Radio in Canberra is sh!t. Discuss.

Reprobate 3 May 2008 63

Canberra (music) radio. Is it the pits or what? I know our market is comparatively small and that just about every station in Oz these days is formatted up the wazoo, but really…

Let’s look at the choices: Mix 106 – I have listened to it since it rose from the ashes of Kix 106 in early 1994 (I know, I’ve only got myself to blame) but it’s probably at it’s most vanilla ever. Same old same old (literally), you can almost set your watch with it’s playlist, especially when it comes to Australian music (1.42pm? Must be time for Sounds of Then by Gangajang.) For a station that could have an easy 1000 songs on rotation in it’s preferred format (evidenced by it’s annual sham top 1063 or whatever songs of all time AS VOTED BY YOU – yeah sure, remind me to show you the maths sometime to ask how they figured out the order), I’d be amazed if they play more than a fifth of those over a week. The phrase “Variety” seems to be defined in the Mix programmers’ dictionary as “not more than 2 James Blunt songs in a row… per hour”. Music to have a lobotomy to.

104 (not 104.7 these days, apparently that .7 makes them sound, like, so hung up about their frequency) – ok so I’m over 35 so of course I don’t get it, but further reduce the playlist of songs available, add some edgy, cool presenters (Scotty, Nige and Knuckles step forward please – gag) and mix with liberal amounts of ads and 104-second attention span news. Music to cause you to have a lobotomy.

JJJ – yes, very worthwhile and hardcore like uncooked brown rice but about as palatable. Not my style, never has been and unsurprisingly never will be. Word from the yoof on the streets is that the Jays is not worth unplugging your ipod for anyway. And something about meh.

Classic FM/Artsound: How DO people listen to that stuff in their Volvos with their head up their ar5es?

2XX/RAWFM/QBNFM/ ValleyFM/ any other community FM stations – do us a favour. Hand in your broadcast licence. You’re not impressing anyone. Bring back FM88 – ok it was in mono, looped on someone’s computer and you could barely hear it outside of Tuggers, but even still it had a wider variety of music than 106 and no (well, one at one stage) braindead jocks interrupting the music. Even SSSFM in it’s day had a pretty good selection of music when they wern’t broadcasting race 5 from Dapto… and I miss hearing The Frog on Sunday nights (hi, Brian at Songland!)

2CA – now, here’s the thing. I grew up listening to 2CC after vowing never to listen to 2CA again in 1975 – aged 7. I then vowed never to listen to AM again once 104 and 106 started in 1988. Having stumbled onto 2CA recently by accident I was struck at what it’s like these days – more focus on the 70s/80s and 90’s, including lots of half-decent songs that I hadn’t heard for years, quite a few refugee announcers from 106 (Don Dawkins, Tina Bernice), generally better that I’d remembered. They even play some recently released songs from their core artists (ie the Eagles) that didn’t get a look in on Mix. Sure it still sounds rubbish compared to FM and the evening shift in particular is obviously automated, but it shows just how flabby and lazy Mix has become. Or maybe I’ve reached that “certain age” and it’s all AM for me from now on…

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63 Responses to Radio in Canberra is sh!t. Discuss.
gospeedygo gospeedygo 6:19 pm 28 Jan 11

TrevorDubbo said :

If you don’t like what you hear, then how about getting involved with a community station and playing what you and your sycophants like to hear?

Except Canberra community radio is equally rubbish. No where near the the likes of RRR and 3PBS.

fabforty fabforty 5:48 pm 28 Jan 11

matt31221 said :

I really want to punch scotty and nige in the face.

+ 1 Speaking like 12 year olds at the bus stop is not comedy

Waiting For Godot Waiting For Godot 5:05 pm 28 Jan 11

TrevorDubbo said :

No, it’s just that your tastes aren’t catered to.
What you’ve written above is full of subjective, self-centred opinion. Not one criticism is objective.

If you don’t like what you hear, then how about getting involved with a community station and playing what you and your sycophants like to hear?


Trevor, here’s a bit of advice. As a newbie you might not be aware that this is a *news* site – ie: things which are relevant to Canberra in the present day era. Exhuming a three year old thread and commenting on it is hardly cognisant to the principles of a news site. In fact this thread is so old it was formatted differently and refers to radio programs and personalities which have long since gone to radio heaven. If you want to comment on subjects covered by very old threads then start a new thread and make it relevant to the here and now.

matt31221 matt31221 4:42 pm 28 Jan 11

I really want to punch scotty and nige in the face.

TrevorDubbo TrevorDubbo 3:54 pm 28 Jan 11

No, it’s just that your tastes aren’t catered to.
What you’ve written above is full of subjective, self-centred opinion. Not one criticism is objective.

If you don’t like what you hear, then how about getting involved with a community station and playing what you and your sycophants like to hear?


peterh peterh 1:51 pm 27 May 08

After the fires, I stopped listening to the FM stations 104 & 106 – we were listening to them when the fires hit, and did not know what was going on. We only tuned into 2CA and 666 at Goulburn to learn that:

My father’s house in rivett had gone – his street was hit, Kambah was hit pretty bad and there was a lot of other damage to the southside.

If we had been listening to AM radio, we may have left our house earlier. we almost didn’t make it out, and the poor choice of music on the day wasn’t much help either. Beds are burning should never be played when there is a fire in the suburbs.

I now drive a car with an AM radio and that suits me fine. 2CA is all I need.

wishuwell wishuwell 9:08 am 27 May 08

Commercial radio has been known to make me spewy, just something about it. This whole concept of ‘we wan’t to be different so we all have to be the same’ doesn’t do it for me, (yes JJJ I’m including you). Loved JJ and early JJJ when it was about the music and subversive politics, now its about celebrity DJs (don’t get me started on celeb weathermen) and lets not dress it up any other way JJJ is a commercial station. Used to like XX when it was a student station for the same reason but now its “community” it has to serve too many masters. Rarely listen to XXX now ’cause its just not relevant to me anymore. My radio is now mostly on 666 and Radio Moscow(846), not only because I’m interested in local, national and international thingies but because they don’t give me the shits as much. ps no offence to others with opposite views.

The Frog The Frog 11:27 pm 26 May 08

Yeah, I agree, that Frog and his show In the City was friggin awes….oh wait, that’s me…thanks for remembering the show-I’m kinda amazed at the fondness people still remember it with, but, then again, it was unique and there should be something like it on tonight…but there ain’t. I think sometimes about doing it again, there’s so much predicatbility with radio nowadays and the concept of getting “stars” from other mediums on air is about as clever as putting me on a cooking show. Would anybody appreciate a show like ITC if it was on 96.7QBN FM do ya think?
Luv, Frog.

Danman Danman 10:20 am 05 May 08

GnT – Its called Mass Marketing.

Sure Radio airplay is a key catalyst in this, but its quickly becoming less appealing in this digital age.

Saturday and Sunday mornings on Ten and Friday and Saturday nights on ABC are a few ways music can be marketed.

Additionally, I have been influenced by my friends choice in music over the years as well, especially obscure and independent music.

Additionally iTunes and other electronic mediums of choice pay their way through advertising their clients for sale.

facebook has many good samples of bands you may appreciate i.e. The Ellis Collective.

Go to live gigs of bands and musical acts of your genre and indulge yourself in real music played there, righ tin front of you.

Failing that, if I thought that the only way to be influenced by music was through commercial radio station then I would line my forehead up with a 45 slug travelling at a tremendous speed as there would be no hope in this world for me.

Kramer Kramer 10:17 am 05 May 08

I just go to the JJJ website and grab the current fav album from Short.Fast.Loud.

GnT GnT 9:59 am 05 May 08

For those people saying get an iPod or buy some CDs – how do you know if you like the newly released music if you never listen to the radio?

Bludger Bludger 9:33 am 05 May 08

I hear 104 is getting going to start broadcasting Kyle and Jackie-o.

trilobite trilobite 9:32 am 05 May 08

Commercial radio is crap.

If you don’t like what’s on the air, then volunteer at one of the community stations and become an announcer. Of course, then you’re playing…not listening. It’s called community participation and it’s good for you.

@Reprobate: Have you bothered to check the programming schedules for any of the community stations, rather than just tuning in briefly and saying “I don’t like this song, the whole station is crap.”? Community licences exist to give air time to voices that commercial radio (and state radio, too) wouldn’t ordinarily put on air. Hence the local foreign language programs; hence the local music programs; hence the local arts scene programs.

Only station managers listen to every program broadcast by a community station: it’s expected that you’ll listen to what appeals. If that bothers you then get an iPod and never again run the risk of hearing something outside your comfort zone.

And yes, I am a volunteer.

Loquaciousness Loquaciousness 9:02 am 05 May 08

I tried Canberra radio. I hated it. I bought an iPod and a speaker system. Best idea I ever had. 🙂 But then, I also *liked* Queensland radio, so what does that say about me (other than the fact that I think Hotel California was a great song and would like to marry the 1970’s version of Lindsay Buckingham)?!

minime2 minime2 6:14 am 05 May 08

I remember my first Mini – I had to FIT a radio to it! Now it would be worth taking it out. At least on nightshift no-one TALKS during the night on 1053. But there too, you can set your clock by the playlist. If I could spell innovative I would suggest it.

Dave_K Dave_K 9:09 pm 04 May 08

Sadly, commercial radio in Canberra is no worse or better than anywhere else in the country. The same bland, unoriginal programming, moronic announcers and pathetic playlists plague the airwaves of big cities, country towns and Canberra. Community radio is even worse despite its supposed role to offer an alternative. Too many community stations are run by commercial radio wannabes. How they manage to justify their licenses is a mystery to me. ABC Newsradio is the solitary beacon of hope on the local dial, but what I would give for a local station with the programming smarts and musical diversity of KCRW in Los Angeles, XPN in Philadelphia or KEXP in Seattle. All public radio stations, all available online.

Danman Danman 7:41 pm 04 May 08

Dont remember singling anyone out or belittling them or trying to silence them either… You seem a little paranoid fabforty – best you get off teh wacky tobaccy – your revolution ended.

Danman Danman 7:38 pm 04 May 08

You are the one reading a blog which you seem to have no interest in, getting agro, belittling others opinions and trying to silence them. Makes me wonder who it is that actually needs a life…..or some relaxation CDs

In the most non bragging rights kind of way, I have been reading and contributing articles and photographs (Including all the banners – thats right pay them out, I can cop it on the chin) to RA for over 2 years – thats quite a long time for someone who has no interest in a blog hay sport?

Just from my post you can tell Im not relaxed – mate, and trust me, i know, if I was any more relaxed I would be dead.

You expressed your opinion, and I retorted with an opinion that (wait for it) was my own as well.

Get into a can of think skin from the RA dairy section eh mate, not everyone is going to agree with your opinion and the same goes for mine.

Lets all live in opposing opinion harmony – if there is such a thing..

PS From what I read people complaining about something they have free will to ignore = bleeting.

I do not like commercial radio – I chose to listen to music that I have provided for my enjoyment and catered to my mood at the time.

PS. RiotACT is best taken with a good dose of harden the funk up – barely anyone agrees here…but you will get used to that.

cabbage cabbage 7:04 pm 04 May 08

This is a sort of “you don’t know how lucky you are…’ type of post. I’ve moved from Canberra to the Middle East and my Tivoli Model One, my Yamaha receiver and all my other radios count for zip in a country where the selection is either American Armed Forces Radio with hours of country & western interspread with items such as “How to tell if your buddies take drugs” or local Arab stations that are unfortunately dropping all their classical Arabic music for local versions of gangsta rap. Faaaaaaaaaark!

CanberraResident CanberraResident 6:54 pm 04 May 08

fabforty, you’d think a “veteran rioter” would have this rioting thing down to a T hey? You’re right though, it’s a pretty agro place, with a lot of negativity, me included Don’t know what comes over me when I visit RiotACT … it just has that affect on a bloke … mind you, just as you have expressed your opinion, so has the danman, and so have I.

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