5 July 2022

New name but same wavelength after 90 years of 2WG

| Chris Roe
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Wagga 2wg sign

The iconic 2WG sign continues to light up Wollundry Lagoon. Photo: Chris Roe.

It was on a Wednesday night, June 29 in 1932 that Wagga’s “Voice of the Riverina” 2WG went live.

Despite being rebranded as Triple M Riverina in 2016, the station remains a fixture on the AM dial and 90 years on, the mission is the same.

Breakfast announcer Leigh Ryan says you can’t beat “live and local”.

“You can listen to whatever you want from anywhere around the world these days, but what you can’t do is hear what’s happening on Baylis Street right now,” he says.

“I just love having a chat and it’s great to have so much community involvement.”

man in radio studio

Triple M Breakfast’s Leigh Ryan carries on 2WG’s 90-year legacy in Wagga. Photo: Chris Roe.

Tony Pritchard is a veteran of both TV and radio in the Riverina and joined 2WG in 1982 as a “mid-dawn” announcer on the first local overnight shift.

Over the years he progressed to more sunlit hours and also spent time in news and called local rugby league.

“I sound like a bloody dinosaur,” he laughs.

“Back in the old days, it was so much fun! You were so busy when you were on air because you were queuing up records, getting your cartridges ready to play the ads and pressing every button for all the things that happened.”

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Tony says he was fortunate to have joined at a time when radio was live 24 hours a day and radio stations were less automated.

“It was a great working environment because you had all these people and everybody was working for the one goal – to be the best you could and provide the best service you could to the community,” he says.

“You were working for the community to promote and enhance the community. So that was very, very important. You couldn’t survive without that community support.”

man on mic

Wagga media icon Tony Pritchard gets back on the 2WG mic. Photo: Chris Roe.

Content director and former announcer Duncan Potts says it’s been fun preparing for the anniversary and reconnecting with former staff.

“They might have been the technician or an old manager; they’ve all got a story to tell. It’s just a day to celebrate what is a great achievement,” he says.

“You always hear that radio is dying, but it continues to survive and evolve and I think while we connect with our communities, and we’re as local as we possibly can be, I think there will always be a place for what we do.”


2WG was rebranded as Triple M in 2016 but the 1152 frequency remains the same. Photo: Chris Roe.

Leigh agrees that it’s in these community moments that radio comes into its own.

“Through the fires, we had stories of people who were listening to us because the power went out,” he says.

“They couldn’t use their phones because they didn’t have reception, but they could go out to the car and turn the radio on and hear what was happening right then.”

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Beyond the disasters, Leigh says he enjoys being a part of listeners’ lives and the interaction and goodwill that goes with it.

“Around Christmas time there was a Country Hope appeal and I made a passing comment like ‘we just need some more pasta and pasta sauces for the hampers they’re putting together,’ and someone delivered that to them within half an hour,” he says.

“It’s just brilliant and that’s what regional radio is all about.”

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