By CRAIG McTEAR
WIL Bylstra feels as if she's losing a good friend.
The avid John Laws morning show listener is saddened at the news that as of January, the Golden Tonsils will no longer be heard on Coffs Harbour's Radio 2CSFM after a five-year stint.
He is being replaced by Charles Wooley, who is quitting 60 Minutes to host a new national talkback radio show, Across Australia, following a bold decision by Macquarie Regional Radioworks (MRR).
Laws was reportedly dumped because Wooley is considered a 'quintessential Australian-type' to host the morning slot.
"Isn't it sad. I'm going to miss his voice," Wil, 78, said of Laws yesterday.
"He's so versatile. He can be funny and he can be critical, too, if he believes in something.
"That's what I like in him. He's got a marvellous voice for radio, and he's from our era."
Wil listens to the Laws weekday show most of the time because 'you keep in touch with everything that's going on'.
"It's the versatility of it and the different people he talks to. They can be high-up or they can be an ordinary worker.
"He can talk to everybody.
"He is controversial, but that's the good point, really. He says what he thinks. When he plays his music, it's usually good.
"Charles Wooley will probably be good too, but you have to get used to it after all the years of listening to John."
Mark Van Ryswyk is another who will miss listening to the John Laws show.
"He's the only bloke I ever listen to," Mark said.
"I wouldn't be listening to Charles Wooley. Lawsy's the one."
Wooley reportedly got the job after impressing MRR boss, Tim Hughes, while they were both flying to Brisbane six months ago.
In a statement this week, Wooley said: "I have always enjoyed covering stories in regional and rural Australia (and) there is no better medium than radio to continue that work.
"I look forward to sharing the airwaves with the great characters of this country, turning the spotlight on the issues that matter and covering the big events for the people that are the backbone of Australia."
Asked if some listeners might resent losing Laws, Wooley was quoted as saying: "You develop a tough old skin when you work at 60 Minutes. I know Lawsy, like him, been on the turps with him. I have absolutely no feeling of rivalry or animosity. Lawsy takes the city to the country and I'm pretty much the country talking to itself."
Other centres to become 'Lawless' include Port Macquarie, Griffith, Wagga, Young, Orange, Bendigo, Mildura, Hobart, Devonport, Mt Gambier, Toowoomba, Emerald, Roma, Kingaroy, Charters Towers, Mount Isa, Maryborough and Mareeba.