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|Slogan||Adelaide's Widest Variety|
|Frequency||102.3 MHz FM (96.7 MHz FM - Adelaide Foothills Repeater)|
|Format||Hot Adult Contemporary|
|Owner||Australian Radio Network|
Mix 102.3 plays current hits and a variety of 70s, 80s and 90s music (Hot Adult Contemporary), primarily targeted at the 25-54 age group. Adelaide's Mix 102.3 is part of the KIIS Network with sister stations in other major Australian cities - KIIS 106.5 Sydney, KIIS 101.1 Melbourne, 97.3 FM Brisbane and Mix 106.3 Canberra.
The station known as Mix 102.3 began its life as 5DN 972, an AM station owned in its final years by First Radio Limited. First Radio Limited successfully bid for one of two FM conversion licenses offered by the Australian Government for the Adelaide market in the late 1980s. 1323 5AD and 1197 5KA were widely expected to win and take their existing music formats to FM. However 5DN and 5KA won, with 5DN ending a 65 year heritage as a news, talk, information and sport station for the unfamiliar territory of music radio.
Radio 102FM - Sounds like Adelaide to Me launched in September 1990 with well-known Adelaide announcer Scott McBain presenting the breakfast shift from 6am. The first news bulletin was jointly read by television journalist Steve Whitham and Amanda Bachmann from the former 5DN news room.
The conversion to FM was not a success for First Radio Limited's owners as it was, in part, mostly programmed by former 5DN managers. A number of relaunches followed with the station's name changing from Radio 102FM to 102FM to X102FM to X. All failed.
At the same time the Australian radio industry was consolidating and the Australian Government began to consider allowing the ownership of two stations in each metropolitan market.
Later 1323 5AD became available for sale and was purchased by Montclair Investments. The owners of Montclair, which included former 5DN personality and First Radio Limited investor Jeremy Cordeaux and former 5DN Station Manager Sue Fraser, subsequently made an offer to the by now defeated owners of the 102.3 FM frequency.
The transaction proceeded and 5AD was immediately simulcast on the FM frequency from July 1993. It proved to be an instant success in both ratings and advertising terms with the station continuing to simulcast on the AM frequency.
However the Australian Government directed the simulcast must end as it provided the station with an unfair advantage in terms of audience reach. As the 5DN call sign remained aligned with the ownership of the FM frequency, 5AD FM's owners decided to place a hybrid talk format on the AM band and so launched Radio 1323 with a number of former 5DN personalities including Jeremy Cordeaux, Nan Witcomb and Bob Byrne. This new station proved equally challenging and the owners later decided to reinvent it as 5DN in 1994.
During its early years, 5AD - owned by Advertiser Newspapers - broadcast a wide range of programs, from orchestral concerts to comedies, serials and sporting events. Some programs, such as the comedy "Yes, What?" were produced in Adelaide for broadcast by other network stations around Australia. Children's programs included "Search for the Golden Boomerang", and the 5AD Children's club.
Television was introduced to Australia in 1956, bringing major changes to radio programming, signalling the end of the kind of block programming 5AD and other stations had been playing. 5AD moved to music based programming, using a number of marketing slogans: "5AD, Action Radio", "Power Radio 5AD, Where Your Friends Are", among others.
5AD personalities of the 1960s and 1970s included Bob Francis, Alec Macaskill, Keith Conlon, Barry Ion who also voiced the hilarious Peter Plus character, Tony Pilkington, Malcolm T. Elliott, Sam Galea, Ken Dickins, John Vincent, Bob Byrne, Dean Jaensch, Jeff Sunderland, Kevin Crease, and many others.
In the early 1980s 5AD was the number one radio station in Adelaide, spearheaded by the Bazz and Pilko breakfast show, rating at above 30% of the total Adelaide audience. Bob Francis spearheaded the station into ratings records in the late 1970s and 1980s as general manager. He took over the role after his morning show ended in 1976. He continued his success until stepping down to present the night show for radio 5AA. As a top 40 station with its slogan "Rhythm of the City", 5AD was unstoppable as the clear market leader in Adelaide radio. 5AD won all day parts, including mornings with Peter Butler, afternoons with Sam Angelsea and the popular night show for teenagers "Dial a Hit" hosted by Steve Mill and Di Stapleton. But the station's ratings collapsed when its star breakfast duo of Bazz and Pilko defected to rival station 5KA. In the mid-1980s, 5AD moved to an Easy Listening format, first as "Easy Listening 5AD, then today's easy listening 5AD then Adelaide's Best Place to Relax". Throughout the mid-1990s 5AD was again the number one station in Adelaide, with its breakfast show "Sundo & Keith" number one for a record 50 consecutive surveys.
At the end of 2007, the then breakfast team of Kym, Ali and Dzelde defected to rival radio station, Triple M Adelaide. A new breakfast show was announced consisting of John Riddell, Jodie Blewett & Jason 'Snowy' Carter.
In January 2015, Mix 102.3 rebranded with a new logo, along with sister stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
- Mix 102.3 website
- 5AD radio comedy 'Yes, What' was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2013.
- Walker, R.R. "The Magic Spark - 50 Years of Australian Radio", The Hawthorn Press, 1973.
- Mac, Wayne. "Don't Touch That Dial - Hits 'n' Memories of Australian Radio", WDJM, 2005.
- National Film and Sound Archive: Sounds of Australia.