ARN Regional (formerly Grant Broadcasters)

Since the original thread disappeared…
From Radio Today: "Grant Broadcasters have rebranded 106.3 Townsville to relaunch as Star 106.3. The launch this morning follows on from the same moves in Cairns and Mackay.

The switch to Star has also seen a reshuffle of the on air line-up, with Breakfast announcer Cliff Kern (‘CK’) moving to Drive and new duo Danny Lakey and Alana McLean taking on Breakfast."

Mods: if the old thread resurfaces/isn’t lost from humanity, feel free to merge this post back in

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Yeah, a lot of people are not happy with the change to Star here in Townsville.

In other markets, they replaced Zinc FM with Star FM.
As Zinc FM always used to play older-style music, the change to Star FM was just a branding change.

But here in Townsville, Grant Broadcasters has kept Zinc FM with it’s older-style music and changed 106.3 FM to Star FM.
106.3 FM used to play current top charting music, and has changed to older-style music with the rebrand to Star FM today which has annoyed a lot of locals who enjoyed the more current music.

This means Townsville now has 4 major stations playing older style music and only 1 playing current music.

I tuned into Star FM this afternoon on my drive (as I normally would when it was just called 106.3 FM) and it wasn’t my style of music personally either, so I’ll be switching stations personally.

Yeah this morning I heard a daggy 80’s track played into a current pop hit. It’s trying to be too broad which doesn’t work for me.


When they launched Cairns I thought they were trying to make it a second CHR, but with a bit more of an 80’s and 90’s scattered in feel - which would obviously have been not too different to what 106.3 was already playing.

Townsville, Cairns and Mackay are all large enough markets that second CHR station would work provided it has a point of difference to Hot FM.

Grant Broadcasters has announced some big changes within the Group Programming structure with the creation of 4 new state-based Group Content Director positions:

Due to the storm that was battering the Far South Coast of NSW, both 2EC & Power FM were live & local, broadcasting non-stop from Midday to Midnight yesterday (Sunday). Understandly, this meant that the Continuous Call Team, which normally airs on 2EC on Sunday afternoons during the NRL season, wasn’t aired on the station.

The above example is proof of Grant Broadcasters’ commitment to providing live & local radio, especially in times of emergency such as during a severe weather event.

Source: Radioinfo

EasyMix 1467 in Mildura has been rebranded as River 1467, as from this morning (15th June).

Source: Radioinfo


This seems to have missed the news sites - 4CA and Star 102.7 Cairns moved into their new studios on June 7.
After 45 years in Abbott Street, and more recently co-located with the SCA stations, the Grant Broadcasters stations are now at 21 Grafton Street Cairns.

From what I can tell, the consoles are the Wheatstone L-12 Digital Consoles

Still to come is the move of Star 106.3 and Zinc 100.7 in Townsville. The Townsville Bulletin reports that they have secured the lease of 181 Sturt Street.

There’s some great pics on the Jay Tyler from Wheatstone Facebook page (login required).

I like the Tasmania Talks show. Nice to have an alternative to ABC North TAS.

Brian Carlton is one of the best commercial talkback presenters going around. Tasmania should feel privileged to have him.

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I’ve just noticed on their website that Power FM in Bega/Batemans Bay are or will be airing Hamish & Andy at 4-6pm weekdays. It is among one of the few non-SCA stations (most of which are Grant-owned stations) to be taking the program, along with Hot 100 in Darwin, Chilli FM in Launceston/Scottsdale, Sea FM in Devonport/Burnie, 7XS in West Coast, Magic FM in SA, Sun FM in Alice Springs & Red FM in Northern/Remote WA.

No mention on the following station’s website on whether 94.9 Power FM in Nowra/Southern Highlands will be airing Hamish & Andy too.

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80s August on River (whatever that means)

I would have thought they’d be playing non-stop 80’s music but their playlist suggests otherwise.

Mix FM on the Sunshine Coast is playing wall to wall 80’s from 8am-7pm and is sounding FANTASTIC

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I can confirm that 94.9 Power FM does not air Hamish & Andy.

That’s good to know, thanks. :slight_smile:
People in the Illawarra can already listen to it via 2Day from Sydney, whilst those in the southern Shoalhaven (around Ulladulla) can listen to it via 104.3 Power FM from Batemans Bay.

On another note, I’ve noticed last weekend whilst listening to the following station online that Zinc 96.1 on the Sunshine Coast/Gympie now position themselves as a “Classic Hits” station, with plenty of 60s & 70s music being played along with the 80s to now. This is quite unusual for an Australian commercial FM station in this day & age, when you consider that WS in Sydney doesn’t play any 60s & not very much 70s these days, despite having more commercial FM stations than the Sunshine Coast. Meanwhile, Zinc in Townsville has a “Real Music Variety” format, which has a more modern music mix than its Sunshine Coast/Gympie station, mostly due to having more direct competition with SCA-owned 4TO.

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ACMA determined on 11 April 2016 that the Burnie and Devonport licence areas now overlap by 30.32%, so both licence areas are treated as one for control laws, and Grant now own four licences in effectively the same licence area. Grant are grandfathered from a breach until there is a change of control in the licences.


No doubt Grant Broadcasters will be hoping the 2016 Census data will have the overlap at less than 30% resulting in the rule no longer applying…and its not like the census data will be inaccurate or incomplete…

Alternatively, they could take the approach that 3GG and 3TR took at the time of FM licensing, just a small nip and a tuck to the licence areas and hey presto, the overlap is less than 30% and it is a solus market once more. And as I recall neither 3GG nor 3TR/GV had to change their transmitter power or directional setup…


Since a breach isn’t going to occur until they try to sell their licenses I don’t think Grants are going to care too much about it - they have no intention of sell any time soon.

That said, the easiest solution to a potential future problem would be remove some of the overlap area from each licence, and with no competitors I can’t imagine it being too hard to do.

Where can we view past determinations to see how population has risen/fallen in markets?