6PR, known as 882 6PR, is a commercial radio station based in Perth, Australia. Its focus is on news, talk and sport, and is Perth's only commercial talkback radio station. 6PR is owned by Fairfax Media, an Australian media company that owns television and radio businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand. It commenced broadcasting on 14 October 1931.
Radio in Australia was just twelve years old when 6PR commenced broadcasting on 14 October 1931. 6PR was founded by Electrical and Music warehouse company Nicholson's Limited, which operated the station from a studio above its music showroom at 86 Barrack Street, Perth. The signal was broadcast from the Applecross Wireless Station. In October 1939 their first relay station 6TZ came on air at Waterloo, 108 miles from Perth, using overhead landlines. This station had to generate its own power, so the on site technicians had to be familiar with diesel power generating plants.
During the Second World war 6PR set up a triple diversity receiving station at the home of George Moss, their only studio technician at Mount Lawley. This was to receive the BBC nine o'clock news from London. George would record this via a landline to the studio on to an acetate disk for replay first on 6PR and then it was taken by bike to 6WF for rebroadcast on the ABC at 9.30pm. After the World War 2, AWA's first Broadcast Transmitter was installed at Collie with 6CI relaying the 6PR programme. 1955 saw the building of new studios at 340 Hay Street East with three studios this enabled the station to program the country Radio stations separately.
In June 1960 6TZ-CI began broadcasting from a Studio built at back the Nicholson's Shop in Bunbury, Local program from 6.00 AM until 2:00 PM weekdays and in the weekend 6PR's programmes for the duration of the weekend. In 1963 the Victorian Broadcasting Network purchased Nicholson's and Nicholson's Broadcasting Services. Selling off the electrical and Music Warehouse divisions of the organisation to Vox Adeon. The broadcasting business was retained and operated under the name Nicholson's Broadcasting Service Pty Ltd.
Throughout the 1960s 6PR was consistently the top rating station in Perth with personalities including Garry Meadows, Barry Martin, Gordon O'Byrne and Trevor Smith but lost its dominance in 1972. The image of the station changed from rock n roll to beautiful music with the "Gentle On Your Mind" promotion in 1973. This boosted 6PR's ratings to a consistent number two with a number one position on several occasions.
In 1977 an agreement was made with the TAB by the station's owners to broadcast races in conjunction with a personality/sport format. In the early eighties the station commenced a more comprehensive news and current affairs format with the introduction of regular programs by Howard Sattler, Bob Maumill and Graham Mabury, which proved extremely popular with listeners.
Harvey Deegan broadcasting from an outside broadcast studio during CHOGM 2011
The 6PR studio remained at 340 Hay Street for 22 years before it was demolished to make way for the expansion of Mercedes College. In 1985 the station relocated to its current premises at 169 Hay Street, East Perth. In the station's early days there were only four people on the payroll now there are around one hundred. The limited hours of broadcasting in the beginning have gradually been increased to a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service.
In 1987 the TAB purchased 6PR to secure the future of race broadcasts in Western Australia and races were broadcast across the station during popular talkback programs. During the early nineties the station's current affairs/talkback program hosted by Sattler, Maumill, Mabury, Peter Newman, Gary Carvolth and Rob Broadfield achieved considerable success in spite of the ever increasing level of racing broadcasts on the station.
In 1994 6PR, in conjunction with the TAB, was able to secure a special narrowcast broadcast license which allowed racing broadcasts to be moved from 6PR to the narrowcast broadcaster called Racing Radio. This move allowed 6PR to serve its two distinct audiences, those who listened purely for a talkback/news/current affairs format and those who listened just for racing information, in a more comprehensive manner. In December 1994 6PR was purchased by Southern Cross Broadcasting which also owned Melbourne's number one rating talk station 3AW and television stations in Adelaide, Canberra and other places. During the nineties 6PR continued its dominance in the talk format arena with personalities such as David Christison & Lee Tate, Howard Sattler, Jenny Seaton & Gary Carvolth, Liam Bartlett, Harvey Deegan and Graham Mabury.
On 11 July 2007, Fairfax Media acquired the former radio assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting (on-sold from Macquarie Media Group's purchase of SCB) this included 6PR along with 96fm who also broadcast from 169 Hay street. Fairfax also acquired Sydney station 2UE, Melbourne stations 3AW, Magic 1278, and Brisbane stations 4BC, 4BH, as well. Graham Mott general manager at Southern Cross continued in his role as general manager of the broadcast radio group under Fairfax. Mott indicated at the time of the acquisition that national syndication of programming (such as that of the since-retired John Laws) would largely be replaced on the network with more localised syndication at a state level.
6PR has broadcast almost all Perth Glory Home and Away matches for the Australian national soccer competition since 1996 (known then as the National Soccer League). 6PR's coverage started in Glory's debut 1996/97 Season and the coverage continued until the demise of the NSL in 2003/2004.
In 2005 the A-League was created and Perth Glory was announced as one of the eight franchise teams. 6PR broadcast Perth Glory's home matches only. However, after the A-League's inaugural season in 2005/2006 6PR announced it would stop broadcasting the Perth Glory, the takeover of Perth Glory by Football Federation Australia is believed to have contributed to 6PR's decision. In 2007 Perth Glory was back in private ownership and 6PR came back on board as the official Radio Broadcast partner of the Perth Glory.