Radio History

Many didn’t… they just stopped promoting it.

When it was time to replace equipment stations wouldn’t have bothered getting new AM Stereo gear but until that time they’d have been happily pumping out the hi fi :stuck_out_tongue:

In fact I think there was one station, somewhere, Brisbane maybe, that was still broadcasting in AM Stereo until relatively recently.


I wish am stereo was a success. I wonder if there would of been many conversion to FM. DAB too many stations dont care on sound quality. Am stereo in the main should sound better than low bit dab radio. I did buy an am stereo radio from Japan but that was 2005, it was already on the decline or finished by then.Today 2sm might still be music station if am stereo bridged that gap.


AM Stereo - Shoulda coulda woulda. IMHO:

  • AM Stereo suffered from lack of coordinated promotion and lack of devices.
  • AM has since gone backwards with most techies (@Gordo92 excepted!) not give a flying *** about audio quality (or constrained by the beancounters!). If a critical mass had focussed on AM Stereo and adopted the american AMAX standards then AMSS (RDS for AM) and the sound quality could have propelled it - but it would in part have depended on global critical mass because well who makes Australian model cars now a days and car radios basically drive uptake.
  • the lousy bit rates for DAB and lack of promotion means that DAB’s success will be limited with its appeal limited to the AM music listeners (like 2CH, 4KQ, Cruise1323). Bottom line, if DAB ceased not many would care.
  • Therefore DAB will be a marginal play that will linger on with limited success, but hey it will demonstrate “industry modernisation” Viva Spotify!

Yes vaguely. I think it was when 2ws own the station. Funny how they could have two “gold format” stations.

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According to an article on SMH The Guide, it was launched in May 1994, just after 2UW converted to FM as Mix 106.5. It was described as having an easy listening format aimed at the over-40s, and would’ve appealed to ex-2UW listeners who were not willing to switch over to FM.


Blimey that’s impressive! In 1985 my first car was an XD Falcon with AM only radio! I listened to FM104 at home and in the car it was Stereo 10 (in non-stereo AM).


What was wrong with you? Any self respecting 80s teenager would’ve immediately had the car down to Strathfield Car Radio for a new stereo system to be installed.

I did exactly that with my first car; a Holden Gemini.

A few years later I actually had an AM STEREO system installed… well worth it… the sound was great.

Oops now I’ve dated myself…


Hey I was a poor Uni student! Albeit with a pretty decent car :slight_smile:

But living in Brisbane if there was going to be any added accessories to the Falcon it would have bee air conditioning first over a new stereo (from Brisbane Car Sound)…lol


Real quality control from Sue Lecky in that article, with the station being referred to as “GOLD 1296” two times! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But I do appreciate the discussion about these morsels of Sydney radio history. :slight_smile:


Or a horn that played “La Cucaracha”?

Well it was Brisbane in the 80s :sunglasses:

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IIRC it rated quite well by 2SM standards. I can’t recall exact figures but I vaguely recall it got up to a 6 or 7 per cent share as Gold 1269, which was huge considering how low it had been before. But despite its moderate success I think it did not have a long life somehow? Maybe a change of ownership triggered the next format change?


Could that have been just before Caralis bought it?

As I recall he was insistent on 2SM becoming a talkback station, even though his experts were telling him to stick with music.


So was it Caralis who introduced the current red & black 2SM logo?

An interesting choice in colours given that 2GB are the same.

No i think there was another owner (or more) as there was a time 2SM became Kick AM which must have been before Caralis.

Was Kick AM a return to country music?


That sounds about right… one of the INXS band members hence the name KICK.

Yes iirc. This would have been the late 90s.

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If only Caralis listened to the experts, then we would’ve have an oldies station that is musically between WS/Smooth & 2CH, a gap currently missing on Sydney commercial radio. :pensive:


After Kick AM folded at the end of 1996, 2SM was then owned by RG Capital (the then same-owners of 2GO & Sea FM on the Central Coast), who returned it to a classic hits format, and gradually went with an oldies format, covering only 60s & 70s hits, which was a clear point-of-difference from 2WS. This was similar to what 2CA was sounding like at the time.

It pretty much came to an end when Caralis bought 2SM in late 1999.


I remember the day Caralis bought 2HD and NEWFM. The satellite link to Lismore was up within hours and several people were out the door. That night at 10pm, NEWFM as we knew her and loved her, died. The first program uplinked from Lismore was The Heat.

Ironic considering just a few weeks prior at a Christmas party, NEWFM played “Road To Nowhere” and dedicated it to NXFM.

I can still hear the screeching laughter at Charlestown.


I believe that 4WK in Warwick, Queensland has recently relaunched AM stereo.

There are still a (very) few stations in the US that keep it alive.

Thing is that some of the current model transmitters made by Nautel, and possibly others, have the stereo exciter built in. So AM stations could be back in stereo with just the right audio feed.

Not many people listening though :sunglasses:


Yes I was living in Sydney in the second half of 1995 and I recall it was Kick playing country. I was working with a guy from Texas at the time and I recall he wasn’t impressed with the type of country music they were playing LOL

The format wasn’t 100% country though. They slogan was “cool country, rock and blues”. Quite broad really.