Angry Laws feels like walking out over merger


Angry Laws feels like walking out over merger: 27th November 2003
(Credit SMH / AAP)

The king of talkback radio John Laws says he feels like walking out on Sydney station 2UE over the planned merger of parts of the station's operations with arch rival 2GB.

2UE's operator, Southern Cross Broadcasting, announced yesterday it had agreed with John Singleton's Macquarie Radio Network, operator of 2GB and 2CH, to establish a joint venture company to service both networks.

Tentatively called Sydney Radio Network, the new company means the rival stations will share the same newsroom, sales team, and technical services.

Earlier this month, Laws signed a new contract at 2UE, locking him into the station until 2010.

Interviewed today on Mike Carlton's 2UE program, Laws said if he wanted to work at 2GB he would have accepted a job offer there.

"If I had wanted to go and work in that environment, I would have gone when I was offered a job, but I didn't do that, I want to stay with 2UE," Laws told Radio 2UE.

"I'm very angry about it, I just really feel like getting up and walking out."

Laws said he first heard of the deal when he read about it in the newspaper.

"Apart from anything else it's just impolite," he said.

The merger would end an historic rivalry between the stations, and jobs would be lost under the plan.

Carlton said he was particularly concerned about the news operation.

"There are some very fine journalists working on both sides, but the essence of news is competition," Carlton said.

The merger was "commercially stupid" and dedicated 2UE staff would be out of jobs probably just before Christmas, he said.

Links:

Sydney Morning Herald: TV & Radio News

Australian Associated Press

Media Man Australia: News

Media Man Australia: Media News

Media Man Australia: John Laws profile

Article: Alan Jones: Broadcaster and Enigmatic Man

Media Man Australia: John Singleton profile

Media Man Australia: Ben Starr profile

Media Man Australia: Josh Szeps profile

Media Man Australia: Ray Hadley profile

Article: The War of the Ratings

2UE

2GB

Southern Cross Broadcasting

Macquarie Radio Network

Media Man Australia: TV & Radio links