November 22, 2021
Changes in the leadership of the South Burnett’s largest community radio station CROW-FM have worked out well, guests at the radio station’s Annual General Meeting heard on Thursday.
The departure of long-standing CEO Chris “Corky” Corcoran and board chair John Box at the end of last year created two significant gaps in the station’s governance line-up.
But Chantal Harth – who stepped into Corky’s role – has turned out to be an excellent replacement; and former South Burnett councillor Ros Heit has done a similar job as the station’s new chair.
Corky’s departure also caused a major change in the station’s line-up, with former drive-time announcer Shaz Birkett moving into the breakfast slot, and announcer Matt Collins taking over Shaz’s afternoon shift.
However, the AGM heard that both had quickly found their feet in the new roles and the outcome was evident in CROW-FM’s end-of-year results, which showed improvements across all sectors despite ongoing issues associated with the COVID pandemic.
The meeting was told one of the chief issues affecting the station during the past year was the cancellation or postponement of many long-standing local events.
This had limited CROW-FM’s opportunities to run outside broadcasts and its ability to publicise upcoming community activities.
Another was reduced retail activity, due partly to COVID effects, which had impacted many sectors of the region’s economy.
Several technical issues – ranging from air-conditioning problems at the station’s transmitter through to the introduction of new computer systems and software – had also posed challenges at various times.
But despite these things, the station recorded a positive result in its accounts, up on the previous year.
It was also anticipating an even better 2022 as the situation gradually became normal.
Chair Ros Heit congratulated CROW’s full-time staff and the many volunteers who worked at the station on a job well done.
She said CROW’s results indicated the important role community-owned local media played in the South Burnett.
Ros was reappointed chair for 2022, along with vice-chair Winston Burrows, secretary Andrea Steele and treasurer David Sewell.
Cr Kirstie Schumacher, Felicity Jorgensen and Andrew Hobbs were reappointed as Board members.