ABC Radio Sydney

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ABC Radio Sydney logo.png
Broadcast areaSydney, Illawarra, Central Coast, Newcastle, Blue Mountains
Frequency702 kHz
BrandingABC Radio Sydney
OwnerAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
First air date
23 November 1923; 99 years ago (1923-11-23)[1]
Former call signs

ABC Radio Sydney (official call sign: 2BL, formerly 2SB) is an ABC radio station in Sydney, Australia. It is the flagship station in the ABC Local Radio network and broadcasts on 702 kHz on the AM dial. The station transmits with a power (CMF) of 3,110V, which is equivalent to 50 kW (the maximum permissible in Australia) from a site 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the Sydney CBD.[2]


ABC Radio Sydney is the first public radio station in Australia opened in Sydney at 8:00pm on 23 November 1923.[1] Its first callsign was 2SB where 2 denotes the State of New South Wales and SB stood for Sydney Broadcasters Limited.[3] However, the callsign was soon altered to 2BL for Sydney Broadcasters Limited. The change was due to the audio similarity of the sounds FC and SB. In May 1928 the Sydney Broadcasting Company was formed to take over stations 2BL and 2FC.[4]

A year later a consortium of entertainment companies founded the Australian Broadcasting Company Limited (ABC) to supply programme material to 2BL, 2FC and similar "A-class" stations in other capital cities.[5] 2BL became one of the inaugural stations, along with sister station 2FC, in the government-owned Australian Broadcasting Commission (also ABC) network when it was founded in 1932. In 1946, it became the flagship of the National Programme, forerunner of Radio National. It also began carrying parliamentary broadcasts. In 1963, it swapped formats with 2FC and assumed that station's old role as flagship of the Interstate Programme, which eventually evolved into Local Radio. However, it continued to air parliament until 1988. 2BL was re-branded as 702 ABC Sydney in 2000 and then ABC Radio Sydney in 2017.

In the second radio ratings survey of 2012, Nielsen Media Research recorded 702's share of the Sydney radio market as the second largest at 10.3%, behind commercial talk station 2GB.[6]

Most Local Radio stations in New South Wales simulcast 702's programming when not airing local shows for their areas. The exception is 999 ABC Broken Hill, which relays 891 ABC Adelaide due to Broken Hill being on Central Time.


Daily scheduling[edit]

Other programs[edit]

  • Thank God it's Friday is broadcast every Friday on Richard Glover's Drive show and features a roundup of the week's events, featuring various Australian comedians. TGIF is also available as a podcast.
  • Norman the Quiz, the pet-name for what used to be simply known as "The Quiz", is hosted by Sarah MacDonald every weekday evening. It is broadcast to all of New South Wales and the ACT
  • The Mighty Challenge is a quiz broadcast at midnight (local time) by Phillip Clark.
  • Grandstand is the ABC's sport program, which is broadcast from 12 noon on a Saturday and Sunday
  • Weekends, with Simon Marnie
  • Speaking Out (Radio National), with Larissa Behrendt[7]

Former presenters[edit]

Bruce Menzies

External links and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b O'Brien, James; Champness, Lawrence (22 November 2013). "90th Anniversary of the station that became 702 ABC Sydney". 702 ABC Sydney. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  2. ^ Australian Communications and Media Authority. "Apparatus Licence [Licensee 1103909, Australian Broadcasting Corporation]". Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  3. ^ The station never used the callsign 2BS, although this is quoted in a reputedly reputable source - Changing Stations. The Story of Australian Commercial Radio Griffen-Foley, Bridget, Sydney, 2009. (The callsign 2BS was later used by the local Bathurst station).
  4. ^ "New Broadcasting Company". The Recorder (Port Pirie). No. 9, 055. South Australia. 17 May 1928. p. 1. Retrieved 1 September 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "Broadcasting". Singleton Argus. New South Wales, Australia. 7 June 1929. p. 8. Retrieved 1 September 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Radio Survey #2 2012
  7. ^ "Speaking Out, with Larissa Behrendts". ABC Radio. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  • [1] 702 ABC Sydney
  • [2] ABC Online