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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Anthony The Koala
29 September 2020 - 9:45am
I have followed stories in the 'newspapers' about the downfall of 2GB since the departure of Alan Jones. A lot of the readers' comments have displayed their dissatisfaction of Ben Fordham's broadcasts saying that they have switched off 2GB.

Given that the survey has included a period where Alan Jones was on air, I cannot see a reflection of those complainants who have 'switched off' 2GB in the ratings. In fact the ratings have increased. Consider the mathematical weighting of five months that Ben was on air. The rating of 14.6% would have been a substantial contribution by Ben.

My congratulations. This time, management's decisions have worked.

However 2UE and its other stations Magic 1278 and 4BH, I would not be surprised if they are sold off. I may be wrong.

For 2CH, the ratings have increased 37% from 3.5% to 4.8%. Perhaps its best audience in a long time. It's a swan song rating given the new owners will switch to a new sporting format. That's business.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Radio ratings survey 6: First results after Covid hiatus
Anthony The Koala
29 September 2020 - 9:35am
The switchoff of FM radio in Norway is not complete. The NRK and the major commercial networks have switched off. There are some commercial FM services which have until 2022 to comply with the law, source, https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/norways-fm-shutdown-six-months-later .

Given that ABC's AM and FM transmitters produce the highest level of CO2 compared to other broadcasters, it should, like its Norwegian equivalent NRK consider a transition to fully digital services, whether AM or FM. Where the metropolitan AM and DAB+ service diverge in service for sporting and talking respectively, it would be simple to use either the existing "Grandstand" DAB+ channel or allocate a mono talk channel for sporting matches.

At the same time, not all countries have adopted DAB+. Though some have 'plans' to cease analogue transmissions and adopt DAB+., that is not 'concrete'. Even some countries such as NZ, HK, Finland have abandoned and not proceeded with DAB+. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Audio_Broadcasting - the bottom of the article. Though RNZ's overseas service transmit in DRM+ https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/listen .

Streaming IP radio is another way of consuming media. With an increase in the uptake of 5G mobile services, initially the transmission rates will be extremely fast especially if one lives near a 5G transmission tower. My concern is that with an increased uptake of 5G and an increasing use of consuming media via 5G, consumers may be disappointed. This is because 5G uses RF while IP conveyed via fibre optic is limited by the electronic interfaces between the laser transmitter and laser receiver. There is no guarantee that IP via RF will be maintain the high bit rates initially promoted to consumers at the beginning of the uptake of 5G as a mode of receiving IP streams.

As an aside, NEP, the provider of OB services for up to 4K video transmission uses IP with data rates in the order of gigabits, https://www.nepgroup.com.au/services/centralised-production. I doubt that they'll be using 5G.

In conclusion, there appears to be no plans by broadcasters to switch over to fully digital radio whether DAB+ or DRM+ despite their adoption by Norway and India. Other countries have no firm plans.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Why Radio Stations Fail
Anthony The Koala
28 September 2020 - 8:11pm
First, to be working in an industry for nearly 80 years means it is an industry that Mr Rogers loves. It is also an extraordinary example of resilience. The brief interlude in the clothing trade was short lived. He went back to radio. How many people can say they love their 'job'. This does not mean that because you love your job that you are your job.

That applies to any industry. You are more than your job. It was not only radio. It was also promoting "The Beatles", hosting a TV variety show, running a clothing shop, and for a short time, being a male model in "Cleo" where objects were strategically placed in front of the 'subject' in order to not disturb the reader. You are not your job. You are also a husband and father.

In light of Mr Rogers' departure and relishing his time on the air, I don't want to be a 'killjoy' about the fate of 2CH on DAB+. With exceptions to DAB+'s "Kinderling" , "ABC Jazz" and "Double J" which have 'live presenters', there are no other DAB+ music stations with live announcers. I hope I am WRONG. After the departure of Mr Rogers, 2CH on DAB+ may gradually become an automated robojock-presented station.

Thank you,
Anthony of realistc Belfield
Classic Hits 2CH Legend Bob Rogers announces his retirement
28 September 2020 - 10:29am
"technology has passed you by (think AM music stations in major markets"
This is very true.
The industry should in capital cities push DAB+ and not streaming because it is cheaper than AM/FM broadcasting and providing streaming.
We have been broadcasting DAB+ for 11 years. It's about time a switchoff date of AM/FM in those areas be set. Look at ratings in Norway which switched off AM/FM. It is broadcast DAB+ which is accelerating listening and it is not coming from streaming.

Country areas should be pushing for Digital Radio Mondiale using the vacant analog TV channels 0 - 2. It covers much larger areas than DAB+. It will allow country commercial stations to transmit their two programs on a single transmitter close to their prime audience and have enough data capacity for images and even an electronic newspaper. For the ABC/SBS they could radiate their 18 programs also from another single transmitter per site.

Integrated circuit manufacturers already make chips which can receive DAB+/DRM/FM and AM. They just need broadcasters to adopt new standards and promote them. Look at 1300 million Indians have large scale high power DRM and millions of new cars with factory fitted DRM radios.

The use of DAB+ & DAB+ not only reduces capital expenditure the electricity consumption will drop by much more than 60 % and that will cause a similar drop in Carbon Dioxide production in power stations.

Remember that AM was invented in 1910 and FM in 1935. DRM is the latest technology (2009). Who is using an Windows computer with version 3.1 software which was the first to use the mouse. The software/computer companies made all users upgrade. Radio must do the same, as Norway did.
Why Radio Stations Fail
25 September 2020 - 7:11pm
Someone I know has openly admitted being the one who did this and says it was in Gods name and for his retribution! I've tried reporting this to police but told nothing is likely to be done about it because I am a "3rd party" and not a witness to the actual crime. I'm hoping you can call me to tell me what I can do to help...

EDITOR: This post has been edited
No new home yet for fire bombed WOW FM
Anthony The Koala
23 September 2020 - 5:13pm
A few discrete points.

While the 0745 news bulletin is no longer, let's not forget ABC News Radio with updates every quarter hour. In recent months this jewel of a news service has improved in its presentation including news bulletins featuring "Majestic Fanfare" on the hour and half hour during the day.

For those who hate the ABC, the commercial stations' news bulletins especially those on 2GB have declined in coverage since the late 1980s. No more 10 minute bulletins at breakfast, no half hour news bulletins at midday and 1700 and no more 10 minute bulletins at 2200. Even the last 10 minute news bulletin at 1200 on 2GB disappeared with the retirement of Jim Angel (RIP) in 2001. It is an economic reality. As a result 2GB could not be called a news talk station because it ceases to have comprehensive coverage of the news. Again it's an economic reality.

But just because it is an economic reality does not mean that the ABC should 'sympathetically' reduce its news services. News is a public good and all Australians deserve. What else do we have when news coverage on commercial radio and TV is reducing. Having a reduced ABC news service means Australians will not be informed. We cannot rely on social media to deliver news because we don't know whether the news is genuine, fake or part of a misinformation campaign.

The montage presented by Ms Jamelle Wells brought back memories. I remember when Ms Wells presented the late evening news on 2GB. She also made pre-recorded bulletins for the 0100 & 0300, and the 0200 and 0400 times. I knew that the 2GB bulletins were pre-recorded because the bulletins suddenly were aired at their non-scheduled times. I also remember Mr Bruce Menzies reading the news and as a toddler watching him co-host a children's program featuring a koala up a gum tree with the song at the end of the show "....Bill's asleep, Bill's asleep, mmmmmmmm....Bill's asleep, Bill's asleep......" Moreover after hearing Ms Deborah Rice in the montage reading the bulletin, I remember going to the same piano teacher in Strathfield and she was two to three pupils ahead of me.

Thank you,
Anthony of non-forgetting Belfield
Tribute to the voices of the 0745 ABC News bulletin
22 September 2020 - 6:29pm
Poor DAB+ reception in tunnels could cost lives? Bit of hyperbole, methinks. It's more likely preserve our sanity by cutting out some of the drivel fromshock jocks.

But seriously - if DAB+ is available in a car, then so, most likely, is the ability to connect to streaming via mobile internet. Streaming's also available in areas not served by DAB+ or even decent FM reception.

I don't drive through tunnels much, but I use DAB+ and streaming almost exclusively in the car. I'd rather have a DAB+ signal which cuts out momentarily than marginal FM reception.
Tunnel vision about digital radio could cost lives
22 September 2020 - 3:12pm
Norway decommissioned all analog radio in 2017. For their huge number of tunnels they use http://www.paneda.no/break-in-systems-for-tunnels/
which are coupled with leaky RF cable down the length of the tunnel as used for FM.
Dingram, the coverage area of capital city DAB+ broadcasts has been made by using spot checks. They need to find the black spots by using the ACMA
s software www.myswitch.gov.au but with the European Broadcasting Union's requirements for reliable reception. There are quite a few metro TV translator sites which also require DAB+ repeaters. A repeater receives and transmits on the same channel.

Nigel, the reason why the Canadian DAB failed was that it was on 1.4 GHz band not 200 MHz and also it was the old DAB which has poorer error correction and inefficient audio compression.

For regional Australia DAB+ does not have a large enough coverage area and there are only 8 transmission channels available. A much better option is Digital Radio Mondiale in the vacant TV channels 0 - 2 ie 47 - 50, 54 - 68 MHz. The free space loss through the air is 1/12th of that of DAB+ and 1/4 of FM. There is a 6 channel modulator which can carry all 18 ABC/SBS digital programs on one transmitter. DRM can also carry noise free, no distortion, stereo sound on the high frequency (SW) band to cover the whole of Australia from a high powered transmitter in the centre of Australia.

Tunnel vision about digital radio could cost lives
Nigel Holmes
22 September 2020 - 10:42am
DAB+ was a European solution to a European problem. Next to worthless as a distribution option for most of Australia. Its best application was in urban environments such as Sydney yet what do we find today??

Canada correctly identified the fragility of DAB+ in a broadcast space with similar population dispersal and densities.

Data networks for the mobile market will ride rough shod over DAB+ in CBD & town and the ultra regional folk will continue to enjoy AM while it lasts.
Tunnel vision about digital radio could cost lives
James O'Brien
22 September 2020 - 4:05am
I'm not about to begin a debate about the decision, but the first three sentences of this story are false.

"The ABC’s quarter to eight news disappeared quietly this morning.
The final 0745 bulletin went to air on local radio stations last Friday, without a mention that it would be the last bulletin. This morning there was also no mention of the format change, which had been flagged in July as part of the response to budget cuts in the ABC News division."

The final bulletins were in fact on Sunday and not Friday.

Both Friday and Sunday's bulletins included reads about the schedule change.

The exact text on Friday was " From Monday morning, there'll be a change to ABC radio news bulletins. Tune in at 7 o'clock as usual for 10 minutes of news, then we'll have a new bulletin at 8, and AM begins at 5 past 8. Of course we'll continue to bring you breaking news across the day on ABC Radio Sydney (and online at abc.net.au) The time now ... a minute to 8."

Sunday's bulletin also included a 60-second tribute, featuring audio from well-known newsreaders from the past.

There have also significant on-air farewells to readers in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne during Breakfast shows.

To suggest this occured without on-air comment is false.

I have emailed Steve with this information, as well as attached audio, but I've not heard back, so I thought I'd comment here.
ABC 0745 News Bulletin quietly disappears


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