Commercial Radio Australia

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) is the peak body for the commercial radio broadcasting industry in Australia. It provides representation and advocacy on common statutory, regulatory, and technical matters of concern; develops standards including the code of practice; manages industry-wide research and reporting, including the collection of audience ratings data; and runs the industry trade awards.

Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
Typeindustry group


In 1924, Australia introduced B-Class radio licences for stations that would be fully funded by advertising rather than by a listener licence fee.[1] In 1928, B-Class licence holders decided to form a federation of state organisations, the Australian Federation of ["B"] Broadcasting Stations (AFBS), to represent and advance their common interests including against the A-Class licence holders.[2] This was renamed in 1930 as the Australian Federation of Commercial Broadcasting Stations (AFCBS), and subsequently renamed to the Federation of Australian Commercial Broadcasters (FACB) and Federation of Australian Radio Broadcasters (FARB).[3][4] It changed to its current name in 2002.[5]

The organisation was founded to provide representation on such common concerns as use of the term "B-class", royalty and copyright payments, and transmitter requirements. By the middle of the decade, B-Class stations started to be referred to as "commercial" instead, but the older term remained in use until World War II.[3]

The organisation continued to provide industry representation and advice into the 1930s, and aimed for industry self-regulation. In 1936, it produced the industry's Code of Ethics, and in 1938 began accrediting advertising agents federally.[6] The Federal government agreed in March 1939 to increased regulatory representation for the organisation, with an informal committee to consist of a technical representative from the Postmaster-General's Department, a representative from AFCBS, and a legally-trained Chairman. This did not, however, eventuate after changes of Minister.[7][8]

Industry self-regulation increased with the release of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which allowed industry groups to develop codes of practice under section 123 of the Act. Such codes of practice are registered with and enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the broadcasting regulator. CRA developed the initial codes of practice for commercial radio in 1993, and has released updated versions in 2004, 2010, and 2013.[9][10] ACMA has, however, had difficulty in enforcing commercial radio's compliance with these codes of practice, in particular broadcasts made by Alan Jones and Kyle Sandilands.[11]

CRA manages the collection of audience ratings data. As of January 2017, this is performed under contract by GfK.[12]

CRA conducts the Australian Commercial Radio Awards for stations and personnel,[13] and Siren Awards for radio advertising.[14]


  1. ^ Inglis 2006, p. 8.
  2. ^ "Wireless: Station Rivelry : Fight for Licence Fees". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 June 1928. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b Griffen-Foley 2009, p. 13.
  4. ^ "1923–1938: sealed and open radio systems, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, consolidating the Murdoch, Packer and Fairfax dynasties and a Royal Commission". Parliamentary Library of Australia. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Who is Commercial Radio Australia?". Commercial Radio Australia. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  6. ^ Griffen-Foley 2009, pp. 25–26.
  7. ^ Griffen-Foley 2009, pp. 26,37.
  8. ^ MoranKeating 2007, p. 103.
  9. ^ "Register of broadcasting codes & schemes index". Australian Communications and Media Authority. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  10. ^ Alysen 2012, p. 238.
  11. ^ Harrison 2013, p. 61.
  12. ^ "Surveys". Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  13. ^ Lallo, Michael (10 October 2015). "Kyle and Jackie O, Ross and John win top gongs at Australian Commercial Radio Awards 2015". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Tom Gleeson to host Siren Awards". MediaWeek. Retrieved 14 January 2017.