Nova Entertainment

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NOVA Entertainment
Founded1996 (1996)
ParentIllyria Pty Ltd
DivisionsNova FM
FIVEaa Adelaide
Star 104.5
Coles Radio

NOVA Entertainment is an Australian entertainment company with broad interests across the media industry.

The company operates commercial radio networks in metropolitan and regional areas of Australia, a pay television station and mobile brands. NOVA Entertainment is owned by Lachlan Murdoch's Illyria Pty Ltd which purchased the remaining 50% it did not own from Daily Mail and General Trust in September 2012.[1]


NOVA Entertainment was formed in early 1996 under the name DMG Radio Australia, followed later in the year with the A$46M acquisition of 85% of the Broadcast Media group of regional stations.[2][3] This was shortly followed by FIVEaa on 26 September 1996.[4] The founding Chairman and CEO were Charlie Cox and Paul Thompson respectively.[5] The company grew rapidly to over 64 radio stations across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia under the Star FM, Hot FM, Nova and Vega (now Smooth) brands.

In September 2004, DMG Radio Australia sold most of its regional radio stations to Macquarie Bank, keeping only Hot 91 Sunshine Coast (later sold in early 2005) and Star 104.5 in Gosford, which they still own and operate.

In April 2009, DMG Radio Australia launched two new digital radio stations: NovaNation, a 24/7 digital dance station and Koffee, a chillout music station. These stations were launched as part of the introduction of DAB+ digital broadcasting in Australia's major state capital cities. On 24 December 2013, NovaNation ceased broadcasting as a DAB+ station. Both stations also stream online.

On Friday 12 March 2010 Vega rebranded with the name Classic Rock to counteract similar stations Gold 104.3, WSFM and Triple M (2MMM and 3MMM). Nova Entertainment announced the change to Vega's brand as the stations had struggled towards the bottom of the ratings ladder in both Sydney and Melbourne. In building these new stations DMG Radio needed a "simple, focused music concept that would appeal to the 35-54 audience," according to CEO Cathy O'Connor. The stations later became 91.5 FM in Melbourne and 95.3 FM in Sydney.

On Monday 21 May 2012, after poor ratings, 91.5 FM Melbourne and 95.3 FM Sydney were rebranded again to smoothfm with a new smooth, easy listening format to aim for women aged 35+.[6]

In August 2012, DMG Radio Australia announced a partnership with digital media streaming service Rdio.

In December 2013, DMG Radio Australia launched a 24-hour Australian pay television music channel, Smooth available via Foxtel satellite and cable services. The pay television music channel extends from the smoothfm radio brand.[7] It was shut down on 30 June 2020.

In February 2014, DMG Radio Australia rebranded under the name Nova Entertainment to reflect the company's increasingly diversified interests in radio and the media and entertainment industries. The new company name has been developed to encapsulate both the pride and heritage of the company’s original and successful FM launch brand, Nova, with its recent evolution into the broader media and entertainment space.[8]

Radio operations[edit]



Star 104.5[edit]

Previous to changes in media ownership restrictions, Nova Entertainment owned the vast Star FM network. Most stations were sold to Southern Cross Austereo in 2004, however as they already owned 2GGO, known as 2GO, and Sea FM in the Central Coast radio market, Nova Entertainment maintained ownership of Star 104.5.

Star 104.5 carries an Adult Contemporary format compared to the CHR format of other Star FM stations.


FIVEaa is a talk radio station exclusively broadcast in Adelaide on 1395 AM and Digital Radio. The station shares some resources with Nine Radio stations, including sharing news and sport (primarily Australian Rules football) resources.

Digital DAB+/Online[edit]

  • smooth Chill - Chill - on DAB+ in all capital cities and regional cities (except WA) and online
  • smooth Relax - Easy listening - on DAB+ in all capital cities and regional cities (except WA) and online
  • Coles Radio - Adult Contemporary - on DAB+ in all capital cities, regional cities and Coles stores

Television operations[edit]

Foxtel Smooth is an 18-hour (time-shared with Foxtel Arts) Australian pay television music channel available via Foxtel satellite and cable services. It launched on 3 December 2013, dedicated to easy listening adult contemporary music.[9][10] The channel ceased broadcasting on 30 June 2020.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lachlan Murdoch acquires other half of DMG Radio". MediaSpy. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  2. ^ "DMG Radio Australia Acquires 12 Radio Stations". Asia Pulse. 24 September 1996.
  3. ^ Jacques, Bruce (25 September 1996). "Daily Mail Arm Buys Australian Radio Group". Financial Times. p. 34.
  4. ^ Jemison, Simon (26 September 1996). "DMG pays $7m for 5AA". The Australian Financial Review (Late ed.). p. 26.
  5. ^ Chapman, Heather (30 September 1996). "They're Back - And How". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 8. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  6. ^ "DMG Radio rebrand sees launch of smoothfm in Sydney and Melbourne". Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "DMG Radio rebrands as Nova Entertainment, denies move related to Daily Mail's arrival". Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  9. ^ Knox, David (1 November 2013). "Foxtel refreshes music channels". TV Tonight. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Summer Channel Changes". Foxtel. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  11. ^ Challenor, Jake (3 June 2020). "Foxtel confirms its Smooth music channel won't continue". The Music Network. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  12. ^ Perry, Kevin (3 June 2020). "FOXTEL CONFIRMS CLOSURE OF SMOOTH MUSIC CHANNEL". TV Blackbox. Retrieved 3 June 2020.

External links[edit]

Digital radio[edit]