Hutchy spends $12m on ARN’s 4KQ as SEN completes east coast metro network


4KQ sales means the end of Laurel, Gary and Mark breakfast after 15 years

ARN’s Brisbane AM station 4KQ has been a ratings powerhouse in the Brisbane market. For many radio surveys 4KQ has outrated the better-resourced FM giants and is known to some as the little station that could.

In the most recent Brisbane radio ratings survey, 4KQ outrated 97.3 and Triple M. The station’s breakfast show Laurel, Gary and Mark explained to their listeners this morning the acquisition meant they would soon be off-air. “I can’t talk about this too much because it makes me cry,” said Laurel Edwards.


Goodbye Laurel, Garl and Mark. Being replaced by Pat and Heals (top)

But the AM music format and the call-sign is being consigned to history after ACMA broadcast regulations meant ARN had to divest the Brisbane AM licence after the acquisition of Grant Broadcasters which was finalised earlier this year.

The new owner of the 4KQ frequency is SEN with owner and co-founder Craig Hutchison paying a reputed $12m. That purchase comes after SEN acquired Sydney’s 2CH for $11m in 2020.

The 693 AM signal has been broadcasting since 1946 and will now become Queensland’s new home of sport, rebranded as 693 SENQ with a sports-focused format aimed to start on or around July 1, 2022, subject to completion of the deal.

With current commercial stations in place in Melbourne (1116 SEN) and Sydney (1170 SEN), this move completes SEN’s eastern seaboard metro network.

The breakfast program Breakfast with Pat & Heals hosted by Pat Welsh and Ian Healy, will be one of many Queensland specific programs earmarked to move onto 693 SENQ.

Queensland legend Cameron Smith’s show alongside former Bronco Denan Kemp, The Captain’s Run, will also be heard each Thursday from 9am to noon.

The Queensland made drive show Sportsday, with Gold Coast-based Gary Belcher and Scott Sattler, will also find an additional home on SENQ.

SENTrack Brisbane will continue in its current format on the 1053AM frequency, as Queensland’s home of chasing, pacing and racing.

SEN chief executive officer Craig Hutchison said in a statement he was excited to continue SEN’s expansion within the Queensland market.

“We know Queenslanders love their sport. SENQ will provide a unique offering and constant sporting content like never before as Queensland’s only dedicated sports station. We already have great momentum with Breakfast with Pat & Heals and I look forward to announcing more Queensland specific content in coming months.

We have great respect for the 4KQ brand and would like to acknowledge them in this period of change. While it will not continue in its current formats, we have huge respect to its role in Australian radio history and its legacy.

“Our business model is sport, and parochial sport is at the heart of that. Queenslanders love their state and its teams and we are excited to play our role in amplifying that passion.”

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