The air was electrifying when Bay News Of The Area spent time with Reg Dowton, the spirited, animated and energetic brekky jock rock radio host at Bay FM 88 Port Stephens.
Reg Dowton has lived on the Tomaree Peninsula for more than 17 years and has been Bay FM’s brekky shift host for the past 16 years.
Reg knew from the age of 12 that he wanted to work in radio, pouncing on every opportunity he could get to work in the music industry.
Working as a DJ at discos and later at 21st birthday parties, Reg gained confidence as he mastered his craft.
He came home from school toward the end of Year 12 and told his parents that he wasn’t going back and that he had found himself a job as a “roadie” for iconic rock band The Angels.
At the age of 18, Reg managed “The Betsy” Hotel at North Sydney and then moved on to the “Juke of Earl” in Sydney where he doubled as the permanent DJ and manager.
Although he enjoyed his time, he felt the consistent tug to do radio and soon moved to 2DU Dubbo, where he worked as a journalist, transitioning to writing, voicing and producing commercials.
In 1988, he won a national radio award for a commercial he wrote, voiced and produced for “Cut Price Deli”.
“The beauty of radio in those days was to go to a bush radio to learn your craft on the graveyard shift,” Reg told Bay News Of The Area.
“The audience was more cows and sheep than people,” Reg laughed.
The program director told Reg at that time that he was not good enough to do anything but nights and that motivated Reg to prove him wrong.
It wasn’t long before Reg found himself in 2KA Penrith, a radio station owned by Mike Walsh.
This connection introduced Reg into a whole different sphere of people at Channel Nine.
He went on to work with stations such as 2UW, Sydney, 2HD Newcastle, 2NX Newcastle, 2UE Sydney, 2MC Port Macquarie and back to 2DU in Dubbo in 1995.
In 1997, Reg Dowton launched ZOO FM in Dubbo.
Later, Mr Dowton moved to 2SM, and became the Sydney Operations Manager for the entire Super radio network.
The next several years saw Reg’s natural talent infect the people of Ballarat through 3BA and then onto KOFM, finally finding a place to call home here in Nelson Bay at Bay FM.
During his radio career, Reg has become good friends with well-known names like Johnny O’Keefe, Mike Walsh, John- Michael “Hollywood” Howson, Cole Joy, Little Patti, Judi Stone, Fleetwood Mac, Daryl Braithwaite, Goanna, Richard Wilkins, Suzi Quatro, Status Quo and Debbie Reynolds just to name a few.
He has an extensive collection of more than 6000 vinyl records and even more CDs, the majority of which are all autographed, including a very rare Cold Chisel Movie Poster autographed by the entire band.
Tune into Reg Dowton for your daily dose of sunshine as you listen to all the hits you grew up with.
Breakfast – 5am to 9am Monday to Friday and Breakfast/Mornings – 6am to 12noon Saturday on Bay FM 88.0.
By Jewell DRURY