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No Merger explores untold stories from AFL's failed merger between Melbourne and Hawthorne


ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia and Podular Media have launched an explosive new podcast, No Merger, that explores the fascinating story of the AFL’s failed merger in 1996 between Melbourne and Hawthorn.

Told through conversations with the people at the forefront of the controversy, including former AFL CEO Ross Oakley, acclaimed AFL journalist Mike Sheahan, former Hawthorn premiership captain and 'Operation Payback’ frontman, Don Scott, former players Jason Dunstall, Alastair Clarkson, Andrew Leoncelli and many more, the four-part series delves into the truth behind the AFL’s biggest and most controversial moments.

It came as a massive shock to the entire footy community, creating severe tension between the clubs and their fiercely loyal supporters. What happened broke friendships and tarnished legacies forever.

Podular’s Founder & CEO Adrian Houghton said, “No Merger was an opportunity for people to set the record straight, including a number of different misconceptions about the failed merger. We document how Operation Payback and the Demon Alternative fought to save their clubs under significant scrutiny and forces beyond their control. It captures the emotion and the backdoor dealings leading in that toxic and remarkable vote night.”

ARN’s Head of Commercial Audio & Podcasts Corey Layton added, “No Merger further strengthens ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network’s local content offering and explores a truly unique and fascinating time in the AFL’s history. As a leader in the podcast space, we are proud to share such important Australian stories with our listeners.”

Sydney based actor Ditch Davey, who recently joined the cast of Home & Away, also features as the voice actor of former Melbourne president, Ian Ridley, who passed away in 2008.

The series launches with partner IG Markets, sponsor of the Melbourne Football Club.

No Merger is available to listen to on iHeartRadio.

About iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio, the world’s fastest-growing digital service, was launched by ARN to the Australian market in 2013 and since then, the platform has had over 2.2 million downloads of the app and over 1.6 million registered users.

ARN’s iHeartRadio is a free, all-in-one radio, music streaming, podcast and live events platform. In addition to being able to access their favourite music from around the globe, audiences can access their favourite stations in Australia from ARN, the ABC, SBS and Macquarie Media, as well as stations from New Zealand and the USA.

In 2020 ARN launched iHeartPodcasts Australia, providing advertisers with access to significant scale across local, global and catchup podcasts. The network quickly became Australia’s number #1 podcast publisher alongside holding the #1 podcast in Australia.

ARN is a HT&E company. For more details, head to

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to


No Merger
By Podular

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