An Open Letter to Radio:

I think this might be another of those Jerry Maguire moments but I felt like I had to write this.

I have been watching with sadness the unfolding drama with the Fairfax/Macquaire merger and the fallout coming in the cost of so many jobs.

Firstly, let me say I never want to see anyone put out of work especially talented radio people and I understand how they must feel, I have been on the receiving end of these types of changes and it is never good.

I have been monitoring the radio forums and the comments flying back and forward about how the big companies don’t care and we are just a number etc etc. That may be the case but I think at times we can be hypocritical to the extreme, Allow me to explain. I was working at 2NX in the halcyon days when the station was #1 with a massive margin and there was a great line up of talent on air. All of sudden Newcastle got its first commercial FM licence and our days were numbered, alas NEW FM was on the way, it arrived and all the music jocks were shown the door as it was apparent we could not compete with this new arrival. I was one of the many to be shown the door on arriving back from holidays and it hurt. However there was no show of sympathy from the incoming talent at NEW FM to the guys that were shown the door, and why should there be?

Point I am making is this, when a new station starts and its kills the opposing station the silence is deafening, when a company does the same thing it’s a national outcry. Having said that, I have been on the other side as well where I was brought in as part of a team that were about to replace an entire announcing roster and I didn’t think much about it, it’s radio!! What about the jobs that went when Selector came in to schedule music? I am older and wiser and have more empathy now, but it is what it is.

We accept that every town can’t have its own TV station yet, because we are passionate at our business we can’t see the writing on the wall. Radio is a business where owners and shareholders expect to make money and they will do everything to achieve that goal. Again, do I like that, no, but it is what it is.

I get so disappointed when I read some of the radio forums where talented people are at each other like bitchy children and winging about what we are expected to do these days, such as blog, update facebook, tweet, produce video content etc etc.I hear people say “we are radio people, let us concentrate on doing what we know best”. What I never hear is radio people saying, how cool it is that we don’t have to spend time pulling music from a library and ad carts prior to our shifts, having to clean and cue records, load cd and cart players and record callers and interviews on tape to edit with splicing blocks. What about instant information online and actuality via you tube not to mention breaking news as it happens. No, just how tough we have it and how we deserve better.
Gotta tell you, I am not out digging ditches in the sun, helping patients with bed pans in a hospital or dealing with undisciplined kids in schools.

My point is this, it’s 2015 and with so many choices about for listeners to access music, news and entertainment we are only as relevant as we make ourselves. Let’s stop complaining about what we don’t have and look at the opportunities we do have.

Again, do I agree with the changes being made, no, not always and I am sorry for the people who have lost their jobs, but I believe good people will always get work. Last time I checked no one forced us to work in the media, it’s our choice.

Todd Sergeant

PD and Breakfast @ 2NURFM in Newcastle. Radio trainer, freelance VO, copy writer, blogger and social commentator. Past stations NXFM, KOFM, Stereo 10, 4IP, 2NX, 2GO, SEA FM, 4CA, 2XL

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (0)
Post new comment

Related features


See all