Newcastle Radio

The new home to discuss radio in the Newcastle market.


I thought the Radio Today interview with Mike Byrne, CD of NX/KO, was fascinating. Usually you get the same responses from people when asked these questions, such as “want to get to #1 etc etc” but Mike, being the open and honest person he is, went much deeper… and as a result, made this series much better.

I thought I’d share two of his responses:

Biggest challenge facing your stations in next 12-months?

Overall I’d say it’s engaging with listeners in an ever increasingly busy world. Balancing the revenue needs of the business with an audience that is less and less tolerant to commercial messages. Locally we’ve just launched a new breakfast show on NXFM “Nick and Sophie” so there’s plenty of work to be done getting them out into the market and endearing themselves to Newcastle’s under 40’s. Early sign are positive but everyone knows how much work is involved in building a new show. Really excited by that though. For KO it’s steady as she goes with arguably one of the best breakfast shows in regional Australia “Tanya and Steve”. More fine tuning of the show and the station in general.

The year in review, what are you most pleased with from 2015.

Firstly I’m just ecstatic to have been asked back to the SCA fold and back to my favourite city after nearly 10 years away. I’m so passionate about these 2 brands and despite some challenging surveys in 2015 I firmly believe both brands are in excellent shape for 2016. Some tough decisions have been made, but the future looks bright. I’m most pleased with the amazing team we have built here, it’s a perfect mix of fresh, hungry new talent and experienced old hands and we’re all passionate and determined to win but also determined to enjoy ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.

Revenue vs listeners… it’s always going to be a problem and will get more and more so with more choices online, streaming services et al. I can handle three minute breaks but sometimes American stations go into breaks for 6+ minutes at a time… this is truly ridiculous and I hope we don’t go down the same route.

Thanks for posting, MarkHD.
I’d be surprised if local stations did try 6+ minutes of ads at a time.

I would like to see local stations revisit the original Nova model of “no more than 2 ads in a row” (and they only had 5 minutes of ads per hour I think) and they used to charge a premium for their spots because of its presumed effectiveness. Or to go something like that.

Don’t think it will happen, Nova did move away from that, I assume they just didn’t make enough money from that model as they wanted to.

Well done to Nick Blanch and the team at KO - live and local all night (except for an hour at 7pm so Nick could have a break). Nick’s been going for over 12 hours now.

Aaron Kearney, Jenny Marchant and the team at 1233ABC doing a superb job all night too.

NX also live and local overnight.

Not sure about 2HD and NEWFM.

Great effort from Charlestown and inner-Newcastle.

When I get info about 2HD and NEW and what they did overnight, I’ll post.

It’s really hard this time of year because so many people are still away - so good job everyone.

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Credit to New FM online, they were posting quite a bit of info on their FB pages all night. Unsure what they did last night as they don’t stream but I echo @MarkHD that KOFM and 1233 were excellent last night. I was flicking between the 2 trying to assist a family member driving in this lovely weather.

KO’s new lineup is:

6-9 Tanya/Steve
9-12 Jeremy Ryan (continues doing sport on breakfast)
12-4 Little Andy Ambrose Cosmos Simpson (don’t ask - an in-joke!)
4-7 Nick Blanchard Blanch
7-10 GYIM with Christian Argenti

No idea why they don’t run network feed overnight, but they don’t… they just re-run that days’ music in random order.

well this could have been interesting - 2 stations doing an OB from the same store:

KO was broadcasting from Domayne Maitland today 9-midday with JR, now I’ve just seen this from New:

1053 NEW FM ‏@1053NEWFM 51m51 minutes ago
Bob is broadcasting live from DOMAYNE Maitland until 1pm for their huge BYOD Expo … Catch up with The NEWcrew…

KOFM Newcastle ‏@1029KOFM 34m34 minutes ago
The #KORoadRunner is cooking up a STORM at @DomayneAU #Maitland for their #BYOD #SALE with @JRTheSportsGuy!

KOFM readying itself for a major music test in the next few weeks as it invites selected Music Jurors into a special 2 hour “hundreds of songs” AMT that will run from Feb 16-23. People who complete the test in the time period allowed will receive $100 worth of gift cards.

Righto we’ve got some great news for you… Want to help define the entire KOFM playlist? This is an invite to register your interest to be a part of our epic Jumbo Jury Duty.

What is it: It’s like regular Music Jury but you get to rate hundreds of songs. The best bit - you get rewarded with $100 worth of gift cards if you’re one of ‘the chosen’ and you finish within the specified time frame.

When is it: It starts midday Tuesday the 16th of February through to midday Tuesday the 23rd of February.

Where is it: Your house, lounge, toilet, bed… wherever you have a computer.

The signup specifically asks if you have listened to NEWFM recently. Obviously this AMT is designed to sculpt a Newcastle playlist and really focus on nailing the market.

As I said back in November, in 2016 music will be the star of KO.

Would do it but being an employee at SCA newcastle shortly sadly won’t be possible for me. Nailing the market will be important and hearing a good selection of music voted by the people would be good. BUT wondering if this data is sent to the Gold Coast or its so let for Newcastle.

I think NEWFM has changed its processing after 27 years, & if what I’m hearing is correct, I’d say it’s not for the better.

I’ve been listening to so many different audio processing settings of late, trying to get my station’s processing right, so I’m not sure whether I’m just hearing imaginary audio?

NEWFM had one of the best “sounds” in Australia, with many stations trying to replicate it. The new Optimods couldn’t replicate the sound either, that’s why they stuck with the old/original Optimod from 1989, & had a newer one as backup.

Maybe the old girl’s given up & died, so they’re using the newer backup Optimod, or they’ve got a new engineer who “knows better”?

I think 2HD’s processing is different too? 2HD sounds differently depending on if they’re using the main or back TX though, so can’t say what it is with 2HD?

I haven’t listened to NEW much lately, but I’ll given it a listen…

I agree that NEW did sound better than a lot of stations… it’s kinda WEIRD though that today’s processors don’t sound as good as the ones from the 80s… ?? Maybe there’s simply too much digitisation that goes on today…

weird you say that, I was listening on Thursday and Friday morning and felt it sounded even more crisp than usual.

Must be my ears.

I wouldn’t say it’s crisp, there’s more top end.

Listen to the “esses” in speech.

I have a 9 speaker stereo in my car with sub woofer & separate tweeters, there’s a lot of top end, & it’s very woofy.

I think there’s less mid/high bass frequencies than there was, but more/too much, low/sub bass.

I think it’s also lost some of it’s depth?

There’s a lot of everything in the audio, & listening on my good studio monitoring headphones, the sound is very full, borderline distortion, sounds like it’s got the life compressed out of it.

It’s definitely nowhere near as clean/clear as it use to be.

I’d rate NX & KO"s sound much better than NEW now. I can’t exactly put my finger on what’s wrong with NEW, atm it’s just not right.

Maybe back off the compression & it might help?

VERY interesting. I am absolutely adament it sounded so much better the other day when I was listening, although I did think Cathy Dinn was VTing 9am because she didn’t sound “live”. The flatness now would explain that.

I just sat in my Honda CRV and drove around town, they played Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” and you’re right - it is woeful all of a sudden. It distorts and there’s nothing clean.

Just from my quick listen:

1 - JJJ
2 - NX
3 - KO
4 - NUR
5 - NEW
6 - Power

Silly question (feel free to laugh) but I notice that JJJ sounds the best out of any station where ever I go. I gather these are all satellite fed? And do they have an optimod at every transmitter? Thanks.

probably completely wrong, but I wonder if they have more power than the commercials, hence sound better?

Base power or ERP?

Good to see 2VLY is still sounding great :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: