Macquarie Sports Radio axes talk programming amid Nine takeover

Former Assistant Editor

Macquarie Sports Radio has struggled to secure meaningful ratings since its launch in 2018, and now Macquarie Media has made the decision to axe all talk programming on the network.

Contrary to a report in the Daily Telegraph reports that suggests Macquarie is pulling the plug on its all-sport network, a statement from Macquarie Media Limited chair, Russell Tate, says the station will continue to broadcast sports coverage over the summer.

“Macquarie Media Limited today announced that development of its Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be paused and reviewed over the summer months and that the current schedule of sport talk programs will cease as of 11pm, Friday 1 November,” said Tate, in the statement provided to Radio Today.

Tate went on to explain that cricket and football will continue to broadcast as usual, while news updates will be provided on the network from Macquarie National News services.

“Over the coming months, Macquarie Sports Radio will continue live sport broadcasts including all scheduled Test Match, BBL, One-Day Internationals & International T20 Cricket matches as well as its English Premier League coverage,” he said.

“The stations will draw an increased amount of content from local and international partners, including Macquarie Media’s News Talk stations and Nine, and will continue to access Macquarie National News services for constantly updated sporting news.”

The decision follows Nine’s buyout of Macquarie Media’s parent company Fairfax, and the recent departure of Macquarie Media chief executive Adam Lang.

Macquarie Sports Radio replaced the ‘Talking Lifestyle’ format across three terrestrial stations (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) in April last year, and on digital radio in Perth, but the format has been dogged by lineup changes with several well-known sports presenters over the past 18 months.

The network has consistently posted low ratings, with several shows and timeslots rating as low as an asterisk in GfK ratings surveys during its time in existence.

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Pete Taylor
30 Oct 2019 - 12:35 pm

I can’t see this format surviving for that much longer. What will fill the gaps between match coverage? Personally, I think the DT article was on the money, albeit a tad premature in its execution date. Also heard the axe is being wielded at AW, so really who knows what will be left!

Just hope it’s not another CBC shambles!

Neil McKenna
30 Oct 2019 - 10:34 pm

It’s a no-brainer. Bring back Magic- style music format with emphasis on 50s to 80s music which was rating a respectable 5 before the non radio people decided to flush heaps of shareholder’s money down the toilet with the ill-fated lifestyle and sports formats and brought ratings down to zero. If you bring in proper radio people to run the station you could easily rate higher (look at 4KQ).Cheap to run and with automation 8.00pm till 6.00am can be networked so you just need 3 live shifts …breakfast, morning/afternoon and afternoon/drive. Drop the cricket now’s over saturated and no one is interested in Sri Lanka v Australia. Leave that to the ABC which has no adds and most people prefer. Otherwise sell the stations to someone like Glenn Wheatley or close them down.

31 Oct 2019 - 11:30 am

Bring back an easy listening/smooth format on 4BH.
Put Magic back in Melbourne with a classic hits (4KQ-style) playlist.
Bring back 2UE with light talk and entertainment.


31 Oct 2019 - 11:37 pm

People who were on there were average and lucky to have their jobs. Format was good idea on air talent could have been better

Paul Bradbury
1 Nov 2019 - 8:21 pm

It’s a shame it has come to this. I enjoyed breakfast and the afternoon shows with good humor and interesting debates.
The unfortunate was the early football games from the UK during the week were always cut short…

Gary Sullivan
11 Feb 2020 - 8:49 pm

No this was the best thing that’s happened to Radio for sports lovers. You can get the same rehashed rubbish from hundreds of stations but this was entertaining and informative. If you didn’t laugh and smile listening to these shows you were either brain dead or had no sense of humour at all. Shame on you channel nine, I thought you were sports lovers too!


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