Keeping the dream alive: John Laws marks 70 years on radio

On Tuesday November 28, 2023 John Laws marked 70 years on air.

Laws started at 3BO in Bendigo in 1953, joining 2UE four years later and playing the latest international and local music releases, using contacts in the airline industry to get them to air as otherwise they would not reach radio stations for months. He later worked at 2GB and 2UW, then back to 2UE when the station was rating poorly taking it to No 1 in Sydney for many years and being syndicated nationwide.

Communications lecturer Glen Lewis said of Laws in 1983 that he “sets the agenda” on air. Laws also appeared on television shows and was the recognised voice for commercials for Valvoline and Oral B.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating called Laws the “broadcaster of the century” at an event marking his 40th anniversary, and he was presented with an ARIA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

On November 30 2007 Laws decided he would retire from radio and 2UE after several years of fierce personal, commercial and ratings battles with Alan Jones on 2GB. He rejoined the fold, with his golden microphone, on 2SM Mornings in February 2011.

Special guests including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined Lawsie to celebrate and reminisce the milestone.

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28 Nov 2023 - 9:00 am

70 years …just amazing . Sadly I’ll be more amazed if an announcer starting today lasted 7 years on radio unless they don’t mind living in poverty.

Rob Scott
28 Nov 2023 - 1:36 pm

What a fantastic achievement, John! Be so very proud of being able to entertain and to help so many listeners all around our vast country for so many years.

Ian Holland
29 Nov 2023 - 11:35 am

John Laws is arguably the greatest Australian broadcaster of all time. Many others have come close. Bob Rogers, Neil Mitchell, and Ray Hadley come to mind. Hadley is more versatile however has based what he does largely on what he learned from Laws. Mitchell has been exceptional however has nowhere near the longevity of Laws.

John Laws, for many years was unequalled. A brilliant operator. I was incredibly lucky to work with him at 2UE many years ago and ended up marrying one of the girls on his team.

Sadly we have nobody left in the industry, especially on the FM platform, who come anywhere near the remarkable talent Laws consistently demonstrated over so many years. Being rude and crude may appeal to pimply teenagers. Being rude and crude doesn’t generate respect.


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