Braidwood Community Radio

Let's get together: Nambucca Valley Radio and Braidwood Community Radio

Emma Couch, 27th October 2016
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The adage goes that most community radio stations survive on the ‘smell of an oily rag’. The saying is as tired as some of the sector’s most dedicated volunteers! So, what if one station had access to two oily rags?

Community radio stations can often find themselves working in isolation from each other, so busy trying to keep the airwaves alive and the volunteers on track that it is difficult to look at possibilities that lie beyond the station doors. Combining ‘oily rags’ and sharing resources can really pay off though, as two stations in NSW can attest - 2NVR, Nambucca Valley Radio on the mid-north coast and 2BRW, Braidwood Community Radio in the Southern Tablelands.

Ex-2BRW member and current 2NVR Board Treasurer, Rob Davidson sought out this partnership eight years ago in an effort to add fresh voices to the airwaves of 2BRW.

“The partnership began in 2009 when I was President of 2BRW. Daniel Gosson of 2NVR and I exchanged our weekly programs which were broadcast on the others’ station. When I moved to the Nambucca Valley in 2015, the collaboration between 2BRW and 2NVR expanded further. Our two stations record voiceovers for each other’s sponsor announcements so that we have fresh voices on air that the listeners don’t relate to any current presenter. We have found new voices add value to the announcements.”

“We also share technical and other info and 2BRW Braidwood Community Radio takes 2NVR Nambucca Valley Radio’s monthly Live Studio 3. In the third week of each month, a band performs live in the studios of 2NVR for a two hour show and that live performance is broadcast on air and streamed online. 2BRW picks up the stream and broadcasts it on air to the Braidwood community.”

For the two stations, the benefits of this station collaboration have been extremely positive, extending beyond content and equipment into discussion and moral support.

“A fantastic thing about this collaboration is each station is benefiting from the exchange of ideas. Sometimes just discussing things with a group that is outside of your immediate circle leads to discovering other ways of doing things that may be of benefit to either or both stations.”

Rob says three primary benefits of this relationship are:

  • Each station has different levels of technical, administration and management skills, and discussions between the two stations have helped in finding solutions to problems, or enhanced the skills of personnel at no cost to either station.
  • The exchange of programs provides each station with a range of programs that may be presented differently than those in their particular region. In the case of a smaller station that does not have ‘live’ presenters 24/7, it helps to fill the gap with a real voice on air.
  • An exchange of ideas about how to approach and raise sponsorship funds for the station is beneficial as each station sees how the other goes about it, and can adopt some ideas that could be beneficial to themselves.

Thinking about the potential for other stations, Rob believes the creation of station partnerships across our sector could bring the same benefits to others.

“If you think you do not have time to connect with other stations, make the time! You will find it extremely rewarding. You learn from each other and help each other out. It might also be beneficial when stations are upgrading and modernising their equipment. If one station has older equipment that is still functional they may want to offer it to one of the stations they are in partnership with, who may have even older equipment or equipment that doesn’t function well. Stations could share sponsorship income where businesses that have outlets in other areas would receive a package deal to have their announcements on several community stations in other regions. Sponsorship rates would vary depending on the number of community stations broadcasting their announcements.”

The moral of the story is two oily rags are better than one! The CBAA can help connect you with a station near you or one that has offered support to others - please contact member services officers Emma Couch or Danny Chifley on 02 9310 2999 to find out more.

This article was originally published in the August 2016 edition of CBX Magazine.

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