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.