Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Christchurch Radio 'Returns to Normal"

The Radio Heritage Foundation says the local radio dial in Christchurch [New Zealand] is almost back to the situation it was before the massive earthquake of February 22 2011 which disrupted many services.
All radio station brands from the main broadcasting networks [Radioworks, The Radio Network, Radio New Zealand and Rhema Broadcasting Group] are on air with normal programs and no reported technical issues. Access to some local studios in the CBD continues to be an issue but the stations have been working around this problem for over two months now.
Community access stations Plains FM and Compass FM are basically operating their usual schedules along with most other independent stations in the city, although again, some studio facilities remain off-limits in the CBD, with Pulzar FM amongst the worst affected.
The eastern suburbs of the city have seen the return of local low power FM stations The Wave FM from Sumner and Burwood Community Radio, and Beachbreak FM at South New Brighton is close to returning to the airwaves.
Invercargill based Classic Gold now has a low power station located at New Brighton replacing the high powered emergency mobile station we initiated and which they operated as Radio New Brighton 102.1 FM for two months from outside the Central New Brighton School" says foundation chairman David Ricquish.
From this week, students at the fringe CBD based NZ Broadcasting School have also launched C96 FM using a high powered transmitter covering the city. The station is dedicated to the rebuilding of Christchurch and has a fund raising target of $NZ50,000 [$US30,000] to support local businesses and the community.
"Radio proved it was able to respond quickly to local needs after the earthquake, although it did require bringing in additional resources from out of the city in the initial weeks, including a totally new local station for the eastern suburbs" says Ricquish.
"It's clear that if a similar event should occur again, radio resources in the city would again be stretched, probably beyond breaking point. The value of having self-sufficient local community radio stations across the metro area has been driven home by the February earthquake, and they must be accorded greater value in future planning'.
The Radio Heritage Foundation was saddened to see the demolition of the original Radio Broadcasting Company [3YA] studios and building in Christchurch in recent days, another casualty of the earthquake and damage caused to many older buildings.
The Radio Heritage Foundation is a registered non-profit organization connecting popular culture, nostalgia and radio heritage and its global website is www.radioheritage.com.
Another of its 'Helping Rebuild Christchurch' projects involves restoring the original 3ZB radio studio and transmitter building in New Brighton in time for its 75th anniversary in 2012.

Contact: info@radioheritage.net

Media Release
Radio Heritage Foundation
May 3 2011

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