Poll Results: Michael McLaren the favourite for 2GB drive

Former Publisher

The results from Radio Today’s latest reader poll are in.

As broadcaster Ben Fordham prepares to step into a set of oversized shoes belonging to Alan Jones on June 1, Nine Radio’s management has been working overtime to fill the drive shift.

Australian media outlets, including this one, have churned out speculation stories over the last two weeks that offer some insight into the potential candidates.

Radio Today invited the industry to play programmer on the matter in this week’s reader poll.

The survey offered up some obvious choices and a few wildcard selections for good measure.

Overnights host Michael McLaren was the clear frontrunner with 26% of the vote, and 71 votes ahead of readers’ second choice, weekend presenter Chris Smith, with 16% of votes.

Mark Levy, who was installed by Nine bosses in January to host the Wide World of Sports show on stations 2GB and 4BC, received the most comments but was third in the poll with 12%.

A spokesperson for Nine told Radio Today on Friday that, from next Monday (May 25), Levy will start three hours earlier and host drive until a permanent replacement is found.

Pictured: Nine Radio’s head of content, Greg Byrnes.

Nine’s content chief, Greg Byrnes, also told Mumbrella this week that the network isn’t looking for one drive host, but two, revealing plans to return the shift to local in Sydney and Brisbane.

“It makes obvious sense for us that we have a local drive program. We are moving quite quickly… There will be attention focused there – local drive in Brisbane,” he told Mumbrella.

Outside the top three were Steve Price (10%), political commentator Peta Credlin (7%), Seven News boss Jason Morrison (7%) and Today Show anchor Karl Stefanovic (2%).

Other contenders on the poll – who all received single-digit results  – included Peter FitzSimons, Prue MacSween, Tony Abbott, Susie Elemen, Tracy Grimshaw and Tom Elliott.

But all eyes are on McLaren, who has proven a hit with Sydney listeners on his mid-dawn show. But other more recent appointments hints at talent closer to Nine’s television business.

The best trail to follow might be the network’s most recent hires, including Steve Jacobs into 2UE breakfastDeb Knight into afternoons and Neil Breen into 4BC breakfast.

Those appointments suggest the integration of talent across its media platforms could result in new voices on 2GB and 4BC drive from somewhere within the Nine family.

When asked if the network had a timeline on an announcement, the reply was “no”.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (25)
Post new comment
Supreme Leader of the Nathan Letts Fan Club
22 May 2020 - 12:26 pm

Nathan Letts should have had more votes, in fact the most votes. If it not be for Nathan Letts, Andrew Bolt should be the new host

Barbara Green
22 May 2020 - 1:01 pm

Mark Levy should have been the obvious choice . He has come ahead in
Leaps and bounds nice bloke too .

Dan and Sue B
22 May 2020 - 5:04 pm

Michael McLaren would be a great asset for 2GB and he is so knowledgeable on all topics and knows how to get his point across through his wonderful control of speech, thinking and communications.
He is our choice and ticks all the boxes and sure he would do well to keep the many listeners of 2GB happy!
His popularity already proven puts him way ahead of other contenders in our view.

David John Rogers
22 May 2020 - 5:29 pm

What about George Moore who used to host weekends on the George and Paul show

Pamela Beyer
22 May 2020 - 6:38 pm

My vote is for Michael McLaren. He is wasted on night time radio. Very intelligent and and knows his topics.

Jacques Laxale
22 May 2020 - 8:25 pm

2GB had the best format right across the timeslots, as with so many successes in life complacency & mismanagement can set in & it did, that is all history, the broom has got rid of bad management & we have new one’s. So what lessons can be learnt, the biggest problem at 2gb right now is advertisers have left in droves due to Jones misunderstood NZ PM comment which was not meant literally, that’s history that can’t be changed. Jones is going with millions, so who’s best to be an instant winner with listeners & ADVERTISERS, this is the best quick solution that don’t need trial & error with more pain. Smithy back at noon & McClaren at drive. They are both tried & proven to both needs to bring the big advertisers bucks back in. Having said all of that my original team would have being McClaren, Hadley, Smith & Fordham at drive but I think that’s too late to happen. For the weekends bring George Moore or Levy in. Deb Knight is a winner on TV for newsreader to lift Today show. WOW, could you imagine Smithy back at noon, they’ll be a party & dancing out the front of 2gb office

23 May 2020 - 9:19 am

Channel 9 are going to screw this up either way! They just aren’t in touch with who the 2GB listening audience are and what they want! It all began when they dumped Brian Wilshire for Steve Price and it’s been downhill ever since! Ben Fordham in the Jones slot is just totally indicative of a massive own goal about to take place!

Sheila Williams
23 May 2020 - 10:14 am

Michael McLaren is O.K. but what about George Moore? You lost a terrific weekend show when you closed down George and Paul. So I have now changed channels on Saturday and Sunday morns.

Vicky McDermott
23 May 2020 - 6:31 pm

Vicky McDermott

Luke Dumet
23 May 2020 - 7:41 pm

Luke Bona

23 May 2020 - 7:41 pm

Michael Mclaren is by far the best! So knowledgeable for his age, not smug, and a very strong personality. If not him Mark Levy.

irene dunn
23 May 2020 - 8:26 pm

Not happy with the new managers selection and co tent. Having been a listener for years. You seem to forget the majority of us are retirees. Don’t need sport.sport and more sport. Overseas and local news reports. Hoping you can take notice.

Gaye Hyslop
24 May 2020 - 1:05 pm

It has been lovely to have Luke on weekends. He is so down to earth.

Since George and Paul left, I don’t listen to weekends now as I don’t like Chris Smith.

Please make Luke regular weekend presenter.

24 May 2020 - 5:44 pm

Put Michael Mclaren in breakfast and Ben back on drive and give Luke Grant a full time slot on overnights..the rest i dont care about.

Katrina Edwards
25 May 2020 - 1:02 pm

Oh I hope it is Micheal McLaren, Levy is ok but a Ray Hadley clone. The only other for me is Luke Grant.

Eva Pollock
25 May 2020 - 3:29 pm

I have been listening to 2GB for 39 years and I think that Ben Fordham to replace Alan Jones and Mark Levy to replace Ben are the perfect choice – thank you Channel 9

Gai Gibson
25 May 2020 - 6:49 pm

Michael McLaren is the obvious choice for the 3pm slot. I remember Alan saying he was going to stand in for him in the mornings, what happened to that idea

25 May 2020 - 8:25 pm

Fordhams good, but a Jones hes not. Following jones into breakfast is a poison chalice.

1 Jun 2020 - 8:53 pm

Can somebody from 2GB or channel 9 explain why Michael wasn t put in Alan Jones time slot he would be far better than Ben Fordham michael is intelligent smart and has an interesting show at night so bring Michael to morning show your ratings will go up, Alan Jones and Michael at evening are the best two on 2GB love them

5 Jun 2020 - 3:02 pm

Will managers destroy 2GB? Let us not forget what happened to 2UE.

2GB should be listening to its conservative listeners ( at the moment anyway) and make sure they employ conservative radio announcers. Also 2GB listeners like announcers who work hard, read and respond to listener emails and are well researched.

The decision not to replace Alan Jones with someone like Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt or Michael McLaren was a good example of listeners not being respected and listened to.

I am listening more to 2SM now for talkback radio.

8 Jun 2020 - 6:15 am

As predicted it’s a depressing mismatch! Bye Bye 2GB!

13 Jul 2020 - 9:36 pm

I’m so disappointed with the choice of Ben Fordham to replace Alan Jones.

Though no-one can replace Alan Jones, Ben Fordham just doesn’t cut it in presentation, knowledge, interviewing skills etc.

Michael McLaren is terrific. He’s a very smart, young & knowledgeable man. Why wasn’t he considered for the job!!!

Kind Regards

1 Jan 2021 - 4:53 pm

2GB have made a huge error replacing Alan Jones with Ben Fordham, who seems to be a very nice bloke, but unfortunately he doesn’t have anything like the knowledge or intellect of Jones. I was prepared to give him a go because Jones must have been a very hard act to follow. Unfortunately, now, I have given up and don’t listen to him at all.
Michael McLaren was the obvious choice. He is wasted on night time radio – clever, articulate and informed.

Management, you stuffed up! You should have listened to your listeners.

9 Jul 2021 - 10:02 am

Please … please replace Ben Fordham …… the morning show now is tedious…..Ben’s voice monotonous and lacks conviction…..sounds like he is reading a script and many of his comments are banal.
Michael McLaren is an obvious replacement…..intelligent, considered and has just enough oomph without being aggressive.
I have turned to other channels now but listen to Michael on sleepless nights.

Justin John
27 Sep 2021 - 12:37 am

Michael McLaren, like Alan Jones, gives interesting, well researched comments on relevant topics with a keen sense of audience. He should be given the choice on which programs he would like to take for 2gb, but one would think that someone with such logical reasoning, sharp wit, good sense of humor and personable delivery should be given as wide an audience as possible. He really is an outstanding presenter who I would consider the best in his field on Australian radio.


See all