Radio station goes ‘mainstream’
A devil-may-care radio station with ‘‘no DJS, no requests and no commercials’’ is planning a more ‘‘mainstream’’ venture.
Residents of Blenheim and Renwick, in Marlborough, will soon be able to jam out to more popular music once Brian FM starts up its new sister radio station.
Brian FM played nothing but music 24 hours a day, with a rotation of 2500 songs, punctuated by short bits of Kiwi tongue-incheek humour.
But in an emergency, Civil Defence could interrupt transmissions of Brian FM using its own radio to broadcast messages.
But those not normally tuned into the station – 100.9FM in Blenheim – had to go there to hear emergency messages.
Marlborough District Council emergency services manager Brian Paton said Brian FM’S new radio station would help the region’s emergency broadcast system as new users would already be tuned into the station.
‘‘It will have the ability to broadcast our emergency messages over that channel as well, and because it’s a more mainstream one, we’re expecting a lot more people to plug into it,’’ Paton said.
Brian FM needed the council’s approval to add additional equipment to their building on the Wither Hills, on the southern edge of Blenheim, which would allow them to broadcast their new station.
The Wither Hills had a designation over them restricting radio communications in that location to emergency and council services, Paton said.
As Brian FM contributed to utility and emergency services in Marlborough, it was able to broadcast from the Wither Hills, he said.
The designation was created to protect the ability of these services to operate communications systems without interference from others.
If this was allowed to occur, too many communications facilities in one place could create interference, which may render some communication facilities unreliable.
Brian FM’S new radio station was not expected to impact communication facilities.
The radio station was originally set up in Blenheim in February, 2013, on a frequency that did not reach a large area.
It relaunched in March, 2014, on a new frequency to enhance the mystique of its broadcaster ‘Brian’, whose identity remains a mystery.
While Brian FM did not have a marketing budget, it did accept ‘‘big fat cheques’’ from donors,’’ according to its website.
The new station was the first phase in Brian FM’S three-phase plan to provide coverage to Marlburians who had traditionally struggled to receive radio broadcasts.
Brian FM currently broadcasts into Blenheim, Picton, Havelock, Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, Seddon and the Awatere Valley, as well as some other select regions in the North and South islands.
Future plans include moving both Okiwi Bay and Picton radio transmitters to a higher site, and