ARN acquisition of Southern Cross Austereo (pending approval)

There were rumours floating around a few months ago that they were looking at this for some markets initially.

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ARN paid the $200mil to keep K&J onboard. With that done, attention turns to how they can now cut costs out of the rest of the network. And bingo! Just get rid of any local teams, and stream in K&J instead. Problem solved!


I think if your a regional listener to SCA, or even ARN, a big talent like a Christian O’Connell, might actually be seen as an upgrade.

Lets take my home town, Hobart.

Triple M, Local breakfast, that could move to Mornings easily. Local mornings and arvo’s…sometimes.

Hit is going to be the home base of the Vic/Tas regional breakfast show. The morning shift is local with arvo’s network.

ARN’s station is local breakfast, local/VT mornings and arvo’s with national drive shows.

I would think a re-worked MMM or ARN with O’Connell for breakfast, and a local drive show (shifted breakfast show) is actually an improvement.

Hobart is a capital city, but considered regional, and we have zero local drive apart from the ABC. Missed opportunity in my opinion.


It’s an interesting question. I sometimes think localism just for the sake of it isn’t enough. The content has to be up to scratch. To be honest some of the local content on regional stations is really amateurish. A networked breakfast show that’s high-quality might actually be better received by audiences wherever they are. A truly local midday or even drive show might be the better option - where the majority of content is music anyway.

I know a lot of people think the music is secondary these days with the likes of Spotify about, but I think radio is giving up too easily. Radio can add value by providing a better playlist than Spotify in my opinion. Again it has to be done well and curated properly. Most stations these just are just pumping out repetitive and boring playlists and of course Spotify will be preferable to that. But stations like Breeze, Rebel and a lot of the UK commercial stations are doing much better in this regard. To the point where I will often still prefer their music selection to my YT music streaming or even my own playlists.


I think your point is 100% correct. Localism that’s good, can be your point of difference to You Tube/streaming.

Local traffic reports, weather, things like that and not too much fake laughing please…


Sadly national networking is inevitable

The thought of having the likes of K&J force fed across the country is what most people would be against.
K doesn’t care about anyone outside of the room he’s in let alone anyone outside of Sydney or NSW.

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Yeah I suspect it is…

We accept it in TV land…so why is radio any different…

This is exactly why I found myself listening to triple j while growing up in a regional area. Local radio failed the quality content test for me.

Of course times have changed, I’m now middle aged and can’t stand triple j! :joy:


I know it’s highly unlikely given the scarcity (and poor use of) spectrum, especially on the FM band, but if regional commercial radio could be opened up to new entrants (with say 6-10 commercial stations in each market, and a similar level of diversity in station formats to metro areas) that to me would be a reasonable price to pay for allowing national networking (with local updates in each area naturally).


This is the situation in New Zealand. Small cities (e.g. Invercargill) have lots of commercial radio stations, however, they are networked. I don’t know to what extent they have local programs, if any.

Non capital city stations here have to have a minimum amount of local (i.e. not networked) content so they can’t become completely networked.


From The Oz:

KIIS FM and Gold radio network owner ARN Media is understood to be demanding due diligence for Southern Cross Media Group on an exclusive basis in exchange for the target gaining access to its own sensitive financial information.

The demand is said to be one of the factors holding up Southern Cross, advised by UBS, either recommending or rejecting the cash and scrip bid on the table from its competitor.

Institutional investor Allan Gray, a large shareholder in both stocks, is believed to be of the view that a tie up between the pair makes the most strategic sense


I recommend the ARN offer for SCA.

Just do it. Now.


Pretty hard to recommend an offer that has been blocked by the Takeover Board

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Local programming on these smaller stations usually amount to a breakfast show (e.g Invercargill’s More FM with Joe Cotton and Steve Broad) and daytime slots. Everyone’s on the network by the time the drive show starts.

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Still, that’s not bad at all. Invercargill is really small, only about 60,000 people!


I suppose the real question in all this is why Anchorage wouldn’t want to just buy out SCA as is, rather than the rump SCA after ARN have picked over the best parts?


I’ve been saying this for years. About 5 years ago a lot of the stations were full of wannabes from out of town who had no interest in the local community, were more focused on their next job and would then leave mid year with the station unable to find a replacement for weeks or months. Some stations had really good locally focused shows, but the majority were just ticking a box rather than providing an actual good product.

The problem with K&J in particular is that while they do create a large audience, they are also very polarizing. In the cities this isn’t a problem in the city where there’s lots of stations to choose from, but in a 2 station town, someone who dislikes K&J but wants new music would be left with nowhere to go. The stations in these small markets need to have more mainstream content than more people can at least tolerate.

I agree. I listen to Spotify a lot more now than I used to, but I either need to spend a lot of time curating my own playlist often enough so it doesn’t become repetitive, or if I use an AI playlist it starts to deviate into a completely different genre that I’m not as in to.


If people want new music in regional areas don’t necessarily need to listen to traditional media they could listen to the metropolitan stations online which was never really a possibility so there are more options then any other time.

That’s correct. In NZ most of commercial radio is networked from Auckland and owned by just 2 companies, and the playlists are terrible. Aussie radio is miles better, especially the DAB extensions.

You often say that about NZ playlists being "terrible " but they really aren’t. The Sound, The Rock, The Breeze, even Coast and Magic have better playlists than anything on Australian radio, and that’s including DAB offerings. The only Australian commercial stations that come close are Breeze and Rebel.

I honestly don’t get how you think the NZ playlists are not as good as Australia - it’s just not true. They actually have defined format playlists that cover the different formats in a way the mainstream FM and DAB stations in Australia just don’t. The way Smooth has gone for example means it doesn’t even cover Soft AC like The Breeze or Coast in NZ. And there’s nothing like The Rock or The Sound even on DAB here.

I think you’re just trying to put a positive spin on it for some reason.