Sydney’s 2CH becomes SEN as Crocmedia confirms sports format
August 19, 2020
Crocmedia is re-launching 2CH as SEN 1170 SEN, with the Sydney station’s new owners confirming a move to a sports format.
The station was purchased by Craig Hutchison’s Pacific Star Network in June, and now the latest SEN station welcomes Fox League commentator Andrew Voss for a new Breakfast show.
Despite reports to the contrary suggesting that 1170AM would retain a Classic Hits format, Hutchison has now told Mediaweek the station will be “Sydney’s new home of sport.
“We are moving ahead with a sports led format in Sydney with 1170 SEN,” he said, noting the station will have the rights to “virtually all sports”, and admitting there was never a plan to keep 2CH.
1170 SEN will remain a DAB+ station when it launches, but there is no set launch date at this stage. Factors will include the state of coronavirus in Australia, but Hutchison confirmed it will definitely be up and running before the NRL Grand Final and standalone State Of Origin series.
“The back end of this year in Sydney is too compelling an opportunity for us,” Hutchison said.
“There is rugby league and an Australia – India test series, Big Bash League, A-League, The Everest and The Golden Eagle and the Australian Open golf. An enormous calendar of sport in Sydney from mid-October through to the end of February.”
The transition appeared to have started earlier this week when 2CH oddly turned into an exact double of 2UE for a few hours on Monday, August 17.
“The issue was caused by technical changes required to separate Classic Hits 2CH from the Nine Radio Network, and resulted in Radio 2UE being broadcast instead of Classic Hits 2CH on DAB+, the APP and streaming,” a spokesperson explained to Radio Today.
On the appointment of Voss for Breakfast, Hutchison told MediaWeek the new program will be “sports plus, he won’t be afraid to go beyond sport if and when he needs to.
“He has a lot say and he is a real identity we think audiences will connect with.”
Hutchison said the station will be locally-programmed from 6am to 6pm, except “an hour of Gerard Whateley that will be for Sydney audiences which will air around lunchtime.”
1170 SEN Sydney will join 1538 SENTrack Sydney, which launches this Saturday, August 22. The two stations will be housed in North Sydney where new Crocmedia studios are being built.
SEN previously announced the appointment former Southern Cross Austereo and Australian Radio network executive Simon Dennis group commercial director for NSW, who is “super excited” to be back in radio.
Its NSW sales will be headed up by Sydney head of sales Simon Dennis, with guidance from national head of sales Patrick Moloughney.
Crocmedia plans to have 20 stations on air by 2021 including 15 broadcast licences as well as several DAB+ stations.
SEN unveils plans for Sydney
By SEN a day ago
Announcing its plans today, the sports entertainment network revealed it would launch 1170 SEN and DAB+ as Sydney’s new Home of Sport – with Vossy to host its all-important breakfast show.
CEO Craig Hutchison said veteran sports broadcaster Voss was a coup-signing for the station and the first of several respected sports broadcasters to join the team.
“If it’s happening in sport here or around the world, 1170 SEN Sydney will take you there – with live coverage of NRL, State of Origin, Test cricket, Big Bash, A-League, AFL and racing - alongside, news, opinion and debate from the country’s biggest names in sport.
“We are honoured and thrilled that Vossy will lead the charge when we launch. He has built a truly special connection with Sydney audiences not only as as the man voted the most popular rugby league caller in the country, but as one of sport’s great all-rounders including his coverage of both Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Cups and championships as well as an array of sports from surfboat racing, to touch football, to triathlons and even bull riding,” Hutchison said.
“He’ll have an opinion and drive a contemporary sports-led breakfast show.”
Fox League’s Voss said he was excited to be joining 1170 SEN Sydney.
“I’ve always loved radio from the moment I started my career in the media way back in 1987, so the opportunity to get back into it and create something unique was really appealing. The show is going to be a bit like reading the paper from back to front – there will be plenty of sport, but we’ll also cover what’s making news. I can’t wait to chat to listeners and take Sydney’s sporting-pulse each weekday morning,” Voss said.
“As someone who likes his poker, I’ll put it this way, we’ll be pushing our chips all-in to make a great breakfast show like no other in the market.”
Voss will also be heard for breakfast on SEN’s new racing station SENTrack in Sydney on 1539AM and DAB+ which launches this Saturday 22 August and also be heard on SENTrack Wollongong 1575 AM and Gosford 801 AM.
Popular rugby league personalities Joel Caine and Jimmy Smith will continue to host the breakfast show on SENTrack until Voss joins, with the boys to then take on other roles with the station.
Acclaimed sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley’s number one sports radio show* will also be heard live on 1170 SEN and DAB+ from 12-1pm Monday - Thursday, with other talent signings to be announced shortly.
SEN acquired the 2CH 1170 AM radio licence in June this year and plans to continue Classic Hits 2CH on DAB+ and via live streaming on the app and web.
“We are hugely respectful of 2CH’s loyal and dedicated audience - which is why we plan to retain the brand and secure its future on the fastest-growing audio platform – digital radio,” Hutchison said.
2CH already has a strong DAB+ audience with at least 20,000 2CH listeners tuning into DAB+ each week`.
With close to 1 million DAB+ devices sold each year, there are now more than 5.6m DAB+ devices in households across Australia^.
"Our listeners over-index for non-traditional ways of consuming our product which is why we are excited to offer four DAB+ stations in Sydney: Classic Hits 2CH, 1170 SEN, 1539 SENTrack and also our SEN Vic channel for those who want to tap into our local Melbourne programming including Melbourne’s most downloaded breakfast show: Breakfast with Garry Lyon & Tim Watson,” Hutchison said.
1170 SEN Sydney will launch later this year ahead of a big finish to the Australian sports calendar, including State of Origin and a marquee Test series between Australia and India.
Over summer, 1170 SEN will bring coverage of Big Bash matches as well as selected Tests and the Australian Open to Sydney sports fans.
In other news, SEN will launch its hybrid music/sport station SEN Spirit 621 Southwest on Monday and early September, the broadcaster will launch SENTrack 1053AM Brisbane and 1620AM Gold Coast featuring a dedicated local breakfast show with former Australian test cricketer Ian Healy and veteran sports journalist Pat Welsh – taking its SENTrack stations to nine around the country.
1170 SEN can also be heard via the SEN app.