Sydney’s Daily Telegraph continues its holier than thou campaign against Kyle Sandilands and his sidekick, Jackie O without a shred of embarrassment.
The Tele, after all — with its Confidential gossip pages and salacious website content — has long been a willing fan, reporter and exploiter of the Kyle and Jackie style of shock jocking.
For News Ltd, tapping into the Kyle and Jackie audience gave access to the single largest media audience in Sydney: the 500,000-plus people who listened to the 2DayFM program Monday to Friday (565,000 in ratings survey four for this year). Each day well over 100,000 people listen to them, making them third behind Alan Jones on 2GB and Adam Spencer on ABC 702, but their cumulative audience is much, much bigger.
Those half million listeners would mostly not be Telegraph readers, nor would they be readers of any other paper. Some would read gossip mags or women’s magazines, but mostly they would listen to Kyle and Jackie, watch Channel Ten, especially Idol if Kyle was judging. However they didn’t support the pair when they hosted Big Brother in its death throes last year.
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For advertisers the huge 2DayFM audience was a rolled-gold opportunity to market into the hard to reach demographics of young men and women in Sydney from around 15 up to 30. That’s why Optus became a sponsor, why American Express one as well, Qantas and the Ten Network.
It also explains the clout Sandilands had in his contract negotiations. According to one Sydney radio insider, the Austereo management agreed to Kyle’s demand that he be able to broadcast from any remote location — which explains why the offending lie detector test saw Sandilands on-air from New Zealand. He contract also stipulated that he work without a “dump” or “kill” button, and with no seven-second delay.
It is understood that a belated demand from 2DayFM management that the program work in delay was behind Kyle’s “inability’ to work his shift this week. Austereo in effect asked Kyle to breach the terms of his contract.
And there are suggestions that his contract calls for him to be paid according to ratings success, with a top payment of $100,000 per survey (there are eight surveys a year). If that’s the situation, Kyle and Jackie would have had a financial inducement to ramp up promotions and stunts to attract and hold more viewers.
Someone, way back when, created a monster, and a lot of people were happy enough to tag along for the ride.