The End of The Rainbow

6164812065_379d746ed6_oAfter ten years on air, eight of them with The Rainbow Report in one of its many variants, the show will close at the end of the current season. The last edition will go to air on Thursday October 3.

It wasn’t long after joining JOY in 2002 that my voice first went out over the airwaves. At first it was in Community Service Announcements. Then I was doing news bulletins.

Then I began making 3 minute bulletins of international gay and lesbian stories to be dropped into the broadcast schedule twice daily. It was called the Rainbow Report.

Station Management approached me to make a daily half-hour news and current affairs bulletin. Instead of 3 minutes a day, the Rainbow Report suddenly grew to ten times the size: 30 minutes a day, Monday to Friday, replacing the last half-hour of Drive. Fans of Damian Nicholas were at first not amused.

“I’m a young gay man in my twenties,” wrote one, “and at first my friends and I were really angry at you for stealing half an hour from Damian. But now when we sit at the bar in the evening, we often talk about your stories on the Rainbow Report. Thank you.”

The half hour show ran for six months, but failed to find a new sponsor and was pulled off air.

This generated some heated discussions among listeners, and also at the station. The show would return in a weekly, one hour format, management said, and as I was better suited to the role of producer than presenter, I wouldn’t be on air. Needless to say, management lost that one.

The Rainbow Report went off air again when a new manager (we burned through a few down the years) offered me a 3hr daytime slot, which I christened Freshly Doug. Later, another manager cut that down to 1 hour at lunchtime, and it became the Rainbow Report again. Finally, this time at my request, it moved one last time, coming to rest at its old home and current spot on the grid, 7pm on Thursdays.

During that time I have had the help and support of many people at the station, as producers (burned through a lot of them too!), panel operators, podcaster and cohosts, and if I try to list them all I am bound to omit someone and offend them.

I would, however, like to say a very special thanks, first to Michael Bayliss, and secondly to Todd ‘TJ’ Coleman and his partner, Corinne ‘Kezza’ Porter. Without such utterly reliable, skilled, dedicated and loyal panel operators / technical producers, the show could never have run as long or as smoothly. Thank you very much indeed. I treasure you.

Four more shows to do, starting with tonight. And then on to pastures new.  Please, join me tonight and for the following three Thursdays, 7-8pm. Travel with me, keep me company, till we reach the end of the Rainbow.

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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)