Radio History


Fox FM was classic rock during the day and had top 40 programmes between 7pm-10pm plus American Top 40 from midnight Monday mornings, while 2Day FM was more AC/pop during the day and has AT40 in its familar Sunday early evening timeslot. There are ads from this era on Youtube.


Another reason for Hitz’s success was that between 3XY’s departure from the airwaves in 1991 and Fox FM’s change to a CHR format in 1995, there was no Melbourne station with a full time 24/7 CHR/pop format. MMM, Fox FM and Gold 104 were classic rock/classic hits, TT-FM was lighter AC, 3EE and 3MP were easy listening and 3AK was still Italian. K Rock in Geelong was actually a rock music station playing classic and modern rock while Bay FM was easy listening/AC.


2day Fm history was a bit different to Fox, upto 1990 was owned by the Albert family when they were soft AC “In Tune with 2Day”.

Purchased by Austereo around 1989, relaunched in 1990 as a CHR station. Came close to knocking Triple M off number one, but then dropped down in the ratings.

Then skewed older with a similar format to Fox and went to number 1 with Wendy Harmer and Peter Moon, and stayed at or near the top to the launch of Nova.
Then became dominate again with K&J.

In regards to Wild fm’s impact in Sydney I don’t recall it having too much impact on 2Day Fm at all. 2day was a Hot AC station and was very dominate with the younger segments of the market then.


i don’t think Alberts ever owned it outright did they?

Kennedy, Laws and Willessee owned the station until 1987, then the Lambs had a shareholding and Austereo took the helm in 1989.

The move away from soft rock pre-dated the Austereo takeover beginning in the mid 80s with the arrival of Cherie Romaro I think.


American Top 40 was usually on Sunday nights from 7.00. on Fox FM during the 1980s. Did it shift to midnight in later years?

Fox also used to have Take 40 Australia on Saturday nights from 7.00 although I was often more likely to listen to it from 3UL on Sunday afternoons

Even though EON FM (MMM) was better known for its heavy rock format in the 1980s it departed from the format at 8.00pm weeknights with the Top 8 At 8. Listener-voted countdown that was very oriented towards dance or pop music and often songs that were still weeks away from hitting the charts. I was a regular 3XY listener in those days but I always switched up u to FM for the Top 8


Yes, AT40 aired at midnight Monday mornings on Fox FM from mid-1992 until AT40 went on a three year hiatus in January 1995.


Ah i probably would have stopped listening to it by that stage. Although didn’t Fox then also pick up Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 from the US? Or was that on another station?


I remember being very envious of Melbournians in 1984 when I discovered via a Smash Hits or Countdown magazine ad that FOX FM was the only station that aired Take 40 in stereo (nb AM stereo didn’t start until 1985).


and even when it did start nobody bought tuners to listen to it


I did… my parents brought an AM stereo car radio back from overseas… it was actually pretty good… but it couldn’t compete with FM


I can also remember a Rock 40 countdown at some stage hosted by Mike Hammond


I think that might have been the ARN or “Mix network” version?


Logan radio did a couple of test broadcasts on 107.3 before securing the 101.1 frequency.


While CBC was a complete disaster in Melbourne where 3AK’s ratings fells to twos and threes, it was less so in Sydney where figures were still low but nowhere near as terminal as Melbourne’s was. Even though the name and networked concept was short lived it actually formed the foundation for what would become a very successful talk format for 2UE for the next 20 or so years.


I may be wrong but I think what saved 2UE and put an end to the CBC experiment was John Laws’ return to the station from 2GB. What initiated CBC was the Carlton - Laws duo on 873 that had flatlined 2UE.

CBC’s inherent flaw were the changes to one hour shows that were hosted by big names with little radio experience. For example George Negus.

When Laws moved back to North Sydney 2UE changed back to the 3 hour shifts for its presenters and the ratings returned.


I confess I had to look at the Wikipedia page to see what CBC was- perhaps I’m not an old codger yet! Any attempt to network Sydney and Melbourne in talk radio is doomed to fail imo; MTR 1377 is proof positive of this. The late Stan Zemanek failed to catch on in the culture capital, too.


The timeline wasn’t quite that streamlined if memory serves.

After CBC, 2UE went through a series of format changes; “All Time Greats” being the one most removed from its usual news, talk and music format of the era.

CBC only lasted about 6 months and Laws didn’t return for a couple of years as I recall.

It’s certainly true that 2UE’s fortunes were ultimately turned around by Laws return.

The CBC format was flawed first and foremost because of the attempt to network between Sydney and Melbourne - it didn’t work then and it didn’t work 20 years later with MTR. Clunky technology didn’t help networked show presentation either.

The one hour formats were potentially an issue as well with the audience not used to that style of radio.

The inexperience of the hosts wasn’t necessarily a problem. Remember Alan Jones at this time was relatively inexperienced, he’d only been doing radio for a year or two when CBC began.


I worked at 2UE before, during and after the CBC launch. The weirdest part was that before CBC launched we always knew that what was being broadcast on 2UE was emanating from one of the three studios overlooking the station’s North Sydney carpark. We were live and we were Sydney. It was exciting.

When CBC launched some of the energy left the station. The studios were often empty when the shows from coming from Melbourne. I often think of other stations where the studios are empty because of networking in the modern era. There is a certain buzz when you are in a building and you know that a microphone is live and broadcasting to the city.

Two more mid 80s memories.

Firstly, I always suspected that 2UE was in trouble when Laws left that station. Everyone at 2UE kept listening to Laws while we were working (on portable radios). If we could not give him up - then why would the rest of Sydney?

Secondly, the 2UE studios in North Sydney were essentially in a one story building of which the land would have been worth more than a Powerball win. Yet the carpark out the back was never paved - it was a large dirt space where it was difficult to not do wheelies as you parked. At least the “stars” used the carpark under the studios - it reduced the chance I would lose control of my P-plated car and smash into a Maserati (or any other type of fancy pasta).


At least you got to park in the big car park.

For a long time, due to council zoning or something, no one could park in that vast open space. The non-star staff were consigned to trying to find a spot near by everyday and hopefully dodge council rangers.

But eventually sanity and sensible zoning prevailed :grinning:


So what was the timeline?

Sydney 95 2UE
All Time Greats
NewsRadio 954
Radio Active…