Voices of Joy


Pic:Neville Wooton

Many people have asked “what’s all the fuss about?” Here are just a few extracts from messages sent to the stirrer, about why things need to change at Joy.

The station was no longer a place or culture I recognised. I was placed in a position where ‘my’ product wasn’t being supported and we were sounding worse and worse and no one cared enough to fix that. After 8 years I no longer have the patience ‘to wait out’ another cultural shift that may or may not occur.  So I decided that I should leave now and at least be able to do it on my own terms.

JOY’s computer systems were hacked at least 3 times in 6 months leading to major disruptions, lost data files and priceless archival content lost.  The server collapsed in a major meltdown and had to be replaced – more content lost… no full backup for months. Web Admin warned something was bound to happen soon if something wasn’t done to protect it, but the GM didn’t like the Web Admin and turfed them out instead. 

…they decided to starve me of resources, cut me out of the loop, haul me over the coals for nothing, and generally manage me out of the place.

…they didn’t like the fact I was walking away because I simply don’t like being dictated to. I put a in program proposal only to have it shunned, ignored and rejected. I called asking for an explanation and they lied to my face saying they never got it, only for me to catch them out and they admitted they did get it and it was not what they looking for – even though I had the full support from some of the programming committee, who actually contacted me and asked me to come back…  

I aired my grievance with [redacted] on email many times and followed up and got nothing back, no reply, no email, no phone call. It needs to be stopped and you guys are in the best position to do it – you have my full support. I’m absolutely loving life at [redacted], full production control, the best team and most importantly a happy environment. Good luck.

We won a celebrant service from JOY and were over the moon. After 2 weeks the celebrant finally got in contact with us. They had sponsorship on JOY offering rainbow weddings as part of their sponsorship package. They said they offered their services as a way to give back to the LGBTIQ community after the postal survey and all the mess of 2017. They set up 3 meetings with us and didnt arrive claiming bs reasons.  We attended her office at an agreed time and day, they didn’t answer calls, miscommunicated with us, ignored our calls and msgs, then would apologise and set up another meeting to just not attend again. They finally called us saying they had a sponsorship offer for us-$5000 in return for [redacted] to have their mixers at the wedding and do a photoshoot. We declined. JOY werent really any help, we didnt get anything from them but apologies as it “wasnt their issue.” They continued the ads for at least a few days after. We booked a whole wedding around this, saving us this much meant we could afford to wed… now we have booked venue etc and have to find the extra to pay for the celebrant! 

The young male newsreaders who, over time, quit over harassment by [redacted] will one day rise up and develop their voices.

As for the Board’s allegation of a “stolen mailing list”… if such a list WAS stolen, then why did I not receive the email of 13th March last… and I understand that there are others similar to me who knew NOTHING about the current shenanigans until I received the President’s email of three days ago. I am not sure why I am writing this message to you… maybe out of frustration, given my own less than happy exit from JOY after 16 years of loyal service.

I was told that it was time my program was “rested”. Enforced 6 month leave of absence, during which time I’m banned from even entering station premises!? WTF!!

We have been members and donated $$ for 9 years and JOY has always been amazing. They have been with us through so much. We have noticed many of our favourite segments changing and presenters leaving, Dean Beck, The Murphys, Chris and Cam, Beckfast etc.  We just want the same high quality JOY its always been.  We absolutely love JOY, it feels part of the family, but we want the best GLBTIQ radio station for our community, and it doesnt seem to be offering this at the moment. We have noticed a decline and we dont want it to continue. Pull your socks up JOY, we love you too much to loose you!

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)