Things couldn’t be more ‘JOY’ful at Australia’s only LGBTQI radio station. Plans are afoot for a new show to debut on JOY 94.9 in April 2020. JOY announced, earlier this week, that they had received significant financial support to fund the new breakfast show.
The JOY Breakfast Show will go live on JOY 94.9 and DAB+ radio and will be streamed globally via iHeart Radio and JOY.ORG.AU on weekdays from 6.30am to 9.00am.
Star Observer spoke to Ange Barry, who took over as CEO of JOY in August 2019. She shared details of the plans for the new show and the organisation.
“JOY Patrons, Geoffrey Smith and Gary Singer have provided funds for two paid breakfast presenters to host the show… JOY Breakfast will be a station driven program, presented by the co-hosts, and supported by a team of volunteers, including producers, a social media team and an outside broadcast team.
“The show will feature a consistent format and sound across weekdays, with an upbeat, national focus bringing news, music, interviews and entertainment to our 580,000+ monthly listeners and podcast consumers.
“Building on our diversity and independence, we will engage with our listeners to create a community conversation around the issues that matter most to the LGBTIQA+ and broader Australian community,” says Barry.
The donation is one of the largest in a community radio in Australia. JOY plans to cover employment costs towards the two hosts for two years, in turn hoping the show will attract ongoing sponsorship to generate funds and make the show sustainable in the future.
“Investing in independent community media enables the voices of not only the LGBTIQA+ community and our allies, but also the voices of the broader Australian community to be heard on issues that would not usually be of interest to commercial media. This ability to contribute to a broader conversation in Australia today is critical in maintaining a truly democratic society and prevents public commentary from being controlled by vested interests,” Barry muses.
The challenges in running a community media organisation cannot be overstated. Barry, a qualified accountant and former general manager of a Melbourne-based Plenty Valley Community Radio, was brought in by JOY for her experience in the corporate sector as well as income generation for non-profits.
“Community media requires substantial time, equipment and funds to maintain services to the public. The challenges of running an organisation such as JOY often centre around providing our team with the support they require to do their fantastic work – usually in the form of funds and equipment.
“We continually seek the support of our community, members, government, corporates and philanthropy to assist us in this journey,” says Barry, adding, “More recently JOY has commenced providing services to workplaces including podcasting and training, with the aim of spreading our message of diversity and inclusivity. This work is crucial to our survival and we welcome any organisation to contact our team to see how we can support their journey.”
The new breakfast show is expected to play a crucial role in turning the tide for JOY, which celebrated 25 years of being on the airwaves in 2019.
“The breakfast show is important to JOY because it gives us the opportunity to create a consistent sound that our listeners will recognise and engage with on their journey each day. We hope to build a sense of family with our audience with familiar hosts who can join them in starting their day off with a great conversation!… We aim to have an interactive program that reflects the voices of the LGBTIQA+ community and our allies.”
Barry says she feels “truly at home” at JOY and has plans for the future of the radio station.
“In the eight months I believe we have created a more connected JOY family, with a positive outlook on the future. I have enjoyed engaging with JOY’s team members and our stakeholders to discuss our future plans and prepare for the move to our new home at the Pride Centre.
“In addition to the move, JOY is on a journey to build our financial sustainability – a project we have dubbed “JOY Nation” where we are working on generating income streams by sharing our content with a wide audience to build a more inclusive Australia – more to follow!!”
If you are interested in hosting the JOY Breakfast show, apply here.