Why didn’t right-wing radio work in Melbourne? Right-wing Melbourne talkback radio station MTR was put out of its misery on Friday after two years of disastrous ratings and financial results. The calamitous final broadcast — featuring an aborted news bulletin by one of the station’s Sydney-based newsreaders — has sparked much mirth in the Twittersphere. So what have we learnt from the demise of the much-hyped station?

1. Know your audience: From the beginning, Melbourne media veterans doubted that the shouty, overtly political style employed by Alan Jones and Ray Hadley at 2GB would work down south. The late Stan Zemanek’s aggro antics, for example, drew big ratings in Sydney but flopped when he did a stint at 3AW. Marketing MTR as “far to the right of the dial” was always going to alienate many listeners. As was filling half the station’s air time with content beamed down from Sydney.

2. Employ stars, not has-beens and wannabes: Andrew Bolt is a true talent, no doubt about it. But one 40-minute slot a day from Bolt does not a successful radio station make. To take on Melbourne media titans such as Neil Mitchell, Jon Faine and Derryn Hinch you’d better have an all-star line-up. 2UE ratings flop Steve Price, football boofhead Sam Newman and disgraced businessman Steve Vizard simply didn’t cut it. — Matthew Knott (read the full post at The Power Index)

Cute little carbon particles aren’t black! Herald Sun rabblerouser Andrew Bolt has slammed as “deceitful” a video by Climate Works which purports to show that “emissions of carbon dioxide — an invisible gas — are actually dark clouds of soot“. In the video, funded in part by Monash University, a large cloud of anthropmorphised soot introduces himself as “CP, which is short for carbon particle” and describes the Climate Works low carbon growth plan …

As Bolt writes: “When the global warming debate is presented so deceitfully by warmist institutions — even ones connected to universities — you know that truth is the enemy of their argument.”

While Bolt is clearly outraged that carbon is being portrayed in an unscientific manner, he appears to have no problem with its portrayal as a cloud of gas with eyes and a mouth that can talk and salute the Australian flag. Who’s cherry picking the science now, Andrew? — Crikey cartoonist First Dog on the Moon

Kitchen makeover for Sunday nights. With the one-day cricket internationals over, Seven has moved to add Sunday night to the line up for My Kitchen Rules. From next Sunday, My Kitchen Rules will run Sunday to Thursday for an hour or so from 7.30pm. That means Border Security and The Force, which have been slowly gathering strength at 7.30pm to 8.30pm, get shunted.

My Kitchen Rules will go up against the returning 60 Minutes on Nine next Sunday,and against Modern Family and New Girl on Ten. Because My Kitchen Rules runs over the timed finish at 8.30pm, Seven will also be looking to hold viewers away from the Nine telemovie, The Great Mint Swindle. — Glenn Dyer

Front page of the day. Russia went to the polls over the weekend and today’s Moscow Times announces a victory for an emotional Vladimir Putin:

The Department of Corrections. From the March 3 edition of the Toronto Star. One man’s Ghan is another man’s central Australia…

How I escaped from Homs as Syrian forces closed in

“Fifty or more of us — many disabled by their wounds — were trying to break out of the besieged neighbourhood of Baba Amr, in Homs, fleeing the final attack unleashed by the Syrian regime. It was to be a risky night-time dash through Syrian army lines, which would prove just how desperate these people, abandoned to their luck, had become.” — The Guardian

Loyal readers get digital reward as tabloid goes behind the wall

The Herald Sun will launch its paid content subscriptions next Monday, but give its most loyal print subscribers access to its relaunched website for free. ” — The Australian

Financial Times to set up new ‘live news’ operation

The Financial Times is to create a new “live news desk” at the heart of the FT.com operation, tasked with providing a rapid response to breaking news stories including on live blogs and Twitter.” — journalism.co.uk

Anatomy of an apology: Limbaugh’s shameless week

“Rush Limbaugh has issued an apology to Sandra Fluke: He never meant to ‘attack” the Georgetown law student by calling her a ‘sl-t’ and a ‘prostitute.’ Advertisers are dropping out, anyway.” — The Atlantic Wire

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey