Whatever happened to that other vile radio presenter?
Two weeks ago, there was a line of advertisers leading out of 2GB and around the block wanting to advertise on the station’s flagship Alan Jones Breakfast Program. Now, 2GB have done two better than Nova: No more than zero ads in a row!
It all started last week, when Alan Jones made an appalling – albeit off-air comment – about the Prime Minister’s late father. The backlash has been unprecedented.
Big sponsors of the shock jock’s Sydney breakfast radio program quickly took their advertising dollars elsewhere, including major brands: Woolworths, Freedom Furniture, ING Direct and Dilmah Tea. Mercedes-Benz even demanded Alan Jones return his company car, or it would be repossessed.
Major affiliate stations, including Albury’s 2AY and 2QN Deniliquin in the Riverina region of New South Wales, have also stopped their syndicated broadcasts of Alan Jones in the wake of the controversy.
2GB and the companies who continued to advertise with the highly rating shock jock were met with remorseless social media attacks from passionate opponents, leading the radio station to take the unprecedented decision to remove all advertising from the breakfast slot.
Perhaps a better solution would be to replace the Alan Jones parts of the show with more ads?
The negative circus is now hitting Alan Jones headquarters hard in the purse, with daily advertising revenue losses now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And 2GB can’t ignore it forever, because money is ultimately the deciding factor in all commercial radio station decisions.
But the Alan Jones fiasco has shifted the spotlight away from another controversial Sydney breakfast radio presenter. Kyle Sandilands. Remember him?
Kyle of “Kyle & Jackie O” on 2Day FM has made far worse comments. On-air. From calling a female journalist a “fat slag”, to calling a pregnant Daily Telegraph columnist a “fat toad” to taunting a refugee from Pol Pot’s Cambodia.
Further, in the space of six weeks in 2009, Kyle said comedian Magda Szubanski should be put in a concentration camp to lose more weight. And in a stunt that is surely the pinnacle of poor taste, a 14-year-old girl was hooked up to a lie detector live on air and questioned by Kyle and the girl’s mother about her sexual experiences. The girl unexpectedly revealed she was raped at age 12.
This is entertainment? They could almost be forgiven for being satirical. But this wasn’t an ironic sketch about a dystopian future where commercial radio is taken to extreme new places. This is just 2Day FM.
If Alan Jones hooked a 14-year-old girl up to a lie detector on his program, that would be the end of his career. The worst Kyle ever gets is a slap on the wrist. Why is this?
It’s fashionable to hate Kyle Sandilands. That’s because you’re supposed to hate him. It’s his schtick. That’s why people keep listening to 2Day FM. In fact, after the lie detector incident, their ratings went up 0.6 percentage points!
The Kyle & Jackie O Show occasionally loses a few sponsors over these controversies, but there’s plenty more lining up to take their place.
Radio advertising is not just about reaching the biggest audience. It’s about reaching the right audience. In Sydney’s latest radio survey, Alan Jones rated at 16.8 per cent of the audience. Kyle & Jackie O are on 12.7. But though 2GB has more listeners, the majority of them are aged over 40. On the other hand, 2Day FM’s core demographic is women aged 25 to 35.
This is the golden demographic for advertisers because despite feminists fighting the stereotypes, the fact is women in this age group still make the majority of domestic household purchases. And as long as 2Day FM keeps rating strong with this group, they’ll still have advertisers banging the door down wanting to advertise with them.
I’d say most people under 40, especially outside of Sydney, have probably never listened to Alan Jones in their life, aside from the odd television sketch or secret radio recording.
Now in his 70s, he’s surely approaching the inevitable end of his broadcasting career. So advertisers are more willing to abandon him for the next generation.
But now Alan Jones is broadcasting without ads, it could actually result in an increase in listeners for the station. After all, no one is listening to commercial radio for the commercials.
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