Confirmed: Macquarie Media axes 3AW station boss Stephen Beers
Human Headline and former 3AW broadcaster Derryn Hinch hit Twitter on Tuesday night to warn that the “Sydney butchers” had plans to hold a “crisis meeting” this morning.
TV Blackbox has since reported that Macquarie Media’s Melbourne-based operations director, Stephen Beers, is leaving the network after his role was made redundant.
Beers has been in operations with Macquarie since 2015 and is the latest executive to make a swift exit amid the impending takeover Nine Entertainment.
As was widely speculated, chief executive Adam Lang was made redundant last Monday.
Newsflash. Turmoil at 3AW. Sydney butchers have struck again. Executive bloodbath. Staff crisis meeting at 8.30 a.m. tomorrow. Watch for more 2GB syndication to cut costs.
— Derryn Hinch (@HumanHeadline) October 29, 2019
Radio insiders were also fearful of lineup changes, with speculation that 3AW could lose local talent in favour of Sydney programming, in much the same way as sister station 4BC Brisbane.
The recent addition of Ben Fordham on Drive means an all-Sydney lineup in key weekday shifts on the Brisbane station.
4BC’s schedule now includes Alan Jones on breakfast, Ray Hadley on mornings, Steve Price on afternoons, Ross Greenwood on evenings, and John Stanley on nights.
However, executive chairman Russell Tate tried to quash further 3AW changes.
“3AW is an iconic and successful Melbourne station focussed on local audiences and content and that will not change,” he said. “The 3AW team will remain firmly focussed on serving its audience and advertisers as they have always done.”
The imminent departure of Beers follows yesterday’s headline about changes to Macquarie Sports Radio, which will cease all talk programming on the network from Friday.
“Macquarie Media Limited today announced that development of its Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be paused and reviewed over the summer months and that the current schedule of sport talk programs will cease as of 11pm, Friday 1 November,” said Tate, in a statement provided to Radio Today.
Tate went on to explain that cricket and football will continue to broadcast as usual, while news updates will be provided on the network from Macquarie National News services.