Nikole Gunn

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.

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Recent comments (13)
Sue C
2 Apr 2018 - 2:21 pm

As a “rusted on” listener it has filled me with sadness and anger to witness the total dismantling of 2UE. So many great personalities and shows gone and replaced by the inane Talking Lifestyle format. Now this? Seriously ? This will be an epic fail.

Judy
2 Apr 2018 - 4:04 pm

Won’t be tuning into 2ue anymore, hates sports

Sandra J
2 Apr 2018 - 5:42 pm

very disappointed that the only informative ( with the exception of “psychic encounters”) radio station I listen to is closing to make way for more sports -Unbelievable! Do we really need another sports radio station ? Insane!

Noel Brindle
2 Apr 2018 - 8:16 pm

More Fairfax Media meddling and , as always, making things worse.
The once great SMH a well respected and credible successful paper now turned into a lefty rag with no credibility or respect.
The same has been done with 2ue continuing change and then lower ratings.
2gb would have been destroyed as well but for Alan Jones, Singo and Hadley standing up to these incompetents.

Vick K.
3 Apr 2018 - 10:25 am

Very sad that 2ue is almost gone. During the day and especially over nite there are so many lonely people who have relied on the company of radio for some the only family that they have.Modern times seem to forget about the aged and lonely.I know my mornings will miss Gary and John as often the only guaranteed laugh you will have from the media all day. So sad.

Michelle Magill
3 Apr 2018 - 7:11 pm

All sports station? Seriously?
Your lifestyle programmes were well put together, entertaining and well presented. I definitely will not be tuning into 2ue and 2gb is so depressing with people calling in to mainly complain.
Fm here I come

Mossey
3 Apr 2018 - 8:39 pm

Sad to see the final demise of once great 2ue.I have listened to since ’70s.Gave them a go when Lifestyle came in but could only manage to stay with Breakfast show,hope to see Linnell pop up somewhere else,and Pete Graham on Saturday.
We , like many others,won’t be going to,2GB, depressing and argumentive, populace radio.
Macquarie media has done their money here, sports radio cannot work here.
Hello 702 ABC , full time listening now.

Asha
3 Apr 2018 - 9:23 pm

Who are the brains behind changing 2UE into a 24hr sport channel? I switch 2GB as soon as the sports come on. Who really wants to listen to sports 24hrs a day? People think we are sport crazy but we are not. There are people who enjoy radio for the talk back, to learn something, to hear the news, have some fun. I enjoyed John and Gary in the mornings. I hate hearing the complaints for Allan Jones screaming in my ear as soon as I wake up. I enjoyed Trevor Long, Jono Coleman, George and Paul, Sandra Ross, Tim Webster, Pete Graham, Dr Walker. These were all great shows. I will not be listening to 2UE sports. Total lunacy.

Kristina Williams
4 Apr 2018 - 8:06 am

I cannot believe so many listeners can be so right and so few hierarchy get it wrong. As another comment stated so many lonely people relied on overnight talk back to stay in touch with the world.
We have far too much sport on TV and radio already, it’s ok at the right time, but not overnight and early hours of the morning.
This is an absolute joke

Jacqueline Travis
4 Apr 2018 - 11:45 am

Very very sad indeed that Talking Lifestyle has been replaced with a Sports Station. Hate sport devastated I have listened to Talking Lifestyle since the demise of Magic 1278. Such a varied program format, learnt a lot and it is extremely sad to see it ended. Bad Bad Bad to the owners.

Paul Harvey
4 Apr 2018 - 4:13 pm

2ue was an intelligent alternative years ago to the rantings on a cause that feeds on people’s fears on 2gb.
Then, as people got used to presenters management would change/sack them.
Move to Talking Lifestyle- never going to be rating 10+, but an alternative with a loyal listenership and solid presenters working within a format I bet they saw holes in.
Now a Sports Channel- give yourselves an uppercut! Would have been better off making it a dating channel!!

Good luck, way to hit an **.

Tania
4 Apr 2018 - 9:55 pm

I’m still reeling from the news! My absolute favourite radio station filled with so many FANTASTIC programs every day and evening ….GONE!
I’m not ashamed to say I cried when I heard this was happening and I’m still upset and at a loss… what do I listen to now? I sit in the traffic every day and always thanked God for MY 2UE. I honestly didn’t realise how much my life (well my sanity and mood) depended on it. I truly miss all my favourites. Damn the people who pulled the plug DAMN YOU ALL!

Stephen Busuttil
20 Apr 2018 - 4:16 am

What a shame,the only station that was so informative on so many subjects and so entertaining. Not everyone is into listening about sport , 2GB is full of whingers and dobbers/laggers, Hello Mr Laws on 2SM, the next best thing.