History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/On this day/May
On this day - May
2XN Lismore 1930 Started by George Exton as experimental station 2CZ. (He was later manager of 4VL). Cost £1,700 to establish with a profit of 10/- each week. A petition was circulated asking the P. M. G. to take control of the station as a relay of Newcastle A.B.C. station 2NC. Received thousands of letters from New Zealand listeners despite being on only 50 watts. On air 0700-0800, 1400-1500, and 1800-2200 daily. Used one 78 R.P.M. turntable at their transmitter to stay on air when their studio was flooded. Sold to the Northern Star for £25, with new callsign 2LM, on 10-2-1936.
4CA Cairns 1936 Launched by A.W.A. and opened by their Chairman, Ernest Fisk. On air 1200-1400, and 1800-2230 using 50 watts. Known on air as “Top of Australia Radio”. Banned from mentioning “4CA” or “Cairns” during WWII. Half their staff assisted 4TO to stay on air during a 1971 cyclone.
6WN Perth 1938 Originated the children’s program “Kindergarten of the Air”, being broadcast nationally.
3BA Ballarat 1998 They moved to F.M.
2009 Commercial digital radio transmissions commenced in Perth, using the proposed but never activated television channel 9A.
4LG Longreach 1936 Launched by Mr Nicholson was first manager, announcer, salesman, and technician. Owned by the Longreach Leader newspaper. Enjoyed excellent reception on Thursday Island. Their transmitter and technician’s house were destroyed by fire on 10-5-1946. They relayed all emergency communications during regular flooding. Their 180 feet high tower fell over during a 1972 storm, and the Army was persuaded to erect a temporary tower. First Queensland station to install automatic programming equipment.
4WK Warwick 1935 Launched by the local A.W.A. retailer. A grand piano being played live to air fell through the studio floor, thanks to termites. Often heard in New Zealand using 50 watts. Their slogan was “The Listener’s Companion”. They often relayed programs from the A.W.A. installed 9MI, the world’s only floating radio station, on board the M.V. Kanimbla, from 1936 to 1939. Sold to A.W.A. on 11-12-1967. Member of the Colour Radio Network from 28-2-1973 (4IP, 4LG, and 4LM), then the New England Network (2TM, 2AD, 2RE, and 2MO) from 1-11-1978.
4KQ Brisbane 1947 Launched by the Labor party. Used a TV circuit to telecast their studio to some shop fronts. First to broadcast the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. Announcer Enid Elliott was blind. Had many night-time listeners on Bass Strait oil rigs. Sacked all their female announcers in 1950 (as did 4BC and 4BK). Started 24 hour broadcasts in 1959.
1927 Letter to the Editor “If 2FC and 2BL programs do not improve, I will turn my aerial into a clothesline”.
1933 Letter to the Editor “I am sure if a referendum were taken, 99 percent of the listeners would object to the bombardment of advertisements on B class stations. I would suggest that they should provide more music instead.
4LG Longreach 1946 Their transmitter hut and technicians house were destroyed by fire.
2009 Commercial digital radio transmissions started in Melbourne, using the proposed but never activated television channel 9A.
3TR Sale 1932 Launched next to the Post Office. Also had a Traralgon studio, and landlines to Maffra, Sale, and Bairnsdale. The Gippsland Times tried to stop them moving to Sale, fearing loss of advertising. Started on 30 watts. Dropped their normal programs when 1,000 homes were burnt in 1939, and took over all firefighting communications. Their technician Cecil Hopkin was electrocuted by the transmitter in 1942. Ambulances in April 1952 were equipped with a radio to listen for urgent messages broadcast by 3TR.
3WR Shepparton 1934 (Previously 3WR Wangaratta). Located in the Shepparton News building. Dropped plans to change the callsign to 3GV. The equipment was installed by Doug Tacey from 3DW. Many requests from New Zealand and Japan. All trains were stopped on 22-10-1934 as their tower fell across the railway line. Many listener complaints when they changed their format to classical music. Their callsign changed to 3SR on 1-2-1937.
2CT Campbelltown 1978 Launched as a community licence with some commercial licence conditions. Closed by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal on 1-6-1981, due to financial problems and breaches of their licence conditions.
4LM Mount Isa 1961 Their preferred callsign, 4MI, was given to the A.B.C. Nine miles of copper wire were buried around their tower as a ground plane. First broadcast was an official dinner from the Hilton Hall using 200 watts. On air 0630-1400, and 1800-2200 daily. (Commercial production was conducted in the studio while off air each afternoon). Opened a relay transmitter at Cloncurry in 1984.
3LK Geelong 1927 Broadcast station owned by the Gordon Institute of Technology using a 12 watt transmitter and a 60 feet high antenna between their Central and Southern Towers. Officially opened by Mayor T. Walls. This callsign was reissued at Lubeck on 24-12-1936, as a commercial licence.
3DB Melbourne 1936 Purchased 3HS in Horsham for £2,500 to be used as a relay station. Photo is their 1955 programs.
3UL Warragul 1937 The licence was owned by 3YB, but sold on 4-3-1937 to the Argus and Australasian publications before opening. Originally planned to operate from Wonthaggi. Opened with three staff at Brooks Hill with 200 watts, using some of the equipment from the 3YB mobile station, and the original 3WR tower.
7AD Devonport 1946 They installed a 2,500 watt transmitter.
2009 Commercial digital radio transmissions commenced in Adelaide, using the proposed but never used television channel 9A.
9AE Jacquinot (T.P.N.G.) 1945 Australian Army Amenities station situated in New Britain. Their Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Alan Brown from 7HO and 7HT. Their announcer was Sergeant R.P. (“Rollee”) Barlee from 3UZ and 3XY. Their Engineer was Craftsman Bill Morrison from 7HO. Installed in a storage shed in the hospital, with two microphones and two 78 R.P.M. turntables. A concert in Jacquinot for the troops featuring Gracie Fields was broadcast live. Photo is their studio.
2DU Dubbo 1990 Commenced 24 hour broadcasting. Photo is their 1979 announcers.
6NA Narrogin 1968 Bought by News Ltd.
2MG Mudgee 1942 Closed due to insufficient advertising revenue during WWII, until reopening on 13-10-1944.
3MA Mildura 1933 Launched as “The Sunraysia Station”. Their first Chief Engineer and Manager was Max Folie (VK3GZ) from mobile station 3YB. Max was later the first manager of STV-8 TV. Had many landlines to local theatres, dance halls, and churches for outside broadcasts in the 1930s. Operated at a loss for 20 years with 10 staff.
7HT Hobart 1998 They moved to F.M.
2009 Commercial digital radio transmissions commenced in Brisbane, using the proposed but never activated TV channel 9A.
4QN Townsville 1936 Their 10,000 watt transmitter was destroyed by fire.
3FB Trafalgar 1929 Broadcast station owned by the Trafalgar Radio Club using a 7.5 watt transmitter. Operated by Frank Berkery. Incorrectly listed as a Melbourne commercial station by the “Broadcast Australia” periodical. Broadcast local artists live, plus records lent by listeners. Heard all over Australia and New Zealand. Became commercial licence 3TR on 29-9-1930.
2RE Taree 1966 With assistance from the Manning River Times, they launched ECN-8 TV.
2QN Deniliquin 1935 (Previously 2DN in 1932). Started with a 50 watt transmitter and known on air as “The Riverina Station”. The station was destroyed by fire on 10-6-1939. An application to move to Wangaratta was refused in 1944. Local community groups then raised enough money to save the station.
7QT Queenstown 1937 Commenced with a staff of three. Owned and operated by Stromberg Carlson (radio manufacturers), and the Findlay family/Wills and Company (radio retailers). Their first studio was in the Paragon Theatre. On air seven hours per day in three separate blocks. News stories were provided live by a studio in the Launceston Examiner. One announcer was fired for only playing hillbilly music, and another was fired for always singing along with the records while his microphone was open. Broadcast 1,400 birthday calls in 1954.
6CI Collie 1948 Owned by Nicholsons. Originally a relay of 6PR. Used the first broadcast transmitter made by A.W.A. since WWII, which is now in the Collie Museum, after use at 6PR and 6TZ. First country station to operate their transmitter by remote control. Their technicians presented their own local country music program at midday (1958-1959). Photo is their old transmitter.
4QG Brisbane 1930 The shortest outside broadcast in the world occurred with the arrival of Aviatrix Amy Johnson at Eagle Farm airport in Brisbane. When they crossed to the announcer he said “Christ, she’s crashed” and the broadcast was cut.
6ML Perth 1943: Forced to close due to a lack of suitable staff during WWII. Photo is their 1930 studio.
1938: George Edwards radio show “Dad and Dave” was launched, featuring the fictional radio station 2SG in Snake Gully.