WITH a fresh, new energy and sound, Tamworth community radio will re-launch on Monday in the biggest overhaul in the station’s 30-year history.
In a massive brand and content change, the station – formerly known as 2YOU FM 88.9 – will now simply be known as 88.9FM.
Its programming has been tweaked to the best of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and country, and will include a purely local weekday show called Tamworth Today, hosted by a number of former professional announcers.
88.9FM operations manager George Frame said while the change had caused ructions among some of the older members, it was critical to ensure the station’s survival.
“We just can’t run as a clubhouse any more; the costs are killing us,” Mr Frame said.
“The way we were going, we would have been forced to close within 12 months.”
He said comprehensive market research had revealed an estimated 80 per cent of listeners were unhappy with the music mix.
Listeners were also hungry for more local news and information, he said, a service not being fully provided by the city’s commercial stations.
Mr Frame, a former executive with CNN and NBC in the US and Asia, has also acquired a jingle package from overseas, based around the Sister Sledge hit, We Are Family.
88.9FM president John Brand said it was an exciting time to be part of the station.
“We’ve got a great team now and there is a lot of expertise and commonsense,” Mr Brand said.
“We were playing too much of the one thing and people were turning us off.
“But we’re now moving into the new age.”
The station also owns a communication transmission site at Bald Hill and has recently boosted its broadcast range and upgraded its studios with state-of-the-art equipment. From Monday, The Northern Daily Leader will provide the local headlines of the day each morning and editor Daniel Johns will drop in to discuss the day’s big stories.