Regional broadcaster GWN7 is celebrating its 50th birthday today, Friday March 10.
The Golden West Network sprang to life from BTW-3 Bunbury when a group of shareholders shared a vision for what was then South Western Telecasters.
Launching with just 12 staff, BTW was located where GWN7 is today – Roberts Crescent in Bunbury. The station originally went to air with just five hours of programming every evening from 5pm.
The station grew from that initial station to expand broadcasting coverage across the entire regional area of Western Australia, an area of around 2.5m square kilometres, later incorporating VEW-8 Kalgoorlie, GTW-11 Geraldton and relays GSW-9 Mount Barker, GSW-10 Albany and VEW-3 Kambalda.
Jack Bendat purchased South West Telecasters in 1979, and changed the company’s name to Golden West Network (GWN). Prime Television later purchased GWN in 1996, from Kerry Stokes, rebranding as GWN7 in 2011. Operations are now based in Canberra.
GWN7 sales manager David Emerson said: “I am honoured to be a member of the GWN7 team, especially during this 50th anniversary year. We are proud to have made such a significant contribution to the lives of regional Western Australians over five decades, and prouder still they have continued to support us so strongly. This is demonstrated so clearly in the tremendous success of GWN7 News, and our programming schedule in general.”
This week Prime Media boss Ian Audsley raised concerns about the risk of losing regional news bulletins without urgent media reform.