Radio Adelaide station workers are “sceptical”

Workers at Radio Adelaide say they are sceptical about a deal that will “secure Radio Adelaide an independent future.”

In a statement to radioinfo this afternoon workers say they “have many serious reservations about the deal made with Fresh 92.7.”

“… not only because there has been no consultation with us. How have they convinced the University that they can meet the requirements of an educational license when their success is based on playing dance music to a niche audience and getting sponsorship by delivering that audience? 

Vice-Chancellor Warren Bebbington tried to alay fears in the announcement, saying: “The media training provided to our Media students and the community will continue, and likely expand,” but station workers have told radioinfo “an educational community licence is not just about training, the VC’s quote implies that it is.”

Workers also want to know “How will they protect the diversity of programming, and the high standard of current affairs broadcasting that have marked us one of the country’s foremost stations?”

The workers have also raised financing issues, asking: “How much money will the University pay to Fresh FM and what will they get for that money?

Fresh 92.7 General Manager Troy Sincock said the circumstances present an opportunity to collaborate on a level he hasn’t seen in community radio before. “We are in a unique position to assist to build the capacity of community radio, to share facilities and training opportunities for the benefit of Adelaide.”

Station workers want assurance from the University “that they have not condemned us to a slow death by their decision to work with Fresh 92.7 rather than with the people who have been running Radio Adelaide so successfully for so long.”

In a meeting run by the University at the time the official announcement was made, station staff were told that Fresh FM will manage the station during a transition process and will appoint a new board. This seems to suggest a level of control that is more than was described in the University’s official announcement, which said Fresh would only “provide advice and facilities to the station, and manage a transition [process].”

Raising issues of compliance, the station workers have asked: “How is this agreement viewed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, given that no entity can hold more than one community broadcast license?”

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