This was published on the Letters page of "The Australian" Media supplement on 5/3/2001 under the heading "The Good News". Also sent it to "The Age" Green Guide - where it still may be published - and The "Herald Sun" Guide.
Four years ago Southern Cross (3AW) wanted to get rid of 3AK - which it never promoted or threw any money at - and get hold of Magic 693 - which was rating well. Consequently it bought 3MP and Magic and for 18 months owned four of the five Melbourne AM commercial stations - two more than it was allowed to.
Whilst in caretaker ownership mode it closed down the 3MP Network Newsroom putting alot of people out of work - and forcing all AM stations to take its own news service. I complained to the ABA and all I received in response was that Melbourne still had a variety of radio news services. Yeah sure - besides 3AW's and the ABC's we had the two minute updates that FM stations provide. We now are a city with 23 major radio stations and only two decent radio news services.
Well now the worm has turned. Under its new ownership 3AK has started rising in the ratings so SC has told 3AK its news service will no longer be available to the station in two months time. This can only force 3AK to join with 3UZ and 3MP and create an alternative news service. Thank you Southern Cross for shooting yourselves in the foot. Hopefully the new service will be more like 3MP's used to be - and not a vehicle for promoting 3AW's programs.
Ian Davidson, email@example.com
St. Kilda, Vic
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