AUSTRALIAN RADIO BROADCASTER
In December 2001, Ray Hadley joined 2GB to present the weekend rugby league coverage but when fellow 2UE presenter Alan Jones came to 2GB in April 2002 Ray accepted an offer to present the morning show as well.
His talkback show started as a traditionally local, community and state-based current affairs oriented – but over the past two years he has extended his program to networks stations in regional NSW, Queensland and the ACT. His favourite music genre is country and western (both traditional and modern) – especially new releases and some old favourites but would occasionally play nostalgic 50’s 60’s and 70’s radio-friendly pop hits. Hadley’s opening theme is “Murrumbidgee” by one of his favourite country groups, The Wolverines, who are also great mates, while the closing theme is the world famous country instrumental “Last Date” from renowned country pianist Floyd Cramer.
In 2009 Hadley started broadcasting to a wider audience. His program from 9am to midday is also broadcast to stations across Rural NSW, Queensland and parts of Victoria and through Canberra station 2CC. Those stations are part of the Southern Cross network owned by Macquarie Bank Media and Capital Radio and are some of the stations which also broadcast the Continuous Call Team.
While Hadley achieved a new milestone in May 2009 when his 2GB morning show ratings reached 19.1% (the best figure for a morning show since John Laws topped 20% in the early 1980s, and back then there were no FM stations in the Sydney market), he bettered it two years later when in May 2011 he became the highest-rating radio announcer ever on Australian radio, commanding an unprecedented 20.1% of the audience. Until being beaten by the top rating Ross and John breakfast program on opposite number 3AW in Melbourne a year later.
On 19 May 2011 Hadley hung up on Seven News reporter Lee Jeloscek during a phone interview. Hadley took offence that Jeloscek wanted to correct something he asserted was suggested on-air before the interview began, and Hadley cut off Jeloscek mid-sentence telling his listeners:
No hang on. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen to me! Listen to me! Listen to me! Goodbye Lee. You seem to forget, Lee, it’s the Ray Hadley morning program…— Ray Hadley, The Ray Hadley Morning Show, 19 May 2011
Hadley has been named the best Radio Sports Broadcaster at the “Rawards” for the 8 out of the past 11 years, and was awarded an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday 2002 Honours List for services to rugby league (as a broadcaster) and the community, through fund-raising initiatives for charitable organisations.
Ray Hadley won an accolade at the 2006 ACRAs (also known as the RAWARDS) for “Best Current Affairs Presenter”. He won that award again 2009 and became the first radio broadcaster to win both that award and best sports commentator. He has won 20 major ACRA Radio awards since 1987.
After commencing as a sports reporter on Channel 7, Ray Hadley was recruited to Channel 9 as part of The Footy Show, along with his radio and rugby league colleague Steve “Blocker” Roach, appearing between 1994 and 1998. He also made a one-off appearance on The Footy Show in 2005 in a forum to discuss brawling and antagonism between Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs supporters during a game against the Brisbane Broncos at Telstra Stadium. Hadley has also appeared in TV commercials, and for 17 years was spruiking the budget menswear establishment Lowes.
During 2010, he appeared on the Matty Johns Show on the Seven Network, an NRL-focoused programme hosted by Matthew Johns.
Also in 2010, Ray Hadley was signed by Sky News Australia to present a weekly current affairs programme entitled Hadley!. The programme aired on Wednesday nights. Hadley having resigned from Sky News Australia after only four episodes, reportedly due to “differences” and staff not wanting to work with him.
In October 2011, Ray Hadley was signed up by Channel Nine to commentate on the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final match between the Wallabies and theAll Blacks but was not invited to return.
In 2012, Ray Hadley returned to The Footy Show as a panellist on the Five in the Bin segment, commentating alongside Peter Sterling and Paul Vautin onChannel Nine’s rugby league coverage.