December 13, 2012
A phone call this week has brought some good news for Cherbourg radio station 4UM – Us Mob … after broadcasting for 14 years (or even longer if earlier trials are counted), the station has been granted a permanent broadcasting licence.
“We received a call from the Australian Communications and Media Authority who said we have been allocated a long-term licence,” station manager Jeanette Brown told southburnett.com.au.
Jeanette said the station originally started on a narrowcast licence but then was upgraded to a Temporary Community Broadcast Licence (TCBL).
About 12 months ago, ACMA put out expressions of interest for TCBL holders to upgrade to permanent licences; 4UM applied at the end of November and the decision came back almost immediately.
Jeanette said the permanent licence would allow the station to make long-term plans and maybe even apply down the track to increase its power output to make its signal accessible to a greater area.
The new licence is expected to come into effect in June.
Radio 4UM has three full-time announcers and also takes feeds from the National Indigenous Radio Service.
Operations consultant Michael Monk, who has been training 4UM staff on new software, said he believed another long-term aim of the station was to increase local content, including perhaps outside broadcasts.
Radio in Cherbourg has a long history. During the early 1990s, broadcasts were trialled from Cherbourg’s old courthouse building.
Then broadcasts were made from a former ABC broadcast van using various temporary callsigns.
In 1998, the name “Us Mob” was registered with ACMA and a temporary narrowcast licence was granted for radio broadcasts on 87.8FM. The TCBL was granted in 2007 and the broadcast frequency was changed to the current frequency, 94.1FM.