ABC Capricornia

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837 ABC Capricornia
4RK Studio at the Rockhampton Post Office, March 1931.jpgG. Gardiner, radio announcer in the studio at the Rockhampton post office in 1931
Broadcast area Rockhampton and The Capricorn Coast
Frequency 837 kHz AM
First air date 29 July 1931
Format Talk
Transmitter coordinates 23°22′48.22″S 150°30′56.63″E / 23.3800611°S 150.5157306°E / -23.3800611; 150.5157306
Owner Australian Broadcasting Corporation

4RK, better known as ABC Capricornia is one of the ABC's original regional radio stations, predating the Corporation's inception on 1 July 1932. 4RK, as it was known at the time, began broadcasting on 29 July 1931 and was owned by the Australian Broadcasting Company. The power was initially 2 kilowatts. The transmitting equipment was established by Keith Thow of STC.[1]

The station became part of the ABC, in 1932 but retained its original callsign. The station was the second regional ABC radio station in Australia. The station celebrated its 75th birthday in 2006.[2]

The station broadcasts to the region on two powerful AM transmitters - the 4RK transmitter at Gracemere (broadcasting on 837 AM) and the 4QD transmitter at Emerald (broadcasting on 1548 AM). However, ABC Capricornia also uses a number of FM translators which are strategically located throughout the region, enabling the station to be heard clearly in other towns, such as Gladstone and Biloela.

Staff based at ABC Capricornia cover the ABC's television, radio and online operations for the areas including journalists, presenters and producers as well as an online producer, television reporter, and camera producer/editor.

Local news bulletins are broadcast on ABC Capricornia at 6:30 am, 7:30 am, 8:30 am, 12:00 pm and 5:30 pm weekdays.

Until 2014, the station maintained a radio news bureau in the city of Gladstone, 100 kilometres south of Rockhampton, where a radio journalist was based to cover news originating from the Gladstone region. The Gladstone-based reporter also presented ABC Capricornia's local afternoon news bulletins which were broadcast live from Gladstone. However, the ABC announced the permanent closure of the Gladstone bureau on November 24, 2014 following the Australian Government implementing funding cuts of $254 million to the ABC.

The station's local breakfast show starts at 5.35 am with Jacquie Mackay, and is followed by a local morning program from 8.30 to 11 am.

ABC Capricornia was also the originating station for the network's regional statewide mid-afternoon program, which was presented from the Rockhampton studios between 2 pm and 4 pm weekdays. However, that program was another casualty of the Australian Government's funding cuts to the ABC in 2014. Following the program's conclusion at the end of 2014, it was replaced with a relay of the final two hours of 612 ABC Brisbane's mid-afternoon program.

The station also broadcasts a rural affairs program called The Rural Report between 6:15 am and 6:30 am during the local breakfast show weekday mornings. The Rural Report is a shared program between ABC Capricornia and ABC Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. The program simulcasts on both stations, and features content relevant to both regions with a Rockhampton-based rural reporter and a Toowoomba-based rural reporter alternating presenting duties.

Additionally, ABC Capricornia is also the originating station for Gardening Talkback, a weekly gardening advice program heard on a number of ABC Local Radio stations throughout Queensland between 10 am and 11 am every Friday morning.

The station also broadcasts a local Saturday breakfast show from 6 am until 8:30 am and a local Saturday morning sports program from 8:30 am until 10 am.


control room in 1931
Erecting radio mast for 4RK in 1931
  1. ^ "4RK Rockhampton". Evening Post CXII (26). 30 July 1931. p. 22. 
  2. ^ Martin Powley (15 April 2008). "The history of ABC Capricornia".