ABC Classic

Discussion ABC’s classical music network

###Classic 100 Countdown

Discover the music that makes Australia’s heart sing - the Classic 100 Countdown begins!

Listeners have voted: starting on Friday 10 June, ABC Classic FM will reveal the nation’s favourite classical music for voice in Australia’s biggest classical music poll, The Classic 100.

Over four days, The Classic 100: Voice Countdown will take in the drama of the opera stage, the delights of operetta, the sublime beauty of great choral music as well as the intimate intensity of classical song as it celebrates the musical instrument that we are all born with: the human voice.

Over the Countdown weekend, your favourite ABC Classic FM presenters will be joined by an array of special guests to count down the music that makes Australia sing.

ABC Classic FM hosts Martin Buzacott, Christopher Lawrence, Mairi Nicolson, Damien Beaumont, Gordon Hamilton, Julian Day, Guy Noble, Russell Torrance and Genevieve Lang will celebrate the joys of the human voice with Richard Gill, Sir Andrew Davis, Cheryl Barker, Elena Kats Chernin, Ross Edwards, John Bell, Sara Macliver, Sarah Ferguson and many more surprise guests.

The Classic 100: Voice Countdown begins at 9am AEST, Friday 10 June, and continues over the long weekend until Australia’s favourite piece of vocal music is revealed on Monday!

Listen on radio, online or via the ABC Radio app.

To avoid spoilers, the Classic 100 Countdown will be broadcast LIVE across Australia.*

Friday 10 June 9am – 7pm AEST

Saturday 11 June 9am – 7pm AEST

Sunday 12 June 9am – 7pm AEST

Mon 13 June 9am – 7pm AEST

They delay Classic FM at other times? Why wouldn’t it just be live nationally all the time?

Probably for the same reason JJJ isn’t live nationally all the time.

Yeah it’s probably a thing so programming times are aligned across the nation, the same as Triple J. Otherwise the breakfast show would start at 3am in Perth during summer

I get it on JJJ, as there’s lots of talk content and shows people would tune in for - classic fm on the other hand is primarily just music with short talk breaks to talk about the pieces, I wouldn’t have thought that’s something you need to delay.

It’s not just Radio National and ABC Local Radio which will change their line-up in 2017, ABC Classic FM will also be affected.

###Classic Moves: Margaret Throsby and Greta Bradman join the weekend in 2017

After more than two decades of successfully presenting her iconic daily Midday Interview, ABC Classic FM’s Margaret Throsby will say goodbye to weekdays and hello to weekends in 2017, presenting a new program on Saturday mornings.

Designed for weekend listening, Saturday Morning with Margaret Throsby (9am-12 pm) will begin on Saturday 21 January 2017.

“All good things must come to an end. I feel the time is right to say goodbye to the Midday Interview and for me to take on new challenges. I’m really excited and looking forward to the new program format and timeslot, where I’ll co-presenting with a guest who will share stories about their love of classical music. I’d like to invite my loyal weekday listeners to spend their Saturday mornings with me,” said Margaret Throsby.

The final Midday interview will be broadcast on 16 December 2016.

Weekday Afternoons will begin at 12pm, and in 2017 it will be presented by Mairi Nicolson.

Following positive feedback from listeners after guest-presenting in 2016, leading Australian soprano Greta Bradman will join the 2017 weekend line up on ABC Classic FM to present a selection of music designed for relaxation and renewal on Sunday mornings (9am-12pm).

“I’m incredibly excited about joining the ABC Classic FM family - I’ve listened to it since I was a small child! One of my greatest loves is bringing people together around classical music - and this opportunity will enable me to connect with people from all over the world through glorious classical music via the “remote togetherness” of radio,” said Greta Bradman.

Damien Beaumont will move to present Evenings from Monday to Thursday each week, with Russell Torrance taking the reins on Friday and Saturday evenings.

ABC Classic FM’s current midnight to dawn selection, Overnights, will be replaced in 2017 by Night Music, a new program presented by some of your favourite ABC Classic FM presenters. This new format will give listeners familiarity and companionship through the night hours. For those who prefer uninterrupted music overnight, it will still be available via ABC Classic 2 online or through the ABC Radio app.

Saturday and Sunday will see talk content make way for high-profile concerts from around Australia in response to audience feedback that listeners want to hear more music on weekends.

Keys to Music will now be heard on Mondays at 7pm. Listeners who prefer to hear this program on the weekend can still access it via audio on demand – online and on the ABC Radio app.

Music Makers will no longer be heard as a regular weekly one-hour program on Saturday but ABC Classic FM will continue to broadcast interviews and documentaries related to music programming.

Weekend Afternoons with Julian Day will now begin at 12pm and broadcast up to two concerts each day. With more concerts broadcast on weekend afternoons, where more listeners can enjoy them, ABC Classic FM will present Friday and Saturday evening music programs designed to accompany the two most social and relaxed nights of the week.

In 2017, For the God Who Sings, a program occasionally affected by schedule clashes with longer operas broadcast in Sunday Opera, will now be heard from 11 pm to 1 am on Sunday nights. This change will assure a regular starting time for this popular program and its devoted listeners. The program will continue to be available on the website to listen on-demand.

ABC Classic FM continues to showcase Australian performance to a national and international audience with an average of one Australian concert a day through the year.

This is potentially quite a dramatic change - talk from ABC ‘insiders’ that Classic FM may be shunted off its FM frequencies, potentially to make way for Double J (article is paywalled)

Wouldn’t mind a Double J on terrestrial, but in place of Classic FM? Hmm.

Assuming that Double J would take over the existing Classic FM frequencies, it would result in having a larger reach than that of triple j.

I have heard Double J on a terrestrial FM frequency; it was being relayed on 91.3 in Khancoban in lieu of the licenced ABC service.

You have to wonder how many are listening to Classic FM in the bush, though. But the same can be said for NewsRadio too.

Local radio on FM! Yes that would be a good change. Classic is a format that would be ideal for DAB+.

1 Like

In many areas, Local Radio is already on FM.

Another option would have been to swap Radio National with Local, in cases where RN is the only one on FM.

As for Double J on FM, I can’t see that adding to diversity alongside Triple J, as Classic FM is quite different to both.

Local Radio is not on FM in the capitals. Try listening to AM in the city, especially Melbourne. It sounds awful with the interference.


Though 97.3 ABC Illawarra gets into Sydney quite well.

An FM simulcast of Local Radio vs a station who’s music mix isn’t entirely dissimilar from that of Triple J’s and is already available on DAB+ and via Digital TV? I think we all know which of those two would be the preferable option in metropolitan areas.

In regional areas which already have Local Radio on FM? Yeah, I can certainly see the benefit of having an additional music station.

I don’t usually have an issue receiving 774 or RN on 621. It’s once you get further down the dial that things get a bit more affected.

1 Like

As well as metropolitan stations, there are some regional areas without ABCRR on FM. Some Queensland ones are Darling Downs, Rockhampton and Townsville. There are also plenty of smaller sites that don’t have a full suite of ABC services.


I think the ABC should be pursuing some form of national music radio network which appeals to the masses, not dissimilar to BBC Radio 2 in the UK, so I like this news - assuming they put more effort into expanding Double J and perhaps pulling it a bit more towards the mainstream spectrum.

In most major cities where spectrum availability is scarce, ABC Classic FM is often overlapped with the 2MBS, 3MBS, 4MBS and 5MBS classical music stations - so it’s not like cities would be devoid of classical music programming on FM radio. I know that a lot of seniors wouldn’t be too keen on transitioning to a digital radio, though. There’s also the snobs who spit on digital radio saying that the quality is terrible (in a similar vein to the ol’ vinyl vs CD comparison).

1 Like

Why though? We have enough commercial radio networks already doing this.

In the CBD? With tram lines and the tall buildings? It’s shit.