WA’s oldest community radio station has received a five-year licence extension that will see it power into the digital era.
Curtin FM station manager Quinn Glasson said the recent Australian Communications and Media Authority licence renewal to 2015 would allow the station to progress plans to launch a digital service next year.
“The biggest challenge over the next five years will be broadcasting digitally,” Mr Glasson said.
“That’s on the horizon and it opens up opportunities to offer additional programming.”
Mr Glasson said the licence renewal had been far from a fait accompli, with Curtin FM needing to demonstrate it still served its community of interest.
“It’s a fairly laborious process because ACMA wants information about everything you do,” he said.
“The credit pretty much goes to the 12 staff down here and the 100 volunteers that make the place tick.
“It’s certainly a team effort.”
Curtin FM has seen a lot of changes since launching on the AM band as 6NR (6 New Radio) in 1976.
“Its community of interest has meandered a bit over the years,” Mr Glasson said.
“Because when it started it was the only community broadcaster in the state, so we did a lot of the stuff that other community broadcasters now do.”
Mr Glasson said the station now focused on an “older demographic” and financial sponsorships were ploughed back into student services.
“We have a fully funded cadet program (for Curtin journalism students) and newsroom,” he said.
“We have three cadets in at a time, and after three to four months working for us many find jobs in radio stations.”