3 May 2008

Radio in Canberra is sh!t. Discuss.

| Reprobate
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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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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.

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 Godot5:05 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.

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

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?


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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

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.

Loquaciousness9:02 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)?!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

CanberraResident6:54 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.

Danman said :

I agree with BD84 and el – if you do not like it turn it off…. for funks sake. Buy some cd’s or something….Everyone bleeting about how crap our radio stations are has to seriously get a life…..

Danman, I think you are missing the point of this forum. Clearly we are here to express our opinions on a variety of subjects and engage in some sort of debate. It is not bleating – its freedom of speech. Nothing is changed or improved without feedback. With a bit of luck someone from a Canberra radio station might be reading what we have to say.

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

I honestly don’t get how anybody can stand listening to stations like 104.7 and 106.3 in this day and age. Quite apart from the bland, repetitive playlists and their method of discovering new music (that is, find out what’s popular on Triple J at the moment and then play it to death), it’s the ads! You’ve got your garden variety ads (you know, the fake conversation, the yelling-about-a-rug-sale, the one that’s mostly dumb little sound effects etc), my guess is they’re under a contractual obligation to mention a brand name about every 30 seconds or so. It’s all “Rebel Sport time saver traffic” or “The weather, brought to you by Sony” or whatever. It’s enough to drive you up the wall.

Only listen to 666

Triple J presenters cetainly aren’t what they used to be. Breakfasts with Mikey and Paul McDermott and co were bloody good, and I don’t mind Kingsmill, but Robbie Buck needs to be quietly given some filing to do. I must say though, I have heard some quite decent music on it… just the odd gem that pops up, and later in the night.

Scotty and Nige’s spoofs of the ASIO ads have been pretty good, and I rather like their brand of humour. They also show alarming signs of education. Range of music on 104 and 106 is utterly pathetic, sadly. There’s all kinds of music they have decided not to play and it’s quite annoying.

my morning radio national fix is still fine, jenny. the best way to get a handle on what’s actually going on in the world.

and i disagree with you reprobate – artsound is a cracker of a station; after about 7pm but when thet have their blues/jazz/funk/soul stuff on. during the day it can be very hit or miss, but don’t go dissin’ classical music stations just ’cause you don’t dig violins cellos and warbling women. not everyone is a head-in-arse volvo driver.

i grew up in sunny sinny and listened into ‘you just like me ’cause i’m good in bed, doublej’s debut broadcast. they have gone through various iterations and morphed into a national yoof station on fm and were still listenable about three years ago, but since then seem to have substantially narrowed their playlist of genres and i find i can’t listen for long.

and who’d listen to a radio station with ads anyway? sheesh…

I agree with BD84 and el – if you do not like it turn it off…. for funks sake. Buy some cd’s or something….Everyone bleeting about how crap our radio stations are has to seriously get a life…..

GnT – Triple J has definately died in the ass of late, the presenters being a major factor. Either the good presenters are poached by other networks, ie; Myf Warhust, or we’re stuck with these protected species like Robbie Buck and Richard Kingsmill who ten years on are still boring as batshit.

I now only listen to JJJ in the evenings – awesome music after 9pm – the rest of the time its lineup is bland enough to rival 104.

I was listening to Radio National Breakfast but in recent weeks it’s developed a bad buzz on my (c.1985) clock radio, so I’ve switched back to 666. Is anyone else having probs with Radio National reception???

I did like RAW FM but now its repeats the same tracks it sounds like shit even when i have taken heaps of drugs

Canberra radio has always been shit.. RAW FM was good for the first hour then it starts to repeat it self over and over and over and over just like the rest of the stations. RAW FM, FM 104.7 & 106.3 needs more songs to there play list coz the crap just repeats it self..

@ Sina – 🙂 I should clarify I don’t actually drive a Volvo.

geez if you don’t like it turn it off, cds and mp3 players were invented so you could listen to the songs you liked when you like.

The radio anywhere else in Australia is just as bad, and I’ve listened to many different stations from Hobart all the way to Brisbane and everywhere in between. You will find anything outside of the capitals on the FM band are StarFM or SeaFM eqivalents, in the cities are austereo-triplem/mix/jjj. The difference in the music is the age group the station is aimed at. AM on the otherhand, you have the regional ABC, goodtime oldies or talk radio.

I personally listen to 1047 (yes without the word point now) as the music is much above the mostly incoherrent rubbish on JJJ and i’ll leave the oldies to my mum and dad of 106 and AM is only good for 666 cricket. I don’t like every song 104 plays and occasionally change the channel to something else while some songs are on and also like their morning crew they’re funny, yet stupidly real. Funnier than the Hamish and Andy stuff in the arvo (which is sourced from FoxFM in Melbourne not Sydney btw) and they’re supposed to be comedians.

circusmind, I’ve done that too!

The FM news station (News Radio?) is the go. Awesome international stuff. Sometimes I get home and then just sit in the car for a while if the topic is really good.

needlenose said :

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

It’s called a triple-digit IQ. And an attention span of longer than three minutes helps, too.

Ignorance is not a virtue, and inverted snobbery is way more tragic than the real thing.

I love you.

CanberraResident9:02 pm 03 May 08

GnT, with words such as hate, wanker, stupid and shitty in your opening paragraph, I doubt you’re too old for JJJ … may I suggest you change your spelling of “sucks” to “sux” … to stay with the adolescent theme and all …

104.7 do a really good oldies mix on saturday night if that’s what you like. Like 2CA but with a good variety of songs instead of the usual “I Feel Good” and “Pretty Woman”.

Reprobate, you missed out on ABC 666.

I have long been a triple J listener, and used to ‘hate’ everything else (not that I ever gave anything else a chance). But the presenters these days drive me insane, in particular Dools in the afternoon. What a wanker! Plus stupid competitions that insult my intelligence (ever listened to ‘shitty trivia’? – what a joke). I have definitely grown too old for triple J.

I now switch in the afternoon to Louise Maher on 666. The talk is so much more interesting – local issues with really insightful comment, intelligent callers and interesting guests. However the music sucks! Plus, it’s AM so it sounds like you’re listening over the telephone, and if you go into an underground carpark you’ve lost it.

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

It’s called a triple-digit IQ. And an attention span of longer than three minutes helps, too.

Ignorance is not a virtue, and inverted snobbery is way more tragic than the real thing.

When i was young and poor and lived in the country and owned very few cds, a beacon of musical light appeared on my 14-year-old horizon – a radio station called Triple J, whose broadcast areas were being expanded to include my modest Central-Western town.

Fourteen years hence, i still flatly refuse to listen to anything but Triple J. Unfortunately, i’ve been feeling increasingly alienated over the past few years by my beloved national yoof network. Yes, there’s the aussie hiphop complaint (i don’t mind it too much, actually), but there’s more. The loss of decent presenters (Merrick and Rosso when they were good, Adam and Will et al) and the installation of absolutely woeful atrocities in their place (Charlie and Mel, the current abomination of a breakfast team, Rosie Fucking Beaton, Sam Simmons). The loss of great specialty shows, like the J Files, Creatures of the Spotlight and Aus Music Show (once a week).

Am i too old for triple j? I don’t think so. I still love most of the music they play. I would just like the presenters to shut up and play the music. I’ve never listened to any other station in Canberra so i’m afraid of what else is out there.

I agree that radio in Canberra really needs some work. But miles better than at the South Cost where I have just come from. I listen to Scotty and Nige even though they are quite juvenile at times, at least they don’t take themselves too seriously. They are vastly preferable to the over-sincere patronising Mark Parton and his giggling sidekick.

104.7 are overall pretty good. They would improve a lot if they changed their music lineup from the usual formula. Constantly regurgitating the top 40 and throwing in the odd song from Poison or Bon Jovi for “variety” doesn’t quite do for me.

So, yes, it looks like an ipod for me too.

sexynotsmart, you’re hot, whats your number ?!!

CanberraResident4:25 pm 03 May 08

Made the mistake of tuning in to 2CC one weekday afternoon. Heard some bloke with an atrocious voice, blithering his way through an interview. All the eeerrrs, aaahs, uuuuhhhmmms, and more dd-dd-dd-ddd-dumb questions, was enough to turn a bloke off his wireless for a decade …

Welshy … Welshy … the worst radio jock on two double CCCCCCCcccccccc ….

OpenYourMind24:13 pm 03 May 08

I joke with my friends that I have grown too young for JJJ.
RawFM is my pick by miles. So it’s not fair to say they’re not impressing anyone. Nice thing is there are no annoying DJs, no news and few ads. I can get news anywhere, DJs conversations are almost always inane. Raw’s music isn’t everyone’s taste, but the big thing is that the focus is the music and not the natter.

I just don’t get how stations like FM104 can be popular when so much of the airtime is just people talking crap or ads.

ArtSound is great if you want some classical or jazz. You don’t have to be a Volvo driver or a snob to appreciate the music played by Artsound. They used to offer a course on being a DJ too.

The Frog in the City… wow, blast from the past! I used to be one of his regular callers back in 1992! Good times.

Bloody playlisting is what I object to. JJJ can be great for the specialist programs like Kingsmill on Sunday nights, and the 9-12 shift presenter seems to have a bit of latitude with what is played, but the rest of the time it’s an anoying 1 hour 40min playlist like every other station.

Not mentioned – 103.9 which plays NPR and BBC at night, both of which are excellent for international current affairs.

Salamandre852:39 pm 03 May 08

I totally agree. Except I still listen to JJJ, only every time I try to show someone else it’s worth it they happen to be playing the worst song of the week.

To be completely honest, I cannot stand a single moment of Scotty and Nige. I used to have to listen to them for three-and-a-half hours most mornings at work. The hosts are annoying enough, but then they play the same 15 songs every morning and they don’t even tell you what they were.

I’m also of the opinion that there’s a lot to be said for good old ABC Radio National, 666 and News Radio. I remember accidentally tuning into it in my car after my parents had been driving and they were doing a review on ‘In Rainbows’ by Radiohead on 666, and had the new Billy Bragg lined up for the following week.

regularbrowse1:19 pm 03 May 08

I’m with s-s-a, listen to ABC radio or CDS in the car. Mix 106 music is only good for treating insomnia.

I pretty much only listen to radio in the car. Can’t stand commercial radio of any flavour and particularly the morning presenters on 104 and 106.

Usually I listen to 666 except when they are playing @#$@#$@#$ cricket for a huge proportion of the summer when I switch to Radio National or Classic FM.

I’m not *that* old (early 40s) – I only started listening to 666 in the months after the bushfires and have stuck with it ever since.

At home I sometimes listen to CDs or crank up iTunes but I actually enjoy listening to the peace and quiet of our little corner of sleepy Canberra. Right now my 4yo is outside playing with my other-half so I can hear a mixture of muffled chatter and giggling :).

Agreed, radio here (and almost everywhere else) is shite. This is not a new phenomenon. Buy some CDs.

The only thing I’ll bother with is ‘Hack’ on JJJ at 5:30.

sexynotsmart12:15 pm 03 May 08

Jeepers, this is turning into a Scotty and Nige lurvfest!

Some years ago I vowed never to listen to 104 because of Sarah (one of their old breakfast crew). I immediately entered a stable relationship with Debbie Spillane on NewsRadio. But lately I’ve started to see Knuckles@104 and Marieke@J3 behind her back.

I think of Nige and Scotty and Robbie and the Doctor as the friends who are the excuse to meet at the pub. Right before the two (or three) of us make pathetic excuses to leave early and take separate cars to the same hotel room. Friends who will never say anything in front of us, but we know they know what’s going on.

If you Debbie please don’t tell her anything – I want to break it to her gently.

You think Canberra radio’s bad?
Move to Brisbane and experience true pain.
Remember when the Austereo stations did a poll years ago to determine what to throw out, and so we didn’t have so much Eagles and Fleetwood Mac? I think they sent it all up to the Brisbane radio stations.

I listen to radio QBN but then the country and western fits in with my redneck status of living East of the border.

Scotty and Nige are good, The music range needs to be improved. (realityskin… Scotty gets extra points for that)

I still wish MMM had come to Canberra. It was so close to coming here but fell through at the last minute. I stream MMM from Sydney most days and also download podcasts for quite a few MMM and Nova shows. (Scotty and Nige, take note)

Scotty and Nige are a good laugh, but the playlist on 104.7 is terrible. And the funny thing is that there are often little moments where you can pick up on just how much they too hate half the stuff they have to play and/or flog.

I’d second Duke. Community radio is only as good as the sum of its volunteers, and each show should be considered separately. Give them a call, they’d be happy to have you on board.

Breaking news! Bigot has opinion! Film at eleven!

hmmn.. it’s a generational thing I suggest. JJJ is really the only station programmed into my stereo, and 666 for cricket season. (and classic FM for the missus). The rest of the trash that’s out there just isn’t worth listening to. And ads just drive me insane.

Gee.. someone must have been bored!

btw: Scotty is way cool, old Juggernaught 101/Night Train guitarist.

I agree the range of music on the commercials is pretty dire, but I confess to quite enjoying the 104 breakfast people (Scotty and Nige, apparently). They’re a bit different and often pretty funny. But oh boy! There’s a dreadful PM drivetime thing called Hamish and Andy, at first I thought they were a crappy imitation of the breakfast people, and recently found to my amazement that they are syndicated from Sydney! One of them has a revolting voice. Luckily, Triple J has Hack which is always worth a listen.
I’ve been enjoying Triple J’s music a lot lately too. Thanks for the warning about AM commercials, anyone playing The Eagles must be avoided at all costs.

I suggest you locate the off switch on your radio and use it. Then get an ISP with free streaming ‘radio’ channels so you can choose what might suit your tastes. Or a record player, these can play recorded music that is stored on discs of vinyl.

Agree with most of your comments Repro. 106 just isn’t the same after they dropped the Kix and 104 is just, well, arghh! I used to listen to JJJ religiously but can stand that bad Aussie hip hop no longer.

But go easy on community radio. Apart from the station managers all those people work for free. If you think you can do better you should give one of them a call and offer your services as a volunteer.

LOL. For someone who thinks Canberra radio is shit, you sure seem to spend a lot of time listening to it! I suggest investing in an ipod.

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