When 2WS (now WS-FM) first went to air in November 1978 it aligned itself with the Western suburbs, the much maligned and under serviced poor neighbor to Sydney’s more salubrious suburbs. The fledgling station was up against the (then) unassailable 2SM with a young Ian MacRae pulling in 20+ shares in breakfast. Now it seems that that old idea is new again with MacRae heading the lineup at 2GW promising to pick up what 2WS abandoned since turning FM.
MacRae says, “For too long, radio and TV stations have claimed that they have been the essential provider for Sydney’s West – but this is just talk and little action. 2GW will dedicate itself to solely cover Sydney’s West, promoting and endorsing its people and events. It will be exclusively dedicated to the people and businesses of Sydney’s West.”
For the original 2WS focusing on the “west” proved to be a master stroke because despite the station’s poor signal into the northern beaches and eastern suburbs, such was its dominance of the areas designated by Nielsen as 4 & 5 for audience measurement purposes, that the station delivered a 10.0 (all people 10+ 5:30 am – Midnight, Mon-Sun) for all of Sydney in its very first survey and briefly went to Number One in Sydney not too long after.
Still, if the new 2GW hopes to emulate the success of the old 2WS it will need to overcome some significant hurdles, not the least of which is its lofty position on the AM band at 1611, which is officially “off band” and unavailable on many AM sets sold in Australia – although according to a survey by the Motor Traders Association, 92% of AM sets in cars can go that high.
In any case, the station’s on a level playing field when it comes to streaming on the web from www.2gw.com.au. The station can also be heard through an app on both iPhone and Android and this is where management sees its main potential.
2GW’s Section 40 license is owned by Sid Mehri who also owns the Arabic language station 2ME along with slew of similar licenses in regional areas.
In ‘Gold’ format, 2GW plays a range of some current but mainly classic tunes, targeting a 29 – 54 years male and female audience.
Added to that are western focused hourly business reports, up to date traffic, petrol prices and weather alerts as well as regular chats with the Mayors of the Councils of Sydney’s West.
Apart from MacRae on breakfast, the only other regularly scheduled announcer and the Drive time show by Jo Abi.
MacRae who, although a “silver tail” in his earlier career is now a true westie at heart, points out that Sydney’s West is the 3rd largest business hub of Australia with over 75,000 businesses and near 4 million people and it naturally deserves to have an exclusive commercial radio station servicing it. He is also quick to point to a couple of the many testimonials that have already come the station’s way…
Norma Needham, owner and operator of one of the stations’ initial sponsors, Hawkesbury Valley Holden, welcomed 2GW saying, “2GW is a welcome addition to local Greater West media and we are proud to support them.”
Cr. Alison McClaren, President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) which represents 10 local councils in Western Sydney said, “2GW …will provide a dedicated voice for the people of Western Sydney.”