Magnetic and structural properties of hexagonal-close-packed-(CoCrPt)100-xCx thin films for potential applications in magnetic recording media have been investigated. CrTi and Cr underlayers were used to improve the in-plane preferred orientation. High coercivity of 4.4 kOe and anisotropy of 3.6×106 erg/cm3 have been achieved in films with a CrTi underlayer after postdeposition annealing. The addition of Ti to the Cr underlayer results in lower annealing temperature and shorter annealing time, while retaining higher coercivity. Vibrating sample magnetometer measurements showed that the magnetic moment lies fairly well in the film plane under proper preparation conditions; while x-ray diffraction measurements showed that the CrTi underlayer promoted Co (10.0) in-plane preferred orientation. Grain isolation in the magnetic layer was improved by the segregated C and further enhanced by postdeposition annealing. The peak value of δM curves decreased upon annealing and changed to a negative value when higher annealing temperatures were applied, indicating that strong exchange coupling in as-deposited film decreased and changed to dipolar interaction dominance upon annealing. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.