for me started with the Coca Cola Bottlers
gruling day at the old Newcastle East
Primary School, come
we would rush
down the hill, dash up Hunter
St and into the CML Building, wait for the slowest lift in
then head up to the 7th floor 2KO Auditotium and, grab a
seat, just in time for the start of the Coca Cola Botlers
with Ron Hurst... the
History of Newcastle Radio
With the Call
sign: 2KKO is an Australian radio station, serving Newcastle
and surrounds. It broadcasts at 102.9 megahertz now on the FM band from
Mount Sugarloaf transmitter via it's studios
in the Harbour Forshore .2KKO and Its sister station is NXFM is owned by Southern Cross
Austereo. As from the
has, been rebadged as Triple M 102.9 Newcastle.
1st August 1931 -
commenced operations as 2KO, based in the Newcastle suburb of Kotara.
Founded by Allen Fairhall (later
Allen Fairhall) 2KO was licensed to The Newcastle
Company. The station operated on 1410 kHz with a transmission strength
of 25 watts. The station launched from the backyard of a resident's
home, with the licensee's dining room being the only studio the station
had at the time. Programs ran from 7 to 10 p.m., later moving into
daytime programming. Ten minutes of advertising time was sold during
the week, selling around 15 pounds ($30 today) of revenue for the
station. Chief Engineer was K.
Greenhalgh AMIRE. Studio & Production Manager was
Announcer Harold Pickhover. Advertising &
Manager was Keith F.
later in 1933, the station moved its AM transmitter to Sandgate, and
was operated from studio's in several locations including 72
Street, Newcastle until January 1937, when new studios and
in the heart of Newcastle in the CML Building at 110 Hunter
Newcastle. In its time on the AM band, the station had its
increased twice, first to 2,000 watts, and then to 5,000 watts, using a
directional aerial system.
In the days
before television, peak listening time was around 8pm, but with
television arriving in the country in the late 1950s, the station had
to change formats to survive the new medium. This was even more the
case when 2KO's owners at the time, United Broadcasting Company (who
also owned Sydney's 2UE),
itself owned by the local Lamb
part of the consortium that brought television to Newcastle, launching
NBN Television on channel 3 in 1962.
changes led to 2KO becoming one of the first, Top 40 music radio
stations in Australia. This took the audience by storm, and helped
re-established radio as the personal medium.
In 1978, as
part of a nationwide realignment of radio station frequencies, 2KO
moved to 1413 kHz.
During May 1988, 2KO
moved to new facilities at 252 Pacific Highway Charlestown.
Around the 10th July 1990, Word
had got around that Wesgo
Communications Pty Ltd had got itself into financial trouble
and had to unload 2KO as
soon as possible. News of the Wesgo problem had quickly spread
throughout the Newcastle business community... Within a couple of hours
of hearing this information, a
consortium of local business people, including Myself, formed
a new company, 'Radio
Newcastle Pty Ltd', to purchase 2KO from Westgo.
October 12, 1992, 2KO, whilst owned
Pty. Ltd, converted
to the FM
band, changing its callsign to 2KKO, and branding itself as KOFM 102.9.
Four years later, following a board decision, on January 22, 1996, the
parent company of KOFM (and of NXFM), Radio Newcastle Pty. Ltd,
decided to sell the Radio operation which
was purchased by Austereo.
A few more years later, Austereo sold 50% to
RG Capital Radio Network, whose stake in the station then transferred
in 2004 to Macquarie Regional RadioWorks, upon the purchase of RG
Capital's stations. On April 2011 Southern Cross Media bought out
Austereo for $714 million giving Southern Cross Media full ownership of
Cross's Newcastle operation, during 2017, moved and is now based in the
Honeysuckle area by the Newcastle harbour.
On 9 November 2018, KOFM was renamed to 102.9 Triple M Newcastle.
Who else recalls
the Ron Hurst,
show 'The Coke
a Cola bottlers club',
We couldnt wait to finish school so we could run down the hill
weekdays, to be at the station studio on the top floor of the
in town in the
late 1950's. i don't think i missed a day
notes on 2KO
Compton Remember Pat Barton on breakfast forever. Hated when he cut
songs short to fit in more ads.
David Collins was one
half of Australia's longest-running radio breakfast team David and
Tanya. Tanya recorded their final on air break in Davids final
days& a chance to talk about how and why David emigrated to
Australia in the 70s, the early days at Sydneys 2WS, his move to
Newcastle in the 90s and the pairing of Tanya with David.The guys were
on air together for 22 years, first working at 2HD for eight years
before switching to KOFM, where they ruled the airwaves for another 14
Nov 2018.... KOFM
To Become Triple M Newcastle, A
new era for Newcastle's No.1 station
- KOFM is
being rebranded Triple M Newcastle, joining one of Australia's most
iconic radio brands. But other than a
new name and logo, nothing else is changing.
Cross Austereos Triple M Regional Network grows to 45 stations today,
with KOFM officially becoming Triple M Newcastle today.
- It follows
the recent relaunch of 4TO as Triple M Townsville in September.
- Triple M
Newcastle will continue to produce local shows and content, including
Tanya and Steve on Breakfast, JR on Weekdays and Arvos with Little A,
as well as the widest variety of music, sport and comedy and Kennedy
Molloy on Drive.
Allen Fairhall KBE
Allen Fairhall KBE
Sir Allen Fairhall Morrison, Ronald John. Allan Fairhall K.B.E.
Allen Fairhall was
at Morpeth, NSW on
the 24 November 1909, and attended East Maitland Boys' High
School. After school he was apprenticed as an electrical fitter at the
Walsh Island Dockyard in Newcastle, while attending Newcastle Technical
College. At the same time he developed an interest in radio and gained
an amateur radio licence.
was able to convince the then Postmaster-General's Department that
Newcastle needed a second commercial radio station.
he established 2KO. During World
War II he worked on the supply of signals equipment for the Australian
armed services. From 1941 to 1944 he was an alderman of the City of
Newcastle. He was an Australian
politician and a Member of the
Parliament of Australiafor the Division
of Paterson from 1949 to 1969. During that period he held a number of
ministerial portfolios, most notably Supply and Defence.
The Great Pat Barton
at his best (photo 2KO) early years
Former presenters 2KO
(the Late) between '70s -
mid '90s, As Steve Tippett
"I worked with a lot of these people from 1972 til 1981 at both 2KO
& 2HD. The 70's was a fantastic time to be in radio. I have
wonderful memories of these people and still catch up today. Not to
take away from anyone I worked with but, I had a fantastic time with Pat
Barton at 2KO, nothing like
seeing that happy smiling face at 3.30 am to start your day!
Dibley, wrote, Stuart
Dibley worked with Pat
at 2KO (after WWII went to
Wollongong radio first) and the to 2HD with Pat coming over later.
Wrote and played in very popular "Yes What" radio
evenings, still remembered by most older Novocastrians (BTV = before
TV) later became Sales Manager.
cheif Announcer 40's
Lappan 'where the hits happen'
|David Jones August 1991 until December
1998 with Teenah Bernice
||James Aloyius Montgomery Max
Gibbs *Ron Roberts
|Clayton Brown -
(David and Tanya)/ Announcer / Voice Artist..."The Fugitive"
Jefferys, 3-6 p.m shift, late 60's
mid 60's, Good
golly. It’s David Mulley!
'80's early '90s & he is still there,
Hedstrom 1987 to 2001,
'80s/early '90s, - doing afternoons and 9-12.
Hurst 70's, Announcer, Sports Editor, and every
shift on the station for many years, before 2UE move.
McLaughlin, David Evans, reminded me of Catherine
early 2KO announcer and the famous Victor
Ice Cream show, also with Ron Hurst, so
||Very sad to report
the passing of former Radio 2KO/NBN3 Newcastle and Radio 2UW Sydney
personality Phil Hunter..
RIP my friend.
Steve J Wakely 03/06/2019
||David Collins of the
team David and Tanya.
Former presenters 2KO
||Grey Clark, After Dark 60s
||Lee Cornell 70's
|Bert Byrnes, mid 60's
||Iain Edwards (late)
Duncan 80's 2010)
||James Aloyius Montgomery Max
||Michael Ahern (late)
||John Laws 60's
T Elliot, 69, (late)
||Mike Jefferys 60's
Pickering, Nov 1968
||Mal Hedstrom (late)
||Jim Stewart (Jim Ball)
|Nick "Nicko" Condon
||Peter Buckley 1982
|David Collins (late)
(Cracka) Hardy (late)
|John Laws, 60's
Bernice early 90s
Hunter mid 60's (late)
||Warwick Teece mid 60's
||Wayne Mason (Frank Fursey)
Sir Allen Fairhall, K.B.E., VK2KB
This story was originally
published in Amateur
Radio in 1974
"I had built my first working
receiver in 1924 when there was little official
broadcasting but with
providing a good deal of rough interest. When serving an
apprenticeship to Electrical Fitting in the years 1925 on, I met
fellows who actually knew the amateur broadcasters including 2CS, 2MS
and some others. Then the bug bit and I became A2KB in 1927
with a UX201A in TPTG, Slop Jar rectifier and an OV1 receiver.
My interest also led me to build
an Electric Gramophone with a
pair of UX250's with all of ten watts output. The Great Depression hit
the bottom of its curve coincident with the end of my apprenticeship in
1929 and I was looking for a non-existing job for quite a while,
meantime filling in the rest of the day on 40 metres. Those were the
happy days when amateurs could still romp on the 240 metre
It occurred to me that a little publicity might drum up a
business in radio servicing. So Sunday mornings found tank coils
switched to 240, the gramophone tied in as a modulator and 2KB became a
regular Sunday Morning Broadcaster to the great content of listeners
charmed by faithful rendition of such records as I was able to borrow.
Some of it was even very good, since I was ignorant of little things
like copyright and played one or two well known works over the air
which were banned to every other Broadcaster. Then out of the blue some
hopeful business man asked me to do some advertising. Sadly I refused.
But a great light dawned and with my hand shaking with eager
anticipation I wrote to the Chief Radio Inspector and had the temerity
to ask for a "B" Class Licence.
Twelve months went by while I floated a company, argued
myself into the
support of local organisations, and waited. Then one day, the licence
turned up. However, I soon learned that having a licence was one thing
- knowing what to do with it was something else. Money was now needed
in what was considerable quantity for the hard times we were enjoying.
Raising money for Broadcasting Stations has come a long way since 1931
but the result then was a big round lemon.
After another six months the Radio
Inspector was breathing down my neck, 'Use it or send it back!' I was
not going to give in that easily. I bought another length of oregon and
raised the rear mast to make it 40'.
Then I turned my
UX210 TPTG into
a power amplifier with crystal control, bought a microphone
the 'pay if ever I can basis' and 2KO Newcastle was in
In the 240 metre days I met a young
character by the name of Pickhover who knew where
stacks of gramophone records for the borrowing. He became Chief
Announcer and between us we managed to do a reasonable job as
engineers, copywriters, announcers, salesman, accountants and anything
else that has to be done around a Broadcast Station.
It seemed acceptable to the Radio Inspector who gave his
the use of 6 watts in a suburban back yard on a temporary basis. Now
our 9am Sunday morning station became a fixed 1 hour programme after
which it shut down until 7pm. There was one snag. The trawlers fishing
the NSW Coast at the time used 240 metres CW to check fish prices to
see whether it was worth bringing the catch in. They mostly managed to
chose 9am on a Sunday morning and their signals were mostly RST 592 and
the QRM was killing our audience.
Our routine on Sunday mornings became to key the rig and
trawlers in Morse to get the hell off our frequency and let
entertain the populace. This is the only case to my
knowledge of a
Commercial Broadcasting Station sending CW. For the record it is
interesting to note that the 2KO Newcastle Station Log Book shows the
revenue for the first month came from two commercial announcements at 4
Note: Max Spitzkowsky was
one of the early technicians at 2KO.
Thursday 31 May, 2007
Newcastle radio's longest serving breakfast announcer, has died aged 92
after suffering a stroke.The Newcastle Herald reported that Barton died
at the John Hunter hospital.
Barton dominated the airwaves in the steel city for 55 years and was
the man who introduced
John Laws to the airwaves.
His career started at 2LF
in Young in 1938
and by 1941 he was the breakfast announcer at 2KO. He left radio for
four years to serve in World War 2. In 1952 he was poached over to
rival station 2HD with a contract that at the time was considered a
landmark in Newcastle radio.
He returned to 2KO in 1957 and remained on breakfast until company
policy demanded he retire. This was 1982.
meanwhile had other plans and they coaxed Pat out of retirement the
following year. He stayed on air in Newcastle until 1993.
jingle is from 1962 promoting Elvis's 'new' record Return to Sender.
The aircheck grab is Pat's return to the airwaves on 2HD in 1983.
left KO the previous year. He had to leave KO i.e. retire, in '82
because of his age and the company policy. It was owned by the Lambs
in those days and staff had to be compulsorily retired by a certain
Programming on 2KO
As advertised 4th Aug 1931
music. Radio rhythm
Tralee," John McCormack.
Musical comedy gems.
Up and Dream."
of New York," selection.
Programming around 1983 (from Andrew Baker)
Bits n Pieces... Various Snippets
From our contributor David
Lydia Lister (née Petherbridge)
left is ‘Auntie Gwen’ with two of her ‘radio
on the right was possibly taken when she
was opening a fete
Notes on 2KO from our Contributors
I enjoyed reading the
history of 2KO & decided to
send you these two photographs of my grandmother Lydia Lister (née
Petherbridge) who played a big part in the formation of 2KO along with Alan Fairhall.
She used to conduct a program for children under the name of ‘Auntie
Gwen’ & also used to hold concerts for children at the
Stadium which stood where Marketown is now located. The announcer you
mentioned in your article, Harold Pickover, was also involved in these
events & he was known as ‘Uncle Peter’. The photo on the left
grandmother ‘Auntie Gwen’ with two of her ‘radio children’, identities
unknown, the one on the right was possibly taken when she was opening a
fete or something which she was often asked to do.
From our contributor Mike
was on 2KO in mid to late ‘50’s as well. He was the celebrity guest at
the Newcastle Boys High Fete in ‘59 or ‘60. Rumour has it that early in
the ‘60’s 2KO refused to let him out of his contract so he locked
himself in the studio and read every advert backwards until they
released him and he went off to a Sydney station
John Laws was also
on 2KO when the Lamb
owned it,in the 60s. He had a red MG and used to lived in Stockton in
those days. Funny, he doesn’t say anything about being in Newcastle
when talking about his beginning in radio..
From Joyce Baker
There was Mike
Jeffries on 2KO 3-6 p.m shift in late sixties. Talk back
was new and he
was trying to copy John Laws's style, but it didn't work. Some of our
fellow male students used to call him and stir him up. Didn't they get
I wrote a letter to John
Laws when he was
on 2KO asking if he would play more music for us kids, I received a
reply to the effect that teen-music wasnt popular enough to require
a special segment.
I suppose I was about 13 and I was so
disappointed - little did he know how wrong he was!!
Were so excited to be
part of the
evolution from KOFM to Newcastles Triple M its a win-win! said Tanya
I attended Ron Hurst's
children programme in 1956 (before
John Laws) but cannot recall the name. The ads were read by children
and in a
segment called "Stop the Music" If you correctly identified a group
of songs, the prize was a Malvern star bike. Whatever happened to Ron
after that ?
From our contributor Pat
was the on call singer at 2ko for the lunch time shows and the Sydney
Flour shows. Used to record at the studio in hunter street then it was
dubbed in while I sang at the various venues. Matt Tapp, Ron Hurst, and I
think Brian Newman
were the main announcers with John
walking the corridors for a short period of time. This was
approximately early 1950s. Val Anderson and Iris were the chefs at the
From Peter Wilson
Just really enjoyed
reading your Radio HISTORY 2K0 i attended Rumpus Room with Ron Hurst
& won many a 45 record from that show, I also remember the Victor Ice Cream Show in
Blackalls House, up the hill,
Loved reading Jan Heaths contribution ON THE Victor Ice Cream Show also
Jan Porter at The Palais many years later, great years &
well done Spero
From Brian Pickering
- I started as 2nx on 16th Nov 1967 - my b/day!! - then 2KO a
later - after than stations such as 9PA Port Moresby, ABC Brisbane,
4IP,2GB then FM104 (TripleM FM Brisyy helping it get off the ground
from day 1 - 22nd Aug 1908 Meantime well done for all your research - I
also worked with Pat Barton, Alan McGirvan, Malcom T Ellit &
Steve J Wakely - an awesome bloke!
our Contributor Janet Heath
am interested in added just a little more to your 2KO
There was a kid’s radio show in the early 50’s before the one you call
the Coca Cola Bottlers
I’m not sure how old I was
but just into High School so about 54/55 when I was say 12. I
caught the bus to town, climbed the hill and joined a queue to try and
get a front row seat for 2KO’s “Victor
Ice Cream Show.” The show opened
with us kids all singing “This is the Victor Ice Cream Show, Yeah!
Yeah! Yeah! we’re on the air at 2KO. It’s brought to you by Victor a
name that you all know, it’s the best show on the radio.” A
more lines which at 77yrs of age unfortunately I have now
forgotten. Of course the best part for most of the kids was
all left with an ice-cream in hand.
But for me it was
the singing and they held a Talent Quest one year which I won singing
“Ivory Tower.” It was recorded for me but unfortunately the tape
actually stripped off the record after many years in my mothers
cupboard.They had a blind chap (and I hate myself for forgetting his
name) playing the organ to accompany us. One year he
great batch of us girls; in a circle he walked around and put his ear
close to our face and gradually we were whittled down to three girls.
We became part of The Interval Show along with dog-acts,
ventriloquists, balancing acts etc at the very large movie theatre at
Broadmeadow 9 ways. One song we sang was “in the Chapel in the
Moonlight” where I was selected to sing the middle 8 (bars) of the song
solo. When the crowd applauded that was “it” for me, my career path was
set, I was going to be a cabaret singer.
Got carried away a bit there just wanted to let you know about the
previous show, sorry.
Janet Heath (sang as Jan Porter)
From our contributor Garry Renshaw
'this is the victor ice cream
show [ YUM< YUM< YUM ] , we're on the air at 2KO...it's brought
to you by victor , the name you know so well - it's the best show on
the radio..... it's brought to you by victor , the name you know so
well - it's the purest of all ice cream that anyone can sell...in
buckets and bricks and in cones too - victor , the best of all for you
- IN SPELLING - V.I.C. - T.O.R. , it's the victor ice cream show !!!!!
was a member and went from boy's high to 2ko for the club meetings and
competitions .... ron hurst had the coca cola bottlers club, and i was
on the 'name that song' competition.... i named three songs but used a
line from the fourth song, then corrected myself - with another line -
then the name of the song - because there was no break berween my
answers, and they were all lyrics from the song....i won a mantle radio
which i swapped - at rayfords - for the first hand held AWA transistor
radio in newcastle.....i had it for many years till it was
stolen......it was a great time for school children, to be heard on
ocal radio, and there were many prizes from coca cola, victor ice
cream, and rayford's electric store.
2HD is an Australian radio station in New South Wales.
History of Newcastle Radio
second oldest existing radio station.
Owned and operated as part of the Super Radio Network of stations, it currently (2022) broadcasts a news talk and classic hits format to Newcastle, New South Wales and
the surrounding Hunter region. First broadcast on 27 January 1925, it
was established by founder Harry Douglas - from which the station
derives its name and is based in studios in Sandgate alongside sister station New FM.2HD is Australia's second oldest existing radio station, first going to air just hours after Sydney's 2UE.
began broadcasting on 27 January 1925, a day after
Sydney's 2UE began
operations, making it Australia's second oldest existing radio station.
The station's call sign are the initials of the founder, Harry
Douglas, not "Hunter District" as commonly believed. Douglas
keen amateur radio
and an alderman on the Newcastle City Council from 1919 to 1922. He was
also the first person to own a sulky and car tyre retreading business
in Newcastle, as well as having the first petrol station in Newcastle
with a bowser.
radio station was originally in the suburb of Hamilton, but moved to the
corner of Darby and King Streets soon after. In 1928, Douglas sold the station
to William Johnston, who sold the station to the Airsales
Broadcasting Company two years later in 1930. Airsales owned the
company for 10 years, and was responsible for the move to its landmark
studio building in Sandgate, which was 2HD's home for nearly 50 years.
Although the building itself is very different, the middle section of
the building is still the 1931 building.
controversial circumstances during World War II, 2HD was closed in
1941, under the National Security Regulations. At the time, around 25
staff were employed by the station, and stories claimed that the
station's owners were sending covert messages, based on the timing of
the music being played etc. 2HD remained silent until near the end of
the war when the Australian Labor Party and the Labor Council of New
South Wales bought the station, and resumed transmissions on 15 January
1945. One of 2HD's notable personalities of the 1930s was Uncle Rex
Sinclair, who continued to perform on local radio and stage until
shortly before his death in 2001.
landmark studio building in Sandgate
The Labor Party and the NSW
owned 2HD from 1945 until 1999. For the first 29 years of its
ownership, the station was under the management of Jim Storey, with his wife Twink acting
as program director and on-air personality. Other announcers during
this time included Harry Randall, Stuart Dibley and Tom Delaney.
the late 1950s and early 1960s, 2HD was one of the founding
shareholders of local television station NBN Television.
broadcast in the popular The Good Guys of Life format, also
other stations, including 2SM Sydney.
Presenters during this time included Harry Randall, Tom Delaney, Art
Ryan, Haff Enegg, Mal Lamonte, John Hill, Allan McGirvan, Mike
Jeffries, Malcolm Elliott, Keith Harris, Graeme Gilbert, Don Mayo, Rob
Maynard and Cliff Musgrave. Towards the end of this period, announcer
Geoff Gregory joined the station, but was better known as a program
director, and host of the Sunday night program Country Sounds.
the Good Guys era ended, 2HD transmitted other formats including Easy
Alternative and country. In 1977, the original office building on
Maitland Road Sandgate was closed. Several years prior to that, the
building was gradually being demolished, starting with the destruction
of the original transmitter building to make way for a dual carriageway
along Maitland Road in 1964. The increased traffic and the location of
the road near the old building was taking its toll. A new
administration building, nicknamed "the submarine" was built, and NSW
Premier Neville Wran opened the building in 1977.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the station was the subject of a takeover bid from NBN, which resulted in a shake-up in ownership at the television station, and the bid was eventually rejected.
decades after the end of the "Good Guys" era, the station's ratings
were in the doldrums, but it accomplished its first number-one ratings
success in 1987, after adopting a strong news and talk format. Factors
in the success were the recruitment of 2KO's Pat Barton to present the breakfast program, along with Warwick Teece, whose Openline program was a huge success. General Manager David Baldwin
was a key part of the station's revival, guiding the team to the top of
the ratings. The coverage of the 1989 Newcastle earthquake by the news
team, led by Tony Briscoe, won the station a National Radio Award. The
1990s saw 2HD confirm its place as the top-rating station in Newcastle,
led by the breakfast team of David Collins and Tanya Wilks, who notched up over eight consecutive years of survey wins, supported by Geoff Jay and Richard King.
The station expanded following the purchase of local FM station New FM
in 1995, which resulted in internal remodelling of the building. In
1999, the NSW Labor Party and NSW Labour Council sold the station to Bill Caralis.
1997, the station had added the John Laws Morning Show to its line-up,
which remained until Laws' departure from 2UE in 2007. He was replaced
by Steve Price and, later, Steve Liebmann, until Laws moved to network
station 2SM in 2011, and was syndicated to rest of the Super Radio
Until 2006, the station broadcast coverage of Newcastle
Knights National Rugby League (NRL) games, then syndicated from the
Macquarie Radio Network. However, a dispute between BOG, the Macquarie
Radio Network and the NRL saw both the "Continuous Call Team" and the
coverage of Knights games go to rival 102.9 KOFM.
A-League, Super Rugby, NRL and AFL returned to 2HD, with various games
called live through the network partnership with Crocmedia.
May 14, 2021, 2HD recorded its lowest ratings result in its history, recording a percentage of 6.6.
1997, the station added the John
Laws morning program to its lineup,
becoming a ratings success. After Laws retired, Steve Price took on
morning shift, then in 2010, Steve
Lieberman. The station lineup in
2011 consists of Richard King for Breakfast, John Laws (returned 31
January 2011), Meryl Swanson in the Afternoons from 12-4pm, Talkin'
Sport from 4 - 7pm, Graeme Gilbert with Talk Tonight and Gary Stewart
The Battle of the Bands
|Graeme Gilbert mid
60's and still
||Allan Lappin 'where
the hits happen'
|Pat Barton -1983 Recruitment
||David Collins and Tanya Wilks, Breakfast
|Mal Hedstrom - 1979
Gregory, PD & Sunday nights Country Sounds
|Hugh (Harry) Alexander McKay
Grainger ,mid dawn
King for Breakfast
T Elliot, 69 (late)
Jay 70's 80's
'80s, (late) Night
|Mal Hedstrom - 1979
||Stuart Dibley, 50's
Storey, Victor Icecream show
|David Jones, Drive
||Pat Barton, 1983 (late)
Bradley, Studio Manager
2HD Presenters 2018+
King and Kim Bauer, breakfast M to F 5.30 till 9.00
John Laws Morning Show Weekdays 9am-12pm
Bultitude Weekdays 12pm-4pm
Cochrane Weekdays 12am 5am
Gilbert Weekdays 8pm-12am
Stewart Weekdays 12am-5am
Hill Weekdays 12am-5am
Goldman Weekdays 5am-5.30am
Mackin Sat 12-6pm
Edwards Sat / Sun 6-12am
Davis Sun 8-11am
Cochrane, Sun 8-11am
Guy Ashford - General/Sales Manager
Dave Cochrane - SRN/2HD Content Director
Luke Hetherington - Promotions & Marketing Director
Ross McClymont - Technical Engineer
Pieces... Various Snippets
From Art Ryan 8th September 2022
The loss of another Novocastrian.
"Last night we lost a media mate in David Baldwin.
David was larger than life itself from when we first met whilst I was a
Good Guy at 2HD in 1967. He was cutting hair then. David was a talented
drummer featuring in bands like Midnight Soul, Bitter Suite and other
bands. He worked in radio at 2NM before taking over as boss of 2HD then
NEWFM. Musicians and media people will be very sad today. Heartfelt
hugs to his family that he was so proud of. See ya soon Biggie"
DAVE AND THE DERROS - Nice Legs, Shame About The Face (1979)
CountDown Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
Dave And The Derros was created by lead singer David Jones. Jones
was a radio station disc jockey based in Newcastle N.S.W and wrote
novelty songs for his radio show. David had a large repertoire of radio
character voices, one of which was his beloved Dave the Derro. David
liked to make parody songs for his radio show. This eventually allowed
him to work up an act based on "Dave". He complemented his performances
with an ever changing backing band of musos. Some of these various
musos also backed John Paul Young. Dave and the Derros also released an
album in 1980 called 'Live After Death' which features most of these
(vocals), Trevor Parkinson (guitar), Kevin Buckingham
(guitar), Bert Moonen
(bass) Steve Connellan (drums), David
Spero, Thank you for including 2HD, my grandfather, HarryDouglas'
station in your radio history project. As you have mentioned, he was a
great amateur radio
well ahead of his time, not only
with radio but also other ventures in Newcastle. He did actually
broadcast under the amateur status for many years prior to going
commercial in 1925. Also, whilst my grandfather was known as "Harry",
his correct name was Hugh
Alexander McKay Douglas. 2HD origanely started at Hamilton
on the corner of Cleary Street and Gordon Avenue. The specially built attic still
exists on the house. My grandfather started 2HD
Margaret Burns 2HD -
radio station in Newcastle! Started
by my grandfather, Hugh (Harry) Douglas, hence 2HD.
Started as a
hobby in 1917 and still going strong.
Remember Mad Mel who used
to relay through from
Sydney onto, maybe, 2HD.
Of course there was Greg Grainger who
did the night shift on 2HD for a
while. He went on to bigger and better things.
When I was
little girl Twink Story used to host a Saturday morning show for kids
who dressed up and paraded to win a prize . I remember once I went as
the Queen of Tarts and ate the jam tarts before the parade. Not exactly
sure where it was but think it was The Tatler? Or where Theo Goumas had
his first theatre.
The History of Newcastle Radio
NXFM (call sign: 2XXX)
Serving Newcastle, New
South Wales and
surrounding areas. It broadcasts at 106.9 MHz on the FM band from its
studios in Charlestown. (Recently moved to Honeysuckle on the harbour)
It is owned by Southern Cross Austereo and is a sister station to KOFM.
history can be traced back to Singleton radio station 2HR,
Hunter River Broadcasters
The station launched on August 30,
1937. Shareholders included the Singleton Argus and the Robinson
Family. Three years later, the station was moved to Maitland, with
transmitter at Lochinvar.
days, 2HR operated on 680 kHz with 300 watts of power, and was
affiliated with the Macquarie Broadcasting Network. Programs were
originated locally between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, before taking the
Macquarie feed at 6:30 pm.
1950s, 2HR was relocated to Newcastle, with its transmitter located in
Bolwarra. Station manager Ken Robinson was a former Army officer, and
his identification number had the letters NX. Therefore, the station
was given the callsign 2NX, and a new frequency at 1341 kHz.
period between the 1950s and 1970s, 2NX's owners Hunter Broadcasters
were purchased by the Catholic Broadcasting Company, owned by the
Catholic Church. 2NX programming was relayed to 2NM overnight during
this time, and was identified as 2NXNM.
NX (and also 2NM Muswellbrook) were also owned by 2SM's owners, the
Catholic Church, back in the 80s (hence the 'affiliation').
used to be a lot of Christian type messages (30 secs or so) aired on NX
then (with the tagline of something like "brought to you by the
Also, 2NX used the ID "2NXNM" at night time (when 2NM took a direct 2NX
In the early
1990s, the Catholic Church got out of broadcasting, and sold 2NX to
Radio Newcastle, which was later taken over by Austereo, and
sold a 50% stake to RG Capital Radio Network (which was taken over by
Blyton, 2NX was granted a
license to convert to FM in the '90s and moved to 106.9 MHz, branding
itself originally as X107,
before changing to its current name, NXFM.
On April 2011 Southern Cross Media bought out Austereo for more than
700 million giving Southern Cross Media full ownership of NX FM.
NXFM are a
sponsor of local A-League team the Newcastle Jets.
of the most unassuming yet experienced and influential owners
operators in the industry, Kevin
has been in the radio industry for over 35 years. Kevin began his
career at the age of 17 as an announcer at 2XL in Cooma and two years
later bought the station. He went on to buy and sell stations across
NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT, Western Australia and Queenstown, New
Zealand and was one of the pioneers of the FM band in regional
Australia in the early 90s withNewcastles
launched Eagle FM & Snow FM in the late 90's then expanded his
interests, with the purchase of Snowy Mountains Theatres, Snowy
Mountains Airport and Charlotte Pass Ski Resort and the Kosciuszko
on the Commercial Radio Australia Board since 1999 and during that time
chaired both the Regional Committee and the Digital Technical Advisory
Committee. Kevin has been a strong and respected voice for regional
radio and an advocate of the rights of regional broadcasters to a
digital broadcast future. He was inducted into the Commercial Radio
Hall of Fame at the 2013 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).
Thu 10 Dec 1953
2 New Radio
Stations For Northern Areas
commercial' radio station, 2NX, will operate in Newcastle, the
Coalfields and the Hunter Valley, starting on New Year's Day.
broadcasting organisation will commission the main station, 2NX, with a
transmitter at Bolwarra,
and a relay station, 2NM,
which will service the Upper Hunter area. Station 2NM will be at
Muswellbrook. Station 2NM will come into operation shortly after
station 2NX begins transmission.
Thu 10 Dec 1953
stations will have sufficient power to provide Newcastle. the
Coalfields and the Hunter Valley with first-class reception. At work on
the erection of a 330ft.
at Bolwarra for 2NX is nearing completion. The
operate on 2000 watts, although it is capable of 2500 watts. Provision
is made for autagnenting the transmission power to 5000 watts in the
future. Station 2NM will operate on 500 watts.
The mast and
transmitter at Bolwarra comprise one of the latest types of
installations of the kind in Australia.
recommendation of A.W.A., the mast was constructed by Skilfast.Sydney.
and is of fabricated steel, fully galvanised. and weighs 9 tons.The
mast has an electrical
height of 400
feet, which is 5-8ths of the operating wave length of 2NX.
Station 2NX will have a frequency of 1360 kilocycles, aitd 2NM will
operate on 1460 kilocycles.
commercial stations in Australia use a mast in the region of a quarter
of the operating wavelength. The taller mast gives extra signal
Eight and a
quarter miles of copper wire is buried in radial trenches from the
bottom of the mast to give better signal strength. The station Manager
Mr. K. Robinson said yesterday: "The 2NX transmitter is as powerful as
any commercial transmitter in Australia. The station has a radius of 50
miles for first-class signal reception. and programmes from 2NX will be
heard with clear strength at points as far apart as Swansea and
Singleton." "Towns such as
Scone, Merriwa. Denman, Muswellbrook. Aberdeen, Murrurundi and
surrounding arcas will receive excellent radio reception. This is a
service not previously available in areas where wireless noise was
Muswellbrook station will give this area clear, strong signals such as
are enjoyed in Newcastle and Maitland."
frequency channel is not shared by any other station in the
Commonwealth. The new network--2NX and 2NM--will replace stations 2HR
and 2CK. The new network is owned entirely in Newcastle and the Hunter
the mast had reached a height of 212 feet. It will probably be
completed next week.
...a bit more
to add about 2NX.
NEWFM came on the scene & 2NX listener ship dropped, they tried
Classic Hits format that was aligned with 2UW (Sydney) at the time,
was successful but wasn't clawing back the young listeners from NEWFM
& as 2NX wanted desperately to be back at No.1 where they had
they dropped Classic Hits & even dropped the iconic 2NX call
in about march '91
to totally start fresh & launch a new station (not just
an old one) to take on the new NEWFM, they applied to the ABA (as it
was then) & officially changed the licence call sign from 2NX to 2XX,
they then had 2 days (over a weekend) with only music (no talking or no
ads) as an official test broadcast & launched on Monday morning
All New, All Hit Radio
the day/weekend 2NX died never to return.
changing to FM, the licence call sign became 2XXX FM (as it remains
today) & they became X107 still All New, All Hit Radio.
'93 Hunter Broadcasters, owner of 2NM & X107 FM was split
sold, Radio Newcastle (a consortium of local business
bought X107 & the Cameron's bought
Hunter Broadcasters & took control of 2NM Muswellbrook.
'93 or early '94, X107 was re branded to NXFM (on air id only) moved
out of the 770 Hunter St Newcastle West Studios up to Charlestown with
KOFM & changed to a Always Great Rock & Roll Format
stayed that way till Austereo bought Radio Newcastle in the late '90s,
it was then icons of Newcastle & Australian radio started to be
sacked from KO & NX, & Austereo started bringing in
drop-outs or new potential Sydney/Melbourne talent & using it
nursery/retirement home, this didn't work, & it wasn't until
self destructed NEWFM that NXFM got back to the top where it was all
those years ago, the rest they say is history.
NX & KO are now at the top & doing very well, it's not
necessarily what Newcastle wants or likes, but there is effectively no
competitor for them & they are the best available at the moment.
Note: Even though the icon 2NX is dead, it still lives on in my heart
& house as it was back in the pre - '90s. I still have a 2NX
T-shirt that takes pride of place in my wardrobe I got in 1981, with
the rainbow coloured band around it with 2NX More Music on the front
& Summer is, on the back, also I have some furniture that came
of the 2NX hunter street studios, that dad bought at the auction when
he was starting up his business (I'm kicking myself now that I didn't
have more money at the time to buy some of the 2NX, X13, X107 signs off
the building & promotional stuff), I do have a filing cabinet
complete with stickers from other radio stations on it, a whiteboard, a
credenza/cupboard, but unfortunately the executive desk chair has
n Pieces... Various Snippets
From Lyn McLardy
1995 to 1999 - local Brendon Dangar
was on NX. Brendon lived in Redhead and from a young age was fascinated
by radio. While as school he broadcast his own station in Redhead.
While at school he volunteered at NX doing a lot of late night work
which eventually led to his being on the breakfast show - mainly as
sidekick to Steve. I think he was referredto as BD but became better
known as Brendon Whippy Dangar. He left Newcastle and went to Brisbane,
then onto Melbourne where he hosts an afternoon show.
Next was Derek
Bargwanna (known as DB) on the breakfast show, doing the same kind of
fall guy stuff stuff that Brendon had done with Steve working first as
a panel operator then produced and anchored the breakfast show
I am sure he drove the promotion vehicle which ran the giveaways etc
connected with breakfast.
In Muswellbrook, after John
McGahen moved to NX, another Redhead boy, David Baldwin took
over John’s job. (Both John McGahen and David Baldwin had been barbers
before going on air)
at NX, John McGahen supervised the computerisation of programming, so
that you would know ahead of time what songs were coming up if you
wanted to record that song.
David Baldwin then followed John McG to 2NX?
From Lyn McLardy
Spero, another memory of
radio John McGahen moved onto 2NUR and still does some work there.
2NUR had many volunteer announcers who did a segment of their own
choice of music. One was Barbara Callcott.
From Christine Gregory
Simpson was still at NX early 70's, I worked in the same office as his
wife & used to copy pages out of joke books for him.
played drums on 2NX about
Bandstand! With Leo Last and Al Vincer on Vibes "Garry
was hired for NX, I recall
from Brisbane when DJ left to work in Melbourne.
Pike was at the time doing mid-dawn. They
engaged in banter at change of shifts and management saw the potential
and so 'Garry and Jim' or "Pike and Suprain"
became a great
later went back to Brisbane, I think, and Pike went on to many things
including working on Burke's Backyard (TV version).
DJ (David Jones, not his real name) returned to Newcastle to do Drive
on 2HD briefly and then moved to 2KO Breakfast.
Webster did a stint at either 2KO or
2HD in the late '60s or '70s,
the time of Austereo, if I remember, Todd Sergent
was on NXFM
moving on to 2NURFM, now ABC Newcastle/NSW, long time 2NX
jock Don Dawkins, now at 2CA Canberra, David
DJ long time 2NX jock working at KOFM at that time though, John
Gahen General manager at the time, Graham Rodgers
may or may not have still been working there when Austereo took over.
from the past, Garry Suprain, Jim Pike,
Commerford, Reg Gazzard, Gordon McMillan, Jon Blake, Stewart Horne,
Brian James, Rick Manchin, Gary Mac, Graham Rodgers.
the 70's & 80's 2NX along with
2SM & 3XY were the places to be if you wanted to be at the top
& those that were there were.
From a contributor..
was also lucky enough to be doing work experience at NXFM in '94 when
the Always Great Rock & Roll stickers & T-shirts were
& the program director gave me a T-shirt & a pile of
straight out of the box (along with staff) before public release,
(still have most of the stickers & the t-shirt too).
Bush mid 60's
Gibson (the late) 50's
Ashton mid 60's
|Brian Pickering, 16Nov 67
Huth early '90s,
2019 presenters NX-FM
History of Newcastle Radio
It's a long way to the
top if you wanna ...
It's' been in our heads all day....
That's because it's the song that inspired it, AC/DCs It's a Long Way to the Top
(If You Wanna Rock n Roll) has been added to the National Film and Sound Archives national register of recorded sounds.
And apart from having a shredding bagpipe solo, the Acca Dacca classic holds special significance for the Hunter. John
Farnham's - It's a Long Way to the Top was the very first song played
on Newcastle's first commercial FM radio station, NEW-FM.
The station's founder, Mike Webb, chose "Its a Long Way to the Top" to put his baby to air on April 14, 1989
of my most exciting moments....
The station's founder, Mike
put his baby to air on April
14, 1989 (RIP Mike 20/08/2023)
Listening to AcaDaca blasting the air waves whilst I was standing next to the temporary NEW-FM
studio on the 4th floor of Nesca house, which later moved down the
street to the 'NESCA bunker' in Darby Street Newcastle, which became HQ
for many years to come.
It was at this stage that I became a shareholder of NEW- FM.... It was a fantastic buzz...It was one of the most EXCITING times in Newcastle radio.
The new FM player tore off a huge chunk of the ratings at the expense
of 2NX, Newcastle's existing hit music station. NX's audience share
plummeted from 24.1% down to 9.9%. NEW-FM remained the city's top station for its first four years, commanding 29.4% of listeners.
This was all before NX and 2KO jumped onto the FM band and Austereo
took control of NX and KO in 1996. NXFM topped the most recent ratings
survey with a 19 percent audience share.
The Mobbs and Fletch Show weeknights
must have been the most ever listened to radio program in the Newcastle
area.. From my experiance, I would go out on a limb and say they possibly had a rating of over 80% of available listeners. It was the most exciting show on radio at the time, leading me into becoming " The Mobbs and Fletch Show " major Sponsor as Sound World
is an Australian radio station, serving Newcastle and its surrounding
area. It is now owned by Bill Caralis's Broadcast Operations Group and operates at 105.3
megahertz on the FM band. Its callsign is 2NEW, the 2 being a standard
prefix for stations in New South Wales, and NEW short for Newcastle.
Its sister station is 2HD. On 24 May 2005 NEWFM reverted back to its
original 1989 logo which has since been modernised.
From Mike Webb..April 1989
Now here is something NOBODY has a copy of or has ever heard since the
moment we switched the station on. In the building, the temporary
station was housed top floor Nesca building for 12 months till we
opened the 2 million dollar plus Darby Street station, was all the
staff plus an invited throng of maybe 100 guests and clients for what
became the first of three NEWFM opening partys , the first was that one
we called the TONE party. That’s the moment we switched off the test
tone and started two weeks of test broadcasting playing just music back
to back no commercials or joks.
Many I have spoken to say that was the best two weeks of radio they had
ever listened to. The next party was the moment we played out first
commercial for the Newcastle Permanent and the second was a Coke
commercial two later and the third was the quarter million dollar party I called SKYNOVA
on the foreshore when we brought the Collaroy up from Sydney to become
the floating VIP centre whilst the foreshore packed in 100.000 people.
I paid a professional team $10 grand to film that event and I have the
master video doco end production.
History part 2
the first commercial FM radio station in Newcastle when it commenced
broadcasting on the 14th April 1989 from temporary
accomodation and studio's in the old Nesca House
King Street Newcastle.
NEWFM became the Hub of the Super Network FM Stations (NEWFM Network)
supplying programming from its Sandgate based studios to stations from
the NSW/Victorian boarder in the south, north to the Sunshine Coast in
QLD and West to Broken Hill. The potential reach of the NEWFM Network
is over 7 million people.
NEWFM, along with its sister station 2HD announced plans to undertake a
multi-million dollar ground up rebuild of its studio complex. The
rebuild will see it become the most up to date digital studio complex
in the country.
station was launched on 21st April 1989, in the old NESCA
building, as a rock station for Newcastle & the Hunter. It soon
screamed up to Number 1 in the Newcastle market, leaving 2NX (now NXFM)
on their wake in the younger market.
Broadcast Operations Group bought the station in 1999, the station went
downhill FAST in both quality & ratings, except for a brief
resurgence in the ratings during 2001-2002, when it reaffirmed
themselves as a rock station.
speaking, NEWFM is now a much poorer shadow of its former
remember the time when
invited his 'Idols' Mobs
Liz & I
to his house for a Sunday afternoon lunch .... Billy's, (Young
sister Alice had cooked up a storm of Greek food... After seeing how
compitant Alice was, I asked her if she would like a part
job at Sound World... my feelings where correct, she turned
to be a fantastic team player... a few more years Later. Young Spero
joined the Sound World team as well.
DJs from NEW-FM's early days included Gavin Comber (mornings), and Chris
'Fletch' Fletcher, who joined Mobbs as the other half of the 'Mobbs and
Fletch' duo that did nights in 1989-1990.
Spero (so-called as he was the guy that was always winning prizes on
NEW-FM sponsored by local record store Sound World, which was owned by
a bloke called Spero) ended up with his own shift as well...
real name is Bill McFerrin also better known as Billy, yes he
eventually got his own shift, he used to hang out at the NEWFM studios
most days after school & seeing as he was there so much he actually trained other Jocks to be a panel operators at
(back in the days before computers, when everything was done manually,
playing CD's, Carts they
thought they might as well give him a job. He worked at NXFM for quite
a while behind the scenes in the early '90s, before getting a shift
Steve Graham did brekky with
Garth Russell as the 'Garth and Steve' duo on NEW in the early 90s also.
I think Maynard F Crabbes
(formerly JJJ) also did some shifts at NEW around 1990 or thereabouts
|Peter Mobbs NewFM
'90s, did NEW-FM's first
night shift when it first went to air in April 1989 (in 1989-1990, 23 years ago!). Other
DJs from NEW's early days included Gavin Comber (mornings), and Chris
'Fletch' Fletcher, who joined Mobbs as the other half of the 'Mobbs and
Fletch' duo that did nights in 1989-1990. Young
Spero (so-called as he was the guy that was always winning
NEW-FM sponsored by local record store Sound
World, which was owned by
a bloke called Spero) ended up with his own shift
his real name.. also
better known as Billy, yes he eventually got his own shift, he used
to hang out at the NEWFM studios most days after school
he was there so much they thought they might as well give him a job. He
worked at NXFM for quite a while behind the scenes in the early '90s,
before getting a shift there too, & he actually trained me to
panel operator at NXFM, (back in the days before computers, when
everything was done manually, playing CD's, Carts & Reel to
the supurb 'radio voice'
(JPY) early '90s,
Russel early '90s
Davias 11.pm shift
History of Newcastle Radio
Newcastle 1233 ABC 2NC
ABC in Newcastle
By Brooke Bannister
was the first regional radio station to be established in
Australia in 1930 and it has been an rich part of the region's
history.From World War II through to the 2007 June Long Weekend storms
and floods, 1233 ABC Newcastle has been there to inform.
But it has also been
there to entertain with events such as A Night at The Wireless.
Standing in front of the Newcastle
Symphony Orchestra, conductor Mr J. Stanley Hurn raised his baton and
launched them into the William Tell Overture. The sounds of the
Newcastle Orchestra were carried across the country and into homes in
Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne.
A large audience attended the Newcastle Town Hall to listen to the
first broadcast and the Acting Prime Minister, J. E. Fenton, spoke to
the Newcastle audience from a Melbourne studio.
"This new station is the first to be erected outside the capital
cities, as portion of the construction program of the National
Broadcasting Service," Mr Fenton said. "There is quite a large
population within range of 2NC and it is evident that the establishment
of the local station will benefit listeners. Listeners may rest assured
that everything possible will be done to give satisfactory programmes."
The first broadcast came out of the new studios above a billiard room
behind the Old Strand Theatre in Market Square, off Hunter Street Mall.
A transmitter at Beresfield was set up and connected the Hunter Street
studio by landline. The current transmitter is still located at
The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate wrote about the
broadcast the following day, "representing an important link in a chain
of national broadcasting stations, and a development of considerable
importance to the people of the Hunter River District, station 2NC
Newcastle went on the air last night." The newspaper article about the
first broadcast was bordered by advertisements to buy radios, "Read's
Radios: Made in Newcastle for Newcastle for good reception. 27 pound 10
shillings complete with speakers, valves and installed in your own home
and ready to listen in."
In those early days, radio was still a comparative novelty, and a good
radio receiver cost quite a lot. Despite the significance of
Australia's first relay station being in Newcastle, there was no
obligation under the national broadcasting scheme for the Australian
Broadcasting Company to supply more than one hour a week of local
Local content that was provided consisted of Newcastle news, market
reports, church services, and other important Newcastle activities. 2NC
at this time was a part of the Australian Broadcasting Company but it
was not until June 1st 1932 that the ABC, as we know it now, opened the
airwaves. At first, 2NC remained largely a relay station for the new
national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The first
broadcast for the new ABC reached every state in the federation and was
opened by Conrad Charlton and the then Prime Minister Joseph Lyons.
Opening day programs included the first Children's Session with Bobby
Bluegum, the first sports program - "Racing Notes" with W.A. Ferry
calling the Randwick races, British Wireless News received by cable
from London, weather, stock exchange and shipping news.There was also a
talk on goldfish and their care, a slot called "Morning Devotions",
music the ABC Women's Association session, which included topics such
as commonsense housekeeping and needlecraft.
In the first few years, 2NC would broadcast intermittently in the
morning and would often shut down for intervals during the day. At the
time, there was no concept of continuous broadcasting.
Moore 2NC Brekie
Marchant and Dan Cox, breakfast
Patto, Sat Arv
Clarke (The General)
| Holger Brokmann (first voice on JJ)
The History of Newcastle Radio
of 2NUR-FM in Newcastle
In 1974 John Hill was
appointed as a lecturer in the University of Newcastle's newly created
Department of Community Programmes. He was one of three
new appointments under the leadership of Dr. Brian Smith. With
his background in the media he was soon engaged in preparations for the
FM station. At a conference John Hill had met the Secretary of the
Federal Media Department. One day in 1975 he received a mysterious
phone call from this senior public servant to ask if John was confident
that the university would take up the licence should one be granted He
described his reply as being positive to the point of enthusiasm.
Clearly something was about to happen. It seemed that the
Whitlam Government was preparing to call for expressions of interest in
the Newcastle area before issuing an educational radio licence.
everyone's surprise Dr. Moss Cass the Minister for the Media, suddenly issued a radio license
to the University of Newcastle and some other educational
afterwards the Whitlam Government was sacked by the Governor General,
Sir John Kerr but because the incoming Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser had given an assurance
that all of the Whitlam Government's undertakings would be honored the
licence was not revoked.
on for the next few years including the importation of a transmitter
from France, and the university's radio station, 2NUR-FM commenced broadcasting in March 1978.
Looking back, he was rather glad to have responded positively in 1975 -
had he expressed any doubt it is unlikely the licence would have been
granted a few days later.
John Hill had been seconded from his Department of Community Programmes
to act as the first
Station Manager. The secondment ended at the beginning of 1980 and he
returned to his old department where he worked as a Lecturer and later Senior Lecturer until his
retirement in 1999.
University Radio commenced broadcasting in March 1978
Sergent ex NXFM
by Spero Davias and others
History of Newcastle Radio
with the New in 2018 the digital air waves come alive with
the new 2UW
David Sayers, Tracy McKelligott, Mark
Tinson, Steve Pickett, Michael Blaxland
The brainchild of a number of
Hunter businesspeople, the station has plenty of on-air experience with
David Sayers on breakfast, PR and events expert Tracy McKelligott on
mornings and local music guru Mark Tinson and entertainment
entrepreneur Steve Pickett paired on drive.
We ask news
editor, Michael Blaxland, about the station.
Can you tell me
who were the driving forces behind the station and why?
side of things is being looked after by a group of local
business people who have wanted to do something like this for some
time, particularly in light of the fact that local media is
increasingly Sydney or Melbourne-based with a contraction of local
What is the
The new2uw.com is
an over-40s station playing the best of the 60s,
70s and 80s with local interviews and content and an outrageous ethos
Read more at:
31st Jan 2019
: still in its prime but
sounding very good...
As of mid March
2019 the Station has lost most of its staff June
30th 2019, Its all
over baby blue...
History of Newcastle Radio
NEWCASTLE LIVE RADIO
16th Nov 2020, Test
Tinson, Michael Blaxland
History of Newcastle Radio
2NN Classic Hits FM
Darren McErlain was
the breakfast announcer on 2NN Newcastle in 2014 and now do the Drive
time show.on Classic Hits FM Newcastle 87.8FM 7 days per week 4-6pm.
The History of Newcastle Radio Stations
n Pieces... Various
from Emails of days gone by...
were 3 commercial AM stations in Newcastle:
(KO standing for Kotara, a Newcastle suburb)
(Originally a Maitland Station broadcasting from Bolwarra, a Maitland
(the second oldest commercial broadcaster in Australia, just behind
In the 1970's
became the teenage
station, the music station. It out
rated everything else. It
was affiliated with 2NM Muswellbrook and 2SM ISydney (when 2SM was the
#1 teenage station in Sydney and 3XY was likewise in Melbourne)
that time 2KO was owned by the
Family which also owned 2UE in Sydney. 2KO had Pat
for Breakfast and 2UE had Gary O'Callaghan. Both were top of the
Jones 2NX and
(2SM) challenged for king of the
cornflakes in those markets however.
at that time the ALP /State Labour Council owned 2HD. HD tried a few
formats including country, beautiful music but talk and sport was the
most successful and had it in top spot when David Collins (now at
KO-FM) held down the breakfast spot. He paired up Tanya Wilks to make
an impressive breakfast duo.
along came FM and Newcastle was awarded one FM
consortium led by Mike Webb bought this licence and NEW FM was an
immediate hit and took all the teenage audience from 2NX.
tried classic hits
open line; then tried to challenge
firstly X13 on AM and later as X107 when it moved to FM.
reinvented itself as classic hits KO FM when it moved to the FM band.
stayed on the AM band.
ALP, as a major shareholder, took over NEW FM as a sister station for
2HD so that it had both the sport/news/talk and music markets sewn up.
and NX were then taken over by a the Austereo network and were to
Caralis then bought HD/NEW and NEW's listener base steadily went back
Collins and Tanya Wilks left 2HD. Tanya went overseas with her husband.
DC just left.
Collins and Tanya Wilks returned to Newcastle on KO FM. It is now
positioned to capture a lot of the former HD audience (footy , DC
TW) but it has a more modern sound and a wide music mix to appeal to a
is the teen station; but it also has widened its music to appeal to an
country markets, there is one AM and one
usually owned by the same group. Bill Caralis owns many of these and
they work where there is no competition. He fails to recognise that
2HD, 2SM and NEW FM are in competitive markets and so treats the
potential audiences as he does the country listeners with no commercial
has slipped over the years. The breakfast show with Luke Grant is good
radio. 9-12 with Steve Price is OK. 12-3 is Super Radio Network time
coming out of the HD studio. 3-5 the same host continues with a local
program. 5-7 is talkin 'Sport from 2SM also across the Super radio
Network . Then Talk Tonight across the SRN from 2SM appeals to the
oldies from 7pm-midnight and a networked program from 2HD fills the SRN
from midnight to dawn (5am) when Grant Goldman is networked from 2SM
for either 30 or 60 minutes depending upon when the local breakfast
hosts start (5.30 am in Newcastle).
2NX & others
2NX first went to FM in 1992, it was known as X107FM ... It went to an
"Always Great Rock & Roll" format shortly before changing it's
back to NXFM in late 1993 That
was mostly modern hits (with something of a 'grungy' feel to it).
beat 2KO in switching to the FM band by 5 months (NX in May 92 and KO
in Oct 92).
2 FM conversion licences were originally going to be auctioned, before
2HD decided that they wanted to remain on AM.
were carried out on 100.5 FM to see whether it was suitable for a 3rd
think interference to Television Channel 3 reception ruled that one out.
according to another post somewhere on this forum (I think), the
frequency allocations of 102.9 and 106.9 between KO and NX were decided
by a coin toss.
won and chose 102.9 because they didn't want to be next to 2GO Gosford
on the dial (2GO converted to 107.7 in Feb 1992).
yes, we could have had X103 rather than X107 for instance!).
2KO moved to FM, SBS radio moved from 1584khz to KO's old AM frequency
allowed for a power increase to the SBS signal.
for those young ones... Take
40 Australia used to arrive at the station on usually 4
reels that had to be changed approx. every half hour, so a panel op.
had to be in the studio to load up & change over the tapes. The
panel op. also had the weeks playlist, so if anything happened to the
tape or tape decks, the panel op. could continue the countdown by
playing the music themselves off CD's, albeit without the chatter from
the host, same for all similar programs. Never happend to me, but I do
know of occasions where the tape tangled up in the deck &
continued to be played.
went to Tassie,.
in Newcastle at 2NX as the floater. He has
for NX, KO and HD. He
was at 2KA for Penrith relaunch in 1978. (info thanks to John Rogers)
to Newcastle from 7HO Hobart to do drive on 2NX
DJ did breakfast. They both later moved to KOFM. Andy is still there.
Russel went over to 1233 (2NC ABC)
Webster has worked for NX, KO and HD doing music and talk
Waite also worked for both KO and HD.
first voice on 2JJ double J
Rock on AM,
before it became JJJ on FM) was the breakfast good guy on 2HD. (2HD
was linked with 2SM before 2NX was) He went
to HD after KO. He started as a booth announcer at NBN (info
thanks to John Rogers)
Jeffreys also did a talk back show on both HD and KO before
to UE, UW and is now doing breakfast on ABC in Canberra , I believe.
WS long ago (circa '79), but the David
to elsewhere (no relation) is the one of
He was a young
the '60s who became GM of 2KO for some time in the '70s and
Wesgo bought KO in the mid '80s. Last
running (owning??) a trophy shop in the Newcastle area.
Newcastle radio stars
opinion) - a few that spring to mind are matt
Gray Clark, Mike Jefferys, David Mulley, Clif Musgrave,
Ryan, John Hill, Alan McGirvan, Rod Spargo, Graeme Gilbert,
Story, Dick Comerford, Malcolm T, Tony "Music" Williams.
star in his own
right during these heady day of Radio.
If I have
a good look through the notes in my old diaries I can come up
dozens of others that worked in Newcastle Radio in the 50's,
was fun in those days before accountants and corporations
found out that radio licences were a milch cow!
studio at the Newcastle Showground
I also remember
studios at Jesmond Centre and Kotara Fair - the punters loved it -
I know because I was one of those kids pressing his snotty
up against the glass! I have always wanted to worked
wireless but now at 59 I'm still at the bank - some would
I'm lucky I guess looking at what has happened to the radio
industry since they started handing out BAs in Communications
Phil Hunter (passed
June 2019) rip
Local radio notes:
Radio Newcastle Pty Ltd
the 10th July 1990, Word had got
around that Wesgo
Communications Pty Ltd had got itself into financial trouble and had to
unload 2KO as soon as possible. News of the Wesgo drama had spread
throughout the business community like wildefire... Within a couple of
hours of hearing this information, a consortium of local business
people, including Myself, formed a new company, Radio Newcastle Pty
Ltd, where virtually overnight, a 'unit trust' was formed, to
2KO from Westgo.
For a couple
of years 2KO operated as normal but by October 12, 1992, after much
deliberation, it was aggreed by the board that we
transform the old 2KO AM station into an all new FM operation... KOFM.
By now there were
rumers flying around that 2NX could be up for grabs as well... A few
later, at a shareholders meeting I suggested that we should
group , purchase the old 2NX (X107) in keeping with the trend at time,
that it was more profitable to run multiple radio stations under the
shareholders/board was split 50/50 on the 2NX purchase idea so
I told the group meeting that if they did'nt buy the station I
would buy it personally..
It didn't take
the chairman of Radio Newcastle long to convince the board that
Newcastle should undertake the purchase, so a few weeks later
Radio Newcastle purchased 2NX (X107) from Snowy Mountains Radio Pty Ltd
Later 2NX was
also converterd over to NXFM using an FM transmitter we
bought second hand from a radio station in Western Australia
The next step
was for us to purchase 2GO in Gosford, as we had reached
At the time,
it was common practice for single station
operators to aquire and spread their management over several
next few board meeting it had to be decided on which path we
follow. To march forward and purchase more radio stations to
increase profitability or sell out and capitalize.
there was a
uncertainty in the radio industry so it was decided by the board to
sell both KOFM and NXFM.
On the 22nd
Ltd sold the company including the new KOFM and NXFM to the Austereo
Valley radio call signs and their
Scanlon/Newcastle Herald 26 JAN 2012
Memories are fading. People might forget that
history and the important role the famous
Lamb family and Allen Fairhall played up here.
Well, it's far too big a subject
fully here, so I'll merely touch on the Fairhall legacy.
It's a fascinating yarn of how a
amateur wireless enthusiast
started Radio 2K0 (now KOFM with a sister station NXFM).
It was August 1931, in the depths
Great Depression. Despite few funds, 2K0 grew to become one of
Australia's leading regional radio stations.
Launched from a suburban house,
licensee's dining room was 2K0's first studio. Fairhall (later Sir
then became a politician, rose to become the nation's defence
people say, could have been Prime Minister had he ever
But now back to Dungog's main
There, on public display in the front window of a local bakery,
broadcasting relic - an almost historic mini-radio studio,
full of dark
knobs and record turntables, part of Dungog community radio
107.9FM. "The equipment's not there now though.
dismantled and is in my garage," owner and former valley radio
David Sayers revealed. "This 1969-70 broadcast equipment was used
until last August. A lot of its components were from the same year
as the moon landing. That's why it worked wonderfully and lasted so
The equipment's as tough as old
bought it from the old
2K0 before it moved to Charlestown because it was so reliable." Sayers said he was
involved with the Dungog radio station.
"Voice of the Valley" was now instead called "Dungog Shire's Own".
"As for Valley radio call signs,
the KO in 2K0 stood for Fairhall's
Newcastle suburb of Kotara, and Oregon. His [13-metre]
mast to broadcast was made out of
Oregon," Sayers said.
He said the old call sign 2CK
Cessnock, but there was a mistaken belief Radio 2HD might be
"Hunter district". "It's
actually named after Harry
the man who started the station
Sayers said. Twiddling radio dials in the past used to
be a simple
thing. Now there's at least 27 listed Hunter Valley radio stations
FM) crowding the airwaves from Woy Woy to Port Stephens
Hunter. They include Christian and hospital radio
stations such as 2CHR-FM (for Central Hunter Community
and 2G0 at Gosford. Even Newcastle radio veteran John McGahen
surprised."In the old Newcastle days, about the 1960s,
only 2HD, 2K0, 2NX and the ABC," he said.
a retired general
manager of 2NUR-FM as well as 2K0 and NXFM and 2NM (at Muswellbrook), has
changes over the years. "The
real story behind the early radio call signs 2NX and 2NM is
was actually a wartime prefix to
designate our servicemen who had gone
was the code for those who stayed in Australia," he said. "I also
that in 1978 all AM radio frequencies had to be changed to get more
space. For example. Radio
to 1413, while 2NX1360 went to 1341. I think that old spot is
Radio," McGahen said. Popular 2NUR-FM community radio volunteer
Thornton later gave more insights into the radio game.
"Back in the mid-1950s, the old
had the station on their
radio dials, but 2NX wasn't there. So management then had the clever idea of getting its people
listeners asking if they would
like to have their radio's tuned". he said. "After
they did that, they also left a little red sticker on the dial so
people could easily find 2NX again.
up at Radio 2CK an announcer was once blamed for burning the station
down after accidentally leaving a heater on overnight.
Thanks to - Mike Scanlon
Herald 26 JAN 2012 for this article.
Yet to come...
and coming events that chaged the face of local radio
Newcastle Pty Ltd was formed by local
Newcastle business people.
- Wesgo regional
manager, Mr John McGahen is appointed General Manager of 2KO,
from around 1989
and why we purchased 2NX from Snowy
two camps I was involved with.. 2KO & NEWFM
revolt in downtown Darby St, State Labour party owned a large chunck of the NEW-FM, the rest by local shareholders
undoing of one of Newcastle's most famous FM radio
Newcastle Pty Ltd. sells KOFM & NXFM to The
Network, why Austereo ?
FM Radio stations in
AM Radio stations
heard in Newcastle
News Radio BBC World Services
Sugarloaf, Gencom Tower
Sugarloaf, NBN Tower
Sugarloaf, NBN Tower
Broadcast Australia Tower
the Email machine...
Most FM commercial Radio
is transmitted from Mount Sugarloaf , the remaining AM stations have
their transmitters in the Sandgate swamps , with the new digital
the path via the internet
32.53'27" S, 151,32'20" E
Sugarloaf, also known as Great Sugar Loaf, is a mountain in the lower
Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, overlooking the cities of
Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock and Maitland. It is home to
transmitters that broadcast to the lower Hunter region. The mountain
has two big broadcast transmission towers - one tower has the VHF
services of local FM radio stations including New FM, and the
other is transmitting digital (UHF) television signals of NBN
(Nine Network), ABC, SBS,
Southern Cross Ten (Network Ten) and Prime7 (Seven Network), as well
other local commercial radio services.
Ron Hurst (2021)
Greetings Spero. Never
considered a correction before
because my long radio career ended in the late 70’s. However I notice a
reference to the Coca-Cola Bottler’s Club at 2KO and the naming of John
Once you left the lift in the CML Building (on the7th floor) to the
you would be with me each afternoon at 4.15 for `Rumpus Time’
became the so-called on-air President of The Coca-Cola Bottlers Club
by the local Newcastle Bottler. It held many outdoor functions for the
of Newcastle including a special performance of Bullen Bros Circus and
afternoon concert for members by Winifred Atwell. I could go on – but –
Laws was never part of this scene or audience participation and was
busy as a
2KO Disc Jockey. I was also the compere for the Victor Ice Cream
Our paths must have crossed, even if just awarding you sixpence for one
answer in the quiz, or `Stop The Music’
Good luck with your collection of radio history
Announcer, Sports Editor, and every shift on the station for
many years, before 2UE move.
Great article, brings back
memories I handled advertising accounts for most of the stations I
remember Henty the little old lady in the sales section of 2NX she was
so small she used to have brick covered in material to rest her feet
on, her legs were too short to reach the floor, remember too great
announcers sadly now gone..Mathew Tapp used to work with me at, Glen
Burrows Advertising, Paul (Cracka) Hardy KO, for Voice overs for my
ads, Warwick Teece used to work with me at Hunter Action Advert, Davis
(Chateau) Paterson ABC best VO ever. Attached is one of my rate card
designs for NX Mike Eggleston did the finished artwork.
From Steve Owens...
article/story on the above. I came to Newcastle in May 1970 on my
honeymoon. I only knew Ron Gibson as I had worked with him doing the
Bathurst car races since 1968, I was at 2GZ Orange then. He said there
was a job going at 2NX. I went up there, auditioned and got the job.
a few relief shifts at 2HD later but retired to work in real estate
sales and valuations, where I still am. Once again, I loved the article
and I wish more present day announcers on local radio were local (not
Sydney/Melbourne comedians) and could speak better and think faster.
I was only at NX for 6 months before
the dickh#@#d owner, Mr. Robinson , and I had a falling out. He called
me in, sacked me and said Youll never make a fu##ing announcer. At
which point I told him he knew nothing about radio and to sell his
station to some real radio people who knew how to run one. He did soon
after to 2SM, to whom I later sold land opposite the cathedral for a
new station, which I later resold for them.His secretary Moira said to
me as I was leaving Dont worry Steve, he said the same thing to John
Laws when he sacked him. I told Lawsie about this later and he laughed
and he said it was the best thing that happened to him in radio. So now
Im known as the poor mans John Laws.
Regards Steve Owens
Hey Spero, find
your site very interesting. Just to set the
record straight, I started at 2HD in 1979 doing drive. Moved to
breakfast for a
time then back to drive. Between 1980 and 1984 I was Operations Manager
general dog's body. I left in 1984 and went to 2NX as a journo reading
news with Blakely and Stew. Resigned in 1986 and followed John Mcgahen
2KO, spent the better part of 14 years there till 2001 doing afternoons
finally 9-12. Spent the next 14 or so years in Parkes and Mildura.
home in 2016 and have done some casual work at KOFM, now MMM. I am the
jock to have worked at all three KO locations, well done me.... I made
a great deal of programming
changes and was involved in bringing Pat Barton and Warwick Teece to
anticipation of your time taken to read this.
Yours. Mal Hedstrom.
the person who rang me on Friday the 21st Sep 2018.. and left
message regarding DJ
(David Jones) and how he used to call the bingo at Western Suburbs Leagues Club.
The History of Newcastle Radio Stations
the contributors on this Project..... Spero Davias
tackle such a project
What inspired me to tackle such a task
as to try and dig into the Newcastle Radio Culture of the past ?
involved in the Music Industry as the founder / owner of Sound World
for over 36 years, and having spent a considerable amount of time in
and out of radio studio's, whether it be producing new commercials for
Sound World or just sitting behind the microphone doing various music
associated interveiws, Combined with my consierable electronics
knowledge and the hunger of 'how it all works' it was like a
"marrige done in heaven"
couldn't get radio out of my veins, so much so that I was very temped
to start my own radio station (which i did but that's another story) or
buy with a consortium an existing radio station. So back in the 1980's
to fulfill my desire & involvement with
radio, I became
a shareholder of 2KO through Radio Newcastle Pty Ltd. then a few months
later i became a sharholder of NEW-FM, So to cut a long story
short, the rest is history....