Macquarie Media Limited (ASX: MRN) is an Australian media company, operating radio stations nationally in the capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as regional Queensland, it is based in the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont. It is a publicly listed company, majority owned by Fairfax Media. It also operates news service Macquarie National News.
In January 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression, 2GB and 2UE formed an alliance, Broadcasting Service Association (BSA), to share production facilities for producing radio drama and other locally produced entertainment, which was hugely popular and in better times highly lucrative. The BSA was under joint management of Alfred Edward Bennett and Cecil Vincent Stevenson, managing directors of 2GB and 2UE respectively. That same year, the controlling interest in 2GB was purchased by Denison Estates Ltd. A new board of directors was appointed under chairman Sir Hugh Denison and included A. E. Bennett, who continued as station manager, and Frederick Daniell.
In early February 1937 A. E. Bennett hosted a peak conference of commercial radio interests of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia with a view to expanding the organisation into an inter-state network to secure additional outlets for their material. Those present included Sir John Butters, chairman of BSA, R. E. Denison and Frederick Daniell, representing Denison Estates Ltd.; V. F. Mitchell of 4BC Brisbane; George Bennett, George Millar and Charles A. Fletcher of 2GB Sydney; C. V. Stevenson and Sydney E. Baume (brother of Eric Baume) of 2UE Sydney; John T. Taylor of 3AW Melbourne; Gordon Marsh of 5DN Adelaide; Clive Ogilvy (often mis-spelled Ogilvie) and A. J. "Jack" Ryan of 2CA Canberra; Russell A. Yeldon of 2WL Wollongong; Eric and O. Robinson of 2HR Hunter River; J. J. Armitage and D. R. Armstrong of Broadcasting Service Association Ltd. In November the same year Bennett was sacked by Denison and Butters from both his managerial position with 2GB and as a director of BSA, though public pronouncements had him resigning voluntarily. Harold Gordon Horner, New South Wales manager for the Australian Broadcasting Commission, was appointed to take his place.
In July 1938 Sir Hugh Denison announced a further expansion and reorganisation of the company as the Macquarie Broadcasting Network. with a capital of £250,000. The board consisted of Sir Hugh as chairman, Frederick Daniell as executive director, and George Millar as secretary; other founding directors were R. E. Denison, N. L. Shaw, C. Don Service, and S. S. Crick. H. G. Horner of 2GB, and C. V. Stevenson of 2UE were appointed advisory directors on broadcasting and technical matters respectively. George Anderson of 2GZ was appointed network sales manager. Participating stations in the new network were 2CA Canberra; 2GB and 2UE Sydney; 2WL South Coast; 2HR Hunter River; 3AW Melbourne; 3HA Hamilton; 3TR Sale; 3SH Swan Hill; 4BH Brisbane; 5DN Adelaide; 5RM Renmark; 6PR Perth; 6KG Kalgoorlie. Head office was at Savoy House, 29 Bligh Street, Sydney, and the Melbourne office at 37 Queen Street.
The new company purchased the world-wide transcription business of 2GB and BSA and placed under the direction of Frederick Daniell, with sales managed by Clive Ogilvy and Grace Gibson. The BSA Players were reorganised as the Macquarie Players, with their recording studios "Macquarie Productions" at Pagewood and at 296 Pitt Street and 29 Bligh Street. Contracted actors included James Raglan, Lou Vernon, Peter Finch, Betty Suttor and Harry Dearth. The company became a major shareholder in Australian and New Zealand Theatres, Ltd., which had taken over the entertainment business J. C. Williamson, Ltd., and in Broadcast Enterprises, Ltd., of London. The Radio Theatre Guild was taken over as an organisation for training and developing talent. The record production, cutting and pressing business Featuradio was purchased and reorganised as Australian Record Company under management of Charles H. Gendle.
From inception and until the early 1960s, the network was renowned for its high quality productions of variety programs, quizzes, dramas and serials. Most of these programs emanated from Sydney. As well as being heard on all of the network's stations, right across the country, they were also syndicated to non-network stations. With the coming of television in 1956, the radio audience for these types of programs dropped dramatically. Macquarie stations solved the problem by quickly increasing their news, talk, commentary and current affairs content.
In 1973, a significant year because it was the 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Australia, the Macquarie Network had the following constituent stations: 2GB Sydney; 2CA Canberra; 2PK Parkes; 2WL Wollongong; 3AW Melbourne; 4BH Brisbane; 4BU Bundaberg; 4GY Gympie; 5DN Adelaide; 6IX Perth; 6BY Bunbury; 6MD Merredin; 6WB Katanning; 7HO Hobart.
During the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, there were a number of other commercial radio networks, another key one being the Major Network. Other former radio networks include: Federal Network; Associated Broadcasters of Australia; AWA Broadcasting. There were also a number of State-based networks.
By the late 1980s Macquarie had become Australia's only national commercial radio network. However, during the last three decades, a number of new networks have arisen, including the Macquarie Regional RadioWorks, unrelated to the Macquarie Radio Network. In 2007, 13 networks owned or controlled 80 per cent of the 261 Australian commercial radio stations
In 2010, Macquarie entered a joint venture with Pacific Star Network to relaunch Melbourne radio station 3MP as MTR 1377. On 2 March 2012, MTR ceased operations when Pacific Star was unable to pay any monies owed to Macquarie.
On 31 August 2011, Macquarie acquired the Smart Radio Network which encompasses 4VL, Triple CCC FM, 4HI, 4ZR, 4LM, 4SB and Hot Country network at a cost of $6 million. These stations are part of Macquarie Regional Radio, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Macquarie Radio Network.
In December 2014, Macquarie announced that it had agreed to a merger with Fairfax Media. Under the deal, Fairfax will gain a 55% share in the Macquarie Radio Network, with Macquarie's existing shareholders holding the remaining 45%. To comply with legislation only allowing two radio licences to be held by one party in each market, stations 2CH and 4LM will be sold. The merger was completed in March 2015.
In April 2015, a number of programming changes occurred at Macquarie's stations. At 4BC Brisbane, Breakfast presenters Ian Skippen and Loretta Ryan, Mornings host Patrick Condren, Nights host Walter Williams and Weekend Breakfast presenter Murray Shoring were axed, as well as sister Magic 882 Nights presenter Jo Henderson. In total, 18 positions were cut, and programming replaced by networked shows from 2GB and 2UE. In Sydney, 2UE's afternoon announcer Angela Catterns was axed, as was the entire newsroom, and the station's news services were replaced by the Macquarie's national news service - while in Melbourne all of Magic 1278's lineup and most of the production team was cut.
On 30 October 2015, it was announced the company had divested its regional assets, selling eight radio stations to Resonate Broadcasting. On 6 November, it was announced that all of Magic 882's programming - with the exception of nights - would be networked from Magic 1278 in Melbourne.
On 10 November 2015, the company changed its name to Macquarie Media Limited.
News. Talk. Sport.
|Sydney, New South Wales||News talk|
|Melbourne, Victoria||News talk|
|Brisbane, Queensland||News talk|
|Perth, Western Australia||News talk|
|NTS||DAB+ 9A (Sydney)
|Sydney, New South Wales
Perth, Western Australia
|News talk||Formerly Fairfax Radio NTS|
|Talking Lifestyle 954||954 AM
|Sydney, New South Wales||Lifestyle||Formerly branded as 2UE, which is still the official call-sign|
|Talking Lifestyle 1278||1278 AM
|Melbourne, Victoria||Lifestyle||Formerly Magic 1278. The official call-sign is 3EE|
|Talking Lifestyle 882||882 AM
|Brisbane, Queensland||Lifestyle||Formerly branded as Magic 882 and 4BH, the latter still being the official call-sign|
Stations formerly owned-and-operated, and divested since 2012
|MTR 1377||1377 AM
|Melbourne, Victoria||News talk||Closed in 2012. The station, call-sign 3MP, reverted to being a music station under the marketing name of Classic Rock Radio||Joint venture with Pacific Star Network|
|Hot Country Radio||1611 AM||Dalby, Queensland||Country music||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
|Sydney, New South Wales||Oldies
|Due to ACMA regulation, in January 2017 the station was sold to a consortium of Oceania Capital Partners, Glenn Wheatley and John Williams|
|Triple C FM||101.7 FM||Charleville, Queensland||Adult contemporary||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
|4HI||1143 AM||Emerald, Queensland||Classic hits||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
|4LM||666 AM||Mount Isa, Queensland||Classic hits||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
|4SB||1071 AM||Kingaroy, Queensland||Classic hits||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
|4VL||918 AM||Charleville, Queensland||Classic hits||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
|4ZR||1476 AM||Roma, Queensland||Classic hits||Sold to Resonate Broadcasting in November 2015|
Macquarie Media Syndication distributes radio content via satellite to various Australian radio stations. Currently, 61 shows are distributed.
Sport and special events
Fairfax Media Limited ... today announced the completion of the merger of its Fairfax Radio Network ... with Macquarie Radio Network ...