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Radio History: WA Broadcasters 6IX-6MD-6WB

image of Radio Station 6IX Perth listener card 1945

6IX Perth listener card 1945.
© Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

This trio of stations is operated by W.A. Broadcasters Ltd., and constitutes the Western Australian end of the Major Broadcasting Network. One basic programme is broadcast by 6IX Perth and relayed to 6WB Katanning and 6MD Merredin, which are connected by permanent land line to the studios of the Key Station at Lyric House, Murray Street, Perth.

This simultaneous set-up operates for most of the day, but 6WB and 6MD are not on the air during the afternoons. Facilities are therefore available for 6IX Perth during a limited period of 1 to 5 p.m. (Monday to Sunday inclusive) , and after 10.30 p.m. (Monday to Friday inclusive). Otherwise the three station hook-up of 6IX-WB-MD is the basis of coverage. It is estimated that between 80 and 90 per cent of the listeners of Western Australia are able to tune in to one or more of 6IX, 6WB, 6MD.
image of Radio Station 6IX and 6ML Perth confirmation letter

6IX and 6ML Perth were owned by the same company and merged during WWII. Confirmation letter [1934].
© Eric Shackle Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

SPORT COVER: Stations 6IX-WB-MD relay descriptions of the Eastern State's Races. These include the Eric Welch commentaries of the Melbourne Metropolitan race meetings on Saturdays and certain public holidays. On the same days descriptions of the Perth Races are broadcast by Ted Collingwood ("Corinthian" of the "West Australian."). Other sporting results include flashes from Adelaide and Sydney Races
image of Radio Station 6MD Merredin confirmation letter

6MD Merredin confirmation letter 1945.
© Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.


BRYN SAMUEL: Manager, originally member of the commercial staff of "West Australian" Newspapers Limited; joined Musgrove's Ltd. in 1924; appointed station manager to 6ML in 1930. On foundation W.A. Broadcasters Ltd., March, 1933, was appointed station manager for company. For nearly three years Mr. Samuel was away on Military Service, the greater portion of the time being as a Staff Captain at L.H.Q.

EDISON C. CHURCHWARD: Assistant Manager, and also in charge of the Sales and Publicity Departments. Prior to linking up with the company in July, 1931, was associated with Station 5AD Adelaide, and has had experience in other branches of adverting, including the Sales Promotion Department of General Motors. A prominent member of the W.A. Institute of Advertising; president from 1939 to 1941.

HENRY T. SIMMONS, M.I.R.E. (Aust.): Chief Engineer, has been with the company for a longer period than any other staff member, having been engaged during the erection of the now closed 6ML Perth, operated by Musgroves Ltd., and subsequently absorbed by W.A. Broadcasters Ltd. Mr. Simmons has been "all his life" in radio work, both on shore and at sea.

B. F. SAUNDERS: Programme Director, joined the company in June, 1932, and has compiled the programmes for 6ML, 6IX, 6WB and 6MD since their inception. Has several musical comedy and radio plays to his credit. Produces and conducts the "Sacred Hour," one of the outstanding features of its type in Western Australia, which has been running for many years. Also responsible for the local news broadcasts. Mr. Saunders is a short-wave enthusiast.
image of Radio Station 6WB Katanning QSL 1944

6WB Katanning issued this card in 1944.
© Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.


F. ATKINSON: Has been associated with Station 6IX since 1936 and is well known to 6IX-WB-MD audiences.

RON GLEDHILL: Has been announcing on 6ML, 6IX, 6WB and 6MD since 1934. At the present time his light treatment of the breakfast session announcing is ensuring a big audience. Before joining W.A. Broadcasters Ltd. was in journalism.

LIONEL LEWIS: Originally the "Early Bird" of 6WB Katanning; soon became a good all-round announcer. Has frequently carried out sporting broadcasts, including racing, boxing, wrestling, etc. Assists in the compilation of programmes.

MISS JESS ROBERTSON: Known to listeners as "Phoebe, the Early Cook" and "Aunty Judy" in the Children's Session; is a domestic science expert; before joining 6IX was Principal of The Phoebe School of Domestic Art. Has a large following of women and juvenile listeners. Jess Robertson has recently returned to the microphone after an absence of over four years as a Captain in the A.W.A.S.
image of Radio Station 6IX Ad 1952

An advert for the 6IX-6MD-6WB stations in 1952.
© Broadcasting & Television, May 9 1952. Cleve Costello Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.


6IX: Location of Studio, Lyric House, Murray Street, Perth. Transmitter: Newspaper House St. George's Terrace, Perth; 242 metres; 1240 kilocycles; 500 watts. Licensed July 26th 1932 commenced November 27th 1933. Engineers: G. W. Butterfield, C. Muhling, R. Kaye.

6WB: Studio, Lyric House, Perth. Transmitter, Katanning 280 metres; 1070 kilocycles. Operating power, 2000 watts, commenced September 26th 1936. Engineers: C. Sirl, F. Whitfeld.

6MD: Studio, Lyric House, Perth. Transmitter, Merredin; 273 metres, 1100 kilocycles. Operating power. 500 watts Commenced July 5th 1941. Engineers: M. Urquhart, R. Durber.

W.A. Broadcasters Ltd., Lyric House, Murray Street, Perth. Directors: H. B. Jackson, K.C. (Chairman), C. P. Smith, H. Greig, F. C. Kingston, R. Scott. Secretary: E. H. Rosman. Sales Staff: E. L. Gower, R. Ward, F. Cleal. Publicity and Copy Department: Mrs. M. C. Hewson, M. D. Hammersley. Programme Staff: Miss J. McKerracher, Miss B. Gill, Miss R. Pitman. General Office: K. Maconachie, Miss K. Marsh, Miss M. Tate, Miss J. Mainstone, G Barbera. Secretary to Manager: Miss M. Brown Accountant: Miss B. Moore. Control Panel Operators: D. Wood, A. Urquhart, N. McLean.

Australian Radio History

Now available as a free eBook!

'6IX Perth, 6WB Katanning and 6MD Merredin,' Broadcast Year Book and Radio Listeners' Annual of Australia 1946-47.
Editor: C C Faulkner.
© Ray Crawford Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

Digital version of text, images and layout © Radio Heritage Foundation 2006.

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