FBi Radio

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FBi
FBi radio logo.svg
City of license Sydney
Frequency 94.5 FM
First air date 29 August 2003 (2003-08-29)
Format no set playlist
ERP 10 Kw
Class Community
Callsign meaning 2=New South Wales
Free
Broadcast
Incorporated
Affiliations CBAA
Owner Free Broadcast Inc.
Website www.fbiradio.com

FBi (call sign: 2FBI) station is an independent, not-for-profit community radio in Sydney, Australia. FBi places a heavy emphasis on local alternative music: it has a policy that at least 50 per cent of its music content is to be Australian, of which at least half comes from Sydney musicians.[1]

FBi began 'test broadcasting' as an 'aspirant broadcaster' in 1995 following the then-Keating government's decision to allocate the last three FM licences in Sydney. The election of John Howard delayed the process as the coalition government focussed on radio licences for country towns. After making a series of short-term broadcasts over eight years, FBi Radio beat 16 other aspirant broadcasters to be granted a permanent licence by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in 2002.

Popular dance / hip hop aspirant station DEX FM were unsuccessful and FBi President Cassandra Wilkinson invited DEX founder George Crones to join the FBi board and merge the two stations.

A failed takeover attempt by one of the losing bidders for the permanent licence, Wild FM (a more commercially oriented dance music station) pushed FBi's full-time 24/7 broadcast to August 2003.[2]

The station went to air with program director Meagan Loader and station manager Christina Alvarez in charge with Australia's youngest Music Director Dan Zilber calling the tunes.

In November 2006, FBi’s 'Sunset' program won the Best Radio Show award at the national Australian Dance Music Awards.[3]

In September 2007, the Australian Labor Party chose FBi as the platform to announce its electoral commitment to resume funding for the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project.[4]

In 2009, FBi asked listeners to ask Richard Branson to donate $1 million to the station, with the person getting his attention being promised $50k if he came through with the goods....[5] A young Australian woman swam to his house on Necker Island to inform him of the campaign and Branson called the station to chat on air to broadcaster Alison Petrowski. While Branson did not pay up the $1M he did donate prizes to the Save FBi campaign which raised nearly half a million dollars to save the station from the global financial crisis which had significantly impacted revenues and membership.

During mid-2011, FBi Radio officially launched its digital station.

Reach and format[edit]

FBi is understood to be Sydney's only independent youth radio station, broadcasting across the city with a signal strength as large as its commercial rivals - reaching Gosford, Blue Mountains and Wollongong. Ratings published in July 2007 showed that FBi's audience was around 220,000 a week.[6] Its music policy is 50% Australian, half of that from Sydney. The 'edgy' eclectic music mix that results is different from anything available through commercial music stations in Sydney.[7]

Broadcasters[edit]

FBi broadcasters have included many individuals from the Australian music and entertainment industries including:

DJs & Musicians: Ajax, Kid Kenobi, Mark Dynamix, Deepchild, Ro Sham Bo, Kato, Pimmon (aka Paul Gough), Johnny Segment (aka Timothy Neville), Bruno Brayovic (Peabody)

Broadcasting: Linda Marigliano (Triple J); Nathan Sapsford (Video Hits, Channel 10); Jaimie Leonarder / Jay Katz (former SBS Film Critic), Triple J and former SBS Film Critic Marc Fennell; comedian / filmmaker Dan Ilic (The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, Channel 10), Dom Alessio (Triple J); Dan Buhagiar (Triple J)

Industry: Stuart Coupe (Laughing Outlaw), Andrew Levins (aka Sleater Brockman), co-founder of Diplo's 'Heaps Decent' label, DJ and promoter, Oyster contributor Matthew Levinson; Fat Planet blog editor Stuart Buchanan, Ben Marshall, Head of Contemporary Music at Sydney Opera House

Studios[edit]

The studios of FBi are located in Botany Rd., Alexandria, in the same building as the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.

Staff[edit]

FBi is predominantly a volunteer-based organization, augmented by a small core staff. All on-air presenters and producers are volunteers.

References[edit]

External links[edit]