Um, where? FlashForward tonight 8:30 on Seven

Alan Jones is back

September 28th, 2009 at 10:50am

And Jason Morrison is on leave this week.

Alan has returned after two months of sick leave, and a report in The Australian today quotes Alan as saying that he is negotiating a four-day work week for next year, to help him lighten his load, which is partially seen as the reason for his extended illness.

It’s great to see that Alan is back and taking some steps to protect his health, but I have two questions. Firstly, given the amount of time Alan has had to take off this year, will he work through the summer non-ratings period? Secondly, and more importantly, what will competing stations do next year to program against the Jones-free day?

Alan not working on a weekday gives other stations a golden opportunity to see what does and doesn’t work in a Jones-free environment over an extended period, and over at 2UE, that’s something they will surely relish. The very interesting possibility is that if a station can come up with a format that works, people might just stay for the other four days of the week, and it gives stations a practical trial period before the free-for-all which will occur when Jones comes off contract, which is currently slated for the end of 2013.

That said, 2GB would be well-aware of this, and would be planning to have their own strong non-Jones programming on his off day. One wonders if 2GB may adopt a 4/3 approach to breakfast radio, putting together a news-focussed breakfast show for the three days of the week (including the weekend) that Jones isn’t on-air. Currently, news-focussed breakfast programming is noticeably absent from weekends, and in many ways it is simply not viable to put the required resources in to such a show if it only airs two days per week…but if it airs for three days per week, it might not only be viable, but hold the Friday audience over the weekend. It would also allow 2GB to use the weekend host as a fill-in for Jones, rather than poaching a presenter from their regular weekday shift.

It’s just a thought…but if I were in charge at 2GB, it’s what I would be doing if and when Jones drops back to four days per week.

Regardless of what happens, it’s great to have Alan back on the air, and I’m looking forward to what stations come up with in the coming few years.


Entry Filed under: TV/Radio/Media

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