Pricey celebrates 30 years

Staff Writer

To celebrate Pricey's 30 years on 4TO, SCA's Craig Bruce wanted to share something he wrote last year after having lunch with the radio legend.

Steve Price is a treasure. If you don't know Pricey, he's the host of the 4TO breakfast show and has been the king of Townsville radio for the last 30 years. The audience love him like he's a member of their extended family.

He was recently voted one of the Top 10 Townsville icons.

He started in radio at 3DB back in the 70s and has the same level of passion and enthusiasm for the industry now as he did when he first started.

I wanted to share with you just some of the nuggets from our catch-up.

1. The listener is the boss

Pricey does the show for them, not anyone else. Ever.
I was simply amazed at the level of detail and knowledge that Pricey has for his audience.
He knows who's listening at 5a, where they are, who they are, the jobs they're going to or coming from, their collective mood and what they need to hear from him.
Same for the new audience that comes in at 6a and so on as the morning progresses.

2. Radio is one on one. Intimate is everything. Old school, maybe. Or maybe it's just a principle we have forgotten?

According to Pricey, listeners should feel comfortable having you in their homes.
I have never heard anyone talk with such passion about the incredible privilege it is to be allowed into people's lives and loungerooms everyday.

3. Local is everything

I know you've heard that before, but Pricey does "local" like no other broadcaster in the country.
When he started in Townsville 30 years ago, he spent the first 3 weeks in the local library learning about the history of the town!!
Now his show is the town square for the locals. It's the place where everyone comes to hear about the issues and stories that affect their community.
Nothing happens in Townsville without Pricey knowing about it first.

4. Branding is everything

Everyone calls him "Pricey". Funny thing is, he doesn't mention his name on the air, listeners do that for him.
He wears God-awful Hawaiian shirts in every photo shoot. He's now famous for them.
He has a catch-phrase…"happy days". He says it, listeners say it to him. It's not only a connection point and a statement of intent, it's a trigger for the audience. It's pretty hard to forget a good catch-phrase.
He understands the power of branding, being genuinely different and absolutely true to yourself.
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, generic about Steve Price.

5. He does things differently

Pricey has never done a phone topic. Ever.
He will pose a question, start a conversation and the phone will invariably ring. No solicit required. Listeners know his number and where to find him.

He hosts the show on his own. Everyday, for 30 years.
Now just think about the amount of content he needs to generate….but he does it because the town comes to him. Stories happen around him, then through him and back out to the community for discussion. It's this powerful communication loop that has trust, respect and dependability at its core.

6. Pricey gives back to the community

Not because we ask him to, but because it's the least he can do for a city that has given him so much.
There is no need to remind Pricey that he's about due for another rescue, he has the community as his sole focus and will always find a way to make a difference.


I want to take our listeners and turn them into fans.

Steve Price has turned his fan base into something much more.

I'm sure he won't mind me telling you the story of the day he took a phone call from a listener after the show and was asked whether he would come to his mothers' funeral.

Pricey had never met the lady who had died suddenly at the age of 54, but before she passed away she had asked her son to request that he be there.

After some deliberation, Pricey went to the funeral and stood at the back of the hall in his god awful Hawaiian shirt throughout the proceedings.

At the end of the funeral the priest asked if anyone had anything further to add.

Pricey couldn't help himself.

He walked to the front of the church and spoke in front of hundreds of mourners. Now, without knowing exactly what he said to them, I'm guessing he brought some level of comfort to those people that day.

Because that's what Pricey does.

Congratulations on 30 amazing years Steve. Happy days from all your radio friends.




Picture : Townsville Bulletin

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