Dec 1, 2008


Is it just me, or is Triple M's search for a new female breakfast presenter just a tad creepy?

The rock station's Brisbane breakfast show "The Cage" has been left chick-free with the departure of Sami Lukis for Sydney. So they're holding a "10 Hosts in 10 Days" audition process, whacking on a different female talent every day - and getting listeners to decide who they want to join Skip, Marto and Sully (can anyone just use their normal name in FM radio?) in 2009.

This isn't the first time Triple M has done this. They once held a competition called "Brisbane's Funniest Female", during which they put different chicks on drive shifts, and gave the winner one Sunday night show. I was working in news at the time, and was bitter I couldn't get a go at it. Damnit, I'm funny. Anyway, the chick who won got her Sunday night show, but then one of the others got a full-time gig as breakfast co-host. So it seemed to me (in all my experience) that they'd already decided, but were getting all these chicks in (I believe for free) to get a bit of publicity.

And you know what? I've never heard of any radio station auditioning blokes this way.

I wonder if it could happen. Would blokes be happy to line-up for what's essentially a cattle call, or a Miss Universe style competition? I have a funny feeling blokes would say "Mate, take it or leave it. I'm not wasting my time."

But then again, radio remains a male-dominated industry. It's just harder for women to get in. If you read the biographies of the women they've got on - they're all amazing. Their combined media experience is daunting - rivalling, if not bettering, the experience of the existing male jocks. Each one of them is supremely qualified to be an interesting on-air personality. Yet - they're pitted against each other, forced to compete.

I just loathe the message this sends out to listeners. "Our three blokes can stay, fat and sassy as they are, assured of their position as King of the Heap. The women must fight - preferably in bikinis and jelly - for the right to take a solitary position beside us. You, as the great unwashed, may flap your flabby mouth and give your 'expert' opinion. Now, pass us another fatted calf."

But of course, the great question is - would I, if asked to "audition" in this manner - do it?

The sad truth is, I probably would. But I would only do it once. I hope would have the strength to know my own skill, and subsequent approaches would have to be exclusive.

Of course, these are pipe dreams and rolled-up-dollar-bill fantasies. For now, I'll just stay bitter.


  1. radio remains a male-dominated industry, and not the only one either.

    If they didn't publish photos of the female applicants (should what they look like really matter for radio) and instead just had podcasts of each of the potential hosts to which you could make your decision on.

    But I think you're right they would be unlikely to subject male applicants to a similar challange.

    Also I imagine the bigg test is the applicant being a good enough 'bloke' to put up with the mysoginst comments that the cage seems to engender with the other hosts. I bet if the female applicant called them on it she wouldn't get the gig.

    The struggle continues

  2. I vaguely remember something like this being done many years ago on Triple M in Adelaide. Again, it took applicants and trialled each of them for a day and stuck photos of them around the place (like it somehow matters).

    From memory, the winner barely lasted a few months.

    But I think you're right about this kinda thing not being tried with the boys. But, I think that if you open up a position in the media to all blokes, the station will eventually lose listeners after the winner is announced. No man will ever believe that another regular bloke was simply better for the job, such is ego. See the Top Gear Australia hosts for a prime example of people tuning out as a result of an application process that was open to everyone. Men are such bitches.

    Not that I'm defending the male-dominated radio industry, either. There's definitely a double-standard.

  3. One of the many reasons I don't listen to TripleM

  4. I was amazed when I first moved to Brisbane, and saw Billboards advertising radio.

    Billboards - a purely visual medium, advertising radio, a purely audio medium.

    What the hell is the point?

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  6. The walls of Jericho are tumbling and the first to fall will be newspapers. The second will be Radio.
    New media will take over from there.

    Also, re: 'Sully' and him not using his real name. I recall he was a guest on 'Get This' and was over the moon that he was allowed to be called 'Greg'. Sadly there was already a Greg on Staff in Brisbane so he'd been forced to adopt what appears to be a dog's name.

  7. Don't get me started on how Triple M boned "Get This" and then boned Spoonman :(

    This whole Sami Lukis thing is strange. This time last year she'd just finished up after being the 3rd spoke in the Merrick and Rosso wheel. She was having a sooky la la about no men in Sydney so she was driving back up the Pacific Highway with her tail between her legs back to Bris Vegas.

    Fast forward 12 months and she is driving back to Sydney to do a breakfast show with a guy called Ugly Phil. Oh the irony!

  8. Now that's I've actually read the list, it is an interesting list indeed.

    Not having heard the Bris Vegas version of The Cage, it surprises me to see some of those names on that list because some of them are more than capable (and have had) solo shows of their own. I don't see someone like Bianca Dye working as part of this team that sounds massive enough without adding someone else to the mix.

    I also notice that there are no quote/unquote comedians on that list, either. Maybe they want the woman to act straight and to keep the guys in check.

    It will be interesting to see who gets the gig.

    Having said all this in my two replies, the most radio I listen to is via podcast.