Kyle and Jackie O cop Media Watch Serve

Austereo drive co-hosts, Kyle and Jackie O, have been on the end of a ‘Media Watch’ spray for their treatment of Frenzal Rhomb after a Darwin music festival.

The row first blew up about four weeks ago, after Jackie O left the stage in tears when the group began playing and drowned out her introduction.

Media Watch has described Kyle and Jackie O as ‘radio thugs’, accusing them of threatening – in a subsequent interview with the band’s lead singer – to pull Frenzal Rhomb from the Austereo playlist (not only the Today stations, but also Triple M), as revealed by this Media Watch transcript:

“MC: But right now please give a big Darwin welcome to Jackie O.

Jackie O: Hello. How are you? (music starts drowning out her words) I have to say this is very very cool place here. What an awesome festival. Welcome Frenzal Rhomb.” -“Bassinthegrass” concert, 10 July

“That was a bit odd. They put that lovely blonde Jackie O on stage and we could hardly hear a word she said. She looked a bit upset too. The band – Frenzal Rhomb – played right over the top over her and their apology left a lot to be desired.

Whalley: Hello

Lindsay McDougall: Sorry about that Jackie. Sorry about that Jackie O my God I just had the shits.

Whalley: I would just like to send out an explicit language warning for anyone with young children here. I would then like to follow that, like to follow that by saying World Idol, Australian Idol, Popstars f**k ‘em, f**k the f**king lot of them.”
-“Bassinthegrass” concert, 10 July

“At which point, Jackie O, standing in the wings with Australian Idol’s Shannon Noll, burst into tears.

Hello and welcome to Media Watch. I’m David Marr.

But who is Jackie O? She’s a star of the Austereo network, one half of the Kyle and Jackie O Show heard six days a week in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle.

And, as Frenzal Rhomb discovered, Kyle and Jackie O are also part of a new generation of radio thugs. The Monday after the Darwin gig dreadlocked lead singer Jay Whalley was called to account by the unhappy duo.

Sandilands: Just let me say, if it was me up there, it would have been on for young and old from the start.

Whalley: Okay, now for a start, I’d just like to say, Jackie – … were you aware that one of your security guards threatened our guitar tech with the threat of violence – as you’re doing now Kyle, “it would have been on for young and old” as you say.

Sandilands: Yeah, yep.

Whalley: Did you know about that?

Jackie O: Yeah.

Whalley: That security guard came up and threatened us with actual violence? Do you endorse that?

Jackie O: What, what was…

Sandilands: Yes, well I do.

Whalley: You do? You endorse that? You would have come and punched on because we said something about Popstars and Australian Idol?

Kyle and Jackie O: No!

Jackie O: It wasn’t about Popstars and Australian Idol.

Whalley: Because you felt that somehow we’d offended you, or not given you enough time to speak up. You were nine hours late for your show…

Jackie O: Well f**k mate, at least give me a chance to say something. Like, it’s so rude to just come in and say f**k you, f**k Jackie O and play the guitar over me. I was only going to talk for like, ten seconds, seriously.” – The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Austereo network, 12 July

“Jay and the band escaped physical violence but that wasn’t the end of it. Being rude to Jackie O had lost Frenzal Rhomb its last chance of getting a run on the Austereo network.

Sandilands: Your songs ever played on this network, or Triple M network so far, is just not going to happen now…

Whalley: If people you ring up our record record company…

Sandilands: Yep.

Whalley: …Threatening to bury the band…

Sandilands: Yep.

Whalley: …Saying that we’re never gonna get played on Austereo again…

Sandilands: Yep.

Whalley: …What the hell are we supposed to think? I mean, you’ve never played us…” – The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Austereo network, 12 July

“A spunky response from Jay, but what does Austereo think of its stars revenging themselves in this way? We asked CEO Michael Anderson.

Does Austereo approve of such threats being made by your presenters to musicians? If not, what disciplinary action has been taken against Mr Sandilands? Does Mr Sandilands have the authority to decide what music is played on 2Day FM and Triple M?” – Media Watch letter to Michael Anderson, 29 July

“Patrick Joyce, General Manager of Austereo Sydney, replied:

“Austereo does not approve of threats being made to anyone about anything. We have fully canvassed these issues with both Kyle and [producer] Ryan [Wellington]. Music content is decided by the programming directors based on research of the market and our listeners’ preferences.” – Patrick Joyce letter to Media Watch, 29 July

“But don’t expect to hear much Frenzal Rhomb on Austereo stations in the near future.”