Pete Graham’s open letter to fans on failed Talking Lifestyle format
The human cost to the end of Talking Lifestyle has been brought into sharp focus in an open letter from veteran broadcaster Pete Graham.
Like many, Pete found himself in limbo after Macquarie Media announced that the stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane would move to a ‘sports’ format from April 4 to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
Very few details have been released on the new stations and it’s added to the frustration and uncertainty felt by staff. And sadness.
Pete’s Saturday night show aired for a final time on Saturday (March 31), closing the door on a career spanning 31 years in Sydney.
Below is Pete’s farewell message to fans and followers and to those who dream of having an on-air career half as long as his.
“There comes a time…3 weeks ago I received a phone call from middle management at the radio station I work for advising me that my Saturday night show will be making way for a new format “Sports”.
I was asked if I would like to apply for “anything ” in the new format. At 66 years of age and proud to have been on “Air” in Sydney for the past 31 years it is now my time to say ” No Thanks”
I arrived in Sydney in the mid-80’s.To do Breakfast on 2WS/WS FM. For 7 years it was a hoot, My real passion was Mornings at which I’m proud to say I am the only announcer to be No 1 both “AM and FM” at that station. It was fun times combined with “Juke Box Saturday Night live from the clubs for 18 years. My time at 2UE has been great, Thanks to GrahaMott, (My old boss at WS and then my new boss at 2ue) Many a Saturday night my show would be in the top 2 or 3 in the ratings.
Then the famous Talking lifestyle format was implemented. Here’s a note I sent out to my Facebook site 1 year ago: “My radio show will be on air in Melbourne all night, Sydney after 9/30pm, Brisbane after 11pm.Qld regional’s all night 6 to midnight 2bs and 2lt after 10pm”
Yet despite the constant interruptions and a shrinking station audience, I am proud to say that in all those years I have been at or above the station Average with the ratings. On a breakdown of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane I’m double, treble and 5 times the ratings of the previous lead in show and above the station average in all 3 cities. A music show on a talk station.
So as the station will be going all sport in April. My last show will be March 31. It will involve many of the stars I’ve featured over the years.
Whilst the show is now redundant I am not (I have been a successful sales manager, a program Manager in Regional as well as City and Cap City Markets and I will continue to mentor those in the industry.
Delta will be a guest on my last show. It’s only natural, I was there for her at the start of her career (she was 13 and seeking advice) AND she will be there at the “end ” of my career.
To Col Joye, Lonnie Lee, Jade Hurley, Brooke McClymont, Wilbur Wilde, Mary Wilson, Human Nature, Prinnie , Mahalia Barnes, Melissa Manchester, Normie Rowe, Peter Combe ,Martha Reeves ,Judith Durham, Tod Hunter, Mark Williams, Rick Price, Beccy Cole, Mike Rudd, Damien Leith, Grace Knight, Dean Bourne, Katherine Britt, Jasmine Rae, Monica Trapica, Jon English, Lee Kernaghan, Frank Ifield, Christine Anu, Alana Conway, Dave Gleeson, Kevin Bloody Wilson, Judy Stone, Graham Connors, Tom Wolf and the Wolf brothers, Delta, Joan Baez, Pee Wee Ian Wilson, Ross Wilson, Wayne Thomas of Flake, Billy Field, Doug Parkinson, Melinda Schneider, Wilbur Wilde ,Kevin Johnson, Human Nature, Vikka Bull, Gil Mathews, Alison McCallum, Tony Hicks, Travis Collins, Amber Lawrence, Brian Henderson, Judy Stone, John Brewster and the Angels, Mark Williams, Russel Morris Jeff St John, Mike McClelland, John Charter, Greedy Smith and the Mentals, Glen Shorrock, Alan Dale, Keith Potger, John Paul Young,”Rob The Poet” and Brian the frog Harris ” and the many 100’s more that I’ve had as guests on my show Thank You.
To those who followed me on my radio journey from 2MG, 2BS, 2 LT, 2GZ ,2KA, 2NX, 2GB,2OO, 2GO 2WS, WSFM, 2UE and heard my shows in Melbourne and Brisbane, I Thank You.”
Pete’s story is one of many born of the glory days of 2UE. May there be many more to come.