AM (ABC Radio)

AM (ABC Radio)

"AM" is one of Australia's longest-running current affairs programs. It is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's flagship radio current affairs program.

Its tagline is "Ensure you are informed."

History and Timeslots

It was created in 1967 for what were then ABC Radio 1 & 3 (now ABC Local Radio). Aired every morning at 8am (after the 7.45am news bulletin), it soon became Australia's most-popular morning radio current affairs program.

Two years later, ABC Radio's evening current-affairs program, "PM" was created as a companion program. It is now the ABC's flagship evening current affairs program.

"AM" was later introduced to ABC Radio 2 (now Radio National) with a new early edition at 7.05am after the 7am news. In recent times, the 7am news was lengthened from the standard 5 minute duration to 10 minutes, meaning that Radio National's edition of "AM" had to be truncated to 20 minutes in length. As a result of this, the early edition carries one or two less stories than the full half-hour long 8am edition still broadcast on ABC Local Radio.

The Radio National edition of "AM" is broadcast during Radio National's Breakfast program, which is presented by journalist Fran Kelly.

"AM" is also broadcast on Saturday mornings at the same time on Radio National, 7.10am, as "Saturday AM". Like its weekday counterpart, "Saturday AM" is also presented at 8am on Local Radio and 10am for Local Radio in Western Australia. "AM" is not broadcast on Sundays as the "Correspondents' Report" program is broadcast at that time.

The programme, fast approaching its 40th birthday, is compiled every morning at 5am for its early bulletin at 6.05am. It is presented live four times a day - 6.05am, 7.10am and 8am for the East Coast of Australia and 10am AEST for broadcast in Western Australia (where it is 8am).

The 6.05am edition, known as "Early Edition AM", is a 10-minute program broadcast on Local Radio networks after the 6am news. Like the Radio National edition of AM, the early edition features less stories than the complete edition at 8am and features three reports at most.

Transcripts, Streaming & Podcasting

The ABC's recent wave of streaming links and MP3 podcasts has allowed people to access and listen to the latest "AM" programme for a full 24 hours after it was first broadcast as streaming Windows Media or Real Audio. In addition to this streaming capability, MP3 podcasts are available of not just the full programme, but selected reports.

MP3s and streams of reports going back one or two years are also available. Transcripts of reports going back to June 1999, too, are available online.


"AM" is compered by journalist and former "ABC News" anchor Tony Eastley on weekdays.

"Saturday AM" is compered by journalist and former ABC correspondent Elizabeth Jackson.


The current themes to both "AM" and "PM" are two of the most recognisable in Australia. The two themes, composed by Tony Ansell (who composed many themes for the ABC News and Current Affairs Department in the 1980s), were based on a similar theme and performed in a similar manner on a synthesiser using a brass-type patch. The similarity between the themes represents a significant link between the sister programmes that, strangely enough, does not exist with "The World Today" in the same manner.

External links

* [ The main "AM" website]
* [ Radio National's "AM" website]
* [ Radio National's "Saturday AM" website]
* [ ABC News and Current Affairs programs]

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