88.9fm Tamworth celebrates 5 years of changes

This week Tamworth’s 88.9 FM celebrated 5 years since the community station re branded from 2YOU FM, a major change for the station and the result of extensive research.

radioinfo asked CEO, George Frame, about the changes in the past 5 years and how that has affected listenership, sponsorship and participation from locals.
radioinfo:  What was identified in your 2013/14 research of 2YOU?
George : There were a number of issues that included

  • The market had no idea what the frequency was
  • it was hard to pick up until upgrades were made to full transmission power
  • the station had very poor audience
  • programmes were too diversified for a regional area
  • there was poor membership and sponsorship support

 The decision was made that station required a complete re-build to gain some credibility and remain financially viable by introducing a strong business plan. 
radioinfo:  You say the station has become a major force in the area?
George : We have introduced 30 regional news bulletin per week, morning local music talk back and 88.9 is now actively involved in the community.
The station actively supports the community through events like R U Aware We Care Northwest Drought Appeal New England that raised $1.5 million for our farmers.
Our introduction of a music format target at 45 to 65, playing 70’s 80’s 90’s and latest country music through the day has gained a large share audience, better response to promotions and significant sponsorship.
Sponsorship with Business Chamber with a prize of a motor vehicle giveaway yearly, business awards etc.

 radioinfo:  How is that station being received?
George : We have a regular sponsorship of between 85 to 100 active regular sponsors monthly, including national, at a level I understand is similar to some capital city community stations.
The most recent CBAA survey revealed average listening is at 30.5 hours per week that is quite considerable, and my thought is that it is because we are local 24 hours a day 7 days a week whereas other stations in the area now only broadcast from Tamworth about 1/3 of the time.
We were able to attract presenters that had previous commercial broadcasting experience and now have 12 full time staff, 4 permanent casuals as well as volunteers.
We were the originators of pulling together the New England Northwest 5, a group of community radio stations, where we discuss technical, programing and membership issues as group and 88.9 is now part of the CBAA Deep Dive Group of stations.



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