I would like to welcome you all to the 2022 Coastal FM Annual General Meeting. This is my 10th report to the membership of Coastal FM Inc I appreciate the support of all those who continue to make this community radio station a great organisation. It is not possible to keep this station operating without a solid group of volunteers working together for the benefit of the community they serve.
I would like to cover the following issues as a part of my report today:
- The Passing of Chris Morris
- The Passing of David Bunt
- Station Manager Position
- Technical Issues
- Radio Drama
- The Annual Fundraiser
- Volunteer Training
- New Volunteers
- Outside Broadcasting
- The New Web Page
The Passing of Chris Morris
It is with great sadness to note the passing of one of Coast FM, most passionate volunteers. Chris Morris has directed the path of our station for many years. He was integral in the resurrection of the management structure in 2013. This has set the station on a solid foundation for our future. Chris worked on his passion not only for Coast FM but his long career at the EP radio at Emerton Park. His support for those who had limitations in their lives by producing his weekly his Coast to Coast Aged Request program was received by many with much joy and pleasure. He managed to give so much comfort to so many for many years. I have received many calls at the studio enquiring about his program during the times when Chris was not able to produce it. The experience of been on a tour of Emerton Park with Chris impressed on me the respect that Chris had developed with the people who listen to his programs for many years. Also recalled the time when I met a bloke in Devonport who was the driver of the Cancer treatment bus whose passengers enjoyed the music of the request program with a regular sing-a-long in the bus. Chris has brought so much pleasure to so many during his radio career – I would like to thank him for his service. He could not achieve this effort without the support of his wife Kath. I would like to thank her for the support for Chris’ radio passion. Chris (Beaver) will be sadly missed from our ranks.
The Passing of David Bunt
As mentioned in last year’s report – David Bunt had retired from his duties at Coast FM and moved into a retirement village in Sydney. I recently received the sad news that David Bunt had also passed away. He was an extraordinary member of Coast FM, who added his commercial radio skill set to many areas of the stations operations. I would like to thank him for his contribution and also to the support from his wife Margaret.
Station Manager Appointment
I have had the pleasure of being appointed the Station Manager of Coast FM by the board of governance recently. It has improved my ability to network with many other groups across the coast and the country. I appreciate the faith of the board in appointing me to this position. To re-focus my efforts to promote the station and raise its awareness to many other sectors is a challenge. I see that there is a need for prioritising our promotional efforts without losing touch with our existing productions. With only a small group of active volunteers we need to generate the best benefit for our effort, whether it is in fundraising, outside broadcasting, or developing projects such as infrastructural improvements to our studio such as the new toilet facilities. I hope as we continue to serve our community the appointment of station manager will extend the network with to different groups to continue to raise our profile amongst the population of the NW coast. To explain the possible “conflict of interest” between the position of dual chairperson and station manager role – if an issue of possible conflict should occur during a meeting of the board – I would of course let the Vice Chairperson take over control of the board meeting during the discussion of that issue and not take part in any decision of that part of the meeting.
The station relies on its technology but with a 24/7 operation there is often a breakdown every now and then. One such issue occurred last October with the loss of our on air mixer in Studio 2 that had been in operation for over 7 years without a glitch. As this equipment is an expensive part of the “transmission chain” of any station it is great that we could easily switch to a backup with similar equipment in studio 1. This unfortunately took out our production studio. I would like to thank the Waratah – Wynyard Council for their grant to fund half of the repair costs. There were some issues with sourcing parts but we have eventually put studio 2 back into service early this year. I would like to thank those who normally use this studio for their patience until this resource came back on line.
Other technical improvements made through the last 12 months include the installation of the drama production studio, the mobile outside broadcast vehicle and the internet connection to the Devonport transmitter site. I would like to recognise the contribution of his practical skill and wisdom by Mat who tends to the technical issues that have arisen during this time.
Saturday Radio Drama
The launch into Radio Drama by Coast FM and the local theatre group Squid Inc has proven to be very popular. As a person who basically missed the era of radio drama in the 30s, 40s and 50s I have always been passionate about the use of radio technology to broadcast radio drama. A positive effect of the COVID–19 pandemic halting the performance of live theatre was to shift it back to the airwaves of Coast FM. I would like to thank Christina and Nick from Squid Inc. for gathering the cast, the plays, the auditions etc. for making the performances possible. I extend my thanks to Mat and Danny for the contributions to the technical side of the production. It has been great to see this hall back in use as a production studio after many years neglect. The actors who performed have increased their skill set as vocal actors – using only their voices to project the acting talent. It always amazes me that the NW has so many talented people in its community. The third season is in production at this moment and I would invite you all to experience for yourself 5pm Saturday afternoon here on your radio station from the first Saturday in October for 4 weeks
The Station Fundraiser
It has been good to see the enthusiasm of our volunteers to organise the station fundraiser on the 15th of October at the Wharf Hotel. It is great to be able to seek support from our community that does not rely on sponsorship and grants. Deb, Dianne and Gina have worked hard to bring about the makings of a great night to generate much needed funds to keep our station operating. I would, on behalf of the board thank them for their contribution to the fundraiser.
Please make certain you have your tickets and may you enjoy the event.
It is one thing to have the professional facilities of our radio station it is another to be able to use them effectively. In the last 12 months some of our board members have undertaken some online training to improve their skill set and knowledge about various aspects of our operation. As an ex-teacher I always let my students know that life is an ongoing learning experience. I have been involved in community radio for over 40 years and I am still learning something new on a daily basis. I am current enrolled in a Community Media Training Organisation (CMTO) course called “Community Broadcasting Market Skill Set”. It is a recognised Australia wide course for community radio. It is filling in the gaps in my knowledge and is also allowing me to network with other stations across Australia to see how they operate and solve the everyday problems they face as we do at Coast FM. I will be encouraging more of “our staff” to invest some of their valuable time to learn more about various aspects of station operations through this form of training.
Denise Anderson has recently re-joined the staff from her experiences in commercial radio in Coffs Harbour. She is offering to assist our staff with their productions efforts. There is always an opportunity to “top up” your bucket of knowledge about radio production.
I would like to thank the following new volunteers who have responded to the call for assistance at our station:
Jacky, Kirsty, Denise Anderson, Alison Breheny
Their contribution to our operation is greatly appreciated
The outside broadcast vehicle has clocked up over 12,000km in its first 12 months. We have supported the following events:
- Tulip Farm – Table Cape – Sat 2nd Oct 2021
- Bendigo Community Bank – Smithton Thurs 28th Oct 2021
- Thank You Day – Ulverstone – Sat 30th Oct 2021
- St Brigid School Fete – Sat 6th Nov 2021
- Rhododendron Garden Birthday – Sun 28th Nov 2021
- Waratah Heritage Weekend Sun 5th Dec 2021
- Christmas Parade – Smithton Fri 10th Dec 2021
- Christmas Market – Penguin Sun 19th Dec 2021
- Christmas Market – Don Wed 22nd Dec 2021
- Christmas Eve – Wynyard – 24th Dec 2021
- Keep it Country Concert – Heybridge Coast Fundraiser – Sun 30th Jan 2022
- Australia Day – Wynyard – 26th Jan 2022
- Meet Roger Janesch to Promote the OB Van Burnie – Wed 16th Feb 2022
- Thank You Day – Ulverstone Showground – Sat 26th Feb 2022
- Neil Diamond Concert Promo – Devonport – Mon 28th Feb 2022
- Wilmot Market Day – Sun 5th March 2022
- Relay for Life – Smithton Football Ground – Sat 19th March 2022
- Relay for Life – Penguin Dial Park – Sat 26th March 2022
- Car Show – Devonport Rotary – Sun 27th Mar 2022
- Eco Festival – Ulverstone – Sat 9th April 2022
- Car Show – Rocky Cape Rotary – Stanley – at 16th April 2022
- Wilmot Heritage Day – Sun 1st May 2022
- Mid-Winter Solstice – Sat 25th June 2022
- Jazz Festival Vinyl Record Market – Sat 30th July 2022
- Penguin Market Christmas in July – Sun 31st July 2022
- Chocolate Festival in Latrobe – Sun 14th Aug 2022
- Tulip Festival in Wynyard – Sat 8th Oct 2022
- Coast FM Fundraiser Wynyard – Sat 15th Oct 2022
- Rhododendron Garden Spring Festival – Sun 16th Oct 2022
- Devonport – Spring Fling at the Bluff – Sun 30th Oct 2022
- Reel Keen Fishing Comp – Port Sorell 21/22 Nov 2022
- Circular Head Show – 26th Nov 2022
- Concert Amongst the Rodos – Jan/Feb 2023
The New Coast FM Page
The New Coast FM Page has received its final touches and is now live on the new domain name www.coastfmtas.au. The old web site www.coastfm.org will operate for some months to allow for a time of changeover. It’s been a long process of configuring a template for our needs but it will have the advantage that it will update CSA automatically, take memberships online, sell merchandise online, have the latest information about programs, events, OBs, sponsor details, streaming and radio on demand. The structure of our page is similar to a number of other community stations but with our own unique information
Coast FM has continued to apply for as many grants as we are qualified for. I recently attended a workshop for grant writing at Sheffield organised by Tasmanian Community Fund and the FRRR. A useful networking exercise. We all went through the process of applying for a fictitious grant with a chance of great success. The FRRR have blessed Coast FM with a $5000 grant to fund the installation of equipment to produce the Saturday Radio Dramas in this hall.
They were also very interested in our Outside Broadcast vehicle and how we use it to promote community awareness. Pictures were taken and suggestions on future grants to fund the solar powered technology for it were also encouraged. It was a great day on which to be able to network with the other participants and spread the word about their local radio station.
Other grants were received from:
- the Kentish Council to perform a Test transmission for Sheffield $2500 it allowed the purchase of the OB generator
- The Wynyard Council cover the partial costs of fixing our Studio 2 mixer $2000 and also contributed to the OB vehicle solar power fund with a further $2000.
- The Community Broadcasting Fund has granted the station $14,166 towards a new mixer to replace one of the on air devices and which will allow the older to retire as a part time production mixer.
I am currently waiting for the results of a grant from Australia Post to upgrade our computer network with a server to improve operator access and efficient use of our current network.
I have also applied for a grant from the CBF to cover the cost of improving our studios with headphone amplifiers, On Air Lights, remote studio devices, cover transmission costs and staff training courses
We have applied for a number of other grants with mixed success – but it doesn’t stop the application process – we rely on technology to keep our station operating.
I can remember 12 months ago that my stated aim was to double the number of sponsors to 80% of our capacity. I have to report that due to the ongoing economic and health situation our current sponsor capacity still lies just above 40%. There have been times in the last 12 months where it hit close to 60% during the election and COVID warning periods but without a permanent sponsorship sales person it has been a bit hit and miss. I will continue to promote the support from our community based sponsors to improve our current level of support. If there is one thing I have learnt from my recent studies it is that a community station needs to keep a clear distinction from its commercial relatives by not relying as heavily on advertising for our financial future. Sponsorship has some benefits but it does have issues of corrupting our community purpose. Our sponsors are a part of the community but they should not influence how we operate as a station for our community. The sponsors need to know that they are supporting the community by supporting Coast FM.
I am also encouraged with the changes made to the station sponsorship commission payment system. We have eliminated ongoing commission payments to people selling our sponsorship. This new financial year will start a new arrangement. From this point our sales people will only receive one payment of 10% of the money collected for the completion of the sponsorship contract. For many years these payments have impacted on the amount that was left in the bank account. If at some time in the future we are able to hire a sponsorship person the board will re-access a system that will encourage bringing in new sponsors while still servicing current sponsors
The stations finances have entered a new era. We have entered the online generation. We now have an accounting system called on Zero – the use of our EFTPOS devices, electronic invoicing, statements and online payments for memberships, donations and merchandise. The days of deposit books, cheque books, face to face banking and the paperwork are now in the past. The aim is to minimise the use of cash and secure transactions to a non-cash environment.
Our treasurer’s experience with this new environment will greatly assist the station’s future.
I would like to conclude my report on a positive note. Our station is moving along at a good pace with some exciting ideas and people to drive them. I will be blessed to help manage the progress of the station into the future.
Chairman – Station Manager – Technician – Presenter
17th September 2022