Spinning discs for forty years

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on March 11, 2018

MAKING the music flow has been one of Albany radio personality Warren Mead’s favourite aspects of his job.

He certainly could be considered an expert on music flow, considering on-air time has been his gig for the past four decades.

The 1611AM Gold MX voice celebrated 40 years in the business late last year and remains ever so humble about his great achievements.

Mr Mead started his career in the late 1970s at the ABC in Albany, where he dabbled in disc jockeying, on-air broadcasting and copywriting advertisements.

“I had to use a typewriter back then,” he laughed.

After a stint in Perth with 6PM, he married his wife Kira and moved back to Albany and joined 6VA.

For the next decade, Mr Mead went to and from stations across WA, adding to his now expansive CV of experience.

He went from Albany breakfast shows to Bridgetown, back to Perth with 6IX and then back to Albany with 6VA.

It was after this round-trip of WA that Mr Mead decided to set up his own shop in his hometown.

“We had 87.8 Farm FM in 1993 and then acquired 88FM in 1995, and that was an easy-listening station,” he said.

“They were hugely popular with the older folks in town.

“They were hugely loyal listeners, so we gave our Farm FM CDs away to them in a competition when we stopped that station.”

The next cab off the rank was 1611AM Gold MX, once known for country music but now playing ‘good times and great classic hits’ from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

This station became unique when Mr Mead converted it to commercial in 1998 after its launch in 1997.

“The 1611AM frequency was granted a section 40 commercial license, the first 1611 in Australia to do so,” he said.

“The official AM band goes to 1602AM and we were operating on 1611AM, so we decided to go commercial and have a broader reach.”

Mr Mead’s list of achievements grew again with 88 Fly FM in 2006; the new face of 88FM now played the current chart-toppers.

After a brief pause in his radio career – selling Gold MX and Fly FM to The Great Southern Weekender in 2014 – Mr Mead made his comeback a couple of years later.

“We needed to have a rest, but I missed it,” he said of his return to the airwaves.

“Making the music flow; that’s always been my favourite part.”