PRIME7 to relocate in town

PRIME7 is to depart its home of almost half a century and relocate to central Albury.

The station began broadcasting as AMV4 from its Union Road studios on September 7, 1964 in black and white.

But the relocation to a still to be confirmed location will be completed before the 50-year anniversary in Lavington.

The studios, which were home to live programming ranging from the Uncle Ben’s Buddies children’s program to a Sunday morning local sports show, have reached their use-by date.

The station’s local news service was the last live-to-air program to come from the studios and ended in early 2011.

It is now presented from Canberra by Daniel Gibson with the final Albury-based host, Helen Ballard, still on the local reporting team.

PRIME7 uses less than half of its current home and will join local commercial television rivals, WIN and Southern Cross, in central Albury.

WIN’s local news service is also broadcast outside the area in Ballarat.

Station management had the Union Road site valued in late 2010, but plans to move were put on hold.

Prime Media Group chief executive officer Ian Audsley said the relocation of the Albury studios was part of a broader rationalisation of its assets.

“More importantly we want to provide modern and efficient accommodation and facilities to our staff,” he said.

“The current site is tired and not fit for redevelopment for modern television purposes.

“There are more compelling options available in the market and we aim to secure a new office and to relocate within the next three months.”

Mr Audsley said there would be no job losses associated with the relocation and all news, sales and production staff will make the move to central Albury.

“The existing studio complex and land located at 570 Union Road, which is now surplus to PRIME7’s current requirements, will be put up for sale,” he said.

“In 2014, PRIME7 will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting to the region and the new CBD premises will launch an exciting new phase of local television for viewers on the Border and across North East Victoria.”

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