Archive for December, 2007

Benazir Bhutto

I am very disappointed by the death of Benazir Bhutto, she was one of the few people with the ability to return some sanity to the administration of Pakistan. Her death is a tragedy, but now that her family have stepped up to the plate to lead her political party to the next election, delaying the election because of Mrs. Bhutto’s death would be another tragedy.

I am concerned about one part of the fallout of this tragedy. For some reason, whether she was killed by gunshots, the explosion, or hitting her head on a lever as she tried to avoid the gunshots and explosion seems to matter. Why? What difference does it make? The poor woman is dead, and if there hadn’t been an assassination attempt, she wouldn’t be dead. Who cares which part of it killed her, the poor woman is dead because she was assassinated.

For once I agree with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the best way to honour the memory of Benazir Bhutto is for the Pakistani elections to go ahead as scheduled.


December 31st, 2007 at 09:11am

Peter Leonard wins award for Community Media

Peter LeonardOn the 17th of December (Monday last week), Peter Leonard won the Chief Minister-Public Relations Institute of Australia (ACT Division) Award for Community Media, and in doing so became the first individual to win the award.

To quote from Jon Stanhope’s press release:

Mr Stanhope said Mr Leonard received the award, in its ffith [sic] year, for his service to media and the Canberra community.

β€œI am very pleased to be able to present the Award to such a deserving winner. Peter is well known to Canberrans as a proud, popular and vocal supporter of the ACT community,” Mr Stanhope said.

The award acknowledges outstanding contributions to the community by ACT media organisations or individuals. This year, for the first time, an individual has been chosen as the recipient of the award.

Mr Leonard was selected for his exceptional service to the community through the media and public relations industry in Canberra, particularly his work at WIN TV presenting ACT and district news for many years.

“Peter has also dedicated himself to a wide range of ACT community programs and events, was Canberra Citizen of the Year in 1991, and has been a tireless worker for local charities such as the MS Society of the ACT and the Cancer Council,” Mr Stanhope said.

β€œOn behalf of the ACT Community I thank Peter for his contribution and congratulate him on this prestigious and well deserved award.”

Seeing as Peter has been handed this prestigious award, I think it is appropriate to run this 1995 promo for WIN News. This is the Canberra version of the promo, WIN also had versions of the promo produced for Wollongong and Western New South Wales and probably other places as well. The promos were based on Nine’s Who’s Who of News, and were probably produced by Nine.

Interestingly it’s the only WIN version of the promo not to include footage of the journalists reporting to camera. It is also worthwhile noting that Canberra’s set was different to the one used in Wollongong and Western New South Wales. I personally preferred the physical set to the keyed set currently used. It is my opinion that if you’re going to have a static background, you might as well use a physical set, and the old WIN News set had some charm. I would like to see them do what Nine do, and have a camera somewhere providing the city as a backdrop, it’s a pity that this probably isn’t a viable option for WIN, especially in the places where the local news is read elsewhere, as it would personalise their bulletins a lot more than the static out of focus control room image they currently use across the entire network.

Anyway, Jon Stanhope’s press release goes on to mention some previous winners of the award, namely:

The Canberra Times for its contribution to the bushfire recovery, WIN News for continuing to maintain an excellent local news service, and radio station 2XX for many years of service to community radio.

It also mentions 666 ABC Canberra for their work during the 2003 bushfire. I have to say that I didn’t understand that award. It really should have been a joint award between 666 ABC Canberra, 2CC, 2CA, WIN News and ABC TV News. 2CC and 2CA (2CC took over 2CA for the day) did just as much work as 666 covering the fires, the WIN staff came in without being asked and put on a special Jon Stanhope should remember as I seem to recall him being interviewed by Peter Leonard during the bulletin, and ABC TV News also put on a special coverage of the fire. Why one group was singled out when they all did excellent work is beyond me.

I suppose that’s a discussion for another day, as today I should really just be congratulating Peter Leonard on another fabulous achievement. The award is thoroughly deserved.


4 comments December 27th, 2007 at 01:09pm

No Longer Valid: Severe Storm Warning

Update 1:35pm:
The warning was expanded at 1:31pm:

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Newcastle, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Dubbo, Parkes and Cobar.

The next warning is due to be issued by 4:35 pm.

If severe thunderstorms develop in the Sydney/Newcastle/Wollongong region or Canberra and Queanbeyan, a more detailed Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued to people in these areas.

Originally filed 12:16pm:
With the light show out there at the moment, I’m hardly surprised.


Issued at 12:05 pm Thursday, 27 December 2007.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones and may produce very heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Newcastle, Orange, Bathurst, Katoomba, Canberra, Goulburn, Yass, Tamworth and Gunnedah.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 3:05 pm.

If severe thunderstorms develop in the Sydney/Newcastle/Wollongong region or Canberra and Queanbeyan, a more detailed Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued to people in these areas.

December 27th, 2007 at 12:16pm

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Tim Webster just interviewed the person responsible for Sydney’s New year’s Eve fireworks display. After hearing the interview I have a theory about what we will see on the Harbour Bridge.

During the interview he mentioned something about “a new way of counting down”, and when asked what would be on the bridge he responded that he couldn’t tell us, but it would have “something to do with time…a timepiece”.

My theory is that the bridge will be used to countdown, either with fireworks set to form the various numbers from ten down, or possibly with a clock in which the second hand will light up with fireworks as it counts down to midnight.

I was planning to sit in bed and finish reading Stan Zemanek’s book on New Year’s Eve, but then I realised that I will be working until midnight. I will therefore be able to avoid seeing any of the fireworks (I’ll be ensuring that my TV Tuner is at home), and will count out the last five seconds of 2007 and the first moment of 2008 with the top of the hour time pips on 2CC.


December 27th, 2007 at 11:12am

Congratulations Mike Frame

There are a couple congratulations in order today, one of which was due a week ago, and the other one is timely.

I’ll start with the timely one. Today marks the day seven years ago that Mike Frame started in radio, at the now defunct community radio station 103.9 SSS FM. SSS was a station primarily funded by ACTTAB, its primary focus was horse racing, with a wider focus on sport.

Unfortunately ACTTAB stopped funding SSS in the couple years that followed, in favour of running their own radio station. 2KY subsequently received a licence for a Canberra based repeater on 1007kHz and have been broadcasting racing in to the Canberra region ever since.

Mike Frame made the successful jump to 2CC in either 2002 or 2003, initially as the Sunday morning Trading Post presenter from 10am to Midday, and has since taken over 7am-midday Saturday and Sunday (excluding 9am-10am Sunday) and is the usual fill-in for Mike Jeffreys and Mike Welsh.

For somebody who, prior to this, had no experience in radio and minimal interest, surviving in radio for seven years and being successful in it is definitely an effort worth congratulating.

Well done Mike!


December 27th, 2007 at 10:22am

RIP Jim Angel

I’m sorry to bring the mood of Christmas night down a notch, but I have just heard the dreadful news that Jim Angel, semi-retired radio newsreader, has died due to a stroke.

Jim Angel at 2SM in 1978 - Courtesy Wayne Mac
Jim Angel at 2SM in 1978. Picture courtesy Wayne Mac’s “Don’t Touch That Dial”. According to Wayne, Jim was Sydney’s longest serving radio journalist, working at 2SM, 2UE and 2GB and heard on relay on many regional New South Wales stations from 1964 to 2000.

According to 2UE program director Greg Byrnes who was talking to Clive Robertson about it a short time ago, Jim passed away last night (December 24).

I remember hearing Jim and his remarkable voice reading the news when I was younger, and I remember my high school music teacher commenting on his wonderful voice one morning.

According to radioinfo, Jim was aged 67.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family.

It was written on the Southern Cross Syndication schedule for the John Laws Morning Show that John Laws would occasionally crash the news for an important guest. I think Jim Angel could very well be the only newsreader who has had his news bulletin crashed by a presenter, only to become the important guest. Courtesy of Fairfax’s MyTalk website, here is the famous occasion where John Laws crashed the 9:32 news update and got Jim Angel to sing Winchester Cathedral.

Download Link

Due to this news I am going to make a late change to tonight’s Musicians Of The Week award and dedicate it to the memory of Jim Angel, a man who was more than willing to provide his rendition of “Winchester Cathedral”, a song I think was best performed by Buckingham. Coincidentally I’m fairly certain that this was Jim’s preferred version.

Winchester Cathedral
You’re bringing me down
You stood and you watched as
My baby left town

You could have done something
But you didn’t try
You didn’t do nothing
You let her walk by

Now everyone knows just how much I needed that gal
She wouldn’t have gone far away
If only you’d started ringing your bell

Winchester Cathedral
You’re bringing me down
You stood and you watched as
My baby left town

Oh-bo-de-o-do oh-bo-de-o-do
Oh-bo-de-o-do de-do- duh

After a couple hours going nuts trying to find a photo of Jim Angel anywhere online, it finally occurred to me that I have Wayne Mac‘s excellent book Don’t Touch That Dial in a book shelf downstairs, and if anything would have a photo of Jim, it would be that book. Sure enough a check of the index and a flick to the pages which mention Jim, and there was a nice big photo of him. Thanks Wayne, I owe you!

It was interesting searching online for the photo. Radioinfo, and AAP Image haven’t got one…Jim’s voice, but not his photo, appears on the website of Highland FM, a community radio station he has been presenting Breakfast on recently, and Sky News’ website has a picture of John Laws.

Rest in peace Jim, and my deepest condolences to your family.

(Last updated 2:14am 26/Dec/2007)


2 comments December 25th, 2007 at 08:20pm


What can I say…I have been incredibly fortunate this year. Receiving Stan Zemanek’s book early, having the immense pleasure of chatting with Steve Liebmann yesterday afternoon, having the chance to write ten blog posts in one day (including this one) that were all useful to some extent and being surrounded by some fantastic and wonderful people.

The one other thing that I would really like to see for Christmas is some more (light) rain. We had some tonight, and the Bureau Of Meteorology are predicting the likelihood of drizzle tomorrow at 30%.

Things, quite honestly, could not be better, and isn’t that a stark contrast to last week!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a fantastic, fulfilling and joyous Christmas day. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas for Christian reasons is irrelevant in my mind as the meaning of the day is the same, and it is a day that draws people together and spreads joy. Hopefully this will be something which happens for you.

Somebody is going to accuse me of jumping on my hobby horses here, but if, for whatever reason, you aren’t feeling joyous for one reason or another. Please don’t let it get to you, there are plenty of people who would love to help spread their joy to you and make your day a good one. Lifeline (phone 13 11 14 in the ACT) and the similar services would love to help you…many charities will be putting on special lunches to gather large groups of people together for a celebration and I’m sure they’d love to have you…and talkback radio will be “on the boil” all day, with hosts who would love to have a chat with you and keep you connected with others via the wireless.

Merry Christmas everybody!


December 24th, 2007 at 11:58pm

Lake Burley Griffin Closed

It’s been a while since I published one of my news bulletins for Australian Independent Radio News on here, and whilst I could easily pick one from Saturday I would much rather do something different, and instead publish a report I filed a few hours ago instead. It’s not an overly important story on a national basis, but with tomorrow being Christmas and hopefully a slow news day, there is a chance it will get a run.

Suggested intro: For the second time in just over a month Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin is closed due to health concerns. Samuel Gordon has more.

Download Link

Incidentally, this audio is not for reproduction without the express written permission of either Samuel Gordon-Stewart or Australian Independent Radio News.


December 24th, 2007 at 11:37pm

Carols Audio Fiasco

I don’t know how they managed it or why nobody has bothered to fix it, but the 2UE feed from Carols By Candlelight has been mangled quite badly this year. Everything was fine until “Ding Dong Merrily On High” when the house microphones were turned up and the main microphones seemingly turned down so that the audience participation could be heard. For some reason the arrangement has not changed since…the orchestra is clear, the choir is almost clear, and the audience is very clear…unfortunately the main program audio is an echo.

I was away from a television for most of the night so I didn’t know if this was being replicated on the Nine feed…I got home a short time ago and Nine’s feed is as clear as a bell. I do, therefore, have to wonder why 2UE did not switch over to taking audio straight from Nine’s digital television broadcast.

Normally the 2UE feed of Carols is an excellent way to enjoy the program, sadly this year is not one of them. It’s a real pity.

Good News: It’s not quite an update because I hadn’t actually published this post…but just as I was going to, somebody fixed it. Two hours after the chaos started, it’s fixed. Thank you to whoever fixed it (was it you Leigh?), I can finally listen to it without the television and know I’m actually getting the full quality of the program. Carols By Candlelight on the radio…it’s Christmas for me now!


3 comments December 24th, 2007 at 11:27pm

Steve Liebmann!

Steve LiebmannWell that’s a pleasant surprise. Steve Liebmann on 2CC’s Drive show via 2UE.

Looks like much like last year we won’t have a local drive show for a week or so, but if we have Steve Liebmann then I think it’s worth it…we’ve got local Breakfast and news anyway, so a couple good weeks of Steve Liebmann is a very nice Christmas present from 2CC’s program director Duncan McCrea (last time I checked anyway).


December 24th, 2007 at 03:20pm

The Queen’s Christmas Message

Good afternoon Glenn,

Welcome to weekdays, it's nice to hear you during the week.

I don't really take much notice of the Queen's message, I certainly wouldn't sit down to watch it, but I'll certainly check to say that she has said the usual things which is a bit of a fait acompli. She says pretty much the same thing every year, so unless she broadcasts her bank account details or launches a scathing attack on Prince Charles I don't think many people will take all that much notice.

The only thing I really remember about the various messages from Queen Elizabeth the second over the years is when her baton was late for the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the opening ceremony wasn't able to continue until it arrived. That being said, she is a lovely lady and I do agree with you that her message is one of those "stabilisers" for this crazy world in which we live.

By the way, Congratulations to Lil on getting her Driver's Licence back. That's great news, and thanks to both you and A Current Affair's Ben Fordham for helping her out.

Merry Christmas to you and all the listeners…and is that Dave I can hear counting in the program? If so, Merry Christmas Dave, it's good to hear your voice occasionally under the ads…or announcing “this will be a two minute break” straight after the news theme and weather intro which started the 12:57 ad break!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

December 24th, 2007 at 01:30pm

What will Santa bring the good doggy for Christmas?

Was that the question running through Nattie’s mind last night?

Nattie, December 23, 2007

If so, then I’m sure she is hoping for something edible.

What will Nattie get for Christmas? I’ll be sure to provide photos after she receives them.


(Yes, this was just an excuse to run a picture of Nattie…did you really see through it that quickly?)

December 24th, 2007 at 12:42pm

The child left in a Perth car

Good morning Tim,

About this poor child that died after being accidentally left in a car in Perth…I have to wonder how it is possible to accidentally forget that you have left a living human being in a motor vehicle, especially a two year old.

I can't imagine how it is possible to get out of a car and leave a two year old in it, and then drive away in a different car for an hour. To me this is just beyond comprehension.

I hope this really was an accident and the parents did just forget, because as horrible as that is, the other possibility is stomach churning.

Also I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of Isaraelu Pele. It seems to me like a case of shared blame, doctors not picking up on the symptoms, and the administrators for making the medical staff work longer and harder than they should have to. The decisions of these dedicated professionals directly affect whether people live or die…we have limits on how many hours professional drivers and pilots can work, why is it that the powers-that-be expect medical staff to work so much longer and harder than the rest of us.

As for the politicians who wouldn't even talk to the media yesterday and left it to the administrators to explain, "spineless" is about the only word for it. And the stupid statement by the administrator that "if we ran this test on every child that had symptoms of meningitis then we would be running the tests all day every day", well if we are having children turning up at hospitals vomiting blood all the time, doesn't this indicate a more serious medical problem in the wider community that deserves more action that stupid statements?

I'm sorry Tim, don't mind me, I know this email is too long for you to read in its entirety on-air, these two stories have managed to get under my skin and it is hard to stop writing.

Anyway I would like to wish you, your staff and all the listeners a fantastic Christmas and new year.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Just in case you’re wondering, the two stories I was referring to:
Toddler dead in family car, police investigate
Boy dies after being sent away from two hospitals

December 24th, 2007 at 10:00am

Meanwhile at 2UE and 2CC

A week or so ago I mentioned that Steve Price will be taking over the morning show, previously hosted by John Laws, next year. A date has now been confirmed for Pricey’s first day on the New South Wales morning show, and that is Monday January 14. This, interestingly, is one day after his 53rd birthday.

At the beginning of November I pondered a question about how long it would be until the new owners (Fairfax) stamped their authority on the news and rebranded it. It finally happened about a week ago. The “2UE Southern Cross Network News” intro is gone, replaced (oddly) by the return of Ken Sparkes to 2UE voice overs (Ken’s voiceovers stopped on January 14). The voiceover is now “2UE 954 News” which, if I’m not mistaken, is one of the old intros. Perhaps it is too close to Christmas to replace the voiceover with a new one?

The story outcue has also changed. It was “(name), Southern Cross Network News, (location)” and is now “(name), Fairfax News Network, (location)”. I’m not sure that I understand why they swapped the order of the words “news” and “network”…but so be it.

John Kerr is filling in for George and Paul on the weekend morning show for the next few weeks. He did so on the weekend that just passed as well.

As I understand it, the Christmas day and surrounds lineup is as follows:
Christmas Eve
9pm: Carols By Candlelight simulcast

Christmas Day
Midnight to 6am: Clinton Maynard
6am to Midday: John Kerr
Midday to 6pm: Glenn Wheeler
6pm to Midnight: Clive Robertson

Boxing Day:
Midnight to (5:30 or 6am?): Clinton Maynard

Update: Err, oops. Ian McRae is supposed to have one of those middawn shifts and I can’t remember which one. I’m going to take a stab and guess Christmas…I should have written it down. Oh well. End Update

Further Update: Looks like Ian McRae will have boxing day, because Clinton Maynard has Christmas middawn based on the show I’m hearing on Christmas morning as I write this update. End Update

As for how much of that 2CC will broadcast…I suspect all of it except for part of John Kerr’s show (or all of if we repeat the 2005 morning performance).

Incidentally, I recall that in 2004 Stuart Bocking hosted a show on Christmas day, and he got a permanent shift a short time thereafter…perhaps this is a good omen for Clinton Maynard.

The 27th and 28th of December are interesting dates for some 2CC and 2UE staff for various reasons. More on that on the specific days. The 11th of January is also an interesting day in Canberra, details either later this week or early next week.

There are a few people who I doubt I will be able to get in contact with at 2UE between now and the end of Christmas day, so to Kate, Ally, Heidi and Abe, Merry Christmas.

Also Merry Christmas to Michael from 2CC’s production department. I’m not entirely sure how you missed out on a Christmas card, it’s probably a bit late for me to deliver one now, so I hope this will do.

It’s amazing how much news you can find lurking in radio stations when you take a look.


December 24th, 2007 at 09:42am

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

You may have noticed that I didn’t run a Musician(s) Of The Week award last week or yesterday. I did this so that I could save them up for today and tomorrow.

Today’s award goes to Chris Rea, the feature song is one which annoyed me to the point of switching it off when I first heard it, but has grown on me since, and I now think it is a great song. It’s “Driving Home For Christmas”.

I’m drivin’ home for Christmas
Oh, I can’t wait to see those faces
I’m drivin’ home for Christmas, yea
Well I’m movin’ down that line
And it’s been so long
But I will be there
I sing this song
To pass the time away
Drivin’ in my car
Drivin’ home for Christmas

It’s gonna take some time
But I’ll get there
Top to toe in tailbacks
Oh, I got red lights all around
But soon there’ll be a freeway, yea
Get my feet on holy ground

So I sing for you
Though you can’t hear me
When I get through
And feel you near me
(Drivin’ in my car)
I’m drivin’ home for Christmas
Drivin’ home for Christmas
With a thousand memories

I take look at the driver next to me
He’s just the same
Just the same

Top to toe in tailbacks
Oh, I got red lights all around
I’m driving home for Christmas, yea
Get my feet on holy ground
So I sing for you
Though you can’t hear me
When I get through
Oh and feel you near me
Drivin’ in my car
Drivin’ home for Christmas
Drivin’ home for Christmas
With a thousand memories

I take look at the driver next to me
He’s just the same
He’s drivin’ home
Drivin’ home
Drivin’ home for Christmas
Drivin’ home for Christmas


December 24th, 2007 at 06:07am

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