Radio Heritage Foundation
Australian AM Radio 1611-1701
Italian, Country, Arabic, Greek and Gold
Almost 70 low power stations are now broadcasting in Australia's
expanded AM radio dial almost two decades after the new channels
became available says the Radio Heritage Foundation which has just
updated a contemporary guide to them at www.radioheritage.net.
Originally populated by ethnic broadcasters and niche formats, the
situation remains little unchanged in 2010 as attempts to bring the
low cost extra frequencies into mainstream media have largely failed
Existing commercial broadcasters saw these licences as a dangerously
cheap back door into digital broadcasting and lobbied strongly to
exclude 1611-1701 AM stations from digital entitlements. Coupled with
poor availability of AM radios able to tune to the new frequencies,
attempts by commercial aspirants like Radio 2 to establish economics
of scale and a nationwide network collapsed.
In 2010, the major players on air are Rete Italia [part of the
Italian Media publishing and media group], The Goanna [a fledgling
country music network co-owned with 2ME an Arabic language station],
Smart Group's Hot Country from Queensland, whilst small footholds in
the band have been claimed by 3ABN and Queensland based Christian
network Vision FM.
A small cluster of independent stations air a variation on the 'Gold'
music format of 1960's hits popular with babyboomers, two Greek
language stations compete for listeners in Sydney, and a handful of
other stations serve ethnic markets for Chinese, Hindi, Arabic,
Islamic and Lebanese Christian audiences.
A large number of licences held in the 1611-1701 AM band have
remained silent for many years and are unlikely to ever come on air.
The Radio Heritage Foundation has released a detailed list of
Australian stations currently operating in the 1611-1701 AM band
together with analysis of this fascinating and little known
It's currently available as a downloadable Word document at
www.radioheritage.net and will be updated regularly.
Radio Heritage Foundation is a registered non-profit organization
connecting popular culture, nostalgia and radio heritage across the
Pacific. The global website is www.radioheritage.net and all content
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