Radio History

Apologies since i can’t find a place to ask that, but here’s some stupid questions from me as a newbie “radio researcher”:

How and what’s the difference between the oldies/classic hits style of ARN’s Pure Gold WSFM/104.3 vs Capital’s Forever Classic? And how could Pure Gold Brisbane aka the late 4KQ be difference from Cruise 1323, WSFM and 104.3, @myfriend?

What’s different between AC and oldies/classic hits?

What makes 3MP, Magic1278 different from SmoothFM (aside the fact that they’re on AM vs FM band), and what makes 3MP and Magic distinguish from other ACE Metropolitan as well as ARN Pure Gold, @myfriend? Hope getting some answers to these.


They are had common ownership for a very long time.

This article from 1946 states that the Findlay Family owned 7AD, 7BU, 7DY and 7QT.
7DY went on to become 7SD when it moved from Derby to Scottsdale in 1954.
7QT became 7XS in 1986 - possibly when the Findlays sold it.

The Findlays sold 7AD, 7BU and 7SD in the 90s, the believe to the Jost Family who owned 7LA, and then only a few years later sold to RG Capital.

Interestingly, the Devonport studios weren’t included in the sale and last I heard were still owned by the Findlay Family.


(1) ARN’s Pure Gold stations (WSFM and Gold 104.3) play predominately a safe mix of songs from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s with a few from the 2010s (I have heard Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know” and Vance Joy’s “Riptide” on Gold 104.3). They do not play any tracks from the 1950s or 1960s (as what Gold played when they started using the name in 1991) and only play a handful of songs from the 1970s (Elton John, ABBA, Queen, Boston). Where as “Forever Classic” stations have a broader playlist of songs from the 1960s through the 1990s. The late 4KQ (and Cruise 1323 in Adelaide) also plays songs from the 1960s through the 1990s, including some songs that were popular on Brisbane/Adelaide charts but not as successful on the national charts. Also including a few “haven’t heard that for a while” songs, and some “easy listening” songs are also thrown into the mix (when Cruise 1323 started using that name they were an easy listening station).

(2) the difference between AC and oldies/classic hits is that AC is a more gentler sounding format, not too “rock” and not too “sleepy”. Classic hits includes a multitude of genres such as rock, pop, easy, and uptempo dance).

(3) the difference between 3MP and Smooth FM is that 3MP is more easy listening while Smooth FM is more adult contemporary sounding (similar to what the Fox sounded like between 1985 and 1990). Smooth has cut down on ballads instead relegating them to its “Smooth Relax” DAB+ channel. The Ace Radio-operated 3MP and Magic have much bigger playlists than Smooth or Gold, the latter two being owned by bigger corporate entities have a more safer playlist as a result.


Thanks for such a detailed explaination, @myfriend. You know, when I reading these lines from you guys, I’m instantly sober, because, growing up in an radio environment where it’s exclusively state domain (there’s only two types of radio stations there, VOV (national/state radio of Vietnam) or local government-owned services), I often feel carefree because people working inside radio industry there don’t care or having no knowledge of whatever “playlist” is - for them, local radio is bringing latest and detailed information and public affairs (some of you may think it’s propaganda), as well as “magazines” targeted at each specialized topics of your daily living, such as labor, rural, etc. as well as random music that may ranged from folklore/traditional/red music to the best Vietnamese and international music of the very past to present day, in a very soft tone, and people just want to entertain people (who mostly can be classified as boomer), don’t care much about what is playlist or rotation or something.

VOV mostly provides highbrow programming - VOV-1 is news/information/public affairs, VOV-2 is culture and education, VOV-3 FM is classical/serious/folklore music. We don’t have much stuff to be looks like westernised commercial radio services, but I think the closet we have is VOV-Traffic 91FM, a commercially-funded network that broadcasting a hybrid format of rolling traffic during drivetime, and soft ac/oldies/folklore outside these times, targeting middle-aged drivers. I often listen to 91 rather than Spotify (which I hate to register) because it has a “love songs” block at half past midday where they would play soft ac music of today but sometimes rare vietnamese popular music of 70s/80s/90s to relax listeners, and during primetime and night they always reading letters and asking listeners to call to talk and confess about random things in your life, as well as requesting music and let the presenters sharing feeling about their life and choosing a song that the presenters love. Quite a variant of community radio i guess…

Many Vietnamese have complained about radio in Vietnam because it sounds boring and not quite well imaged, and they hope it has Western-type imaging to feel slick and polished, even taking examples that people can choose a variety of format to choose with, etc. But still, I feel like that Vietnamese presenters have tried their best to be closer to listeners as possible, and while some calls for real “rating” focus because it cannot be measured by the “loyalty” on how many letters sent to the program, I just feel like if they keep the charm longer… as it may resemble the good times of radio in Aussie (before 1990s, i guess).

The only radio service in Vietnam that may sound closet to Western-type radio service is Xone FM, a CHR-formatted radio service that once shared airtime with VOV-3 FM (imagine Triple J have to share airtime with Classic FM, and you get the idea). However, since their FM coverage reduced drastically following the switch to the much smaller 89FM network, and acquisition by Zing, it has gone downhill: previously it’s a roster of hosts with a lot of different shows from VN20 (Vietnamese hit), Asia Xone (Asian hit), HitXone (International hit), DJXone (EDM), MyShow (call-in with someone to create your “own” playlist for an hour), etc. Now it’s just mostly automated music with very few hosts. That’s why I switched to 91FM, even if Xone is what I grew up with and i’m still not reaching the age for the AC format yet.

I know i’m ranting a lot but still i hope myself and you guys enjoys these great times radio that has been lost in Aussie, here in Vietnam, before someone else would come in and erase these good time, at sometime later in our life that we can’t predict… thank you.


From The Radio Vault, an aircheck of 2NZ Inverell from September 1988, received at Napier, NZ.

Also, a quick aircheck of 2UW Sydney from the same period.


Now speaking of these, I have been heard that either XL or GN is shifting toward more 80s and less 70s/rural hits… so I guess that Forever Classic is becoming more safe and mainstream like Gold Melbourne or something ? :confused:

And the ARN Metropolitan system is making me also confused either: Pure Gold Sydney/Melbourne style is more like of “Adult Contemporary” rather than Gold, and it’s the same style as Mix/Kiss Brisbane and Adelaide (Perth is an entirely different case) - so that’s not “Pure Gold” like a 24-carat gold but just “Mix” but glided to be disguised as “Gold” (bruh)

The Smoothfm situation is further cringe: since Nova, is, from my researching, is also AC, so the difference between the two networks is much less and Nova is just like the “a bit hotter/more upbeat” version of Smooth?

That’s not counting whatever happened to the Grant Heritage stations (ARN Regional Heritage) lol

There is quite a difference between Nova and Smooth. Nova is Hot AC/CHR playing mostly songs from 00s onwards while Smooth is soft AC/AC with a much older playlist centred on 80s and 90s.


I see the commenters on Youtube beat me to the joke about it being 2NZ of all stations booming into NZ.

Also it didn’t take much to recognise that first voice - Andrew Moore doesn’t sound all that much different these days, does he?


Get ready for some of the cringiest documents I have seen so far:

The document above is about the lowering telecommunications divide between Perth and the rest of WA - although this has special attention on Kalgoorlie region.

In radio sector, the document said about the development of the ABC Radio Network in WA, including adding a satellite radio transmitter for Northeastern part of Goldfields, as well as switching some ABC Local transmitter from Karratha feed to Kalgoorlie feed due to “stronger connection”.

It also mentions:

WAFM, which is just “a PMFM relay with news/weather/advertising for regional WA” (I’ll dub this “PMNetwork” xd) (someone else did tell on this group that WAFM used to be retransmitter of 96FM right?)

Since the Boche Report of 1997, Red FM Network has been broadcasting to mining sites in WA (aka “Mining FM” lol). Red FM Network wanted to expand transmission to more sites across WA but “programming would be still done from Perth”

RadioWest 6KG Kalgoorlie is under threat because of cutback in local programming that was made by their Bunbury management. By the point of the report published (2000), there are only two local announcers left, down from six in 1993 (when 6KG was live and local 18 hours a day, 7 days a week with overnight retransmission from Bunbury (6TZ?). Attempt from local management to introduce a third announcer (because the management thought that there should be a third announcer to provide adequate local services) were balked by the higher Bunbury management. The music policy of RadioWest is derived from the policy of the owner, DMG, headquartered in Sydney and “may not reflect the musical tastes of Kalgoorlie”. News is only from 6am to 6pm on weekday, 6am to 12 noon on Saturday and 8am to 12 noon on Sunday. Breakfast local news service for Kalgoorlie is also jeopardized. 6KG was also suffered from substandard technical links that may cause loss of programming or break-up of audio. Also many programs from either Kalgoorlie or Bunbury were pre-recorded, and no announcers were present to answer phones from listeners or emergency services - meaning that the stations’ role in emergency broadcasting was rendered void.

Also since 1997, HOT FM has also been broadcasting under S.39 license of 6KG, however, the Kalgoorlie transmitter only receive most of the programming from Bunbury, with local services consisted of advertising and “5-sec pre-recorded weather”. A change in music policy at RadioWest/DMG had resulted in music format of RadioWest/HOTFM had became similar to each other, which was consider by this document a violation of s.39 license since it stipulate that it must “Providing listeners with greater programme choice” without affecting commercial viability of the parent station (in this case, 6KG)

There was also a letter from someone who claimed the brother-in-law of a radio host of the popular Sunday Gold on 6KG. That letter was sent to the government (the national one, if i not mistaken) to protesting the Bunbury management of RadioWest for dropping that long-time program on 6KG. It has been said in both documents that the Bunbury management had attempted to destroy the program by removing turntables from 6KG studio, therefore preventing the station from playing rich vinyl record that had been stored inside. By the time the letter had been written, the show had been “suspended”, with the timeslot replaced by networked content from Bunbury. The letters also calling listeners to write letters to the local newspapers, and the station’s General Manager to protest the network of canceling a great local show on Kalgoorlie airwaves.


This was recently uploaded to YouTube. It was 1986 and 2SM had just dropped its “Rock of the 80s” branding for “You Can’t Stop The Rock”. The station continued to pump out the Top 40, along with newly released overseas and Australian music.


Love it - so mid-80s!


Walking along the Main Street here in Townsville (Flinders Street)the last 2 days , I was remembering from back in the mid to late 70s when both commercial radio stations 4TO and 4AY (now Triple M and Hit 103.1 of course )both had their studio’s located here . I even remember exactly where they used to be then.Yes I was a true radio nut back in the day from when I was very young but not so much these days ever since networking came along,now all radio stations sound the same no matter where in Australia you are😕


Here’s another from earlier from the same uploader:


I always thought they were based in Ayr when known as 4AY and was also on 936am, but I believe there was a loophole that allowed then to move to Townsville in the mid-late 80s? Which resulted in a frequency change to 891 and a change in callsign to 4RR.

Happy to be corrected.

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4AY had a studio here in Townsville in the mid to late 70s .”Barbecue “ Bob Gallagher,Now on Classic hits 4BH of course,and more recently on 97.3 and 4KQ ,and I think he also worked in Sydney for a while?was on air here back then,
I think they had a name change to 4RR some time in the 80s ,not sure when by then my family and myself had moved to Brisbane.
I remember back in the 70s the frequently was 940 AM


various stuff from 6NA Narrogin. from some of facebook comments i found, it could be implied that 6NA Narrogin was “sold” from 6KY and was integrated into 6TZ-CI Network, which became GWN Radio after being bought by owners of BTW-3/South West Telecasters (*). 6NA Narrogin was officially integrated into 6TZ-CI Network on 1st October 1976, and judging from this aircheck, 6NA provided many separate programming to 6TZ, while 6CI was/is straight relay of 6TZ.

The “aircheck” part also include cross-promotion to GWN TV, of which the DJ mentioned some transmission problems that caused some transmitters to knock off the air, but were restored by the afternoon, followed by Tonight on TV lineup. GWN TV closes at half past 11 PM on that day, and DJ further “integrate” the relationship between the two by promoting GWN TV viewers after closedown to switch to GWN Radio for programming overnight targeting farmers.

(*) just checked - BTW-3 bought 6TZ-CI in 1974, then bought 6NA in 1975. 6NA was sold to 6IX in 1972, and a year later - to STW9 in 1973, before became a part of 6TZ-CI Network.

GWN Radio was sold in 1988 (the name after sale was unknown). By 1995, when Rural Press merged Southern WA stations into RadioWest Network, 6NA had became completely vanished in all but callsign, with the three station 6TZ-CI-NA was combined to what was known as “RadioWest South West”. Rural Press then sold RadioWest to DMG (as part of the former’s withdrawal from radio business), then to Macquarie Bank (who integrated all of DMG Regional stations to a blanket network known as LocalWorks). It would latterly be swallowed up by Triple M.


How did “You can’t stop the rock” go against the new 2MMM? I’d imagine this was their last ditch effort as a Top 40 station?


During 1986, the ratings for the two stations went like this:

Survey 2MMM 2SM
1/1986 12.5 6.5
2/1986 13.3 5.7
3/1986 12.6 7.0
4/1986 12.8 5.8

Then in 1987:

Survey 2MMM 2SM
1/1987 11.0 6.2
2/1987 12.0 4.9
3/1987 13.6 4.7
4/1987 12.9 5.8