Tag Archives: RNZ

Radio Waves: RNZ Cuts Classical, Australian EmComm Plan, BBC Funding, and NHK Viewing Fees

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Broadcasting 

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Troy Riedel and Michael Bird for the following tips:

RNZ set to cut back Concert and launch new youth service (Radio New Zealand)

In the biggest overhaul of its music services in years, RNZ is planning to cut back its classical music station RNZ Concert and replace it on FM radio with music for a younger audience as part of a new multimedia music brand. Mediawatch asks RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson and music content director Willy Macalister to explain the move.

The broadcaster is proposing to remove RNZ Concert from its FM frequencies and transform it into an automated non-stop music station which will stream online and play on AM radio.

It would be replaced on FM by a service aimed at a younger, more diverse audience as part of a new multimedia “music brand”.

RNZ Concert would be taken off FM radio on May 29 and the youth platform would be phased in ahead of its full launch on August 28.

RNZ’s music staff were informed about the proposed changes this morning in an emotional, occasionally heated meeting with the RNZ music content director Willy Macalister, head of radio and music David Allan, and chief executive Paul Thompson.[]

[Australian] Senate to vote on National Emergency Communications Plan (ABC Friends)

Today Senators can vote to recognise and support ABC Emergency Broadcasting Services and start to plan for a National Emergency Communications Plan.

[…]The motion comes after ABC Friends surveyed bushfire affected communities, with 95% of the 750 respondents indicating that they wanted to see a national plan of additional essential communications infrastructure.

More information to come once the motion has been moved.[]

UK government, at odds with media, eyes BBC funding change (AP)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s government announced Wednesday it is considering a change in the way the BBC is funded that would severely dent the coffers of the nation’s public broadcaster.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government — which is increasingly at odds with the country’s news media — said it would hold a “public consultation” on whether to stop charging people with a criminal offense if they don’t pay the annual levy that funds the BBC.

The broadcaster gets most of its money from a license fee paid by every television-owning household in the country, which currently stands at 154.50 pounds ($201) a year. Failing to pay can result in a fine or, in rare cases, a prison sentence.

In 2018, more than 121,000 people were convicted and fined for license fee evasion. Five people were imprisoned for not paying their fines.

The BBC is Britain’s largest media organization, producing news, sports and entertainment across multiple TV, radio and digital outlets. The BBC’s size and public funding annoy private-sector rivals, who argue the broadcaster has an unfair advantage.[]

NHK Asked to Cut Viewing Fees Further (Jiji Press)

Tokyo, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi asked Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) on Wednesday to cut television-viewing fees further.
The request was included in a set of proposals compiled by Takaichi. The proposals were approved the same day at a meeting of the Radio Regulatory Council, which advises the minister.

After expected cabinet approval, the proposals will be submitted to the ongoing session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, together with NHK’s fiscal 2020 draft budget.

The public broadcaster has already decided to cut viewing fees and expand the scope of fee exemptions by the end of fiscal 2020, in order to reduce viewers’ burdens by the equivalent of 6 pct of its fiscal 2018 fee revenue.[]

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New Zealand gov’t might replace RNZ & TVNZ with new public broadcaster

(Source: Radio New Zealand)

The fate of RNZ and TVNZ may soon be in the hands of Cabinet ministers, with a proposal to disestablish both broadcasters and create an entirely new public media entity.

The coalition government has been grappling with what to do with public broadcasting in New Zealand, and now there’s a greater sense of urgency with the media industry under real financial threat.

Labour campaigned on RNZ+ with annual funding of $38 million in 2017, but that was canned after the resignation of Clare Curran as Broadcasting Minister.

The portfolio was handed to Kris Faafoi, who has signalled a different approach to public broadcasting.

An advisory group, with representatives from both media companies and a range of public service agencies, was set up to look at future funding options.

RNZ understands there were three options: merge the RNZ and TVNZ newsrooms, put more money into New Zealand On Air, or the third, preferred option now heading for Cabinet – most likely in early December.

The advisory group concluded the status quo was “unsustainable” and “collectively recommended the government agree to disestablish TVNZ and RNZ and to establish a new public media entity”.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio New Zealand.

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RNZ: No plans to replace AM radio mast in the Cook Islands

(Source: RNZ via Michael Bird)

The Cook Islands Investment Corporation says there are no plans to replace an AM radio mast that is to be dismantled on Rarotonga.

The mast at Matavera, built with New Zealand aid money many years ago to provide a signal to the outer islands, is rusted through in places and in danger of collapsing.

Pupils from an adjacent school have been moved to ensure their safety, while plans are made for the dismantling.

In a statement the CIIC says with the rollout of FM radio and the ability to digitally stream events of national importance, the AM signal is no longer required.[…]

Click here to download the audio.

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PNG: Bougainville considering a return to shortwave and FM expansion

(Source: Radio New Zealand via Mike, K8RAT and Joey, KE4DRJ)

The Papua New Guinea government is contemplating restoring short wave radio services to Bougainville, after they were shut down during the civil war.

[…]The Bougainville regional member in the PNG parliament, Joe Lera, has raised concerns that the region’s mostly rural population lacks access to information.

He said in the absence of other media these people can be won over by groups like former combatants pushing just one view – that of independence.

Mr Lera said the Minister of Communications, Sam Basil, will take a team from the national broadcaster to Bougainville later this month.

“His thinking is two options. One, national government to immediately buy two shortwave transmitters and bring Radio Bougainville back to where it was before the crisis, and two, we want to keep FM. He is also talking national government paying for two FM transmitters.”

Click here to read the full story at RNZ.

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RNZ: “Push to fire up Radio Australia in the Pacific”

(Source: Radio New Zealand via Richard Cuff)

There is a push in Australia to re-establish Radio Australia’s services to the Asia/Pacific region.

Supporters of RA in Australia hope people around the Pacific will join them in sending submissions to inquiries underway in Canberra.

It comes after savage cuts at RA that included shutting down shortwave transmission, which is seen as a critical service in many parts of the Pacific, particularly during natural disasters.

It has recently been reported that those transmission frequencies have been taken over by China Radio International.

Former RA journalist Sean Dorney said the group, of which he’s part, is trying to convince the Australian government to get back into that space.

“So there is a bit of concern in Canberra about this and I suppose the group that I’m part of are trying to convince the Australian government that it’s time to re-focus our attention on the broadcast to the region.”

Click here to read the full article at RNZ.

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DRM feeds RNZ Pacific relays

(Source: Radio World via Mike Hansgen)

RANGITAIKI, New Zealand — Radio New Zealand Pacific, the official international arm of Radio New Zealand, is using Digital Radio Mondiale digital radio transmission/reception equipment to feed studio-quality audio to some of its 20 relay stations in the Pacific Ocean region. The others use satellite feeds or web downloads.

The locations being served by DRM include the Cook Islands, where RNZ Pacific’s programs are rebroadcast locally in analog mode by Aitutaki 88FM, the islands’ only broadcaster. RNZ Pacific also serves Tonga, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands using DRM; among others. Previously, RNZ Pacific had fed its relays using analog AM shortwave radio, with that transmission mode’s limited audio range and interference issues.

“When DRM became available to us in 2005, we saw it as a great opportunity to provide high quality audio to Pacific radio stations that relayed our news broadcasts from our AM transmitter,” said RNZ Pacific’s Technical Manager Adrian Sainsbury. “As a platform to deliver good quality audio to remote island FM stations, it has been a great success.”[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

As the article points out, RNZ has been using DRM as a feed for quite a few years. I think this is a brilliant use of the technology. Of course, those of us in the rest of the world can snag RNZ DRM broadcasts as well.

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PNG extends public radio network, restores shortwave

(Source: Radio New Zealand via Mike Hansgen)

Papua New Guinea’s communications minister, Sam Basil, says he plans to grow radio services in PNG.

He marked this week’s World Radio Day by saying radio is a medium that reaches the widest audience, including vulnerable communities in remote parts of the country.

Mr Basil has announced the medium and shortwave services of the state broadcaster, NBC, will be restored, and that the corporation will migrate from analog to digital technology.

He said new stations will be opened in Jiwaka and Hela and that a new NBC headquarters will be built.

Click here to read this article at Radio New Zealand.

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