ABC Classic FM

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ABC Classic FM
City of license Major centres
Broadcast area Australia (FM)
Slogan Where music lives
Frequency Various
First air date 24 January 1976
Format Classical music
Language(s) English
Audience share 3.7%[citation needed]
ERP 100 kW
Owner Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Webcast Live stream
Classic FM live concert, Canberra Theatre; Artists: dominantSEVEN

ABC Classic FM is a classical music radio station available in Australia, and internationally online. It is operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). It was established in 1976 as "ABC-FM", and later for a short time was known as "ABC Fine Music" (a play on the letters FM), before adopting its current name. It was the ABC's first experiment in FM broadcasting – which had become a necessity in Australia as broadcasters ran out of AM frequencies on which to transmit.[1]

ABC Classic FM's studios were established at the ABC studios in Collinswood, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. Adelaide is Australia's arts capital. The ABC's decision to establish ABC Classic FM in Adelaide was significant[citation needed] because most of the ABC's radio and television national program origination infrastructure is located in Sydney.

ABC Classic FM, inspired partly by the example of BBC Radio 3, broadcasts classical music, operas, recitals, live concerts, jazz and music analysis programs.

ABC Classic 2, a music-only talk-free streaming station, was established in June 2014. It broadcasts only via an online stream and is available on the ABC's Android and iOS apps. Classic 2 specialises in streaming popular styles of classical music. The music on Classic 2 is performed exclusively by leading Australian orchestras, ensembles and soloists. No opera or vocal works are included in the playlist. During daytime and evenings Classic 2 typically broadcasts short excerpts from the classical repertoire, for example single movements from full symphonies. Overnights, complete works are also included. As a cost-saving measure, ABC Classic FM discontinued the use of presenters during 2014 and instead now simulcasts material from ABC Classic 2's play-out facilities. ABC Classic 2 is managed and programmed by the ABC Classic FM team.

The monthly arts magazine Limelight was, under its former name 24 Hours (1976–2003), originally owned and published by the ABC. It is now independently owned and published, but continues a strong, albeit unofficial, affiliation with the ABC and with ABC Classic FM in particular.

News bulletins[edit]

In common with all ABC Radio stations (other than Triple J, which operates its own service), it also carries news bulletins produced by ABC News. On 19 December 2005, in line with the policy applied at every ABC Radio network (except Triple J and Radio Australia), these news bulletins became state-based rather than national.

On weekdays, ABC Classic FM's news bulletins are broadcast hourly from 06:00 until 19.00 AEST/AEDT and then hourly (except at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00). At weekends, news bulletins are broadcast hourly from 05:00 till 10:00, then at 12:00, 17:00 and 19:00. All news broadcasts, other than an extended 10-minute bulletin at 07:00, run for five minutes.

Classic 100 countdowns[edit]

Since 2001, ABC Classic FM has organised a number of Classic 100 Countdown surveys.[2] The results of each survey are decided by votes cast by the listeners of the radio station. The works are broadcast in reverse order of popularity over seven to ten days. The countdown culminates in the broadcast of a live concert featuring the most popular pieces and finishes with the number one listener choice. A feature of the countdown is that each piece is kept secret until just before its broadcast (including the pieces featured in the final concert).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""Our Favourites" Celebrating 30 years of ABC Classic FM" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "About Classic 100". ABC Classic FM. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 

External links[edit]