Phillip Adams was at his vicious best in The Australian
yesterday, spraying every right-winger he could name including Paddy,
Imre, Ron Brunton, Janet Albrechtsen, Alan Jones, Stan Zemanek, Michael
Kroger, Keith Windschuttle and Malcolm Turnbull. However, it was this
sting in the tale which would have surprised his ABC colleagues:

Anyone watching ABC TV will find it groaning beneath the weight of waffle, of
programming as culturally and ideologically confrontational as The Wiggles, with
shows about canines, collecting and cooking, The New Inventors and The Einstein
and celeb interviews by Peter Thompson and Andrew Denton. Apart from some raspberry blowing from The Chaser team and the occasional
grilling from Four Corners or Red Kerry, it is an ABC not Marxist but

Purists have long decried any mindless pursuit of ratings by Aunty but
that has
arguably been the approach at ABC local radio in recent years which now
has rock stars like Red Symons and the man who used to do Steve
Vizard’s Friday shift on Tonight Live, Richard Stubbs, plying their stuff in Melbourne and comedians like Adam Spencer doing the breakfast shift in Sydney.

Here’s a summary of how ABC local radio performed in the survey four figures released yesterday:

Sydney: up
0.2% overall to 3rd place with 8.4%. Virginia Trioli rose again from 7%
to 7.4% and is within a 0.3% of John Laws who flat-lined on 7.7%.
However, the biggest rise came from Adam Spencer in Breakfast who
jumped from 8.8% to 10.3% although Adams would probably call him

up 0.2% overall to 11.3% but FoxFM took over second place. Like Sydney,
the light entertainment of Red Symons at Breakfast led the way with a
stable 14.3% return, although the more serious Jon Faine gained 0.4% to
12.3% in Mornings.

Brisbane: down 0.9% to 5th place overall with 8.1% thanks to weakness in Mornings, Afternoons and Evenings.

up 0.4% to 11% but still 4th overall. Losing Liam Bartlett from
Mornings in March hasn’t hurt as much as expected as the fill-ins
gained 0.4% to 11%, drawing level with Bartlett on 6PR who dropped from
11.4% to 11%.

down 0.4% to 5th place overall with 10.8% and the major weakness came
in the double-headed Morning shift (“jibberers”, as Mark Latham memorably described Matthew Abraham and David Bevan) which lost 1.8 points to 9.9%.

Commercial rubbish is still beating the ABC comprehensively in most
markets but these are still healthy figures for Aunty and the Adams
claim does get one thinking about the consistency of the taxpayer-funded content.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey