Vale Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers OAM has died. The longest serving on air presenter in Australia, Rogers’ career spanned 78 years, retiring at Sydney’s 2CH in 2020.

Bob Rogers on the far right during his Beatles’ tour

Rogers was the original superstar radio disc jockey, becoming known as the Fifth Beatle when he broadcasted their tour of Australia and New Zealand, interviewing everyone from Sinatra to Prime Ministers and presenting the first Top 40 show in this country from 1958-1962.

His career started as a panel operator for Melbourne’s 3XY when he was just 16, moving to Hobart, where he was allowed to do a Sunday show and play American music, then to Brisbane’s 4BH where he was the first to play Slim Dusty‘s Pub With No Beer, which would go to No 1. Rogers was Australia’s top presenter for many years, also hosting television talk shows on Channel 9 and 7.

In the 60s Rogers joined 2SM, becoming one of the Good Guys helping take the station to No 1, also working for 2UE and 2GB.

Rogers joined 2CH in 1995, saying at his 97th birthday last December that the ten-year contract he signed in 1997, with him then ultimately continuing to present his weekday morning show and Saturday night Reminiscing program with the station for 23 more years afterwards, was significantly greater than the 10 years record that Kyle Sandilands felt he and Jackie O had broken when they renegotiated with ARN.

This writer’s radio hero, Rogers was the first announcer she ever spoke to on air and the reason she joined Macquarie Media a decade ago. Derryn Hinch announced the death of his long time friend on Air News earlier today.

You can listen to Bob Rogers on ABC’s Conversations talking about his involvement with the Beatles, and more, with Richard Fidler here:

Jen Seyderhelm is a writer and editor for Radioinfo.