Nine’s 3AW backflips, returns Tony Moclair to overnight shift

Staff Writer
Image: petition

After taking over Australia’s biggest commercial talk radio network, Nine set to work making changes to its executive team and lineup.

One of those changes sent listeners into a freeze when 3AW Melbourne’s Australia Overnight hosts, Tony Moclair and Bianca Johnston, got the flick.

The pair were replaced by 2GB’s Michael McLaren, who is also networked into 4BC Brisbane.

A petition on to reinstate the duo garnered 619 signature, well short of its target of 1,000, but seemingly just enough to send a message to management.

“I wanted to let you know that, as of tonight, we’ll be bringing back Tony Moclair to 3AW overnights,” wrote content boss Greg Byrnes in an email to staff.

Byrnes also said this announcement followed the network’s the decision to return its evening programming to the local market, with Denis Walter on 3AW and John Stanley on 2GB.

“The big audiences that both Denis and John have attracted at night shows our listeners seek the companionship and connection of a local voice,” he wrote.

“Returning Tony to overnights in Melbourne is recognition of that, as well as the high regard in which we hold him as a 3AW broadcaster.”

In a tweet on Sunday, Moclair said he’s “thrilled to be back” on-air with the same producer.

In the memo, Byrnes thanked McLaren for his work across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane over recent months and confirmed McLaren would remain on 2GB and 4BC.

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Danny P Hoyland
27 Apr 2020 - 9:39 am

Respectfully could Brisbane a fast growing capital city of Australia, get its LOCAL broadcasters back on air at 4BC. I respectfully understand the economics of networking but Brisbane 4BC deserve to have LOCAL Broadcasters. Radio needs LOCAL broadcasters & LOCAL content. Have a great day.

27 Apr 2020 - 2:26 pm

Happy nights are here again, absolutely fabulous to have Tony and Bianca back, have missed them terribly.

Gwen Kelly
27 Apr 2020 - 8:54 pm

Great to have Tony and Bianca back. I look forward now to going to bed with my favourite people.

john carson
27 Apr 2020 - 11:53 pm

you think 3aw channel 9 or whoever they are these days would learn from previous attempts to do the same thing!!!!

Damien O’Neil
27 Apr 2020 - 11:59 pm

The genius marketing team at 9 have further demonstrated their bottom of the barrel marketing incompetence – first it was the anti customer reference to calling 3AW news 9 news which was just a bizarre transparent attempt to use AW as an add agency for 9 and it to failed – your dumb llistener saw through the con instantly

28 Apr 2020 - 5:58 am

Well this had to happen – it was just a matter of time. Thank goodness! Melbourne has never accepted being a satelite of Sydney. Radio relay from Sydney to Melbourne has always failed, and always will.
It astounds me that radio executives make this mistake regularly. They should heed their listeners, who invariably know how to program their stations better than the they do.

Kenn Moulynox
28 Apr 2020 - 8:25 am

Stupid move by Management. Michael McLaren has interesting thoughts, some great interviews and strong opinions. Back to bubblegum for the mind in Melbourne. I’ll stream 2GB thanks.

Christine Bennett
28 Apr 2020 - 9:31 am

I agree on the move back to us and Melbourne/Victoria We as Cities are extremely diverse our culture our Sports 4 sure run a completely different path and to hear one night on Michaels program there was going 2 b a vote on our football codes WELL it is just not on as we Aussie rules verses Rugby League do not even warrant mentioning. I got to enjoy Michael he is an extremely knowledgeable man but the content became a bit repetitious to us seniors that r bunkered down almost 24/7 radio was very similar. Luke on the weekends is great listening also. Nine was following the almighty $$$ and did not even care about its listeners and in the process lost an enormous amount of credibility and I hope advertisers
As 4 the Change vote that number would have been very small in comparison as a lot of us seniors do not have any social media at all n I never saw any of that myself n I am tech savvy for an old girl and read all my newspapers online as well as banking etc no need 4 Facebook etc
And as 4 Brisbane I lived in Brisbane for a large part of the nineties and I was always going mad about not having our own local radio broadcasts except 4 John Laws he was amazing he included us as if he was based in Brisbane. Brisbane can stand alone who do the executives think they are I would not be paying them at all they have no vision. Get out from under the Bridge we are a wonderful and amazing country

28 Apr 2020 - 9:49 am

Next step is to get a bigger time slot for Marko and Ox.

ms lencia mckay
28 Apr 2020 - 12:33 pm

Nobody in Melbourne wants Sydney people and Sydney centric anything , be warned, so glad to get Melbourne culture back

Alan Bawden
28 Apr 2020 - 12:36 pm

Now bring back Alan Pearsell to complete the good news flow!

Jeff Cooper
28 Apr 2020 - 3:55 pm

So glad Tony is back! And Bianca. I listen to them every night until around 2.30 am.
Tony is such a gifted talent and 3AW are so lucky to have a presenter of this calibre. Bianca compliments him so well and they just bounce off each other so naturally.
Tony has such a wide range of topics he can speak on and speaks very well.o the flip side he is a verygood comic and has an ad lib talent not too dissimilar to Bert Newton.
So congratulations to management for answering the call of your avid listeners

28 Apr 2020 - 9:43 pm

Great news-will be able to turn old bedroom radio that is stuck on 3aw back on whenever I wake during the night-Sydney program was garbage

Jennifer Fulford
29 Apr 2020 - 9:00 am

Yay ! I had given up putting my radio on during the night

Steve amies
29 Apr 2020 - 12:33 pm

Congrats t&b, I have lost count how many times 3aw have tried the Sydney thing, last one was Luke bono? That was a a success…..not, and yes bring back Alan , a tire part of Melbourne , I think the new owners of 3aw have a few people ehobpuffed out their chests and beat them come in make changes to show who’s boss when if fact nothing needed changing, some people do this to look busy talk it up, and acheuve nothing at all and move into the next project to be bigger peacocks, just saying ………..

Henry B.
30 Apr 2020 - 4:43 pm

Yes good to have them back. McLaren was too Sydney and whilst content was good it was not going to work in Melbourne overnight where you need to be funny, quirky and above all not too heavy.

Grant Parker
1 Jun 2020 - 5:48 am

Great to hear Tony back on overnight,missed him.

June Lambert
3 Nov 2020 - 12:22 am

It is fantastic to have Tony Moclair and Bianca on 3AW . We listen to them everynight and love Phil and Simon too but have to say they should be on more . It is so important to have local broadcasters and not someone from interstate who knows nothing of our state , Victoria .
Grubby and DD are both great too . Love 3AW

June Lambert
3 Nov 2020 - 12:26 am

Also , may I say that Andrew McLaren has the best sense of humour . He is so good too . We just love 3AW


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