Vale Ray Bean

Iconic radio programmer and manager Ray Bean has died.

He was admitted to hospital on Saturday night following a suspected stroke and passed away this afternoon.

Ray began his career at 2TM and then moved to 2VM in the same network.

He moved to 2KY and was PD at Funtastic 2UW, then became the first General Manager of 3MP when it launched in 1976.

Ray later joined 2WS as station manager a few years after its launch, and, in a poaching coup, jumped ship to 2UE a few years later. He was also at 2KA/ONE FM Katoomba and on the board of The Radio Marketing Bureau during his career.

His former 2UE boss, David Maxwell (pictured above), has told radioinfo:

When I was GM of 2UE I recruited Ray to 2UE, over a lunch with our partners overlooking the Hawkesbury Valley,  as we had a major challenge to reposition the station.


Ray was the ultimate quite achiever. He was able to read an audience, provide programming that appealed  motivate staff and run the business. Not many had all these skills, not many have these skills.

I lost contact  with him as I moved from radio however did hear of his ongoing achievements from time to time. He was a legend in his time in radio and should be long remembered until those peers fade away. RIP Ray.


Photo: Radio Green Room


Tributes are flowing in from radio industry friends and former employees who Bean hired over his long career.

Paul Hodges: “He gave me my first job in Sydney in 74 at 2UW. We were friends ever since… Terriffic, modest and a real legend.”

Donald van Nooten: You gave us a wonderful broadcasting legacy….”

Ian Wright: “A really great man, family man and radio man. Thank you Ray and love to the family during this sad time.”

Ted Bull: “A part of so many of our careers. Special bloke had a lovely laugh. And a bit of a twinkle in his eyes. Glad our paths crossed…”

Paul Cashmere: “A radio legend R.I.P.”

Peter VAN Hauen: “I worked at 3MP in the newsroom when the late Barry Owen was news director. Ray was GM and was admired and loved by all who worked for him… We who knew [him] are the better for knowing both of them.”

Wayne Mac: Ray Bean was the first PD I met. It was 1968 and ‘just great to go around with fun crowd on the NEW UW.’ I was 11 and one of the mobs of kids who passed through 365 Kent St to admire our heroes, the 11-10 Men. Ray busted us hanging around near the record library so we could speak with MD Gary Jaeger. Ray grumbled “You kids take some Top 40 charts and head back down the corridor. You’re not supposed to be up here”.

“I met Ray several times in the ’80s in a professional capacity. He, the senior programmer, then at 2WS and 2UE and me, very much the junior at 2CC. Ray visited us in Canberra after his time at UE was cut short when he was pitching for some consultancy work. I always found him generous with his time and knowledge. A personable man with a wry sense of humour. I enjoyed his company and was always pleased to meet with him.”


(Left) Ray Bean with John Laws at 2UW in the 1960s.






(Below)  Excerpt from Yes, Miss Gibson: The Life and Times of an Australian Radio Legend by James Aitchison, Reg James


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