FM radio comics Merrick and Rosso have been copping a fair bit of
stick for allowing an anonymous prostitute they were interviewing to
name a NSW politician as her client on Nova 969 last Friday. Monica
Attard, on ABC’s Media Watch last night, got stuck into the Sydney breakfast radio hosts for “getting careless” and not broadcasting in delay:

Nova’s Merrick and Rosso could easily have prevented that allegation
going to air in the first place, if they’d used a few seconds of delay
in their broadcast. That would have given them time to cut off the woman before her comments went to air. Seems that live radio is getting a little careless nowadays and that could be costly.

But does Nova have delay? According to one radio engineer who contacted Crikey, “very few,
if any,
FM stations ever broadcast in delay.” In fact some don’t even have a
delay facility installed, “because given the
of their usual content (inane phone topics about last night’s Biggest
episode, followed by a James Blunt double-shot) it’s just not

So is this the case at Nova? We called the station to ask them, but
they wouldn’t comment “due to the sensitivity of the matter”.

As for the men behind the mics, we spoke to Tim Ross – aka Rosso –
who said he had “never used the dump button in all my time on

Wonder if that’s about to change?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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