Macquarie Sports Radio kicked off its national coverage this morning, the launch coinciding with tonight’s Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on the Gold Coast.
The Breakfast show in Melbourne was headed up by Tony Leonard, Tony Shaw and Jimmy Bartel, with John Stanley and Beau Ryan in the Sydney studio, followed by the Mornings show with David Morrow & Tiffany Cherry.
The co-hosts first discussed an incident at last weekend’s Richmond / Adelaide AFL match, where Richmond coach Damien Hardwick reacted angrily to a sledge from an Adelaide Crows fan.
Both were sympathetic to Hardwick, citing the pressures of professional sport, with Cherry describing conditions as a ‘battle ground’.
‘When they walk through the crowd, there’s always a risk,’ she said, before commenting on past incidents with sports stars including Monica Seles and more recently, David Warner in South Africa.
The new sports network was abuzz on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, and the Morning hosts were joined by swimming commentator Basil Zempilas, who said there is an “air of anticipation” that the Australian swimming team can win up to 25 medals at the Games.
Zempilas told the Macquarie Sports Radio morning team the home environment will benefit the team and the swimmers are in good form heading into the Games.
He noted that while enthusiasm had perhaps been muted in previous years, the local context should generate some excitement.
‘It’s a privilege as you know to work on these events. It’s great that it’s at home. People have been a bit sceptical of the future of the Commonwealth Games, from an Australian team point of view, the fact that they get to compete at home in a major meet, they are relishing it. It’s something they don’t often get.’
Zempilas also went on to acknowledge the new network.
‘Good luck to the Macquarie Sports team, it’s an exciting new era in broadcasting and for our network and I’m thrilled to have a small part. To all of our pioneers, what a great thing to be involved in.’
Before the new format went to air, Jono Coleman was the last voice heard on air for the Talking Lifestyle format. Here is his sign off.