Radio 2ME has been listed for tender. The station broadcasts in Arabic at the top of the AM dial on 1638AM in Melbourne and Sydney. Ads for the sale have appeared in The Australian and The Financial Review over the past couple of weeks and on the radioinfo website.
General manager Gary Evans says: “since its inception in 1995 2ME Australia has demonstrated a solid growth and profit performance in a very dynamic environment. 2ME is an icon to the Arabic community throughout Australia.”
Research conducted by The Interviewing Business (TIB) showing it as “the market leader by a long shot”
The research, conducted this month, shows that 90% of all people who listen to Arabic language radio listen to 2ME. “This was consistent with the findings of a previous study by Quadrant Research in 1998,” says Evans.
Evans told radioinfo: “We are delighted that our bilingual breakfast show has jumped a staggering 24% (to 68%) whilst our Arabic language competitors like SBS Radio (2nd at 4.6%) all dropped listeners in breakfast.”
In the area of news the survey found that 76% of Arabic Speakers in the listening area “trust 2ME first for news.” SBS Radio comes second on 10%, and then all others (5%). Arabic is the second most spoken language in Sydney after English.
2ME has “a very special relationship with the BBC Arabic Service in London which also broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East.” A combined 2ME – BBC broadcast team covered the Olympic Games from 2ME’s Macquarie St, Parramatta Studios. These programs are heard throughout the Middle East as are 2ME’s reports of Australia’s breaking news stories.
Evans says: “The research shows that our music format is what holds our audience. 2ME has painstakingly created its own unique music universe. We have spent seven years collecting and editing tracks from 22 Arabic speaking countries Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and all over the Middle East.”
Most Arabic songs are at least 11 minutes long so the station has edited the tracks to 4 or 5 minutes “to allow for plenty of variety and English language songs in our ‘Hits and Memories’ format.”
The three story building that houses 2ME is also available as part of the tender. “Our signal comes off the old 2UE tower at 113 metres high it delivers one of the best signals anyone could wish for in Australia’s biggest market,” says Evans.
2ME is “a mature business and a force to be reckoned with in a rapidly expanding niche media industry,” according to Evans.
Divestment of 2ME will allow the principals of 2ME to rollout their other network NTC with its ‘best mix in country’ format. They plan a franchising operation through Australia. Premises are being sought in Ultimo for NTC.