17 December, 2014. 16:30
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
STAFF AT SYDNEY radio station 2UE are growing weary of being confused with rival broadcaster 2GB.
In what’s become a daily occurrence, the team at 2UE have to continually endure the eternal question asked by misinformed friends and family.
Do you work with Alan Jones?
The year, 2UE has increased its ratings share by 0.8 points to 4.6%, while its cumulative audience has topped 300,000 people – just under a third of The Advocate‘s circulation.
Yet this fact seems lost on many employees, as they come to terms with the fact that they don’t work at 2GB.
“The only person who doesn’t ask me if I work with Alan Jones is my grandma,” says one junior staffer.
“That’s only because she listens to Garry Linnell,”
“She says the only reason she doesn’t listen to Alan Jones is because he was mean to my Dad when he was at King’s.” he said.
Many of the station’s staff have taken to social media in the past week to voice their disdain with being lumped-in with Australia’s highest rating talk-back radio host.
Stalwarts of the Australian radio industry empathise with 2UE’s staff.
The legendary John Brennan, or “Brenno” as he’s known in the inner circles, has achieved a lot in Australian radio. As the best qualified and most regarded PD (program director) in the country, Brennan has been lauded as the mastermind behind of 2SM’s, 2UE’s and more recently 2GB’s success.
However, Brennan says that nothing prepared him for what he had to deal with at 2UE.
“It certainly was an uphill battle,” says Brennan.
“We tried everything,”
In August, Brennan revealed that 2UE’s overnight host Clive Robertson, was hired solely on the fact that he has a passing resemblance to John Laws.
“That didn’t work,” says Brennan.
“The only show rating lower than Clive’s was Talk Tonight With Graeme Gilbert,”
“Graeme Gilbert’s show was and still is pretty grim.”
This week, 2UE’s Content Director Clinton Maynard was tragically pinned down by friends during the Fairfax Christmas party and had the top of his head shaved by a Sydney Morning Herald journalist.
“That was so gold,” says Herald journalist Rick Feneley, who witnessed the attack.
“I think they did it so he’d look more like Alan Jones,”
“He’s taking it well. I’d be out for blood.” says Feneley.
When approached, Mr Maynard declined to speak with The Advocate, saying only that the incident is currently a police matter and he is unable to comment.
Earlier this month, leaked phone messages between a 2UE producer and a university friend have gone viral on Facebook before being printed by The Daily Telegraph.
Despite the efforts of station management, the source of the leak has not been identified yet and the investigation is still open.
At the centre of the controversy is “Cal”, a 19-year-old self-confessed “news junkie” with a passion for AM radio.
“I’m the last of a dying breed,” says Cal.
“Not many of my generation listen to AM radio but it’s my primary news source,”
“Dad says smallpox has a brighter future than AM radio,”
When asked why he allegedly turned down the opportunity to intern at 2UE, Cal said it was an easy decision.
“As a registered Young Liberal monarchist with a sound fear of powerful women, I thought I’d be on the outer at 2UE,”
“2GB would be a better fit for me. We could talk [rugby] union in the ad breaks and drink scotch like they do on TV.”
Fairfax Radio declined to comment on the leak and is refusing to take phone calls or respond to emails sent by The Advocate.