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Neighbourhood > Places > PirateNet Radio Station

PirateNet Radio Station 2009-2011, 2013-
Address: 5 Goulburn Street, Erinsborough, Victoria, 9571
Owners: The Robinson Foundation (2010), Erinsborough & District Schools (2010-2014), Paul Robinson (2014-)
Managers: Zeke Kinski (2010-2011), Melissa Evans (2009-2010)
DJs/Presenters: Sophie Ramsay (2010-), Callum Jones (2010-), Donna Freedman (2010), Leigh Drysdale (2010), Virginia Kay (2009), Sunny Lee (2009), Karl Kennedy (2009, 2010), Zeke Kinski (2009-2010)
Guests: Lily Allen (2009)

Radio station, PirateNet was first seen on screen in April 2009 when Zeke Kinski began broadcasting his show as Lost Boy. Located in a warehouse by the local skate park, the location of the then supposedly secret PirateNet studio was known to almost all of the Ramsay Street residents and is surprisingly able to book guests such as Lily Allen. Zeke was joined by various people on his radio show, including his stepfather, Karl, who had his own phone-in medical slot, and Zeke's Korean girlfriend Sunny, who partnered him as 'Found Girl'.

In 2010 following two articles regarding 'Lost Boy' Zeke Kinski which raised attention to the underground radio station, PirateNet was forced to shut down after its backers withdrew their support, as did the landlord who was letting them use the space rent free. Looking for ways to increase cash flow to support his other businesses, including the Erinsborough News whose distribution was flagging, Paul Robinson saw an opportunity when Zeke mentioned that the station had tens of thousands of subscribers and as a commercial radio station would have been extremely successful. Unable to own two media outlets, Paul set up the Robinson Foundation and announced that it, with his wife Rebecca as Chief Executive Officer, had purchased the station.

Later that year, after Declan Napier and Toadfish Rebecchi discovered that Paul had embezzled $100,000 from Lassiter's in order the bolster the station due to falling ratings and advertising, Toadie convinced Paul to distance himself from the station in a bid to protect Rebecca who as CEO would have been liable for receiving the fraudulent payments, despite being unaware of them. After finally convincing Rebecca to put the station up for sale, an outcry from the public caused Zeke Kinski and his friends to organise a radiothon asking people to sponsor the station until a new buyer could be found, however it ended in disaster as Paul used the event to get revenge on Toadie for attempting to double cross him with his boss, Diana Marshall, by broadcasting a telephone recording of Steph Scully telling Dan Fitzgerald that he was the father of her unborn child. Shortly afterwards, Paul enlisted the help of Libby Kennedy to broker a deal for Erinsborough High and other district Primary and High schools to buy PirateNet, with it becoming a True Schools Community Station.

The following year, the radio station was closed down again, and remained unused until 2013, when criminal Robbo Slade spent time squatting there, running dodgy poker games. Following Robbo's death, high school principal Susan Kennedy considered restarting the station, but didn't have the money in the school budget. Jack Lassiter then offered to invest the money, and the radio station was reopened soon after.

Key moments (with episode links where available)

Zeke reveals himself as Lost Boy
Harry Ramsay calls in to Karl’s slot to help him spot the signs of Zeke’s OCD
Zeke interviews Lily Allen & she performs live
Zeke is locked in the store cupboard by a jealous Robin Hester
Following two newspaper articles involving Zeke, PirateNet loses backing & is shut down
Paul announces that the Robinson Foundation has bought the station
Rebecca is revealed at the Robinson Foundation's Chief Executive Officer
Rebecca announces that the radio station will cease broadcasting
Robbo Slade squats at the disused radio station, running poker games
Jack Lassiter invests in the station, allowing it to reopen