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CoCrPtO perpendicular media with coercivities greater than 6000 Oe, Mr/Ms equal to 1.0, and negative nucleation fields exceeding 3000 Oe were produced. The crystallographic, magnetic, and recording properties were optimized with respect to Ru interlayer and CoTaZr soft-underlayer thicknesses. Media with exchange decoupled magnetic grains as small as 7 nm with a narrow size distribution capable of supporting a linear density up to 720 kfci were produced. Thermal decay measured at 50 kfci at ambient temperature was less than 0.1%.