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Radio Death Warmed Up to get worse?


Chris Laidlaw is stepping down from his Sunday morning radio slot on National Radio. Before anyone rejoices at this news that Radio Death Warmed Up will soon be a bad memory, consider the article this morning in The DominionPost under heading ‘Top Talent to Chase Radio New Zealand spot‘. Adam saw the headline and thought this might be interesting, but he should have known that the devil would be in the detail.


Long-time broadcaster Bill Ralston speculated on a good pick for the show. Applications close on December 2.

Fill-in radio host Noelle McCarthy: Definitely, I would think a very serious contender.

Media3 host and blogger Russell Brown: Possible. He would be a contender, but I would certainly put people inside the shop ahead of people outside the shop.

Mark Sainsbury: A really good choice.

Anna Guy: Yeah, nah.

Radio hosts John Tamihere and Willie Jackson: Non-starters.

Jim Mora: Yeah, if he wants to retire back to one day a week, and he might do, in which case that would open up his shift to someone like Mark Sainsbury or Noelle McCarthy. He would be ideal in some respects.

3rd Degree host Guyon Espiner: I somehow doubt it. Don’t see him as a serious contender, although he could do it well.

Blogger Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury: He’s too Left even for National Radio.

Broadcaster Susan Wood: Definitely. They need more women on air, to be honest . . . I would see her as a better than adequate person to do it.

Ex-TV reporter Richard Langston: Has a lot of ability, but I don’t see him necessarily as a primary contender.

Back Benches host Wallace Chapman: If they wanted someone younger, hipper, cooler, groovier, he’d be a guy to look for.

Now Adam suspects that some of Bill’s comments may have been taken out of context and the online version does not quite fit with Adam’s recall of the print copy. further it reads as if one or two of the suggestions may have been somewhat tongue in cheek.

However, the idea that Noelle McCarthy might fill the slot fills Adam with horror. Then Jim Mora is surely only replacing like with like. Mark Sainsbury, surely not, enough to make Adam take up drinking again. Russell Brown, excuse Adam whilst he looks for a sick-bag. Bradbury a bad joke!

Then what can one expect from Radio NZ after all as Karl du Fresne recently wrote in a column for The DominionPost:-

Don’t expect balanced discussion of such issues on Radio New Zealand, despite its charter obligation to present both sides of the story.

Sunday morning host Chris Laidlaw – himself a former Labour MP – recently devoted nearly an hour to Mr Lees-Galloway’s bill but couldn’t find time, amid all the anti-liquor rhetoric, to squeeze in one person to put the case for the status quo.

Laidlaw’s programme often comes across as the secular equivalent of a Sunday morning sermon from the pulpit.

Radio NZ seems to honour this obligation in the absence and with no sense of recognizing this obligation at all given the tenor of much of it’s coverage, du Fresne continued.

When I sent Laidlaw an email objecting to his one-sided treatment of the issue, he replied that you can’t please everyone. What a copout – and what a dismissive attitude from someone paid by the taxpayer to present a balanced picture.

Sorry Karl, Radio NZ’s idea of balance is that of a drunk tilting so far to the left you expect him to fall down at any moment.

John Drinnan in the NZ Herald once described Laidlaw’s programme, in a March 2010 article as follows:-

Have any of the passionate advocates for National Radio listened to Chris Laidlaw on a Sunday morning, an important timeslot for public radio? It should be called the Death Warmed Up show.

Yet Drinnan was more complimentary in his most recent comments re Laidlaw’s departure. He described Laidlaw as

A Rhodes Scholar, former all Black and Labour MP, Laidlaw has come to represent the liberal sentiments of Radio NZ.

An interesting definition of liberal in Adam’s view. If Laidlaw is the liberal, then heaven knows where the rest of the RNZ presenters are on the spectrum ?

Radio NZ really needs to get some balance into it’s coverage of issues. It is absurd that Saturday mornings and Sunday morning are taken up by Kim Hill and Laidlaw with their endless propaganda for the left and greens. That of course is when they are not on holiday.

Based on the article today, Adam confidently expects that listeners to Laidlaw may soon be wishing for his return as his successor may be worse.

  1. Paranormal permalink
    17/11/2013 10:22

    The difference is RG that State Radio is paid for by taxpayers and is required to be neutral. Unfortunately their partisan behaviour knows no bounds.

    With commercial radio the station owners are cognisant of their backers. Willie and JT are a clear example of that. The same clearly does not happen on State Radio.

    Adam – you’re right, McCarthy’s even wetter than Laidlaw. Any passing through State radio’s frequency on a Sunday morning will require a dehumidifier and a towel.


  2. 17/11/2013 08:24

    Such passion, Adam!
    I guess you’ll empathise with those ‘lefties’ who fume against the appallingly right-wing radio jocks they are subject-to regularly. And isn’t it wonderful that Michael Laws has shut up 🙂


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