Local Matters, Uncategorized

Firstly, I’m going to lay it all bare, I’m a radio connoisseur and I love smooth voices and great tunes!  Lately, I’m a bit peeved with the stations because a fair chunk of the programs are based in Sydney and aimed at the Sydney audiences. In my honest opinion,  this isn’t fair for those who support local radio and its content.

The question I ask; Is Newcastle radio losing its local touch?

I used to be an avid local 2HD and KO-FM listener and I used to have a old transistor radio.  I used to listen to the Breakfast show on KO-FM and listened to 2HD during my school lunch hour.  Later on in my early twenties, I switched to ABC Newcastle after I listened to Carol Duncan at my Nanna’s house when I was roughly nineteen.

Carol was a brilliant broadcaster during her time at the ABC and had a huge, loyal fan base.  Sadly, back in 2014, our beloved Afternoons program was cut due to the ABC’s funding was reduced.  We lost a great asset that year and I can vividly remember being in the studio as the very last Afternoons went to air,  with my Nanna firmly in my mind.  She wouldn’t stand for this,  and I remember looking up to the Heavens and silently saying “We tried, and I’m sad we couldn’t save it”.  But I had to move on, to another radio station to try and reaffirm my beliefs that there still was a radio station broadcasting local content.

A fair few friends recommended 2NUR, an easy listening station run by the local University.  I started listening, mentally ticking the boxes of what I expected in a radio station.  I remember thinking, and even now I still think when I’m listening, “is this too good to be true?”.   I can keep up to date with local news, weather, traffic and current issues in our community whilst listening to great tunes – most of the songs I know!

Now I do most of my work at home to 2NUR and it makes my work-from-home day flow much easier and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Local Matters

Jets soar high into the decider after ten years of turbulence


Win As One: Photo courtesy of The Newcastle Herald

Our Newcastle Jets are in the A-League grand final against Melbourne Victory, can you believe it? It has been just over ten years since we last were in the big dance, so let’s look at how much has changed in ten years.

Firstly, let’s look at what 2008 was like in Newcastle.

      1. Kevin Rudd was the Prime Minister of Australia
      2. You could walk from Queens Wharf Brewery to Hunter Street Mall via a footbridge.
      3. You could still catch a train into Newcastle station and shop at David Jones.
      4.  Opal cards weren’t around, so it was still bus fares and paper tickets.  In Newcastle, buses still had three digits, and you could go to the shops on one bus without changing.
      5. The Store was still open and was owned by Con Constantine who also owned the Newcastle Jets.  Constantine was stripped of the Jets’ licence in 2010.

Speaking of owners, Nathan Tinkler Huge then took over and promised Newcastle the world.  Tinkler was a prolific businessman, specialising in mining and owned Patinack Farm, a horse racing stud.  Newcastle believed in him, but he had plans to build a coal loader at Kooragang and got the community onside before he unveiled them by then purchasing the Newcastle Knights.  Again,  Tinkler promptly promised an NRL premiership within three years by bringing Wayne Bennett in to coach the team.

Nathan Tinkler eventually went bankrupt and put the club into voluntary administration, so the Newcastle Jets were looking for a new owner again.

Enter Chinese business, Ledman Group,  a leading LED screen manufacturer.  Ledman Group bought the Newcastle Jets in June 2016.

Ernie Merrick was appointed the coach in May 2017, replacing Mark Jones, who was the Jets’ assistant coach who took over after Scott Miller was sacked in September 2016. Ernie has turned a team that were wooden spooners in season 2016/17 to potential premiers for season 2017/18 and restored faith in a city’s sporting pride.

Now, the Newcastle Jets’ faithful (Including yours truly) have something to cheer about, a grand final berth and the grand final is in their hometown.  Tickets sold out in minutes,  member allocations were exhausted within hours. The Football Family allocations were also exhausted within minutes of going on sale.  Flights to and from Melbourne are booked out and finding accommodation in Newcastle is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Football Federation Australia is working closely with broadcasters and Newcastle City Council to set up live sites so the locals who missed out can join in the festivities. Those details will be finalised by the end of the week, and I will be sharing that information on Life + Style.