THE Fraser Coast’s local commercial radio stations have a new home in Hervey Bay, but the move wasn’t just about getting shiny new toys for the announcers – although Blandy might argue that it was.
Southern Cross Austereo’s decision to set-up new studios for Triple M Fraser Coast and Hit 101.9 Fraser Coast in Central Plaza reflects the company’s long-term commitment to the region.
Good News Fraser Coast caught up with General Manager Neil Bradshaw recently to learn a little bit more about the reasons behind the move from Maryborough to Hervey Bay, what the investment means for the region and why – despite continuous upheavals in the media industry – radio just keeps on going.
Firstly, the move to Hervey Bay allowed the company to invest in new, modern equipment.
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This might sound rather trivial, but the new studios are now fully digital and reflect the major jump away from analogue technology.
“Radio is very different today compared to what it was like when our Bazaar Street studios were built,” said Neil.
State-of-the-art equipment means the announcers can carry on doing what they do best: entertaining, informing and giving a voice to local Fraser Coast communities.
The office floorplan has also been modernised. The open plan work space has created a more integrated and ‘team focused’ environment.
A sneak peak inside the new SCA radio studios in Hervey Bay. PHOTOS: Supplied.
“This has been much better for staff and people are together a lot more, even if they work in different departments,” said Neil.
“The studios and office area are things we can all be proud of and we looking forward to hosting meetings in our boardroom, bringing in clients and showing off a modern identity.
“It’s been nice to provide staff with something they can look forward to coming to work for.”
But – yes, there’s always a but – one of the most important elements of the move is SCA’s commitment to the region.
“There wouldn’t have been the investment in new studios and modern equipment like we’ve seen if the business wasn’t committed to local listeners,” said Neil.
The studios are in a more visible location and Hervey Bay has been identified as a significant growth area.
“There is development in the region and where we are now will be central to all of that,” explained Neil.
He said the feedback has been positive since SCA made the move and listeners are peering through the windows, trying to catch a glimpse of the announcers.
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But it’s not goodbye completely to Maryborough. The Heritage City still houses an admin and sales office. And then there is still the awesome music and conversation on the airwaves broadcast across the region.
While the studios now have the best and latest technology, the fundamentals of good radio content haven’t changed.
Despite major changes to the global, Australian and local media industries recently, Neil said Triple M and Hit 101.9 on the Fraser Coast have not lost their audiences.
“Around two thirds of Fraser Coast residents are still listening to us.”
People might not go out and buy radios very often anymore, but whether they’re listening through the website, their smartphones, an app or in their car – they’re tuning in.
“People still come to us for local content, information and news.”
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