RNZ Concert and the new documents of the RNZ music station revealed
New details have been revealed regarding RNZ’s multimedia youth radio station that was proposed to replace RNZ Concert on FM.
Government intervention and public outcry last month led the public broadcaster to put its plan to automate Concert on hold after a separate frequency was found for the proposed youth media service.
The plan announced last month would have seen RNZ Concert cut FM frequencies by May 29, cutting 17 jobs, including all presenter roles.
These would be replaced by 13 jobs on the new youth platform, while four would have remained in the RNZ Concert and RNZ Music service in Wellington.
The management of RNZ released the music strategy papers after requests under the Official Information Act.
A presentation to the board last October said that while the audience size would be the same, around 160,000, the new station would represent a net increase in RNZ’s reach as most of its users would not be not already RNZ listeners.
The proposal for “RNZ Music v 2.0” was presented as an opportunity to increase RNZ’s audience among 18 to 35 year olds, potentially adding 127,000 additional listeners.
The documents showed that this was seen as essential to achieving the goal of reaching “1 in 2 New Zealanders” by 2023.
A December business case assessed the risk of a negative “audience and stakeholder” response to the plan as “high”.
To counter a negative response from the music industry, it raised the prospect of finding a prominent music industry figure to support her and possibly write an “editorial”.
Newspapers revealed a launch date in August 2020, with plans to create 13 new roles, including presenters from the same audience the station would appeal to.
After Concert’s automation plan was withdrawn, RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said RNZ would develop a new strategy for Concert to improve its audience, while also working with the government on the new youth service. .
However, the costs of plans to maintain the premiere and create a new station have remained unclear, even as the government continues its plan to dismantle RNZ and TVNZ in favor of building a new public broadcasting entity.