SCA ditches Hit90.9 & revives Gold Coast’s 90.9 Sea FM

Former Editor & Content Director

From tomorrow, Hit90.9 will be no more, as Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) continues its program of reviving its legacy stations.

90.9 Sea FM first hit the airwaves in 1989, however was rebranded as part of SCA’s Hit Network overhaul in 2019.

SCA has undone parts of this decision by bringing back Brisbane’s B105 and Adelaide’s SAFM last year. It said Sea FM will be the final heritage brand to return.

The rebrand takes effect tomorrow, and SCA said there will be no changes to the talent line-up as a result of the shift.

Chief content officer, Dave Cameron, said this was the final piece of the puzzle.

“It’s exciting to once again put the much loved 90.9 Sea FM back into the Gold Coast as the final part of the Hit Network strategy of returning those big heritage brands back into our key metro markets that our audiences have such great, passionate memories of,” he said.”90.9 Sea FM has always been a legendary and hugely successful local radio brand owned by Gold Coast listeners, as it will be again.”

Radio stalwart Bianca Dye joined 90.9’s Breakfast show last year, forming Bianca, Dan & Ben, and said having the heritage brand return was a dream come true.

“Growing up on the Gold Coast, I remember listening to the Sea FM Brekky crew on my way to school at Nerang High. I would listen to Dean and Suki and that’s when I decided I wanted to do Breakfast radio,” she said.

“To see Sea FM back on the airwaves, it’s honestly like a dream come true for me. It’s almost surreal, what an honour and I’m so excited. The station we all grew up with is coming back and I can’t wait.”

The station had a new content director, Kim Czosnek, who starts tomorrow, coinciding with the rebrand.

Head of the Hit Network, Gemma Fordham, noted it was an exciting period of change for the station.

“Our new content director Kim Czosnek also joins 90.9 Sea FM tomorrow and brings her immense experience with leading teams and bringing creative and compelling ideas to life. Having started her radio career at SCA, we are so delighted that she is returning. We can’t wait for listeners to once again see the 90.9 Sea FM name on the Gold Coast and all the wonderful memories that go with it,” she said.

The Gold Coast’s second radio ratings of the year also come out tomorrow.

In May, Hit90.9 had a 9.2% share, down 0.4 points and behind market leader Hot Tomato’s 18.5% and 92.5 Triple M’s 10.2%.

Bianca, Dan & Ben, however, were in second place, climbing 2.5 points to an 11.0% share. Hot Tomato’s Galey, Emily Jade & Christo Breakfast Show fell 3.7 points but held onto the lead with 16.6%.


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Lost ar Sea
11 Aug 2021 - 10:59 am

Why do only some lucky markets get their heritage brands back?

11 Aug 2021 - 11:26 am

Even though it has been said “final piece of the puzzle” be interesting to see what happens on the Central Coast and if Hit101.3 reverts to 101.3Sea FM based on the last Gosford ratings…

11 Aug 2021 - 12:52 pm

I shudder to think of all the money that has been wasted on the re-brand and then another re-brand… Poor decision by the powers that be in the first place…

11 Aug 2021 - 1:11 pm

I agree, all heritage brands should be re-instated. Although there is still a lot of networking which makes them not really relevant as they used to be.

Wonder if Gold will come back too?

11 Aug 2021 - 1:15 pm

A difference between Gold Coast and Central Coast is one has an exclusively local breakfast show and the other carries a state-wide one.

Go a step further and it makes sense to revive NXFM 106.9 in Newcastle although the change on the Gold Coast is based on a clearer need.

HIT is just not a strong or viable brand where it comes up against strong local brands like Hot Tomato. Whereas Triple M, which notably has purged pop from its regional playlist and now seems to “rock” as much as it does in metro markets, is at least more distinguishable as a brand.

Nice to see the Sea FM brand back where it belongs in radio history. Also reviving B105 and SAFM while shifting the network MIX Perth belongs to have all constituted a sensible rethink.

Only time will tell if that’s enough. Ratings for CHR formats across Australia, with few exceptions (like Sydney’s KIIS) are well down on how such stations once performed.

11 Aug 2021 - 1:31 pm

It would make more sense to make the switch to the people in the power seats

Peter Mathison
11 Aug 2021 - 1:54 pm

What an absolute circus this network is. How the hell are they getting away with this?

Maybe don’t say “This was the final piece of the puzzle” when there are other markets having the same issue as Gold Coast, not to mention Gosford where SCA literally had their asses handed to them by Nova.

11 Aug 2021 - 2:42 pm

The rebrand last year was just another way of justifying a downsize with regional teams. This company is just incompetent when it comes to money.

11 Aug 2021 - 2:52 pm

So funny, someone must have worked out that direct selling is still alive and that brand equity and localism unlocks it. Stunning stuff guys! I hope i get triple the fooies this weekend, its exactly what it will take to get me into Gerry’s store.

11 Aug 2021 - 3:54 pm

The Hit brand…the ‘New Coke’ of radio branding…

11 Aug 2021 - 4:42 pm

You can rebrand and rebadge a thousand times over but just REmember that if you fiddle with your music strategy you will upset your core and lose them. You won’t recover them either.

Captain Face Palm
11 Aug 2021 - 4:59 pm

This is laughable, god help the higher powers in this network.

Now from 3 the network shows will still all refer to it as Hit, more so for any comps and “register now at hit..”. I swear some execs just change stuff so they look like they have done some work.

Another 3-5 years and a new generation wouldn’t know the difference. it only cumes 130,000 10+ anyway so what’s the point? The Fox, 2Day or B105 I get, but the ONLY SeaFM is a tad strange. Its nice nostalgia for those that care (radio people like us )but I don’t think Karen from Labrador could care less tbh.

And I love SeaFm, 100% local is the only way it would make an impact. All or nothing. #bringbackthebigkahuna

11 Aug 2021 - 5:17 pm

Newcastle, which is a jewell in the crown with ratings, should resurrect the local brands of KOFM and NXFM. And all the talk of cricket this summer is turning us old rockers off MMM. Now that all local stations are on th FM frequency, Live and Local is the call.

Mick C
11 Aug 2021 - 5:36 pm

I got back to when Nova launched in Sydney and Bianca did mornings

The she was on I98 with Marty Josh and Bianca years back .

Good the hear that she is still on radio.

11 Aug 2021 - 7:49 pm

It seems to justify a station going back to its heritage brand, you need poor ratings and a local breakfast show. So long as Newcastle continues to rate, NXFM will remain in memories only. But then again, these re-rebrands at SAFM, B105 and Sea FM weren’t meant to happen either.

Sea FM is the Gold Coast so a nice touch by SCA; but the problems aren’t the branding, it’s the strategy, and it all permeates from mistakes made at 2DayFM. It started with the massive error in ditching K&J and persisting on a revolving door approach to breakfast talent thereafter. When that tanked, it was followed by a desperate attempt to shift the music format with choices that have then been forced on to other more successful stations just to carry a network feel (why is a ‘Hit’ network playing mouldy oldies anyway!?).

How is the management of this network still in charge? Nearly 10 years of continuous missteps and backflips. How are the shareholders still ok with this?

11 Aug 2021 - 9:00 pm

The final piece of the puzzle? Is that a joke? What about Newcastle, Canberra (yeah, yeah, I know it’s a joint venture, but so what?) and Hobart?
NXFM, FM104.7 and SeaFM (or TTT) deserve to be revived as well.

Bryce donaldson
11 Aug 2021 - 9:20 pm

It’s like a group of drunk deaf people running a radio network.. surely the shareholders are asking questions ?

What next the AMs back to to their heritage names ?

11 Aug 2021 - 9:51 pm

I dont get it. Ok it was the wrong strategy to change it but you change it so stay with the decision. A stations ID is as good as the programs that come out of the speakers. Networking wont work and what works in one market wont in another.

11 Aug 2021 - 11:42 pm

It’s so inconsistent with a NETWORK of radio stations. Wouldn’t it be easier to have all stations the 1 brand name. Ditch hit. Ditch 2day fox b105 and make a brand new name. Nova has been so successful in all markets. It’s the 1 name for all 5 stations. You can go to any capital city and know that Sydney nova will sound like Brisbane nova. It’s easy for listeners. It’s easy to market for advertising. It’s easier for production the whole thing. Are SCA bosses that dumb. The brand is old outdated. It sounds the same. The sweepers are so crappy sounding. Plus SCA is a white stations there’s no multi culture of talent. It’s white white white. I’m white and I find it doesn’t represent the whole community. Plus it’s male announcers or if there’s a female announcer there boring. Radio should be more diverse. It’s like Kyle and Jackie o there news reader is openly gay. There’s diversity there. If anything these networks would be better to have a pool of announcers and rotate them around to cover the work day and weekends. Have them being heard it different locations. These stations can broadcast from Perth to Brisbane. Or be in Sydney and broadcast to Melbourne. Listeners have no idea where they are. Nova does it. Has there Sydney announcers broadcast to Brisbane nova. This rebranding of SCA is just sad management that clearly can’t make up there mind

12 Aug 2021 - 10:54 am

Maybe it’s not the Hit name, ever thought it could be the talent on the station that are part of the poor ratings for Hit/Sea (or whatever they’ll be called next week)?

12 Aug 2021 - 11:21 am


Pretty sure cricket is just in metro markets no regional.

Scott GC
12 Aug 2021 - 3:20 pm

Captain Face Palm – like many former big names at SeaFM, The Big Kahuna now works at Hot Tomato (he does nights from 7pm). Four of the six big names at Hot Tomato are all ex-SeaFM announcers (Paul Gale, Moyra Major, Baggs and The Big K).

12 Aug 2021 - 6:40 pm

“Legendary brand”, “Listeners with passionate memories” (Dave Cameron) … great to see all those ingredients that made Sea FM such an iconic Gold Coast station back with the original branding! I mean ‘Carrie & Tommy’, ‘Hughesy, Ed & Erin’, ‘Ash London’ …. what could go wrong?


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