BORDER radio station 2AY has dumped the AFL-focused weeknight show Sports Today from its line-up in favour of a program created by Craig Hutchison.
From tonight, Sportsday will air each weeknight from 6pm with a rotating panel of journalists and former footballers to join regular host Wayne Schwass, who played 282 matches for North Melbourne and the Sydney Swans.
2AY general manager Andrew Walker said the show would complement the station’s AFL Live match broadcasts which are also being produced by Hutchison’s company Crocmedia.
“It’s part of falling into line in catering to the regional market, we believe across the Ace network that we should be catering to the regional markets with our sports coverage,” Walker said.
He added there had been technical difficulties with the feed from 3AW, citing an interview with AFL great Leigh Matthews where his answers could not be heard on 2AY even though they were audible on the Melbourne station.
Hutchison said Sportsday would run for an hour initially, but it was hoped to soon extend it to two hours, mirroring the running time of Sports Today.
“It’s been in development for nine months, we’re really excited about it,” Hutchison said.
“It’s only going to regional areas, it won’t go to the city.
“It will be very newsy with all the day’s action in the footy world.”
In addition to Schwass and Hutchison, co-hosts will include football identities Terry Wallace, Danny Frawley and Nathan Thompson and journalist Damian Barrett.
Hutchison accepts some listeners will not be happy with the move to replace the show hosted by Dwayne Russell and Gerard Healy.
“I think like anything in life change takes some time to accept,” Hutchison said.
“We think we’ll have a fantastic show day one, but equally we ask for a little patience as it will take some time to bed it down.”
Hutchison suggested Sports Today “as great a show as it is”, those associated with it would probably not be aware it is on in Albury.
“We care about Albury, as we care about Ballarat and Bendigo,” he said.
The new show will be generally heard from Monday to Thursday during the football season and extend through to Fridays during summer months.
On Friday nights, AFL Live will air from 6pm.