A new radio station, Pure Country 87.6FM – launched in Broken Hill and available to listen to worldwide – is Benjamin Starr’s latest broadcasting venture.
The former 2BH presenter and announcers launch of the country music radio station was born from a dream he’s had since he was 13 years old; one that was realised last weekend, with the purchase of the narrowcast station and its licenses finalised over a beer at The Palace Hotel, a deal done on the back of a coaster. The rest, as he says, is history.
“The purchase of Pure Country 87.6FM was an easy choice,” he told the Barrier Truth.
“It was on the air before Covid hit and went off the air during the pandemic. I was hosting the afternoon show at 2BH and it was a matter of weeks after I left the station that I was approached to buy Pure Country and the network of stations in Wilcannia, Menindee, White Cliffs, and Broken Hill.
“It has always been a dream of mine to start my own radio network, so I went headfirst into the transaction without looking back. I am a big kid when it comes to my passion for radio and I saw an opportunity and I knew Pure Country needed to come back to life, and it is my plan to roll the network out to the other towns we hold licenses in.
“I used to tell my students at TAFE NSW [where he taught Radio Broadcasting in Sydney], if you want something, you have to grab it with both hands and run with it. The dream is just amazing. After renovating houses in Broken Hill and going back on air at 2BH, there is something very special about Broken Hill and I am honoured to be the custodian of Pure Country 87.6FM and to build the station to cater to our niche audience.
“The purpose is to cater to the country music fans and bring them a station that is unique and provides a point of difference. The station is needed in these regions as we have a massive country music fan base here in Broken Hill, and the other towns we are yet to switch on. Country music is a format that works in the country.”
The station will include programs from Australia and the USA – including Ray Hadley’s Country Music Countdown and The Camping and Off Road Radio Show with Robert ‘The Duck’ Smith. Mr Starr has also brought along former Hill FM 96.5 presenter, Eliza Jane, to co-host the breakfast show, while Brian Newington will assist with production.
Pure Country can be heard on radio by setting the dial to 87.6FM, or via a livestream on their website (https://purecountry.world) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the transmission tower in Broken Hill.