The early signs are not good for Stan Zemanek as the red-necked and sexist broadcaster has already had a major run-in with 3AW management for offensive comments.

Dear Crikey Team,

I am a subscriber and this information is accurate but I have to write under an email nom-de-plume for personal reasons.

The suits at Southern Cross Broadcasting, owners of 3AW, are in a major flap about the behaviour of Stan Zemanek, the Sydney shock jock imported to Melbourne to fill the drivetime hole left when Steve Price went to take Alan Jones’ slot at 2UE.

It started in late February when a female listener rang in to complain that a tradesman who was carrying out work at her house had deliberately exposed himself to her and her young daughter.

Instead of expressing sympathy and concern (which would have been the hallmark of a normal human being) and getting the offender’s details so the story could be followed up (which would have been the hallmark of even the most inexperienced news reporter), neanderthal Stan made sniggering remarks along the lines of, “Yeah, but you’d have enjoyed that, wouldn’t you?” and “Was it a twig or a branch?” (the tradesman was a tree remover).

Can you believe this?

Management was naturally horrified and I am told by an AW insider that after a major confrontation they forced Stan to apologise on-air the following day.

SCB executives are now starting to realise that Melbourne is a very different listener market to Sydney and they are worried that Stan will be a liability rather than an asset, especially with Jeff Kennett currently putting his stamp on the drivetime shift at 3AK.

All this is in addition to the unrest among AW staff following the discovery that despite the rewards of a huge office in Bank St, his own personal assistant and a mega-salary, Stan still needs to be ‘handfed’ -that is, all his editorials have to be written for him by underlings.

When taking listeners’ calls on air, Stan has displayed his ignorance of the Melbourne market with mistaken geographical references such as “let’s go down to Preston” (which is north) and “up to Frankston” (which is south).

The only time he sounds really comfortable is when he crosses to his 2UE counterpart to discuss the day’s Sydney news.

It makes you realise what a good broadcaster Steve Price was by comparison. Stan can be rude and abusive but lacks the intellect or the news sense of a Price.

Melbourne Subscriber.

CRIKEY: They’ve got my CV and I’m available to replace Stan as soon as they want.

Now let’s look at a range of other comments on Stan’s opening weeks and, in the fairness to the guy, we’ll open with the solitary positive email that has been received so far.

Zemanek = Winner

So, Stephen Mayne, an ABC listener thinks Stan Zemanek will fail in Melbourne?

Let’s address some of Stephen’s concerns:

1) The suits at Southern Cross Broadcasting, owners of 3AW, are in a major flap about the behaviour of Stan Zemanek, the Sydney shock jock imported to Melbourne to fill the drivetime hole left when Steve Price went to take Alan Jones’ slot at 2UE.

The Response: Stan Zemanek’s behaviour is entertaining. The man had double digit ratings in Sydney = more advertising revenue. This is a good thing for 3AW and its time someone stopped catoring to the politically correct thought police who have no idea about how the common man speaks, eats and breaths. Stan Zemanek is a public relations blessing in the making.

2) It started last week when a female listener rang in to complain that a tradesman who was carrying out work at her house had deliberately exposed himself to her and her young daughter.

Instead of expressing sympathy and concern (which would have been the hallmark of a normal human being) and getting the offender’s details so the story could be followed up (which would have been the hallmark of even the most inexperienced news reporter), neanderthal Stan made sniggering remarks along the lines of, “Yeah, but you’d have enjoyed that, wouldn’t you?” and “Was it a twig or a branch?” (the tradesman was a tree remover).

Can you believe this?

The Response: Name me another broadcaster in Melbourne who has the twigs to have a good time on-air and actually stimulate listeners. Jeff Kennett eh? Yes, I was very entertained by 4m11s of the former Victorian Premier trying to justify why he should be on radio in the face of alot of arguments suggesting otherwise. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Former politicians and talkback radio are like a fire and water. They don’t work and never will. Zemenek has had national coverage courtesy of Beauty and the Beast while Kennett has been limited to his state. Plus Zemanek has experience as a radio writer, broadcaster and producer. He’s also business savvy, something I’ve yet to see from others. In regards to the issue of a tree hugging looney exposing his fruit loops, get over it. It was radio at its best and the comments didn’t injure or incite anyone to repeat the action. Have a laugh and get on with life.

“Crikey is no fan of Kennett but he’s 10 times better than that racist, sexist pig Stan Zemanek who should never have been imposed on Melbourne by Southern Cross Broadcasting.”

Response: If Kennett’s 10 times better then Zemanek, I guess Zemanek is 20 times better then Crikey. You lefties have the power to call him a sexist and a racist off the air. Show some branches and give him a call. Racist: When did Stan Zemanek say one race was superior to another? You people just love the word racist because it makes you feel good every time somone has a right-wing view. Your an embarrassment to every dictionary in this country. Crikey is the type of website which gives failure a bad name by throwing words around for the hell of it. And as for sexist, did your sweet little secretary throw that in? Sexist… more like Spot On.

Value for broadcasting is something you lot will never know. Zemanek’s talent, entertainment and success will get the better of you. You know it will happen and that’s what pisses you off. He’ll succeed because like a lot of persistant, hard workers in this country, he is the kind of guy to beat the odds and I guarantee you he will.

The Guru of Goss

WHAT ABOUT THE STAN BAN

BOYCOTTING STAN ZEMANEK

A journalist reader writes:

Heard a rumour through a former colleague now working at 3AW that the station’s US correspondent, Richard Arnold, won’t appear on Stan Zemanek’s program. Something about Arnold finding him to be a complete hack. Don’t know if it’s true but it’s a good yarn anyway. No names please.

So, are thousands of listeners are now being joined by 3AW correspondents. Surely management would not tolerate this as Arnold makes his living talking to the Southern Cross stations across the country.

ANON

GREAT STAN ZEMANEK STUFF-UPS

A shock jock listener wrote:

On Wednesday March 13 Stan added to the impression of his show being a complete circus by taking a call from a listener in ‘Bullen’. Let’s assume he meant Bulleen.

Could Stan keep for himself one of the Melway street directories he hands out as prizes to callers? And get someone to read it to him?

Also, re the daily radio crosses to US correspondent Richard Arnold, whom another contributor suggests has refused to deal with Stan because he’s such a fool: Yesterday (Wednesday) I noticed that the scheduled 5.45pm live cross to Richard had been replaced by what sounded very much like a pre-recorded (and pretty dull) read from another US-based Aussie journo, Pam Mackay, correspondent for Network’s Ten News. Looks like Richard has well and truly pulled the pin.

If Stan’s Southern Cross colleagues are refusing to have anything to do with him, can the audience be far behind? Is it too soon to begin framing a market on Stan’s likely departure date?

Cheers, Talkback Radio Insider

ZEMANEK LASTED ONLY A FEW WEEKS IN TOWNSVILLE

A reader writes:

A story from the hazy past….

I was working on Townsville radio station 4TO in the late 70s (when it was part of the old AWA network, now long gone – sob) when Stan turned up to gain some work experience – he’d taken leave from producing the John Laws show to try his hand at talkback in the deep north (where else where you go to have a go).

Unfortunately, the local people had had little experience with talk back in the evenings (the majority watching television) and, after opening his show every night – with the theme from ‘Dallas’, Stan scored all of three calls the first night he ‘came out’ (two for music requests, and another to tell him off for mucking up a music shift.

If memory is correct, he lasted a couple of months before retiring to the safety of Sydney.

Cheers, Mal

STAN’S UNFAIR DISMISSAL CLAIM

A Melbourne-based subcriber writes:

Crikey,

About Stan Zemanek. Could you expand the story you referred to today about his unfair dismissal claim against 2GB?

I ask because, on Tuesday this week, he gave a ranting diatribe about the inequity of the current unfair dismissal laws. According to Stan, they are immoral, illogical, are driving business to the wall, and generally spell the end of civilisation as we know it. Could be a good story in it.

What a hypocrite?

Best, Kevin JEFF KENNETT WARMING TO THE 3AK TASK

This was sent to subscribers on March 5 and I’m predicting Kennett will be out-rating Zemanek by the end of the year:

Crikey will always be a Virginia Trioli listener in the afternoons as she’d stop paying me $50 a week for the Tuesday afternoon segment with ABC 774 if I don’t say that. But yesterday we deviated from the usual course and gave Jeff Kennett and go on 3AK for two hours and reckon he has improved significantly.

Jeffrey was cracking gags, cutting off dopey callers and celebrating life with his trademark “if you wake up in the morning it is a reason to celebrate.”

Interestingly, one of his few advertisers was National Telecom Group, a small telco that he has successfully chaired.

Today Jeffrey will be visiting his beloved taxi drivers at Melbourne airport and also interviewing Senator Stephen Conroy to go after Costello’s casino losses.

When it was suggested the losses were $5 billion, Jeffrey said “If that is the case then the Treasury would have to be the biggest gamblers in this country.”

Somehow, I can’t imagine Costello agreeing to go on the show but it was good to see Victorian Deputy Premier John Thwaites gave Jeffrey a go yesterday.

Crikey is no fan of Kennett but he’s 10 times better than that racist, sexist pig Stan Zemanek who should never have been imposed on Melbourne by Southern Cross Broadcasting.

Stan’s first shift on February 18

This went to subscribers after Stan’s first shift with 3AW:

Sydney shock jock Stan Zemanak got off to a relatively peaceful start on 3AW yesterday, only managing to attack Melbourne’s dole bludgers taxi drivers which was supremely ironic. You see, Stan’s predecessor Steve Price attacked Stan for being a former taxi driver himself when his name came up during Pricey’s last 3AW shift as a possible successor on the Drive program.

John Howard yesterday gave his imprimatur to this racist, sexist pig by granting a relatively long interview on Zemanak’s debut 3AW program. The PM said he was a “hellraiser” in Sydney – if that’s what you describe someone who called an Indian listener a “curry muncher” and calls all female callers “darling”.

Steve Price also promised the PM on his first shift at 2UE but then failed to deliver and on day two Pricey promised Eddie McGuire but failed on that score too. Stan interviewed Eddie and PM yesterday, almost as if to prove a point.

Feedback after Stan’s first shift

A reader writes:

I notice Stan Z. yesterday at about 3.15pm on AW made a point of telling a caller he’d never been a taxi driver although he’d ridden in plenty.

I thought he sounded pretty shaky for the first hour or so. But not as shaky as John Howard at about 5.40pm when Zemanek told him live to air that he was at that moment receiving reports from the Canberra office that G-G Hollingworth would quit today.

“News to me.” said Howard through clenched teeth. After a moment Howard regathered himself and said the reports were utterly baseless, etc – presumably having realised that he would by then have been told if the resignation was on.

Stan also needs to acquaint himself with the AW house style, urging talkback callers to phone in on “9696 twelve-seventy-eight” (not 1-2-7-8 as he repeatedly said yesterday). Only a small point but it stood out like the proverbial amid AW’s consistent delivery. Slightly worse was when he corrected himself after almost urging callers to ring in on 13-18-73, which is his old open line at 2GB!

Feel free to use any or all of this (without names thanks) or if you like I could probably expand it slightly into a first-day review for the Media section. I only heard part of the show but probably enough to turn in 300 words or so. It would cover his opening attack on dole bludgers, the Bracks & Howard interviews, his slag off at taxi drivers, the “Darling” thing, etc.

ends

Why Zemanek will fail in Melbourne

Dear Crikey,

Having moved from Melbourne to Sydney some years ago, it was bleedin’ obvious to me and countless others that Stan the Man would never succeed in Melbourne. Forget about the political divide, the cheap shots about “toy town”, and the Gay Mardi Gras – these differences dissipate when you hear the ranting, raving, lunatic insult the very people who take the time to phone in. The boofhead has no courtesy or manners, and he is a ticking time-bomb, no matter which market (geographical) he is broadcasting to.

I was once a regular caller to 2ue because the announcer would engage me in the broadcast, and I wanted to have my say like thousands of others. When I’d call Jones, I’d use the name “Peter from the north Shore”. With Mike Carlton, I was “John from the eastern suburbs”. On the few occasions I’d call the boofhead (usually late at night, when he did the 7pm to midnight shift), I took great delight in becoming “Randy from Rooty Hill”! Funny thing – I always got through – I suspect because I was the only one listening!

Where to next, Stan – Christmas Island?

Anon

Why Stan will succeed in Melbourne

Stan WILL make it in Melbourne because he gets noticed. That doesn’t mean he has any talent, just that he knows how to get noticed. And that will get him ratings on AW. Stan worked for me many years ago in a Sydney advertising agency. He didn’t have any talent then, just a loud mouth. Look where it has got him! Good onya Stan.

Alan Bohlsen

Get back on the Hume Highway Stan

Dear Crikey

Being a former Sydney-sider, and a staunch (if recent) convert to life in Australia’s most liveable city, I am not at all surprised by the feather-ruffling cause by that man, Stan Zemanek. But we shouldn’t blame the man himself – I mean, one need only to have heard (or seen, on “Beauty & the Beast”) the man once to realise that he’s not Einstein and has been inflated by his various employers’ media marketing machines. His provocative repartee is self-evidently manufactured to a formula and he revels in the controversy it causes, clearly being from the “any publicity is good publicity” school. That’s not his fault, poor chap – like many boxers, footballers and others who have some natural talent but are manipulated by their managers and handlers, he is largely the product of others’ notions of what sells – in Sydney. Rather than lambast the stooge (it’s not nice to make fun of people who can’t help what they are), I question the judgment of those who thought it was a good idea to bring him to Melbourne in the first place.

Melbournians are justifiably outraged by this simpleton’s rantings. My advice? Wait patiently and hope they give him enough rope, and he’ll do the job himself. The Hume Highway will soon ring to the sound of screeching tyres as he is hounded out of town.

Bob the Builder

Give Stan a go

Surely the management team at 3AW knew what they were getting when they signed up Stan Legend Zemaneck! I find it very hard to believe that they signed Stan up without hearing him in action first!

What, did they think they would be able to change his style and still win the ratings battle. Come on…

How very typical of Victorians to oust a Sydney sider. Stan was ousted before he even arrived in Melbourne and went to air simply because he comes from Sydney. This is normal Victorian behaviour towards Sydney people.

At least the people of Sydney were willing to give Steve Price a go – who I might add has absolutely no chance against the likes of Alan Jones!

Anon

Peter Fray

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