June 26, 2010

Darwin: 8DN

Darwin, Australia’s smallest capital city, received its first radio station, ABC’s 5DR (later 8DR and now 8DDD), in 1947. 

The first commercial station was 8DN, launched in 1960.  8DN  was Darwin’s only commercial radio station for over 30 years and the launch of the city’s second commercial station, FM station 8HOT in 1991, essentially led to 8DN becoming one of the few radio stations in Australia to simply cease operation.


Above: 8DN in 1989

The licensee of 8HOT, Northern Territory FM (NTFM), had taken a financial interest in 8DN prior to 8HOT commencing transmission.  This was deemed a breach of broadcasting laws that stated that no one operator shall own two radio stations in the same license area.  NTFM pledged to sell its interest in 8DN prior to 8HOT commencing broadcast, however the sale was refused by the broadcasting authority as the potential buyer of 8DN, Territory Broadcasters, was buying 8DN with an interest-free loan from NTFM, essentially continuing to give NTFM undue influence over two stations.

8DN therefore had its licence cancelled and the station ceased to broadcast from 1992. 

Ironically, it was not long after 8DN’s closure that the broadcasting rules were changed to allow a licensee to operate two radio stations in one market.

8DN’s broadcast frequency, 1242 kHz, is now used as a relay station for Queensland-based racing station Radio TAB.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this mate...i remember this logo very well was working there back in the 80's, liver across the road at the YMCA a short walk to work, to steal a line from Mary Hopkins 'Those were the days'...cheers Redroo

Q of Oz said...

Oh the memories. I grew up listening to 8DN and I started my radio career at 8DN in the very early 80's as the Mid-Dawn announcer. In it's day it was, without doubt, Darwin's leading station.

Quentin Kilian

Anonymous said...

Born in Darwin 2 years before 5DR-- grew up listening to both 5DR and 8DN- both quaint!
Saturday night "Partytime" consisted of Hank Williams and Slim Dusty et al.
Not cool.

Anonymous said...

Hi I’m Kevin Jacobsson,
I was Born in beautiful Darwin NT Australia in August 1966. Growing up I always liked to listen to my then favourite radio 8DN 1242.

I was working at Radio 8DN in the early 80s for about 1 year I enjoyed it very much.
My duties at 8DN were varied, I was the announcer for the Mid Dawn shift also I did the Saturday night Juke Box Show and I Paneled the very popular “John Laws Show” that we then broadcast live via Satellite with many others.

One of my duties that I had to do when I was the Mid dawn announcer was to Cart the next days Advertisement’s, I got to the station early and carted the advertisements on to the reel to reels sorted my music (records, CDs, and made sure I had my play log organized for my Mid dawn shift or any shifts that I was doing then.

There was a lot of nice and helpful people there at Radio 8DN 1242.
I can remember some that used to work their….
The late Bob Richards, Mark Vincent, Mark Callahan, Sam Spina just a few with many others.
Apologies if the names are not spelled correctly…

Just a little trip down Memory lane with Radio 8DN 1242,
Cheers to you all and cheers to the people that were associated with this Iconic Darwin Radio Station.
Kevin Jacobsson

Geoff Phillips said...

From December 1971 til April 1972 I lived in a house in Fannie Bay with a bloke called Kevin Naughton (not the short bloke who worked at the ABC), a Kiwi bloke who did a shift on 8DN. I worked at NTD 8 which became Channel 9 Darwin. There were only 2 or maybe 3 stations. 8DR (ABC) Radion National ???? and 8DN --- no FM, no community stations, no DAB --- but plenty of shortwave especially VOA, Radio Hanoi and Radio Peking. Interesting days.