Independent radio hits local spot
As upheavals continue in Hunter-based media, a new internet radio station is looking to buck the trend and disrupt the changing market.
Launched in October, the New2UW.com broadcasts from Newcastle and combines 60s, 70s and 80s music with local news updates, interviews and issues.
That mix seems to have resonated with listeners, seeing more than 400,000 visitors to the website in the first month.
“We have an operating mantra – local, local and local,” Breakfast announcer David Sayers said.
“Media is leaving town, from a content point of view, at a rapid rate; you’ve got radio stations that broadcast large chunks of their day from Sydney.
“This is a very parochial town – it doesn’t like that kind of thing.”
The targeted broadcast area takes in Maitland and Cessnock, seeing Hunter Independent editor Melissah Comber provide a Wednesday morning local news update and local league legend Brian Burke tackle the sports report on weekday mornings.
“I have a saying where too much Maitland is never enough,” Mr Sayers said.
“Brian Burke, the unofficial lord mayor and sporting hoodoo guru that he is, does a sport report for us every morning.
“It really is my opportunity to take the piss out of him and send him up gutless.”
Mr Sayers attributed some of the station’s early success to the entirely local team, including former Newcastle Post journalist Michael Blaxland, Maitland boy and Newcastle rocker Mark Tinson, and former ABC Newcastle broadcaster Carol Duncan.
“Everyone that’s here has that local passion,” he said.
“Michael and I were chatting about the closure of the steelworks – we were able to talk about people that were there and what it felt like to be standing at the front gates watching big, brave men walk out in tears.
“You don’t forget things like that, you relate to that and you say things like that on the radio to people and they go ‘yes!’.”