Am To Fm Conversions In Solo Markets


It was supposed to move to 1386 to overcome night skip issues with 4ZR, which didn’t happen either.

Kind of wasted planning process there.


And don’t forget the cost of the land to put it on. Would need a decent sized lot to cater for the ground mat, guys etc.


Article on Radioinfo about 2BS’s conversion to FM:

1503 2BS Gold, owned by Ron and Stephanie Camplin, will become 2BS 95.1 FM this Thursday morning at 7.45 when Federal Member, Andrew Gee will be on hand to officially flick the switch.

Read more at:


Not that it’s relevant to this thread but what happened to the possibility of SCA buying the Bathurst stations? Did the deal fall through? Are they waiting for the FM conversion of 2BS to be sorted out? Or was it just speculation?

Anyway, back on topic…

It’s all well and good for 2BS to receive an FM conversion but if you ask me, the programs highlighted in bold aren’t exactly content which is really enhanced by FM radio, especially if MRN don’t provide stereo feeds of the 2GB-originated content to regional stations who carry the content.


Not speculation, due diligence has been done … I would assume they decided not to sell, or hold off for a bit.


Its no different to other stations running talk based content in FM stereo, 2EC and 2ST already do it, not to mention the plethora of SCA Triple M regional stations.


No doubt the price wasn’t right for one of the parties, which wouldn’t have been helped by the limbo and value add of the conversion to FM.


I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Ron and Steph wanted to put restrictions onto the sale too - like keep the same number of staff, the same names of the stations etc, just to make it a little more “localised” for a few years until the changes could be slowly made.

If I can remember Bathurst Broadcasters, they are a little heavy on staffers. (Not saying that’s a BAD thing!)


Why tech specs should be identical for licence classes within a market

Cast your mind back to the Bridgetown RA1 debacle in WA.

Late 90’s, a small market mostly fed from adjacent market Bunbury and other more remote sources sought to invoke their right to a s.39 and get it to air on FM.

ABA claimed an FM allocation was not possible for the s.39 due to VHF Band II congestion in the SW WA market, both VHF ch 3 and 5 the high power coverage allocations for the region.

DMG was not going to take it lying down and following a more energetic than usually required bureaucratic struggle, was finally allocated an FM slot for the Bridgetown s.39.

Part of what was publicly submitted was that all other markets received an FM allocation for their s.39 and this should be consistent in Bridgetown too.

This reasoning was sound and finally sanity prevailed at the ABA.

This same reasoning should be applied to the AM/FM conversions.

The ACMA should not accept a reversal of this process where licensees are lobbying for inconsistent tech specs just to get their FM conversions to air without spectrum re-planning.

The original FM service has most likely been designed and does deliver a sufficient coverage (in most cases, yes, there are deficiencies in some markets that this process could correct).

Subsequent FM commercial services should not be less than this.


I’m staggered at how much spectrum is being wasted in the 2BS conversion. As you’ve said previously, not reason not to convert with the same specs as 2BXS and lose the repeaters


Meanwhile, 2LT in neighbouring Lithgow is still yet to be consulted on for AM/FM conversion. According to the 2017-21 FYSO, it was originally to be consulted during the 1st half of this year at around the same time as 2BS, but when the 2018-22 draft FYSO was released in May, it was pushed back to the end of this year (ie. Q2 2018-19), joining it to around the same time that 2ST, 2EC, 2GN & 2XL were due to being consulted on for AM-FM conversion.

Now, since Q2 has pretty much come to an end (given it’s the Christmas-New Year period, last week was practically the end of it), it appears that the consultations for 2LT, 2ST, 2EC, 2GN & 2XL have been delayed until at least January (ie. Q3 2018-19).


Its not being wasted when you’re only trying to protect the incumbents


Though I’m not convinced that this has come at a cost of providing alternate services. I think most of those 2BS relay sites still have spectrum capacity.


And don’t forget the Brisbane/Gold Coast digital bungled progress. Also delayed.

Digital Radio

Changes to Katherine NT radio services

Listeners of Katherine commercial radio station Hot 100 (8HOT) on 765 kHz AM may soon have to change their dial if the ACMA accepts a proposal by the station.

The proposal would see 8HOT swap from AM to FM transmission in Katherine. Darwin listeners already enjoy 8HOT in FM.

‘FM radio provides improved audio quality for listeners in regional areas and can be more cost-effective to operate than AM radio,’ said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

‘A number of regional commercial radio stations are seeking to convert their services to FM under an industry-led conversion program. The ACMA will facilitate a conversion after taking a number of issues into account. These include availability of suitable spectrum and being satisfied that audiences in regional areas do not lose radio services under that proposal,’ Ms O’Loughlin said.

‘We now want to hear from the local Katherine audience their views on the conversion proposal,’ Ms O’Loughlin said.

Submissions on the Katherine proposal are due by 28 February 2019. More information about the AM-FM conversion is available here.

If the ACMA approves the conversion, the timing of the transition would be up to the broadcaster.

Grant Broadcasters

Interesting that the Camerons waited until this process to move this translator to FM.

It’s not the main service, so why wait? Surely it could’ve been reallocated years ago?


Also there should be plenty of available frequencies in that area too


Yes, about time!

I agree, should have been done years ago, back when the 8DN licence got cancelled in 1992.

Leaves Toowoomba as the only town left with Top 40/Hit music on AM radio in Australia, though it’s not going to FM anytime soon.


Another transmitter that could be converted is 2DU Cobar, which uses 972 kHz. There is a case for retaining AM as in Broken Hill but this is not a wide coverage transmitter; I’ve never heard a squeak of it in Sydney. Thus the calculus should be similar to Katherine. Zoo FM has had a Cobar translator on 103.7 MHz for many years; there is no repeater for Star FM.

I daresay 2WEB Bourke would attract a lot of Cobar listeners given its coverage. 2WEB haven’t got an FM repeater in Cobar as with Nyngan, presumably due to the presence of 2DU/Zoo FM.


I recall Cobar is only 100w