Radio outside of Australia - Whats good?

Boom Radio (UK) has launched a classic rock stream, Boom Rock. Seems pretty good.

They say it’s aimed at baby boomers but I’m an older Gen X and I find it good.

They’ve got an App that’s easily downloaded and not geo-blocked for Australia.


Radio Caroline is aimed at boomers as well but plays a broad mix of album rock, with a focus on newer music from established artists. The listener Top 15s are usually classic boomer rock, though.


I really like 3FM from the Netherlands - it’s like Triple J or BBC Radio 1, but heaps better (IMO anyway). Obviously it’s all presented in Dutch but most of the music is in English.

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I’ve sampled NPO Radio 2 from the Netherlands, which is even more eclectic than its namesake station across the English Channel. The consensus in the UK is that Netherlands music radio is more adventurous than in Blighty.

Pinguin Classics is another great station from the Netherlands- it’s only available online though.


I’m currently in the UK and I’d agree with that. The Dutch certainly know how to do radio! When I was in Amsterdam some years back, pretty much everywhere I went played one of 3FM, FunX (a hip-hop station, kind of like BBC 1XTRA) or 538.


That is a fairly accurate assessment.

Remember, in most major US markets there are 40+ rated signals… NY and LA have more than 70, which makes the number of commercial stations in the Aussie metros seem quaint.

Of course, the demographics allow for a broader array of formats as well. Most major US markets have a Mainstream and Rhythmic Top 40 (re: Hip Hop), an Urban, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, Mainstream Rock, Mainstream AC, Hot AC and Adult Hits. Most will also have a Country station (though NY doesn’t), and most actually have two Country stations, one leaning younger, the other older.

There is also a wide variety of Spanish-language stations in every market, with as many formats in that language as in English. There is “Regional Mexican” which is akin to Country music - the different styles of music popular in rural Mexico that may have a bit of a polka-type sound to the casual listener. There is also Spanish AC, Spanish Contemporary (Top 40), etc.

Of course, the FM band is now home to a great deal of spoken word, with traditional “News/Talk” stations (mostly conservative-based talk shows) often simulcasting on both AM/FM. And while Sports radio has yet to take off in Australia, it has a 35+ year history in the States, with Sports stations (that are really more like “guy talk” stations) often leading in Sports-heavy markets like Dallas, Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia. The counter-balance to the conservative News-Talk stations are the NPR stations, which are public and often thought of as being left-leaning. Prior to PPM measurement, their non-commercial status meant they were not included in the ratings, but they now often show up near the top of the ratings, especially in more progressive markets like San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.

We also have a wide range of “religious” outlets… “K-Love” is the most famous, being a national network on non-commercial stations that air upbeat “Christian” music - no preaching, just “positive” songs. The company has been gobbling up station after station, perhaps its most famous purchase was legendary New York City station WPLJ. Because the FCC regulation that required local studios did not apply to non-commercial stations, K-Love was able to build out a national network on the cheap.

So yes, a wider variety of formats here in the US… but if you’ve read one radio board, you’ve read them all. The person complaining about the repetition on Z100 in New York might find Nova an exotic and exciting listen; while the reverse may be true for someone who listens to Nova all the time. :slight_smile:


I find present day US commercial radio insufferable due to the amount of advertising. Retro airchecks are another matter; ‘Retro Radio Joe’ has some good stuff on YT. I enjoy listening to Jim Ladd/KMET and such on there.

There is less of a non-commercial presence in the US than anywhere, a product of its prevalent ideologies perhaps. Of course there’s no true public broadcaster like the ABC, and community radio isn’t omnipresent either. Even the NPR stations stick to news and classical most of the time.


Ellis Feaster on Youtube has tonnes of US radio airchecks from the past.


A new specialty show on Singapore’s 987FM will start airing on Sat & Sun 9PM – 10PM (UTC+8 time) from 23 March 2024. The specialty show will showcase the best of Folk/Indie Pop/Hip Hop/Rock/Soul music, from Singapore and around the world.

Also, this is the first time in years that 987FM (which largely plays contemporary pop) will have a specialty show on the weekends, ever since it scraped numerous specialty programmes back in mid-2016.

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I just read posts regarding recent situations at SRN/BOG stations and I have to ramble here since… it resembles whatever is happening with local radio in Vietnam right now.

Many local radio stations in Vietnam are operated as part of the radio-television broadcasting agency (the sole exception to this is VOH in Saigon). As television industry grew in the 2000s to the expense of the radio side, even training and professionalism were abandoned, and radio services were run like bare bones just to fulfill public service remit. But at least SRN stations can run 24/7 with overnight being filled by simulcast of 2GB or just music, while many poorer provinces at that time would only run their radio services for several hours a day, and turned the transmitter off outside of the timeslot.

Doing radio jobs on these stations are more like passion-oriented. Really low wages. Most radio guys would switch to different jobs once reached the skill they need, or only considered radio as just a pedal to the higher jobs/wages. Some youths even thought those who listening to The Nightline on 91 were old-school, weird and even… backward. Bluetooth or YouTube were their go-to choice. That’s really disappoints me, because The Nightline is always the home of non-agenda, simple talk about life mixed with good music, and always live and updated, something that make me really into it.

Many radio stations that broadcasting full-time its like an assortments of programs. Really old-time-ish. Southwestern stations are on another level. I was on the road from Hà Tiên (Kiên Giang province) to go back to Saigon one day, and as my instinct, I autoscan my FM tuner. Then came 93.1 An Giang (another province) FM. They were playing a foreign music program, with songs ranged from almost oldies like “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” to near-contemporary songs from Bruno Mars and even Olivia Rodrigo. Then after that, a Khmer news program. Southwestern Vietnam is a region with rather high concentration of ethnic Khmers outside Cambodia, and stations here often play not just information but also Khmer songs and dramas. In the evenings they would always choose Cải Lương, a kind of musical drama that is a core part of Southwestern cultural identity. KG-FM, despite only on air until 8 in the evenings, has a phone-in radio program that always attracts calls from elsewhere, even as far as… Saigon. The communitarian and emotionality of the Vietnamese people is why these programs always have much loyal following.

Going back to the capital, I’m amazed at whatever Kim Trung (current president of Hanoi Radio-TV) has done to the broadcaster itself. I can assure that he’s one of two most radio-loving person (something that’s really rare within the Vietnamese media landscape these days) that I know in the broadcasting sphere. (The other guy is Phạm Trung Tuyến, who is currently trying to do radical reforms to the VOVGT (AC) network, and the brainchild behind many phone-in programs across the VOV network). Under his control, 96FM has turned into a hybrid of ABC Local, ABC Classic, and average regional Australia’s AM stations, with a mix of news, talk, information, analysis segments, plus wide range of classic hits/oldies and some blocks of classical and jazz music. The presentation is highly traditional and uniquely Hanoian, from the theme (Tiến về Hà Nội, and “Người Hà Nội” in orchestra is the channel’s theme). Meanwhile, 90FM is somewhere middle between SRN/AM and SRN/FM stations, with rolling block of traffic, news and tips during drivetime, with a nice mix of classic hits for foreign songs (80s/90s) and Hot AC for Vietnamese songs. He’s going to conquer 98.9 FM soon, which recently had to cutback a lot under VTVCab control, and really bland. Now what’s next for them? Straightfoward Hot AC? Alternative rock? CHR? But still, I hope him in Hanoi and SRN people in Australia a better future foward.

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On a very unrelated side, a typical Vietnamese local radio station (outside of Hanoi or Saigon) have the format that is quite like (for me) the mix of BoG’s unprofessionalism and NPR/old-school full service radio style with hyper local focus. However, what makes it appealing for many Vietnamese (including me) is that too many programs are pre-recorded and many of them have to resort to relaying VOV national networks (usually VOV1 (news/talk/information) or 2 (culture/education), but occasionally also 3 (basically a
mix of ABC Classic and FIP in terms of format) because they basically have no ability to carry many hours of local content. Stations like 91fm (also from VOV, but targets mainly metropolitan regions) sounds more professional (in terms of presentation) but still have wide variety of music and still takes much time for phone-in to caring the listeners, as well as have much more time sets aside for live programming.

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While “91fm” that I said many times before does not play foreign music often, they are really good at variety every time they play those types of music. Heck, I used to be immersed in 1 HOUR of 50s/60s music on FM during 4am music block - something that I don’t think you can dream anywhere else. And then another time when the presenter said that Frank Sinatra is “light country music” :confused:

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For some reason, this situation reminds me of VOV2 or 3 on Vietnamese radio currently when they would often run instrumental music leading to the top of the hour (in the case of VOV2, they are mostly folk instrumentals). In the case of VOV3, since it is only allowed to sell advertisements at the exact prescribed time in the schedule, if the program ends early, the instrumental music would kicks off until it reaches exact top of the hour, when time signal would be heard. This method is also used on 99.9 FM of the VOH too as well.

For 91fm, in certain cases the channel would switch to fully automated mode - that is, songs after songs with no sweepers or jingles in between (this also means that songs that are lesser-played are often played there). This may happen if the presenters come late than usual, because the presenter is the one who control the broadcast programming.