Coonamble Times

Creating New Revenue Streams

It was 2017, and Lee O’Connor had set her sights on saving The Coonamble Times, an old-school local newspaper covering a substantial portion of rural northern NSW. Lee had a strong sense of the importance of regional newspapers as stewards of local history, and this publication had an archive so extensive that the community had built an underground bunker to keep it safe.

Dating back to 1895, Lee recognised that she needed to modernise the business, but it was not all plain sailing, with a drought hitting the region, followed by some major bushfires, and then Covid.  However, Lee wasn’t about to let lockdown stand in the way of the progress she was keen to achieve.

The Challenge

Having revamped the website into a modern media service and created an App to deliver a just-in-time local news service, Lee set her sights on creating a Podcasting Service. However, The Coonamble Times operated from a significant historic building, and that created some major barriers when it came to constructing the soundproof studio required to produce professional podcasts.

Our Solution

Lee contacted us to explore the potential to use our pods within the building to create a podcast studio. We were delighted to be able to assist. Working with iOctanePods, the team considered multiple possible uses for the space that would allow the Pod to become a revenue stream in its own right, and provide a valuable community space as well as a professional podcast studio.

Project Summary

  • Pods can be used to provide a high-quality soundproof space for podcasting and interviews for the newspaper, and then double as a bookable resource for the community
  • Pods are ideal for use in a sensitive heritage setting where construction and building works would be difficult and costly.
  • Pods can be designed and specified to meet a client’s budgetary constraints.
Transformed Open Plan Office

“It’s important that we create a viable and strong business, and like so many traders in the region, we have created multiple revenue streams – like the local newsagent who is also the gun shop and Indian Takeaway. We knew we’d need to offer a variety of services to the community in one place.”

“It’s fantastic to see our community use the Pod in ways we didn’t expect, like the university students who could sit exams remotely while in lockdown. We have a space for interviews, and when I need some quiet time to think, it’s perfect.”

Lee O’Connor (General Manager)

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