Radio History


Nor was it for Brisbane where this was the reality until 15 October 2001.

Cherie will fix this. Won’t happen instantly but gradually.

Yes. Him and Pam already owned stations in regional NSW.

By that time, an association had already been struck up with the Gamble/Riverina farming families, Janet Cameron and co, Camplins and Blyton.

Indeed. It’d instantly add revenue and allow them to chase audience closer to where they are in other markets.

Beating at least two of the FM commercials in a survey or two?


Yes, as recent as Survey 8 of 2018. In fact, in the survey before that (7/2018), Cruise beat all the FM stations, except for their sister station Mix 102.3.


Thanks, exactly. Cruise are far from a struggling AM station.


And as we’ve noted many times on here, a fairly recent example of what to do with a metro AM licence when you have a sports-based station rating terribly on it!!


Yeah you need to find a gap in the market. That is often the challenge. Easier said than done.


True. But I think the gap is pretty obvious in Melbourne at least. Classic hits a la 4KQ. In Brisbane it’s Smooth. Sydney is a bit trickier with them having 2CH


Obviously they needed (and still need to) move onto something else in Melbourne & Brisbane, but personally I wonder if it actually might’ve been worth holding onto a tweaked/refined version of the “Talking Lifestyle” format just in the Sydney market for a little while longer?

From what I recall there wasn’t a massive ratings drop when 2UE transitioned to TL largely due to the fact that some familiar/ex-2UE programs were kept (most notably the breakfast & weekend programs), while the figures tanked once they were all cancelled when the station became Macquarie Sports Radio.


Yes I agree. They should have tweaked Talking Lifestyle for Sydney. Maybe even re-branded 2UE Talking Lifestyle. Made it a little less infomercial and added a few songs into the mix of light talk.


Lite & Easy 954?


I wonder if 2UE could try a business news format- they seem to be everywhere in the US.

“Cash 954: where money talks”


Cherie Romaro at 2CH is the one who needs to select the gap and fill it to outflank any changes made by MRN.

Then MRN would need to look for a new gap.

2CH 1170 Sydney

It’s the last survey of the year in 1984 and 2MMM gains the crown as the No.1 station in Sydney for the first time. It was to remain No. 1 for most of the 80s, although it really peaked from 1988 onwards when 2SM abandoned hit music and left hundreds of thousands of 10 - 30 year olds with nowhere to go but 104.9.

In other notable ratings news from 1984:

  • 2UE is a strong No.2 with the O’Callaghan / Laws lineup (surely this will go on forever…)
  • 2SM is rating above a 10 with its high energy “Rock of the 80s” programming
  • 2UW has not found ratings glory with the Magic 11 branding
  • 2DayFM is struggling, even with the advantage of FM
  • 2KY and its racing, talk and music rates an 8.1
  • The forever inoffensive 2CH is forever rating well
  • 2BL on 4.9% is somewhat irrelevant as a talk station

Fast forward to 2019 and what’s changed?

  • 2UE, 2KY and 2SM have a combined rating of little more than an asterisk
  • 2BL / ABC Sydney is a genuine force in Sydney radio
  • About 98% of 2CH’s audience have died and 1170 is now searching for new listeners
  • 2MMM and 2DayFM. Who?

What has not changed is that the fate of most of the top radio stations relies on just a few individual announcers. In 1984 it was Gary, Doug, Ita and John. In 2019 it’s Alan, Kyle, Ray and Jackie.


Hmmm… Magic 11… then ‘Magic 11 2UW’ and an attempt to boost breakfast ratings getting Baz and Pilko in…

I used to listen to the Sunday night countdown on 2UW with Trevor Sinclair - it was a top 30 sponsored by Stimrol - forget its exact name…

And I used to love Mark Gillard on 2SM nights… (really great production links - Basil Fawlty, Alfred Hitchcock et al)…


How did Bazz and Pilko go in the ratings long term? I can only remember them in the late 80s and 2uw as classic hits by then. I remember they did a show from the sydney tunnel. I remember them talking about being an FM station then too. But they were gone by then. Larry Ember had breakfast then I think. They went to a more older format in early 90s, I think a bit older than 2ws.

2sm in 90s had lite and easy, country music in the 90s, I remember Doug Mulray did drive at one stage on 2sm and 2ws I think. The 90s was an interesting time on the AM Band before the conversions. There were a lot of different options for music. Lots of 60s music. No DAB then so no stereo. At times I remember 2day fm did play beatles in the early 90s. I did not really listen to Triple M in the 90s.


But there was AM stereo on many stations!


How could i forget that!


Now there’s a good question…when did most stations revert back to mono-only AM transmissions?


…and very few people with AM stereo radios.


Me included. One of my regrets from childhood and early teens. First world issue. :slight_smile:.


I also remember Mulray bagging AM radio, and specifically AM stereo stating that it was the equivalent of listening to two AM radios. I later laughed when he ended up on AM! Having said that he is still one of the best ever radio stars Australia has had.