TLCFM in the press
2TLC gets $12k grant for refurbishment
Yamba Community Radio station 2TLC’s base on Pilot Hill, which is a replica of the original Yamba Lighthouse, underwent a refurbishment recently with the team from RG Coatings painting the outside. Image: Peter Finucan
The Clarence Valley’s original community radio station 2TLC is undergoing refurbishment to enable your favourite presenters and programs to continue to deliver the music and information you know and love.
President Peter Finucan said when 2TLC first lodged an expression of interest for a radio licence in 1984, 12 months studying topography and signal paths was undertaken by members, before TLCFM held the first test FM broadcast into the Clarence Valley in December 1985.
Then, as part of the 1988 bicentennial celebrations, 2TLC was given permission, but no funding, to build the station as a replica of Yamba’s first lighthouse, on Pilot Hill.
“The initial building of the station took place in the late 80’s and it was built by hand, by volunteers who wanted to set up a community radio station, but also build it as a replica of the original lighthouse,” Mr Finucan said.
“During the construction process we applied for and got the Community Radio licence, initially that was under the frequency 101.3, but we’ve changed the frequency in more recent days, at the suggestion of the licencing authority ACMA and we’ve become 93.5.
“About 10 years-ago the place was in need of a bit of a refurb and Howard Hall came along and John Ibbotson, (a renowned lighthouse book author) and they helped us complete the building.
“John Ibbotson, who’s a bit of a lighthouse man, organised and helped us get an actual lighthouse light, to complete the replica.”
Over the last decade as 2TLC has broadcasted hundreds-of-thousands of hours of music across a plethora of genres, Mr Finucan said the raw power of mother nature had taken its toll on the exposed Pilot Hill station, requiring another re-birth.
“We’ve got the upkeep and repair to keep the place ship-shape and we’re in a spot that gets plenty of bad weather, and there’s been no shortage of that over the past year-and-a-half,” he said.
“One of our members, Neale Biddle, he’s a builder and he had been noting what needed to be done and getting up and running with it.”
After securing a $12,000 Community Broadcasting Foundation grant, Mr Finucan said 2TLC would end up contributing about $10,000 to the repaint and repair of the station.
“We did our sums when we applied for the grant about two years ago and decided it would cost about $18,000 to do the work…we applied for $12,000 as a grant and we were lucky enough to get it,” he said.
“All those barriers of weather, Covid and getting a painter organised, we’ve overcome them during the course of 2022.
“It had been 10 years since the last paint job and major work on the station, so we wanted to renew it and it looks magnificent now that it’s been all freshly painted by Russell Goad and his team at RG Coatings.
What’s the frequency Yamba radio?
Lower Clarence Community Radio TLCFM presenters, Peter Finucan, 73, and Maia, 8, are colleagues when it comes to presenting their shows. Image: Geoff Helisma
Lower Clarence Community Radio TLCFM is about to change its frequency.
From its inception in the late 1980s, TLC has been heard at 100.3 on the FM band, but from this Friday May 6 it will change to 93.5.
The proposed change is a result of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) ‘AM-FM conversions’ initiative, of which ACMA says, “Commercial radio broadcasting licensees can request AM to FM conversions and/or infill transmitters (repeaters) to go with an existing AM or FM service.”
In general terms, it’s about rationalising the AM and FM spectrums to better suit geography within broadcast areas and ensuring broadcast coverage is even – Grafton-based 2GF is an applicant to the ACMA initiative.
The community radio station’s president, Peter Finucan, said the frequency change came with some “monetary encouragement”, $35,000.
“We’ll use the money, certainly in part with changing the frequency, and there’s a new aerial, too,” he said.
“So, there’s technical stuff of a fairly major nature, and we’ll look at seeing if we can improve our signal, because there are parts of the lower Clarence Valley that don’t get us so well.
“We’ll continue to broadcast the same great variety of music styles and community news, with an ongoing commitment to community access and a distinct local flavour.
“We are grateful for the support of our sponsors and members, and the financial assistance provided by 2GF to make the necessary changes.
“We’re looking forward to getting the job done.”
The 100.3 FM signal will be turned off on the morning of Friday May 6, so TLC will be off air while necessary changes to the aerial are carried out.
“This will see TLC return to the airwaves at 93.5 FM, hopefully by early afternoon,” Mr Finucan said.
“While our broadcast is down, we will launch our new website, where listeners can find out about their favourite TLC presenters, the history of our community radio station, our great sponsors and more.”
Clarence Valley Independent Journalist Geoff Helisma and Lower Clarence Community Radio TLCFM presenters, Peter Finucan. Photo: PJ
Lower Clarence Community Radio, TLCFM, is a station for the whole community – ageism is not a thing at the station, nor is musical taste.
President Peter Finucan, 73, is the oldest on-air presenter, and Maia, 8, is TLC’s youngest.
“I present, like, all cool music,” Maia says. “We did some movie songs, some rock and roll songs … we just did some cool ones.”
Maia says music makes her feel “great” and that she listens to music “all of the time”.
“Sometimes I listen to music at the radio station, sometimes when I’m watching my computer, because sometimes there is some good music on there.”
Maia’s mum, PJ, is an enthusiastic supporter of the station – she’s developing the website, for example, and says it was “interesting” when she found out that “TLC has been there for a long time, decades”.
“A lot of people don’t realise that; or know what the white building is up on the hill,” she says.
“It’s a radio station that’s run by the community and it represents everyone from the community.
“So, you might really like some punk, some hip hop, some rap, some country music, or some classic rock – it’s all there.
“It’s like a box of chocolates for everyone to share, so we encourage people to tune in.”
But tune in when? How does a listener know when to tune in to hear their music or presenters they want to hear?
Some shows, such as Fantastic Plastic – Captain Fantastic (2pm to 4pm on Fridays), aren’t only about music.
For example, Graeme East, AKA Captain Fantastic, covers things like the recent council election and the current federal election campaign, interviewing candidates and, since the council election, Clarence Valley’s mayor, Ian Tiley, makes a monthly appearance on the Friday after CVC’s ordinary meetings, which are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
“With our new launch,” says PJ, “we’ve made a new website, where we will let people know who all of the presenters are and what they are playing so people can tune in to whatever genre of music they want to listen to.”