Anthony Stavrinos writes:

Celebrity radio personality Wendy Harmer is believed to have quit
struggling FM radio upstart Vega this morning. Harmer did not turn up
for her morning gig at Vega today, sending the station into turmoil.

The loss of the high profile comedienne would be a disaster for the
Sydney/Melbourne network targeted at baby boomers which has been
struggling in the ratings. Vega recently launched a major advertising campaign which featured Harmer prominently.

The great Vega experiment in Sydney is close to stalling
and no matter of spin from DMG can stop the speculation. There’s just no
breakthrough. The first radio
ratings for 2006

show that Vega shed a tiny bit of share, from 1.8 in the last survey of
2005, to 1.7. Harmer’s ratings in the morning shift were down from 2.1
to 2.0 in the latest figures though she was far from the station’s
worst performer.

According to The Oz, in Sydney Vega’s ratings translate to an average of about
10,000 listeners per quarter hour compared with 56,000 for rival station WS FM
and is on par with the ABC’s Radio National. In Melbourne, Vega is drawing an
average of just 6,000 listeners per quarter hour, about one-tenth of the local
station ABC774.

Harmer’s departure could be the beginning of an overhaul of the DMG-owned network which has to be revamped to succeed.