Macquarie Media’s Talking Lifestyle to be replaced with sports format

Talking Lifestyle is to shut down, Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang confirmed to Mumbrella this morning.

The struggling format, which is heavily funded by branded content, will be replaced with a new sports format.

Lang will be replacing Talking Lifestyle with a sports format

The news comes just three days after Macquarie Media extended its radio broadcast agreement with the Australian Rugby League Commission for an additional five years.

Mumbrella originally reported that Macquarie will broadcast games on Talking Lifestyle in Sydney and Brisbane, with the games now expected to be broadcast on the new sports format.

In Macquarie Media’s half yearly results, which were announced the same day as Lang’s appointment just two weeks ago, profits fell by 39%, despite a slight increase in revenue.

Following the results, Macquarie Media’s executive chairman Russell Tate hinted at a change, saying the station would be conducting an “operational review” of the Talking Lifestyle format.

“The ratings performance of these stations, particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane, has not met expectations in first half of FY18.

“The stations contributed around 7% of MML core radio revenues in HY18 and any format changes will not materially impact FY2018 earnings,” Tate said.

Lang also confirmed to Radio Info last week that the Talking Lifestyle format was ‘under review’.

In the final GfK radio ratings survey of 2017, Talking Lifestyle held the smallest overall share of any station in both Melbourne and Brisbane.

Following the survey’s results last December, Lang told Mumbrella there was a lot to be done.

“Brisbane and Sydney both went up a little, but we’re dealing at levels that we’re not yet satisfied with. So from our point of view we recognise some modest increases, but we really need to grow more than that and that’s all we want to do,” he said.

Talking Lifestyle was introduced on 2UE in Sydney and Magic in Melbourne and Brisbane in 2016. 

The format was introduced a year after the Fairfax Media and Macquarie Radio Network merger, which resulted in the loss of 50 jobs at 2UE in 2015, along with the axing of the station’s news broadcasts.

Around the time of Talking Lifestyle’s launch, the format – which is largely funded by paid-for lifestyle content – was criticised by Media Watch for its heavy advertorial content.

It is not yet known if the station’s famous 2UE call sign will remain in Sydney following the shift to a sports format.


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