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What You Think

User Opinion Story
2 July 2019 - 9:39am
There's more to this than meets the eye. Apart from the fact that they've actually lifted the ratings, albeit modestly, the quote doesn't ring true. Who says that when they've been fired, let alone two people in unison? Paul & Lise depart 96FM
1 July 2019 - 5:32pm
The "hunger games" redundancy rounds at the ABC under Mark Scott were all about getting rid of experienced journos and replacing them with young and inexperienced cannon-fodder. Same with the redundancies of all the experienced Regional Content Managers in the ABC regional centres. It was stupid and senseless, but quite deliberate. Reap what ye sow ... Inexperience in the newsroom leads to aborted trials
Rebel Ash
1 July 2019 - 12:09pm
Nice observation, perhaps the internet/social media is the real problem, ease of access. Inexperience in the newsroom leads to aborted trials
28 June 2019 - 3:22pm
Oh yeah, move the most personable GB personality out of his popular shift and shove him in nights, then replace him with an annoying prat. Brilliant.

Is Chris Smith about to be sacked from 2GB?
Mike Jacobson
28 June 2019 - 2:52pm
No matter how serious the message, gutter language has no place on the public airwaves. Strong language for an important message
Anthony The Koala
27 June 2019 - 8:12pm
Cutting costs despite the talent producing the results and sponsored segments in order to produce additional revenue.

Prima facie, there is nothing wrong in principle with cost cutting in a profitable business. At the same time if the 'talent' is producing the results in high ratings and higher advertising revenue, then removing that talent is like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

It is not the first time that high rating talent has been replaced to the broadcaster's detriment. 774's (3LO's) Red Symons was dismissed. It is said that breakfast leads the rest of the station. Symons' presented the breakfast program, and 774's (3LO's) ratings halved from 14.8 to 7.4.

In the 1970s 2GB sacked Gordon Chater & Gwen Plumb. 2GB went into a mellow-rock format and the ratings plummeted until its programming format changed in 1982.

In Ian 'Lofty' Fulton's biography, "Lofty, My Life In Short", Ian recalled a story where he was rating very highly at a Brisbane FM radio station. Management wanted to negotiate a lower wage. He produced the goods, but management wanted to reduce his wages the following year. It's an oxymoron!

Thus many comments on the Daily Telegraph's page could be summed up as why fix something that isn't broken. Alternatively quoting the statement from a flyspray commercial "....when you're on a good thing, stick to it...."

Perhaps swapping presenters between the afternoon and evening shifts may well produce results. But the current presenters in their current shifts are already producing the goods. Yes there was some cost cutting in the Steve Price evening show where the former 2000-2100 co-presenter Andrew Bolt did not accept a lower paid contract. But the ratings for the 2000-2100 segment did not fall.

Perhaps I may be going off on a tangent at this point in regards sponsored segments. There is one thing that is annoying about some of the segments on 2GB. While many of the segments are obviously sponsored segments such as the "legal advice" or "financial advice" or "car advice" or "all on four advice", there are some interviews which seem like it's part of the program but get's one to think '....is this an interview or a sponsored segment?' For example 'plugs' for certain musicals or a story about 'group homes for the elderly instead of nursing homes'. Very interesting topics in their own right.

However, if radio station was to include more 'sponsored' segments in order to boost revenue, where it is not obvious that the content is sponsored or it is an actual interview, the presenter must mention that this is a sponsored segment. For example on the interview about 'group homes for the elderly', the presenter (Steve Price) could have stated that this was a newsworthy item or sponsored segment. He could have invited talk back calls on the rather interesting topic, especially given the population is ageing.

Maybe I wasn't going off on a tangent. But if a radio station was to include sponsored segments in order to boost revenue in addition to advertising revenue, then where the segment is not obviously a newsworthy or sponsored segment, then it should be stated that the segment is a news item or sponsored segment.

A further comment. Some of the commenters on the Daily Telegraph article mentioned that they have had to do what their employers wanted in working another shift. That is a valid comment. As mentioned earlier, swapping shifts between the afternoon and evening shifts may work and not affect ratings. But for many jobs, it is not the regularity of the shift that is important, but whether you are on call, these include paramedics, nurses, doctors, electricians and plumbers, to name a few. Similarly where a job is commodified it would not matter what shift one performs.

But, there are jobs which are not personality dependent as radio. There are critical areas of our society where regularity of shift is irrelevant such as emergency workers.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting and dynamic Belfield
Are Denis Walter’s days numbered at 3AW
25 June 2019 - 12:16pm
Hi Peter. A thoughtful article but I must take issue with one part. Australian soldiers returning from Vietnam were never smuggled in in the dead of night to avoid protesters. This is one of the many myths around Australia's role in Vietnam that seem to have gathered currency over the years. Australian "atrocities" is another of those myths. I suggest anyone with an interest in this subject get a hold of Mark Dapin’s book "Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History". A free media vs national security. Is it either or?
7 June 2019 - 11:03am
I have tried, on a couple of occasions, to set up an online radio station. To be able to legally play music and broadcast to AUS/NZ IPs you have to pay APRA a nominal fee and then a significantly larger fee to the PPCA.

The problem for small businesses in this sense is that there are no options for small webcasters to grow. You really have to already be a major player with large market share and capital, due to the PPCA's fee structure (below).

For each Quarter, you must pay PPCA a Licence Fee (exclusive of GST) which is the greater of:

a. $0.0021 (exclusive of GST) per Stream (excluding Streams of less than 30 seconds in duration), per User (Stream Rate); or

b. a minimum fee which is determined according to the Total Revenue and the number of Channels offered as part of the Service (Minimum Fee) –

Total Revenue/Quarter (GST excl) - Minimum Fee/Quarter (GST excl)
$0 to $5,000 - $1,000
$5,001 to $10,000 $2,500
$10,001 + $5,000; or

c. 25% of Total Revenue (exclusive of GST).

The only way someone is paying $0.0021 per Stream per User is if they have huge Cume. For someone who wishes to start a small online radio station as a business, they would probably be earning under $5000 a quarter and also close to zero listeners, not until their branding starts to attract listeners.

If the ACCC wants to help small business, target the fee structure with the PPCA. I don't think any of us in radio wish artists to not get paid for their work, but this could open up more exposure to their music and perhaps increase jobs for radio people in general. We might even see a boom as we have with YouTube. Many of the big YouTubers are media businesses all with their own staff, like a typical media organisation.
ACCC is seeking to add conditions to APRA's licencing
Eugene Delargy
3 June 2019 - 1:34pm
In typical fashion of almost all Australian media outlets, you won't be 'brave' to say it was suicide.

Just like domestic violence, sexual harassment and the many other barbarities hushed up in the past, suicide will continue to be a problem whilst it is not talked about.

No problem in history has ever 'gone away' by ignoring it.
Vale Glen Hannah
Anthony The Koala
30 May 2019 - 1:46pm
I wish to make one point about merging the ABC and SBS and licensing IP streaming service.

First, it's overdue that the two public broadcasters owned by all of us be merged. Talks of merging both broadcasters have been mooted in the 1980s with no action taken by the government. It makes sense that both broadcasters owned by us be under one roof what is the point of having two separate entities.

While SBS radio caters for 68 language groups, it certainly has maintained catering for many language groups since its inception in 1975 as 2EA and 3EA.

The same could not be said for SBS TV. When it commenced broadcasting in 1980, it transmitted mainly subtitled overseas content from mainly Europe and occasionally the Middle East and South America, but very rarely from our Asian neighbours. BUT it has FAILED to expand its coverage of programs sourced from Africa, India, The Middle East and South America.

While I may sound hypocritical, I do enjoy consuming program material from SBS tv. But most of the programming are English-language and could well be on the ABC: Insight, Dateline, Michael Portillo's train documentaries, the PBS Newshour, documentaries in general including Hollywood movies. That is to name a few. Then we have the 'Food Channel' though entertaining, could well be covered by Network 7's Food Channel. The NITV channel should be left alone, but could well move to the ABC.

There may well be a case for SBS's World News, with more focus on international news, and less focus on local news. Though it must be said that SBS is looking to having more multi-skilled journalist in other states in order source, https://www.sbs.com.au/aboutus/faqs/index/id/85/h/News

Nevertheless, with the exception of NITV, SBS tv appears to be lacking a multicultural focus and appears to be another version of ABC tv.

Second, on the issue of government licensing IP streams, the horse has bolted. How is the government going to licence streams sourced from other countries? One can buy a set-top box connected to the internet and obtain broadcasts from other countries, whether the streams are free of charge or by subscription. The government could well licence local radio streams and Foxtel and Stan.

But one of the ideas of broadcast licenses is that the electromagnetic spectrum is a 'scarce' resource. Compared to IP streams which can facilitate the broadcasting of many streams subject to the number of IP addresses, whether IPV4 or IPV6 (in the billions), cannot be said for potentially billions of channels in the electromagnetic spectrum for a particular broadcast zone. Instead a particular frequency for broadcast radio and tv can be reused in another location that is likely not to cause channel interference at another location.

In conclusion, the ABC and SBS could well be merged. In addition I have made my opinion on this site on how the ABC could save money without affecting program quality. However for the government to licence IP streaming may be complicated by streaming services being provided by overseas sources. It may be easier to 'tax'/licence local IP streams, BUT THEN the local IP streaming service may be at a competitive disadvantage especially for local subscription services compared to overseas services. For the FTA IP services, subject to number crunching, the broadcaster's economic model may want to abandon IP streaming. IP streams are international and any kind of blocking would be akin to censorship.

Anthony of downtown and exciting Belfield
Could streaming force the ABC and SBS to merge


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