Australian Radio Network

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The Australian Radio Network is a group of commercial radio stations around Australia and New Zealand. A joint venture of Australian media conglomerate APN News & Media and United States radio company Clear Channel Communications, the group is the largest radio company in Australasia. It includes the Classic Hits and Mix networks in Australia and the Newstalk ZB, Classic Hits FM, ZM, Radio Sport, Radio Hauraki, Easy Mix, Flava and Coast networks in New Zealand. It also owns a 30% stake in the World Movies television channel.

The company operates the ARN News service in Australia and the Newstalk ZB News service in New Zealand. Both services share reporters and international correspondents and source news stories from AAP in Australia, CNN from the United States and Sky News and IRN from the United Kingdom. ARN has newsrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

On February 19, 2014, it was reported that APN News & Media is set to purchase Clear Channel's 50% stake in the Australian Radio Network.[1]

Australia[edit]

KIIS 106.5, Edge 96.1 and WSFM 101.7 broadcast building in North Ryde

In Australia the company owns and operates twelve capital city stations for 25 to 54 year olds. These stations all broadcast entirely local programming, although network stations have the same format and logo.

In Sydney on KIIS 106.5, in Melbourne on Mix 101.1, in Adelaide on Mix 102.3, in Brisbane on 97.3 and in Canberra on Mix 106.3, the MIX network (except Sydney) plays Hot Adult Contemporary for 25 to 44 year olds.

In Sydney on 101.7, in Melbourne on 104.3 in Brisbane on 693AM, and Cruise 1323 in Adelaide. Classic Hits plays Hot Adult Contemporary from the 1960s to the early 2000s, for the men's 16–49 year old market. It uses the tagline ""Good times and great classic hits".

Other stations carry different formats. Katoomba-licenced The Edge 96.ONE is a hip-hop, urban and R&B station reaching most of Sydney. Adelaide Classic Hits station 5DN was converted into easy listening station Cruise 1323. Nationwide internet-only station PureCountry was set up August 2006 to play a contemporary country music format but subsequently closed down. ARN's joint venture station in Canberra (104.7) is part of the Today Network run by Southern Cross Austereo.

Licence area Mix FM/KIIS Classic Hits/Pure Gold The Edge
Sydney, New South Wales 2WFM "KIIS 106.5" (106.5 MHz FM) 2UUS "101.7 WSFM" (101.7 MHz FM)
Katoomba, New South Wales 2ONE "The Edge 96.ONE" (96.1 MHz FM)
Melbourne, Victoria 3TTT "Mix 101.1" (101.1 MHz FM) 3KKZ "Gold 104.3" (104.3 MHz FM)
Brisbane, Queensland 4BFM "97.3fm" (97.3 MHz FM) 4KQ (693 kHz AM)
Adelaide, South Australia 5ADD "Mix 102.3" (102.3 MHz FM) 5DN "Cruise 1323" (1323 kHz AM)

Joint Ventures[edit]

Licence area Mix FM/Triple M LocalWorks Today Network
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 1CBR "Mix 106.3" (106.3 MHz FM) 2ROC "104.7" (104.7 MHz FM)

Digital Radio[edit]

The Australian Radio Network broadcasts a number of digital only radio stations, including: The Edge Digital, Mix 80s, Mix 90s and Chemist Warehouse Remix[2] (details below). This is in addition to simulcasts of existing AM and FM stations.[citation needed]

  • Edge Digital, a music format based on Katoomba licensed Edge 96.1, not a direct simulcast of that station, but shares resources, including logo and promotions. Edge Digital not available on Metro FM radio.[2]
  • Mix '80s, music from the 1980s, broadcast nationally.
  • Mix '90s (previously Chemist Warehouse Mix 90s), music from the 1990s, broadcast nationally.
  • Chemist Warehouse Remix, Today's Best Music from the 1960s to Today, broadcast nationally.

Former:

  • Classic Hits Plus, e.g. 'WSFM Plus' in Melbourne and 'Gold Plus' in Melbourne. This station's format follows a 'featured artist' or theme, played on a monthly basis, e.g. Queen, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac. This station was replaced by Mix '80s.
  • Classic Hits Live, a new addition that plays live recorded tracks from artists played on the main Classic Hits station, including content played as part of an artist's feature month on Classic Hits Plus. This station was replaced by Mix '90s and Chemist Warehouse Remix.

New Zealand[edit]

Radio Network (TRN) is the New Zealand division of the ARN. It operates eight nationwide networks, over 100 radio stations and the twenty-four hour Newstalk ZB News service. Its networks include News & Talk network Newstalk ZB, Classic Hits network Classic Hits FM, Contemporary Hit Radio network ZM, Sports Radio network Radio Sport, Rock network Radio Hauraki, Easy listening network Easy Mix, hip hop and R&B network Flava and 1950s, 1960s and 1970s network Coast. It also operates Gore-based station Hokonui Gold through a lease agreement with the station's owners.

The network was created in 1996 when the commercial radio activities of Radio New Zealand were divested by the Fourth National government as part of the Ruthanasia free market economic policies of that government. Radio New Zealand Commercial, which included talk networks Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport and music networks Classic Hits and ZM, became privately owned and was renamed to The Radio Network.

In the same year the newly created TRN purchased Prospect Media Limited. This included eleven Auckland and Hamilton stations. The Commerce Commission ruled that as part of the take over of Prospect Media, The Radio Network was to on sell or dispose of some stations to prevent the company having a dominant position in Auckland and Hamilton. The Radio Network chose to keep the brands of Auckland's Radio Hauraki and Easy Listening i as is but were later launched as nationwide networks. The other stations Kool 93 in Auckland and Country FM in both Auckland and Hamilton were closed down. The Kool 93 frequency was purchased by Energy Enterprises and used to start Solid Gold FM and the Country FM frequency was sold to the More FM Group and used to start Channel Z in Auckland. In Hamilton Radio Hauraki was dropped with the frequency being taken over by Radio Pacific but Hauraki returned to Hamilton years later. Easy Listening i was retained in Hamilton but later dropped and replaced with Newstalk ZB. Country FM was dropped in Hamilton with the frequency sold to the Rhema Group and used to network Life FM into Hamilton. Auckland's The Breeze on 91 and Hamilton's The Breeze on 89.8 were closed down and a new ZM station was started in Auckland with the programming networked to Hamilton.

The network was bought out by a syndicate that included The New Zealand Herald and New Zealand Listener publisher Wilson & Horton and United States radio company Clear Channel Communications. Wilson & Horton was then purchased by Ireland-based media conglomerate Independent News & Media, and onsold to Independent's Australian subsidiary APN. The Radio Network became an APN and Clear Channel networked commercial radio joint venture, like the Australian Radio Network already was; as a result TRN became part of ARN.

Since 2005 Radio Network has networked all its stations under its eight network brands. Stations may have local idents, advertisements, weather forecasts, promotion events, traffic updates, news bulletins and commentary features. However, aside from local breakouts for breakfast, morning or special event programmes, stations exclusively carry network programming produced from studios at Radio Network on Cook St in Auckland Central.

The move towards the eight nationwide networks took several years, but a number of changes occurred between 1998 and 2005 which lead to the current networks. Hawkes Bay's Classic Rock 96FM was replaced with Radio Hauraki in 1998, which was later replaced with ZM in 1999 now networked from Auckland. Also in Manawatu Q91 Classic Rock was replaced with ZM initially networked from Wellington. The Community Radio Network was established in 1998, with all local stations one off stations having local content outside breakfast replaced with a network feed from Taupo, at the same time Classic Hits FM replaced local programming outside breakfast with networked programming from Auckland. Later all Community Network stations were replaced with Classic Hits FM with all programming on these stations outside breakfast now originating from Auckland, Newstalk ZB was also expanded into these markets at the same time. In 2000 ZM switched their network programming to a single feed for Invercargill and Dunedin this meant programming was now networked from Auckland instead of Christchurch and in Palmerston North programming was networked from Auckland instead of Wellington. A year later ZM closed their Christchurch studio and Wellington's successful breakfast show became the new nationwide breakfast show. Auckland's Cool Blue 96.1FM was started in 2001 but was replaced with the first Flava station in 2004; Cool Blue became an independently operated internet-only station. Easy Listening i was rebranded as Viva FM in 2005 and then as Easy Mix in August 2007. Hawkes Bay's Gold 1530 was purchased by Radio Network in 2000 and re-branded as JO 1530 (Jammin Oldies) and in 2002 as the first Coast station, Coast was later moved to Auckland networked across the whole country. Nelson's The Planet 97FM was purchased by TRN in 2002 and was replaced with ZM in 2004.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/126959/clear-channel-sells-stake-in-australian-radio-netw
  2. ^ a b ARN Digital-radio

External links[edit]