CRA plays the blame game at digital radio event

By Patrick Avenell

A visibly frustrated Joan Warner today blamed the former federal government, a wayward infrastructure timeline and the print media for the delays in active start-up to digital radio in Australia. Warner, who is CEO of Commercial Radio Australia CRA, resorted to sarcasm and vitriol as she fielded questions on the new radio format at a media event today in Sydney.

After it was announced yesterday that the switch-on date for digital radio in Australia was being pushed back around five months to 1 May 2009, Warner attributed the setback to a range of external factors, whilst not accepting any responsibility for the delays.

“It’s not our fault,” Warner responded sarcastically. “Pick a villain, but it’s not us.”

This came after she had highlighted the lack of funding from the Federal Government and criticized the media for its handling of yesterday’s announcement.

“There’s nothing wrong with the technology, as was reported yesterday,” said Warner.

The 1 May rollout only applied to the five mainland state capitals, and there is no proposed date for the 8.6 million Australians that live elsewhere. When asked about this, Warner blamed both the current and former federal governments for not financially supporting the format in the same manner it supported digital television.

“Until we get Federal funding we can’t move into regional,” said Warner.

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