AM (ABC Radio)
AM, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's flagship current-affairs radio program, is one of Australia's longest-running productions. Its tagline is Ensure you are informed.
History and timeslots
AM was created in 1967 for what were then ABC Radio 1 and Radio 3 (now ABC Local Radio). Aired every morning at 8 am (after the 7.45 am news bulletin), it soon became Australia's most-popular morning radio current-affairs program.
Two years later, ABC Radio's evening current-affairs program, PM was created as a companion program. It is now the ABC's flagship evening current affairs program.
AM was later introduced to ABC Radio 2 (now Radio National) with a new early edition at 7.05 am after the 7 am news. In recent times, the 7 am news was lengthened from the standard 5-minute duration to 10 minutes, meaning that Radio National's edition of AM had to be truncated to 20 minutes in length. As a result of this, the early edition carries one or two fewer stories than the full half-hour-long 8 am edition, still broadcast on ABC Local Radio.
AM is also broadcast on Saturday mornings at the same time on Radio National, 7.10 am, as Saturday AM. Like its weekday counterpart, Saturday AM is also presented at 8 am on Local Radio and 10 am for Local Radio in Western Australia. AM is not broadcast on Sundays as the Correspondents' Report program is broadcast at that time.
The programme is compiled every morning at 5 am for its early bulletin at 6.05 am. It is presented live four times a day - 6.05 am, 7.10 am and 8 am for the East Coast of Australia and 10 am AEST for broadcast in Western Australia (where local standard time is 8 am).
The 6.05 am edition, known as Early Edition AM, is a 10-minute program broadcast on Local Radio networks after the 6 am news. Like the Radio National edition of AM, the early edition features fewer stories than the complete edition at 8 am and features three reports at most.
Transcripts, streaming and podcasting
The ABC's streaming links and MP3 podcasts have allowed people to access and listen to the latest AM programme for 24 hours after it was first broadcast as streaming Windows Media or RealAudio. In addition to this streaming capability, MP3 podcasts are available of both the full programme and selected individual reports.
MP3s and streams of reports dating back one or two years are also available. Transcripts of reports dating from June 1999, too, are available online.
Musical signature themes
The original 1967 signature was "Crossbeat", a 30-second electronic music piece sourced from the BBC, composed and realised by David Cain of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The current themes for both AM and PM are two of the most recognisable in Australia. The two themes, composed by Tony Ansell and Peter Wall (who composed many themes for the ABC News and Current Affairs Department in the 1980s). The similarity between the themes represents a significant link between the sister programmes.