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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Anthony The Koala
29 April 2020 - 10:31am
I've said elsewhere on this site that Fran Kelly (RN sourced from Sydney) has beaten Alan Jones (2GB sourced from Sydney).

This time the listenership of Fran is more than three times of Alan.

The Canberra market is odd such that RN rates higher than commercial talk stations. In other capital cities, RN rates between 2%-3%.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Changes at the top in Canberra: GfK survey
Secret Squid
28 April 2020 - 10:35am
It would be fantastic to hear 4BC pull the plug on 2GB. It's Sydney-centric - everything Brisbane hates.

Every major capital has its own commercial talk station, all but Brisbane. We have to listen to the garbage they pump up the line from 2GB .... actually very few are listening to 4BC or the other nine networked AM 4BH.

Save your electricity bill and hand in the licences.
Tony Moclair gets a recall to 3AW
Anthony The Koala
27 April 2020 - 3:46pm
Many of the frequencies listed in the final paragraph are from Rete Italia. There was no news in other media other than from "Il Globo", that the Italian language programs would cease on these frequencies from August 22, 2019, reference:

Overall 21 frequencies have ceased transmission of Italian language programming.

It brings home the reality of the costs of running a radio station. Those closed frequencies are relay-stations, so the major cost would be the cost of powering the transmitters and baseband signal relays.

Thank you,
Anthony of Belfield
Gosford gets a new racing and sports station
Wendy Jane
24 April 2020 - 12:41pm
Thank you to MediaHeads - another lovely piece, thought provoking, respectful and sincere. Your station’s invited to broadcast a special Gallipoli commemoration at 11:30am
Eugene Delargy
21 April 2020 - 4:04pm
This is the last of the conventional data as we know it.

CRA and GFK have maintained a contract for years yet have still not developed a real time, electronic based method of data gathering for audience measurement.

Along comes the pandemic created by the negligence or malevolence of the Chinese Communist party and GFK is unable to collect data for CRA thus resulting in the entire medium of radio not having any conventional audience measurement to demonstrate the likely increased numbers of radio audience.

What could have been the greatest story of radio's popularity in what is a dark era of history has been lost.

CRA and GFK will claim to be able to do other research but it will not be the conventional research to use for comparative evaluation.

Let's face it, we know the current hodge podge of survey diaries and online recruiting (through nebulous surveys for cash websites) is not the best compared to TV or online, but it is miles better than suspending usual audience research and beginning less objective research.
TSL for radio is up during COVID19: GfK
Anthony The Koala
20 April 2020 - 9:37am
I did not like the attacks on Dr Norman Swan in "The Australian". Nor do I like most of the comments associated with the article which are typically anti-ABC.

Dr Norman Swan is an AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency)-registered medical practitioner with the following qualifications:

* Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Royal College of Physicians of London, United Kingdom, 1980
* Diploma in Child Health, Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of London, United Kingdom, 1978
* Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, 1976

source: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx?q=MED0000994679&t=qskndOu0HqTxp0GwFq9A

All practising medical practitioners are required to undergo continuing education programs in order that their skills are up-to-date and to maintain their registration status.

Dr Swan is one of the best science and medical communicators in the media and is called on by the ABC as its medical expert on various ABC programs such as "ABC News", "7:30" and "The Drum". Apart from the "Health Report" on RN, his knowledge is called upon on other RN,ABC702 (2BL) and ABCNewsRadio. In addition there is a comprehensive podcast "Coronacast".


All tertiary-educated graduates are required to develop critical analytical skills and is not mindless parroting and that includes doctors.

Dr Swan speaks from a medical standpoint that is evidence-based. Like other presenters he has the right to comment on government policies which lack the urgency of implementing social distancing and other policies not to congregate in crowds such as sporting matches, restaurants, theatres, houses of worship and beaches to name a few.

There may well be other countries whose social distancing policies have been implemented too late, or situations where a number of a nation's top medical advisers have been reduced.

Then there are situations where the policy is to let the virus "rip" and people will develop a herd immunity.

But there is no coronavirus vaccine and there is no herd immunity.To get a herd immunity from the current pandemic implementing the "let it rip" policy requires greater numbers of people to die. Such a policy has no due regard to the history of the original meaning of "flattening the curve" where in 1919 in the US, one state implemented a "let it rip" policy and thousands died and another state implemented shutdowns and "social distancing" measures and fewer people died.

The "let it rip" mentality results in hospitals being overwhelmed with patients not being able to be properly treated and other patients being prioritised based on the utilitarian ethic of some people being worth more than others. That is quite dodgy and evil.

Shock jock, conspiracy theorist and non-evidenced based potion salesperson Alex Jones was leading a group of citizens who want an end to lockdowns calling the coronavirus a hoax, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/18/stay-at-home-order-protest-lockdown-maryland-texas-ohio .

The problem with media commentators particularly in newspapers and commercial radio want to get people quickly to return to work. One economics commentator at "The Australian" seems to treat the elderly as expendible in order to keep the economy going, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/we-may-be-overreacting-to-an-unremarkable-coronavirus/news-story/3d78be873fac364af49f5fc949e3eaeb (subscription may be needed).

You wouldn't want one of your loved ones to die on the altar of the economic cause. "The Australian"'s article is not unique. No tombstone will say, "In loving memory of the deceased who died to keep the economy running".

Not all economists take this morally repungant view. 32 of the US's leading economists from the Democrats and Republican parties have argued that the current lockdown and social-distancing measures are good for the economy, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/economists-publish-letter-save-lives-republican-democrat-economy-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-3?r=US&IR=T.

Even our economists don't want our Prime Minister to relax the lockdown and social distancing measures.

These economists "...believe a callous indifference to life is morally objectionable, and that it would be a mistake to expect a premature loosening of restrictions to be beneficial to the economy and jobs, given the rapid rate of contagion.

It is wishful thinking to believe we face a choice between a buoyant economy without social distancing and a deep recession with social distancing...."

As I said elsewhere on this site, the economy is the people and the people are the economy.

Like the car accident analogy that you can replace the car anytime but not a human. Similarly, you can replace an economy but not a human life. Taking the extreme "let it rip" OR re-opening the economy before the virus is rendered quashed will cause another wave of infections and hospitals overwhelmed and the economic cost is greater.

What of the future? Dr Norman Swan in the last half of Coronacast podcast says that travelling to and from overseas destinations is the last priority to engage with the rest of the world.

He suggests a gradual re-introduction of economic activity starting with schools and daycare centres practising social distance measuring. Social distancing measures should continue with restaurants until there are very few reported incidents of "one, two or three", or "zero". It may be some time before gatherings at sporting matches and the theatre resume.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/coronacast/australia-is-doing-well.-but-where-are-we-heading-next/12148024

In the end, Dr Swan sums it up by being critical of the very economists and businesses who are indifferent to the 1% who succumbed to the disease. Referring to the mortality rates in the US, "... Some people in business who want the restrictions lifted now say, oh well, if it's under 1%, this is not something to worry about, it's starting to look like seasonal flu. Well, try telling that to one of the 22,000 families who have lost somebody in the United States...."

Thank you,
Anthony of thinking and concerned Belfield
ABC backs Swan's integrity in response to COVID19 related article in The Australian
Anthony The Koala
17 April 2020 - 7:37pm
The graph showing the cumes before the covid19 and during the covid19 pandemic for radio listening audiences show a pattern of:
* Between 0600 and 0800, there were more listeners before the pandemic than during the pandemic.
* After 0830 and up to 1500, more people listened to the radio during the pandemic than before the pandemic.
* There was very little difference to listening habits between 1500 and 1600, and between 1900 and 2000 before and during the pandemic. What are listeners' habits during 1500-1600 and 1900-2000?
* In the evening, more people tuned to radio before the pandemic than during the pandemic. There does not seem to be a simple explanation why listenership is down. Perhaps listeners are viewing other media such as TV, dvd/blu-ray/vod consumption, reading a book or going to sleep.

However, in light of the increase in audience share of ratings for talk stations such as 2GB. The curves also do not take into account the patterns of listenership to other talk radio stations including ABC702 (2BL), NewsRadio and RN especially in their coverage of the current pandemic.

For stations whose listenership during the crisis has increased between 0800 and 1500, it may be a boon for sales department to sell the prospective clients the benefits of advertising between these times.

In summary, the story of listeners' habits may well be the rule of thumb on when to sell advertising time during the 0800-1500 period during an epidemic, particularly when listeners are locked down at home and working from home.

The unknown factor is when the lockdowns are relaxed and people are returning to work and school, will the listenership curves return to pre-pandemic patterns?

On the other hand, for those whose occupations are capable of being conducted at home rather than an office, there may be the case where the employer and worker agree that the worker can work from home because it is more productive than working in an office. In this case, the pattern of listenership during the pandemic may well continue post pandemic.

Therefore, when the pandemic is over, the listenership patterns may well be different because there will be workers who can continue to work at home and workers who cannot work at home such as tradespeople, retail workers and those in non-essential services.

More research needs to be conducted on listenership after the pandemic.

Thank you,
Anthony of analytical Belfield
Is radio flattening the listening curve during the COVID19 pandemic?
Anthony The Koala
16 April 2020 - 1:43pm
Sydney market:
In 2020, 87.4% were tuned to the Sydney stations participating in the ratings. In the 1970s, that figure was 98.5%.

In the 1970s, the top rating station was 2SM peaking at 22% of the available share. There were fewer stations then. Today there are more stations. More remarkable is that 2GB's particular market leading programs for breakfast and morning at 17.4% and 18.8% respectively. Though the 0000-0530 slot is not listed, it is believed to be over 30%.

The other presenters were market leaders except Ben Fordham's program 10.5% beaten by ABC702's (2BL's) Richard Glover at 11.7%.

On weekday evenings, John Stanley is the market leader at 15.3% beating Steve Price's former slot.

On weekends, 2GB is the market leader at 12.2%. This includes Chris Smith's 0900-1300 program which is measured until 1200.

For 2GB management: if you have presenters that are market leaders don't fix something that is not broken.

On 2UE, Magic (3EE) and 4BH: The ratings are disappointing. I made a comment in Survey 1 that a drop in Smooth's Sydney ratings by 1.2% may have contributed to 2UE's rating. BUT I WAS WRONG.

Even though the ratings for 2UE, Magic (3EE) and 4BH are low, they would be more economical to run than a labour-intensive "Talking Sports" or "Talking Lifestyle".

BUT it's running at a loss since there are no commercials, except the traffic reports' product announcements which are the audio equivalent of "Shop-A-Docket", where the sponsors pay the traffic report company.

When it comes to music, a few weeks ago, this site's "air check" page which measured the music playlist share between WS-FM and 2UE being 31%. It did not mention if there was anything in common with the remaining 69%.

While there is nothing wrong with the "Classic Hits", "Hits And Memories", "Golden Oldies" formats, I have mentioned before that it was hackneyed and too many stations have a similar format.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield

Radio ratings survey 2: Listeners turn to news and talk in virus crisis
16 April 2020 - 12:49am
Radio is missing an opportunity.
DAB+ digital radio has been on air in most capital cities for over 10 years, yet receivers which are capable of showing more than one line of scrolling text.
DAB+ & DRM (with extended coverage areas) could use the indexed multipage text system (Journaline) and slideshow shown on a phone sized screen or larger. This could give local news to areas losing community newspapers.
Using the above facilities makes radio even more important during Emergencies being able to contact all affected listeners, even if they are asleep, when mobile phone & smart speakers commonly fail.
The Rush to Radio: How broadcast relations is responding to covid-19
14 April 2020 - 6:12pm
Around 60 % of the population live in capital cities all with large populations. DAB+ is ideal here because you have enough stations to feed the around 20 radio programs per transmitter.
In country areas a commercial broadcaster has an AM licence and a supplementary FM licence. There isn't the population to pay for DAB+
In most of Australia there is only 8 DAB+ transmission channels and for high power transmitters, there must be a spacing of at least 336 km to prevent interference on the same channel. The coverage area is lucky to be 100 km radius.
FM coverage area is of similar areas for high powered transmitters but many country ones are of much lower power thus reducing their coverage area.

DRM on the other hand uses lower frequencies and so can cover much larger areas even the whole of Australia from one transmitter and is ideal for regional and remote areas. There are hundreds of channels available.

The DAB+ and the DRM receivers are very similar except for the tuning of the station, however nearly all DAB+ receivers can only show a line of scrolling text where as all DRM receivers have a much larger colour screen for pictures and Journaline text. DAB+ could do this too, but broadcasters and importers are not supporting it in a meaningful way.

Lastly with all the fires, DRM/DAB+ can wake a radio from standby, increase the volume, make a siren sound and speak warning messages. In addition show a map of the emergency area and an indexed multipage display of detailed text instructions. The Emergency warning can be sent to all radios but only those in the specified area will respond, the other keep on with normal programs. Some of this was trialed in Darwin by Grant Broadcasters, but that's as far as it went. It is not much use without the decent sized screen. This is particularly useful, when the mobile phone tower which are usually on the tops of hills and their power line is burnt down, phones don't work, which is also true of Wireless NBN in rural areas so there is no communications left except radio, provided the populations still owns one.

Australia should plan and test DRM: Ruxandra Obreja


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