Radio daze 18. – the not so “Golden Days of Radio”

In the mid 70’s 5DN Adelaide had one of the biggest newsrooms in the country.

As most radio newsrooms were scaling back 5DN maintained a vibrant news department pumping 0ut news 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

It was an exciting time and we prided ourselves in providing the best electronic news in town.

We had two major bulletins a day 3o minutes at noon and 30 minutes at 6pm.  Even with a big staff of journos we had to work extremely hard to generate quality news bulletins while many 0f our opponents had resorted to “rip and read”*

For most of us 6.30 Friday night meant the end of the working week and time to play. Which meant adjourning to the local media watering hole The Wellington Hotel.

On one particular night about 8 or 10 of us knocked off a quick beer or two in the newsroom before the  testing 2 minute walk to The Welly.

Just as we were about to head off a technician Clary Neaylon sauntered into the newsroom with his regular salutation to the journos “Good evening gentlemen of the press” then walked around behind our three chattering teleprinters and proceeded to turn them off.

“Clary! What are you doing!!”  To which the dustcoated techo replied. “I’m just turning off the teleprinters, otherwise they’ll be on all weekend!”

Clary had only been there for 25 years.


*”rip and read” The name comes from the days when wire-service stories came into the newsroom on teleprinter that printed out the stories onto a large roll of paper. Often the on air presenter  would rip the story off the roll and read it on the air.

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