Is Talking Lifestyle ready to pivot as George & Paul move to 2GB?
Change is in the wind at the Macquarie Media-owned Talking Lifestyle stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Just last week it released an ASX statement outlining an operational review of the Talking Lifestyle format it introduced to 2UE in 2016 and later networked into Melbourne and Brisbane, in March last year.
The review is an acknowledgment that the performance of the stations have failed to meet expectations for the 2017 financial year, and any format changes wouldn’t “materially impact” earnings.
And it would appear those changes are now being rolled out. From next Saturday, George Moore and Paul B Kidd (pictured) will be heard on sister station 2GB, after ending 2017 with a 7.2 share of People 10+.
Mieke Buchan and Rob Duckworth, who handled Breakfast duties during the summer break, will take their place.
But does their deployment give us a hint at what Macquarie Media might have in mind for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane? There’s been speculation it could mean a shift towards light talk-sport format, although it would struggle up against 1116 SEN in Melbourne.
Buchan has carved out a career in sports presenting and was part of the original Triple M Hot Breakfast line-up in Melbourne, while Duckworth has worked at just about every FM radio station in Sydney. Light talk-sport would certainly play to their strengths.
The other possibility is a low-cost, soft music format on the AM band. The big question is; would it be able to compete against the highly successful smoothfm brand in Melbourne and Sydney, and 4KQ in Brisbane.
Whatever the change, it would be the first major move by new CEO, Adam Lang.
Radio Today has reached out to Macquarie Media for comment.