Hiring 60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley to be a radio star for the nascent Macquarie Regional Radio network can be looked at in several ways.

First, it’s another relatively painless cost cut for Nine and 60 Minutes
and gets the program’s reporting strength down to a more manageable
four instead of the unwieldy six that existed for most of the past year
or so. Wooley’s departure comes after Paul Barry and Nine reached a
mutual agreement to part ways.

Secondly, Wooley’s move to be the morning radio star for large slabs of
the Australian bush means a loss of audience for Golden Tonsils, John
Laws. His morning show on 2UE is networked to 62 other stations across
the country. From the start of 2006, 19 of those stations drop off that
broadcast and will start with the Wooley broadcast.

is this a smart deal for Macquarie Regional Radio and Macquarie Media?
Tim Hughes, the man whom Macquarie hired to build the network and chair
the about-to-float company, says he met Wooley on a flight to Brisbane
earlier this year and realised he was just what he wanted. Wooley has
always been a professional bushie, with a love of trout fishing. He’s
been freelancing at 60 Minutes and living in Hobart for the
past five years. He has also lived in Sydney and Victoria. Wooley has
no radio background except as a young ABC reporter.

The phrase Bold Gamble comes to mind.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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