Macquarie Sports Radio

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Yep, pretty much. I’m fully expecting some form of relaunch after the football season(s) wrap up for the year.

…although unfortunately, I somehow doubt that even the ex-Talking Lifestyle listeners (let alone all the ex-2UE listeners who’ve probably long gone off to the ABC or music stations) will return to a relaunched 2UE now.

Talking Lifestyle only fared better in Sydney because a few former 2UE presenters and programs (such as Breakfast with John Stanley & Gary Linnell, Saturday Night Live with Pete Graham and Sharina’s Psychic Encounters on Sunday nights) continued after the relaunch. Now all those are gone, you’d have to do something extremely impressive backed up by a multi-media promotional campaign to get Sydney listening to 954AM again. Even then, I doubt MRN will bother because that would mean potentially splitting 2GB listeners!


And let’s not forget it was only a matter of months back that 954AM was still Number One on the weekends with George & Paul.



I wonder if Macquarie will take inspiration from SEN and turn the stations into 2GB+, 3AW+ and 4BC+ just with different ads and traffic, and repeats after midday.


Agree re MEL and BNE, the problem with Sydney is that such a format isn’t sustainable in just Sydney, so they’ve spread the cost to MEL and BNE.

However, they may have to do this in reverse so that MEL and BNE can be profitable music stations and effectively subsidise the cost of the Sydney format, until 2UE can take on 2CH / Smooth with an easy listening format, which would have to be cheaper than talk.


i had 4bc on during the leadrtship issues last week (listneing to the RWNJ’s explode was great entertainment) and they were advertisng the cricket on MSR. might be contactual issues with not broadcvasting cricket…


There’s barely enough room in the marketplace for both 2CH and Smooth 95.3 (not to mention all the “chill out” DAB+ only stations) without there being a third “easy listening” formatted music station IMO.

I presume the cricket (and other sports broadcasts MRN are contractually obliged to air) could continue if Macquarie Sports Radio was to have a format change, but haven’t really looked into things too much.


Triple M , SWR , HHH fm all have sport. I am starting to listen to more community these days ;). Maybe thats why the “other station” is going up.

If 2ue close the gap between MMM/2CH/WS/Smooth. There is a lot of music not being played from 60s to the 90s. They can still do sports coverage. I repeated myself a few times :). Sorry guys.


Or maybe a “Forever Classic” or 4KQ format.


A 4KQ format would probably be the best bet for Sydney, and definitely for Melbourne.


I personally think that if 954AM is to be switched to a music format (with some sports coverage), it needs to be something that other stations in the Sydney market aren’t already doing. Classic Rock (similar to what 95.3 had pre-Smooth) maybe? Or a “jukebox” type format focusing on tracks from the 50s to the 70s?

Either way, people are unlikely to regularly tune into a poor “imitation” of WSFM or Smooth because they’ll go for the real thing any day of the week - remember that 2DayFM and 2CH! :wink:


That’s why the KQ format would probably work. It is classic hits but borders on classic rock a lot of the time. They definitely sound harder than 2CH or Smooth and thus a point of difference. Lots of 60s and 70s too but the biggest difference is the classic rock leaning. For instance in the last couple of hours they’ve played Meatloaf, CCR, Doors (Riders on the Storm), Angels (Am I ever gonna see your face) and Rose Tattoo (Bad Boy For Love). They mix these harder rock songs in with the more typical classic hits.


My gut feel is that they will hang in with the Sports Radio format past the end of the NRL season possibly to early December. My preferred format is a return of Talking Lifestyle minus the awful segments (and there were a lot of them) with some Sport content. Alternatively, as I have mentioned before, a nostalgia format playing the 2UE Top 40 from the 60s until they stopped with perhaps some later music mixed in. It could almost be totally automated similar to Carolina Classic Hits which can be automated for months in advance. Just my two bobs worth.


They won’t do anything until at least mid-February (ie; after the BBL season finishes) due to all the cricket that MSR will be airing across Summer


So the cricket is expected to lift their ratings from close to zero? What if it doesn’t? Will they still broadcast it if nobody is listening?


Is the tag that suits MRN for all uses.

Sad listening indeed. Broadcasters of limited appeal to the wider population, granted they are popular in a niche have influenced a leadership change and more’s the fool of the politicians who listened to them.


With these ratings results, I can’t see cricket coverage working any worse within a music format. Sure the “summer of cricket” is coming but so is the best time of year to launch into a music format.

When I was a young lad (well it is a whole generation ago now :slight_smile: you had a particularly successful promotion on radio called “the classic hits of summer” on 2UW, 2CC and 3TT (the Albert stations, two of which went on to be part of ARN). That promotion, which included the type of jingles you simply don’t get in boring 2018, lifted 3TT’s ratings by nearly double and the summer factor would have been at least partly the reason.

The playlist on those stations back then is very much what 4KQ in Brisbane and Cruise in Adelaide still play and I think everyone here understands it’s the obvious era of music and the right tempo for this format to be taken back into Sydney and Melbourne.

Such a station does fill a gap in Melbourne so long as they’re bold enough to launch a fresh brand (this isn’t an endorsement to revert to Magic - which was a declining brand, however much the failed formats since only made things worse).

Due to the idiotic discarding of heritage call-signs during the 90s (with the long-standing 3AW, still at the top, being evidence enough of how much of modern day branding is relatively ill disciplined), it’s a struggle to name this prospective station. I previously suggested BIG 1278 (3BG) as a suggested restoration of that old time call-signing. An overarching network brand like “Good Time Oldies” (similar to “Forever Classic” of the Capital network stations) would enable a relaunched Sydney station to simply go back to being 2UE 954 (example: Good Time Oldies 2UE 954)

Now it’s obvious Macquarie Sports Radio has done nothing more than menace 2UE’s good name, the sports format possibly faces the axe altogether and almost no one will notice. But as they’ve successfully (enough) got 2GB rating about the same as 3AW does in Melbourne, don’t expect a talking 2UE to return (although hopefully this will not be a robotic station and they’ll put some personality into the morning/afternoon commutes).

Also expect this misfit network of 882, 954 and 1278 to continue, whatever the format. And don’t expect much tailoring to individual markets (except maybe the restoration of 2UE and 4BH call-signs)


I wonder if Macquire did any research on what listerners want before they changed the format of Talking Lifestyle to Sports Radio?

I dont think so


Definitely agree with those comments, especially the branding aspect. I also agree the Magic brand is not the answer. It was on the downward trend in Melbourne and never gained any traction in Brisbane at all.


I don’t even think MML did any research before launching a ‘first in Australia’ with Talking Lifestyle.


the problem is that they are trying to be all things to all sports fans.

all sports radio can work - look at ESPN in the USA.

the issue is that they saw a sagging network and made a panic change without looking at each market - almost no one north of the barassi line cares about AFL (at least in the numbers needed to support an all sport station) and the probelm is reversed on the south.

they need to cut the network between melbourne and the other states and have sydney and brisbane networked (if they have to network any stations).

than they may have a fighting chance