Prime cuts Macquarie umbilical cord and makes its own programs | radioinfo

Prime cuts Macquarie umbilical cord and makes its own programs

Wednesday 25 March, 2009
Prime Radio's Zinc FM expands across Queensland

Prime Radio has just turned on its new central hub facility on the Sunshine Coast and at the same time rolled out its Zinc brand through coastal Queensland.

The Zinc brand now spans 5 markets from the Sunshine Coast to Gladstone, plus
Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

The company also converted its heritage brands in Cairns (4CA) and Mackay (4MK) back to their original AM frequencies in
those markets with Zinc moving on to the FM frequency.

CEO Rob Gamble has told radioinfo: "It's the first day for Prime Radio being a cohesive network in control of all its output."

In one of the more peculiar outcomes of Australia’s convoluted cross-ownership rules, Prime Radio who entered the radio market in Queensland just over two years ago by purchasing its network from Macquarie Media Group (which was forced to divest itself of stations where they owned more than two in a market) ended up broadcasting programming supplied by its direct competitor.

Mr Gamble says that back then Prime had no programming infrastructure themselves and had little choice but to accept an output deal from Macquarie.

“The irony was that most of the services to get us to air were provided by our competitor. Obviously we had no control over that product that was provided to us.

“We’ve spent the last 18 months building a central facility here on the Sunshine Coast. All the creative and production has come back in house. And all the programming has come back in house,” says Mr Gamble.

While much of the programming will be networked to the other four markets, Mr Gamble was quick to point out, “All regional stations operate under a legislative structure of local content and local news requirement. We certainly fulfill all of those and once we’ve done that, we network out of the Sunshine Coast studios.”

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