FBi Sydney now on air

New Sydney community station FBi launched today in front of a crowd too big to fit through the front door.

Just before noon, when the speeches ended, the vibe was expectant as the clock ticked over to the official opening time and the crowd cheered and clapped. A new version of the old Masters Apprentices song Turn on your radio, which was recorded especially for the occasion, was the first song played on FBi 94.5 FM.

In true community radio spirit, FBi President Cass Wilkinson spoke to radioinfo before she had to go back to work at her day job as a NSW public servant.

radioinfo: You’re going back to work on a day like this?

Wilkinson: That’s what community radio is like! No… seriously, my two passions are public administration and Australian music. I’m very lucky I get to combine them in the work I do with this station.

radioinfo: So do you think your type of administrative skills are valuable to community radio?

Wilkinson:Yes. Bureaucracy, structure and accountability are necessary to complement the creative chaos that is community broadcasting. Community radio is a largely untapped resource for the community. Bringing structure to it will help stations like this be more relevant and give more back to the community they serve.

We need to motivate the community to be more activist in being involved with what we do, but there needs to be a structure as well to allow that to happen.

radioinfo: I notice Anthony Ghergetta from Wild FM is not here. Wild gave FBi a lot of grief during and after the licencing process. If he were here today what would you say to him?

Wilkinson:I would tell him I own him an awful lot, because he made us stronger.

Anthony’s role in this station’s life was to reinforce that order, planning and propriety were essential to get this station to happen. Once we had such an adversary as Anthony we were forced to lift our game – and we did. Now here we are!


FBi’s  first  moments  on  air

The station’s breakfast presenter, Jess Keeley was first on air, followed an hour-long live mix by Katalyst.

FBi 94.5FM aims to “celebrate the creativity and diversity of the city’s music and arts communities.”

FBi is “committed to establishing real choice on the dial by playing 50% Australian music content, with half of that from Sydney artists. The rest will be the best new music from around the globe.”

The main studio is complete, while the other studios and booths are still being installed. In the main studio there is an ELAN desk with a DRS 2006 PLayout computer system, Shure microphones suspended from the ceiling, Marantz CDs and a Spirit submixer and Technics turntables for the dance mix programs.

FBi General Manager Christina Alvarez told radioinfo:I can’t believe were finally on air! I can’t wait to hear all the great things our broadcasters are going to do on air… FBi has managed over a very long time to keep the passion of our broadcasters high and today is the moment they’ve been waiting for, a moment to celebrate… To the ABA, thanks for the licence – ROCK ON ABA!


CBAA President David Melzor, who was also at the launch said: “It’s another good day for independent music and culture in Sydney.”

General Manager of the CBAA Barry Melville told radioinfo: At last, a radio station in Sydney that’s actually relevant – provided for and by the youth of Sydney.

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