The new home to discuss radio in the Illawarra region.
Was down around the Illawarra region today & have discovered a narrowcast station called Oldies FM, which broadcasts on 87.8 MHz & plays music from the 50s, 60s & 70s. There’s not much information about the station online, but according to TuneIn, it is assumed to be transmitting from Kiama, with the signal heard as far north as around Wollongong CBD. It does provide a void that Wave FM left behind a long time ago to become an i98 clone.
Speaking of which, out of curiosity, of the local/semi-local stations I listened to whilst down there, I was mainly on i98 & Power FM, with some of the Sydney stations & 2ST (via 91.7 from Jervis Bay) thrown in. I didn’t listen to Wave FM at all.
Thanks for the heads up. Heading down tonight for the weekend. I tend to stick with the Sydney stations when I’m down there. Constantly disappointed by the quality of the radio stations in the Illawarra. All are on the third list of FM stations on the car radio and I seldom venture that far down the list. I really like 2ST but it isn’t clearly receivable until I’m a bit further south from Kiama. Looking forward to sampling 87.8.
I’ve just noticed on their website that Wave FM’s positioner has been shortened to “80s To Now”, in which it was previously “80s, 90s & Now”.
Also, Mel Greig has commenced her new role on Wave FM’s breakfast program with Travis Winks at the beginning of this week. Even Fairfax had a story about her return to radio: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/breakfast/mel-greig-on-965-wave-fm-three-years-after-royal-prank-20160127-gmex62.html
I’ve noticed on their website that Wave FM now airs The A-List with Kyle & Jackie O at 6-9pm Fridays & Saturdays. This kind of program would’ve fitted better on i98, but then again, Wave doesn’t sound that much different to i98 (nor 94.9 Power FM from Nowra) these days anyway.
I don’t listen to i98 much, but I just heard an ad for Prime7’s “My Kitchen Rules”.
Given WIN are the owners, I didn’t think they would be airing much, if any, advertising from rival TV stations on their radio station.
Similarly, pretty much every time I hear an ad on a Southern Cross Austereo regional radio station, it’s nearly always for the co-owned Southern Cross TEN TV station.
money is money.
I hear plenty of Prime7 and NBN ads on Southern Cross Austereo up this way.
Yes - money. It’s the same as FTA TV running adverts for Foxtel and Stan etc.
With news out this afternoon that WIN will lose the Nine affiliation & would therefore be stuck with the Ten affiliation, what are the chances that WIN will sell off i98, even though it’s the top-rating station?
If, for example, Grant buys the station, that would end the ‘sameness’ in their music formats between i98 & Wave, and would therefore improve musical diversity across the two commercial stations, as they both would be under the same owners.
I don’t think the two are related. WIN will continue to operate the same number of TV stations, albeit with different programming, but the rest of their business including radio will go on unchanged.
Radioinfo reports that Tony Aldridge has been appointed as the new Content Director for i98FM.
With over 21 years radio experience, he has been Program/Content Director on stations across the UK, including Capital FM in London & the Heart FM network. After moving to Australia, he was Assistant Program Director for Nova 96.9 in Sydney.
Aldridge will commence on his new role on Monday 23rd May.
The article also mentions that i98 will soon be moving into completely refurbished premises, which also includes state of the art studios.
With the above in mind, if WIN were to sell i98, I could see Nova Entertainment buying the station, which would be their 2nd regional station after Star 104.5 on the Central Coast.
Has 87.8 Oldies FM ceased broadcasting? For the past week or so, religious content has been broadcasting on the frequency. I can confirm that Oldies FM never use to air religious content, not just because of it’s “best of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s” format", but a few family relatives of mine listen to the station regularly and never reported hearing religious content prior to last weekend.
I was driving back from Nowra 2 weekends ago and tuned into 87.8 at Gerringong.I was enjoying the music until i got to Kiama and it started co-channeling with a religious broadcast.By the time i got to Albion park the "seven day adventist " channel had over took Oldies FM.Was hoping to get 87.8 in the northern suburbs of Wollongong and recomend it to my parents who live in the area.
It’s interesting that you should mention that. I first discovered the “religious broadcast” when I was in Bulli last weekend. The signal was pretty strong as well, if i’m not mistaken. A few days later, I found out from a family relative of mine that the station was also broadcasting in Warilla.
If I were to guess, I would say that the religious station is transmitting from somewhere in the northern suburbs of Wollongong. It probably transmits to the northern side of Lake Illawarra and beyond, but during tropo or suitable conditions, it could potentially be received much further south, which may explain why it was received in Warilla. I don’t think a narrowcast station based in Sydney would be strong enough to completely wipe out Oldies FM, even in good weather conditions.
Just out of curiosity, I tried to receive Oldies FM on 87.8 from my home location about an hour ago. Previously, I was able to receive two bars on my USB TV Tuner, which indicates that the reception is ok, albeit not in excellent quality. However this evening, the signal contained a lot of static and I was only able to receive one bar for the station. In fact, I actually had to pick up and hold the antenna, just to receive a signal. It is very possible that the signal of Oldies FM was being impacted by the signal of the religious station. Although, it’s worth noting that there was no co-channeling at any point.
Listening to i98 a bit this morning, I’ve noticed that they now use “Feel Good Music Variety” as their positioner. No doubt their new Content Director (Tony Aldridge) is behind this.
As mentioned by @SouthCoastTV in another thread, Wave FM has the “Flashback Lunch” at 12-1pm weekdays, which plays 80s & 90s music.
They’ve had that for about 2 weeks I’ve noticed (possibly longer). Also the 10 from then is now “The Time Tunnel” which is any 10 songs from a particular year (not a particular month of a year like the 10 from then was).
Caught this mornings which was 1990;
Wilson Phillips - Hold On
Belinda Carlisle - Leave A Light On
I’ve heard “Every Little Step” by Bobby Brown on this morning’s “Time Tunnel”, which hasn’t been played on the commercial stations in many many years.
Also, with WIN now affiliating with Ten, it’s quite strange to hear promos for Ten programming on i98. For example, this morning, I heard an ad for Offspring, which obviously ended with “on WIN”. I’ve also heard a Prime7 promo on the same station as well. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if promos for Nine programming (via SCA) could now be heard on Wave FM.
On a sidenote, C91.3 still sponsors Nine News for its hourly news, despite WIN no longer being a Nine affiliate (yes, I know it’s in the Sydney TV licence area, where WIN doesn’t own a TV licence, but still…).
Fortunately, most of the Sydney FM stations (such as Triple M, 2DayFM etc), as well as Nowra-based station “94.9 Power FM”, are also available in parts of the Illawarra. That being said, I do agree with you in regards to how poor the music variety is in the region.
The best solution to solve the lack of variety across the two local commercial radio stations in Wollongong, especially if adding a 3rd local commercial station isn’t an option, is if WIN sells i98 & that Grant (who owns Wave) buys the station. Whilst competition between the two will be eliminated, the variety across the two stations will be improved, as one broadcaster owning two stations allows each of them to target a different audience as opposed to cannibalising each other as it is currently. Have a listen to Grant’s stations in Nowra (2ST & Power), Geelong (Bay & KRock) & Launceston (LAFM & Chilli) online to get a clear idea on the benefits of what Wollongong could potentially have.
Whilst competition on commercial radio is generally a good thing in most other markets, it’s actually the opposite in Wollongong, at least when not taking the overspill of the Sydney stations into consideration.
An interesting question posted in the “Hourly Music Logs” thread:
It’s because of the fact that neither DMG nor RG Capital have ever owned a commercial radio licence in Wollongong. In fact, when ACE Radio was selling off Wave FM back in 1995, Sea FM Ltd (later RG Capital) was one of the potential buyers of the station. Here’s an SMH article from that time: Link
Also, WIN has owned 2OO, later i98, since 1987.
That said, if either WIN were to sell off i98, or Grant were to sell off Wave FM, then I could definitely see SCA entering the Wollongong radio market. The question is what format one of the stations would take, especially if they only own one station in the market.