MTR heavy on outrage, light on ads - for now | radioinfo

MTR heavy on outrage, light on ads - for now

Thursday 15 April, 2010
Looking as angry as he sounds, Steve Price

If the look on the face of Steve Price in the photo that adorns the pages of MTR 1377’s website is any indication, Melbournians will have a vigorous forum for venting their anger for all that happens in their world that grieves them. This morning as he launched the new station, Price was at his feistiest getting stuck into the government, both state and federal, on every topic from health reform to Carl Williams’ daughter receiving free tuition. He made conservative HeraldSun columnist and regular guest Andrew Bolt sound left wing by comparison.

When Price railed against the health system for sticking men and women in the same heart ward – it would never have occurred in previous days, he fumed - it took a caller and Bolt to try to pacify him with the explanation that to duplicate today’s expensive high tech medical equipment just so that sexes could have separate wards would be wasteful in the extreme.

But as presenter and MTR program manager, Price was not so much looking for a logical explanation of hospital policy as for ways to increase audience quickly. For that, it is more expedient to find fault and someone to blame.

Price seemed to be running a much more partisan line than he did while at 2UE Sydney giving health minister, Nicola Roxon a hard time while opposition leader Tony Abbott got a friendly chat in an interview just after the 8:30 am news headlines.

Whatever balance was added by respected journalist Laurie Oakes’ brief appearance, Sam Newman dispensed with the niceties as he joined the show after 9:00 am suggesting that Price seemed nervous – not about the show itself, but about having Sam on the show. He certainly has nothing to fear in regards to Sam accidently appealing to the café latte set.

Sam touched on subjects such as why gay men hiss while they speak and the problem of Muslim women wearing head to toe covering. “How could you get an accurate description of the perpetrator when the bomb goes off,” asks Sam.

Unlike established conservative audiences on stations such as 2GB who tend to agree with the presenters, many of the callers to MTR rang to disagree. Yet, Sam Newman drew plenty of supportive calls and emails, some suggesting that he have his own show.

Also, unlike sister station 2GB, there were long tracts of talk during the breakfast show – almost 20 minutes between 8:00 and 8:30 went by without an ad break. Great for listeners, not so good for shareholders.

Clearly MTR will not leave its listeners wondering where it stands. And it is that clarity that could appeal to a marketable sized audience of like minded angry citizens - enough to make advertisers happy.

Sam Newman won't leave you in doubt of his position

Sam Newman will leave no one in doubt as to where he stands

Morning host Steve Vizard interviews Ted Bailiieu

Price and sports (mostly AFL) guy Jason Akermanis at 7:15 am

Meanwhile the 'Melbourne Talk Radio' name dispute continues with Ash Long having sent a letter to the joint venture partners demanding that they cease to use his registered business name. Macquarie’s Stuart Thomas has told radioinfo the claim is “opportunistic, ill founded and misconceived” and says the station will go to air on Monday as planned.

Long’s letter asserts that the new station is infringing his business name and reminds him “that passing off is a contravention of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) which prohibits a person in trade or commerce engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct which is likely to mislead or deceive,  and the equivalent provisions in the Fair Trading Act in Victoria.”

The letter says:

Melbourne Talk Radio Pty Ltd and Local Media pty Ltd therefore demands that you:

(a) immediately cease and forever desist (whether directly or indirectly) engaging in (or authorising, procuring or commissioning any other person to engage in) any of the Infringing Conduct;

(b) deliver to Melbourne Talk Radio Pty Ltd (30 Glen Gully Road, Eltham, Vic.) a properly and fully completed and executed undertaking in writing by 10.00am on April 16, 2010 in the form of the attached Deed of Undertaking; and

(c) destroy or cause to be destroyed by 10.00am on April 16, 2010 all documents and other materials (in whatever form) in the possession, power or control of any of you, your servants, agents and contractors which convey representations of ‘Melbourne Talk Radio’, ‘Melbourne Tak Radio MTR’ (or any contraction or abbreviation thereof).

We await your immediate compliance with the above demands. We expressly reserve all of our rights, including without limitation in relation to the matters the subject of our letter dated March 26, 2010.


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15 April 2010 - 4:30am
Ash Long is a servant of 3AW. If this new station is going to be as bad as the Melbourne Observer and the Age believe, why are they so scared of it? Isn't competition meant to be a good thing?
16 April 2010 - 4:30am
This new talk station will have little or no inpack on the 3 other talk stations in Melbourne 3AW 693, ABC 774 & SEN 1116. I'll give it 6 months before 1377 AM will go back to a easy music format again.
16 April 2010 - 4:30am
MTR 1377 AM will not last 6 months against 3 other talk stations 3AW 693, ABC 774 & SEN 1116.
17 April 2010 - 4:30am
Jag3146, whoever you are, you are wrong. And you don't know what you are talking about. Ash Long is not a servant of 3AW. I, in fact, pay THEM, to air our weekly Melbourne Observer commercial spots. The new radio station is not in competition with our newspaper. I am not scared of a new radio network in town, I welcome it.
18 April 2010 - 4:30am
I disagree with the claims that it won't last 6 months. I think there will be some lineup changes, but i think it will work. Possibly not as good as 3AW because their listners are quite loyal. 3AW will loose a small percent, but nothing to majorly impact them
19 April 2010 - 4:30am
I've really enjoyed Vizard this morning, some interesting people (imagine his black book!) and Price had a good morning with Aker and Sam.

I'm glad they've used the 2GB jingle pack on MTR, sounds tight. No-one can throw stones at them for that, everyone does it!

So far, so good. Interesting to see how Martin King will go.
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