Breakfast broadcaster Red Symons announced his retirement from radio. I would guess he was on a annual contract and it was simply not renewed. To quote him about the non renewal, "I did not ask and they did not tell me" (why).
The Age newspaper called it, ABC broadcaster Red Symons has announced he is hanging up his headphones, after he was sacked from his breakfast show.
His broadcasting style was unique. Not since the late Peter Evans has there been such a broadcaster. He endeared himself to many listeners, and while I haven't looked at radio ratings of late, I believe he was the second highest rated Melbourne breakfast broadcaster, but I am not sure if that includes FM stations. Young people don't generally listen to AM radio. (Later: generally third highest rated breakfast broadcaster across AM and FM in Melbourne, and once winning a survey period)
I suppose our ABC Radio knows what it is doing. R could not bear Symons when he began, but has become a similarly devoted listener as I am. R suggested that our ABC want a national local radio breakfast programme, but I doubt that. I think the real reason behind Symons non contract renewal sacking is his age. At 68, he is getting on. He did blot his copybook earlier this year when interviewing a fellow ABC broadcaster, using his normal style of humour and had to apologise for what was perceived as racism. That was fair enough. But you have to understand his sense of humour to see where he was going. By playing the racist comment, he brings strongly held prejudices into the open and up for discussion. But, the person was offended and he probably went too far, hence the apology.
There is plenty of talent within our ABC who could replace him, but I suspect it will take me a long time to get used to anyone new. Because I am a shift worker, I have listened to all ABC Melbourne broadcasters until a few years ago. I have ceased to be such a fan, now only listening to Red in the breakfast slot, Jon Faine in the morning, AM, The World Today and PM at times.
I was less than impressed with the boss of Our ABC Ms Guthrie's announcement of a shake up. I am even more than concerned at what may happen at RN, where they make expensive radio programmes of very high quality. Most are podcast and the numbers of downloads, mine included, are extraordinary.
Back to Red. As he said, he had five years as a (mega) pop star, ten years in tv and fifteen years on the radio. Do not worry. I have other irons in the fire, so to speak. He was full of optimism as he spoke of his departure. This coming week will be his last on air. I think ABC Radio has treated him badly and made a mistake, but time will tell. Perhaps it has a cracker broadcaster set up to take over. If you are not in Melbourne, you can listen to him online next week, AEDT 5:30 to 7:45.
Pop star Red, of the band Skyhooks.
TV Red, Red Faces on Hey, Hey, It's Saturday.
Radio broadcaster Red, on ABC Melbourne.
I will really miss Red on the radio. Thank you Red for the laughs and the education over so many years.
The bitchy old queen, John Michael Howson, was also sacked today from a commercial radio station after suggesting greenies should hang themselves. No loss at all. I could add something personal about him, but I shan't.