NEN (TV station)

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NEN
Northern New South Wales
Branding Prime7
Channels Analog: see table below
Digital: see table below
Affiliations Seven
Owner Prime Television Ltd
(Prime Television (Northern) Pty Ltd)
First air date 10 April 1965
Call letters' meaning New
England
New South Wales
Former callsigns ECN (Taree, Northern Rivers) [1966-1985]
Former affiliations independent (1965-1991)
Great Eastland Television (1975-1986)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Website www.prime7.com.au

NEN is an Australian television station licensed to, and serving northern New South Wales.

History[edit]

NEN9 Tamworth/Upper Namoi commenced transmissions on 10 April 1965, with a relay in Armidale (NEN1, later NEN10) on 15 July 1966. ECN8 Taree/Manning River began on 27 May 1966.

During 1968–69, ECN8 who at the time were facing financial difficulties approached NBN3 Newcastle to take the station over but the proposal was rejected by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. An approach was also made to NRN11 Coffs Harbour but an agreement could not be reached. Finally, ECN approached NEN with an agreement for ECN to carry a relay broadcast of NEN's programming from the end of March 1969. In November 1971, ECN merged with NEN, but continued to use the callsign ECN into the mid 1980s.

During the 1970s and early 1980s NEN9 was a member of the Great Eastland Television partnership with NRN11 Coffs Harbour and DDQ/SDQ Toowoomba, Queensland, sharing programming and advertising. From 1984 until 1989 the station branded itself 9-8 Television, referencing the channel numbers of both their Tamworth and Taree broadcasts.

Prime Television purchased the station in 1989, rebranding the station Prime Television and aligning it with the Seven Network, similarly to CBN in southern New South Wales, whilst changing ECN's call sign to NEN. At the commencement of Northern NSW market Aggregation on 31 December 1991, Prime Television became the Northern NSW affiliate of the Seven Network, in competition with NRTV and NBN.

Prime7 News[edit]

NEN produces and broadcasts two 30-minute Prime7 News bulletins for the North West and North Coast regional markets, both broadcast each weeknight at 6pm from Prime7's Canberra headquarters and is presented by Madelaine Collignon, with the North West edition broadcasts live. Kenny Heatley is the bulletin's weather presenter for both editions.

In the Newcastle and Central Coast markets, short two-minute updates are presented by several presenters on a rotating basis with weather forecasts from Daniel Gibson, Madelaine Collignon and Craig Moore.

Throughout the station's history, news bulletins for both regions were produced in Tamworth. In January 2012, the station announced studio presentation for both Prime7 News bulletins would be moved to Prime's Canberra headquarters in April 2012.[1] The plan was scrapped a month later.[2]

However, in a report by ABC News on 22 January 2015, Prime Media Group will continue its transfer of the Tamworth and North Coast bulletins to Canberra. This was a result of the closure of the Tamworth broadcast studios after 50 years of operation. Despite of the closure, 21 editorial staff from both regions will remain to prepare for these bulletins (with the relocation of its newsroom to a new premises in Tamworth).[3] The transfer began when Fiona Ferguson presented the final Tamworth-based bulletin as news presenter on 24 April 2015, but continues to work as a fill-in reporter for the North Coast edition, where she was the bulletin's News Editor until her post was replaced by the management in September 2015, which would eventually remove her from the Network (alongside its News Editor counterpart in Tamworth). On 27 April, the production of the North West and North Coast bulletins began in the Canberra headquarters with Collingon as its new presenter.

Michael Hansen replaced Collignon as the weather presenter for these regions, but he left the network on 11 September 2015. On 14 September, Verity Gorman filled in the weather presenter position until 26 October 2015, when former Sky News Australia presenter Kenny Heatley was appointed by Prime7 as the new weather presenter for the Northern New South Wales bulletins (as well as for the 6.30pm National bulletin). With that said addition, Gorman becomes the official weather fill-in presenter in case of Heatley's absence.

Main transmitters[edit]

Region served City Channels
(Analog/
Digital)
First air date ERP
(Analog/
Digital)
HAAT
(Analog/
Digital)
1
Transmitter Coordinates Transmitter Location
Grafton/Kempsey Coffs Harbour 31 (UHF)3
30 (UHF)
31 December 1991 600 kW
250 kW
725 m
730 m
30°19′2″S 152°51′35″E / 30.31722°S 152.85972°E / -30.31722; 152.85972 Mount Moombil
Manning River2 Taree 8 (VHF)3
9 (VHF)
27 May 1966 320 kW
80 kW
622 m
622 m
31°42′7″S 152°40′43″E / 31.70194°S 152.67861°E / -31.70194; 152.67861 Middle Brother
Newcastle/Hunter and Central Coast Newcastle 54 (UHF)3
53 (UHF)
31 December 1991 1200 kW
500 kW
439 m
439 m
32°53′31″S 151°32′18″E / 32.89194°S 151.53833°E / -32.89194; 151.53833 Mount Sugarloaf
Richmond /Tweed and Gold Coast Lismore 44 (UHF)3
35 (UHF)
31 December 1991 600 kW
200 kW
638 m
648 m
28°32′44″S 153°17′15″E / 28.54556°S 153.28750°E / -28.54556; 153.28750 Mount Nardi
Upper Namoi Tamworth 9 (VHF)3
9A (VHF)
10 April 1965 250 kW
55 kW
846 m
849 m
30°17′5″S 150°10′2″E / 30.28472°S 150.16722°E / -30.28472; 150.16722 Mount Dowe

Notes:

  1. HAAT estimated from http://www.itu.int/SRTM3/ using EHAAT.
  2. The Manning River station was an independent station with the callsign ECN from its 1966 sign-on until aggregation in 1991.
  3. Analogue services ceased transmission as of 27 November 2012 as part of national conversion to digital-only television

References[edit]

See also[edit]