Austereo Executive Chairman, Peter Harvie, spoke to radioinfo just after the Melbourne licence auction, which will put one more station into competition with Austereo in the Melbourne market, where he is located.
He was upbeat about the prospects for his business, especially the Triple M network, and played down criticism of former Communications Minister, Richard Alston, for taking on work as an advisor to Austereo.
radioinfo: What did you think of the auction result?
Harvie: $52 million was a logical outcome. DMG would want to obtain this licence. Now it’s all finished for 5 years.
radioinfo: I guess the next licences will be digital?
Harvie: Yes, I hope the licences will flow to incumbents as we have articulated through CRA. That is the firm position in the industry.
radioinfo: The new DMG station in Melbourne, like Sydney, will target 40+. What will that mean for your network strategies?
Harvie: We’ll have to wait ’til that happens. Our experience is that not until a new station is on air can you make any really meaningful assessment of what they will sound like.
radioinfo: After the most recent survey, you have some work to do, regardless of any new competition.
Harvie: Yes, we have some work to do with our Today stations, that’s part of our job.
But it’s heartening to see the Triple M network maintaining well. Holding number one FM spot in Melbourne was a very good sign
radioinfo: Your new advisor, Richard Alston, has caused a bit of a media stir. How will he contribute to Austereo’s future strategies?
Harvie: Richard can contribute in a positive way, and I look forward to getting on to business with him.
We will use him as a sounding board. He joins several others who we use as external sounding boards in topics ranging from technology to media policy.