Macquarie Sports Radio

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Well as Yazz would say , the only way is up…(at least in Melbourne)


Nah. I think 0.2 in Melbourne is their high water mark.


According tio ray Hadley Richard callender is in talks with managnert at Macqtarie media limited ti ne part of MacQuarie Sports Radio SYDBEY & Brisbane Breakfast in 219.
is any other channel nine sporting talent in Ttalks with Russell tate & adam lang to be part of MacQtarue Sports Radio as regulars of fill ins?
We know David Schawarz and Mark Allen are already signed for 2 more years with MacQuarie Sports Radio.


That makes no sense at all.


The ratings results out for one last time this year and it’s a final reflection on the station that started the year as Talking Lifestyle, with no apparent indication it was going to change format.

I wish it hadn’t. I personally thought Talking Lifestyle, although a flawed concept, was producing a tonne of great talk radio and so long as it maintained a sufficient cumulative audience in Sydney, it could have been morphed into some other format.

I am from Melbourne, I don’t listen to this station anymore, Even the closest thing it had to exclusive content such as covering NRL Storm games, wasn’t enough to attract my time.

Given the latest ratings finally had 1278 AM hitting the ratings Tarmac in three time slots (and although 3AK was once dubbed “Radio Titanic”’ it never sank low enough to touch this Tarmac of a ratings asterisk) it’s reasonable to conclude this format experiment isn’t going anywhere. It needs another format yet probably won’t get one because of an entanglement of (I) contracts with talent that must be honoured and (ii) an ingrained determination by Macquarie that this particular set of stations be networked 24/7 in at least one form or another (a determination that has spanned three formats - including the closing years of Magic - which assisted with Magic’s decline, hence the justification for first changing format.

Perhaps most wounding for 1278 AM is that it hits the Tarmac precisely as Smooth FM soars to its highest ratings ever, The last time one station simply handed over its audience to another was in the mid 80’s (3AK gifted its entire branding and audience to 3MP in almost one survey period alone) . It goes to show the person missing from the boardroom meetings at Macquarie would have been a radio historian.

It’s worth noting that Macquarie Sports Radio did experience it’s first ratings boost in Sydney. It makes sense that at least some of claim that we are a sports loving nation would be true to justify this format. Besides, Macquarie Sports are exclusively covering the commercial cricket call in Sydney. Surely some Upswing will be recorded in the ratings.

But Melbourne has SEN covering just about everything Macquarie can do to its best ability. The only difference is that (I) SEN owns ‘Sports talk’ in the mind of the listener and MSR is obviously the also-ran in what’s not even a race (ii) SEN cover more live sport to ensure the ratings status quo remains and (iii) SEN are trying to put the most maximum squeeze they can on Macquarie by launching a supplementary service on 1377 AM that ensures Macquarie’s task is conducted in a noisy environment.

Therefore, an upswing in the Sydney ratings for MSR masks the ratings Despair at 1278 in Melbourne, while any ratings boost 1278 AM does get from covering the cricket (though I doubt it will happen because of SEN) will further mask the problem with this format.

It should also be noted 4BC continues its struggle to climb the ratings ladder, which includes a credible number one ranking with listeners 65+. But even if there remains a case for Sydney having an MSR, I have expressed my opinion all year that 4BC could easily be Amalgamation of both Macquarie Sydney formats given it’s almost entirely a network feed anyway. This would allow 4BH to be inspired by the the “smooth” revival and revert to chasing over 40s and particularly attract a female listener base.

Another thing we could not have predicted with certainty at the start of 2018 is that Nine Entertainment would own the majority of this station by end of year. So would there have been a change of format, the exiting of old talent and audience and the signing of contracts that entrench low ratings if Macquarie had known that would happen?

Even the name - Macquarie Sports Radio - indicates the corporate mindset that underpins this station now - so removed from the core skillset of either building a radio station from the ground-up or managing the heritage of a nearly 100 year brand like 2UE.

I think I’m done with commenting about this situation. From here, A couple more survey books will come and go and this will firm whether or not I’ve been correct in my analysis. Especially beyond the cricket season, I think the point has been made and there’s nothing new to say.

Format selection ends with simple observation. That’s what happened to Vega, which tied itself in knots of complexity before settling with Smooth FM. Many observers on this page, not just me, have conceded the situation in Sydney is not so clear, but in Brisbane it’s obvious a smooth-like format should be tried,while in Melbourne an up-tempo oldies station is worth the go, not unlike 4KQ or 2CA.


I wonder if Nova would be interested in buying the 4BH licence if it was for sale?


As long as Nova sells 50% of 97.3FM to ARN, that could happen.


But Nova only owns half of one station in Brisbane, so they can buy a second.


Unfortunately for MSR, the cricket is in the non-ratings season, so the only ratings impact it may have is if any new listeners decide to stick around.

They have two. 100% of Nova 106.9 and 50% of 97.3

Probably not. 100% profits from 4BH would almost certainly be less than 50% of 97.3


Of course! Sorry.


With all due respect Jason why would any sports commentator on Channel 9 or 2GB want to work at MSR?

Would Graham Ross want to cohost a show with Don Burke?

Or next year will Channel 10 ask Andrew Broad to be The Bachelor?

In the same way I don’t think people in the industry believe that working at MSR will ever pump up a CV.


For obvious reasons, I’m pretty sure nobody would want to co-host a show with Don Burke these days…


No they own 1.5 stations in Brisbane.

Nova 106.9 and half of 97.3

I would love them to launch Smooth 882 though.

It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of the Brisbane LAP review in early 2019. Nova would surely love to launch Smooth on FM in Brisbane, and Perth.


Smooth is the hottest brand in radio Soft AC is the Hottest format in the USA atm with Philadelphia & Sacramento recently launching with The Breeze & a lot of other centres & into Canada will be using The Breeze Soft AC format.
Yes there’s a major gap in the market in Brisbane for smooth. could 97.3 relaunch as Smooth 97.3 yes it’s part owned by ARN, Nova Entertainment.
But with 97.3 on a downward spiral what is there to lose ?




Yes I’ve always said 97.3 needs to “smoothify” a little. They could still skew a little younger than Smooth in Sydney and Melbourne but still head more soft AC. Their current format is awful. I doubt ARN would have the balls or the smarts to do a full relaunch as Smooth 97.3 but if they did IMO they’d be a clear No 1. As an aside when Vega launched in Sydney and Melbourne they did in fact register the domain for Vega 97.3


MSR will not go down in history the same way that Vega or Magic 11 have been recorded.

MSR will go down in history the same way that 2UE’s transformation into CBC has gone down. And if your asking what CBC refers to - then I have made a fair point.

Apart from a few random mentions on the internet - CBC is all but forgotten…but it was an interesting couple of hours.

Radio History

My view, I would consider to have a SWR style format.
Have from the 60s to today music format. Have local breakfast shows bring back 2ue, 4bh and 3ee. Allow each dj have some control of the music. In Sydney have Busco style breakfast show with sports updates. Bring back classic nine at nine and play music. Maybe a lunchtime requests show. Then bring back sports today 6pm to 8pm. Have an awesome 80s show (similar to SWR) between 8pm to 10pm. After 10pm bring back Mike Jefferies or Spoonman to have a talkback show to say 1pm or so. Still broadcast all cricket (dont use NTS), move all nrl to 2ue.



Slightly off topic but what do you think of the Rugby League and sport coverage on SWR?


Enjoyed RoCo radio tonight before the BBL. Believe it was only on 1278 though, not all the Network.