|First air date||29 August 2003|
|Format||50% Australian music, half of that from Sydney.|
|Callsign meaning||2=New South Wales
|Owner||Free Broadcast Inc.|
FBi (call sign: 2FBI) station is an independent, not-for-profit community radio in Sydney, Australia. FBi places a heavy emphasis on local alternative music: it has a policy that at least 50 per cent of its music content is to be Australian, of which at least half comes from Sydney musicians.
FBi began 'test broadcasting' as an 'aspirant broadcaster' in 1995 following the then-Keating government's decision to allocate the last three FM licences in Sydney. The election of John Howard delayed the process as the coalition government focussed on radio licences for country towns. After making a series of short-term broadcasts over eight years, FBi Radio beat 16 other aspirant broadcasters to be granted a permanent licence by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in 2002.
Popular dance / hip hop aspirant station DEX FM were unsuccessful and FBi President Cassandra Wilkinson invited DEX founder George Crones to join the FBi board and merge the two stations.
The station went to air with program director Meagan Loader and station manager Christina Alvarez in charge with Australia's youngest Music Director Dan Zilber calling the tunes.
In November 2006, FBi’s 'Sunset' program won the Best Radio Show award at the national Australian Dance Music Awards.
In 2009, FBi asked listeners to ask Richard Branson to donate $1 million to the station, with the person getting his attention being promised $50k if he came through with the goods.... A young Australian woman swam to his house on Necker Island to inform him of the campaign and Branson called the station to chat on air to broadcaster Alison Petrowski. While Branson did not pay up the $1M he did donate prizes to the Save FBi campaign which raised nearly half a million dollars to save the station from the global financial crisis which had significantly impacted revenues and membership.
During mid-2014, FBi Radio officially launched FBi Click - a second station dedicated to dance and electronic music. FBi Click broadcast on DAB+ in Sydney and via online stream at fbiradio.com/click. A number of Sydney dance music promoters and collectives presented shows on the station; including Picnic, Motorik, Purple Sneakers, THUMP by Vice and others. On 5 June 2017 FBi Click was discontinued, although many of the programs were merged back into the main FBI station's programming. The rationale for the change was that listeners wanted to hear the main FBi station on DAB+.
Reach and format
FBi is Sydney's only independent youth radio station, broadcasting across the city with a signal strength as large as its commercial rivals - reaching Gosford, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong. A ratings survey conducted by McNair in 2014 showed that FBi's audience was around 176,000 a week or 459,000 per month. Its music policy is 50% Australian, half of that from Sydney. The eclectic music mix that results is different from anything available through commercial music stations in Sydney.
FBi broadcasters have included many individuals from the Australian music and entertainment industries including:
DJs & Musicians: Anna Lunoe, Nina Las Vegas, Ajax, Kid Kenobi, Mark Dynamix, Deepchild, Ro Sham Bo, Kato, Bad Ezzy, Pimmon (aka Paul Gough), Klue (True Vibenation), Johnny Segment (aka Timothy Neville), Bruno Brayovic (Peabody)
Broadcasting: Linda Marigliano (Triple J); Lewis McKirdy (Triple J); SBS and Triple J film critic Marc Fennell; comedian and filmmaker Dan Ilic (The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, Channel 10, AJ+); Nathan Sapsford (Video Hits, Channel 10); Jaimie Leonarder / Jay Katz (former SBS Film Critic); Dom Alessio (Triple J); Meagan Loader (Triple J); Dan Buhagiar (Triple J); Shantan Wantan Ichiban (Triple J)
Industry: Dan Zilber, Programming Manager MTV Aus & NZ; Stuart Coupe (Laughing Outlaw); Anna Burns, General Manager Future Classic; Andrew Levins, co-founder of Diplo's 'Heaps Decent' label, DJ and promoter; GetUp Communication Director Matthew Levinson; Fat Planet & New Weird Australia editor Stuart Buchanan; Ben Marshall, Head of Contemporary Music at Sydney Opera House.
The studios of FBi are located in Botany Rd., Alexandria, in the same building as the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.
FBi Radio is predominantly a volunteer-based organization, augmented by a small core staff. All on-air presenters and producers are volunteers. It is a non-profit organisation with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
- Zuel, Bernard (21 June 2003). "FBi radio it won't be blokey.". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 7. Retrieved 7 Jul 2010.
- Licence to thrill Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 2003
- "FBi's Sunset Program Wins National Radio Award" CB Online, November 2006.
- "Support for AMRAP just in time!" CBAA News, September 2007.
- Ask Richard website (website now defunct)
- "We're making changes to FBi on digital radio" FBi website, 6 June 2017
- from "FBi radio - it won't be blokey" Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2003