Classical community station Fine Music 102.5 Sydney has recorded its best ever figures in the latest McNair listenership survey.
“Fine Music 102.5 plays an important role in encouraging young musicians and music lovers in their ambitions to become professional musicians or broadcasters.”
The community radio station, which celebrates its 45th birthday this year, is an integral part of Sydney’s cultural landscape, promoting and encouraging an active live classical and jazz music scene while supporting the careers of young musicians through various Emerging Artists programs.
“None of these projects would have ever been possible without the generous support of our donors, sponsors and grant funding bodies,” says Beare. “This support has enabled Australia’s oldest FM radio station to continue to improve its resources, building infrastructure and expanding activities on-air, in the studio and within the community.”
In the latest McNair survey (July 2019), the combined FM and DAB broadcast recorded average weekly listeners of 240,00, and average monthly listeners of 638,000.
These are the highest numbers ever recorded by this survey and are a significant increase of about one third of the station’s audience in a 2-year period.
Fine Music 102.5 Chairman David Brett has told radioinfo: “The team at Fine Music 102.5 understands that absolute numbers are subject to wide margins of statistical error and do go up and down, nonetheless the upward trend over the past two years is very clear.
“No doubt our growth has been helped by the well-publicised listener discontent with changes at our biggest competing radio station. However, from regular feedback, we know new listeners are liking what we have to offer.”
This sentiment was recently echoed by long-time ABC presenter Guy Noble who told Limelight Magazine, “it’s concerning when the amateurs sound better than the professionals.”
With these thoughts in mind, the Fine Music board made it a priority to lift their game in 2019. The resulting 2018/2019 strategic plan was developed to ensure that programming was “the best that it could possibly be.” This resulted in the “increase in new listeners and retention of the station’s loyal and well-established listener base.”
Rebecca Beare attributes the outstanding results to the station’s passionate volunteers.
“It is important to consider that our main competitors have access to much more resources than we do, including national coverage, government funding and larger professional staffing teams to deliver what is essentially the same service. While we implement a strategy to reduce all costs and strains on our resources so that we can continue to broadcast the same quality programming that we do, it is important to highlight what an extraordinary feat it is that we do deliver such a well-respected and vitally important part of our cultural landscape.”
She acknowledged the hard work of the station’s presenters, programmers, receptionists, recording engineers, magazine writers and editors, and “everyone who, directly or indirectly, interfaces with their listeners.”
Fine Music 102.5 (formerly known as 2MBS FM) is Australia’s first stereo FM radio station. The station was officially opened on 1 February 1975.
Fine Music is owned and operated by the Music Broadcasting Society of New South Wales Co-operative Limited, a member of Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. Apart from a small number of staff members, the station is operated by hundreds of music lovers who generously volunteer their time and talents to organise and administer the station’s activities.