in my view.
The big upshot of Clive Robertson taking over that shift is the reintroduction of overnight producers. Clive simply refuses to work without one. Whether 2UE will see the light and give John Kerr one or not is still very much up in the air. It didn’t take them long to reintroduce live overnight news after a couple of stuff ups with wrong bulletins or no bulletins going to air, so one would hope that with every other overnight job reintroduced, John will get a producer.
Anyway, congratulations Stuart, premature congratulations Clive, and commiserations to Murray Olds who once again has been shuffled around on short notice by 2UE.