Well, that was quick. Tom "Heidi" Switzer has done his final broadcast of Sunday Extra, the 7-10am slot on Radio National he took over from Jonathan Green in November last year. In terms of production values, the decision was bewildering: Green (disclosure: my former and current editor, everywhere) had used his substantial editorial talents to build a show of many parts, with light sections and serious ones, the incomparable First Dog's Guide to Modern Life, and discussion panels that drew from the left and right. The show was appropriate for Sunday morning, when some people were listening after their 6am tai chi session and others were hiding under the covers through a hangover, and it was designed by an editor accustomed to building an audience. This skill, honed in commercial publications and in the internally competitive ABC, is unknown in the drip-fed think tanks and loss-leader publications of the right. At the time of Switzer's accession, I wrote:
"His Sunday morning slot will be either an attempt by him to play light, Brezhnev-as-DJ, or a grim ploughing through. Either way, a mistake for him, a panicked move by management."