The NZ Herald reports that latest Auckland audience polling shows Radio Live losing listeners in a big way. Marcus Lush, Michael Laws and Willie and JT all lost significant audience share. And it isn't just Aucklanders tuning out.
Laws may have lost audience because he was leaving. People anticipating his departure began looking for an alternative earlier than they needed to? I listened to Laws sporadically usually because he was running a subject that interested me and he didn't suffer fools.
Lush is an unknown but from the promos for his show I've never been tempted. Not enough gravitas in his presentation or content.
Willie and JT are entertaining at times but the (sometimes juvenile) slagging each other off wears thin. A lack of professionalism and repetition of race-related comment make Willie tiresome. JT has a wider field of knowledge and depth of insight but seems to mentally (and physically) disappear quite often. His solo shows make for more compelling listening. Their political panel show frequently degenerates into the verbal equivalent of a bar brawl. Again, I'm only a sporadic listener.
I tuned into Sean Plunket a couple of times during his first week. His style was unchanged since hosting NewstalkZB in Wellington 2011-12 during which time I started to gravitate over to Laws and RadioLive. Perhaps if he incorporates more interviews and news content - competing directly with his nemesis, Radio NZ - he could pull in people like me who refuse to listen to state radio but don't necessarily want music.
Duncan Garner is totally not my cup of tea. Three or four times I've persevered through the hour before Larry Williams starts on NewstalkZB. Garner gets an idea or takes a position (eg a nasty set against Susan Devoy) than asks people to text their support - repeatedly. He has a motor-mouth but not a motor-brain. Shallow and disappointing.
I've listened to RadioLive since the Radio Pacific days. Through many hosts like Jenny Anderson, a consummate professional, Paul Henry, very quirky and comical then, John Banks, cutting and polarising, Alan Dick, personable and forthright.
They just don't have any talent right now. Perhaps they get what they pay for. In which case it's a downward spiral.
(Mea culpa to Mitch Harris who does run a good show when he gets behind the mike.)
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