Archive for December 14th, 2011

McDonald not as unhealthy as is often claimed

I sent this email to 2UE’s John Kerr in the wee hours of Sunday morning

Hi John,

I’m at work at the moment, so I can’t call, but I’m enjoying listening anyway.

I just heard your comments about McDonald’s and I have to agree. Apart from having a decent product, the stores are all locally owned and provide employment for a huge number of people across the country, and not all of them are kids either. It’s a success story of the free market, providing services that people want, need and desire, and thriving as a result.

McDonald’s gets blasted for being unhealthy, and you might remember the so-called documentary a few years back “super size me”. Well multiple independent studies have followed the methods employed by that film to discredit McDonald’s and, to their surprise, the participants not only lost weight, but were deemed to be healthier by their doctors. I don’t endorse living entirely off McDonald’s food, but in moderation it’s fine.

A friend of mine, Casey Hendrickson, who hosts a breakfast radio program in Indiana, put together a video about the studies in to McDonald’s called “Using Their McSmarts”. It’s on YouTube at if you’re interested.

Changing subject, when you speak to Derek Dryden next, could you please say thanks to him from me. I ordered a book through his website a couple weeks ago. The book is out if print and was probably never sold in Australia. One if his staff, Kate, was able to track down the publisher and order a reprint for me. It should arrive in a few weeks. Fantastic service. Derek and his staff deserve a big thanks.

Have a wonderful week John!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

For your convenience, here is the video to which I referred:

Also if you are wondering, the book which I ordered from Derek Dryden’s Better Read Than Dead is radio host Mark Levin‘s “Men In Black” which is about judges overstepping their authority. Amazon has used copies for sale, but Derek’s people were able to order a reprint which is preferable in my view. The book is topical today given that a judge in New South Wales is pushing for the abandonment of jury trials…again. The day we let the elites strip us of our right to a jury of our peers is the day that we can say goodbye to a civil society.


December 14th, 2011 at 01:45pm

Canada does what we should have done years ago

This has been coming for a while, but it’s official now.

Canada will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the minister of the environment has said.

Peter Kent said the protocol “does not represent a way forward for Canada” and the country would face crippling fines for failing to meet its targets.
He said meeting Canada’s obligations under Kyoto would cost $13.6bn (10.3bn euros; £8.7bn): “That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family – that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent Liberal government”.

(h/t BBC News)

It should be noted that “Liberal government” in Canada means left-wing as their Liberal Party is somewhere in the realm of our Labor Party.

Canada has seen through the folly of man-made global warming. They embraced a conservative government which promised to not introduce an emissions trading scheme, and now they are opting out of economically destructive things like the Kyoto protocol which will do nothing to help the environment.

It’s about time that we followed suit…although seeing as our federal government is touting the same factually-inaccurate line as the BBC article that “a last-minute deal on climate change was agreed in Durban” when in fact what happened was that countries agreed to keep talking until 2015 with the aim of possibly having something set up by 2020, with the optional involvement of China and India in the talks, I think we’re going to need a change of government before we start to see any sanity in government climate policies in this country.


December 14th, 2011 at 11:28am

The MTR cutbacks reach critical mass

A month or so back the rumours of impending cutbacks at Melbourne’s newest talkback radio station MTR1377 started to come true when overnight news bulletins started to be relayed from 2GB in Sydney rather than being locally produced. Local night programming was also dropped in favour of a straight relay from 2GB with local commercials. It all seemed to be happening slowly, and with Program Director and Breakfast host Steve Price adamant that rumours of the station’s local programs’ impending demise were false, it was hard to escape the conclusion that Steve Price had some hand in preventing Macquarie Radio executives from wielding the axe.

It came as no surprise yesterday then, now that Steve Price is on holidays, when it was announced that the entire news room at MTR has been sacked, and little surprise today when it was revealed that Steve Vizard’s morning show will be axed when Vizard goes on holidays at the end of the week, to be replaced by 2GB’s Ray Hadley Morning Show. As Jock’s Journal reports:

A close source has revealed that Steve Vizard will be finishing up at MTR 1377 on Friday. The only live shows from Melbourne on MTR will be breakfast and drive, everything else will come out of Sydney. Most of the newsroom staff who were made redundant have already moved on to new jobs. Melissa Polimeni, Allison Wallace and Matt Thompson have been hired by SEN, who will now provide their own news service. Ashleigh Brown had already quit and is starting at 3AW in January. No word on the future moves of Christie Kerr or Ben Radisich.

It should be noted that Christie Kerr was still on the air on MTR this morning, although the sound quality was different to yesterday, almost as if she was working in a different studio or pre-recording her appearances.

It is interesting that SEN, the Pacific Star owned and operated station, has hired some of the journalists from MTR, the Pacific Star & Macquarie Radio joint venture station. MTR is likely to get the long-promised upgrade to its transmitter that Macquarie have long-claimed will make the station more profitable (or perhaps “less unprofitable” would be the right terminology) and so I have to wonder if MTR will at some stage run a small local news bulletin before or after 2GB’s news, utilising the resources of the SEN newsroom?

At the moment there is no word about the future of MTR’s weekend afternoon program with Glenn Ridge. I would be a tad surprised if it gets axed as 2GB’s weekend afternoon programming, not so much in summer but especially in winter, is very NRL-centric and MTR currently provides an alternative to the AFL on almost every other talk station in Melbourne. It might be an idea for MTR to carry NRL matches from 2GB as SEN is busy with AFL at that time, but the hours of NRL discussion would be too much for Melbourne.

What I do hope is that with the cost cutting now, once the transmitter upgrades have been completed, Macquarie and Pacific Star are willing to give MTR another shot with Melbourne-based programming, during the day at least. Taking Ray Hadley’s morning show would be preferable to taking Chris Smith’s afternoon show as Hadley’s show is the stronger news-based program in my view and would provide a decent alternative to Neil Mitchell on 3AW, plus Hadley’s show ends at 11am on network stations and MTR could easily run a locally-based show from 11am (or 12 if they decided to carry Alan Jones Highlights at 11). The afternoon is probably a better time for a local show than the morning, especially if you’re trying to carve out a point of difference to 3AW who have a very strong local morning show and a not-so-strong and not-particularly-newsy afternoon program.

It is sad to see MTR go through this, and I do have to wonder what Steve Price thinks about these changes being made while he is away, but I do hope that at the end of the process, MTR can return with a refined product which might be more competitive in the Melbourne market. They won’t beat 3AW any time soon, but they might at least be able to gain a few ratings points and reach a point where they are commercially viable.


2 comments December 14th, 2011 at 10:11am

Conder and Banks to go without television for about a week

As part of the changeover to digital television, the southern Canberra suburbs of Conder and Banks will have analogue television switched off today. These two suburbs are, for the most part, unable to receive television transmissions from Tuggeranong Hill clearly and instead utilise a small relay transmitter at the back of Banks.

Reception and Transmission antennas at the Banks transmitter siteThe transmitter, which is located within the compound of the water tank on the hill behind Orange Thorn Crescent, receives transmissions from Tuggeranong Hill and then retransmits them across the area which is in the shadow of Tuggeranong Hill. The transmitter site is not large enough to accommodate analogue and digital transmission equipment at the same time, so the analogue equipment has to be removed before the digital equipment can be installed. According to workmen who were on-site yesterday, this should take about a week.

The transmitter at the back of BanksSome residents in Conder and Banks are able to receive transmissions from Tuggeranong Hill, especially those which are closer to the relay station than to Tuggeranong Hill, as they are in an elevated position which is not in the shadow of the transmitter site. Others in the valley put their antennas on large polls to receive signals from Tuggeranong Hill. It is interesting looking at some parts of Banks and Conder and seeing almost every house have an antenna which is pointing in a different direction to the antenna of their neighbour, especially in areas where reception from the Banks Water Tank would be clearer but people have gone to the extra effort to try and receive digital signals from Tuggeranong Hill. The people who use the Banks transmitter may very well decide to try and get a signal off Tuggeranong Hill when they turn on their TV this evening and find that they are no longer receiving a signal.

By the middle of next week, when the upgrades at the Banks transmitter site are completed, digital television reception in Conder and Banks should be greatly improved.

The rest of Canberra is due to have analogue television switched off on the 5th of June next year and will not have to do without television when that happens, as the rest of Canberra’s transmitter sites are large enough to accomodate analogue and digital transmission equipment at the same time, and have been running the services in parallel for a number of years.


December 14th, 2011 at 06:59am


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