South Australian Community Broadcasters Conference

Members of the South Australian Community Broadcasters Association (SACBA) gathered last weekend for their annual state conference. The conference is well known for its strong training component. SACBA is also recognised within the community sector as one of the most forward looking groups in its approach to sponsorship. The theme of the conference was ‘work smarter not harder.’

SACBA’s sponsorship sales arm, called Active Radio Network, reported a tight but successful year, returning $82,000 to stations in the SABCA group. President Geoff Williams said in his report: “It is largely through the efforts of Kim Green that we can… say we achieved something that few thought possible… we have ambitions to achieve even more. We want widespread recognition of the value of community broadcasting in this state [and to] maximise the real revenue to member stations…”

The Active Radio Network plans further development in “presenting its member stations to the market.” It plans to commission a survey from ACNielsen in a period where the commercial stations are not in survey. The CBAA is also exploring the possibility of a national survey.

Other Active Radio Network initiatives include a branding promotion, Golf Days for sponsors and a benefits pack which can be offered to sponsors.

The Active Radio Network strategy has been so successful for SACBA members that community broadcasting associations in the Northern Territory and Western Australia are examining the possibility of adopting the same approach.

South Australia’s Attorney General Michael Atkinson opened the conference and State Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith launched the South Australian Community Broadcaster Training Kit.

Other conference sessions included writing sponsorship announcements for community radio; radio for kids; interviewing; codes of practice; training; selling sponsorship; and reports from the ABA, AMRAP, CBAA and CBF. Main photo: Jane Lomax-Smith launches Training Program. Other photos show conference sessions.

…..….. …..

In an introductory session each station got one minute to talk about key events in the past year including:

5BBB Tanunda – had a hard year but has built up its community links.

5CCR Ceduna – has grown well during the year. It is the only local radio station in town so is doing well as far as business goes. The station has invested in automation equipment so it can keep up local programming in timeslots when no volunteer presenters are available.

Coast FM Adelaide – had a rocky 12 months with major board changes. The station focuses on its listeners with a 50s/60s/Country/Rock&Roll format.

Dusty FM Cooper Pedy – Flamboyant station leader Bob Price mentioned the station’s two highlights of the past year which were “dust” and “clean toilets.” The station has begun a website at

5EBI Adelaide – The station has been running for 27 years and is running well. It has bought a new antenna in the past year and moved to a power of 20kW.

EFM Victor Harbour – has been on air for 11 years on a temporary licence and is STILL awaiting its permanent licence, which it hopes to get this year. The station has 80 volunteers.

Fresh FM Adelaide –was just last week granted its permanent high powered licence (see Fresh FM story earlier)

5GTR Mt Gambier – the station is changing frequency and will go to a higher power. Initiatives this year include covering soccer, which is not covered by any other station and is bringing in good revenue opportunities.

Gulf FM Kadina – had a good year and received many letters of support for its permanent licence application

5MBS Adelaide – has just been granted the permanent Adelaide Foothills fulltime licence

5NPY Umuwa – is doing training for presenters in schools and aboriginal communities. The station broadcasts country music, footy shows and aboriginal programs (many in traditional languages).

PBA FM Salisbury – Denise Guest reported a very healthy financial position.The station has 150volunteers and is working towards a power upgrade. One programming highlight is a new show called ‘Beyond Blue’ where people suffering mental health problems do the interviewing of media experts about mental health.

5RPH Adelaide – has 130 volunteers and has spent $25,000 on upgrading to digital equipment

ROX FM Roxby Downs – will be granted a licence as soon as the station advises a starting date

Radio Adelaide (5UV) – in its 30th year of operation 5UV was granted an FM licence and moved from its old AM frequency. Manager Deb Welsch reported it had been ‘a big year!’

5tcb Bordertown – began a digital media centre and related projects under the name ‘Audacity’ and got a studio upgrade.

5THE Millicent – has 16 presenters and is ‘just surviving.’ The stations biggest sponsorship problem is the small town business attitude of ‘why should we advertise when everyone knows where to find us?’

Trax FM Port Pirrie – is waiting for a permanent licence

5YYY Whyalla – has had ups and downs in the past 12 months and has found it difficult to get sponsorship