KordaMentha called in to recheck the pulse of regional media

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The federal communications department spent more than $99,000 seeking a second opinion on the state of Australia’s struggling regional broadcasting sector after an initial report proposed regulatory reform.

Advisory firm KordaMentha was hired by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication last November to conduct ‘independent research or assessment’ on regional broadcasters, including WIN Corp, Prime Media Group and Southern Cross Austereo, three months after a report was completed by retired PwC partner and media and telecommunications industry leader Megan Brownlow.

The Morrison government commissioned two reports on the regional broadcasting sector in six months.

The Morrison government commissioned two reports on the regional broadcasting sector in six months.Credit:Jessica Hromas

In her report, Ms Brownlow agreed with the view of regional broadcasting executives, laying out the dire state of the sector and a need for regulatory change to prevent closures in the near-term, which can be defined as the next 12-18 months.

Sources familiar with the report’s findings said Ms Brownlow, who was paid $11,200 for the research, set out a list of recommendations including the removal of media laws, which would allow for mergers and acquisitions in television, print and radio to salvage regional newsrooms.

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