2CH is celebrating 90 years broadcasting to Sydney

Classic Hits 2CH celebrates 90 years onair today having commenced broadcasting on 15 February 1932 on 1210 kHz.

The NSW Council of Churches held the licence, hence the CH in the call sign. 2CH moved to its final AM frequency of 1170 kHz in 1935.

In 1944, licence was sub-let to AWA, Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia), who provided program content for six days per week, with the Council of Churches being responsible for programming on Sundays.

The period from 1972-1975 was one of the most competitive Top 40 environments in Sydney, and for that matter Australia. At the business end of things in the ratings war it was the start of the Sydney battle of the churches.

2SM ( run by the St Marks Church) versus 2CH ( run by the NSW Council of Churches). AWA spent a lot of money on audience research to identify the market gap after the ill-fated “Snob Mob” format failed to gain traction.

2CH were the first to undertake what we know today as Auditorium Music Research. A company known as ASI (Audience Studies Incoprorated) was commissioned by Bruce Rogerson who had just been appointed the GM of 2CH and the 8 station AWA Radio Network.

The research featured listeners being played a series of music breaks featuring instrumentals, and vocal tracks . It helped the programming team of Colin Bentley to work out the preferred balance of vocal versus instrumental tracks . Very sophisticated for its time.

Today we’d also know it as the “worm” where respondents had held dials  to measure  their level of enjoyment.

In 1979 2CH hit number 1 with Howard Craven beating John Laws for the top morning ratings.

John Singleton bought the station in April 1994 folding it into the Macquarie Radio Network, before selling it to the consortium of Oceania Capital Partners, Glenn Wheatley and John Williams for $5.6 million in 2017, following the merger of Macquarie Radio and Fairfax Media

Fairfax owned 2GB and 2UE and 2CH was sold to comply with legislation allowing one party to only control two radio stations in a market.

In June 2020 it was sold for $11 million to Pacific Star Network and was moved off the AM band by the new owners in October that year to become a DAB+ only station.

The AM frequency was taken over by the sports station 1170 SEN.

Main Pic: 2CH Breakfast Presenter and party goer, Tim Webster, with birthday cake.