In July 1983, Municipal Warden Bill French opened the Studio/Office in Inglis St., Wynyard. In March 1984, I was announcing in the Studio – working week days in various programs, time slots and segments. Some special ones were “Women Today”, “Print Handicapped Access”; and a real highlight was travelling to Hospitals and Nursing Homes from Smithton to Devonport getting and then presenting requests for the residents. Other announcers then were Dennis & Jan Adams, Howard Kuhl, Rodney Morse, Kerry Aroney, Kevin Keep, Sheridan Gardiner, Jenny Griffiths, Peter Rayner, Harold Ives, Brett Whiteley and Marcus Wise. (Other vital people were technicians – headed up by Greg Cunningham and Office Staff). (We were advised that we would not be able to be granted a ‘Christian Radio Licence’ and we then applied for a Community Licence).
In 1990, after having held 22 Test Transmissions, a Community Licence was granted. We could now be ‘on air’ permanently from 23-12-1990 and our ‘name’ was changed to ‘Coastal FM Incorporated’. (Ten years of hard work - set backs; frustrations; extreme dedication & determination by many people; and licence applications finally won through!) January 13th, 1991 was our official Launching Day! Our ‘call-sign then was ‘7DBS’ – signifying our commitment to linking the Coast through Devonport, Burnie and Smithton – and our frequency was then 106.1!
In June, 1997, Fusion Australia were invited to take on the management of the station, while the Coastal FM Board continued to ensure that station fulfilled its established goals. A new antenna was then installed at Table Cape which improved the signal to the Coast. The station became known as FM 106.1 “The Coast’s Own”. The purchase of ‘tie-lines’ allowed the North West Community to see a lot more of Coast FM personnel during outside broadcasts. The original transmissions from Table Cape started with 106.1 and the two translators were added at Smithton 88.9 and Devonport104.7 at a later stage.
During the recent upgrade (during 2015-16) the studios have now move to digital era in preparation for future digital broadcasting. Some of the station managers were Dennis Adams, Sheridan Gardiner, Poul Bottern, Matt Amery, Nathaniel Garvin, Jim Griffin and now Mal Metcalf.
by Marjorie Weeks, August 2007
The New Era of Community Radio on the North West Coast
Coast FM continues to develop with the formation of new board in 2013. This set our station back onto a stable framework to reduce costs and increase income while improving the station’s technology. Thanks to the forward thinking of Chris Morris, Mal Metcalf, Coast FM has been re-vitalised again to serve the community of the North West.
As the chairman and technician since 2013 I have invested my time in improving our financial and technological situation. The studios have been upgraded to digital systems while the whole transmission system has been upgraded. The studio computer network has been fully updated.
by Brian Shearston, August 2019