After two years of broadcasting, last Friday saw the demise of conservative talk radio station MTR 1377. It struggled to find an audience and draw listeners away from market leaders 774 ABC Melbourne and 3AW. Both of those stations have been established for decades, have loyal audiences, and position themselves on different points at the more progressive end of the political spectrum. MTR tried to broaden the market, and failed.
Some of MTR's content was networked from Sydney, which may have alienated parochial Melburnians, not to mention the brash style of some of their presenters. Shock jocks have tried to break into the Melbourne radio market, but have never really succeeded. Why that is shall be left to others to speculate upon, but in one widely publicised on air gaffe, afternoon presenter Chris Smith held a very distasteful talk back quiz inviting listeners to guess how many asylum seekers were killed in the December 2010 Christmas Island boat disaster.
One of MTR's few drawcards was Andrew Bolt, Australia's most controversial newspaper columnist. During his daily appearances on MTR's breakfast program, he'd always seem to talk about what he sees as the incompetence of former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his successor Julia Gillard, climate change and the deceit behind the carbon tax, left wing bias in the mainstream media, racial issues, and so on. Bolt always seems to articulate his views well, but hearing him talk about the same things every day grew a little tedious after a while.
Now I'll find another radio station to listen to over breakfast, or I'll sit in contemplative silence instead. The upside is that I won't have to spend all day getting worked up over Australia's present sorry state.