KOFM revamps footy call team

Staff Writer

KOFM Newcastle has refreshed their NRL team for the 2014 season, resulting in the departure of commentator Gary Harley (pictured).

The new team will consist of former Newcastle and Australian player Michael Hagan, Marc Glanville, current sideline eye Frank Barrett, and Newcastle Herald sports reporter Brett Keeble.

Speaking in the Newcastle Herald, Harley was disappointed his time with KOFM had come to an end after 20 years with the station:

‘‘I was shocked when I was advised this morning that I wouldn’t be calling the games in 2014. I’ve certainly enjoyed my time at KO. I don’t feel like I’m ready to retire but obviously other people think that I am."

General Manager of KOFM and NXFM, Steve Smith, said that the decision to replace Harley was tough however the station was renewing and refreshing the sound;

‘‘Gary’s a real gentleman who has done everything he can to make it work and puts his heart and soul into everything, so yes, it is a very tough call. We part with him having our utmost respect.’’

Smith went on to acknowledge that whilst he believed Harley's replacement, the Brisbane-based Frank Barrett, was the natural choice for the role it was a risk to change:

‘‘Everything we do on air, whether it be the personalities, or the subject matter they touch on, or the angle they come from, everything single one of those things is a risk."

Barrett commented:

“KOFM is the voice of rugby league in Newcastle and anybody who follows rugby league understands the calibre of people I will be working with in the call team and the respect they have across the game."

The Newcastle Herald is running a poll of listeners on the move, and reaction is mixed, some agreeing with the move and others criticising it, a snapshot of the comments is below:

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