ABC radio drop long-running show

Staff Writer

Coodabeen Champions' Saturday Soiree has signed off after a decade on the ABC and two more decades on commercial and community radio.

The four hosts – Jeff Richardson, Ian Cover, Greg Champion and Billy Baxter – are being taken off air due to the ABC expanding its sporting commitments on Saturday nights.

The show used to air on Sunday's but was moved to Saturday nights 3 years ago.

The Coodabeens will continue to host a Saturday morning football show in winter, which is #1 in Melbourne and is in its 33rd year on-air.

"No one is happy about it, we'd like to carry on, we're not happy but we've seen it coming,'' said Champion.

"They've pulled the plug because they said they can't keep paying us to do a show that's not going to air enough.

"The Footy Show too has hung by a thread for the past four or five years, on one-year contracts, but we rate number one."

An ABC spokesman said the Coodabeens remained a very popular part of ABC programming.

''Due to increasing sporting commitments on Saturday nights in summer with the A League, then in winter with the NRL and AFL, there is a rarely a Saturday night in winter or summer free for regular programs like the Coodabeens on a Saturday night.

''Their main footy program on Saturday mornings during the AFL months continues on local radio in Victoria and as an online stream.

''The Coodabeens will be involved with a number of outside broadcasts that will be broadcast nationally, to ensure they have presence on local radio over the year.

''These include a New Year's Eve celebration on Tuesday night, the AFL Grand Final parade, and just the other day a broadcast from the first day of play for the Boxing Day Test.''

Read more in the Canberra Times.

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