KO-FM is ready to take over the final two weeks of rugby league broadcasts in the Newcastle region from rival 2HD after a contractual dispute between rights holder 2GB and the Caralis Super Network prevented it from going to air last weekend.
KO’s PD, Mike Byrne, told radioinfo, “We’re ready to go. We’re just waiting for GB’s legal people to clear it. But the later it gets the less likely it is”.
Although 2GB management has elected not to comment on the situation, football caller and morning announcer, Ray Hadley, told the Newcastle Herald, “Management have informed me that,
since July, we have indicated to Mr Caralis’s stations that they
needed to stick to the terms of the contract and pay outstanding
“That hasn’t happened, so with great
reluctance the management of the station is withdrawing all Continuous
Call coverage from his stations.”
A spokesperson for the Caralis Super Network told radioinfo, “Bill Caralis did not pull the rugby league coverage off any of his stations. He believes that 2GB has not fulfilled its moral and written contractual obligations and it is embarrassing to all concerned.
“He asks”, said the spokesperson, “Has Hadley lost the plot – and also lost Bill Caralis’s Super Network? Hadley should still be sight seeing at the Olympics. He obviously needs a rest”.
Although the Caralis station managers are usually reluctant to talk to media, PD of the Gympie operation, Alan Doblo, told radioinfo that he was not unhappy to see the football go. “I never wanted it in the first place for 4GY. I don’t think it was that popular. We didn’t field one complaint (when it didn’t come on). To me it probably told the story”.
Other sources who spoke to radioinfo on the proviso that they remained anonymous were not quite so happy with the late decision to pull the football. “Our sponsors weren’t too thrilled”. Said one. “And having to fill in that much of a hole in weekend programming at a moment’s notice is no easy task”.