Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Nail in Kyle's Coffin?

The axe is hovering over Kyle after dropping much sought after radio points in the latest rating survey. This of course comes after, the widespread condemnation of him, first after his questioning of an under-age girl about her "other" sexual experiences, then his "fat jibe" about Magda Szubanski's weight.

Enough has been written about these two, seemingly off-the-cuff comments. We all know that he couldn't have picked any two touchier subjects... well, he could have, but that is beside the point.
Everyone is aware of the readiness of the media, including various "experts" and groups to grind anyone down to a pulp who makes any vaguely offensive comments. And Kyle played right into the hands of them.

As soon as the word "rape" was used, he was already in hot water. This water began to boil when a young girl was involved. And the pot began to boil dry when he probed her for more information about other times she had had sex.

Then came the comments taunting a much-loved Aussie celebrity from the most successful Australian comedy of all time who has won public support and adoration with her weight-loss campaign. But all personalities know that when talking about women, they should be especially careful, just ask Sam Newman. But Kyle had to bring weight issues into it... as well as the third biggest genocide in history. Kyle definitely has a knack for it.

And moreover, anything Kyle said was going to be amplified ten-fold. Let's face it, for Melbourne listeners of the Matt and Jo show, would they blink an eyelid if a similar off-the-cuff "joke" was made by Matt Tilley. Well, maybe, but he would not have been suspended. It would have been seen as Matt being his cheeky Gotcha-call self. Kyle's quip was, however, seen to be malicious and pre-conceived.

Don't get me wrong, the latter comment was definitely offensive and inconsiderate. But up until now we have had the argument; if you don't like Kyle's abrasive style, just turn it off and don't complain. Yes, true in some ways, and Kyle and Jackie O do have a sizeable legion of followers who listen for this exact reason. However, the latest Radio survey may just turn this theory on its head. The show is waning in popularity, and quite significantly for the first time quite a while. Their (quite large) share of 12.0 has decreased to a lower 9.8. Does this show that even their most loyal followers have deserted Kyle, thinking that he has finally pushed that line too far.

However, it is easy to see why 2day fm have been deliberating for so long whether to axe Kyle or not. He obviously has huge support- there have even been people calling for his return on Australian Idol after J.D. Springbett... oh sorry Jay Dee Springbett has sent viewers to sleep... however only after they turn off in droves.

If he returns the scrutiny on him if he does come back will be more intense than ever. Reporters will be hungrily waiting for the next slip-up... the next "Kyle embroiled in _______ scandal" story. If he returns 2day will not need to start from scratch and build a new show, a very difficult task... and then to maintain Kyle's audience.

A declining audience may be unfavourable for 2day fm, but if they brought Kyle back after the furore subsides, and make sure he is VERY careful in what he says, I'm sure the show could go on as if nothing had happened.

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