After more than two years and over 550 shows, JOY 94.9’s popular drive-time show, The Campervan, will finish up on February 19.
Campervan host Bridget Boson, who was the station’s one paid presenter, will not have her contract renewed, with a lack of funds given as the reason. She was told the news in late January after returning from six weeks annual leave.
“At the end of last year, the future looked pretty promising in terms of my role at JOY, so I had no reason to suspect that news,” Boson told Southern Star.
“While I understand the financial situation of the station, one of the things I was miffed about was that I wasn’t told before I went on leave, because I could’ve used that time really productively.”
The news follows the recent departure of G Spot hosts Gillian and Claire and of regular presenter Jenny O’ Keefe, leaving JOY without several of its most popular female voices.
“The gender parity has been a struggle since day one with JOY, so it’s unfortunate because a lot of the female audience were just starting to come around. They’re not particularly happy, and fair enough,” Boson said.
The station’s recently-appointed general manager Danae Gibson said in a statement, “I would like to thank Bridget Boson for her hard work, endurance and commitment to both the station and a professional level of broadcasting over this time.
“I look forward to hearing some more fine radio from The Campervan’s speakers over the journey that I expect to be emotional and entertaining.”
Gibson said the decision was made in order to protect the station’s sustainability.
“Any community broadcaster has limited resources to work with. JOY 94.9 is no different and we have to be prudent in our decision making,” she said.
Boson will be replaced by a rotating roster of presenters, a programming decision she said left her puzzled.
“I did offer to do the show for free for a while until they found someone else to take over as full-time drive host, but they said no,” she said.
For now, though, she’s focused on giving her listeners the best show possible until February 19.
“I feel so fortunate to have had an audience who’ve engaged with me and opened themselves up to me every day. That’s been incredibly rewarding,” Boson said.
“It’s been an incredibly intimate show, and I’m grateful for that, so I’ll be sad to say goodbye to it.”