Celebrating 50 years of 2ST
Some very significant things happened in 1972. Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister, Shane Gould won three Olympic gold medals, NASA launched its space shuttle program … and 2ST was born.
This Saturday, June 4th, the Nowra-based radio station covering The South Coast and Tablelands area of New South Wales celebrates its 50th anniversary, and 2ST staff – past and present – will mark the occasion in style.
Weekday afternoons announcer Pete Brandtman tells Radio Today “We’re having a reunion here in Nowra on Saturday and we’ve organised for a local boutique brewing company to create a special 50th anniversary beer.”
2ST began life as an AM station serving the Shoalhaven and Southern Tablelands regions.
In the late 1980s a supplementary FM licence was granted and 2ST’s sister station Power FM 94.9 was launched.
Paul Cashmere – CEO of music news channel Noise11.com – was just nineteen when he joined 2ST in 1978. He tells Radio Today “The station had the reputation as one of Australia’s greatest regional stations. Under the leadership of Mark Spurway at the time the bar was set to sound as good as any station in a capital city, and it certainly had that feel.”
Paul says it was a remarkable training ground for someone like him – not long out of school and with less than a year’s experience in radio.
“It was there I interviewed Bon Scott just weeks before he died. It was one of his last interviews. And I’ll never forget the day John Lennon died, when we opened the lines and took calls from a shocked and saddened community.”
“2ST certainly set me up for a long career in media that I still enjoy today.”
Veteran radio host Trevor Sinclair fondly remembers his brief stint at 2ST in the seventies.
Trevor tells Radio Today “I loved my time at 2ST. It was a great place to assist me in learning my craft. The station was only five years old at the time and a great part of the local community.”
“I worked with some great talent, people like Mark Spurway and John Stanley who both went on to bigger and better things. I was not at 2ST for a great deal of time as after only seven months I was offered a new show in Canberra, my first capital city station.”
“Seven months living in the Nowra Caravan Park was also a bit of an experience!”
Other station alumni include Steve Blanda, Paul Bongiorno and former Kyle and Jackie O newsreader Geoff Field, who joined 2ST fresh from school at the age of just sixteen.
Brandtman says 2ST means a great deal to the local community, as demonstrated earlier this year.
“With the recent floods and a few years back the fires, we were on air around the clock, keeping everyone updated. At one point the station was actually evacuated due to the fires.”
In March this year, 2ST staff utilised Instagram and Facebook to communicate urgent information, as floodwaters inundated local streets and homes.
Late last year 2ST was acquired by ARN, along with other stations owned by Grant Broadcasters.
ARN CEO Ciaran Davis credits radio stations like 2ST as being the lifeblood of the community during challenging times.
Breakfast announcer Graeme Day is currently 2ST’s longest serving staff member, having been with the station for three decades.
To mark the golden anniversary, Grant Broadcasters Managing Director Janet Cameron and daughter Alison will attend the reunion dinner this weekend.