Radio 5DN, now broadcasting as Cruise 1323, is one of Adelaide's longest running radio stations. In its 80+ years it has changed considerably. It was the first Commercial station to begin broadcasting in South Australia. Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth largest city in Australia, with a population of over 1. ...
Emblems: Hairy Nosed Wombat (faunal); Sturts Desert Pea (floral); Opal (gemstone); Leafy Seadragon (marine) Motto: United for the Common Wealth Slogan or Nickname: Festival State Other Australian states and territories Capital Adelaide Government Governor Premier Const. ...
Technically Cruise 1323 is not 5DN but 5AD, as explained below.
Radio 5DN began operating as an experimental station in 1924, with official services beginning on 24 February 1925. It began as the hobby of businessman and industrialist Ernest James Hume, but soon grew to absorb the time and energy of the Hume family.
Hume bought his transmitter, and some other equipment from radio pioneer Lance Jones. The purchase included the original callsign: "5Don N", which had been allocated to Jones in 1923. The origin of that callsign has been lost in the mists of time, but it may be the result of an early phonetic alphabet (A for Arthur, C for Charlie, D for Don, etc).
The transmitter and studios were set up in the Hume family mansion, Peltonga, on Greenhill Road, in the suburb of Parkside, South Australia. Hume installed landlines from the Elder Conservatorium and Adelaide University, allowing live broadcasts of concerts and lectures. Greenhill Road near Linden Park, facing east towards the Adelaide Hills Greenhill Road is a major road in the South Australian city of Adelaide that provides a vital transport artery for those living in the eastern and hills suburbs. ...
Parkside is a suburb of Adelaide in the City of Unley. ...
A concert in the historic Elder Hall The Schools Scott Theatre The Schulz music building, adjoining the Hartley and Madley music buildings The Elder School of Music incorporates the Elder Conservatorium of Music and the former Flinders Street School of Music. ...
University of Adelaide Sub Cruce Lumen The light under the Cross The University of Adelaide, located in the center of Adelaide, South Australia, was founded in 1874, making it the third oldest university in Australia. ...
The original voice of 5Don N was E.J. Hume's wife Stella. As well as being an announcer, she also acted as program organiser, studio director, technical operator, pianist and producer.
Initially, 5DN broadcast only a few hours a day, three days a week, but as the number of listeners grew, broadcasting hours were extended until it became a full-time 24 hours a day radio station.
5DN was one of the original members of the Macquarie Broadcasting Network, which provided programming and advertising sales services to its stations. Among the Macquarie stars to feature on 5DN in the early years were Australia's first real radio "star", Jack Davey, and Roy Rene and his character "Mo", after whom Australia's entertainment awards, the Mo Awards, are named. Jack Andrew Davey was a New Zealand born star of Australian radio in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. ...
Roy Rene, Australian comedian and vaudevillian. ...
The Mo Awards are the longest running annual Australian entertainment industry awards. ...
Big local names of 5DN in the 40's and 50's included long time Breakfast announcer, Mel Cameron, Vic Braham, Ron Sullivan, Phyllis Pullman, Alan Sanders and Barry Hall. Cameron was on the air at 5DN for more than 35 years, making him one of South Australia's best known radio voices.
One of the station's most popular locally produced programs of the late 1940's and 50's was "Under the Stars", written for 20 years by 5DN's chief scriptwriter, Merv Hill. He also single handedly wrote the scripts for "Radio Canteen". Begun as an experiment in Saturday night live entertainment, the show ran for 13 years, featuring virtually every leading entertainer in South Australia.
Other shows heard on 5DN around the same time included "Quiz Kids", the "Cashmere Bouquet Show", "Doctor Mac" and "Music While You Work", many of them originating from the Macquarie Network production studios in Sydney.
During the late 30's 5DN kept its listeners informed, with regular news broadcasts, establishing South Australia's first independent radio news service in 1938. It continued its news service during the war years, and in the 1950's continued its own local news service, with the backing of Macquarie National News, which became the largest radio news network in Australia.
Sport has also played a large part in 5DN's programming. The station became the first in South Australia to introduce "ball by ball" commentaries on cricket, in 1930. The station also covered motor racing in the 1930's, with live broadcasts of the Lobethal Grand Prix events. In later years, football commentary, horse and greyhound racing were also major elements of 5DN's sports coverage.
In 1969, 5DN introduced Adelaide's first Open Line talkback programme, beginning the move to the News/Talk format that saw the station dominate the ratings in the 1970's and 80's. The pioneer of the format on 5DN was the Reverend Neil Adcock, on his daytime talkback show.
Jeremy Cordeaux joined the station in 1976 to host the daytime show, with Neil Adcock moving to a Sunday night spot. But for a long time 5DN's ratings record was held by late night Open Line host, Jeff Medwell. His ratings often exceeded the figures other stations recorded for their prime time programs.
In 1983/84 5DN scratched the races and broadcasts were moved to Beautiful Music station 5AA which had been bought by the TAB for this purpose.
Led by Paul Linkson as General Manager other famous broadcasters who featured on 5DN 972 from 1984 include Leigh Hatcher, Vincent Smith, Murray Nicol, Kevin Crease, Ken Dickin, Judith Barr, Ken Cunningham, Gary Bau, David Hookes, Trevor Ford, Bob Byrne, Noel Yeates, Geoff Jay, Alex Zastera, Gerard Stone, Dave Waterman, Joan Hanger, Terry Clark and Nan Witcomb. Australia Overnight emanated from 2GB in Sydney and was by Owen Delaney (M-F) and Les Solomon at weekends.
Until the sale of the Macquarie Radio Network by Warwick Fairfax and the station's affiliation with 2UE, Macquarie National News - 2GB, 3AW, 4BH, 5DN and 6PR - was provided by Colin Tyrus (News Director), Murray Olds (News Director and later breakfast personality), Mark Smith (News Director), Kevin Donnellan, Verity Webb, Simon Francis, Graham Warburton, Amanda Bachmann, Michelle Weidenhofer, Alan Murrell, Heidi Koch and Narelle Hill.
Sport was provided by Kim Anderson and Jonathan Rivett.
5DN's 972AM frequency is today utilised by ABC NewsRadio.
The move to FM
In 1990, 5DN moved to FM, and changed its on-air identity to Radio 102 FM. The high rating News/Talk/Sport format was dropped, staff were made redundant and the station changed to a Classic Hits music format managed and programmed by the same people who had overseen 5DN. Frequency modulation (FM) is a form of modulation which represents information as variations in the instantaneous frequency of a carrier wave. ...
'Radio 102FM - Sounds Like Adelaide to Me' was not a success in Adelaide. Many format and personality changes led to an ownership change which saw it become X-102-FM.
The loss-making 102.3FM frequency was sold to the new owners of 5AD who quickly moved to transfer the high rating Easy Listening/Hits & Memories format to FM. This involved a lengthy simulcast of 5AD on both frequencies. It also meant 5AD leaving The Advertiser Building in King William Street to move to Radio 102FM's studios at the old 5DN building in Tynte Street.
Eventually the simulcast ended and this left the owners with a 'spare' radio station on the AM band but, as the 5AD call sign had 'moved' to FM, the AM station was without an identity. So Radio 1323 was born with a format featuring old 5DN personalities and Easy Listening music.
Soon Radio 1323 was rebranded as 5DN but despite the name change it could and would never retain it's former leadership position as South Australia's number one choice for news, talk and sport. Behind the scenes the station was literally a shell of its once proud former self with only a small number of people technically employed by 5DN with the remainder (management, news, technical, sales) employed by 5ADFM.
Former 5DN 972 listeners, who had long ago dispersed to fiveAA and 891 ABC Adelaide, were not convinced to return to 5DN on 5AD's old frequency and they stayed away in droves.
The SEN experiment
The holding company for the two stations was later bought by the Australian Radio Network (ARN). However the reincarnation failed to recapture the glory days of the late 1970's and 80's and the Australian Radio Network closed it down in December 2004, leasing the licence to Melbourne based broadcaster SEN, the Sports and Entertainment Network. The Australian Radio Network (ARN) is a network of commercial radio stations. ...
Melbourne is the state capital and largest city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-largest city in Australia, with a population of approximately 3. ...
The radio listener share of 1323 AM dropped from 6.7% in December 2004 to almost Nil in May 2005. SEN encountered financial difficulties, and relinquished control of the licence, handing it back to ARN. After regaining control, ARN began a simulcast of its FM station, now rebranded as Mix 102.3. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...
Simulcast is a contraction of simultaneous broadcast, and refers to programs or events broadcast across more than one medium at the same time. ...
In November 2005 the AM frequency was again separated from the FM program, and was rebranded as Cruise 1323, playing easy listening music. The first Adelaide ratings survey of 2006 gave Cruise 1323 a 5.2% share of the total audience.
Towler, David J. "The First Sixty Years, 1924 - 1984, 5DN", 5DN Macquarie, 1984.
Walker, R.R. "The Magic Spark, 50 Years of Radio in Australia", The Hawthorn Press, 1973.