5 December 2022

Change in the air: ABC Canberra looks to a fresh start to 2023

| James Coleman
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Adam Shirley

ABC Radio Canberra Mornings presenter Adam Shirley. Photo: ABC.

Canberrans will wake up to different voices next year as ABC Canberra reworks its lineup.

The broadcaster has revealed a new schedule for 2023, with a mix of familiar hosts across the weekdays and two new names on weekends.

Mornings presenter Adam Shirley moves into a new Breakfast show which will run from 6 am to 9 am on weekdays, while Lish Fejer moves to Mornings from 9 am to 11 am, with a focus next year on community stories and local conversations.

Georgia Stynes remains in Afternoons, as does Anna Vidot in Drive.

After a stint filling in, local food photographer Emma Bickley returns to present Saturday Breakfast next year from 6 am to 11 am, followed by local Grandstand with Jono Gul.

Emma grew up in a Croatian family where she says “vibrant conversation” was always a part of her life. The show will continue to feature the popular gardening talkback segment.

Alice Matthews makes her debut as the new host of Sunday Brunch from 10 am to midday. Formerly a Triple J Breakfast newsreader, she has also presented Hack, co-hosted The Feed on SBS and most recently sat behind the mic for Saturday Afternoons on ABC Digital Radio.

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ABC Canberra editor Julie Doyle said the reshaped morning lineup would focus the new programs to “better meet the needs of Canberrans”.

“Adam Shirley will do what he does best, using his local knowledge to focus on the agenda-setting news of the day … with key political interviews and discussion of the issues that matter to the ACT,” Ms Doyle said.

“The Mornings’ role will allow Lish to get out of the studio and into the community more. Lish has a wonderful connection with Canberrans combined with a knack for finding great stories.”

The new line up will start on Monday, 16 January.

The move comes on the back of continuing ratings difficulties for the broadcaster. ABC Radio Canberra (666) fell across all shifts in the most recent survey as measured by GfK.

Over four months this year, ABC shared 11.2 per cent of the Canberra radio market from Monday to Friday, behind Mix 106.3 (21.9 per cent) and Hit 104.7 (15 per cent).

ABC Radio National was fourth (9.6 per cent), followed by ABC Classic (8.9) and Triple J (8.4). Of the ABC stations, Classic recorded the most gains. Radio National breakfast was third placed in the Canberra market, ahead of the local program.

In terms of demographics, ABC Radio Canberra’s biggest share was among those aged 65 and over (17.9 per cent). Their lowest was among those aged 25 to 39 (5.2 per cent).

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I may be in ABC radio’s biggest demographic but I rarely listen. I find most of the female presenters truly awful with their semi giggling delivery as if the topic can’t be discussed in a normal voice. I don’t want talkback – I don’t need to know the opinion of some old person who just happens to be tuning in at the same time as me, and the format should either be news/information or music, not some random interleaving of both. Bring on the cricket so there will be something worth listening to.

Jacob’s, Sloan and Solly were a far better team of presenters than the present. Highly entertaining and locally informative. Both politics and bad ABC management brought about the changes. Probably one or two probing questions on over development during Chief Minister’s talk back rattled the cage. If ABC management looked at the ratings failure brought about by their changes they too should acknowledge their poor decisions.

Capital Retro9:03 pm 06 Dec 22

Their programming content is over-weighted with first nation themes and I have lost count of the number of times every day they play their national anthem (we are one but we are many etc.)

I think we’d find ABC’s ratings went south when they adopted a process of getting rid of anyone they saw as “old” and brought in Dan who apparently isn’t the man. From there it slid down further in the mire and many of us switched off.

What happened to gender equity in broadcasting ?

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