Nikole Gunn

Is ‘Talking Lifestyle’ dead and buried?

The axe may have fallen on Macquarie Media’s Talking Lifestyle stations in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The media giant had already announced an operational review of the format that was brought to 2UE in 2016 and rolled out to 1278 AM Melbourne and 882 AM Brisbane last March.

It was an acknowledgment that the stations had failed to perform to expectations. In the final survey of last year, Talking Lifestyle rated 3.5% in Sydney, 0.3% in Melbourne and 0.5% in Brisbane.

Now it would appear that review has been completed and, as Radio Today speculated, it would seem that Macquarie Media has decided upon a sports format which will be networked into all three cities.

In a leaked memo, Macquarie Media has told staff that it will feature presenters from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and it’s launch will coincide with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

As of March 31st, the Talking Lifestyle format will no longer be heard. 

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Recent comments (40)
nick bartlett
2 Mar 2018 - 3:55 pm

First it was 24 hour commercials…..

Then it was networking a sports station into Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

I can’t wait to see Plan C.

Barry
2 Mar 2018 - 4:26 pm

Agree. Hope they’ve got a Plan C ready. Although I suspect the sports station would do marginally better than the infomercials.

Liam
2 Mar 2018 - 4:31 pm

Someone seriously has rocks in their heads at MML.

This whole exercise has succeeded in completely destroying a station with 90 years of history simply due to a vendetta from former staff members and a complete lack of understanding of their audience.

Why can’t Sydney have 2 talk stations? One with a different focus to the other, with a big of music thrown in? Entertaining, not desk thumping and negativity?

The answer lies in the ratings and in egos.

God forbid that the mighty 2GB loses some listeners to another great format run by the same company. Bruised egos are to blame here. Bruised egos and bullying.

What a disgrace. Hope the shareholders are happy.

Allan Samyia
2 Mar 2018 - 5:10 pm

It will be a total bore.

There will be nothing more boring then listening to sporting yobbos talking sport 24 hours a day.

It’s already been done on Sky Sports Radio & Talking Sport on SM.

Why is it not possible to have a genuine Adult Standard format? In the 1980’s UE’s short lived All Time Greats 24 hour format was highly successful. That was killed off by the new CBC network which was a total failure. Or, a format that was successful like Gold 1269 (SM) or The All Time Favourites format on KY on Sunday nights or immediately following the races at night.

A format like this is very cost effective but good listening. Why is Sydney radio afraid of good quality music? I’m sure there is a ready made audience who enjoy good quality music.

Could it be that the older listening audience prefer music from the 40’s, 50’s & 60’s in preference to the brain dead talk back.

I agree with the previous comment from Nick Bartlett, what will your plan C be? We can’t wait for Plan C

Brad
2 Mar 2018 - 5:37 pm

All sports station sounds like a better bet. I can only imagine that such an announcement would ruin Craig Hutchinson’s day!!!!

Former Employee
3 Mar 2018 - 12:23 pm

When Sean Pickwell decided to change the sound of 2UE in 2008 was the moment listeners turned off. Sponsors quickly followed.
It sounded like community radio.
As an employee we all knew the once great vessel had hit an iceberg.
It’s been sinking since.

Kris Chambers
3 Mar 2018 - 8:33 pm

Could NOT do without George and Paul on the weekend !! They have a very entertaining and informative show.
The only problem is their new program is far too short.
Hope we don’t lose them.
Kris. Mona Vale

Mr R&R
3 Mar 2018 - 9:02 pm

I’m sure many former 954 staffers will be saddened to see this latest debacle.
Whatever happened to the once mighty 2UE954. ‘Always at or near the top’. Today, the reverse applies. Actually the rot started to set in early to mid 80s. A cheap to run music format ‘All Time Greats’ proved successful last half 1985/first half 1986(it actually brought back old 2UE listeners). Then that horrible CBC network disaster took over. The Jones/Laws era brought them back for a while. Since then it’s been all down hill. And I can’t imagine what the closure of the newsroom did to all the journos that worked in it. If it’s sport then someone have a listen to Radio Sport in NZ & what they do in conjunction with the almighty NewstalkZB. Or CoastFM in NZ, another ratings winner. I don’t think there is a plan C. Asterisk radio.

TL Fan
5 Mar 2018 - 2:44 pm

Yet another Sydney-centric decision being imposed on broadcast licences of diminished value in Brisbane and Melbourne. The first station they blew up, 4BH, ought to be returning with an easy listening music format, given there’s some heritage there to rebuild upon and Smooth having limited access to Brisbane audiences. Brisbane has never been, and perhaps never will be, a city that allows itself to be dominated with talk radio (perhaps it’s something to do with all that sunshine – perhaps music goes better with it). Melbourne will now have three sports breakfast programs – RSN927, SEN1116 and soon 1278 as well . What originally launched as 3EE in 1992 has achieved little other than succeeding (while as Magic) at draining the audience of a once-great 3MP (which as ClassicRock Radio, is hosting Crocmedia’s AFL Nation the weekend just gone just in case you guys are still hungry for sport). Now the same 3EE station will attempt to drain the audience of a smaller competitor in SEN. Maybe it will succeed by some measure (while you’re at it, at least some decent NRL coverage for Melbourne listeners – Storm being the defending premiers, if you don’t mind). Talking Lifestyle has had some really great content that will be missed. Presenters, experts and content that no matter how good have been poorly packaged and time-clocked by managers determined to define the station, first and foremost, by what it’s not allowed to be (a competing radio station…and how smart was that goal?)

Barry
6 Mar 2018 - 11:21 am

I completely agree TL Fan.
4BH should be returned to a soft AC/easy listening format. The station used to rate very well indeed with that format. It actually came 3rd in a few surveys, beating 2 or 3 of the FM stations. And that was with the exact same competition on the FM dial as they would have now, and with the added benefit of DAB to accompany them on AM. How can they not see that this is the answer for 4BH in a market where Smooth FM doesn’t exist except on DAB?

BH
6 Mar 2018 - 1:46 pm

Bring back 4BH, for many years BH (long before Magic) rated at least 3 or 4 points higher than 4BC & for some reason MML/Fairfax put all their eggs in the 4BC basket, when 4BH was the better performer, The even beat 4KQ on 1 or 2 occasions.

4BH had a great on air lineup & Geoff Harrison programmed it well. FFS MML when will you see light. 4BH was the little engine that could!!

Barry
6 Mar 2018 - 3:25 pm

Completely agree BH.
It’s unbelievable they destroyed a great station like 4BH that was rating well, and left a gaping hole in the market in Brisbane for an easy listening/soft AC station. The rebrand to Magic was the start of the demise as they basically turned it into a poor clone of 4KQ, and then the final insult of Talking Lifestyle.
Surely they are smart enough to review the old ratings and see how well 4BH rated – with exactly the same competition they had back then. They try to spin the line that music can’t work on AM but look at the facts of those surveys! Nothing has changed with the competition since then, and now a music based 4BH would have the benefit of greater availability of DAB. It’s a no brainer! Miraculously 4KQ hasn’t stepped into the gap left by 4BH so the market is still there – the exact same one that Smooth FM fills in Sydney and Melbourne.
Sometimes you really have to wonder about the brains at MML.

Mr Music
7 Mar 2018 - 11:06 am

When this new national sports format is launched, we need RadioToday to list each and every person in management who made this decision.

Why?

Because when it goes all pear-shaped, it’s never management who get sacked, it’s the poor announcers and production staff who cop it in the neck.

Then, whenever one of the members of management are mentioned/quoted, it should always be followed with the words “who oversaw two failed formats in three capital city markets” – Don’t let those overpaid clowns off the hook!

Glenn Evans
7 Mar 2018 - 7:43 pm

Such a shame that 2UE has died. Egos on 2GB made sure of it. The only show I would listen to on Lifestyle was Pete Graham on Saturday night and he was rating well. Now there is a hint managers You music format on a Saturday night was working. Maybe expand it a bit?

Jo
12 Mar 2018 - 10:43 pm

I can only imagine Macquarie radio will move the continuous call team from 2GB to 2UE the new sports channel?

And what happens to all the existing radio announcers on 2UE……John Stanley, Garry Linnel , Rob Duckworth etc. Do they lose their jobs? When the network bought 2UE, I had sneaky suspicion they would destroy this great station! All in the name of the bloody ratings for 2GB.

Big Al
14 Mar 2018 - 8:20 pm

A sport station going into different territories is never going to work. The Melbourne audience would switch off when the presenters were talking NRL and I’m guessing Sydney would turn off during AFL conversations. Brisbane probably won’t listen at all!

wayne lewis
20 Mar 2018 - 7:38 pm

1287 magic go back to easy listening music.

Tracy
23 Mar 2018 - 10:16 pm

I absolutely love talking lifestyle, the variety of programs are so I formative. I got so sick of listening to same old whinging and complaining from each of the radio announcers from 4BC/2UE each program was the same. I was so happy listening to talking lifestyle, aren’t there enough music stations and sport on radio and TV already.. For gods sake leave talking lifestyle alone.

Kristina Earwood
29 Mar 2018 - 12:07 pm

Well I dislike sport, so I’ll be finding a new station to listen to. Macquarie Media, you suck

John Reynolds
29 Mar 2018 - 4:13 pm

Good bye
Thanks

Clare Bell
30 Mar 2018 - 8:57 am

I will not listen to (or watch) any sports program. Four weekend sports channels on AM radio!!!
I loved 2UE Talking Lifestyle and will deeply regret Macquarie Radio’s disastrous choice to drop my programs.
By the next radio survey Macquarie Radio may regret their choice also.

Jan Knight
2 Apr 2018 - 6:54 pm

Goodbye 882 lifestyle…. so sad. I love/loved the current format and presenters.
Very disappointed!

Shah
4 Apr 2018 - 6:31 pm

I very much enjoyed Talking Lifestyle. It made light and easy listening, with good information from gardening to cleaning, to 2nd career, and George and Paul and many other programs.

I have no desire whatsoever to listen to sport of any kind. It’s boring at best and the sportscasters are annoying at worst.

I will be moving to one of the many ABC channels. At least they have useful and interesting information, but without the realtime appeal that Talking Lifestyle had.

Devastated
4 Apr 2018 - 6:57 pm

Talking lifestyle radio was a breath of fresh air at first, yet later the knowledge and life coaching, the financial advice, the garden advice, the property advice, the health advice shared by the great people of this station and their guests has been life changing for me as I’m sure if has been for countless thousands of people of all races and religions in Australia and abroad.
It’s like a part of my life has just been turned off, just like that. No say, no vote just gone.
SHAME macquarie media.
You put greed and politics ahead of the well-being of your listeners, no matter how small a percentage you claim it is.

Steve
4 Apr 2018 - 9:43 pm

Really disappointed in the change. Wasn’t a moment I switched on that I wasn’t entertained or informed with Talking Lifestyle. Will be switching off or over. As much as I enjoy sport I definitely don’t enjoy listening to it around the clock. Lost me!

Maria Horman
7 Apr 2018 - 11:20 am

More sports stations!!! What makes you think that women want to listen to another sport station or any for that matter.I loved the Life Style station.Now we can’t escape it.I will now listen to the music station with no sport and no adds.

Helen Bamford
8 Apr 2018 - 12:53 pm

Why on earth would they do this and think it will work?
I loved it how it was but will not be listening to sport all day. There is enough sport broadcasted without 1278 as well.
I am so disappointed and enjoyed it so much but will not turn it on now.

CazR
8 Apr 2018 - 1:59 pm

Well you have lost another listener. I found 4bh last year and it became my station of choice. Listening to sport 24 / 7 is not my idea of entertainment. Will hopefully find another channel somewhere but it won’t be 4BC.

Sue
9 Apr 2018 - 7:30 am

Hi there, just loved the show in the morning, George and Paul, were great. Entertaining and light , quiz questions and movie people, all great. Now have to find another station, sports are boring, just like the games and Olympics.
Oh well , that’s life.
Sue

Jill Wilson
12 Apr 2018 - 6:07 pm

I loved Lifestyle. As soon as that awful football came on at the weekends, I couldn’t wait to tune in to Lifestyle. Who makes these ridiculous decisions?We don’t all like endless sport!

Ann
14 Apr 2018 - 8:42 am

So sas that the best station I have ever followed has disappeared off my radio Chanel to a crappy sport station
,
Really hate what you have done

Mick
14 Apr 2018 - 9:50 pm

I listened to it when the sport was on 3aw as i dont want to hear shouting soorts experts. Now it has gone and been replaced with more sport! When will 3aw realise not everyone wants to listen to sport and then sport commentary.

Denise Sandford
15 Apr 2018 - 1:19 pm

Not everybody is into sports. I enjoyed an alternative to AFL on 3AW and ABC and now I have more sport on 1278 ! Maybe the Talking Lifestyle program had its problems but I think there should be a place for talk back / lifestyle info format but obviously I am one of the very small 0.3 %. Oh well pack up the radio until end of footy season then back to Grubby and Dee Dee on 3AW.

zenon
16 Apr 2018 - 5:18 pm

very sad that talking lifestyle has disappeared in Melbourne. We are already inundated with sports……3AW. SEN, 774 all cover it and now Macquarie sports network. It has stuffed my weekend listening now that aussie rules footy is back ad nauseum. I would have preferred they just allowed us to listen to the shock jocks from 2GB rather than another sports channel. I always liked the 2GB blokes when I was in sydney on business.

frank g
19 Apr 2018 - 7:33 am

If talking lifestyle did not rate the new sports format will be the first time that a radio has negative figures. Us old time 2ue listeners are deserting in droves to the ABC. What a shame. I would hate to be a sponsor on this station.

IanBurrell
19 Apr 2018 - 1:37 pm

Have turned off already, Even Coles Radio has better content. Where do I go to get Tim, Shannon ,Linda and Jeff Quatramni.

Inge
19 Apr 2018 - 8:06 pm

Loved lifestyle radio. The best programs and information on healthy living from nutrition and fitness to gardening, travel and technology etc. Had enjoyed the variety and quality of these excellent programs while it lasted. So sorry it’s all gone! Will no longer listen to this station.
We are bombarded with sports both on radio and TV. Why would we need more?!

Anne
24 Apr 2018 - 6:49 pm

With 2gb and 2ue sports – mostly rugby airs 2gb Monday nights Friday nights, sat afternoon, and parts of Sunday

Too much sport! My week and weekend is finished!

Devastated
26 Apr 2018 - 4:41 pm

This was just “THE BEST” radio station to listen to, devastated to find it no longer operates. God who wants a sports radio. NO THANKYOU!

Joan
6 May 2018 - 4:08 pm

Hate the new format on 2ue. Nothing but sports, sports, sports. Turn to the sister station 2gb and nothing but ranting, ranting, ranting in the morning. What is happening to morning radio???? Bring back Talking Lifestyle and give us something entertaining to listen to.