April 30, 2019
Metro Radio Ratings out and Alan Jones taken away in a paddy wagon.
The second of eight Radio Ratings survey results have been released for 2019. The Survey (2) period was 8 weeks from Sunday February 10th to Saturday March 2nd, and then Sunday March 10th to Saturday Apr 13th.
2GB is again Number 1 in Sydney with Alan Jones topping the ratings once more.
In Melbourne, 3AW continues its dominance with Ross & John on Breakfast way out in front. In Brisbane, Nova retains its Number 1 position, while in Adelaide Mix 102.3 is Number 1 again, with Mix 94.5 Perth also continuing its winning streak.
More on the ratings at this Commercial Radio Australia link: www.radioalive.com.au
Alan Jones AO
Firstly relax, my headline was the click bait you now see in media all the time. Doesn’t it drive you nuts? I have a good story for you this week, and yes Alan Jones was taken away in a paddy wagon.
Alan Jones and his team have notched up their 218th Survey win and there is still no confirmation from either Alan Jones or Macquarie Media on whether the Alan will remain with 2GB. I reached out to Alan yesterday for a comment and he’s still playing his cards close to his chest, not willing to reveal a thing. C’mon mate the suspense is killing us.
As some of you know, I worked at 2GB for over 8 years and I was very fortunate to spend a bit of time with Alan and his team.
One of my roles at Macquarie was to help run logistics for Alan’s special live broadcasts, mostly from regional towns, and also for the last 4 years from the Melbourne Cup.
We met so many wonderful people and shared some amazing experiences all over Australia. One of the highlights for me was our 2015 trip to Mt Isa to support the local Rotary Club as they staged the biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere.
And that’s the point about Alan. Whether you agree with him or not, the bloke has done so many charitable things over his long career, helping so many people, in communities all over Australia. I understand that you may not always agree with Alan. I don’t. But I do, more than I don’t. He is entitled to his opinion, as is everyone. He also gets paid to give his. It’s his job.
Where to this week? Mareeba to help the farmers after the cyclone. Down to Griffith to pressure government to do more on the water crisis. Off to Mullaley to help the farmers raise awareness of the drought. Back up north to find out what’s happening to the Reef.
Off to Orange to promote the local Food and Wine Festival. Off to Goondiwindi to meet with grain growers.
Alan would ask me to come up to his office to discuss where he’d like to go next.
I would be there right on time. He would keep me waiting only for a few minutes while he worked through piles, stacked two foot high on his desk, of what he and his team call ‘Correspondence’. Every single person that sends Alan Jones a letter or an email gets a response. Alan replies to each and every one of them. Many are comments that people make about current affairs.
Others are reaching out in desperation for someone to help them. Their child is sick, they can’t get the right treatment. Some business has ripped off their Mum and taken off with her money. The Government has been promising to fix up their road, but still nothing has happened.
This ‘Correspondence’ is a major work load. It takes hours to manage, and then there are the back and forth follow ups.
Over 30 plus years on-air, how many people do you think Alan Jones has corresponded with? How many people has he helped? How many things has he put right?
A quick observation re politicians. Alan Jones catches them out because he knows more about the policy then they do. Often we would be flying back from a regional broadcast collapsing on planes trying to catch up on sleep, and there was the old bloke, ‘The Boss’, with the yellow highlighter going through 300 pages of a parliamentary report.
May I say this to the pollies:
Do you not know that when Prime Minister Fraser and Treasurer Howard were driving around Canberra in 1979, there was a young 38 year old speech writer sitting in the back seat giving them ideas on how to grow Australia. Someone has been there since the beginning of modern politics. But if you did your homework, you would know that.
Back to Mt Isa. On the first night of the Rodeo weekend they stage a race called the Mailman Express. It’s named after Wally Mailman, a legendary local horseman from Mt Isa.
Thousands of spectator’s cram into the race track to see quarter horses and non-thoroughbred racing horses compete in a 200 metre time trial down the straight, a race against the clock. By the end of the night the bookies are laughing, the kegs are empty, the crowd is going wild, and the winner takes home over 70k. It’s one for the bucket list.
We were there on the night that Australia collapsed at Trent Bridge in 2015. There was plenty to see at the track, but being a tragic cricket fan, Alan, and his team, were hitting their phones yelling out, “They’ve lost another one.” “They’ve completely collapsed!”
All out for 60. All out before lunch. Shortest innings in Test history. First time in history five wickets had fallen in the first 25 balls. You never forget those sporting moments. Especially when you’re at the Mailman at Mt Isa. Kerry O’Keeffe summed it up best the next morning when interviewed by Alan, he famously said, “Alan, there were more nicks, than at a Greek wedding”.
But that weekend in Mt Isa was memorable for many reasons. Two of Australia’s most well- known and interesting politicians were there to see the action. There were selfies going on left right and centre. Pauline Hanson and Bob Katter were in their heartland. Mt Isa is about as Aussie outback and rough and tough as it gets. This is the land of cowboys. If you’re not wearing a hat, or should I say, if you’re wearing a cap, you stick out like the balls on the rampaging bulls at the rodeo.
On the Saturday night we ventured back to the showgrounds to see the rodeo action along with side-show alley, and Fred Brophy’s Boxing Tent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpOLRMBbTt8
Fred Brophy is the last of the travelling boxing tent showman. There are no ropes. The crowd sits in a circle to form the ring. Anyone can put their hand up and take on Fred’s boxers. You get $50 or $100 for your effort but its most likely you’ll get beaten-up. The toughest blokes in the world have a crack, the local indigenous fellas have a swing for a quid, even the ladies get amongst the action. It’s not pretty.
With blood flying through the air, one of Alan’s producers, Dan Mullins, was sitting next to me looking very worried. We spent most of our time in the tent pushing the boxers off Alan Jones and Bob Katter as they spilled into the crowd. It wasn’t exactly taking a bullet for AJ, but almost.
Before we knew it, Alan Jones was being taken away in a paddy wagon.
We had to get back to the hotel, so Alan and the team jumped on the end of the taxi line.
It’s around Midnight, Saturday Night, Mt Isa, the final night of the rodeo. Can you imagine the tankful that many of the locals have had? But we waited and waited for a taxi.
Then something happened that was truly miraculous. The cops showed up. They took one look at Jonesy and said, “ Mr Jones, you need to come with us.” And before we knew it, there he was, Australia’s greatest broadcaster, the man that runs his own parliament, being escorted in to the back of a paddy wagon in Mt Isa. Arrived at the hotel safely. Thank God for that. One for the record books.
So, for all you Alan Jones critics, he’s done more to help people than you and I will do in a hundred lifetimes. And that’s why he remains unbeatable. It’s as simple as politicians knocking on every door in their electorate. How many people can you reach out to? Then comes the word of mouth of what he’s done. Alan Jones invented Facebook long before Mark Zuckerberg. He’s just done it the old fashioned way. And that’s why he’s still Number 1 and so valuable to 2GB.
If you have questions or feedback please feel free to join the conversation below or drop me a note, email@example.com
In the meantime, I’m going to put Laura Branigans Gloria on the stereo and raise a glass to Alan Belford Jones. Not a bad bloke for a Queenslander.
Matt Summerill is a radio advertising specialist with over 30 years-experience in the Australian radio industry. Matt is operating his own media agency - SUMM Media.