Poll Results: Michael McLaren the favourite for 2GB drive
The results from Radio Today’s latest reader poll are in.
As broadcaster Ben Fordham prepares to step into a set of oversized shoes belonging to Alan Jones on June 1, Nine Radio’s management has been working overtime to fill the drive shift.
Australian media outlets, including this one, have churned out speculation stories over the last two weeks that offer some insight into the potential candidates.
Radio Today invited the industry to play programmer on the matter in this week’s reader poll.
The survey offered up some obvious choices and a few wildcard selections for good measure.
Overnights host Michael McLaren was the clear frontrunner with 26% of the vote, and 71 votes ahead of readers’ second choice, weekend presenter Chris Smith, with 16% of votes.
Mark Levy, who was installed by Nine bosses in January to host the Wide World of Sports show on stations 2GB and 4BC, received the most comments but was third in the poll with 12%.
A spokesperson for Nine told Radio Today on Friday that, from next Monday (May 25), Levy will start three hours earlier and host drive until a permanent replacement is found.
Nine’s content chief, Greg Byrnes, also told Mumbrella this week that the network isn’t looking for one drive host, but two, revealing plans to return the shift to local in Sydney and Brisbane.
“It makes obvious sense for us that we have a local drive program. We are moving quite quickly… There will be attention focused there – local drive in Brisbane,” he told Mumbrella.
Outside the top three were Steve Price (10%), political commentator Peta Credlin (7%), Seven News boss Jason Morrison (7%) and Today Show anchor Karl Stefanovic (2%).
Other contenders on the poll – who all received single-digit results – included Peter FitzSimons, Prue MacSween, Tony Abbott, Susie Elemen, Tracy Grimshaw and Tom Elliott.
But all eyes are on McLaren, who has proven a hit with Sydney listeners on his mid-dawn show. But other more recent appointments hints at talent closer to Nine’s television business.
Those appointments suggest the integration of talent across its media platforms could result in new voices on 2GB and 4BC drive from somewhere within the Nine family.
When asked if the network had a timeline on an announcement, the reply was “no”.