PM (Australian radio program)

PM is one of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's flagship current-affairs radio programs, and is one of Australia's longest-running productions.

GenreNews and current affairs
Country of originAustralia
Home stationABC's Radio National and Local Radio
Hosted byLinda Mottram
Original release7 July 1969 – present
Opening themeCrossbeat by David Cain

It is the sister program to AM. It was first heard 7 July 1969 and is currently hosted by Linda Mottram and broadcast on ABC Radio National and ABC Local Radio.

History and timeslots

PM was created in 1969 for what were then ABC Radio 1 and Radio 3 (now ABC Local Radio). Aired every weekday at 6:10 pm (after the 6:00 pm news bulletin), it became a popular afternoon radio current-affairs program.

The establishment of the program follows the earlier morning current-affairs program, AM that first went to air in 1967 and has since become the ABC's flagship radio current affairs program. PM was later introduced to ABC Radio 2 (now ABC Radio National) with a new early edition at 5:10 pm after the 5:00 pm news.

PM complements AM and other ABC News and Current Affairs radio programs, namely The World Today and Correspondents Report.

Mark Colvin hosted the program from 1997 until 2017.

In December 2017, Linda Mottram was announced as the new host of PM.


PM 's first presenters were Lawrence Bryant and John Highfield, who hosted on alternate nights. Many distinguished names have worked on the show, including presenters Iain Finlay, Paul Murphy, Monica Attard, Ellen Fanning and Mark Colvin – who hosted from 1997 to 2017 – and reporters Ray Martin, Bob Carr, Kate Baillieu, Maxine McKew, and many more. Initially 25 minutes long, PM was expanded to 50 minutes in 1987, before resuming the half-hour format in 2018, matching AM .

Transcripts, streaming and podcasting

The ABC's streaming links and MP3 podcasts have allowed people to access and listen to the latest PM programme for 24 hours after it was first broadcast as streaming Windows Media or RealAudio. In addition to this streaming capability, MP3 podcasts are available of both the full programme and selected individual reports. MP3s and streams of reports dating back one or two years are also available. Transcripts of reports dating from June 1999, too, are available online.

Musical signature themes

The original 1967 signature was "Crossbeat", a 30-second electronic music piece sourced from the BBC, composed and realised by David Cain of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The current themes for 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.

As of January 2017, the themes are no longer used and they have been replaced with updated music.

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