From Strewth in The Australian today - A Question of Ethics!
A bit more of the money trail for when the time comes to clean up The AWU Scandal

From today's Media section in The Australian - summer line-up on the radio

Nick Leys of The Australian with this piece today- read more at The Australian.


WHILE most industries are now winding down for Christmas and the summer holidays, the media sector continues to turn up to work - and traditionally this means an opportunity for many wannabe stars.

For radio, in particular, the summer hiatus represents a chance for many would-be hosts to get behind the microphone, and demonstrate to station managers they have the goods for a more permanent on-air role.

The big names - presenters such as Neil Mitchell (3AW in Melbourne), Ben Fordham (2GB in Sydney) and Paul Murray (6PR in Perth) - will slowly disappear in coming weeks. In their place will be names familiar to regular listeners.

In January, listeners to 2GB in Sydney will hear Michael Smith in Fordham's drive slot: a controversial host who has been appearing on Fordham's show in regular spots for several months. Smith will tackle a week of midnight-to-dawn shifts over Christmas "to get my hand back in", and will take on the drive slot from December 30.

"I love the job," Smith told Media. "The proudest achievement in my professional life is the folder two inches thick from listeners who enjoyed that show."

The show Smith is referring to is the 2UE presenting role that owners Fairfax Media dumped him from in 2011 over his attempts to air a pre-recorded interview with Bob Kernohan, a former president of the Australian Workers Union who was implicating then prime minister Julia Gillard in the AWU slush fund saga.

Smith was suspended from his role and later reached an out-of-court settlement with Fairfax.

2GB's owner, Macquarie Radio, may not be chasing similar controversy, but at the same time is looking to the former army officer and policeman to make the summer airwaves interesting.

Smith has been running a blog focusing on political issues. And while he admits he would dearly love a permanent role back on the air, he doesn't see this stint as any sort of "audition".

"This is not my life, it's just a small part of it," he said. "The greatest thing I have done in my professional life is to have a daily radio show. If you put all your efforts into it and are fair-dinkum you can get great satisfaction from helping people though problems.

"But I'm not gunning for anything, I'm not after anyone's shift. When it happens, it will happen."