[…]In the longer term, the report raised RNZ’s wish to divest from broadcasting infrastructure.
“RNZ currently owns a significant property portfolio and other related equipment required to support its AM radio services,” it said. “While the AM audience is declining, the cost of maintenance and upkeep of the property, buildings and AM equipment is increasing.”
The report went on to say RNZ was sitting on potentially lucrative land, that could be used for housing.
“RNZ considers it is now time to work with stakeholders to develop plans to, either partially or completely, exit AM broadcasting over time,” the report said.
Thompson said RNZ’s plan to sell of its transition sites would likely take more than a decade. It had just invested in a new AM tower in Titahi Bay, Wellington, that he said cost “millions”.
Through its network of transmission towers, RNZ was also responsible for broadcasting other radio stations including Newstalk ZB and iwi radio stations.
“We think we’re an audience and content organisation, not an infrastructure organisation,” Thompson said.
If RNZ was to sell or close its AM towers, he said the Government would need to make the call. The other broadcasters would also need to be consulted.
ABC opposes bill to restore Pacific shortwave service
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has made a Senate submission opposing a bill which would force it to restore its shortwave services for the Northern Territory and the Pacific.
The bill was introduced by South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon after the ABC switched off its shortwave transmitters in late January.
The ABC is opposed to the bill and said in its submission that its passing would impinge on its independence by directing the ABC to use broadcast technologies for diminishing audiences and at significant maintenance costs.
The ABC ends its short-wave service to the region from 1pm Solomon Islands time and says it will focus on FM and online services.
Ruth Liloqula said people from Choiseul to Malaita and as far south east as Tikopia tuned in to the ABC because the signal was stronger than that of the country’s public broadcaster SIBC.
Ms Liloqula who works with Transparency International says the ABC has been very valuable for the country and a good way to get her message across.
“We are very very mindful of the fact that the SIBC media here is owned by the government. I mean they don’t ask the questions that they need to ask for obvious reasons. I mean we do get asked those tough questions by ABC and that gives us the opportunity to talk about the issues that affect this country.”
Ms Liloqula said after the recent earthquake people in the bush in Choiseul only knew there was no tsunami by listening to the ABC.[…]
Wojtek Gwiazda is host and producer of Masala Canada at Radio Canada International, and spokesperson of the RCI Action Committee. Wojtek is still fighting to try and retain the ability to broadcast in shortwave with the very recent shut-down of the shortwave transmitters of Radio Canada International.