6MM officially converted to FM, on air as 91.7 The Wave.
I missed the official midnight on air moment where The Wave program most likely replaced the 6MM program on air. Looking at their great website (well done Nick Morgan and team), it seems it simply began at TOH.
First on air voices
Nothing special at 6am, ad break, network news, traffic report then first break of Daniel Gunn and Ali Hill ‘Gunners and Ali’ who did discuss the conversion, their move from Coast to Wave and acknowledging the close to 15 years of Peter Jackson on 6MM bfast who you can hear from midday today (10am - 2pm WST).
Surprised considering it’s a ‘new station’ rather than continuing 6MM on FM, so there was no launch production package as such. Or speech from board chairman or the like as was done for 6MM.
Quite a music intensive bfast show, currently 8:36am there and straight back to music (Corey Hart, Sunglasses at night) after the weather and who can water their gardens today update. As little talk as Smooth or perhaps less?
Considering what choices are available from Perth, the format is a good alternative to the older FM formats such as 94, 96 or 6IX. The music is upbeat. Imaging voice heard most is Anna Blatch, there are some promos with her and a male.
Here’s what they played at midnight (official conversion time):
And in the 8am hour:
After a news update at 8:40 WST, they went to more music.
Acknowledgment on air
Now at 0851 WST the bfast team are thanking the team, board of directors (no names mentioned), PD John De Bellis and the other off air staff production and technical who made it happen (again unfortunately, no names mentioned).
There was a promo vehicle cross round the bottom of the hour which was full of wave puns, quite amusing.
On the overnight listening (somewhat brief), didn’t hear any promos reminding the audience to tune to FM 91.7 (remember it can be heard on AM 1116 for 28 days), nor today. Perhaps they’re making a clean break which I can understand. There is a cold read notice by the male imaging voice talent that is airing during bfast. As of 1 November, no AM signal it mentions.
AM/FM conversion feedback
I notice on the FB pages that there’s some public whinging of the axing of the garden show, I guess it didn’t convert to FM as they’re trying to leave the older AM format behind (of course much older formats such as 4CRB have gardening on FM, but they need a younger audience older than the Coast audience for ad revenue).
The level of awareness online seems low, those who complain are outside the FM coverage area who enjoy the fantastic ground wave of the AM 1116 signal from the swamp beside the lake behind Mandurah. I read of a female from Busselton who is a 6MM listener and a bloke working on a boat, 25 nautical miles off the coast of Lancelin who says he can’t receive anything on FM.
Another from Pinjarra commented that 6MM was difficult to receive. Would love to know what EMF is in that town, the town centre is 6.8 - 6.9km away. Very strange for a 2kW OD service so close to have problems.
6MM seems to have suffered the problem of great out of licence area coverage in non built up areas with EMF but suffers where the licence audience base is and the fact that station pair, 97.3 is on FM along with the Perth FM signals that comprise the bulk of the metro survey share.
Interestingly, those who complained or were concerned on social media mentioned how much they loved the gardening show (try ABC Perth or Bunbury for that) and talkback shows.
The only talkback shows I can see is Alan Jones at 10am weekdays, the one hour syndicated program. Considering what the Queensland Supreme Court thought of his defence of 76 defamatory imputations, any station worth their salt should remove that show on moral grounds alone. Why be associated with that?
Memory of radio coverage
Of course, times change and it’s been 23 years since I’ve been over there but I do remember my own frustration with the then sole commercial program from Radio West played all over Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany and Bunbury, so reaching Busselton for a few days was great with the AC format from 6MM booming across the water and the two Geraldton FM signals coming in during the afternoon (least when I noticed them) thanks to what I now know as an adult is ducting.
North of Lancelin where the fisherman complained of losing FM signal on his boat, I visited Jurien Bay and Cervantes to see the Pinnacles, I recall 6MM being on air in local businesses and being amazed, went to car and noticed I could receive it too. Perth FM signals were not available there then (unsure if still the case, let us know if you know). In those years, they would’ve had the choice of 96 or one of the FMs off the analogue satellite service for TV as I discovered at my first night in WA at Madura on the Nullarbor but no one seemed to be using that in businesses.
Bfast: day 1
I’m not too sure on the reasoning of the bfast scheduling, very low number of talk breaks. It’s not a public holiday there, surely they’d want to introduce audience to the new team and have them chat or simply more local content which should be the idea of commercial radio in Mandurah: local what’s on that clients wouldn’t pay for on the Perth stations.
Bfast team said goodbye around 9:50 WST and that Peter Jackson would be up next. However, listening to the station whilst making lunch, yet to hear him thirty minutes into his shift. Over one hour now and quite a few aborted starts to songs, with a promo and then a song in full. Block of ads played at twenty to. The playlist on the website is not updating, so the music is not running via the usual process.
Perhaps the company took the opportunity to upgrade studio hardware or software and are having a problem? There were a few slight gaps during bfast which you might think is a panelling problem if new software/hardware is used.
The main thing is, music is ticking over, ads are playing and the breakfast team made it to air. It’s day one and ahead of any external marketing campaign, there’s likely the current 6MM audience listening and not many day one ‘samplers’.
Good opportunity to sample the music.