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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Anthony The Koala
17 April 2020 - 7:37pm
The graph showing the cumes before the covid19 and during the covid19 pandemic for radio listening audiences show a pattern of:
* Between 0600 and 0800, there were more listeners before the pandemic than during the pandemic.
* After 0830 and up to 1500, more people listened to the radio during the pandemic than before the pandemic.
* There was very little difference to listening habits between 1500 and 1600, and between 1900 and 2000 before and during the pandemic. What are listeners' habits during 1500-1600 and 1900-2000?
* In the evening, more people tuned to radio before the pandemic than during the pandemic. There does not seem to be a simple explanation why listenership is down. Perhaps listeners are viewing other media such as TV, dvd/blu-ray/vod consumption, reading a book or going to sleep.

However, in light of the increase in audience share of ratings for talk stations such as 2GB. The curves also do not take into account the patterns of listenership to other talk radio stations including ABC702 (2BL), NewsRadio and RN especially in their coverage of the current pandemic.

For stations whose listenership during the crisis has increased between 0800 and 1500, it may be a boon for sales department to sell the prospective clients the benefits of advertising between these times.

In summary, the story of listeners' habits may well be the rule of thumb on when to sell advertising time during the 0800-1500 period during an epidemic, particularly when listeners are locked down at home and working from home.

The unknown factor is when the lockdowns are relaxed and people are returning to work and school, will the listenership curves return to pre-pandemic patterns?

On the other hand, for those whose occupations are capable of being conducted at home rather than an office, there may be the case where the employer and worker agree that the worker can work from home because it is more productive than working in an office. In this case, the pattern of listenership during the pandemic may well continue post pandemic.

Therefore, when the pandemic is over, the listenership patterns may well be different because there will be workers who can continue to work at home and workers who cannot work at home such as tradespeople, retail workers and those in non-essential services.

More research needs to be conducted on listenership after the pandemic.

Thank you,
Anthony of analytical Belfield
Is radio flattening the listening curve during the COVID19 pandemic?
Anthony The Koala
16 April 2020 - 1:43pm
Sydney market:
In 2020, 87.4% were tuned to the Sydney stations participating in the ratings. In the 1970s, that figure was 98.5%.

In the 1970s, the top rating station was 2SM peaking at 22% of the available share. There were fewer stations then. Today there are more stations. More remarkable is that 2GB's particular market leading programs for breakfast and morning at 17.4% and 18.8% respectively. Though the 0000-0530 slot is not listed, it is believed to be over 30%.

The other presenters were market leaders except Ben Fordham's program 10.5% beaten by ABC702's (2BL's) Richard Glover at 11.7%.

On weekday evenings, John Stanley is the market leader at 15.3% beating Steve Price's former slot.

On weekends, 2GB is the market leader at 12.2%. This includes Chris Smith's 0900-1300 program which is measured until 1200.

For 2GB management: if you have presenters that are market leaders don't fix something that is not broken.

On 2UE, Magic (3EE) and 4BH: The ratings are disappointing. I made a comment in Survey 1 that a drop in Smooth's Sydney ratings by 1.2% may have contributed to 2UE's rating. BUT I WAS WRONG.

Even though the ratings for 2UE, Magic (3EE) and 4BH are low, they would be more economical to run than a labour-intensive "Talking Sports" or "Talking Lifestyle".

BUT it's running at a loss since there are no commercials, except the traffic reports' product announcements which are the audio equivalent of "Shop-A-Docket", where the sponsors pay the traffic report company.

When it comes to music, a few weeks ago, this site's "air check" page which measured the music playlist share between WS-FM and 2UE being 31%. It did not mention if there was anything in common with the remaining 69%.

While there is nothing wrong with the "Classic Hits", "Hits And Memories", "Golden Oldies" formats, I have mentioned before that it was hackneyed and too many stations have a similar format.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield

Radio ratings survey 2: Listeners turn to news and talk in virus crisis
16 April 2020 - 12:49am
Radio is missing an opportunity.
DAB+ digital radio has been on air in most capital cities for over 10 years, yet receivers which are capable of showing more than one line of scrolling text.
DAB+ & DRM (with extended coverage areas) could use the indexed multipage text system (Journaline) and slideshow shown on a phone sized screen or larger. This could give local news to areas losing community newspapers.
Using the above facilities makes radio even more important during Emergencies being able to contact all affected listeners, even if they are asleep, when mobile phone & smart speakers commonly fail.
The Rush to Radio: How broadcast relations is responding to covid-19
14 April 2020 - 6:12pm
Around 60 % of the population live in capital cities all with large populations. DAB+ is ideal here because you have enough stations to feed the around 20 radio programs per transmitter.
In country areas a commercial broadcaster has an AM licence and a supplementary FM licence. There isn't the population to pay for DAB+
In most of Australia there is only 8 DAB+ transmission channels and for high power transmitters, there must be a spacing of at least 336 km to prevent interference on the same channel. The coverage area is lucky to be 100 km radius.
FM coverage area is of similar areas for high powered transmitters but many country ones are of much lower power thus reducing their coverage area.

DRM on the other hand uses lower frequencies and so can cover much larger areas even the whole of Australia from one transmitter and is ideal for regional and remote areas. There are hundreds of channels available.

The DAB+ and the DRM receivers are very similar except for the tuning of the station, however nearly all DAB+ receivers can only show a line of scrolling text where as all DRM receivers have a much larger colour screen for pictures and Journaline text. DAB+ could do this too, but broadcasters and importers are not supporting it in a meaningful way.

Lastly with all the fires, DRM/DAB+ can wake a radio from standby, increase the volume, make a siren sound and speak warning messages. In addition show a map of the emergency area and an indexed multipage display of detailed text instructions. The Emergency warning can be sent to all radios but only those in the specified area will respond, the other keep on with normal programs. Some of this was trialed in Darwin by Grant Broadcasters, but that's as far as it went. It is not much use without the decent sized screen. This is particularly useful, when the mobile phone tower which are usually on the tops of hills and their power line is burnt down, phones don't work, which is also true of Wireless NBN in rural areas so there is no communications left except radio, provided the populations still owns one.

Australia should plan and test DRM: Ruxandra Obreja
Anthony The Koala
8 April 2020 - 1:21pm
Public health is beyond politics. No political ideology will keep us protected or immune from the current virus. Practical measures of keeping safe distances and isolating the elderly from the outside will reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

It is very disturbing that opinion makers in the media think that the whole system of keeping safe distances, of not going out if it is not necessary and not attending large gatherings is to protect the elderly at the expense of youth, jobs and the economy.

Symptoms of the virus are mild and most people will recover. Without having access to the official data, for those who do contract the virus, the results may well be fatal. True, the elderly are most vulnerable to the virus resulting in fatal outcomes. It has also been reported that babies, children, adults have succumbed to the virus. It is also true that people with comorbid conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis to name a few ailments, may have a higher degree of suffering. So the disease is not experienced by the elderly.

Then we also have to consider our indigenous brothers and sisters who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill, especially those over the age of 50. One of the consequences is that if elders succumb to the disease, it results in a loss of passing the particular indigenous nation's culture to the rest of the "mob".

Not only the above groups, but also people with a disability being vulnerable to the virus, which may be due to people being forgotten, neglected or abused, source, https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/people-with-disability-need-virus-support-c-764428.

The economy is the people and without the people there is no economy regardless of age group, culture or disability.

However if strong measures to prevent the risk of contracting the virus are not undertaken, that is let the virus "rip", there would be no people and no economy.

A school friend of mine's father had this simple analogy when a member of his family was involved in a serious car accident, such that it is "...easier to replace the car but not a person...."

We could also say the same of the economy, We can easily replace the economy but not the people who passed away.

It is true that in the history of economic downturns either through a downturn in economic activity or a downturn imposed by health measures, there have always been people losing jobs, businesses and people self harming (if you have a problem, contact Lifeline on 13-11-14). You can read stories about the 1929 downturn or even during the land baloon boom of the 1890s in Melbourne.

It is true that stories of businesses unable to pay the rent due to a lack of walking traffic past their business. We've also heard landlords dog headedly not wanting to negotiate. Both landlord and tennant lose if an agreement cannot be reached on hibernating for the duration of the crisis. Note I am not talking about rorting and exploiting the opporunity to reduce rent when the rent can be paid when the business or residential tennant has the capacity to pay.

We've also learned to be human by providing social services beyond the "sustenance" payment. In this crisis, our Federal Government has been assisting businesses to pay its employees. True not all the cracks of who will or not receive a benefit can be filled. But there is some kind of safety net available even if it is not to the level that the affected person is accustomed to before the crisis.

This creeping 'utilitarianism' in our culture of who is of most value to the state or economy is morally repugnant. Economies can be replaced but lives cannot. People need to be more human and not ruthless during a crisis. It has been demonstrated by our Federal Government implementing safety nets.

The media may well benefit from creating controversy by attracting readers, listeners or viewers. Controversial utilitarian comments are welcome in the discourse but should not dutifully adopted because it's evil.

Thank you,
Anthony of thinking Belfield
Chris Smith starts a real conversation on talk radio
8 April 2020 - 6:23am
LOVE the Easter Show. Doesn't matter how busy I am, I take a day out of my life to go - not on a crazy Easter weekend. Thankyou to iHeartRadio and AFTRS for making this still happen - I did a short interview with Wendy Searle one of the AFTRS students for it. We've still got to be in there. I'll be at the Easter Show in 2021. AFTRS students launch Show Radio Special Edition
Darren Moss
7 April 2020 - 8:04pm
Why don'tWhy don't we ask Ruxandra to tell the Australian consumer market they will need to buy another new radio to hear DRM services... Or how about we just run with DAB+ for metro/provincial and FM for regionals. We already have both technologies and won't annoy our audiences with yet another standard. Australia should plan and test DRM: Ruxandra Obreja
7 April 2020 - 5:47am
Thankyou for this act of community and care. Health is so much more than medical. It is emotional, social, economic and the impact of corona is devastating on so many levels. Thankyou. The story of local radio, a local restaurant and a local community...
3 April 2020 - 12:25am
Is this the same John Hood that was also at Perth 96fm# back in the 80s?

Vale John Hood
Anthony The Koala
2 April 2020 - 6:16am
An update as at 2-4-2020
This is a continuation of the media coverage in NSW of the "reasonable excuses" for staying outside the "house" during the current pandemic.

Recall that the NSW Government gazetted 16 "reasonable excuses" on page 13 of Schedule 1, of the "Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 [NSW] ", source https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/_emergency/Public%20Health%20(COVID-19%20Restrictions%20on%20Gathering%20and%20Movement)%20Order%202020.pdf, gazetted 31-03-2020.

One of the reasonable excuses is no 1 which is "...obtaining food or other goods or services for the personal needs of the household or other household purposes (including for pets) and for vulnerable persons".

What was not listed were other essential services such as banking, paying the bills at the post office, filling the car with petrol and mechanical repairs.

The sub-term in "reasonable excuse" no 1 is "....other goods or services for the personal needs....and for vulnerable persons"

In regards to the SMH, for example, the main article did not address this issue and neither was it addressed in the moderated comments section. Fortunately comments are moderated to prevent any kind of 'sledging' between commenters.

Even when one commenter at the SMH site asked a question about banking and car repairs, the reply was not answered. Source https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/six-months-in-jail-11-000-fine-for-leaving-home-without-a-reasonable-excuse-20200330-p54fg8.html#comments

On Ben Fordham's program (2GB, 1500-1800), a lot of the time was spent on callers wanting to know whether going to a partner's house in another location from the caller was allowed. There was some levity on whether one could read a book in a park. The answer was "....provided you do one situp between turning the pages..."

Importantly, Ben raised the very important issue about discussing such issues to a Minister from the NSW Government. NOT ONE MINISTER RESPONDED.

One of the topics that was drummed into students at the UNSW School of Law is the concept of the RULE OF LAW. Paraphrasing the Oxford Dictionary definition of the RULE OF LAW, where all members of society are equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.

The issue is that while the gazetted document is publicly disclosed, the terms are vague. The processes involved are the enforcement of the law by our Police. The issue then becomes that invidual officers have the discretion to determine whether a citizen is infringing or not infringing a law.

Consequently, there may be inconsistencies in decisions based on the discretion of the officers who may find favour for one citizen but not for another citizen for the same set of circumstances. For a citizen that the officer was not in favour could take the matter to court.

Importantly, a source of litigation whether in the civil or criminal jurisdiction has been based on the meaning of a vague term whether in contract or in criminal law. Litigation means taking the matter to court and that imposes extra time on the courts and expense and anxiety imposed on the citizen.

Currently the courts are slowing down the number of hearings and are adapting to the methods of conducting hearings during this pandemic, source, https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/local-court-postpones-raft-of-sentences-in-response-to-covid-19-pandemic-20200325-p54dnl.html

As a result, the citizen wanting to litigate for an unjust decision by the officer, the wait will be longer and the anxiety increase.

If the Minister of Health could provide a more comprehensive list of reasonable excuses through to the Minister of Police then through the Commissioner and inform the rest of the Police Force that would reduce the risk of inconsistent decisions made by officers for same given set of circumstances.

Otherwise when the Minister of Health or Police do not answer calls by 2GB's Ben Fordham or other media sources including the state government's site, to clarify the vague terms in the gazetted document will result in officers giving inconsistent decisions based on the same set of circumstances.

The effect of very vague terms is has the same effect of uncertainty and arbitrary decisions, a lack of the rule of law.

Finally, in order to seek clarification on non-listed essential services under Schedule 1 of the gazetted item, I also contacted my local member and 2GB's Ray Hadley.

I have written to my local member, a former 2HD breakfast co-presenter and have not yet received a reply in regards to the interpretation of "reasonable excuse" No.1.

I have also written to Ray Hadley (2GB, 0900-1200) at 0619, 1-4-2020 and received a very kind reply from him directly at 0632, 1-4-2020 and believed that my circumstances which includes caring for someone would apply.

The only person who gave frank and honest information was Ray Hadley. I thank him.

Thank you,
Anthony of relieved Belfield
Alan Jones continues to send wrong message about COVID-19


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