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2UE boss Brennan: Under our previous management, the fish stank from the head

Sydney talk radio station 2UE aims to lift its audience share to 8.5% by the end of the year, a launch event to reveal its “next generation” programming lineup heard last night.

The same event saw program director Peter Brennan blame the station’s ratings woes on the previous management, telling Mumbrella: ‘The fish stinks from the head. I think it’s suffered from poor management.”

Brennan left rival talk station 2GB in 2009 and joined Fairfax Media’s 2UE last year.

2UE’s audiences have never recovered from the retirement of John Laws.

Rival 2GB dominated the market with a Monday to Friday daytime audience share of 14.1% in the final set of ratings of 2010. 2UE delivered 5.3%.

Last night 2UE’s general manager Tim McDermott pledged to get the station above that. He said: “To be honest I’d like to finish the year at eight and a half per cent. At eight and a half per cent I’ll be very happy because at eight and a half per cent this station is very sellable and our competitors would be very worried.”

2UE this week finally confirmed Jason Morrison as its breakfast host after his contract with talk rival 2GB expired. However Morrison was not at the event, having headed to Queensland to report on the cyclone.

The event was helmed by new drivetime presenter Paul Murray, who at 32 is one of the youngest talk hosts in Australia.

Murray also pledged to raise the tone of the bitter fight between the two stations. he said: “There will be no background briefing of journalists.”

He also said nobody has immediate expectations to overtake 2GB. He said: “We know that there is an existing radio station in 2GB that is Australia’s number one radio station, There isn’t a person on or off the air who thinks we’d beat 2GB tomorrow or even within a year.”

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