Last week, longtime triple j presenter Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall announced, via the glorious medium of song, that he was “fucking off” and will be ending his time at the station this December. Now, The Doctor has penned a “love letter” to triple j, defending the station’s importance as a not-for-profit national broadcaster.
“Triple J matters radio listeners,” writes The Doctor in The Guardian. “It matters to kids like me growing up in the suburbs who feel a little left out by the footy, fast cars and pop songs world. It matters to people outside the major cities, at work on tractors, who want a trusted voice to suggest cool things to them, letting them know they’re part of a community.”
He also argues for triple j’s importance in Australia’s music landscape, as the alternative to commercial radio. “Commercial radio is called that because it has commercials. And the word ‘commercial’ comes before ‘radio’. So what do you think is more important to them?. Commercial radio’s main aim is to sell advertising,” he writes.
“Remember, every time you hear a song you like, or a show you laugh at, that’s not for you. It’s there to entice you to listen, which in turn gives them a ratings figure used to get advertising dollars,” he continues. “Even if the presenter actually loves the new X-Factor song, it’s being played to lure you in so they can sell you a shiny new thing.”
McDougall also reminisces about his time at triple j over the last ten years, since joining the station in 2005 alongside Frenzal Rhomb bandmate Jay Whalley. Since then he has clocked up 2,200 radio shows, with over 6,100 hours on air. “Triple J prised my genre blinkers open to a whole bunch of different music,” he writes.
The Doctor will remain on air until December. On Thursday 11th December triple j will throw a big send off with details soon to be announced. The station say they will also announce The Doctor’s successor as host of the Drive show in early December.
Read the full letter over at The Guardian.