|Launched||10 March 1967|
|Owned by||Prime Media Group|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Audience share||67.5% (2007, )|
|Slogan||GottaLoveIt on GWN7|
|Broadcast area||Regional Western Australia|
|Formerly called||Golden West Network
(1986 - 2011)
|SD Digital||Channel 6|
GWN7 is an Australian television network owned by the Prime Media Group that is based in Bunbury, Western Australia. The Golden West Network launched on 10 March 1967 as BTW-3 in Bunbury, and has since expanded to cover regional and remote Western Australia, servicing all areas except metropolitan Perth.
GWN began life as a group of smaller, independent stations - BTW-3 Bunbury, launched on 10 March 1967 (with a relay in Mount Barker commencing the next year), VEW-8 Kalgoorlie, which began on 18 June 1971, and relay station GSW-9 Albany, opened on 29 August 1974. GTW-11 Geraldton was the last station to launch, on 21 January 1977. Jack Bendat purchased South West Telecasters (owner of BTW/GSW) in the early 1980s, and changed the company’s name to Golden West Network.
GWN applied to broadcast an additional service on 31 October 1984, when the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal called for applications to broadcast to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands via satellite as part of the Remote Commercial Television License (RCTS) scheme. GWN was granted the Remote Commercial Television License (RCTS) in June 1985 and the service went to air on 18 October 1986 using the call-sign WAW.
Not long after, GWN continued to expand within Western Australia, acquiring Mid-Western Television (owner of VEW-8 Kalgoorlie) in December 1985 for A$7 million, and Geraldton Telecasters (owner of GTW-11) in March 1987 for an undisclosed amount. The takeovers gave the network a monopoly over all commercial television services in regional Western Australia. In 1987, Bendat and Kerry Stokes merged their media interests into joint company BDC Investments. Later that year, Northern Star Holdings purchased BDC for A$206 million. Northern Star were forced to sell GWN to satisfy existing media regulations. GWN was sold back to Stokes in December 1988 for A$54 million, who upgraded equipment throughout the network. In April 1990, the callsigns BTW and GSW were merged, to become SSW.
1990s to the 2000s
Kerry Stokes gained control of the Seven Network in 1995, and attempted to sell GWN to Seven in return for more shares. Seven Network shareholders agreed to the trade in April 1996 - a deal which would have seen Seven acquire GWN for A$72.8 million. The arrangement was called off when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that a 15 year exclusive programming deal GWN made with the Nine Network was anti competitive and opposed the acquisition. The Seven Network subsequently dropped their plans to purchase GWN.
Prime Television purchased GWN in November 1996 from Stokes for A$71 million. WIN Television was granted the rights to a second television license in regional Western Australia in 1997, ending GWN's monopoly of all three Australian commercial channels. In March 1999, GWN dropped their affiliation of the Nine and Ten Network, becoming a sole Seven Network affiliation, in-line with Prime Television in the eastern states. As a result, WIN Television WA picked up both the Nine Network and Network Ten affiliations.
The network's transmission operations were moved from Bunbury to Prime Media Group's digital broadcast facility in Canberra in April 2005. Programming is delivered to regional Western Australia via a satellite feed.
A proposal for a third television station - a joint venture between GWN7's parent company Prime Media Group and WIN Corporation - was submitted to the Australian Communications and Media Authority in 2006. Similar to Mildura Digital Television, the new channel will operate under a Section 38B license, as a Network Ten affiliate named Ten West.
2010 and beyond
The new decade saw the introduction of digital television, with the Central Wheatbelt, Kalgoorlie, Karratha and Mingenew digital transmitters launching on 10 June 2010. The broadcasters shared a single digital transmitter for GWN, WIN WA and the new Ten West in standard definition.
On 15 January 2011, Prime Media Group reported that GWN and Prime were to rebrand to GWN7 and Prime7 respectively. The news bulletins will be renamed as GWN7 News and Prime7 News. They relaunched on 16 January 2011 at 5:57pm.
Digital transmitter upgrades continued on 28 July 2011, with Bunbury and surrounds being introduced to the full suite of digital channels for the first time, including 7TWO and 7mate. On 30 July 2011, the regional networks began broadcasting on the Viewer Access Satellite Television platform.
GWN7 is affiliated to the Seven Network, with the network's on-air schedule being almost identical to TVW-7, its Perth counterpart. Seven News Perth and Today Tonight are aired live across the network direct from Perth. GWN7 also produces a weeknightly local news service, GWN7 News, shown live at 5:30pm. Since the network's inception it has featured a broad range of original regional programming, currently including the children's program Doopa's Club with station mascot Doopa Dog; as well as community service strand GWN7 InfoNet, a series of short updates listing local community events.
GWN7 News is the network's regional news service. Its main 30-minute program, airing at 5:30pm on weeknights before Seven News Perth, deals primarily with local news and current affairs. As of March 2012, GWN7 produces the only dedicated local news program for regional Western Australia.
The bulletin is produced and broadcast from GWN7's main studios in Bunbury with reporters and camera crews also based at newsrooms in Perth, Albany, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Karratha, Geraldton and Broome, Western Australia.
GWN7 News is currently presented by Noel Brunning and weather presented by either Chris Mills or Shauna Willis. Brunning was the main anchor until 2007, when he took long service leave to run for an independent seat in the Forrest electorate. After failing to win the seat, he resumed his role as news presenter. Shauna Willis presented during this time and continues to stand in for Brunning. Alex Cullen previously presented the sport segment for GWN7 News, before leaving to join Seven News Sydney.
GWN7 News updates are aired in conjunction with Seven News updates on weekdays until 8:30pm, after which time only Seven News updates are aired. The main weekday bulletin is also repeated at around 12:30am each weekday morning.
Presenters and Reporters
Shauna Willis (also stand-in for Noel Brunning)
GWN7 is available state wide in digital terrestrial and digital satellite format. The full suite of digital services, including 7TWO, 7mate and 4ME, are available in all areas with digital transmissions.
Digital terrestrial transmissions are available in all populated cities and major towns of regional Western Australia. Analog terrestrial services ceased transmission state wide on 25 June 2013.
The Golden West Network became a network in 1986, with a shared logo produced and used across the regional stations, featuring the letters GWN inside an outlined oval surrounded by an orbiting ring. This logo was used across the network until 1995, when a new logo was introduced with the removal of outlined oval surrounding the letters GWN. Following this, 2001 saw the launch of a new simplified yellow logo, with the removal of the orbiting ring. This logo was launched concurrently with a similarly design logo on Prime Television. Following the 2011 relaunch, a new logo was introduced which features the Seven Network logo. The relaunch logo featuring Seven Network was revised in 2013 from multi colour to be a single colour logo.
- Jenkins, Tom (1981-11-17). The South West's own TV station. -Golden West Network in Western-. In West Australian. (17 Nov 1981), supp.34.
- Golden West Network. (2011). In Trove. Retrieved 13 July 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-631450
- Earl, Greg (13 June 1985). "Golden West wins licence for remote TV by satellite". Australian Financial Review. p. 5.
- Lawson, Mark (28 November 1985). "Media portfolio sells 86pc stake in Mid-Western". Australian Financial Review. p. 24.
- Earl, Greg (17 March 1987). "Bendats buy fourth TV station". Australian Financial Review. p. 5.
- Power, Julie (21 April 1987). "This week... The market". Australian Financial Review. p. 25.
- Peers, Martin (10 August 1987). "Stokes makes a loss on TV deal". Australian Financial Review. p. 1.
- Frith, Damon (30 December 1987). "Northern Star finalises re-sale of Golden West". Australian Financial Review. p. 11.
- Jones, Megan (17 April 1996). "Seven yes to Golden West deal". The Age. p. 3.
- Anderson, Simon (5 June 1996). "Seven drops plan to buy Golden West". Australian Financial Review. p. 19.
- Kidman, Matthew (13 November 1996). "Prime buys Golden West". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 29.
- Schulze, Jane (12 January 1999). "Prime signs with Seven so WIN joins Nine, Ten". The Age. p. 2.
- Cairns, Samantha (14 November 2006). "Joint TV service". Kalgoorlie Miner. p. 1.
- Brown, Pam (11 June 2010). Today. "Digital signal for viewers in Kalgoorlie". The West Australian. p. 5. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Knox, David (January 15, 2011). "Prime, GWN rebrand with 7". TV Tonight. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Knox, David (July 19, 2011). "7TWO and 7mate join VAST in the West". TV Tonight. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Viewer Access Satellite Television service for Western Australia" (PDF). Digital Ready Taskforce (DBCDE). March, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Prime Media Group: Prime7 Television". Prime Media Group. Unknown. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Doopa's Club - GWN7 - Yahoo!7". GWN7 on Yahoo!7. Unknown. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "InfoNet - GWN7 - Yahoo!7". GWN7 on Yahoo!7. Unknown. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Taylor, Paige (March 13, 2012). "WIN WA regional TV news bulletins axed on poor ratings". The Australian. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Brooklyn Ross-Hulands. "Golden West Network History". AusTVHistory. Retrieved 9 March 2008.