Apologies to Keith McGowan | radioinfo

Apologies to Keith McGowan

Tuesday 30 April, 2013


When Keith McGowan read our interview (subscribers only) with 3AW GM, Shane Healy he almost spat his corn flakes because of a single paragraph that suggested that the 21 year veteran of mid-dawns on 3AW was sacked when, in fact, he had chosen to retire on a certain date a full year ahead of his departure.

While it is tempting to dismiss it as a trivial matter, over dramatised by a bloke no longer in the industry, to Keith it is a badge of honour to have jumped without being pushed.

In order to vent he wrote an article for radioinfo. Below is an edited version.

My radio career began as an office boy for 3UZ in June 1957 and concluded at 3AW as the Mid Dawn Broadcaster of 21 years on 31st October 2011. That’s 54 years of being heard in four States of Australia on big radio stations and tiny radio stations. Some were good, some were bad and at some I was successful and at others a disaster.

But the one thing that most pleased me, and was the highlight of my career, is that I chose my own time to give it all away. I finished when and where I wanted to and I’m so very proud of that. Now, having read Shane Healy’s revision of history in his interview with Peter Saxon, I feel gutted.

In the interview, Healy suggests that I along with Ernie Sigley, Rex Hunt, and Derryn Hinch was sacked to make way for new blood when he told radioinfo, “We are going to keep regenerating, and that was the whole idea behind Ernie Sigley, the whole reasoning behind Rex Hunt, the whole reason behind Keith McGowan and the whole reason behind Derryn Hinch.”

Of course there is no shame in being sacked in our game, and I had been a number of times. But the end of my career came on a date I determined and it had nothing to do with Healy, but with Graham Mott who worked with me to make sure I was doing the right thing for myself.   

On the morning of my last shift, July 22, 2011 3AW honoured me with a magnificent send-off Breakfast. Family, friends, radio people, non-radio people, and 3AW staff were there. Even John Laws had recorded a voice track telling me not to retire. It was a huge event and I was very humbled.

When I read that interview on radioinfo those fond memories turned sour. I hope that Shane Healy has the decency to publicly retract his statement and set the record straight so that I can regain the dignity of going out on my terms. It means a lot to me.

Happily, we can report that Shane Healy did contact Keith McGowan and wrote, You are quite right in what you say. I read the article a few minutes ago and I can understand your concern.”

Mr Healy also contacted us at radioinfo and agreed that Keith deserved an apology. He told us, I understand that Keith was concerned with the way that paragraph read and my intent was to talk about some of our top broadcasters who we’ve had to change over certain times.

But it is absolutely true to say that while those people did not have their contracts renewed, Keith was in a different scenario. He had come to us and said I would like to finish up on a certain date and we respectfully agreed with that.

He left with great dignity and I was really concerned when I read his note because I can understand why he would have been very unhappy.”




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