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2AY drop Hinch and Bocking

2AY Albury/Wodonga have dropped the Derryn Hinch drive show and the Stuart Bocking evening show in favour of local music programming.

ACE Radio CEO Stephen Everett says the move is based on market research. He told RadioInfo:

The subtle change was in response to our own market research that has been most favourable since our move towards more music in the afternoon.

However I’m not convinced that this is the case. I think that this has much more to do with Fairfax’s ongoing satellite issues which, amongst other things, mean that Derryn Hinch’s show and Sports Today are not available on the satellite and must be taken off a webstream [1], meaning that they not only do not time out to the top of the hour properly, but also can not be automated and require a panel operator.

And this is just the known issues with Fairfax’s satellite distribution while they wait for a part to arrive from Israel. The last time I was in Deniliquin, Fairfax replaced, mid-show and for no apparent reason, 3AW’s Nightline with the Stuart Bocking show.

If you ask me, this has everything to do with Fairfax’s satellite issues, and minimal, if anything at all, to do with market research.

The local paper, The Border Mail, have jumped on the chance [2] to do the typical “local paper bashes local radio station” act, citing listener outrage that Hinch and Bocking, along with weekend news, has been dumped.

I also note the absence of the Steve Price hour which 2AY used to run. Cost cutting and dumping dodgy satellite programming all in one move. It will be interesting to see how the audience reacts from here on.