History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/NSW AM Stations
NSW AM Stations
NSW A.M. Radio Stations
Part of the most comprehensive list ever compiled of Australian A.M. broadcasting stations.
13 Aug 1919 - AWA Sydney
This was the first A.W.A. demonstration of music broadcasts by Chairman Ernest Fisk, during a lecture at the Royal Society of N.S.W., 5 Elizabeth Street. The single valve A.W.A. transmitter was at Wireless House, 97 Clarence Street, covering a distance of 525 metres. 20 telephone earpieces with tin horns attached were hung from the ceiling as loudspeakers. The broadcast was only long enough to play the record “God Save the King”. Earlier, using 21 KHz. in 1918, Fisk was the first to communicate directly between Australia and the United Kingdom. In 1920, A.W.A. broadcast regular weekly concerts.
1921 - 2CM - Sydney
Experimental station owned by “Australia’s leading amateur”, Charles MacLurcan. Started on long wave (214 KHz.) using seven watts, with Sunday night classical concerts. First licensed in 1911 as a Morse code station with callsign XDM (X2CM in 1921). He broke numerous long distance radio records including a .0037 watt transmission heard in New Zealand. Often heard in San Francisco. (Photo Caption) Australia’s first licensed broadcast station in 1922. (This is Charles shortwave QSL card) (Photo Caption) The Will James band practising in the Wentworth Hotel ballroom before a live broadcast on 2CM. (Photo Caption) Announcer Josie Melville on air 6-3-1923. The only Australian amateur allowed to operate during WW1. Situated at Strathfield after tests atop his family's Wentworth Hotel. Issued with the first broadcasting licence in Australia (licence number one, signed by the Prime Minister, Billy Hughes in 1922). (Most historians credit 2SB 23-11-1923 as our first licensed broadcaster). Charles received over 2,000 letters from listeners praising his first transmissions. First station to publish a program guide. Every program ended with “Don’t forget to wind up the cat and put out the clock”. Moved to short wave on 21 Feb 1924. Charles MacLurcan was President of the Wireless Institute of Australia after Ernest Fisk, and designed and built the popular MacLurcan radio receiver. (Also see 2HD 27 Jan 1925). Callsign 2CM is the only one listed by the Federal Government as “Never to be reissued”, in recognition of the pioneering achievements of Charles.
1921 - 2YG - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Ray Allsop. Transmitter at Coogee. Ray was first issued with a Morse code licence in 1911, with callsign XCA, when only 13 years old. He broadcast weekly concerts on 1395 KHz. which were also broadcast on 2ZH from 1923. Ray was later appointed the Chief Engineer of 2BL after Cecil Stevenson. Ray was the first person in Australia to push for the introduction of F.M. He was also the first to construct and demonstrate stereo equipment (10 Apr 1938). (Also see 6WF regarding stereo). Ray developed submarine detection radar for the Navy during WWII. He was appointed a member of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in 1953, and was awarded an O.B.E. in 1971. (Also see 2HP 1922, 2ZH 1923, 2SB 13 Nov 1923, and 2BL 1 Mar 1924).
1922 - 2ZN - Newcastle
Experimental station owned by N. Olsen. Transmitter at Waratah.
1922 - 2JR - Sydney
Experimental station owned by A.W.A. engineer, Joe Reed. Transmitter at Summer Hill. He conducted joint experiments with 2CM, and was the first Chief Engineer of 2SB. He also designed the 5,000 watt transmitters for A.W.A. “A” class stations. Retired as Chief Engineer of the Overseas Telecommunications Commission.
1922 - 2DE - Sydney
Experimental station owned by W. Renshaw. Transmitter at Roseville.
1922 - 2WC - Sydney
Experimental station owned by W. Morey. Transmitter at Watersleigh. This callsign was reissued in 1926 as a broadcast licence at Goulburn.
1922 - 2XY - Newcastle
Experimental station owned by Newcastle Alderman, Harry Douglas. Transmitter at Hamilton. Later became commercial licence 2HD. (See 2HD 27 Jan 1925).
1922 - 2GR - Sydney
Experimental station owned by J. Marks using 10 watts at Rose Bay (100 watts at Bellevue Hill from 5 Aug 1923), on air for one hour six days a week. This callsign was later reissued to A. Robinson at Haberfield.
1922 - 2DN - Sydney
Experimental station owned by G. Blanchard. Transmitter at Newtown. This callsign was reissued as a broadcast licence at Deniliquin in 1932.
1922 - 2ZZ - Sydney
Experimental station owned by C. Smith. Transmitter at Cremorne. On air 2130-2200.
1922 - 2IJ - Sydney
Experimental station owned by A. Gray. Transmitter at Killara. On air 1930-2030 daily.
1922 - 2IY - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Cecil Stevenson. Transmitter at Randwick. (Cecil was later a Director and Chief Engineer of 2SB/2BL, then owner of 2UE). He also owned the Radio House electrical shop. Cecil’s son, Murray, was the first Chief Engineer of ATN-7 TV.
1922 - 2YI - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Phil Nolan. Transmitter at Double Bay. On air 2030-2100 daily.
1922 - 2YH - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Walter Hannam. Transmitter at Balmain. Walter formed the Wireless Institute of Australia in 1910, and was the first radio operator in Antarctica (Mawson’s expedition 1911-1912).
1922 - 2JP - Sydney
Experimental station owned by J. Pike. Transmitter at Greenwich. Previously licensed as Morse code station XJP in 1911 at Arncliffe.
1922 - 2KC - Sydney
Experimental station owned by R.H. Fry. Transmitter at Croydon. Mr. Fry was later appointed a Director of 2SB.
1922 - 2LX - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the Burwood Radio Club.
1922 - 2LB - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the L. Bean & Co. Radio Shop.
1922 - 2TH - Bangalow
Broadcast station owned by the T.H. Squelch Radio Shop.
1922 - 2PS - Sydney
Experimental station owned by P. Stephens. Transmitter at Balmain.
1922 - 2AG - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the Ashfield Garage Service Station.
1922 - 2ZF - Narrandera
Experimental station owned by Phil Roberts.
1922 - 2CX - Sydney
Experimental station owned by H. Stowe. Transmitter at Chatswood.
1922 - 2BQ - Sydney
Experimental station owned by F. Easton. Transmitter at Bondi.
1922 - 2NE - Sydney
Experimental station owned by J. Scott. Transmitter at Epping.
1922 - 2ED - Sydney
Experimental station owned by H. Gregory. Transmitter at Abbotsford.
1922 - 2ER - Sydney
Experimental station owned by W. Best. He built all the equipment himself. Transmitter at Rose Bay.
1922 - 2BV - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the Waverley Radio Club using a 15 watt transmitter. Originally a Morse code station (callsign N249). Their members cooperated with the establishment of 2FC by providing reception reports during testings. They also experimented with television from 1933 (originally called ‘radiovision’ in the early 1920s). This radio club is still active.
1922 - 2FA - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Syd Colville. Transmitter at Drummoyne. He started the Queensland Wireless Institute in 1914. Syd was later appointed a Director of 2SB. His Colville Wireless Co. built the wireless equipment for Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s “Southern Cross”, and later built many transmitters for broadcast stations.
1922 - 2AD - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Arthur Dixon, licenced specifically for using broadcasts to test Mullard valves and Ferranti radio components. Transmitter at Strathfield. This callsign was reissued on 5-2-1936 as a commercial licence in Armidale.
1922 - 2WV - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the Burgin Electric Co. (operated by E. Morey). See 2BE 7-11-1924.
1922 - 2VM - Sydney
Experimental station owned by V.M. Derrick. Transmitter at Bellevue Hill. On air 2130-2200 daily. This callsign was reissued as a Moree commercial licence on 12-1-1957.
1922 - 2RP - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the R. Primer Radio Shop. Transmitter at Gordon.
1922 - 2CH - Uralla
Experimental station owned by C. Henry using a 20 watt transmitter. This callsign was reissued on 15 Feb 1932 as a commercial licence in Sydney.
1922 - 2LI - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the Radio College Ltd. Transmitter at Bondi.
1922 - 2HS - Sydney
Experimental station owned by Harry Stowe. Transmitter at Drummoyne.
1922 - 2RA - Sydney
Experimental station owned by K. Vickery. Transmitter at Hurlestone Park.
1922 - 2ZG - Sydney
Experimental station owned by R. McIntosh. Transmitter at Lane Cove.
1922 - 2AK - Deniliquin
Experimental station owned by J. Claffery, with a six watt transmitter.
1922 - 2WR - Sydney
Experimental station owned by A. Shipley. Transmitter at North Bondi.
1922 - 2JM - Sydney
Experimental station owned by R. Marsden. Transmitter at Edgecliff.
1922 - 2DJ - Sydney
Experimental station owned by David Jones Ltd. Transmitter at Northbridge.
1922 - 2HP - Sydney
Experimental station owned by the founder of Wireless Weekly, Will MacLardy, using a 15 watt transmitter at Neutral Bay. On air 1500-1700 and 1900-2200. Became 2SB/2BL, in the Smiths Weekly/Guardian building in Phillip Street. Will was their first Managing Director. Ray Allsop (2YG) moved all their equipment. Their first three days saw all seven Guardian phone numbers jammed with congratulatory calls. (See 2SB 13-11-1923).
1922 - 2BB - Sydney
Experimental station owned by E. Crocker, with a 10 watt transmitter at Marrickville.
26 Dec 1922 - 2UW - Sydney
Broadcast station owned by Otto Sandell. Transmitter at Bellevue Hill. Otto produced 200 Sandell radio sets per week from his United Wireless factory in Kings Cross. First station to broadcast a political speech. Later issued a commercial licence, with an increase in power from 15 to 400 watts. (See 2UW 13 Feb 1925).
1923 - 2DS - Sydney
Broadcast station owned by 15 year old Jack Davis, operating on six watts at Vaucluse. (His callsign was also listed as 2JD). Conducted joint experiments with 2CM for A.W.A. transmitter development research. Jack later hosted a program called “Church in the Wildwood” on 2CH and other stations across Australia.
5 Jun 1923 - 2MB - Sydney
Broadcast station owned by New System Telephones inside the music company W.H. Paling studio, using 10 watts. All music broadcast was supplied by Palings. Started by Oswald Anderson (later first manager of 2FC, then manager of the Australian Broadcasting Co., then manager of 2UW). Broadcast several concerts each week (also broadcast on 2YG). Often heard in Wagga Wagga and Brisbane. Closed on 1 Aug 1923. Ray Allsop, (2YG), was Palings Chief Engineer.
21 Sep 1923 - 2LO - Sydney
Broadcast station owned by Len Schultz. Transmitter at Lane Cove. Len later designed 2GB (23 Aug 1926), and was their first Chief Engineer.
1923 - 2CS - Newcastle
Owned by Lionel Swain at Hamilton. Callsign 2CS was later proposed for a 1938 commercial licence at Casino in a joint venture by 2KA and 2KM, which never went to air. The callsign was reissued at Coffs Harbour on 16 Dec 1985.
23 Nov 1923 - 2SB - Sydney
See 2HP. Sydney Broadcasters Ltd. (licence number three issued under the 1923 Telegraph and Wireless Act). Their publicised opening on 15 Nov 1923 was postponed due to technical problems. Their first Directors included Will MacLardy (2HP), S. Colville (2FA), R. Fry (2KC), and Cecil Stevenson (2IY). Cecil Stevenson (see 2UE and 2IY), designed and built the 2SB 500 watt transmitter. Installed and operated by Ray Allsop (2YG and 2ZH), and 21 year old Ernest Martyn-Jones in the Smiths Weekly/Guardian building, on 857 KHz. Joe Reed (2JR) was their first Chief Engineer. A "sealed set" station. First commercial licence in the Southern hemisphere. Their official opening on 13 Dec 1923 was on several loudspeakers in Martin Place, heard by hundreds of people, and opened by the Post Master General, The Hon. W. Gibson. Often heard in Hawaii and California. They changed their callsign to 2BL (Sydney Broadcasters Ltd) on 1 Mar 1924.
1 Mar 1924 - 2BL - Sydney
Sydney Broadcasters Ltd. See 2HP and 2SB. Granted a relay licence for Newcastle in 1925, which never went to air. Ray Allsop (2YG) was appointed Chief Engineer in June 1925. Used a microphone outside a window to broadcast the Post Office clock’s hourly chimes in 1925. Increased power to 1,000 watts in January 1926 with a new transmitter at Coogee (5,000 watts in 1930, 20,000 in the 1940s, then 50,000 in 1962 at Liverpool). Tried “Talkback” programs in 1926, which were abandoned because of a lack of delay facilities. Experimented with relaying U.S.A. station KDKA in 1926 via a receiver at 2YG. They then relayed more experimental programs from London, Paris, and Moscow, via a Netherlands Phillips short wave transmitter, via Ray’s 2YG. On air 0700-0800, and 1000-2300 in 1927, and often heard in Canada and the U.S.A. Once put off the air by a short circuit caused by a moth. After 2BL and 2FC closed each night, Ray re-tuned their transmitters to shortwave; these experiments later became the AWA shortwave station VK2ME, (later Radio Australia). (VK2ME was heard by Commander Byrd’s Antarctica expedition on 10 Jan 1930). Ray kept the station open for 18 hours in June 1928 for announcer Basil Kirke (later manager of 6WF, then Victorian and NSW manager of the ABC) to report via short wave on the last leg from Fiji of Charles Kingsford Smith’s historic Pacific flight. The short wave Morse signal was received by Rays’ 2YG station, and translated on air by Basil Kirke. (Ray later invented the Raycophone system of playing film sound, being installed in 375 theatres by 1938). 2BL and 2FC were purchased by the NSW Broadcasting Co. on 1 Jan 1928, but from 22 Jul 1929, programs came from the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Co. On air 0815-1100, 1200-1745, and 1815-2230, with 60 minutes of advertising daily. Taken over by the A.B.C. on 1 Jul 1932. Their first broadcast of the Melbourne Cup was in 1932, with race caller Eric Welsh and winner Peter Pan relayed from 3LO. Broadcast choirs live from their roof as their studio was too small. Broadcast a concert from inside a coal mine beneath the Katoomba Scenic Railway in 1938. On 11-12-1938 they were put off the air when a hurricane damaged their tower. Broadcast live from the middle of the Simpson Desert in 1939 using a peddle transmitter. Australia’s longest running radio serial, "The Lawsons" ("Blue Hills" in 1946) was broadcast nationally from 1944 to 1976 with 7,095 episodes. It was written by Gwen Meredith who was awarded an O.B.E. in 1977. (Photo Caption) Early A.B.C. studio. (Photo Caption) Ian McNamarra.
9 Jan 1924 - 2FC - Sydney
Owned by Farmers and Co. Ltd (licence number one issued on 10-9-1923 under the 1923 Telegraph and Wireless Act) who wrongly believed that they would cover all N.S.W. The station was installed on their roof. Originally planned to operate as 2LO. (Farmer and Co. Ltd. was also issued with licence number six (341 kHz,500 watts) as 2FL which never went to air). Testing from 15-11-1923 using 500 watts was carried out with a receiver on top of the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba. Opened on longwave (273 KHz.) with a 5,000 watt transmitter at Willoughby, with two towers 200 feet tall and 600 feet apart, installed by A.W.A. The transmitter hut included a bedroom for the technician. Their official opening broadcast on 10-1-1924 featured Gladys Moncrieff live from Her Majesty’s Theatre, and was received in Japan and California. A "sealed set" station. The studio walls were stuffed with seaweed for sound-proofing. First to broadcast live from an aeroplane (DH 50), Jenolan Caves, Mt. Kosciusko, a coal mine under Sydney Harbour, and a church (they used 150 batteries to power the church broadcast). Granted relay licences for six N.S.W. country towns in 1925, which never went to air. Increased on-air hours to 10 per day in April 1926. Moved to medium wave 678 KHz. on 2-10-1926. On air 0700-0800, and 1000-2300 in 1927, with good reception in Adelaide on crystal sets. First “Empire Broadcaster” with A.W.A. shortwave relay (VK2ME on 20,000 watts) to Marconi stations (India, South Africa, 2LO London, plus shortwave), and R.C.A. stations (Canada and WGY New York plus shortwave), on 5-9-1927, between 0200-0500. (VK2ME was the first Australian station to conduct F.M. experiments [mono only] in 1927 on 9 MHz, supervised by Ray Allsop from 2YG and 2BL). On air 0700-0815, 1030-1230, 1300-1630, and 1745-2330. Both 2FC and 2BL were bought by the N.S.W. Broadcasting Co. on 1 Jan 1928, however, from 22 Jul 1929, all programs were supplied by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Co. On air 0815-1100, 1200-1745, and 1815-2230 with 60 minutes of advertisements each day. On 10 Jun 1928 they broadcast live the arrival of the ‘Southern Cross’ airplane in Sydney, flown by Charles Kingsford Smith. Taken over by the Australian Broadcasting Commission on 1 Jul 1932. Broadcast interviews with King George V, Pope Pius XI, H.G. Wells, the Aga Khan, Adolph Hitler, and with two divers at the bottom of Sydney Harbour, in 1932. Heard in Fiji, Hong Kong, the U.S.A. and Canada. A 1942 monthly program appropriately titled "Till the End of Time" was broadcast live from Long Bay Gaol. It consisted of inmates singing and playing instruments. Voted Sydney’s most popular radio station for news in 1943. The American Armed Forces Radio service used their studios to produce some programs during WWII. Installed a 650 feet high tower at Liverpool in 1962. Became 2RN in October 1990. (Also see 2FC Emu Plains 1962). (Photo Caption: Advertisement for the launch of 2SB (2BL), Sydney Morning Herald 2 Nov 1923. Their correct on-air date was 23 Nov 1923.) (Photo Caption: Advertisement for the start of 2FC tests, Sydney Morning Herald 4 Dec 1923.) (Photo Caption: Advertisement for the start of 2FC tests, Sydney Morning Herald 4 Dec 1923.) (Photo Caption: Reception testing for 2FC in 1923.) (Photo Caption: BIG A.B.C. EXTENSIONS – DAWN TO MIDNIGHT, 35 HOURS MORE FOR CITY STATIONS – COUNTRY AREAS GET 15 MORE, A.B.C. Press Release October 1946.) Important extensions of the National Broadcasting Services will operate from 20th October as announced by the General Manager of the A.B.C., Mr. Charles Moses. Hitherto it has not been possible to provide an alternative programme in in metropolitan areas, even though there are two transmitters in each capital city and Newcastle, until 11.45 AM. Nor has it been possible to give an uninterrupted service on regional stations. Up to now, Mr. Moses explained, it has been necessary to close down all national transmitters for 12 hours daily for service and maintenance. During the war this maintenance could not be carried out before the opening or after the closing of the broadcasting hours because of P.M.G. staff shortage. A large number of the P.M.G. staff were in the armed services, particularly as specialists in such sections as Signals and Radar. For some time the Commission has been anxious to extend to listeners the benefits of a continuous service in the country, and a complete alternative service throughout the day in the metrpolitan areas. The Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs has now informed the Commission that with the return of men from the services, he is at last able to provide the technical staff necessary to make this extension in the National Broadcasting Service possible. From October 20, A.B.C. transmitters will provide two programs in each metropolitan centre from 7.00 A.M. to 11.00 P.M. Between 6.00 A.M. and 7.00 A.M. and between 11.00 P.M. and midnight, one station will be on air. Regional stations will get a complete coverage from 6.00 A.M. until midnight. These extensions will have the effect of increasing the on air broadcasting hours by 35 hours a week and 15 hours a week on regional stations. The A.B.C.s Controller of Programmes said that a great deal of organisation had been necessary in the A.B.C.s Programme Department to prepare for this change. The main effect of this change will be to serve a programme of fine music interspersed with such service features as the Kindergarten Session and Daily Devotional Service from 07.00 until midday, while the interstate network will be presenting Mike Connors’ early morning session, the Hospital Half Hour, the Kitchen Front, Music While You Work, and the Womens’ Session. The change will benefit country listeners in that those regional stations which were closed during that early part of the morning will now broadcast the Kindergarten Session and those that formerly closed later in the morning will now be able to present the Womens’ Session. All Regional stations will be able to get both. Before this extension of broadcasting, all Regionals had only one or the other. The A.B.C. was especially glad to be able to extend this Regional Service because many country listeners in Queensland and Tasmania had requested the Kindergarten Session, and listeners in other states had asked for the Womens’ Session.
7 Nov 1924 - 2BE - Sydney
Owned by Burgin Electric using 100 watts. Started as experimental licence 2WV in 1922. Phone No. 141. Manager Oswald Mingay (2XX) built and sold his Mingay radios, started the Australian Radio College in 1930, and published several radio periodicals. In June 1925 they cut back to Tuesdays and Thursdays 1830-2100, due to financial problems. From 23-8-1926 they shared their frequency with 2GB, who were on air Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On 23 Dec 1926 they held a Radio Dance Night in aid of Cancer Research with their Radio Jazz Band. Listeners were asked to hold dance parties in their homes, with guests making a donation. On 3-3-1927 they broadcast from the Radio and Electrical Exhibition in the Sydney Town Hall. Off the air for several months in 1927 due to a fire. On 17 Mar 1928 they requested listeners to write in listing the type of programs they don’t like, and programs they would like to hear. Editors Note: was this the first radio survey in Australia? Closed due to bankruptcy on 6 Nov 1929, with their 870 kHz frequency taken over fully by 2GB. The 2BE callsign was reissued as another commercial licence at Bega on 30 Sep 1937.
26 Jan 1925 - 2UE - Sydney
Despite popular belief, they did not start as 2EU although owned by Electrical Utilities with Cecil ‘Pa’ Stevenson (the ‘father’ of commercial radio), from 2ZH, 2IY and 2SB/2BL). He was later a big advocate of F.M. The studios cost £750 to build, and £9 per week to operate. On air 2000-2200 using 150 watts. Advertisements cost 1/-. The 80 feet high towers were in his Maroubra back yard, the transmitter was on his verandah, and his dining room was his studio with all home-made equipment. Cecil whistled while changing records to let listeners know that he was still on air. Often heard in the U.S.A. and New Zealand. Later moved to Cecil’s Radio House store. First current commercial licence in Australia. Newspapers took one year to mention their existence. First station to experiment sending still pictures by radio. Broadcast fortnightly old-time dances from the Horden Brothers Pavilion during the 1930s. Installed a 250 watt transmitter at Lilli Pilli in 1930 (1,000 watts at Concord in July 1941, being turned on by Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Robert Menzies). Moved to floors four and five at Savoy House in Bligh Street (2GB then moved into floors six and seven). First known as “The Feature Station”. They formed the Major Radio Network with 3DB in 1938. Criticised by the A.B.C. for ‘copying’ their “Hospital Half Hour” program in 1938 (see 7HO 13-8-1930). Cricketer Don Bradman played the piano on their weekly “Call to Youth” children’s program. First to play the six pips hourly (1939) from the Sydney Observatory. Started a weekly “Dear Radio 2UE” program in 1939 with listeners mailing compliments, complaints, requests, and suggestions. Their tower was wired with explosives by the Army in case of a WWII invasion. Used a 2CH studio when fire destroyed their own studio in 1943. Known as “The Modern Station” in the 1950s. Gary O’Callaghan (with Sammy Sparrow) had Sydney’s number one breakfast program for 28 years with 159 survey wins. He stated that Top 40 music would only last six months. Gary’s son, Nicholas, worked at 2NZ and 2KM/2MC. Bought by 2KO in 1956. John Laws started in 1956, becoming the top rating announcer in Australia, with over one million listeners until 2005. He retired in 2007, but returned to radio with 2SM in 2011. Commenced 24 hour broadcasting in 1957. Started the original “Top 40” on 2-3-1958, with Pat Barton (see 9AG in the separate Military Radio article) from 2KO, and “April Love” by Pat Boone as the first number one. This format dramatically increased their ratings and revenue, with Bob Rogers, Tony Withers, and John Laws. Bought the 2GZ Sydney studios in 1958. Known as “The Brighter 2UE” in the 1960s, with their popular “National Old Time Dance” program being relayed across Australia. First Australian station to use tape cartridges. First to legally broadcast “Talkback” (midnight 17-4-1967) with journalist Ormsby Wilkins (also see 2BL, 2SM, 3DB, and 3AK). Over a 10 year period, owners were the Lamb family, Kerry Packer (paid $21,000,000), Alan Bond, then then back to Kerry Packer (who sacked all the announcers and started a “Talkback” format), then back to the Lamb family ($4,000,000), then to 3AW. Wrongly promoted as “First in Sydney” in the 1970s. Stan Zemanek is still the only announcer to be number one simultaneously in Sydney and Brisbane. He passed away in 2007. (Photo Caption: Announcing the merger of 2UE/2GB.) (Photo Caption: Gary O’Callaghan) (Photo Caption: The Launch of the First 2UE TOP 40 Chart - Sunday Telegraph 2 Mar 1958.) (Photo Caption: Eric Baume 1939.) (Photo Caption: Original 2UE Licence issued on 7 Nov 1924.) (Photo Caption: John Laws/Bob Rogers) (Photo Caption: MISSING in Sydney (0700 17-4-1967) but was beaten.) HOW’S THIS FOR A LINEUP? - THE ‘ORIGINAL’ 2SM GOOD-GUYS FROM 1963. PHIL JOHN JOHN BOB MIKE DAVID PHIL JOHN
HALDEMAN MAHON FRYER ROGERS WALSH PATERSON HUNTER BRENNAN
OR ARE THESE THE ‘ORIGINAL’ 2SM GOOD-GUYS FROM 1963? JOHN MAHON JOHN BRENNAN MIKE WALSH BOB ROGERS TONY MURPHY DAVID PATTERSON by 2UE by seven hours. A news reader in the 1960s stated “It wasn’t a very happy weekend for 17 N.S.W. motorists as they were all killed on the State’s roads”. Reintroduced a “Top 40” format in 1969. Despite their Rock ‘n’ Roll and Talkback formats, until the 1970s they continued to broadcast the Angelus Bells calls for worship at 0600, 1200, and 1800. Purchased 2NX in 1971, 4IP in 1978, and 2NM. First station in Australia to install an 8 track production recorder (1973). Rated number one with the “Rocktober” promotion in 1974. Known as “Lite ‘n’ Easy 1269” from April 1988. Bought by 2WS in 1992 for $2,000,000 with computer programs except for live breakfast and drive programs. Changed to “Sydney’s Hottest Country” in October 1992, known on air as “Kick AM 1269” specialising in line dancing music. A nostalgia format followed, then talkback (again). Sold to Bill Caralis in 1999. (Photo Caption: Harry Millard 1935.)
25 Jan 1932 - 2GN - Goulburn
Originally established at Moss Vale (see 2MV Moss Vale 15-12-1930). Their pre-fab building, equipment, and licence then moved to Goulburn. Opened with 50 watts (100 watts in 1937). Their official opening on 25-1-1932 was relayed to 2SM. On air Sunday 2000-2130, Tuesday 1215-1345, 1830-1900, 2000-2100, Thursday 1215-1345, 1830-1900, 2000-2100, Saturday 1830-1900, 1930-2000, 2030-2130. Closed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Bought by A.W.A. in 1934 with two staff (manager-engineer-announcer, and an office girl). Ernest Fisk was a director. Increased hours to 0700-1345, and 1730-2230 daily in 1936. Relayed several programs from the A.W.A. installed 9MI; the world’s only floating radio station, on the M.V. Kanimbla, from 1936 to 1939. Their first technician, William Cavanaugh from 2WC (1926), used a bicycle daily to ride to the transmitter to turn it on and off. Their transmitter was wired with explosives in WWII in case the Japanese attacked. Organised food parcels for Britain at the end of WWII. Broadcast numerous balls during the 1940s. Broadcast four live concerts each year by inmates from the Goulburn Gaol starting in 1947. One announcer said “demand the breast in bed” instead of “demand the best in bread”. First station to play a Bee Gees record. Taken over by 2NX in 1990. They now have a relay transmitter at Crookwell.
15 Feb 1932 - 2CH - Sydney
Owned by the N.S.W. Council of Churches using 1,000 watts. Opening transmitter problems were relieved by placing condoms over an oscillating valve. Managed by A.W.A. from 1-5-1936, with the Council of Churches providing all Sunday programs. Broadcast the longest running Australian sitcom series, “Fred and Maggie Everybody”, produced by A.W.A., from 16-3-1936 with 3,000 episodes. Their “Women’s League” club raised over £50,000 for WWII relief, and also knitted more than one million pairs of socks for the Red Cross. When a fire destroyed the only studio at 2UE in 1943, they used a 2CH studio. Their record library had over 25,000 records in 1945. Eric Pearce (later manager of 5KA and 3DB), and Bob Dyer (originally employed as a singer), started their radio careers here. Eric had earlier worked for the B.B.C., and Bob had worked in U.S. radio. Their slogan was “Entertains the Whole Family”. Banned gambling and liquor advertisements, and any mention of the Melbourne Cup. Launched their women’s “Homemakers” club and their children’s “Happy Companions” and “Smile” clubs in the 1940s. Tried singing weather reports three times daily in February 1948. Pioneered the “Beautiful Music” format. First to broadcast stereo in Sydney (with 2SM) for five months of testing from August 1958. Both stations broadcast the same program at the same time, with the left and right channels on separate stations. Listeners needed two radios to hear stereo. Known as “The Real Sound of Radio” in the 1960s. From 1965 to 1972 10% of their programs were in foreign languages with English translations (as with 3XY). Bought by 2GB in 1989. In 1992, John Singleton described the listeners as “The type of people who read all the funeral notices to see if they are dead”. However, John later bought the station. In 2015, 2GB stated that they would sell 2CH, due to a 2GB / 2UE amalgamation. The 2CH callsign was first issued to a broadcast station at Uralla in the 1920s. (Photo Captions: 1986; 1932; Barry Spicer 1980). Their record library had over 25,000 records in 1945. Eric Pearce (later manager of 5KA and 3DB), and Bob Dyer (originally employed as a singer), started their radio careers here. Eric had earlier worked for the B.B.C., and Bob had worked in U.S. radio. Their slogan was “Entertains the Whole Family”. Banned gambling and liquor advertisements, and any mention of the Melbourne Cup. Launched their women’s “Homemakers” club and their children’s “Happy Companions” and “Smile” clubs in the 1940s. Tried singing weather reports three times daily in February 1948. Pioneered the “Beautiful Music” format. First to broadcast stereo in Sydney (with 2SM) for five months of testing from August 1958. Both stations broadcast the same program at the same time, with the left and right channels on separate stations. Listeners needed two radios to hear stereo. Known as “The Real Sound of Radio” in the 1960s. From 1965 to 1972 10% of their programs were in foreign languages with English translations (as with 3XY). Bought by 2GB in 1989. In 1992, John Singleton described the listeners as “The type of people who read all the funeral notices to see if they are dead”. However, John later bought the station. In 2015, 2GB stated that they would sell 2CH, due to a 2GB / 2UE amalgamation. The 2CH callsign was first issued to a broadcast station at Uralla in the 1920s. (Photo Captions: Len London 2 June 1982; Howard Craven 30 Jul 1984; Bob Rogers OAM; Bob Rogers.)
1932 - 2HX - Broken Hill
Broadcast station owned by E. Jinks (see 2XL Broken Hill 18-8-1931). The transmitter was at Railwaytown. Mr Jinks was in charge of the local Department of Civil Aviation office. Originally on air on Sunday mornings. A spring broke in their only wind-up gramophone. An appeal broadcasting a request for a replacement gramophone resulted in several being delivered within minutes. Closed in 1937 when Jinks joined 2BH.
1932 - 2DN - Deniliquin
Broadcast station owned by John Parris. Operated from John Tasker’s Garage every Sunday. Programming was mainly live local artists. Became commercial licence 2QN on 2 Nov 1935. Callsign 2DN was previously issued as an experimental licence at Sydney in 1922.
193? - 2NM - Mudgee
Broadcast station owned by Harry Milton. Became commercial licence 2MG on 2 Jul 1938. The 2NM callsign was later reissued at Muswellbrook on 14 Jan 1954.
1932 - 2KK - Kurri Kurri
Broadcast station owned by Matt Dodds.
29 Jun 1932 - 2WG - Wagga Wagga
Started by local teachers, Eric and Nan Roberts, installed in their home, using 2,000 watts. Originally proposed by the Friendly Farmer Broadcasting Syndicate. “The Voice of the Riverina”. Kept on air during flooding by an amateur operating his radio link to the transmitter. Heard in numerous countries. Their “Bushells Tea Party Sing-a-Long” was a very popular live program. Their “2WG Women’s” club financed the establishment of an Aged Care Centre in 1955 called “The Haven”. Designed, built, and installed some of the original equipment for 2BS. Published a regular newsletter called “Behind the Dial at 2WG”. Launched their children’s “Glee” club in the 1950s. Station manager Yvonne Braid, retired in 2008 after 50 years with the station. Now has relay transmitters at Gundagai and Tumut.
1933 - 2LE - Meadow Flat
Commercial licence issued to Radio Corporation Ltd situated between Lithgow and Bathurst, stating that they would cover all of New South Wales. Their studios and offices were installed in Sydney, but the station never went to air. This callsign was previously issued as an experimental station at Lismore in the 1920s.
1933 - 2EM - Dubbo
Owned by Ernest Mars. Closed on 29 Oct 1935. Before closing, he helped the local Mechanics Institute launch 2MX. Ernest had previously launched 4EM in Charleville in 1923.
15 Dec 1933 - 2GF - Grafton
Their first manager was Charles Coldwell from 2XT. Licensed on 16 Aug 1932 with 50 watts, but criticised by the P.M.G. on 2 Feb 1933 for not opening. A.W.A. stated they ‘forgot’, while opening 2AY and 2GN. Also criticised for having one person as manager-announcer-technician. Installed a new studio in 1936 using the original 2FC equipment. Broadcast several plays by the “2GF North Coast Players Club”. Ernest Fisk was a Director. On air 1300-1400 and 1800-2200. Broadcast a weekly formal ball from the 1930s/1950s. Twice attempts were made to dig up and steal the entire copper earth mat around their towers. Put off the air when a farmer dug up their cable. Relayed some programs from A.W.A. station 9MI, the world’s only floating station, on the M.V. Kanimbla, from 1936-1939. Increased power to 100 watts on 30-7-1937 (1,000 watts in 1951, and 5,000 in 1977) with two towers 160 feet high and 625 feet apart. Used illegally late Saturday nights in 1939 by amateur operators with the callsign 2ZM. Known as “The Voice of the Clarence”. On air hours were reduced during WWII due to electricity rationing. Sacred music was played for a full day in 1943 after 13 Wolf Cubs were drowned in a boating accident. News was relayed from the A.B.C., plus 2GB, 2KY, 2UE, 2CH, and 2WS. Broadcast 24/7 in 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1954, and 1963 during severe flooding. Live flood reports were sent via two-way radios from Army DUKWs. Acted as the Grafton Emergency Communications Centre after all other emergency communications were flooded. 2LM, 2AD, 2KM, and 2MW helped with staff and equipment, using a rowboat to reach the studio. Started a children’s “Smile” club in the 1950s. In 1954, five ambulances had car radios installed. Urgent messages were broadcast on air to the ambulances (also see 2LM 1936). Announcers have served free breakfasts to the public yearly since 1972 as part of their Jacaranda Festival sponsorship. Started 24 hour broadcasting in 1976. Gained a Wales Award for Outstanding Community Service in 1978. An application for a relay transmitter at Coffs Harbour was refused. In 1979 they organised a Scrabble competition in support of the local Big River Festival of Arts. Bought a standby transmitter from 2KM in 1980. Both their transmitters were later sold to 2XL. A 5,000 watt standby transmitter was bought from 4GG when they moved to F.M. Announcer Mike Summers broke the world record for the “Longest Continuous Broadcast by One Announcer” in 1986, as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records. (This World Record was broken again in 1994 by the compiler of all this research, Bruce Carty, broadcasting for 121 hours at 2CCC Gosford). Moved to the A.B.C. building in 1988 when the A.B.C. moved to Lismore.
30 Jun 1934 - 2BH - Broken Hill
Started by Ronald Hipwell (founder of 3SH), as “The Happiness Station” (later “The Voice of the Western Darling”) using 100 watts. Ron was also the Chief Engineer. Officially opened by the Post Master General on landline from Sydney. On air 0700-0900 and 1800-2230. In 1936 they bought the original transmitter used at 5BQ and 5DN. Programs pre-recorded at 5AD were sent by train. Became “The Barrier Miner Broadcasting Station” on 27-10-1936. Increased on air hours to 0700-1230 and 1700-2300 after WWII. On 21-10-1944 they broadcast a one hour WWII relief concert being relayed on short wave by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Started their children’s “Smilers” club, and broadcast a ‘cheerio’ call to passengers on all flights departing Broken Hill in the 1950s. Jack Davey broadcast his Ampol Show from the Town Hall live across Australia in 1958. Opened new shop-front studios in 1975, with an intercom allowing passers-by to talk to the announcers. Bought by a Church of Christ minister, John Curtis, in 1984 for $167,000. A new building in the shape of an old Phillips radio was opened on 20 Sep 1990, with a souvenir shop and antique radio display. Opened a separate F.M. service on 18 Jan 1993.
27 Feb 1935 - 2TM - Tamworth
First licensed as 2WO, but changed before their opening broadcast from the Royal Hotel, including live messages from 2SM and 2UW. Started by Tom Whitcomb and the Higginbotham family (see 2VM). On air 0700-0800, 1200-1400, and 1730-1900 daily with 50 watts, (1,000 watts in 1936) from a house on Manila road. Sued most of their advertisers for non-payment of their first accounts. Opened a shop selling and installing receivers in 1936. First country station to broadcast all day (0700-2200). Started a listeners “Women’s” club with over 3,000 members, featuring announcer Edith Marshall, and a children’s “Possum” club with over 10,000 members in the 1930s. In 1937 they moved to Peel Street above the Farmers Co-op, then to a new building on the New England highway in 1959. In October 1942 their Women’s Radio Club raised £1,500 to purchase a trainer plane for the R.A.A.F. As the head station for the New England Network, they often relayed programs to 2MO, 2AD, 2RE, and 2VM. In 1965 John Minson started his “Hoedown” country music format, on relay to several stations. In 1971, Johnny Ashcroft was awarded three gold records while performing at their 36th anniversary. This led to the formation of the annual Golden Guitar Awards in 1973, with Tamworth becoming Australia’s “Country Music Capital”. Also in 1973, with 2MO, they launched the annual Ag-Quip field days in Gunnedah, becoming Australia’s largest primary industry exhibition, and one of the largest in the world. The New England Network was bought by 2SM in January 1995.
1935 - 2II - Dubbo
Broadcast station owned by Max Moore. Closed in May 1936 due to the opening of 2DU.
7 Sep 1935 - 2KA - Katoomba
Started at Medlow Bath, with 100 watts in a house on the corner of Portland and Rutland roads. Installed by Wally Grant from 2KY, who also installed the 2LT equipment. In 1937 the studio moved to Bligh Street in Sydney, taking programs from all six commercial stations. Known as “The Happiness Station”. First country station to relay a program to a city station (New Years Eve procession to 2CH in 1935). Increased power to 1,000 watts in 1938 with a transmitter and studio at Wentworth Falls, installed by Chief Engineer G. Pollock (VH2XU). The transmitter was wired with explosives in WWII in case the Japanese attacked. Most programs came from the 2GZ Sydney studio during WWII. They then moved to Katoomba above the Rural Bank, but had more listeners in Lithgow. First station to broadcast school results despite a Government ban. Started a listeners “Radio Service” club in the 1950s with the slogan “The Voice of the (Blue) Mountains”. Thieves stole most of their Wentworth Falls studio equipment in October 1951. Ward ‘Pally’ Austin (later 2UE) started his career here. Opened a relay transmitter (1476 kHz) and studio at Penrith. Later closed their Katoomba studio. Bought by Mike Walsh in 1983, moving into a Penrith studio next to his cinema. All the fish in their foyer aquarium died on their opening day. Moved to F.M. as “The Edge 96.1 FM” on 23 Oct 1992. Their Wentworth Falls A.M. frequency was to become a 2LT relay. Their Penrith transmitter became an unrelated separate service called “Cool Country 2KA” which closed on 24 Feb 2015. Also see 2FC Emu Plains 1962.
Oct 1935 - 2MX - Dubbo
Established by Ernest Mars for the Mechanics Institute of Dubbo when he closed 2EM.
31 Oct 1935 - 2GZ - Orange
First planned to open as 2GX. Officially opened by the Postmaster-General, Alexander McLachlan, from 3GI via landline. Started by the local Graziers Association, but owned by the Ridley family. Their first manager, George Anderson, also oversaw the start of 2IN/2LV/2NZ, before moving to 2GB as manager. Produced a 40 page “2GZ Magazine” in 1936 explaining how a radio station operates. Their phone was jammed by listeners for weeks wanting a copy. Jack Ridley, son of the owners, became the manager of 2UE, after studying radio and television in the U.S.A. His brother, Alan, was the first General Manager of CBN-8 TV in Orange, with Jacks’ son Ian Station Manager. Claimed to have the highest powered and most completely equipped “B” class broadcasting station in Australia. Broadcast a talent quest from Molongo in 1945 with a £50 prize. Off the air on 3-3-1950 due to a lightning strike on their tower, and on 10-9-1950 due to a power failure, and on 21-7-1951 due to a heavy snow fall bringing down trees over their power lines. On 8-1-1951 their transmitter was saved from a bushfire by their technician interrupting the program feed to put out an urgent call for water trucks and fire fighters. Night-time programs came from a Sydney studio with a landline to the transmitter until 1958. (This studio was also used by 2GB and 2UE for live drama programs). 2KA relayed some of their programs. Often broadcast community singing from Bathurst, Wellington, Lithgow and Parkes. Their most popular program was “Behind the Dial”; a weekly expose behind the scenes in radio stations. Evening announcer Frank Semple became an early Radio Australia announcer. Formed “The Provincial Network” on 11-7-1938. Their slogan was “2GZ - Central New South Wales”. Jack Ridley was president of the Federation of Australian Commercial Broadcasters 1947-1950. Several staff members formed a charity concert band, touring country towns. Started their “Junior Country Service” club for children in the 1950s. Johnny Ashcroft started his singing career on air here. Employed John Laws in 1956 (also see 2PK, 3BO, and 3DB). In 1983 they failed in an attempt to purchase 2MG, 2BS, and 2LF. They later moved in with CBN-8 TV, and 2CR then moved to the 2GZ building. Moved to F.M. on 8-10-1999. The 2GZ A.M. frequency (1089 KHz.) was used to establish 2EL (Easy Listening). (See 2EL 8-10-1999).
2 Nov 1935 - 2QN - Deniliquin
See 2DN Deniliquin 1932. Started using a 50 watt transmitter and known on air as “The Riverina Station”. The station was destroyed by fire on 10-6-1939. A temporary station was then installed at John Taskers garage (see 2DN Deniliquin 1932), then at the old School of Arts building. An application to move to Wangaratta was refused in 1944. Local community groups then raised enough money to save the station. Bert Day started his race calling career here. In 1947, they played 19% Australian music despite a quota of only 2.5%. Launched a “Women’s” club in the 1940s and their children’s “Cheerio” club in the 1950s. In June 1950 they held a radiothon to raise funds for the Deniliquin children’s hospital. Bought by 2WG on 1-7-1955. A new 335 feet high tower was erected in 1960, using nine miles of copper tubing for an earth mat. This tower was knocked down by a storm on 30 Jun 2008. Lost an appeal against the issuing of a separate licence on F.M. at Shepparton in 1989. They then opened a separate F.M. station in 1994. Breakfast announcer Paul Dix was on air for 52 years until he passed away in 2013 at 80 years of age. (Phot Caption: The below photo is their announcer Fred Boyle.)
12 Jan 1936 - 2SL - Lismore
Broadcast station owned by Peter Hoare. On air Sundays. He first owned 2PH Gosford.
1936 - 2CJ - Cessnock
Broadcast station owned by Carl Johnson.
5 Feb 1936 - 2AD - Armidale
Designed by Harry Kauper from 5BG, 5CL, and 5DN using 100 watts. Their first manager and announcer was R.A.F. pilot John Creighton from 2CH. Known as “The Voice of the North”, on air 0700-0900, 1200-1400, and 1800-2200. Initially, most records played were donated by listeners. Bought by the Armidale Express on 30 Jun 1936. Renowned for numerous live outside broadcasts, including balls in Armidale, Guyra, Uralla, and Walcha. These broadcasts were always popular and well attended, despite consisting of only a microphone connected to a P.M.G. landline. Other outside broadcasts included Sunday church services, weekly community singing from the Armidale Capitol Theatre (later from the stations Broadcast House auditorium), ANZAC remembrance services, and often from shop windows. The “2AD Women’s” club established in 1938 raised money for several local community service organisations, and members helped operate the station during staff shortages in WWII. In 1942, a proposal to amalgamate 2NZ and 2AD at Guyra was approved but never eventuated. On 25-6-1943 they broadcast an appeal for cars to go to the airport and light up the runway with their headlights to enable an emergency landing. Launched a women’s “Correspondence” club in the 1940s, and a “Busy Bees” children’s club in the 1950s. Broadcast 4,666 paid birthday calls in 1945. Became “The Voice of New England” in 1953 as part of the New England Network (2TM, 2VM, 2MO, 2RE). Relayed several programs from 2GB, 2UE, and 2TM. Took over the operation of the Armidale Bureau of Meteorology from the Post Office on 2 Jul 1965, until 18 Jun 1997, with announcers taking readings every three hours, using equipment installed in their back yard. Readings were sent by telegram (later telex) to the Bureau. Increased power to 2,000 watts in 1963, covering Glen Innes. They then broadcast several charity appeals from Glen Innes, with some compered by 2GBs top rating announcer, Andrea. They opened a relay studio in Glen Innes in 1965 (closed 1969). Peter Allen started his career here, playing the piano for some children’s programs. Established an outside broadcast van in the 1970s. Their fiftieth celebrations in 1986 included greetings from Sammy Davis Jr., Ita Buttrose, Kenny Rogers, and Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Bob Hawke. Bought by 2SM in January 1995. Their first transmitter used to be displayed in the Armidale Folk Museum, however its’ current whereabouts is unknown. Does any reader know of its location? Their callsign was previously issued as an experimental station in Sydney in the 1920s. Also see 2LV 30 Mar 1936.
1936 - 2NZ - Narrabri
Commercial station owned by 2GZ. Licensed for 2,000 watts, but never went to air. The licence was later changed to 2IN (Inverell / Narrabri) in an attempt to combine their 2LV and 2NZ licences, but this station never went to air either, despite the studio equipment being installed in the Courier newspaper building. (See 2LV 30 Mar 1936). The Courier studio room was re-equipped and used as a relay studio for 2MO for a short time from 1969.
30 Mar 1936 - 2LV - Inverell
See 2NZ (above). Listed as 2IV by S.T.C. who installed their equipment. Opened using 100 watts with Stuart Beattie (2CH) as manager/announcer. Owned by 2AD and the Inverell Times. Known as “Your Station”. Often heard in New Zealand. Sold to 2GZ, changing their callsign to 2NZ on 25 Jan 1937 with 1,000 watts. N (North) and Z from 2GZ. (See 2NZ 25 Jan 1937).
10 Feb 1936 - 2LM - Lismore
See 2XN 22 May 1930. First planned to open as 2RI. (Also see 2AY Albury 17 Dec 1930). Bought by the Northern Star for £25, moving into their building. Started with an A.W.A. 500 watt transmitter in their Chief Engineer’s home at Alstonville. Often heard in Melbourne and New Zealand. Local towns Casino, Kyogle, and Ballina then all petitioned for their own stations. In October 1936 they formed an amateur radio drama club, hoping to present a weekly live play. Their old tower was donated to the military for the WWII war effort. Averaged 1,500 congratulatory letters each week in the 1940s. Announcer Tom Crozier (later very popular on 2UE), started his career here. Broadcast several live concerts from the R.A.A.F. base at Evans Head. Sponsored a WWII victory picnic at Ballina, with 14,000 listeners attending. Cecil Woodland, pre-war manager, sued for lack of reinstatement after WWII. He was awarded 200 pounds. In 1945 they stayed on air for 72 hours providing emergency communications during severe flooding. Their “Good Companions” children’s club had over 6,000 members. In the 1950s, five ambulances had car radios installed. Urgent messages were broadcast live on air to the ambulances (also see 2GF 1933). Included Italian programs in the 1950s. Technician Eric Rowe was electrocuted by their transmitter. Closed 1500-1700 daily in order to use their only studio for producing commercials. In 1950 they claimed to be the first Australian station to play a microgroove record. The Lismore telephone exchange blew up in 1952 when overloaded by a radio appeal for donations to assist two children who had lost their parents in an accident. Leonard Teale started his career here as an announcer. Featured country music in their “Radio Ranch” program, pioneering the format on Australian radio. Known as “The Feature Station”. Moved in with RTN-8 TV in the 1970s. Now has a relay transmitter at Kyogle.
3 Jul 1936 - 2DU - Dubbo
Owned and managed by Doug Holmes (VK2MX). Their official opening on 5 Jun 1936 was cancelled when the Radio Inspector failed to arrive for an inspection. Opened using 100 watts. In its pioneering days they built a studio capable of seating an audience of 80 people, and had a library with 4,000 records. Walter Grant (from 2KY, 2KA, 2BS, and 2LT), was appointed manager in 1943. Known as “The Western Station”. Off the air several times due to a flooded studio. Often broadcast telegrams for the Post Office which couldn’t be delivered due to floods. Their “Wagon Wheelers” listener’s club financed an outback mobile baby health clinic. Several WWII army camps nearby held concerts courtesy of 2DU, with well-known stars Bobby Limb and Jack Davey. They increased power to 2,000 watts in 1953 with a 350 feet high tower, after applying for 10,000 watts. Moved into a historic building (previously a guest house, then the local hospital) in 1953. Opened a relay studio in Wellington in the 1950s. Member of the “Mid State Network”, consisting of 2PK, 2BS, 2MG, and 2LF. Awarded the prestigious Wales Award for Community Service in Broadcasting in 1972. Purchased 2PK in 1979, opened a 300 watt relay transmitter in Cobar on 1 Nov 1982, and then purchased 2MG in 1983. Commenced 24 hour broadcasts on 22 May 1990. Their original microphone is on display in their foyer. Commenced a separate F.M. service, broadcasting as ZOO FM on 7 Feb 1997.
17 Jul 1936 - 2NR - Grafton
A.B.C., relaying 2BL with some local programs. Northern Rivers service with a 7,000 watt transmitter near Lawrence. Opening night featured a function broadcast from the Saraton Theatre. Their tower fell down in 1952. Their studio moved to Lismore in 1989. Now has a relay transmitter near Tweed Heads. Their Lawrence studio and transmitter building (see photo) is now a museum including radio memorabilia.
14 Sep 1936 - 2RG - Griffith
The licence was granted in June 1935 to Radio Griffith, in the Area News building (the Area News was a major shareholder, but when contacted for this research, they denied all knowledge, even though they also acted as the stations advertising agent). The Area News editor, Dr. Leo Jones, was also the Managing Director of the station, and later helped establish MTN-9 TV. They designed and built their 100 watt transmitter. On air 1800-2200 daily. Their opening was a live broadcast of “Australia’s Amateur Hour” with over 1,000 people attending at the Rio Theatre, with compere Terry Dear. Often heard in New Zealand. Their first manager and Chief Announcer was Cyril James from 2UE. An announcer once emptied a jar of 78 R.P.M. needles out the studio window, and an irate woman then burst into the studio while the microphone was on, and berated the announcer because the needles had scattered through her new hairdo. Known as “The Voice of the Murrumbidgee”. Increased power to 2,000 watts in 1951. Then introduced a popular Continental Music Club featuring Italian and Spanish music performances. (Photo Caption: 1951 Continental Music Club.) Launched their children’s “Sunshiners” club in the 1950s. Described by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in 1954 as broadcasting “much below acceptable standards in local community service”. Now has a relay transmitter at Lake Cowal. Current breakfast announcer Allan Wallett has been with the station for over 30 years.
1 Jan 1937 - 2BS - Bathurst
First planned to commence as 2BX. Opened by the Postmaster-General, The Hon. Andrew McLachlan, on landline from Melbourne. The studio equipment was designed, built, and installed by 2WG. Their 200 watt transmitter was built by Cecil Stevenson from 2UE. The studio, transmitter, record library, and office were all in one room. Owner Eddie Williams and his family lived in the second room (Eddie was previously a 2LT announcer). The station was sold for £200 in 1939. Known as “The Centre of the West” and “Clarion of the West”. On 21-7-1948 they held an appeal for winter clothes for the local orphanage. On 20 Aug 1948 they were off the air due to a “mechanical breakdown”. On 23 Sep 1950 they broadcast a one hour variety concert by inmates from Goulburn gaol. Started their children’s “Kookaburra” club in the 1950s. Bought by Kerry Packer in 1968 so he could install a directional aerial, to enable 3AK (which he owned, and which broadcast on the same frequency, 1500 kHz) to broadcast 24 hours. However, once the aerial had been installed, the station was bought by Ron Camplin (owner of 2MG) in 1969 (also see 2XL). He doubled their revenue in one year. Ron was awarded the Order of Australia in 1995 for ‘Services to Broadcasting’. He started his career as an office boy at 2CH. Original member of the “Mid State Network” with 2LF, 2PK, 2DU, and 2MG. Opened a separate F.M. service on 2 Dec 1996. Now has relay transmitters at Blayney, Oberon, Burraga and Sofala.
28 Jan 1937 - 2NZ - Inverell
See 2LV Inverell 30 Mar 1936. Listed as 2MZ by S.T.C. who installed their 1,000 watt transmitter. Their phone numbers were 4 and 9. Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Joseph Lyons opened the station. Their slogan was “2NZ, Northern New South Wales”. Official voice for 42 branches of the Country Women’s Association. On air 0700-0900, 1130-1400, and 1600-2200 daily. Chief Engineer was Oz Bartle (later the first Chief Engineer of NEN-9 TV in Tamworth). Jack Ridley from 2GZ and 2UE was the Managing Director. Broadcast numerous live plays by local groups, plus charity balls from 1938. Relayed news and several other programs from part owner 2GB from 1 Jul 1939. They also took the B.B.C. news via shortwave. John Twyfold was manager for 27 years from 1940. Fifth birthday celebrations in 1942 included live broadcasts from the showground, the airport, and a Town Hall concert. Often supported local charities to raise funds for the war effort. In 1942, a proposal to amalgamate 2NZ and 2AD at Guyra was approved but never eventuated. From 1949 they broadcast the A.B.C. news for two years before changing back to 2GB. Installed a 339 feet high tower with a 900 feet diameter buried ground plane consisting of 125,000 feet of copper in 1951. Broadcast daily ‘silo stacking’ bulletins at 0630 during harvesting periods. Started their “Junior Country Service” club in the 1950s. Broadcast emergency messages continuously during severe flooding in 1955, 1976, 1983, and 1984. Often received at the Heard Island Antarctica base 1948-1954. Opened new studios in February 1971, and installed an A.W.A. 2,000 watt transmitter in 1972. Awarded a “Community Service Award” in 1974. A radio appeal for one million green ants in 1978 to make some anti-venom for a local boy was successful. A listener survey in 1978 voted local news as the most popular program, and racing the least popular. Tried “Talkback” in 1981. Known as “2NZ - the Rhythm of New England” from 1982. Changed their news source from 2GB to 2UE in 1984. Off the air on 3 Feb 1984 when a tree fell against their landline to their transmitter. Emergency programs were taped in half hour segments and driven to the transmitter. Sold to 2VM in October 1986.
29 Apr 1937 - 2CR - Orange
A.B.C., relaying 2BL with some local programs from 0930-1130. Central Region of N.S.W. Their 10,000 watt transmitter was at Cumnock (later 50,000 watts). Officially opened by the Mayor, Dr. W. Matthews, with special guests, including the Post Master General and Minister for Defence, The Hon. Andrew McLachlan. Their opening broadcast came from the Strand Palais, with entertainment provided by Jim Davidson with the A.B.C. Dance Band and Tex Morton. Moved into the old 2GZ building in 1977 when 2GZ moved in with CBN-8 TV. Opened a relay transmitter at Dubbo in 1992, which now has some local programs. Moved into new studios in 1995. This callsign was previously used as an experimental station at Tamworth on 26 Jun 1925.
29 Apr 1937 - 2LS - Tamworth
Broadcast station owned by Lionel Todd. See 2CR Tamworth 26 Jun 1925. Closed in 1939 when Lionel moved to Sydney, accepting a position as a Radio Inspector. Probably the last callsign issued for an experimental broadcasting licence. (All experimental broadcasting licences were cancelled in 1939 due to WWII).
30 Aug 1937 - 2XL - Cooma
Licensed in April 1937. Their motto was “To Excel”. Tried a test broadcast on 20 Aug 1937 broadcasting a ball live from the Dodd’s Hotel and the Monaro Theatre. Wyatt Evans was Managing Director and first announcer and built the station on his property. Started with one experienced radio person: their engineer John Scott from 2UE and 3DB. Briefly owned 2BE in 1941, then sold it to John Kerr (later an announcer with Scottish pirate radio station “Radio Caroline”). Known as “The Southern Tablelands Station”. In 1946 a train was reported ‘lost’ heading to Cooma. A message was broadcast for any listeners who had seen it. A listener telephoned saying it was held up by a snow drift. Increased power to 400 watts in 1947. Their weekly yodelling sessions included requests from all over Australia and New Zealand. In 1951, their only announcer, Ron Camplin, was on air 0600-1400 and 1700-2300, seven days a week (Ron later became the owner of 2MG, 2BS, and 2LF). John Scott designed and built a 1,000 watt transmitter from disposal parts in 1953 (2,000 watts in 1958). Started all day broadcasting in 1955. Steve Liebmann started his radio career here in 1958 as a 14 year old disc jockey. Broadcast all night on Fridays in winter from 1960 to provide snow and road reports for travellers. Started 24 hour broadcasting in 1964, and then used a Commer bus as an outside broadcast van in 1966. Relayed most 2CA evening programs in the 1970s. John Scott died at the station in December 1972. New studios and a 4,000 watt transmitter were installed in 1978. Bought 7QT in 1982. Opened the first NSW F/M. relay transmitter (Thredbo) in 1987. Now also relays to Perisher, Jindabyne and Bombala. Their office and studios were later moved to Jindabyne. Cooma was the third town to be issued a commercial licence with this callsign, after Lismore and Broken Hill.
1937 - 2SG - Snake Gully
Fictional radio station featured in the popular radio serial “Dad and Dave” until 1953.
1937 - 2SI - Singleton
Owned by amateur operator Alex Mather (VK2JZ) and the Singleton Argus newspaper. The licence was transferred to Lochinvar before opening as 2HR (Hunter River Broadcasters), on 30 Aug 1937 (see next entry).
30 Aug 1937 - 2HR - Lochinvar
See 2SI Singleton 1937. Hunter River Broadcasters, known on air as “The Hunter River Station”. Owned by Alex Mather (VK2JZ) who later started 2GO, and by the Singleton Argus. The studio and transmitter were installed by Geoff Partridge (VK2VU) at Lochinvar using 300 watts. The building is now a house with the 2HR sign still in place, over 70 years after they moved out. The studio was re-sited above O’Brien’s grocery store in High Street, Maitland, on 9-1-1939. Relayed 2GB from 1830 each night. Started a “Listeners Radio Club” in the 1940s. They changed their callsign to 2NX on 14 Jan 1954 with a new transmitter at Bolwarra (Maitland).
2 Sep 1937 - 2MW - Murwillumbah
Started by local radio dealers Carl and Tom Small, and the Budd family. Opened using 100 watts (500 watts in August 1939, 1,000 in 1951, and 2,000 in 1952). Put off the air in 1954 by a cyclone. Started their children’s “Smile” club in the 1950s. Closed at 2300 each night with a song called “Goodnight to You from 2MW”, with local singer Gwen Ryan until 1970. In October 1938, they held, (with 4BH) a Radio Picnic near Coolangatta, with 7,000 people. In March 1955, they conducted a radio-thon, raising over £1,200 for flood victims around Lismore. They launched an office and relay studio in Southport in 1958. Closed their Southport studio and moved the office to Coolangatta in 1967 when 4GG opened. Known as “The Popular Station of the North East” and “The Voice of the Far North Coast”. Increased power to 5,000 watts in 1972, with a directional aerial. They moved to Tweed Heads in June 1985. Introduced an Easy Listening format in 1986. A 50 year old restored Buick car was won by a listener during their 50th birthday competition. Bought by 2SM in 1989. Opened a relay transmitter at Mullumbimby. Now known as “Radio 97AM”.
20 Sep 1937 - 2KM - Kempsey
On air 0730-1100 and 1730-2230. Reception was better on Lord Howe Island than in Kempsey. Their original tower was moved to 2HD in 1939. In the 1930s/1940s, they broadcast dance programs from a local hall, despite only having one microphone. At 7.45 pm the announcer would put on a serial, then take their microphone to the hall. He would return to the studio and put the microphone to air at 8.00 pm with dance music until he could return to the hall. At 10.00 pm, with the band playing to air, he would return to the studio and put on another serial. Then he would return to the hall and retrieve the microphone. Charged 2/6 for birthday calls; 5/- for cheerio calls, buy and sell, and lost dogs; and 7/6 for funeral notices. From 25 Aug 1950 they were off the air for a week due to an announcers strike about unpaid wages. Launched their children’s “Gumnut” club in the 1950s. Well known announcers included Tom Crozier and Peter Bosley, (later both at 2UE) plus John Pearce and Leon Becker (both later at 2GB). Almost lost their licence due to a 1969 April fool’s joke about the surrender of 10 Russian navy ships and one submarine to our Navy at Trial Bay. Increased power to 5,000 watts in 1977. From 1978 breakfast programs came from Kempsey, mornings from Coffs Harbour, and afternoons out of Port Macquarie. Known as “The Voice of the Macleay”. Changed their callsign to 2MC (Mid Coast) moving to Port Macquarie in 1982. Moved to FM as 2POR in 2000. (Also see 2PM Port Macquarie 26 Jan 2000). The 2KM callsign was used 2KY for a separate easy listening Sydney service 2000-2001, with well-known nostalgia announcer, Kevin O’Neill (later sold as an ethnic station).
30 Sep 1937 - 2BE - Bega
Owned by local farmers above Grist’s chemist (now Priceline) with a 50 watt transmitter, built by Director Morris Bell. On air 1200-1400, and 1800-2200 with a Colville 100 watt transmitter, as “The Voice of the Far South Coast”. Their phone wasn’t connected until July 1938. Local news by their “Newshawk” was described as ‘a gathering of local news and gossip, with a nice economy of language in a breezy and unaffected style’. Bankrupt in 1940 after being sued by the local tannery for comments on air about their ‘evil smell’, which resulted in a £2,000 fine. Kept on air by volunteers until sold in June 1941 to 2XL, and then to John Kerr (from 2XL and 2PK) for £500. Broadcast appeals for blankets and clothes needed at local beaches after attacks on fishing trawlers by WWII Japanese midget submarines. John Kerr built a 1,000 watt transmitter in 1950 (2,000 watts in 1967). Launched their children’s “Koala” club and their listeners “League” club in the 1950s. In January 1952, a radiothon raised £4,200 and 4,000 bales of fodder to aid farmers devastated by bushfires. On 5 Feb 1952 they appealed for trucks to move 2,500 starving cattle to Cooma. Alan Wilkie’s weather career started here. Ray Rumble was manager and part owner from 1975. (Ray started his career as a 2GB panel operator when 15 years old). Put off the air by a tornado in February 1978. Hired the Warren Daly Big Band for their fiftieth birthday to recreate the music played when they opened. Installed a studio in Batemans Bay. Opened Australia’s first commercial relay transmitter at Narooma on 28 Oct 1983. Bought by music promoter, Glenn Wheatley on 1 Nov 1986. Sold to Hoyts Theatres on 30 Mar 1987, and became 2EC (East Coast) on 1 Oct 1987. Bought by Grant Broadcasters in 1990. Launched a separate service (Power FM) on 24 Sep 1997. Their 2BE callsign was first used by a Sydney commercial station on 7 Nov 1924.
5 Oct 1937 - 2PK - Parkes
. Owned by Mayor Frank Spicer, using 100 watts (200 watts in 1942, 500 in 1948, and 2,000 in 1958). Known as “The Voice of the Golden West”. An announcer was sacked for saying “The Voice of the Dirty Dusty West” during a dust storm. The office, studio, and transmitter were destroyed by fire on 23 Dec 1946. A standby transmitter was borrowed from 2GB. Their two towers were destroyed by a severe storm on 15-1-1949. Established the “Sunshine” club (later the “Koala” club raising over £50,000 for a children’s hospital, plus £80,000 for flood victims. Their technician had his own program 1030-1200 daily from a studio at the transmitter in the 1950s. Sponsored a railway carriage converted into a mobile medical clinic that travelled around Western N.S.W. Their studio became flooded when the local dam burst. Member station of the Mid State Network with 2LF, 2BS, 2DU, and 2MG. John Laws resigned after one day as he was not allowed to smoke in the studio. Bought by 2DU in 1981.
16 Feb 1938 - 2LF - Young
Opened with a 500 watt transmitter operating on 300 watts at the old Lambing Flats gold fields. Their 240 feet high tower collapsed when half erected. The studio was installed in the A.M.P. building and operated by four staff from 0700-0900 and 1700-2200. Opening broadcast was a radio ball from the Town Hall with 1,000 people attending. Known as “2LF, the Friendly Station”, then “The Young and Progressive Station”. Often heard in New Guinea. Their manager, John Stevens, was enlisted to help with the WWII Army broadcasting stations in the Pacific, providing entertainment for our troops. Their applications for several experimental F.M. relay licences in different nearby towns were denied in 1946. On 4 Jul 1952 they relayed over 500 emergency messages during severe flooding when all other emergency communication systems were wiped out. Opened a relay studio in Cowra in 1956, then another at Cootamundra. Recorded several community singing, quiz, and talent quest programs in 10 nearby towns. Partly owned for a short time by 2GB. At one stage, they relayed 2WG from 1900. Broadcaster Ray Warren started his career here. Formed the Mid State Network with 2BS, 2DU, 2PK, and 2MG. Bought by Ron Camplin (owner of 2MG and 2BS) in 1978. They were the first regional station to broadcast “Talkback” programs.
2 Jul 1938 - 2MG - Mudgee
Started by Harry Milton using 100 watts as experimental licence 2NM (later reissued as a commercial licence at Muswellbrook on 14 Nov 1954). Opened with a broadcast by local artists from the old Hotel Mudgee. Every speaker at the opening said that the next thing Mudgee needed was an aerodrome. Relayed A.B.C. news three times a day until closing on 21 May 1942. Reopened on 13 Oct 1944, as a member of the Macquarie (2GB) Network. On air 0700-2200. Their early transmitter is displayed in the Mudgee museum. Started a “Radio Social” club in the 1950s. Bought by their manager, Ron Camplin, in 1958. Often off the air due to flooding, however, stayed on air in 1959 with three feet of water in the studio. First known as “The Voice of the Tablelands”. Later a member of the Mid State Network, with 2LF, 2BS, 2DU, and 2PK. Purchased by 2DU in 1982. Installed new studios in 1987.
1938 - 2CS - Casino
Projected commercial station jointly owned by 2KA and 2KM. Never went to air. This callsign was reissued to a commercial station at Coffs Harbour on 16 Dec 1985.
9 Jan 1939 - 2CK - Cessnock
Cessnock/Kurri Kurri. Coalfields Broadcasting Co. in Vincent Street with a 170 feet high active tower at Neath. Originally licensed as 2CZ, but changed before opening (see 2CZ Lismore 6 Jan 1930). Known as “The Voice of the Coalfields”. Opened at 0530 to advise miners which coal pits to report to daily. Prior to 2CK, this service was provided by a town crier in each town. A journalist from the Newcastle Herald read the news from their own studio at 0545 (then the earliest radio news time slot in Australia). Closed at 1100, and reopened 1730-2200. Relayed several sports programs from 2UW. Their third studio fire, which destroyed everything, was caused by a heater left on after the evening announcer left. This closed the station. The licence, transmitter, and tower were bought by 2HR, and transferred to Muswellbrook. (See 2NM Muswellbrook 14 Jan 1954). Photo is their first manager, Albert Ryan. Second photo is announcer Enid Hoggan in 1950.
7 Jun 1939 - 2LT - Lithgow
Their tower fell down two days before opening. They used a wire over a tree as an aerial for their opening, which was a concert from the Theatre Royal, chaired by Mayor and 2LT director, R. Fullager. Their 100 watt transmitter was situated in a house at Bowenfels with their studio and the manager and his family. They covered 18 miles at day and 10 miles at night. All the studio and transmitter equipment were installed by Wally Grant (2KY technician) who also installed the 2KA equipment. Their main revenue source was birthday calls which cost 2/6. In 1940, the Postmaster-General banned the station from making any comments on industrial matters without preapproval of the script due to the airing of objectionable references”. Broadcast ballroom dancing live every Saturday night in the 1940s and 1950s with the “2LT Dance Band”. Banned all Andrew Sisters records in 1943. Increased on air hours to 0700-1400 and 1700-2200 after WWII. Increased power to 500 watts in 1947. Known as “Lithgow’s Sunshine Station”. Member of the Macquarie Network, and partly owned for a short time by 2GB. On 24 Dec 1956 they broadcast an urgent appeal for volunteers to assist with firefighting. Bobby Limb and Dawn Lake performed their first show in Lithgow, being broadcast live. News reader Eddie Williams often said “here is the news – switch off”. Breakfast announcer Matt Ponsonby was blind. They were off the air for four days in May 2005 when rats shorted out both transmitters. Well-known announcers included John Tapp and Brian Bury. Opened a separate F.M. service in 1997.
20 Dec 1943 - 2NA - Newcastle
A.B.C. Became 2RN in October 1990.
1945 - 9AP - Sydney
Callsign used by the Australian Army Amenities Service during WWII to test broadcast station equipment at Rose Bay on 980 kHz. The 10 to 200 watt stations were sent to 21 locations in the Pacific to entertain our WWII troops (each station was first built into a truck; however, two fully equipped trucks were stolen). The Australian Airforce also established several broadcast stations throughout the same areas. QSL cards are rare and highly prized.
1948 - 2KS - Kiama
A.B.C. Kiama Service. Moved to Wollongong as 2WN in March 1959.
29 Jul 1948 - 2NB - Broken Hill
A.B.C., relaying 5CL with 1,000 watts, two staff, and one hour of local input daily. Ravaged by fire in 1966, with local news being read down a telephone line from the telephone exchange. Moved into a ten feet wide shop with the typist stopping while the microphone was on.
1948 - 2TN - Tenterfield
A.B.C. Tenterfield National service. Projected station which never went to air.
9 Nov 1948 - 2NU - Tamworth
A.B.C. Relay of 2BL. Opened by the A.B.C. Chairman, R. Boyer, with a temporary studio in the Town Hall. Introduced local news and sport programs in 1950; farming programs in 1953; and a local women’s program in 1960. Their transmitter was at Manilla. Relays to 2GL Glen Innes and 2AN Armidale.
15 Nov 1948 - 2TR - Taree
A.B.C. Originally a relay of 2NC Newcastle, then 2NR Grafton. Has relayed 2KP in Kempsey (now Port Macquarie) since 22 Apr 1996.
Oct 1949 - 2LG - Lithgow
A.B.C. Relay of 2CR Orange. The 2LG callsign was previously issued as an experimental station in 1926 at Goulburn.
1949 - 2NS - Narooma
A.B.C. Narooma Service. Moved to Bega as 2BA in May 1955.
1952 - 2NI - Norfolk Island
Started in 1948 by the Department of Civil Aviation using one watt, to advise the arrival of aeroplanes and supply ships (a record was played into the microphone before and after each announcement). Their first broadcaster was Ray Hoare (VK9RH). From 1952, they broadcast from the local telephone exchange (20 subscribers), between 1000 and 1200 (broadcasts were operated by the telephonist). Increased their power to 10 watts in 1960. They also produced the local newspaper (two pages once a week). Fire destroyed the station in 1970. Reopened in 1971 in the local library using 50 watts. Currently 70% of programs are by local volunteers and 30% are relays of the A.B.C. School children operate the station some afternoons. Their licence conditions ban all night programs, power increases, and advertising. In 2015 the Government took over the station and dismissed five announcers whose political viewpoints were deemed to be not acceptable. 2NI now also broadcasts on F.M.
21 Feb 1953 - 2RE - Taree
Owned by Reginald Eagling. Their first studio and office were under the R.S.L. club. Their outdoor opening ceremony was rained out. The opening was conducted by 2SM announcer Tom Jacobs (who later helped start 2GO) and Taree Mayor Ron Butterworth. First manager was Bruce Valentine (from 2BE, 2MG, 2CA, 2PK, 2UW, and 2SM). Started with a 500 watt transmitter from 4AK (2,000 watts in 1954). Their tower fell down twice before opening, and again in 1965. Known as “The Voice of the Manning”. Opened record and gramophone shops in Taree and Wingham despite criticism from competing shops. Chairman of Directors, Ron Butterworth, was a cast member in a 1953 Anzac tribute. His last read scripted line was “For us they fought, and in their dying, braved death cheerfully”; he then died on air. Technicians used a bicycle to travel to the transmitter. Broadcast civil defence warnings during severe floods. Their technician was once lowered to the transmitter by a helicopter to keep them on the air. Relayed some 2TM programs from December 1956. Received many requests from Sydney for their Hillbilly programs. They had over 3,500 members in their children’s “Smilers” club. Moved into a new building on 20 Nov 1956 to avoid repeated flooding. They planned to establish a relay transmitter at Port Macquarie, but were beaten by 2KM (2MC). Known as “The Voice of the Mid North Coast” in the 1960s. established, with the Manning River Times, ECN-8 TV on 27-5-1966, with the former 2RE manager Alan Thompson as manager. George Gibson (later at 2UE) started his career here. Opened relay transmitters at Gloucester and Foster. Moved into the ECN-8 TV building when ECN-8 TV became a relay of NEN-9 TV in Tamworth. Became part of the 2SM Super Radio Network in January 1995. Opened a separate F.M. service on 29 Jan 1997.
14 Jan 1954 - 2NX - Maitland
See 2SI Singleton (1937) and 2HR Lochinvar (30-8-1937). During the 1950s/1970s, while owned by Catholic Broadcasting, they relayed evening programs to 2NM, on air as 2NXNM. Moved to the Newcastle Herald building in Newcastle in 1955 after severe flooding ruined their Maitland studios. Prior to the unsuccessful April 1967 referendum, 2NX campaigned against the Hunter and Northern N.S.W. becoming a separate State. Bought by 2SM on 1-1-1972 (other owners also include Austereo and Southern Cross). Launched the successful “Rocktober” promotion in 1974. Moved to Charlestown in 1988. Changed to F.M. on 29-5-1992 as NXFM. Their 1341 kHz AM frequency was taken over by Sky Sports Radio (2KY). The photo is their 1965 studio.
14 Jan 1954 - 2NM - Muswellbrook
See 2NM Mudgee 1930s and 2CK Cessnock 9 Jan 39. Officially opened by Ray Allsop from the Australian Broadcasting Control Board (also see 2YG 1921 and 2BL 1924). All present were given a tour and explanation as to how a radio station operates. Opened on the same day as its sister station 2NX, and on air live one hour per day from a 2NX Maitland studio. Gordon McBrien was their first announcer. All other programs were a relay of 2NX until the Muswellbrook studios were built in August 1955. Broadcast from a makeshift studio at their transmitter when floods destroyed their landline from 2NX; these transmissions being organised for Maitland by Gordon McBrien who broadcast 10 hours per day for seven weeks, with 10 local volunteers providing records and keeping the station on air for the other 14 hours per day. Unsuccessfully applied for Newcastle’s television licence. During the 1960s/1980s they relayed 2NX from 1800, identifying as 2NXNM. Increased power to 5,000 watts in 1984. Opened a separate F.M. service in the 1990s (A.M. on 981 kHz which is heard regularly in New Zealand, and 98.1 F.M.). They also have a narrowcast outlet called “Hot Country”.
1954 - 2ML - Murwillumbah
A.B.C. Relay of 2NR Grafton.
Jan 1954 - 2KP - Kempsey
A.B.C., relaying 2BL until introducing some local programs from 5 Mar 1956. Transmitter at Smithtown. Has relayed to 2TR in Taree since 22 Apr 1960. Opened a studio at Coffs Harbour in 1997 and moved their former Kempsey studio to Port Macquarie in February 2004.
May 1955 - 2BA - Bega
A.B.C., relaying 2BL with some local programs 0600-0800 and 1700-1900. Their studio was in the Shire Council building (later the Co-Op building - now above Woolworths). First opened as 2NS in Narooma in 1949, relaying to 2CP in Cooma. Weather reports were obtained from H.M.A.S. Albatross in Nowra. Now has relay transmitters at Batemans Bay and Eden.
12 Jan 1957 - 2VM - Moree
"The Voice of Moree". Started by the Higginbotham family (see 2TM) and local businessmen H. Sullivan (owner of the Moree Champion newspaper), and Barry Roberts. First Chairman, Jack Jones, lobbied for several years for the licence, citing the need for local information during flooding. Often broadcast Balls featuring the “White Rose Orchestra”. After several babies died at the Moree hospital in 1964 due to a heatwave, the station held a radiothon to raise funds for air conditioning. Relayed several programs from 2TM. Nick Erby started his media career here. Bought 2NZ in October 1986. First regional station to be granted a supplementary F.M. licence (on air 19 May 1990). Sold to 2SM in January 1995. Now has relay transmitters at Lightning Ridge, Collarenebri, Goondiwindi, Walgett, and Mungindi. The photo is their 1986 studio. Also see 2VM Sydney.
Feb 1957 - 2GL - Glen Innes
A.B.C. Relay of 2NU Tamworth. This callsign was first used in 1929 at Lismore.
1959 - 2AW - Sydney
Pirate station on 1485 kHz operated by Vaucluse High School pupils. Closed by the P.M.G.
6 Mar 1959 - 2WN - Wollongong
A.B.C., relaying 2BL with some local programs. Wollongong National service. Started as 2KS in Kiama in 1948, before moving to Wollongong. Held a radiothon in 1990 to raise funds for Newcastle earthquake victims. Moved to F.M. in March 1991, with 2RN (Radio National) then launching on their A.M. frequency.
May 1961 - 2UV - Sydney
Educational licence. First university station in Australia broadcasting publicly, using an old RAAF AT-14 200 watt transmitter on 1750 KHz. Located at Kensington (later moved to the old 2UE mast at Concord with a larger RAAF AT-20 500 watt transmitter). Their licence was for university lectures only, and banned all music. By 1962 they were broadcasting thirty separate courses with over 1,000 fee paying students. They then used an old RAAF AT20 transmitter with a lease from Concord Council of the old 2UE tower. Experimented with television programs on U.H.F. in 1966.
1962 - 2FC - Emu Plains
A.B.C. Projected station which never went to air (thank goodness). To be used in place of 2FC Sydney (5 Dec 1923) in case a nuclear attack destroyed all Sydney radio stations during the cold war. The tower was still in the Emu Plains prison farm until 2007. At one stage, the proposal included 2KA using the transmitter as a relay in return for maintaining it, unless needed by 2FC, but they were later given a separate relay licence at the same site. (See 2KA Katoomba 7 Sep 1935).
Feb 1962 - 2AN - Armidale
A.B.C. Armidale National service. Relay of 2NU Tamworth.
Jun 1964 - 2UH - Muswellbrook
A.B.C. Upper Hunter service. Relay of 2NC. Some local programs from 1990 in a house opposite the Railway station. Now relays to Scone, Aberdeen, Singleton, Murrurundi, and Merriwa.
1964 - 2PR - Sydney
Pirate Radio station planned by singers Lee Gordon and Bobby Darin on a boat off Sydney.
Dec 1966 - 2CP - Cooma
A.B.C. Relay of 2BA Bega.
1969 - Norfolk Island
Pirate radio station owned by a local electrical retailer, in an attempt to create a demand for the radios he was trying to sell. Closed by the Radio Inspector after nine days. An attempt to gain a commercial licence then failed when officials in Canberra and Norfolk Island couldn’t agree on who had the licence issuing rights.
19 Nov 1971 - 2GO - Gosford
First Central Coast station, launched by Central Coast Broadcasting and Keith Graham in 1971. Keith later launched the Wesgo network (see 2WS Sydney 23 Nov 1978). Now on F.M. The 2GO A.M. frequency, tower, and transmitter are now used for an Italian service from Sydney provided by Rete Italia. Their directional antenna is one of three in Australia installed utilising three towers.
4 Jun 1972 - 2ST - Nowra
Southern Coast and Tablelands. Known as “2ST - Part of Your Life”. Their “Swap Time” program was popular for 40 years. Now has relay transmitters in the Southern Highlands covering Moss Vale with some local programs (see 2MV Moss Vale 15-12-1930), plus Ulladulla. Bought 2EC Bega in 1990. Sold to grant Broadcasters in 2015.
Aug 1972 - 2BY - Byrock
A.B.C. On relay from the A.B.C. studios in Orange and Dubbo. (Some programs from the Dubbo studio are relayed to Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island).
1974 - 2LH - Lord Howe Island
Opened in the Public Hall before moving to the old Qantas Flying Boat Base at the end of the wharf. Moved again in 1988, and changed to F.M. with a community licence.
19 Jan 1975 - 2JJ - Sydney
A.B.C. An experiment similar to 3ZZ Melbourne, with youth programs, known as "Rock without the Roll". The world’s first 24 hour non-commercial rock music station. Their first record, "You only like me coz I’m good in bed", had already been banned by the Licensing authorities. A.B.C. management accused the station of broadcasting ‘offensively obnoxious items’. A launch party for an AC/DC album was closed by the police when it got out of hand. Closed by the staff in July 1975 to protest about poor coverage on 2,000 watts. Reopened with 10,000 watts. Launched The Little River Band album “Dreams of Love”. Sued by the N.S.W. Commissioner of Police for slander. The A.B.C. then broadcast an apology and retraction. Moved to F.M. as 2JJJ in July 1980. Photo is their early studio.
9 Jun 1975 - 2EA - Sydney
Ethnic Australia with ethnic programs. Originally established by Al Grassby (Minister for Ethnic Affairs) to provide Government information such as Medicare and other benefits to migrants. An offer by the Australian Government for the A.B.C. to take over the station in 1976 was not taken up. Became the Special Broadcasting Service in 1978, presenting programs in 44 languages (57 languages in 1990 and 75 languages in 2013). Now relays to Wollongong and Newcastle. Pictured is their main studio.
13 May 1978 - 2CT - Campbelltown
Community licence with some conditions as per a commercial licence. Closed by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal due to financial problems and breaches of their licence conditions on 1 Jun 1981.
13 Nov 1978 - 2WEB - Bourke
Community (originally educational) licence. Western Education Bourke. Their three letter callsign was issued in error by the A.B.T. with the misapprehension that they were an F.M. station. They bought 4VL in 1986. They now have F.M. relays at Wilcannia, Coonabarabran, Walgett, and Lightning Ridge.
23 Nov 1978 - 2WS - West Sydney
Opened at 1224 A.M. on 1224 kHz with 5,000 watts with Managing Director Keith Graham from 2GO, as were many of their announcers (both stations later merged as the Wesgo network). A legal challenge to their licence by 2SM was lost. Three hours before opening, both transmitters failed. Started in an old cottage which was later donated to a charity. First licensed to cover only Western Sydney (Parramatta to Emu Plains), with a transmitter at Prospect. Originally known as “Your Station 2WS 1224” (later “The Greatest Memories - Latest Hits Station”). Don Burke and Jonathan Coleman started their careers here. Three executives were killed in a 1984 car crash when driving from 4GY after their relaunch. Moved to F.M. in June 1993, known on air as WSFM. Following legal challenges, they now cover all Sydney with an Artarmon transmitter and new studios in Ryde. Their 1224 kHz frequency is now used by Radio for the Print Handicapped (2RPH). Their directional aerial is one of only three in Australia using three towers.
1 Jan 1979 - 2OO - Wollongong
The station was opened by Jon English live leading a crowd singing the song “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve. They were then officially opened by the Wollongong Mayor, Frank Arkell. Now on F.M. as i98FM.
1982 - 2MC - Port Macquarie
Mid Coast Radio. (See 2KM Kempsey 20 Sep 1937). Their manager was Pat Maher from 4AY and 4NA. Moved to F.M. on 26 Jan 2000, with 2PM launching on their 531 kHz frequency. Pictured in their studio is Gary O’Callaghan.
11 Feb 1983 - 2RPH - Sydney
Radio for the Print Handicapped. Started testing with 500 watts outside the broadcast band from a studio at 2UV, using their transmitter hut and tower. Programs came from a 2SM studio from April 1983. Moved to the original 2WS 1224 KHz. A.M. frequency in March 1993 with 5,000 watts after 2WS moved to F.M. Known on air as “Your Reading Service”. They now have F.M. relays in Newcastle and Wollongong.
16 Dec 1985 - 2CS - Coffs Harbour
Moved to F.M., with 2HC starting on their former 639 kHz frequency in 2000. Their format is Adult Contemporary, with music from the 1970s onwards. This callsign was originally issued as an experimental licence at Newcastle in 1924. Back in 1938 a joint venture with 2KA and 2KM was going to use the 2CS callsign for a commercial station at Casino which never went to air.
1 Oct 1987 - 2EC - Bega
East Coast Radio. (See 2BE Bega 30 Sep 1937). Now has relay transmitters at Narooma, Eden, Merimbula, and Batemans Bay.
1987 - 2GU - Goulburn
A.B.C. Now known as 2RN.
1990 - 2PB - Sydney
A.B.C. Parliamentary Broadcasting network, utilising the ABC’s standby transmitter. Broadcast Muzak style music between daily Parliamentary sittings. Closed overnight and on non-sitting days. Started a 24 hour news service (“A.B.C. News Radio”) in August 1994 with 16 NSW relay transmitters.
22 Sep 1994 - Rete Italia - Sydney
A High Powered Open Narrowcast (HPON) service with Italian programming. Most programs are on relay from Melbourne. Rete also has eleven HPON, two narrowcast and 44 narrowband outlets.
8 Oct 1999 - 2EL - Orange
Easy Listening Radio. Started on the former 1089 kHz A.M. 2GZ frequency after they moved to F.M. Owned by 2SM. Found guilty by the A.C.M.A of content rules breaches in 2008 and 2009.
26 Jan 2000 - 2PM - Port Macquarie
Started on the 2MC (2KM) former 531 kHz A.M. frequency after they moved to F.M. Owned by 2SM. Found guilty by the A.C.M.A. of breaching local content rules in 2008 and 2009.
16 Dec 2000 - 2HC - Coffs Harbour
Started by Ray Gamble on the 2CS former 639 kHz A.M. frequency after they moved to F.M. Known as “Radio 639”. Owned by 2SM. Found guilty by the A.C.M.A. of breaching local content rules in 2008 and 2009.
25 Aug 2004 - 2KA - Penrith
Known as “Cool Country 2KA”, and “The Best of New and Classic Country”, with the old 2KA Katoomba callsign and Penrith transmitter. Closed on 24 Feb 2015.
Letters to the Editor
“You have so many advertisements that 2GB only puts records on to give the announcer a break between them”. Letter to 2GB from a listener in 1931.
“There are too many vocal items on 2BL. Last night they played seven vocals, but only two instrumentals”. Letter to the Editor, 6-5-1927.
“Most of the music one hears on 2BL and 2FC resembles two cats snarling at each other in a kerosene tin. It is remarkable that receivers do not break into pieces when some of that classical rot comes on”. Letter to the Editor, 8-1-1932.
“It is about time 2KY woke up to themselves and improved their signal or get off the air”. Letter to the Editor, 21-3-1930.
“Some radio stations succeed each week in achieving the impossible; that of broadcasting a program even worse than that of the previous week”. Quote from the Chief Justice of N.S.W., Sir Frederick Jordan.
“2FC has a callous disregard of advertised programmes, and displays irresponsibility by starting or finishing numerous tunes in the middle”. Letter to the Editor, 29-7-1927.
“I think Open Line Radio is a fad thing. I don’t believe it will become a dominant form of programming in Sydney”. Quote from an ex 2GB executive before 2GB became the number one station in Sydney, thanks to an Open Line format.
“Most Australian music on radio is not serious music, but small minded gibberish about gums, galahs, and Gundagai”. Comment from a Sydney Morning Herald critic in 1952.
I am a University, right in your room. I am an Opera sung by your fireside. I am an orchestra to set your feet a-dancing. I am a band to enthuse your musical soul. I am an orator, whose eloquence holds you still. I am a violin recital, rendered by a master at your side. I am a statesman, conferring with you on the nation's needs. I am a diplomat, voicing a foreign friendliness. I am a doctor, coming to your home without charge. I am a banker, watching your laid-away pounds. I am a leader of industry, analysing the economic trend. I am a newspaper, describing events as they happen. I am a drama, played in your parlour. I am a debate, where you hear both sides of the day's problems. I am a football game, with thrills by the score. I am a boxing championship, with a seat at the ringside. I am a governess, teaching your children each day. I am a friend, keeping you company. I am a scientist, revealing wonders that you knew not of. I am a patriot, kindling anew your love of country. I am a preacher, reawakening your faith in human nature. These I am and more. Yet, poor foolish men just call me radio. Letter to the Editor, 30-9-1927.
“If broadcasting stations are going to cater for religious bodies, punters, indifferent cooks, people who can’t read, weather prophets, and other uninteresting subjects, they will all put us to sleep”. Letter to the Editor, 9-9-1927.
“Cut out churches, football matches, weather reports, cookery lectures, announcers opinions, clock chimes every half hour, kids stories, lies, and pious hymn singing, and let us have something worth listening to; not the doleful dreamy drivel we have suffered for so long”. Letter to the Editor 9-9-1927.
“I am sick and tired of rating number one on a station that rates number four”. On-air quote from John Laws on 2UW.
“Radio stations would be much better places without egotistical announcers”. Quote from a 2UW executive.
“If 2FC and 2BL programs don’t improve I will turn my aerial into a clothes line”. Letter to the Editor, 6-5-1927. Ward (Pally) Austin.
2KA - 2UE - 2GB - 2UW
“We listeners-in do not like what is called classical music, as we
are not educated for it”.
Comment on 2FC programs in a letter to the Editor, S.M.H. 17-2-1932. [BC2]
Australia-wide promotion for “Wherever You Go, There’s Radio” – September 1959.
Typical 1920s studio – mic, pianola, turntable.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Cats Nostalgia Crystal Radio Cat Radio Programming Cat
Oldies Music Cat Disco Cat Fan of A.M. Cat Microphone Testing Cat The kids stay home since I installed the radio
1924 WIRELESS DISPLAY
A page from a McNair Survey Diary to indicate listener responses (station ratings) from 5-30 AM to midnight.
Well-known Sydney announcers from 1937