From its humble beginnings in 1938, Midwest Radio Network has grown to be a global player in online news media while maintaining its root involvement in regional broadcasting.
Digital Media - Online News
Midwest Radio Network operates more than 100 eNewspapers on behalf of Big News Network. Each stand-alone, interactive news portal , has been developed over the past decade utilising software created by Midwest's in-house developers and programmers.The network of eNewspapers services the world's major regions, countries, cities, U.S. states, as well as industry, business and sports sectors.
Midwest Radio Network operates broadcasting stations 2LT and Move FM servicing Lithgow, Bathurst and the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, (Australia). The network plans in 2017 to activate translator broadcasting stations in the Blue Mountains extending its coverage. The group through an associate company is also one of the largest shareholders in Irish FM network iRadio which covers 15 counties throughout the Northwest, Northeast and Midlands areas of Ireland.
The concept of a network of online newspapers, now operated by Midwest Radio Network, was developed in 2000 as part of the then-evolving Big News Network, which comprises in addition to its signature Big News Network.com portal, a complete directory of News. Net sites comprising every major region, country, city, U.S. state and business industry in the world. The directory of News.Net sites, powered by Big News Network content was to be complemented by a smaller range of premier sites devoted to the most-frequently searched-for locations for news. Extensive research was conducted to identify these locations and a list of 115 locations comprising some of the largest and most populated regions, countries, and cities as well as U.S. states were selected to be part of this network. The concept was to develop the sites in a newspaper format with newspaper type names (herald, sun, telegraph, star, times and so on). Research then took place to establish appropriate names for each location. Names similar to existing newspapers or other news media, or any media, were eliminated. In some cases multiple names were earmarked for registration to establish a choice of names and also to pre-empt similar sites being established. Around September 2002 most of these domains were registered. From that point development was underway to establish the network of sites. In 2003 the sites began to be launched. In 2011 some 15 industry sites, a business portal, and a sports site, were added to the collection. In 2012 the sites, which had to this point been operated independently, were revamped and brought in under the Big News Network umbrella, the final step in the evolution of the Big News Network concept which had begun in 1998.
Broadcasting station 2LT was launched in 1938 as part of the Macquarie Broadcasting Network by Midwest Radio Network Pty Ltd (then named Lithgow Broadcasters Pty Ltd). In 1996 Kiss FM (now 107.9 Move) was launched on the 95.3 MHz frequency. In the early 2000s the then-Australian Broadcasting Tribunal took back the 95.3 frequency and allocated a new frequency of 107.9 as the 95.3 frequency was required for a new Sydney station. The 95.3 frequency was sold at auction by the tribunal on 15 April 2004 for $106 million to DMG Radio Australia which used the frequency to launch Vega FM, since re-branded 95.3 Sydney's FM. The ABA in return awarded two FM frequencies to the Midwest group to operate translator stations in Katoomba and the Blue Mountains. Lengthy delays in activating the stations have occurred largely due to extensive delays in works planned for the tower on which the antenna supporting the services is to be erected and inadequate power and radiation pattern specifications permitted by the Australian Media and Communications Authority. The company has requested a variation to these specifications and a decision is pending. The restoration of the tower is expected to be completed in 2017. The serviceability of broadcasting in the Blue Mountains has been a challenging exercise for broadcasters over several decades. The terrain is difficult to reach on a consistent and serviceable basis. The company remains committed to overcoming these challenges and is hopeful of having the services become fully operational in 2017. Midwest Radio has also applied to the ACMA to convert its traditional 2LT station from AM to FM. In November 2013 the company through associated company Big News Network FZ LLC acquired a 10% interest in Ireland's iRadio, an FM radio network operating on frequencies of 96.9, 102, 194, 105 and 107 FM, covering the counties of Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Donegal, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan.
Hotel Reservations Service
Since 2000 Midwest Radio Network Pty Ltd has owned and operated the hotel reservations portal Hotel Reservations.cx which facilitates bookings for accommodation properties utilising the inventory of Expedia, Travel Now and other providers which comprises some 44,000 accommodation properties worldwide. The portal is not a significant part of Midwest Radio Network's operations.