A REDUCTION to radio programming from Wodonga has been defended by one of the ABC's senior managers.
The public broadcaster's head of regional, rural and emergency Hugh Martin said the change to Victoria-wide hosting after 9am on weekdays from next year was driven by listeners.
He was commenting at a broadcast at Wodonga's Junction Place on Thursday to mark 90 years since ABC Goulburn Murray first hit the airwaves as 2CO.
"The rationale is continuing to move with broad audience demand," Mr Martin said.
"We've seen over 90 years that the ABC has always tried to adapt and move with what audiences want, whether it's from a technological point of view or our programming works."
The shift will see Sandra Moon's breakfast show end at 9am and Alice Walker's 10am to 11am program axed.
Ms Walker will now contribute to the statewide show.
"I know that Alice is a wonderful presenter and reporter and the team up here do a terrific job and they will continue to produce really great stories for Goulburn Murray audiences through this program," Mr Martin said.
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The national chief said ABC Riverina would continue to provide programming from Wagga between 9am and 10am weekdays for "the foreseeable future".
Mr Martin, who travelled from Ballarat for Thursday's milestone, was impressed to learn of the story of 2CO helping to guide the Uiver to an emergency landing in Albury during the 1934 London to Melbourne air race.
It was one of many historical reflections, with a former stringer from Jerilderie, Merrill Boyd, telling how she was paid $1.75 for a story and the station's longest-living past employee Jean Whitla recalling her role in tracking down a killer.
Mrs Whitla was given the task of marking the anniversary by raising a cupcake which then prompted a rendition of Happy Birthday.
Other on-air guests included member for Indi Helen Haines and councillors John Watson, of Wodonga, and Alice Glachan, of Albury.
ABC Goulburn Murray's longest serving employee, chief of staff Gaye Pattison, who joined the then CO-FM in 1993, was rapt at the reaction to the occasion.
"It's wonderful to see such a turnout of people to celebrate with us," Ms Pattison said.
"We've been there when there's been celebrations and commiserations and we've been fortunate to be witnesses to history."
The station debuted on AM radio on December 16,1931, with a grand launch at Corowa's Literary Institute with the NSW town reflected in the 2CO callsign.
Since then it has had homes in Albury and Wodonga, changed names and radio bands and gone online.
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