Goodbye Talking Lifestyle; we hardly knew you

Macquarie Media is preparing to drive a stake through the heart of Talking Lifestyle – a failed format of infomercials and sponsored content that drove listeners away in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

It was launched 18 months ago following the merger of Fairfax Media and Macquarie Radio Network in 2015. But it was met with listener resistance and apathy from the start, despite it being talked up as a ‘pioneering concept’.

And now it’s about to be consigned to radio history books.

The Talking Lifestyle format will cease to exist after Saturday and will be replaced by ‘sport’ in all three cities and just in time for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Very few staffing announcements have been made, apart from the signing of former SEN drive pair Mark Allen and David Schwartz to 1278AM in Melbourne.

It’s led to speculation that perhaps some to the Talking Lifestyle presenters may be ‘recycled’, thus avoiding payouts before the end of the financial year and presumably before the expiration of current contracts.

We still don’t have a name for the new entity or know which sports will be broadcast into each city or whether NRL will be heard in Melbourne or AFL into Sydney and Brisbane.

How much content will be shared? Will each city have an ‘individual identity’?

All will be revealed when the flip is switched on April 1st; April Fools Day. But will the joke be on us?

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30 Mar 2018 - 10:16 am

We hardly cared more like it!!
Bring back Easy Listening 4BH.

30 Mar 2018 - 4:24 pm

Live NRL is currently on 2UE 954. Souths V Canterbury.
A sign of things to come?

30 Mar 2018 - 7:29 pm

There’s a risk Macquarie Sports Radio will be an also-ran in Melbourne to SEN, sink what remains of the 2UE listening habit in Sydney and be a misuse of a Bribane station better suited to a music format. Macquarie hopefully knows the sports audience well enough it will work in ways we can’t yet imagine. Would be good if John and Garry stay on in breakfast.

30 Mar 2018 - 7:38 pm

I for one am not amused with the demise of Talking Lifestyle. I hate sports and I am not fond of 3AW. To have sport going 24/7 is a joke!
Ever since the AM stations left (3KZ, 3DB etc), radio has become very boring…. 🙁

Scott Thomson
31 Mar 2018 - 8:47 am

So where is the audience for the new sporting format going to come from?

In Sydney, the breakfast audience for the sports show on Sky Racing Radio is 1.4%. Triple M are also struggling to pull numbers with their weekend league coverage.

Will Ray Hadley and the Continuous Call team be broadcasting on the new station?
If so, most of the audience for the new format will be coming from 2GB.

Does that put 2GB’s position as the number one station in danger?

31 Mar 2018 - 11:17 am

Macquarie Radio Network should add much more sport to NTS (AFL, NRL, Rugby Union, EPL) and move NTS to the AM spot vacated by Talking Lifestyle.

This will then enable Macquarie to free up valuable digital capacity for 2 new digital-only music stations.

One could target males and one could target females. One could target the over 50s and one could be an Adult Contemporary or Rock station targeting 25-54.

This would give them a solid offering with two news/sport focused AM stations and 2 DAB+ music stations in each of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Andy Maher
31 Mar 2018 - 2:03 pm

michael 31 Mar 2018 – 11:17 am
I agree. A sister AM station replaying network highlights would be a good alternative any listeners who happen to tire of a particular topic at any time. Cheap to run too.

31 Mar 2018 - 4:52 pm

We have more than enough sports coverage without having to sacrifice 2UE on the altar of the Sports god.
No longer a station that informs it’s audience on important matters of world and local news issues.
Seems like the Fairfax kiss of death just like everything else it is involved in.

1 Apr 2018 - 7:43 am

It will be said and miss love taking life style
Going miss you I slowed down on listen to fm radio when taking life style come long

1 Apr 2018 - 7:55 am

Confirmed by Paul Holmes on Talking Lifestyle this morning that the new sports format will start on WEDNESDAY.

Wendy Moore
1 Apr 2018 - 9:54 am

I sent an email to them at the beginning of this disastrous decision that it was ridiculous and never going to work. The only people worth listening to are Gary and John in the morning. If you get rid of them then I for one will be going to FM for my radio listening. I would never listen to 2GB and I think that moving the right wing George and Paul there is a great idea they will fit right in with the demented right wing commentators.

1 Apr 2018 - 12:55 pm

I’m thinking this is an April Fools joke! Listened at midnight Sunday morning – Luke Grant was on. Later on in the morning still going “Talking Lifestyle” as per normal. No major announcements in relation to new name, new format or presenter changes. The joke is definitely on us!! Could this be kindly clarified???

1 Apr 2018 - 1:39 pm

To Christine (and others who are confused), the name of the new station is Macquarie Sports Radio and it takes effect Wednesday morning, coinciding with the opening of the Commonwealth Games. The coverage of the games means that no regular schedule of presenters will be heard for some weeks yet. Some presenters (those with a knowledge and experience with sport) will stay on. With breakfast the key shift of any station, listeners are left not knowing if John and Garry are amongst those staying. Consider that Triple M Bundy changed formats (From Sea FM) a few weeks back without changing their breakfast crew – so it’s not impossible for a format to change around personnel that don’t. SCA have been busy rebranding all around the country while reassuring listeners what is changing and what’s not. Compare this with Macquarie’s approach and then decide what approach you’d take in the director’s chair. Most if not all questions ought to be answered this week anyhow but I unfortunately am not hopeful about this new format. I sincerely hope they prove me wrong.

1 Apr 2018 - 3:35 pm

The Commonweath Games rates poorly on TV so who is going to listen to it on the radio ? Just change back to 50s, 60s and 70s music and be done with it. There is a glaring vacant hole for this format at the moment !

1 Apr 2018 - 5:19 pm

Hi Christine, just to be clear, I was on 2GB and 4BC this morning not Talking Lifestyle. All the best.

1 Apr 2018 - 10:21 pm

Get rid of talking lifestyle and bring back Magic 1278 like the old days.
What a waste to drive away loyal listeners to magic 1278.
Bring back magic 1278 and people will stop complaining.
I had enough rubbish, talking and now you want to put sports in too.
That is ridiculous.
You should be ashamed talking lifestyle and Maquarie.

2 Apr 2018 - 6:02 am

John and Gary had better get a spot somewhere else . I won’t listen to sport I want some laughter in my life . Don’t make the wrong decisions we don’t all like yelling presenters making us feel like the world is a failure

Shane Vears
2 Apr 2018 - 8:18 am

Sport on 2UE954 & Sport on 2GB873, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
I’m a sports tragic but no way in hell could I put up with a 24-hour transmission of sport on radio.
Macquarie Radio have completely gutted and ended AM Radio as we know it. The lifestyle format always seemed doomed to fail.
It is a very sad day tomorrow when the jewel in the 2UE crown, the morning show from 5am to 9am with John Stanley and Garry Linnell, is taken off-air.
Who wants to wake up to sport everyday ? Who wants to come home to sport everyday ? Who wants to go to sleep to sport everyday ?
Life as we know it ceases to be acceptable and normal after tomorrow.
Disgraceful day, disgraceful management by Macquarie Radio.

The death of AM Radio takes place tomorrow, Tuesday 2nd April 2018.

2 Apr 2018 - 12:55 pm

I’ve heard a listener to the Gradening Show today comment about how she’s sad to be losing 2UE. Not Talking Lifestyle, 2UE. Management can pretend 2UE is long gone, yet Sydney listeners are only noticing its end with this change in format, not with the previous change. John and Garry (with the departure of Garry Linnell) is finishing up, so it’s a fair prediction that the best Macquarie Sports Radio hope for is (i) a rise in audience across the tri-city network to offset the loss of the 2UE audience and (ii) a resulting audience easier to sell to advertisers. Personally, there might be something for me to listen to if rugby league coverage improves in Melbourne, yet I can’t imagine that being more than an incidental result of the format change (Melbourne Storm supporters will not save 1278). Congratulations for the TL team of announcers for trying their best. It’s been a terrific 13 months for the Melbourne audience that did notice: informative, entertaining and even educational. It’s a big loss of convenience that the one station is longer delivering all that content from the one place.

Gary L.
2 Apr 2018 - 6:05 pm

just what radio needs, more brainless sports.

jones used to have 1 every have hour now james willis does 5 minute sports reports instead of talking about our crooked govt or other pertinent issues – who wants that!?

Gary L.
2 Apr 2018 - 6:07 pm

the afternoon weekday presenters (SJW’s) on 2GB
lean further to the left each week.

ray hosts a program for dunces and local council issues.

and allan is too busy doing sports reports…

2 Apr 2018 - 7:44 pm

Bring back the good old days such as magic 1278.
Bring back Magic 1278 and get over with it.
The old presenters such as Ric Ditchburn, Peter Van, Kevin John, Jane Holmes.
All the listeners have gone to smooth fm as an alternative.
Get Magic 1278 back and loyal listeners will become happier.

2 Apr 2018 - 8:19 pm

I will really miss John and Gary. The fun programs will disappear and be replaced by sport!!! They’re kidding. 2ue or talking lifestyle lost the plot a few years back when they dumped the two Murrays.

2 Apr 2018 - 8:20 pm

I just can’t believe that maqurie radio thinks that another 24 hours sports station is going to be successful in Sydney leaving a void in the Sydney market of great talking back, music and current affairs station with great presenters like John and Gary. Taking
off a station like the great 2ue is a great mistake . I for one will never listen to Maqurie radio again much to my disappointment I will switch to a music station

Georgina Wilmore
2 Apr 2018 - 8:45 pm

So what happens to our John & Gary on the morning drive

2 Apr 2018 - 9:39 pm

Brisbane doesn’t have Smooth FM except on digital. So it’s obvious, bring back easy listening 4BH..!!!! 4BH used to rate very well with a soft AC format, even against the FM stations, when they were owned by the old DMG. First Macquarie ruined it by changing it to Magic and making it sound like an “old” and daggy 4KQ – obviously ratings fell. Then the nail in the coffin was this ridiculous Infomercial format Talking Lifestyle, now they’re rating close to ZERO. Way to go Macquarie/Fairfax! Turning a successful station into one with nobody listening. Great work.

2 Apr 2018 - 11:17 pm

I tune into 1278 when 3AW is broadcasting football/cricket and abandon their TOH news. If sport will be living on this new format, hopefully Macquarie won’t broadcast the same coverage on both stations!
LightFM in Melbourne was also a good alternative to get Macquarie News – but they’ve started their own service, so I don’t listen to them anymore.

Why is it so hard to find a station that will give me a detailed local news bulletin at the top of every hour!?

Andrew Ford
3 Apr 2018 - 7:41 am

Today we mourn the death of 954 on the AM dial☹️

Kerrie Moloney
3 Apr 2018 - 8:56 am

0 interest in sport.
Will be switching radio stations.
They were the only team worth listening to in the morning. Loved them.

J costa
3 Apr 2018 - 8:57 am

Going to miss John and Gary

Paul B
3 Apr 2018 - 9:25 am

John Stanley is staying on for breakfast, Gary L is leaving.
Today was their last shift together

Jane Desmond
3 Apr 2018 - 9:29 am

I’m very disappointed by this decision. I’ve been listening to 2UE all my life as my mother used to listen when I was a child. I was worried this would happen when 2GB bought the station but when nothing happened I thought all was well. Now what I feared would happen has. Thanks for ruining my go to station. I won’t be listening anymore as I hate listening to sport commentary. I’ll have to find another station to listen to. Not happy after 52 years of loyalty.

3 Apr 2018 - 10:28 am

Pity. I enjoyed Peter Switzer and also John and Garry.
Sport??? Count me out.

3 Apr 2018 - 1:39 pm

Extremely disappointed, sports 24/7 are you kidding. I was an avid 4BC listener, then we lost that great format. So then I found Talking Lifestyle and starting listening to that and now that’s gone. I really loved the Talking Lifestyle format across the whole day. Listened in the morning with John and Garry and had a good laugh then listened to Tim when I got to work. What the hell am I going to listen to now. There is now no good talkback station and I’m certainly not switching to 2gb in the mornings to hear all the doom and gloom from Alan!. Death of good radio.

3 Apr 2018 - 2:06 pm

I cannot believe that you believe more sport broadcasting is necessary. Ratings down??? Nobody asked me or any one I know. It is just such a shame. There is a limit. I do like sport, generally, but having it shoved down my neck non stop, is over the top and in my opinion poor judgement generally.

3 Apr 2018 - 2:47 pm

I hate sport except for Fire Up on FBI radio on fridays from 9 am which pokes fun at rugby league as you couldn’t take it as a serious game.
I will miss Gary and John on 2UE
Funny guys
Looks like it’s FBI in mornings as I can’t stand anything else including whinging sport politics and stupid stunts

M Conyard
10 Apr 2018 - 10:04 am

Oh well, looks like I’ll be removing 2UE from my auto-tune as is 2KY and for the same reasons-sport. What a bore AM radio is becoming. Now there’s no real alternative to the self serving right wing drone of Allan Jones.

J russell
10 Apr 2018 - 11:08 am

We now have less choices to listen to. There is already sports radio. Whoever made these changes didn’t consider that not everyone likes sport or Ray Hadley!!!!
I won’t be listening to 2GB!!

11 Apr 2018 - 8:20 am

When do new ratings come out? Can’t wait to see the new sports format drop to zero. Might as well just close down the station as it is. The silence would be better than listening to 24/7 sports. Why buy a station when you change it like everyone else. AM is just all sports these days. When talkback and lifestyle was on I’d have it on for most hours of the day. Now I would have listened to 2UE all but maybe a minute this whole month and I will not be tuning again. Just horrible what they’ve done. You’d think that with now macq radio they would move ray and football team over but no, weekend afternoons, both stations going. Yawn.

12 Apr 2018 - 9:28 pm

Talking lifestyle.. what a loss. Only station that gets you laughing all the way to work. .. and throughout the day as , driving all day to and fro to clients…. learned so much about gardening on the garden show , the tech show. , the Friday around Aus travel show , And so many others..
what’s not to like. There..
Only discovered TL recently , became my main listening so many interesting conversations.. subjects …… love the attitude and sentiment of all The presenters , easy,real , natural , None of that opinionated shock jock rubbish.sad day for national radio. ..

Christine Johns
13 Apr 2018 - 8:20 am

what are they will ruin 2ue..I have switched to 2sm now

13 Apr 2018 - 1:29 pm

I am still distressed by Talking lifestyles demise. It helped me through difficult times as the content was so interesting and fun(what we need these days) great company when you feel a bit lonely. … Isn’t this the Best thing about radio?
2UEhas been “my” station, from the 40s, but thats now in the past. There’s so much sport already, almost an obsession it seems, .. A bit of a worry. I’m so hoping you’ll get back to what radio was”good”at, lnformation, relaxation , good music and Company.
Crossing fingers!
Thank you to the good people, who improved my day.

15 Apr 2018 - 6:27 am

So sad to see John and Gary is off 954. Now I don’t listen to 954 anymore as I’m not interested in sports, will probably listen to Kyle and Jacky O or Alan Jones.

15 Apr 2018 - 10:54 am

Lost me forever! And all the people I know! We all learned so much from Talking Lifestyle! There is nothing else like it. Sad times. Who will we listen to now? Guess I’ll turn the TV on all day!

Gail Gaioli
19 Apr 2018 - 10:36 am

I loved so much Talking Lifestyle. First time in my life enjoyed radio. Linda Ross, Chef Daniel , Graeme Ross cut down to 2 hours and so many other people . Loved them all. Looks to be only for men. I don’t like listening to football or racing in the middle of the day YUK. SO SO SORRY Gail.

26 Apr 2018 - 10:55 am

I didn’t listen to much radio during the day till I hear the Lifestyle station I will miss it. Loved all the different content told my friends about it (they told me that didn’t know of it) so i don’t think u gave it long enough on air. As for the now sports station that’s taken over … as another comment said who’s going to listen to it… it’s all day long … we get enough sport now. Do a survey on how many people listen to sport during the day! Most are working. Not happy.

Steve M
1 May 2018 - 5:13 pm

Sports 24 hours on AM across our three biggest cities…Yes…Plenty of room for National and Local sports coverage/Talk…Fantastic ! The days of Oldies on AM are gone just like the audience it once had. Wake up and smell the coffee, Sports morning , Noon and night. YAY. Times have changed and ratings pfft…Well Done Mac Sports Radio !!!!!

Pete Taylor
29 Oct 2019 - 3:45 pm

Goodbye Macquarie Sports Radio and at this rate, I guess it wouldn’t really be too early to also say goodbye to whatever takes your place!

26 Nov 2019 - 5:41 pm

Forget the sport. Most people are sick of it. We need good current affairs like 2 GB


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