(Resurrected) Magic 1278 Gone - ruined by Macquarie Sports Radio

Macquarie Radio tried their hand at entering the Melbourne radio market with Melbourne Talk Radio back in April 2010. It was a total failure, with the talk format ending in March 2012.

Since Macquarie acquired Fairfax media, it has tried its hand again at re-modelling Fairfax's Melbourne radio stations.

In early 2018 it converted Magic 1278 (the remaining 'Oldies / easy listening' station on the AM band) to sport talk. This seems to be a very illogical choice, given they already have SEN 1116 as well as 1377 (that was also converted to a sports style format). Keeping in mind that 3AW also has frequent sports coverage (especially AFL), it seems silly to have three other dedicated sports radio stations.

With a saturation of sports talk / commentary formats usurping the long-time and beloved music stations, it is no wonder the community is unhappy.

Sure, people could purchase a DAB+ receiver to listen to the new alternative digital-only music stations, however unless you have lots of money to spend, it is quite an inconvenience to replace all your existing radios. Think about it: Kitchen/lounge radio, clock radio, car radio (usually means buying a new car unless willing to mess with a portable DAB and plugging in Aux cables), garage/workshop radio, etc.

Another problem is DAB coverage is poor outside of metropolitan Melbourne. AM (medium wave) signals propagate much further at night (via skywave) with regional areas happily receiving Melbourne stations from afar. With just about all music format AM stations removed from the band, it leaves regional and rural listeners no choice.
Macquarie's strategy seems to be: If at first you fail (to break into Melbourne's market with shock jocks), forcefully acquire your competitor and muscle your way into the market. All without doing the proper market analysis/testing.

Macquarie have now bastardised all of Melbourne's AM easy listening radio stations. Little have they realised they have effectively handed extra ratings to the likes of Smooth 91.5 and Gold 104, whom are now thriving from the extra listeners.

Good job, Macquarie! Hope your new stations fail spectacularly, just like your failed Melbourne Talk Radio experiment!
Update 02 February 2020
In late January 2020, Nine Entertainment (the new owners of 3AW) announced the resurrection of Magic 1278. In line with that announcement, the music format is back on the air on 1278 kHz, in a mostly automated format with minimal on-air announcers. The news and sports feeds are still present, although this will gradually make way for the full re-incarnation of the music format.

The music being played is a touch more modern compared to the pre-Macquarie era, however this takes into account the previously displaced audiences from 3MP 1377, which played middle-of-the-road classics.

The people of Melbourne have spoken, and Nine has listened. This is great news for Melbourne.


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