Southern Cross Austereo

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Southern Cross Austereo logo

Southern Cross Austereo is an Australian group of companies formed in July 2011 by the merger of Southern Cross Media Group and Austereo Group. The Group's parent company, Southern Cross Media Group Limited, is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX code: SXL).

Southern Cross Media was previously known as Macquarie Regional RadioWorks, prior to the absorption of the remaining assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting that were purchased by Macquarie Media Group in 2007.

History[edit]

Southern Cross Media[edit]

Southern Cross Media logo used until July 2011

The company owned several regional radio stations, as a result of takeovers of stations formerly owned by DMG Radio Australia and RG Capital Radio Network.[1] The company also owned the stations forming the Southern Cross Television and Southern Cross Ten networks around regional Australia and Tasmania, which hold varying affiliations with the Seven Network and Network Ten.[2]

In December 2009, MMG security holders voted in favour of a conversion from a triple-stapled structure to a single ASX-listed company. MMG was renamed Southern Cross Media Group with former RG Capital Radio CEO Rhys Holleran as the Chief Executive Officer.[3]

Austereo[edit]

Austereo Group logo used until July 2011

The company was founded by Paul Thompson, and when commercial FM broadcasting was introduced into Australia it acquired the licence for metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia; SAFM commenced transmission in late 1980. The next station to join the network was FOX FM in Melbourne, Victoria in 1986, eventually to be followed by 2Day FM in Sydney, New South Wales and 4BK in Brisbane, Queensland for which the company was successful in converting to the FM band in 1990. Austereo also purchased AM radio station 6IX in Perth, Western Australia with the intention of converting the station to FM. 6IX, which had been re-launched by Austereo as The Eagle 1080 AM, was consequently sold off after being outbid for either of the two new FM licences by rivals 6KY and 6PM, which Austereo now own.

1992 saw a monopolistic arrangement take place whereby Austereo purchased the Hoyts owned Triple M network, and Village Roadshow in turn purchased Austereo to form a single umbrella company. The purchases were part of a single deal that was unpopular due to the fierce rivalry between the two radio networks, and the fact that Village Roadshow and Hoyts were also direct competitors in the film industry.

Merger[edit]

In March 2011, Southern Cross Media launched a A$714 million takeover bid of national radio broadcaster, the Austereo Group.[4] On 6 April 2011 shareholders of the Austereo Group accepted the takeover bid, giving SCM a more than 90% share in the company.[5] Southern Cross Media and Austereo merged in July 2011 to form Southern Cross Austereo.[6]

On 23 August 2012, Guy Dobson (director of metro radio) was announced as Chief Officer of Content for the Southern Cross Austereo network, working across radio and television.[7]

Brands[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Stations branded Southern Cross Television are sole affiliates of the Seven Network with some exceptions (for instance, GTS/BKN and QQQ). These stations often brand themselves both with the Seven and Southern Cross logos, from time to time.
  • Stations branded Southern Cross Ten are sole affiliates of Network Ten. These stations often brand themselves both with the Network Ten and Southern Cross Ten logos, from time to time.

Radio[edit]

The format of each station is defined by one of two common formats:

  • Today Network - a #1 Hit Singles and Top 30 format targeted at 18-39 year olds, using various Today Network brands in metropolitan areas along with the Star FM, Hot FM and Sea FM brands in regional areas.[8]
  • Triple M Local Works - talkback and rock music format targeted at men over 25-49, mainly on the AM and heritage FM stations, as well as Triple M, Gold FM, Mix FM and RadioWest in Western Australia.

Agreements were reached between Southern Cross Austereo, DMG and Prime Television to ensure that existing brand names owned by DMG Radio in regional markets could continue to be used by both Southern Cross Austereo and Prime.

Programming[edit]

Group Program Director - Rod Brice

Southern Cross Austereo produces its own networked programming across both brands, which include:

Network Show Name Announcer/s Description
Today Hamish and Andy's Happy Hour Hamish Blake and Andy Lee Afternoon/Early Drive Program
Today The Dan & Maz Show Dan Debuf and Maz Compton Drive Program
Today The Catch Up Fifi Box and Jules Lund Early evening program - Highlights of Fifi and Dave and 2DayFM Breakfast
Today The Bump Show Angus O'Loughlin Night program
Today Truck Radio Miriam Young Overnight Program
Today Red Eye Radio Doug Terry Graveyard Network Program
Today Australian Top 20 Ben Wasley and Ella Hooper Australian music program - Sunday nights
Lworks Classic Vinyl Trevor Smith Artist Specific Program/Segments
Lworks Property Matters Real Estate Program
Lworks Health Matters Dr. John D’Arcy Personal Health Program
Lworks Money Matters Kel Harper & Josie Kay Personal Finance Program
Lworks 30 Something Kim Bunney Nightly Countdown Program
Lworks Sunday Groovies Various 70's & 80's Focused Program
Lworks Talking Back the Night Christian Argenti Overnight Talk-Back Program
Lworks The Dan & Ken Show Dan Lyons & Ken Green Drive Program

Some of its stations picked up the Continuous Call Team when Broadcast Operations Group could not resolve broadcast rights issues with 2GB and the National Rugby League. The most notable was KOFM in Newcastle, who also picked up rights to cover games of the Newcastle Knights.

Criticisms[edit]

2Day FM hoax call recipient's suspected suicide[edit]

Following a hoax call to the King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes treating the wife of Prince William for acute morning sickness in the critical first trimester of pregnancy, 2Day DJs called, purporting to be the Queen and her son Prince Charles. An experienced 46-year-old nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, took the call. During the call, she and colleagues were conned into revealing sensitive details regarding the patient's condition.[9]

The nurse was found dead the following morning in a suspected suicide at the hospital where she worked.[10]

There is some disagreement over the legality of the incident, with the hospital expressing concern that the incident may have broken the law and Rhys Holleran, the chief executive of 2Day FM's parent company Southern Cross Austereo, stating he was confident that was not the case.[11]

At a Federal Court hearing it became known that Australian media watchdog Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) had prepared a confidential, preliminary report saying that the Radio Royal hoax 'broke law'. 2Day FM acted illegally by airing the phone call without consent.[12]

2Day FM handling of child rape victim[edit]

In 2009, 2Day FM were ordered to provide increased protection for children after a 14-year-old child was attached to a lie detector and pressurised into discussing her sex life live on air. The radio show host encouraged both the girl and her mother to discuss whether she was sexually active, to which the girl responded: "I've already told you the story of this and don't look at me and smile because it's not funny. Oh, okay. I got raped when I was 12 years old." To which the host replied: "Right. And is that, is that the only experience you've had?"[13][14]

Syndicated news and programming[edit]

One major criticism of the regional stations owned by Southern Cross Austereo is its reliance on networking news and also programs outside of breakfast from one of four networking centres:[15][16]

Assets[edit]

Radio stations[edit]

Queensland[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Atherton 4AMM "Hot FM" (97.9 MHz FM)
Brisbane 4BBB "B105" (105.3 MHz FM) 4MMM "Triple M" (104.5  MHz FM)
Bundaberg 4RGB "Sea FM" (93.1 MHz FM)
Cairns 4HOT "Hot FM" (103.5 MHz FM) 4RGC "Sea FM" (99.5 MHz FM)
Emerald 4HIT "Hot FM" (94.7 MHz FM)
Gold Coast 4SEA "Sea FM" (90.9 MHz FM) 4GLD "Gold FM" (92.5 MHz FM)
Kingaroy 4KRY "Hot FM" (89.1 MHz FM)
Mackay 4MKY "Hot FM" (100.3 MHz FM) 4RGM "Sea FM" (98.7 MHz FM)
Maryborough 4CEE "Sea FM" (101.9 MHz FM) 4MBB "Mix FM" (103.5 MHz FM)
Mount Isa 4MIC "Hot FM" (102.5 MHz FM)
Rockhampton 4ROK "Hot FM" (107.9 MHz FM) 4RGK "Sea FM" (101.5 MHz FM)
Roma 4ROM "Hot FM" (95.1 MHz FM)
Toowoomba/Warwick (Darling Downs) 4RGD "Hot FM" (100.7 MHz FM) 4GR (864 MHz AM)
Townsville 4RAM "Hot FM" (103.1 MHz FM) 4TOO "4TO FM" (102.3 MHz FM)

New South Wales[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Albury1 2AAY "Star FM" (104.9 MHz FM) 2BDR "The River" (105.7 MHz FM)
Coffs Harbour 2CSF "Star FM" (105.5 MHz FM) 2CFS "2CS" (106.3 MHz FM)
Dubbo 2DBO "Star FM" (93.5 MHz FM)
Gosford (Central Coast) 2CFM "Sea FM" (101.3 MHz FM) 2GGO "2GO" (107.7 MHz FM)
Griffith 2RGF "Star FM" (99.7 MHz FM) 2RG (963 kHz AM)
Kempsey2 2ROX "Star FM" (105.1 MHz FM) 2PQQ "2MC FM" (106.7 MHz FM)
Newcastle 2XXX "NXFM" (106.9 MHz FM) 2KKO "KOFM" (102.9 MHz FM)
Orange 2OAG "Star FM" (105.1 MHz FM) 2GZF "2GZ" (105.9 MHz FM)
Sydney 2DAY "2Day FM" (104.1 MHz FM) 2MMM "Triple M" (104.9 MHz FM)
Wagga Wagga 2WZD "Star FM" (93.1 MHz FM) 2WG (1152 kHz AM)

1. Translators for The River on 90.1 MHz in Omeo and 96.5 MHz in Corryong. There is also a translator for Star FM in Corryong on 95.7 MHz.
2. Translators on 100.7 MHz (2PQQ) and 102.3 MHz (2ROX) in Port Macquarie.

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Canberra 1 2ROC "104.7" (104.7 MHz FM) 1CBR "Mix 106.3" (106.3 MHz FM)

1. A joint venture of 50/50 ownership exists in Canberra with the Australian Radio Network where Southern Cross Austereo programmes 104.7 and ARN programmes Mix 106.3 and manages administration for both stations. Despite being part of ARN's Mix Network, Southern Cross Austereo considers Mix 106.3 to be part of the Triple M Local Works network.

Victoria[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Bendigo 3BDG "Star FM" (91.9 MHz FM) 3BBO "3BO" (93.5 MHz FM)
Melbourne 3FOX "Fox FM" (101.9 MHz FM) 3MMM "Triple M" (105.1 MHz FM)
Mildura 3MDA "Star FM" (99.5 MHz FM) 3RMR "Sun FM" (97.9 MHz FM)
Shepparton 3SUN "Star FM" (96.9 MHz FM) 3SRR "95 3SR FM"2 (95.3 MHz FM)
Warragul (Gippsland) 3SEA "Star FM" (94.3 MHz FM1)

1. Re-transmitter at 97.9 MHz FM in Traralgon.
2. The actual 3SR call sign and frequency (1260 kHz AM) is now owned by, and is a full-time simulcast of, horse and greyhound racing station 3UZ "Sport 927" from Melbourne.

Tasmania[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Hobart 7TTT "Sea FM" (100.9 MHz FM) 7XXX "Heart 107.3" (107.3 MHz FM)

South Australia[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Adelaide 5SSA "SAFM" (107.1 MHz FM) 5MMM "Triple M" (104.7 MHz FM)
Mount Gambier 5SEF "Star FM" (96.1 MHz FM) 5SE (963 kHz AM)

Western Australia[edit]

Licence area Stations that are part of
the Today Network
Stations that are part of
Triple M Local Works
Albany 6AAY "Hot FM" (106.5 MHz FM) 6VA "RadioWest" (783 kHz AM)
Bridgetown 6BET "Hot FM" (100.5 MHz FM) 6BY "RadioWest" (900 kHz AM)
Bunbury 6BUN "Hot FM" (95.7 MHz FM) 6TZ "RadioWest" (963 kHz AM)1
Esperance 6SEA "Hot FM" (102.3 MHz FM) 6SE "RadioWest" (747 kHz AM)
Kalgoorlie 6KAR "Hot FM" (97.9 MHz FM) 6KG "RadioWest" (981 kHz AM)
Katanning 6KAN "Hot FM" (94.9 MHz FM) 6WB "RadioWest" (1071 kHz AM)
Merredin 6MER "Hot FM" (105.1 MHz FM) 6MD "RadioWest" (1098 kHz AM)
Narrogin 6NAN "Hot FM" (100.5 MHz FM) 6NA "RadioWest" (918 kHz AM)
Northam 6NAM "Hot FM" (96.5 MHz FM) 6AM "RadioWest" (864 kHz AM)
Perth 6PPM "92.9" (92.9 MHz FM) 6MIX "Mix 94.5" (94.5 MHz FM)

1. 6TZ also re-transmitted via 1134 kHz AM in Collie (6CI, now listed by ACMA under 6TZ),[17] and 756 kHz AM in Busselton and the Margaret River region.

Television assets[edit]

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory[edit]

Northern Territory and Remote Areas of Eastern Australia[edit]

Queensland[edit]

South Australia[edit]

Tasmania[edit]

1. Southern Cross has a monopoly on commercial television in this market. The services other than GTS and BKN are retransmissions from Adelaide with local advertising.
2. This station was launched as a digital-only service, co-owned by the two existing commercial broadcasters in the market.

Former owned and operated stations[edit]

Due to conditions placed upon the takeover of DMG Radio's regional stations in 2005, Maqcuarie Southern Cross Media had to sell these stations to other parties:

Further, due to conditions triggered by the purchase of the assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting,[18] Macquarie Media Group was required to sell further stations to meet further diversity requirements at the time; the transactions to satisfy this being completed on 2008-03-14:[19]

Southern Cross Austereo was made to sell 91.9 Sea FM and 92.7 Mix FM on the Sunshine Coast, due to the larger than allowed overlap between the stations' license area and that of Brisbane.[20] In 2013, the two stations were sold to Eon Broadcasting.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Catalano, Christian (2004-09-03). "Macquarie pays $194m in radio deal". Fairfax. The Age. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  2. ^ Westerman, Helen; Stephen McMahon (2006-11-17). "Macquarie Media takes stake in Southern Cross". Fairfax. The Age. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  3. ^ Macquarie Media Group Announcement - http://www.macquarie.com.au/au/mmg/index.html
  4. ^ Reuters, ACCC allows Takeover Bid, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/17/austereo-idUSSDYGEE7W620110317
  5. ^ Southern Cross to raise 471m for Takeover Bid, Fairfax, http://www.smh.com.au/business/southern-cross-to-raise-471m-for-austereo-takeover-20110406-1d3gs.html
  6. ^ "Introducing the new look Southern Cross Austereo". Mumbrella. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Guy Dobson appointed Chief Content Officer at SCA". radioinfo. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Regional". Southern Cross Austereo. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Duchess of Cambridge hoax call nurse death a 'tragedy'". BBC News. 
  10. ^ "Duchess of Cambridge: radio station behind hoax call says it has not broken any laws". Daily Telegraph. 
  11. ^ "Austereo responds to hospital complaint". radioinfo.com.au. 
  12. ^ "Radio Royal hoax 'broke law' according to watchdog". BBC. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Kate prank radio station disciplined over rape show". Channel 4 Newsw. 
  14. ^ "Teenage girl's radio rape admission sparks DOCS inquiry". The Australian. 
  15. ^ Bodey, Michael (2006-10-05). "Mixed signals from regional radio as politicians tune in". The Australian. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  16. ^ Schulze, Jane (2006-10-24). "MacBank radio network for sale". The Australian. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  17. ^ Australian Communications and Media Authority. Search for broadcasters by postcode (Broadcaster 6TZ, Bunbury RA1 Licence Area, Postcode 6225). Accessed on 2008-03-21.
  18. ^ Australian Communications and Media Authority (2008-03-14). Divestment of commercial radio licences by Macquarie Media Group. Accessed on 2008-03-21.
  19. ^ ABC News Online (2008-03-14. Tas radio stations sold. Accessed on 2008-03-21.
  20. ^ RADIOTODAY.com.au (2012-11-13). SCA to sell Sunshine Coast by March. Accessed on 2014-03-24.

External links[edit]