Radio History


I’m fairly certain that continued until the late 1990s at least for bulletins from Melbourne not when they took national bulletins late at night. A variation can still be heard during JJJ breakfast on the bottom of the hour news updates.

Come to th8nk of it, MF may have been used for the major bulletins which were 10 mins long.


I think that’s correct. But how much better and more professional ABC Radio Melbourne (what a ridiculous mouthful) used to sound back then. Like a real radio station!


I seem to recall 2BL in the early 1990’s had their own news theme too that sounded up tempo.


I love it when the interweb throws up something that you just love. Here is 3XY in Melbourne around 1986 pumping out Top 40 music, hot hit jingles that cut through the air and an energy that radio lost years ago. The person who taped this loved the jingles and so do I.


They were great jingles… I don’t think anyone does it like that anymore… and they should, that would make an awesome retro format for the over 40s.

And who doesn’t like a 12 inch? :sunglasses:


The under 40s are missing out. Only people over 40 know that 12 inches relates to more than an order at Subway or something you need to delete from your internet history.


This was during the final months of being an AM station, in which their transmitter was located in Prospect, right on 2WS’s heartland of Western Sydney. This was only 2 months before it converted to FM.


I’m 33 and I know what a 12’’ inch record is…


Since the only real modification to the logo was for a new frequency, I wonder how long it took 2WS to update those billboards at Parramatta Stadium after the FM conversion happened?

On a similar note, a large WSFM billboard with the old “Good Times and Great Classic Hits” slogan + the circa 2002-04 logo appeared to survive until the old Parramatta Stadium was demolished as you can see from this News Sydney promo shot (from the ones which aired in January 2017 for the current set launch/Peter Overton’s return) with Chris O’Keefe & Mike Baird:


I use to go to a lot of games, I think the freq changed pretty much straight away. I remember hearing count the cash around that time during the test transmission on am mono , then on fm. At the time, I mostly tuned into i98 fm but once 2ws became fm i did listen. The thing with i98 was they played some new music.

Even though my music station was i98fm, I might be looking through rose colour glasses but 2ws was a better station back then. More local feel less corporate.


I’m putting together some old FM recordings to post later and came across one for a trial broadcasts by an aspirant public broadcaster. These used to happen regularly on a variety of frequencies and were from different groups hoping to get a broadcast licence. On several occasions during this test, they announced the frequency as 92.65 MHz. I can’t see how that could be correct; while many people had analogue dials there would be enough ‘digital’ dials to make the frequency unusable.

BTW, at the time, my car did did tune to 0.05 MHx spacings which was useful for picking up ABDQ 3 TV audio on 91.75.


There were plenty of community radio aspirants in the Sydney region, mostly in the 1990s which was before I really started to seriously pay attention to these things. I do remember the following:

  • Southern Star FM. Tested around 1997/1998 in the Southern Highlands. Initially used 99.5 MHz and later 92.5 MHz. I could just pick them up on the latter frequency.
  • Radio DEX. Dance music, used 96.9 MHz.
  • Free FM. LGBTI…station, used 96.9 MHz.
  • Out FM. LGBTI…station, used 94.5 MHz. Tested mostly during 1999-2000.
  • Chinese Radio (2CR?), used 95.3 MHz, would wipe out Kiss FM Lithgow when it was on. Tested in 1998 and 1999.

And the one we all remember, Wild FM, who were the main occupant of 96.9 before the new star was born.


This test was Brisbane Public Radio - that was unsuccessful, also had Ethnic broadcasters who did get a licence, and all the local community stations ran test broadcasts at some point - Caboolture was on 107.3 for a few tests. Family Radio had multiple tests over several years and were eventually successful. Broadcasts were from a variety of places - Tower Mill Motel, Valley Centre Plaza and even Arana Hills. According to announcements at the time, all tests were at just 15w. 4AAA that got a licence, never had a test broadcast.


Wild FM used 97.3 in Brisbane for a time didn’t they?

Of the incumbent and successful community licensees in Sydney:

  • 2WOW FM initially used 88.3 MHz. Air FM was the incumbent on 100.7 in the Penrith Valley; I remember Air at least as far back as 1993.
  • Stations that got reallocated around the year 2000:
    -Bankstown (2BCR) from 88.7. Ran for years with ‘the olympic city’s B FM’ ID.
    -2MWM from 92.1 & 93.7.
    -2NSB from 91.5.
    -2SWR from 100.3
    -2MCR from 100.5
    -2VTR from 89.7

The initial spacing between 2SWR and 2MCR was only 200 kHz which is why SWR has a null to the south. It’s probably not required these days due to 400 kHz separation (99.9/100.3).


Where did all those TCBL’s on 97.3 come from? I think Switch was from the Ch7 tower but what about Pulse and Wild?

Who else was on 97.3 before they auctioned it off? Switch 97.3 was the best of the lot IMO - used to love their broadcasts.


There’s a few clips of this Sydney community radio aspirant on YouTube, well worth a listen but also a read of the descriptions for a bit of insight into the short history of Free FM:


SWR was on 88.3 before that too (not sure if that was before or after WOW).


In Melbourne there was 21 aspirants fighting for 3 spots on the Melbourne dial (1503, 90.7, 89.9) and 1 for inner Melbourne (94.9)

89.9 went to Light FM (originally Triple Seven FM)
90.7 SYN
94.9 JOY (originally testing on 90.7)
1503 3KND (IIRC it had been testing on FM but was given an AM licence)

This was the list of aspirants with successful ones in bold:

• 3AC Australian Melbourne Chinese Radio Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695, SL1150722)
• 3CCFM Association Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695, SL1150722, SL1150683)
• Catholic Broadcasting Ltd (SL1150695, SL1150694, SL1150722)
• Christian Community Broadcasting Ltd (SL1150694*, SL1150695*)
• Central Melbourne FM Inc (SL1150683, SL1150694*, SL1150695*, SL1150722*)
• Hitz FM Broadcasters Inc (SL1150695, SL1150694)
• Hot FM Current Chart Radio Inc (SL1150695, SL1150694)
Joy Melbourne Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695, SL1150683)
• Kiss FM Inc (SL1150695, SL1150694, SL1150683)
• La Trobe Union Radio Inc (SL1150694*, SL1150695*, SL1150694*, SL1150722*)
• Laughtertainment Community Radio Inc (SL1150695, SL1150694, SL1150722)
• Melbourne Gospel Radio Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695, SL1150722)
• Melbourne Pulse Radio Inc (SL1150683)
• New-Gen Radio Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695)
• Nu Country Music Radio Inc (SL1150683, SL1150695, SL1150694)
• Radio 3SA Suburban Radio Inc (SL1150722)
• RPW Consultants Pty Ltd. (SL1150722*)
• Showbiz Radio Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695, SL1150722)
Student Youth Network Inc (SL1150695, SL1150694, SL1150683, SL1150722)

The South Eastern Indigenous Media Association Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695,
• The Victorian Muslim Community Information Service Inc (SL1150694, SL1150695,
SL1150722, SL1150683)
Triple Seven Communications Inc (SL1150695, SL1150694, SL1150722)

(* application later withdrawn)

The full ABA reports is at:

Hitz FM was certainly one of the first to do a test broadcast (around 1993ish?) and the one with the biggest community support and profile but its popularity was probably its downfall as probably risked too much of becoming a de facto commercial service and had taken listeners away from commercial FM which was probably not to be an objective of the licence.


Yes from memory Hitz helped knock Fox off the number one position in the Melbourne ratings. It even made the news in Sydney.

They even had a street team and the promo guy was on his P plates.

At the time fox /2Day Fm / B105 were skewing older with a more rock AC format, and Hitz sounded so fresh it took the younger listeners away from Fox.


there was a definite spike in the “Other FM” ratings when Hitz ran its 3-month test broadcast which gained a lot of mainstream media attention. Although Triple M was running a pop music format of sorts (having made a format swap with Fox FM), the other three commercial FMs (Fox, Gold and TT) were arguably not doing much for contemporary music. Hitz clearly highlighted a gap in the market and its popularity probably paved the way for Nova to successfully come through as a new commercial station.