Ray Hadley, OAM

Ray Hadley started at 2GB on Christmas Eve 2001, after 19 years with rival broadcaster 2UE.

Ray was contracted to provide his Continuous Call Team coverage every Saturday and Sunday on 2GB, from midday to 6pm throughout the football season. When it was announced in February of 2002 that Alan Jones would be joining 2GB, Station CEO George Buschman and Network owner John Singleton convinced Ray to take on the 9 til midday morning show.

With his Continuous Call Team colleagues Peter Frilingos, Bob Fulton, Steve Roach and Tony Megahey already agreeing to join Ray at 2GB, he accepted the challenge of doing the Monday to Friday Morning show from Buschman and Singleton on the proviso he could continue to do his rugby league program during the winter.

After just 12 months of hosting the Morning program, Ray eclipsed the King of Morning Talkback John Laws, in the first radio ratings of 2003. Ray had 11% of the audience to John's 8.5%. In that same survey, 2GB registered its first win in almost 17 years to become the Number 1 rated radio station in Sydney.

In a remarkable performance, Ray and his team immediately won the rugby league ratings in the first survey of 2002, and dominated the rest of the ratings throughout the season. It's the first time a rugby league audience has transferred from one station to another.

Ray's success on weekends was reflected in his Monday to Friday morning show ratings culminating in the win over John Laws in the first radio ratings survey of 2003.

"Everyone at 2GB has been buoyed by our success through 2002, Alan Jones at breakfast has led the charge with his dominance in that shift" Ray said. "Alan gives us a tremendous lead-in and without his input, we wouldn't be where we are today".

"The Continuous Call Team continues to be a source of fun and entertainment for us, and hopefully for our listeners, and I'm committed to continuing in that role, as well as the Monday to Friday program".

Looking back over his career, Ray considers the 2000 Olympics as his highlight.

He sees himself as being privileged. Some of Australia's greatest sports broadcasters haven't had the opportunity of calling events in their 'home' country, let along their 'home' city.

Ray Hadley was born on 27th September 1954. He grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney but spent a great deal of time with his grandparents in a small village called Eungai Rail, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.

Deciding at a relatively young age that he wanted to pursue a career in sports broadcasting, Ray says that he received some strange looks from family and friends whenever he mentioned his ambition.

Ray completed his Higher School Certificate in 1972 and tried unsuccessfully to find employment in sports broadcasting. He later found work in another type of broadcasting - he became a trainee Auctioneer and after gaining his Auctioneers license, stayed with that profession for 8 years.

Still bugged by his desire to enter into the world of sports broadcasting, Ray gave up auctioneering and started driving taxis so he could spend his weekends seeking out casual work as a race broadcaster.

He started calling the greyhound races at Appin, Bulli and Nowra in 1980 when fate intervened.

He was driving a taxi one Tuesday evening when he picked up a fare at the front of Radio 2UE. That meeting with 2UE News Director Mark Collier was to change Ray's life.

Within a month of that meeting, Ray was working casually at 2UE and took on any job that was thrown to him. He presented traffic reports in Gary O'Callaghan's top rating breakfast show, was involved with 'on-air' promotions for various programs and eventually found himself understudy race caller to Des Hoysted and John Tapp.

His biggest break came in 1987 when he was offered the job of heading up the 2UE Rugby League coverage. For 10 of the next 13 years, Ray led the Continuous Call Team to ratings victory after ratings victory. Just before the ARL Super League War in 1994, Ray became the first League broadcaster since Frank Hyde to gain almost 200,000 listeners per quarter hour.

In 1999, 2UE lost the broadcast rights to Rugby League. Ray faced the most difficult time in his broadcasting career. 2UE asked him to continue to present a Rugby League program for 6 hours on Saturdays and Sundays without access to the actual game and with his reporters unable to speak to him from inside the ground.

Despite these hurdles Ray and the Talking League Team won every ratings period in 2000 and 2001, a feat that left industry insiders scratching their heads. It simply hadn't been done before.

The remarkable performance also attracted the attention of the management of rival station 2GB and network owner John Singleton convinced Ray to bring his team across to the Macquarie Network from 2002.

Career highlights include toppling John Laws in the radio ratings in February 2003, along with his commentary on the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney, the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, 13 successive Rugby League grand finals including the last game at the SCG and the first game at Stadium Australia, in particular the 1989 Balmain-Canberra thriller and the 1997 Newcastle-Manly decider.

Ray Hadley has been named Australia's best Radio Sports Broadcaster for 5 of the past 10 years. The radio industry awards are known as the "Rawards" and Ray's most recent win came for his coverage of the Sydney Olympics.

Ray was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday 2002 Honours List for service to Rugby League Football as a broadcaster, and to the community, particularly through fundraising for charitable organizations.

Home for Ray Hadley is the north-west of Sydney on a 2.5 hectare property where he lives with his wife Suzanne and four children Daniel, Laura, Emma and Sarah.



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