Border surveillance “effective”: just not by the dictionary definition Mike Jeffreys breaks his silence

Mike Jeffreys and 2CC Parton ways

April 26th, 2009 at 08:13pm

The shock has worn off, but the disbelief hasn’t. 2CC have apparently fired breakfast host Mike Jeffreys. I say “apparently” because the actual mode of Jeffreys’ departure (be it dismissal, redundancy, quit) are not known, although given his rapid disappearance from the 2CC website (his profile, listing in the schedule and his podcasts are gone, although they haven’t deleted all of his photos yet…I did have to dig a bit to find them though), dismissal is the most likely option.

Update: I can now confirm independently of The Canberra Times that Mike was fired. The importance of verifying this independently of said newspaper is that the CT have had an axe to grind against Jeffreys for some time now, and I have to take anything which they say about Jeffreys with a grain of salt. End Update

The rumour circulating at the moment is that Mark Parton is taking over as breakfast host, although I can’t confirm it as tomorrow is a public holiday and Mike is therefore expectedly absent from the lineup.

Update: And now I can confirm it. Mark arranged an interview with Michael Linke from the RSPCA via Twitter. 6:50am Tuesday requested and agreed to. I also note Mark’s casual reference to Saturday’s Canberra Times, but a clear absence of any mention of the story about Mike Jeffreys which was in that paper. I think I need to go and wash my hands in bleach after linking to Twitter that many times. End Update

The rumour does make sense though, as 2CC have just bought the rights to the satirical series “How Green Was My Cactus” which used to air on Mark Parton’s old stomping ground, Mix 106.3…and quite frankly, I can’t imagine Mike Jeffreys allowing such an interruption to his show multiple times per morning.

As for why Mike and 2CC are separating, RiotACT are speculating that it’s to do with the recent defamation action against 2CC and Mike Jeffreys by (the now late) Koomarri CEO Margaret Spalding. (Personally, having listened to the broadcast in question, I think Mike’s comments were not defamatory, and were a reasonably held opinion backed up by a number of facts, but I’m not a lawyer). I doubt that the defamation action is the sole reason for Mike’s departure, especially considering that talk stations often receive defamation lawsuits…it’s just that most aren’t publicly well-known.

The rumours abound that certain senior staff at the station are not exactly best friends with Jeffreys, so I would be more inclined to believe that it’s a combination of the recent ratings result in which 2CC ranked second last in the listed stations and the publicity surrounding the defamation case, giving some people a good excuse to get rid of somebody they don’t particularly like. Obviously this is only a theory, but without further information, it’s the only logical conclusion I can draw.

So, what now for 2CC? Well if previously leaked information about Mike’s ratings are anything to go by, this is probably not the best time to let him go. Mike has traditionally rated pretty well for the station, even if the station overall has not. I struggle to see how 2CC can hold its breakfast share in the short term and I now expect the next survey to see another fall for 2CC, possibly far enough to put them in last place. This isn’t to say that Mark Parton can’t make his way in the timeslot…I’m sure that over time he will grow an audience of his own, but if I had to choose a replacement breakfast host it would be Mike Welsh, not Mark Parton, and I have a very good reason for this.

I am yet to see proof of Mark’s aggressive streak, he’s a “nice guy” of radio who can launch the occasional necessary tirade, but just doesn’t strike me as being aggressive enough to keep the local politicians in check. Welshie on the other hand has a good track record doing just that, and in my opinion would shed less of the existing Jeffreys audience than Parton. Don’t get me wrong…I like Mark, he’s a nice guy and he did a great job filling the 9am-midday shift over Christmas/New Year, but I don’t think he is the right person for a hard-hitting breakfast show.

Mike Jeffreys is THE strong conservative voice of Canberra Radio in the morning, and I think this has been one of their main draw cards. As far as I’m concerned, Canberra no longer has a strong conservative voice in the morning. In the long term this could prove to be a good thing for 2CC as this is a fairly left-wing town, but that will only work if they drop a lot of the 2UE programming…a move which would be a disaster for the conservative movement in Canberra, and would require a lot of rebranding and reworking of 2CC program lineup.

As for Mike Jeffreys, I’ll miss him. I’ve been listening to him for six years and he is, in my view, one of the best talk hosts in the country. I only hope that he resurfaces on radio soon…and perhaps with Alan Jones dropping back to part time next year, there may be a slot for him up at 2GB. In the meantime, I hope he starts updating his website again.

Also I should note that Mike Welsh is the only remaining person in the timeslot listed on the poster I made in 2005 for my school bag. For this reason, Welshie will be getting a signed copy of said poster.
2CC Poster from 2005

I should also mention that I am now undecided as to what I will be listening to in the morning. As I said earlier, I like Mark, but without meaning to offend him in any way, I would probably prefer to listen to Alan Jones on 2GB Sydney or Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin (depending on timezone differences) on KXNT Las Vegas or James Scott on 1WAY FM Canberra at that time of day. I will give Mark a go though.

Update: I forgot to mention that “The Best of Mike Jeffreys” aired as usual between 6am and 7am today. If I had been thinking I would have recorded it like I did with the final “Best of John Laws”…I suppose I can always buy it from Media Monitors. End Update


Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories,TV/Radio/Media

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  • 1. gungahlin  |  April 26th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks for the update Samuel. I couldn’t agree more with your comments – I’m still in shock after reading the Canberra Times story on Saturday.

    I have listened to Mike Jeffreys even since he joined 2CC (on the Drive Show). Canberra Radio has lost a great presenter and it makes me quite mad to think he was sacked after all he has done for 2CC.

    Like you, I’m left to ponder ‘what now?’ – I guess I will still listen to 2CC but it certainly won’t be the same without Mike.

    Mike (if you happen to be reading this) – all the best for the future and I hope to hear you on the air again soon. Thanks for many years of fine broadcasting.

    Darren Giles

  • 2. Samuel  |  April 26th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    No worries Darren, it’s nice to hear from you again despite the circumstances.

    I’m not sure that it [Mike’s departure] has actually sunk in for me yet. It probably will when Mike isn’t on the radio on Tuesday. Still, the memories will last.

    I’ve already given up on weekend mornings and Tim Webster’s endless parade of “experts” (I liked Tim’s show when it started…it’s devolved since then, especially this year)…although admittedly when it comes to talk radio in Canberra, I still think 2CC is a mile ahead of the rest.

    Incidentally, I missed the Canberra Times on Saturday…do you have a copy of the article Darren? I’ll send you an email about this.

  • 3. Jamie  |  April 27th, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Pity that Mike’s gone but Samuel do you want to host the show?

  • 4. Samuel  |  April 27th, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Haha, sure Jamie, of course (although I’d probably say that about any talk shift)…but after my near-thousand word rant above, do you think I have a snowball’s chance in hell of even being considered for the job?

    I’d rate the odds of it happening somewhere in the realm of winning the lottery without a ticket.

  • 5. Brett  |  April 27th, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I used to listen to Mike Jeffreys when I lived in Sydney in the 80’s. From memory he was on 2gb and the ABC. It was a pleasant surprise when I moved to Canberra in the late 90’s and encountered his dulcet tones on the radio again.

    Canberra radio will be a shadow of its former self for not having Jeffreys on air. What I will really miss is the discussion of local issues. Mike had an ability to cut to the chase. He wouldn’t readily accept the spin that local political and commercial figures trotted out to other media organisations -usually unchallenged.

    I think it’s back to listening to Newsradio on the way to work.

  • 6. Samuel  |  April 28th, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I’m losing count of the number of people who told me that they are flicking to the ABC or music stations now that Jeffreys is gone.

    I have the radio turned off at the moment…I’m considering tuning in to Chris Smith on 2GB until I have to go out in an hour or so, at which time I’ll get out the iPod and listen to this morning’s Rush Limbaugh show. I can’t bring myself to listen to local radio in the morning at the moment. Just can’t do it.

  • 7. davky  |  April 28th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I hate to go against the grain on this one… but I already listen to Newsradio in the mornings – I couldn’t stand Jeffreys (too slow, too pompous for my tastes)

    It is sad that Canberra no longer has a pompous conservative wannabe-Machiavelli on radio (and I actually mean this sincerely). The more diversity we have, the better.

    I agree that Parton will water the show down a bit and occasionally attempt a rant. But I will certainly give him a listen.

  • 8. puppydoug  |  April 29th, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    If 2CC expect better ratings now that they’ve boned the only decent talkback guy in town (and YES, I definitely include 666 2CN here) they’ve gotta be kidding! I filled in for Jefferys a few times a year or two back and found that their audience is sooo small that it’s incredibly difficult to elicit interesting, intelligent or amusing calls. If it’s ratings 2CC want, it’s simple: wait until digital radio comes to town and implement a decent Easy Listening format. No one is doing it, it’s inexpensive to run and the most docile announcers in the world will sound at home on it. Mark P. would fit in there just fine!

  • 9. Samuel  |  April 30th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Davky, I understand where you are coming from as I can understand how (albeit respectfully disagree) people can see Jeffreys as pompous or speaking too slowly.

    I’m with you on the diversity bit. I, for example, can’t stand the two blokes who host breakfast on FM 104.7, but they appeal to a certain market and choice is a good thing…I respect their right to broadcast and I welcome their presence on the radio.

    puppydoug, if you’re who I think you are, I remember you filling in on 2CC (I was going to give you a plug on here at the time with a photo of you from Wayne Mac’s book) and I think you are one of the better talk hosts I’ve heard in recent times.

    You’re not the first ex-2CC presenter this week to suggest that they implement an easy listening format. If my predictions for their ratings are accurate, I wonder if this is exactly what they will do. If so, I think they’d be better off with the typical “part talk part music” format of many regional commercial stations.

    Time will tell.

  • 10. Steady Eddie  |  April 30th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    2CC will be able to have their current format plus an easy listening music format plus another talk station where they can provide 2UE’s programs (including George and Paul) during the football telecasts. When digital radio comes in each station will be given two supplementary licences so 2CC will be able to cater for everybody.

  • 11. Samuel  |  May 1st, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I must have missed that memo Steady Eddie. Good to know, thanks 🙂

  • 12. bambam  |  May 1st, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Good on you for exposing this as as I do not read canberra times, I thought Mike was on holidays and was bemoaning his abcence this morning hoping Mike would be back monday. I am really astounded that some manager could think Mark Parton can fill Mike,s position in this slot. The calibre of announcer on 2CC is really falling, with Tim Webster proving to only be a news reader and not measuring up with any kind of editorial comment, just sensationalist rubbish and blan fence sitting. But as one person has said already, Mark sounds like a really nice guy as does tim too bad its talk back. Maybe they can create a new show called Mark and Tim in the morning and they can replay bits of interviews they have already done two days ago with someone really controvercial like say may be a blank refrigerater door or some paint that was dryng, just to fill in time. Then they could have chef come on with some really good recepie,s for watercress sandwiches and celery juice. I think 2cc have found them selves halfway through the V8 supercar season with a garage full of toyota prius’, good luck with that.Internet streaming of 2gb loks good from here! All the best to Mike where ever you end up.


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