Reines criticism unfair
Ros Reines (pictured) has written a piece in the Daily Telegraph criticising female (FM) radio hosts for being ‘ditzy’ and not ‘raising the level of debate’.
Reines has focused primarily on Sophie Monk following her fill-in role for Fifi Box on the Today Network and saying that Monk’s departure has now meant FM radio content has intellectually skyrocketed.
In part Reines has said;
“Monk is unfortunately an extreme example of the way in which most women on FM radio are simply content to be there as ditsy foils for the men. Alas, strong, independent female voices on this frequency are few and far between.
Aside from people like Amanda Keller, who co-hosts the Jonesy and Amanda breakfast show on WSFM with Brendan Jones, or Maude Garrett, who hosts 2DayFM’s The Hot Hits, it feels like there is a dearth of talent out there on FM.
I lament the loss of women like Wendy Harmer, who was one of the first not to conform to the stereotype and to be paid handsomely for it. But she left when the station was after a younger demographic, leaving behind a major deficit when it came to wit and intellect.
Divisive comedian Meshel Laurie of the Meshel, Tim and Marty Show on afternoons on Nova, is famed for her raw honesty, but unfortunately does little to raise the level of debate on most issues. So perhaps it’s all down to Fifi Box, who is due to make her return to the airwaves at the start of the rating season.”
Reines comments are harsh.
Sophie Monk’s brand is pure pop/culture. Her content on the Today Network was delivering on her brand, and whether you personally are interested in ‘Brand Monk’ or not, she has consistently been ‘on-brand’ for many years now.
Nova’s Meshel Laurie is certainly no handbag to the content of Marty Sheargold and Tim Blackwell, and to imply that undervalues both her ability and value to that show.
Reines, by criticising (some) women for not conforming to her view of what an FM broadcaster should be, is guilty of being as shallow as she has implied that they are.
FM Radio is not brain surgery. It is entertainment.
Successful shows, and programmers, understand the importance of having a ‘balance of content’, so whilst they need to deliver on the brand position, this involves offering the listener a variety of content and execution within that brand position.
And often, but not always, this content will be lighter, fun, and pop/culture based.
Sometimes, as with Sophie Monk, this will be the primary content base. Other times, with other broadcasters, it is a common touch-point. There’s nothing wrong with either.
To selectively quote examples of content and to suggest that is indicative of a more endemic issue regarding female FM talent and their contribution is unfair.
You can read Ros Reines complete article here.
Dan Bradley is Executive Director of Kaizen Media; a boutique international radio consulting and artist management company, working with radio stations, media talent and music artists.
You can contact Dan here.