Dunedin's Radio One Commences Week of Silence

Dunedin's Radio One Commences Week of Silence

Monday 4th July, 2011 10:35AM

Dunedin student radio station Radio One commenced a week a of silence on Saturday in protest to Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) proposal to sell or disestablish the station as an austerity measure in the face of Voluntary Student Membership (VSM).

Station Manager Sean Norling posted the following press release on on Friday, outlining the situation endangering the station and calling upon music fans and industry to put forward written submissions to help save the station...

Press Release:

From 10am, Saturday July 2, Radio One 91FM will cease all regular programming for one week.

Radio One 91FM’s Week Of Silence will offer listeners in Dunedin, and around the world, a taste of how the cultural landscape may look should a proposal to sell the station go ahead this month. Radio One’s broadcasting license is a not-for-profit license, meaning the station has little commercial appeal, and as such a sale would be unlikely. The license was renewed this year and extends through until 2031.

Radio One, as part of Planet Media Dunedin Limited, is wholly owned by the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA). In May, OUSA commissioned Deloitte to review its current services and structure. In addition, the review was ostensibly about preparing for the threat of Voluntary Student Membership, and the decreased revenue stream the OUSA would have available.

A review of Planet Media conducted by industry experts earlier this year suggested the station be retained and commented on the exceptional cultural value of Radio One. The review further praised Radio One’s financial prudence and voluntary austerity measures. Despite this, recommendations by Deloitte have proposed the disestablishment of Radio One, which have been discussed and explored by the OUSA Executive.

The most insulting recommendation was that with VSM looking less likely by the day, neither Deloitte nor the OUSA Executive prepared a ‘Plan B’, where OUSA funding remained at its current levels and Radio One continued to be a part of their organisation. Deloitte sees little commercial value in the radio station, however there has been no investigation into the value of Radio One.

The demise of Radio One could set off a devastating set of dominoes. The existence of independent radio is crucial to the city being a viable option for visiting artists of all persuasions. Dunedin would lose its most established alternative radio station. It is bigger than just Dunedin though; there is a network of stations around the country that depend on Radio One’s existence to remain stable. RDU in Christchurch, Radio Active in Wellington, Radio Control in Palmerston North & bFM in Auckland would all be jeopardised, which is a big body blow to the New Zealand music industry.

OUSA is currently in consultation with its employees regarding proposed changes and no decisions will be made regarding Radio One until all submissions have been considered. Radio One invites listeners to be involved in this process, so please propose solutions on how we can save Radio One to sean @

Radio One would like to thank all of its loyal listenership for their continued support over the last 27 years and during this time. Programming will resume at 10am Saturday July 9.

For further enquiries, contact:

Sean Norling
Station Manager
Radio One 91FM

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