After five years of Broadcasting with the various "A "Class Stations under various systems of control, the Commonwealth Government decided the future policy must be one of general consolidation.
The National Broadcasting Service was then brought into being. and the Australian Broadcasting Company Limited was given the task of providing the programmes in every State, upon the expiry of control held by the various contractors, under the old system.
First 2FC Sydney then 3L0 Melbourne, came under the new system, followed at short intervals by 2BL Sydney, 3AR Melbourne, 6WF Perth, 5CL Adelaide, and 4QG Brisbane, and, finally, 7ZL Hobart.
The establishment of Relay Stations in certain key centres is a gradual process for the future, and these will not be the subject of review in this Year Book.
Looking back over the first year of our stewardship we feel that it has been one of organisation, expansion and development. The keynote of our activities has been service to the public. We have endeavored to serve all interests, and while the complexities of administration spread over such a vast area as Australia has made our task difficult, nevertheless we claim that out first year's work has been successful. This assertion is not made in a spirit of self-complacence. We have not been free from criticism - no successful Broadcasting system ever will be - but the fact that we have not only retained the large clientele that came over with the establishment of the National Service, but have increased the listeners in every State, is the best proof that our work has been approved by the listening public, who have appreciated the magnitude of our task of reorganisation.
The first twelve months of the Australian Broadcasting Company 's contract was one of the most difficult in the history of the Commonwealth. We had to face a very definite hostility to the new method of centralised control of Broadcasting, the natural disturbance by our taking possession of the Stations, and, above all, the severe financial depression. Then it was necessary to organise what was to be done under the new allocation of percentages of licence fees. Under the old contracts our predecessors had the control of both programmes and mechanical operations, and this gave them a far larger revenue to cover their programmes. They also received advertising revenue. The National Service placed the programmes only under our control, and the mechanical operations under the Postmaster-General's Department. In the allotment of proportions of the licence fee. it was necessary for the Government to cover the growth of its mechanical services together with the provision for the establishment of Relay Stations. This meant a lesser sum available for programmes. We believed, however, that with concentrated effort, success could attend our efforts with the amount available, and by carefully reorganising the work of each State the programme services gradually improved to a point where they can be said to be giving satisfaction.
Throughout the year, Mr. H..P. Brown, Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs, and his staff of officials, have given us every possible assistance and co-operation. Skeptics forecast constant friction under the system of dual control, but these critics have been confounded. The first year has been one of harmonious working, which should augur well for the future success of the National Broadcasting Service.
In undertaking the supply of Broadcasting programmes for the whole continent, it has been our objective to recognise that a National Service must know no State boundaries. We have met some criticism on this score, but those who make protest must realise that Broadcasting is to play a very big part in the future development of our empty spaces. By making available to our settlers in the back country some of the pleasures and services close to the doors of the more favoured dwellers in our cities and towns, we feel that we are making Broadcasting a truly National organisation.
From a financial point of view our first year has not been a profitable one, but this will not deter our policy of expansion in the future. It would have been possible for us to have created a surplus on the year's workings, but we decided to expend additional money in improved programmes instead. It should please listeners to know that although we have had to carry losing Stations in some of the smaller States, we have actually spent more money on programmes in every Station than the old controllers.
We look to the future with confidence. We enter upon the new year of our contract with renewed diligence and zeal. We think those who have co-operated with us in the first year of Our labours. We thank those who, while not seeing eye to eye with all that we have done, have still helped us with constructive criticism.
We ask listeners to remember that while individual items may. not always please them, these are fulfilling the wants of someone else in the community.
If Broadcasting is accepted upon the generous basis that, like a newspaper, there are diversified interests to be served, then the second year of our activities will be even more pleasant than thc first.
STUART F. DOYLE Chairman of Directors.