Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Pulse Radio Station v. the ABC

from w
I got an email about the ABC wanting to start up a radio station in Geelong but they want to pinch the 94.7 FM spot on the dial which is being used by the Pulse - a local community radio station managed by Diversitat. Not happy about that one!

from the local Addie:

ABC coming to Geelong and after Pulse beat
Jeff Whalley 20Jun07

GEELONG will be getting its own dedicated local ABC radio station. The national broadcaster and the Australian Communications and Media Authority are investigating the move as a planned expansion into regional centres.

While the Government has fulfilled a 2004 election pledge to get services into Wagga Wagga and Dubbo, the planned Geelong service is now being undertaken by the federal bodies. It is understood the new Geelong service would be similar to existing services in Bendigo and Ballarat which provide local breakfast and drive programming plus news and sport coverage.

But there are concerns the introduction of the local ABC service could force local community radio institution 94.7 FM The Pulse onto another frequency.
It is understood the ABC is eyeing the 94.7 bandwidth as it is a particularly potent frequency able to reach distant regional areas.

Federal Liberal member for Corangamite Stewart McArthur said that the introduction of a local ABC should not be at the expense of The Pulse.``The Australian Communications and Media Authority is investigating the availability of a frequency in our area suitable for a Geelong local ABC radio service and The Pulse FM 94.7 frequency is one that is being evaluated,'' Mr McArthur said.

``If in future ACMA was to recommend any change they would need to consult the community and I would strongly argue in support of retaining the community radio service provided by The Pulse.

``The Pulse operates on a temporary community broadcasting licence and I support their request for a permanent licence based on the proven track record in delivering effective local radio.''

Mr McArthur said Diversitat's management of The Pulse had seen it become a crucial community broadcaster for the people of Geelong with a focus on local content and news and culture.``The Federal Liberal Party strongly supports local content on regional radio and we do not want to see the event where the only news, sport and community events broadcast are from Sydney or Melbourne.'' Mr McArthur's office said he would support The Pulse staying on the 94.7 frequency should the ABC try to claim it.

Head of Diversitat, the community organisation which holds the licence for The Pulse, Michael Martinez said he wanted to see the station stay at 94.7 FM. ``The station is doing really, really well providing a local voice for Geelong. We are just about to launch a major marketing drive and we need to deal with the issue of bandwidth. That should not simply be taken away,'' Mr Martinez said. He said the increasing profile of programs such as the fishing show had attracted statewide listeners on the powerful 94.7 bandwidth. ``We've worked hard and invested a significant amount in programming and the physical infrastructure around that,'' Mr Martinez said.

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Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

Another war between a major corporation and local concerns? This seems to be a sadly recurring theme in this day and age.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

The Pulse is a good local community station with all kinds of local content - ethnic, youth, music, arts. news, etc. One time I did an hour spot every week on local writers - interviews, readings, etc. and we even had a Fijian program one time when a couple of Fiji uni students ran it.
Peceli is on the Diversitat committee so we'll find out more about the situation on Thursday night's meeting and there is a petition going around.
PS Moody I have trouble accessing your website. Gets blocked up by too much music or something!

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real problem is the owners, Divesitat. Now if they were to have a proper committee with members from the comminuty instead of Diversitat staff , then they might have had a chance. And how many station managers have there been since Peter Moore left? Heaps. And not one of them knew what direction to take the Pulse in. Diversitat/GECC killed the Pulse when they took over the licence. If Jason Beveridge wasn't such an arrogant ***** and actually listened to the volunteers instead of ordering them around with his dumb ideas, maybe the Pulse would have had their licence 2 years ago. The way the station is running now, I can't see much of a chance for the future of The Pulse. Let's hope I'm wrong. Who wants boring droning ABC radio in Geelong when we have the super powerful 774 Garbage Radio on AM which is perfectly audible in Geelong.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thanks for your comments. Have you addressed these anxieties about the station with the people at Diversitat? We do want the station to succeed, so perhaps a few of like-minded people need to get together and put forward your views.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Ex-volunteer said...

We did voice our concerns. I was there when Jason Beveridge was the station manager. Every time we had an idea or an opinion, Jason's reply was always "That's your opinion and you're entitled to it". After a while I got sick of it and quit. Before Jason I was a very active person at the Pulse and know that place inside out. I have been on air, done production, the music logs, done it all. I just couldn't put up with the bull that was created by Diversitat. They weren't really interested in the radio station when they took it over, just in the building so they could turn it into a training centre. Back then the people were friendly, and we all got along. How things change huh. I've been a happy ABC radio listener for 3 years now, befor that my radio was literally glued to 94.7, nowadays I can't listen for a minute, the sweepers are still the same as they were 3 years ago. Nobody seems to have done much there. Please pull your fingers out Pulse management and make the radio station listenable again.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

ex-volunteer, I'm sorry you have had such a bad experience. I too listen to the ABC a lot but there are numerous ABC stations and I don't think we need any more, whereas the Pulse is a Geelong community station. Now that the Cats have won the premiership I hope that the optimism will last and also that we will not be overlooked so much by funding bodies etc.
My personal experience with the Pulse was some time ago and was only two programs.

2:26 AM  
Anonymous ex-pulse-volunteer said...

i too am a former volunteer and the fact is current pulse management is non-existant. Diversitat did good for taking over a near bankrupt station. Jason improved situations the best way he could, obviously he couldn't please everyone.

Soon after he left, that's when the station took a nose dive with the several management changes. The only person who came close to improving things abit like what Jason did, was Geoff Anderson. Although I did not approve of the shift in demographics, he did reasonably well if only the pig-headed people at the pulse would have sided with him rather than going against him.

Right now, the station is in a slum, it will remain to be in a slum. As some have suggested, it needs greater transparency from diversitat, needs a proper management board who is reportable to the licence owners but has enough clout to run on their own. It's disasterous to think that the station is being run by 4/5 people, and one key production person who is of age and I personally think he wouldn't be able to do it for much longer. Not to mention the station does not embrace greater technologies, the website looks sh*t and hasn't changed in months.

as far as im concerned, the pulse needs to shape up or lose their licence. Community station, yeah, only to a few communities. So much for the application of a "general" licence, especially when you cut of selected communities and change demographics. I dont want the ABC to get the frequency, but I dont want the current Pulse to keep it either.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you ex-volunteer for sharing your concerns. The trouble is that here - on this blog - not many Geelong district people even read it, so you need to express your views where they may be heard, and even go directly to Diversitat with your views.

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Ex-Volunteer said...

Has the Pulse got a future in 2008? Looking at the ACMA website their licence ran out on Xmas day. As soon as I hear they got their full time licence I'll happily return as a volunteer to give Bob a hand. I don't want to be part of another station that has to close.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hi Ex-volunteer and a happy New Year to you. I don't have any connection with the Pulse except that Diversitat staff tell us things at times. I suggest you talk to someone who knows more. I was a volunteer a long time ago when we had a writers' program.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Ex-Volunteer said...

Thanks for the reply. Think I remember your show. I might ring them next week and fin d out whats going on.

Happy new year to you and your family. Hope you're coping OK in this heat. It hit 46 in Corio, check out the pics lol in the shade in the sun

All the best

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The year is now 2010 and all these previous doomsayers have been proved wrong. The station is stronger and more vibrant than ever in its history. It is pertinent to note that all of these ex volunteers were part of a committee rife with arguments and backstabbing that got into $200,000 debt and handed the licence back in and gave up on it, before the current team sorted out the mess and got it back on track.
It's easy to criticise from a distance of 6 years. The whole Geelong community rallied to support the Pulse in 2009 to successfully beat off an attack from the ABC takeover, that's got to tell you something. ACMA are currently issuing a Permanent Broadcasting Licence to this group in recognition of the hard work done over the past 6 years to get the station back on track and make it viable both financially and program-wise. Recent visits to the station by Julia Gillard, Deputy PM, Julie Bishop, Deputy Liberal leader, Ted Baillieu, Leader of the Vic Liberal Party, the actor Hugo Weaving and a host of others...including being chosen as the sole broadcaster of Nobel Peace Prize recipient the Dalai Lama during his last Victorian talks, have to also tell you something about the wisdom of the current management direction.
This station is no longer a ragtag collection of arguing pessimists but a group with a clear idea of what can be achieved by, and for, the community. A community radio station exists for, and reacts to, the listeners- not the narrow minded ramblings of negative, disgruntled ex presenters.
The people who have posted these comments have never come forward publicly and suggested well thought out strategies or articulated ideas that could actually help the station, all they can do is attempt to pull apart anything that those who do the hard yards have achieved. It's all about commitment and hard, hard work....rebuilding brick by brick what was wasted and neglected in the past.
Call any community radio station today and ask if it's easy to operate a not for profit outfit on a pauper's budget and you'll get the same reply from all of them....are you kidding? The number of community stations that have folded, or are about to, throughout Australia is sobering and the fact that the Pulse has managed to serve its community and build up a service that Geelong is now proud of stands as a testament to those that have achieved this. Congratulations.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you Anonymous for putting your views clearly. Yes, it has succeeded where so many thought it would have to fold and give in to the greedy ABC who have already got many places on the dial. Congratulations to Diversitat and the volunteers.

6:25 PM  

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