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RNZ board welcomes government support for Concert radio

Feb 11, 2020

RNZ chairman Dr Jim Mather says he welcomes the government's decision to look at freeing up additional FM transmission frequency for its Concert station.

Last week it was announced RNZ is proposing to remove Concert from its FM frequencies and transform it into an automated nonstop music station, which will stream online and play on AM radio.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was frustrated by RNZ's decision, and would draw up a plan to keep the station running.

Today the RNZ board released a statement thanking the government for exploring options for a multi media music brand.

"The board of RNZ takes seriously its Charter obligations to provide a public media service for all New Zealanders and, as part of that, we remain committed to the new multi-media brand and its exciting range of innovative offerings beyond simply music targeting young people," Dr Maher said.

"To date we have been restricted to two FM transmission networks to serve the diverse audiences specified in the RNZ Charter.

"This is an excellent opportunity as it will allow RNZ to launch a multi-media music brand for younger people on multiple platforms including FM while continuing to provide a classical music service broadcast on FM and other platforms.

"The Board of RNZ continues to be committed to ensuring that the public broadcaster is relevant to as broad a range of New Zealanders - age, income and ethnicity - as possible and this requires us to broaden our appeal beyond our current loyal audiences.

"We are particularly excited by the opportunity to provide a platform for New Zealand artists to share their unique talents in a way that will also complement our existing range of online services. One of the key goals of this new brand is to play local content at higher levels than commercial broadcasters."

RNZ's decision drew the ire of many high level New Zealanders, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

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