How has radio changed in your lifetime?

I was just trying to find out about that show on 2SM or 2UW and discovered this interesting page on the history of commercial radio in The Dictionary of Sydney. 2SM was named after the parish of St Mark at Drummoyne.

Interesting to read about the legal challenge from 2SM to prevent 2WS starting up.

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Such an uplifting song to start a religious broadcast with… not.

There was a Sunday night religious talkback show on 2WL or 2 Double O in the 1980s that was hosted by a Wollongong catholic high school principal. His name was Brother Michael Evans. It was probably the only religious broadcast I ever listened to regularly. His show was very popular and he was highly respected in the Wollongong community. He ended up being transferred north after certain allegations were made and committed suicide just before police could interview him in relation to crimes committed against boys under his care.

:joy: So true. It used to freak me out as a child. I didn’t realise it was an actual song and thought it was part of
some sort of church hymn that was supposed to scare the devil out of you. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It seems 2GB was originally owned by the Theosophical Society.

I miss the days of radio before networking took over,when stations were live and local 24 hours a day.In the early 90s the FM stations,only Triple M and B105 in those days,were still live and local,no networked drive and night time shows😕


My introduction to radio came when I somehow convinced by parents to buy me a Sharp radio Cassette player when I was in primary school. Despite its tiny terribly inaccurate dial, looking back it was amazing what it could pull in on the MW and three SW bands. The first station I discovered was 4IP. There was no other station that could come close. I used it to record songs and keep cassettes over the years. However, I also discovered the out of area stations that would come in at night and started to record snippets of their branding.

Stations form Sydney and adjacent areas were always strong like 2SM, 2UE, M-NX, 2CA etc plus Victorians 3XY, 3DB, 3NE and 3LO. This was a time when many commercial and all ABC stations closed around midnight leaving great DX opportunities. One problem was working out what the stations were as resources like ACMA databases were hard to obtain for a school kid. Then I found Electronic Australia that for many years published a list of stations that even included their ERP. Later there was also World Radio TV Handbook that was a great source for SW.

Radio was a great connection to the world and the best place to keep up with news. Radio from other countries was always interesting but difficult to receive on AM. In addition to the usual Pacific nations, it was a big day when US stations were received as well as the big Mexican stations at Tijuana. American Forces Radio (AFRTS) on SW also gave a taste of the US with direct feeds from commercial networks. But with SW you can receive almost any country with a transmitter plus Radio Australia that was a great service.

When FM came to Brisbane it was in the form of 4ZZ on 105.7. The next closest station was 2NCR that could just be received in high locations. Double Zed was a disappointment with its low power from a tower on the Schonell Thearte and non-commercial content. FM 104 introduced themselves with great weekends like Beatles A-Z, Rolling Stones A-Z etc but over the years I found that FM stations from adjacent areas were better choices for me.


I remember listening to QFM (as they were known as back then)at work sometimes.They were a great alternative station to Triple M and B105 and used to play some great old tunes.This was when they used the 106.9 frequency before becoming
River 94.9 around the same time 97.3 was launched.

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The fact that now you can apparently swear. on air. I’ve heard everything bar the f-word and possibly the p-word dropped on air. I’m not a prude but to me it’s a little bit over the top.

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I agree, and I don’t think it sets a good example to kids and teenagers that then think it’s okay to swear.

There’s no need for it.

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The p-word?

I’d be more concerned about the c-word.

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Don’t give them any ideas. I put up with kids saying all three of those words and they don’t need the radio to do it. I have often suggested that they should have a swear jar every time they swear at school, they’d have their gift in year 12 for the school paid off.


I’m still not sure what the p-word is.


Oh, I see. I was thinking of a different word. :blush:
I think that word has lost its impact with its use in things like getting pissed and pissed off.

Many years ago, one of my older workmates told how offensive bum was when he was growing up and he found it shocking when people started talking about bum bags. :laughing: Now, the more offensive arse is used everywhere and people hardly blink.


Oh, I thought you mean pr*ck in your earlier post.

No worries. :slight_smile: Although that’s another word that’s sort of slipped in there from time to time in recent years on radio.

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Where to begin…

  • Had exposure to racing radio stations in the mid 90’s, and it was totally different to what it is today. There weren’t that many race meetings during the week saturating the airwaves as where now they broadcast a race every 3 minutes or so. They would often give some sort of preview and even a review sometimes of race meetings where now they have no time to do that sort of thing as they have to get to a random greyhound race from goodness knows where.

  • Commercial FM Radio in CQ didn’t exist until the turn of the century, before then we got a decent variety of music on AM stations 4RO and 4CC (who took Martin/Molloy). Once the FM stations came in it slowly became little more than the relay service save for breakfast (that I’m rarely up for given my working hours) that we put up with.

  • ABC Radio broadcast cricket but every hour on the hour was 5 minutes of news, so there was no guarantee of getting a full day’s play broadcast. Until the mid 1990’s regional ABC stations in Qld broadcast racing from Brisbane (using 4TAB caller Wayne Wilson), Sydney and Melbourne (using their own callers) meaning that radio coverage of the NSWRL game (ironically shown on ABC TV) was heavily interrupted.


Yes, I used to HATE how cricket or football coverage on ABC Regional Radio would get interrupted for a horse race during the early 90s.

If there HAS to be horse racing on the radio, much better now that it’s on a dedicated HPON station so that I NEVER have to hear it!


in the old days we didn’t have racing stations as such, but mainstream format radio stations that carried racing.

In Melbourne stations like 3UZ and 3DB carried racing but it was not interrupting regular breakfast/morning, drive-time and late night programs.

Another thing that has changed is the broadcast of parliament on radio. It used to no doubt irritate listeners and ABC itself that it was required to dump regular programming for huge chunks of airtime to carry parliament broadcasts. And this was on what is now ABC Local Radio stations. They did eventually shift parliament broadcasts to Radio National before starting up what is now ABC News Radio.


My pet hate (and I think it still happens on regional ABC stations) - going to the country hour during play


Yeah this was pet hate if mine too.