History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian Radio History/Vic AM Stations
Vic AM Stations
Victorian A.M. Radio Stations
Part of the most comprehensive list ever compiled of Australian A.M. broadcasting stations.
13 Oct 1920 - AWA - Melbourne
Demonstration of music broadcasting by A.W.A. chairman, Ernest Fisk, to Members of Parliament in Melbourne’s Queens Hall, at the request of Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Billy Hughes. Weekly test broadcasts commenced three months later, being heard up to 1,600 kilometres away. Their 500 watt Marconi transmitter was at the Brighton home of the A.W.A. manager, Lionel Hooke. Lionel had previously accompanied Shackleton’s Polar expedition to Antarctica as the shipboard wireless operator. He was knighted in 1957, and appointed Chairman of A.W.A. after Ernest Fisk in 1962.
Jan 1921 - 3ME - Melbourne
Experimental station owned by Sydney Neuman of A.W.A. Transmitter at Canterbury. First on longwave 273 KHz. (also see 2FC and 6WF) with weekly concerts, then on medium wave 750 KHz. Became VK3ME on 7-9-1927 on shortwave, a forerunner of Radio Australia, to relay programs between stations for rebroadcast. The transmitter was co-located with the 3LO transmitter at Braybrook. Programs came from a 3LO studio until 1929, then from an A.W.A. studio. The wavelength was often promoted as “35 yards” instead of the usual “32 metres”. All VK3ME programs started and ended with a kookaburra laugh, which was continued by Radio Australia. Sydney Neuman also designed and installed the original transmitters for 4QG, 7LA, and 3SR, and a new transmitter for 3LO. This callsign was reissued to an Arabic Middle Eastern station using 1638 kHz on 25 Oct 1996.
1921 - 3DP - Melbourne
Experimental station owned by N. Culliver. Transmitter at Hawthorn.
1923 - 3JU - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Ross Hull. Transmitter at St. Kilda. Ross was appointed Federal President of the Wireless Institute of Australia in 1924, and editor of the Wireless Weekly periodical in 1929. In 1938 he designed and built an experimental television transmitter and receiver. (Television was called "radiovision" in the early 1920s). One of his television receivers later killed him by electrocution.
3BY - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by H. Holst. Transmitter at Caulfield. A report from the Wireless Institute of Australia stated that this station had the best broadcast transmitter modulation in Australia. (Also see 3DB).
Broadcast station owned by Howard Kingsley Love. Transmitter at East Malvern.
1923 - 3BQ - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Maxwell Howden. Transmitter at Box Hill. Maxwell was a regular contributor to the Listener In magazine with his column “With the Amateurs”.
1923 - 3SW - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by S. W. Gadsden. Transmitter at Kew.
3MY - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by L. Money. Transmitter at Canterbury.
3DH - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by I. Morgan. Transmitter at East Malvern.
3RG - Castlemaine
Broadcast station owned by R.G. Blake.
3DX - Warrnambool
Broadcast station owned by Les Kermond.
3GK - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by S. McLean. Transmitter at Yarraville.
3TM - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by A. Buck. Transmitter at Hawthorn.
3FW - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by W. Nicholls. Transmitter at Moonee Ponds.
3ZN - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Morris Israel. Transmitter at Malvern.
3QH - Geelong
Broadcast station owned by J. F. Feldman, using a five watt transmitter.
3WA - Ballarat
Broadcast station owned by Warne Wilson and Alfred Kerr (VK3AL), on air Sundays. Became commercial licence 3BA on 31-7-1930.
3AJ - Warrnambool
Broadcast station owned by E. Salamy using a 10 watt transmitter.
3FY - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by the Fitzroy Radio Club with a 16 watt transmitter.
3KP - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by F. Monteath using a nine watt transmitter at Elstern Wick.
3KU - Swan Hill
Broadcast station owned by Ronald Hipwell using a 7.5 watt transmitter. His aerial was 60 feet high and 135 feet long. On air every Sunday. Often heard throughout the U.S.A. Ron also experimented with X-Rays. (Also see 3SH Swan Hill 27-8-1931 and 2BH Broken Hill 30-6-1934).
3GT - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Geoffrey Thompson (later VK3AC). Transmitter at Thornbury. Geoffrey wrote several technical articles for the Listener-in magazine. Geoffrey also designed and built radio systems allowing the Herald and Weekly Times newspaper to receive instant news from country Victoria.
3HB - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by H. Byrne for the Sunshine Radio Club at Brighton Beach.
3BH - Violet Town
Broadcast station owned by C. Whitelaw. Specialised in ragtime and dance hall music, with records loaned by listeners. Also had local musicians and vocalists broadcasting live from his lounge room.
3HF - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Harry Fuller. Transmitter at Essendon. In the 1930s he broadcast the soundtracks of movies via landline from the local cinema for over a year, until the P.M.G. stopped the practice. Harry was later appointed Chief Engineer of 3SR, then manager and Chief Engineer of 3YB.
3CR - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by the Coburg Radio Club. Started by engineer and main operator Clarence Bennett in his Brunswick Electrical Shop. Heard throughout Australia using five watts (later 10 watts). Often rang a bell hourly saying it was Big Ben live from London. This callsign was reissued as a community licence in 1976.
3UZ - Melbourne
07-1923. Broadcast station owned by Oliver J. Nilsen using 10 watts on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1930 to 2200. Opened an electrical shop in 1924. Granted a commercial licence on 8-3-1925.
3GL - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by G.L. Bartholo, using a 14 watt transmitter at Malvern. This callsign was reissued at Geelong on 31 Dec 1930, as a commercial licence.
3UD - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by the United Distributors Radio Shop.
3NN - Nhill
Broadcast station owned by Herb Brown, using a 10 watt transmitter at Yanac.
3OR - Kerang
Broadcast station owned by Murray Orr.
3JR - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by C. J. Rainbow. Transmitter at Preston. This callsign was reissued from 29 Dec 1976 to 6 Jan 1977 for scouts operating Jamboree Radio at Dandenong on air 0600-2200 daily.
3HK - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by K. Heitsch using a three watt transmitter at Mitcham.
3SY - Geelong
Broadcast station owned by Jack Mathews using a 50 watt transmitter at Newtown. Closed in 1932 when he accepted a technicians position at 3GL. Jack became their Chief Engineer in 1935 until he retired in 1980.
1924 - 3CB - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Billy Sievers. Transmitter at East Richmond. After the opening of 3KZ on 30 Dec 1930, Billy broadcast on their frequency each night after they closed.
1924 - 3MP - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Stan Hosken. Transmitter at Hawthorn. He designed sealed set receivers for the P.M.G. This callsign was reissued as a commercial licence at Mornington Peninsula on 22 Jul 1976.
3RI - Melbourne
Broadcast station controlled by the Victorian Railways Institute. Was often heard in Western Australia, New Guinea, and also New Zealand. Conducted joint broadcasts with 5RI in Adelaide. Pictured is their 1930s studio and transmitter and their QSL card. Each year they received in excess of 1,000 QSL (confirmation of reception) requests in the mail.
3JG - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Jones & Glew Radio Shop. Transmitter at Brunswick.
26 Jan 1924 - 3AR - Melbourne
Owned by Associated Radio Co. (wireless manufacturers). A "sealed set" station, starting on long wave. Installed by Rupert Fitts (previously a radio technician with the Navy). Started with two staff, plus six in their radio factory assembling radios. Used telephone hand pieces as microphones. Their first studio was in Elizabeth Street, before moving into Melbourne Place with 3LO (now occupied by the Kelvin Club which has on display a set of gongs used by the A.B.C. while there). Their first outside broadcast was a military tattoo in 1924. Established and owned 7ZL, with the original 350 watt 3AR transmitter. Broadcast a Dame Nellie Melba charity concert live from the Lilydale R.S.L. club in 1925. Installed a 200 feet high tower with a 1,000 watt 625 KHz. transmitter and an electricity generator in October 1925 at Essendon. Broadcast a concert from the Prince Regent Theatre in Sale on 17 Oct 1927 (first live outside broadcast in country Victoria). Granted a relay licence for Ballarat in 1926 which never went to air. Their Chief Engineer, Donald McDonald, experimented with transmitting television in 1929. He used the transmitters of 3UZ and 3DB each night after they had closed, with audio on one transmitter and vision on the other. From 8-8-1929, programs were provided by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Company, with 60 minutes of advertising per day. Was on air 0815-1100, 1200-1745, and 1815-2230 Monday to Friday. First Australian station to broadcast educational programs (1931), however, few schools could afford a receiver. Taken over by the Australian Broadcasting Commission on 1 Jul 1932. Closed by the military during WWII for 24 hours for allegedly broadcasting a breach of security regarding the sinking of H.M.A.S. Sydney. Along with 3LO, moved into Broadcast House, Lonsdale Street, in 1945 and then into the Southbank Centre in 1995. Installed a 50,000 watt transmitter in 1961. Changed their callsign to 3RN in October 1990.
3 Mar 1924 - 3HT - Bendigo
Broadcast station owned by H. Tippett (Manager of New System Telephones).
13 Oct 1924 - 3LO - Melbourne
Originally planned to operate as 3FL (Farmer and Co. Ltd. - licence number four) under the 1923 Telegraph and Wireless Act. They were also issued licence number five (3FC - Farmer and Co. Ltd.), which never went to air. Owned by J.C. Williamson, the Herald, and 2FC. Their studios were on the roof of the Herald, with all the equipment battery powered. A "sealed set" station. Started on longwave (175 kHz). First manager was Major W. Conder, former Governor of Pentridge Gaol. Their opening broadcast was Dame Nellie Melba’s farewell concert from His Majesty’s Theatre on 13 Oct 1924. First station in Australia to broadcast weather reports (1924). Moved to medium wave (808 kHz) on 1 Jul 1925 with an A.W.A. 5,000 watt transmitter at Braybrook (50,000 watts in 1961) with two 200 feet high towers, being 575 feet apart, installed by Sydney Newman of A.W.A. (see 3ME January 1921). An early feature was the broadcasting of dances from the studio each night using live bands, with the audience joining in. First Australian station to broadcast live plays with a studio audience. Originally they received news via Morse code from London. They were issued relay licences for Wangaratta, Hamilton, Bendigo, and Maffra in 1925 which never went to air. On air 1200-1400, and 1500-2330 in 1927. Often heard on crystal sets in South Australia. Applications for licences in Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Launceston in 1927 were rejected. Their programs were relayed on shortwave each Monday in 1928. Broadcast live, relaying to over one million listeners, the arrival of airman Bert Hinkler in March 1928. Achieved a profit from advertising of £50,000 in 1928. Increased power in 1938 using a 10,000 watt S.T.C. transmitter. Often heard overseas including Alaska. Programs were provided by the privately owned Australian Broadcasting Co. from 22 Jul 1929 with 60 minutes of advertisements daily. On air 0700-0815, 1030-1230, 1300-1630, and 1745-2330. Taken over by the Australian Broadcasting Commission on 1 Jul 1932. Started the national program "The Argonauts" in 1941, with over 50,000 members by 1955. Their first female announcer was Dorothy Crawford: sister of Hector Crawford. Moved to Broadcast House, Lonsdale Street in 1945 with 3AR, and then to the Southbank Centre in 1995. Broadcast Melbourne’s top rating breakfast program from 1977 to 1987. Mary Adams, June Barton, Barbara Horn, John Reid, Laurie Bruce, Michael Schildberger, Allan Stokes, Terry Lane, Richard Peach 3LO Brochure 1925, 3LO Control Room 1928
1925 - 3FB - Melbourne
Commercial licence issued to Berkery and Picken P/L which never went to air (see 3FB at Trafalgar 27 May 1929, owned by the Trafalgar and Districts Radio Club, but managed and operated by Frank Berkery).
1 Jan 1925 - 3EO - Mildura
Commercial station with a short life, owned by Rupert Egge.
25 Feb 1925 - 3WR - Wangaratta
Owned by Les Hellier (Gallipoli veteran) using a 40 watt transmitter in his house, where the ‘Church of Christ’ now is. His main advertiser was his own sports store. First licensed country commercial station in Australia. Known as “The Voice of the North East”. Les advertised £5 crystal sets in the local paper. Closed on 22 Dec 1925. Reopened on 5 Jan 1931. Representatives from 3DB and 3UZ plus several politicians attended the reopening, with loudspeakers along Murphy street. All the equipment, including their 250 watt transmitter, (500 watts in 1934) was designed and built by Oliver Nilsen from 3UZ. Originally on air for 90 minutes each evening. Introduced weekly live community singing broadcasts from March 1925, concentrating on listeners requests. Studio dances were popular with the “Militia Boys” band. Broadcast a special gala concert on 23 Apr 1932 to celebrate closer ties with 3DB. By 1932, 50% of Wangaratta’s population had joined their “Smile Away Club”. Closed on 30 Aug 1934 due to falling revenue, after a broadcast from the Theatre Royal with Prime Minister Joseph Lyons as the key speaker. Kept one studio in Wangaratta after moving to Shepparton on 13 Sep 1934. (See 3WR Shepparton 13 Sep 1934).
8 Mar 1925 - 3UZ - Melbourne
(See 3UZ July 1923). First planned to open as 3ZL. Started by Oliver J. Nilsen (later Lord Mayor of Melbourne) from his Burke Street radio shop. On air two nights per week with 27 watts, using one gramophone, one pianola, and one microphone. Their opening included well known artists Leslie Dobson, Gertrude Hutton, George Cowley, and Dulcie Cherry. Known as "The Voice of Victoria" (later “The Voice of the Community”). Increased their power to 500 watts to transmit TV experiments in January 1929 (see 3AR for details). Also heard on shortwave in 1930 on 32 metres. In 1931, Oliver constructed and installed all the reopening equipment for 3WR. 3,000 children attended their children’s Christmas party in 1934. Their “Bobby Bear” children’s club (later “Look up and Laugh”) had 35,000 members in 1938. Their “Radio Auditions” program (1943-1983) was the longest running talent show in the world, starting the careers of Barry Crocker and Jamie Redfern. Introduced horse racing in 1946. On 2 May 1948 their signal was jammed by an anti-communist pirate radio station calling itself “Radio DIG”. Their 1950 manager Lewis Bennett fired 79 out of 84 staff, then reached the top of the ratings in the 1950s/1970s. Their 1950s slogan was "Nice to Come Home to, 3UZ". Graham Kennedy started his career as a record librarian in 1952, then joined Cliff ‘Nicky’ Nicholls in a top rating morning program, being paid £3 per week. For over two decades, Cliff won the Radio Times contest for Melbourne’s most popular announcer. (Photo Caption) KEN SPARKES 1974. Announcers included Smokey Dawson, Stan “The Man” Rofe, Happy Hammond, Allan Lappan, Don Lunn (“The Daddio of the Radio”), John Vertigan, Jimmy Hannan, Bill Gates, Rod Spargo, and Ken Sparkes. Their “Housewives Session” rated 73% in the 11950s. Their program “Newsbeat” had Neil Thompson reporting on overnight car accidents. One fatality he attended included his son. An advertiser sued the station for slander in 1953 claiming £15,000 but settling for £2,000. In 1952 3KZ pioneer Norman Banks reported on the Helsinki Olympic Games. He was later sacked and joined 3AW, continuing his 50+ years career. Their 1953 Red Cross radiothon appeal raised £150,000. Commenced 24 hour broadcasting on 1 Feb 1954, but didn’t last. Their tower collapsed on 21 Dec 1955, and on 5 Oct 1956. Started a Top 40 format in April 1958 and experimented with stereo by broadcasting the left channel, while 3XY broadcast the right channel. Listeners needed two radios to hear stereo. From 1959 to 1964 they presented lunchtime rock ‘n’ roll concerts at the Melbourne Town Hall, included Johnny O’Keefe, Col Joye, Johnny Devlin, Lonnie Lee, and the Bee Gees. Used a Cessna for traffic and shark reports in the 1960s, once crashing into Port Phillip Bay. Recommenced 24 hour broadcasting in 1962. Known as “The Greater 3UZ”, and, for a short time, "The Beatle Station". On 30 Nov 1969 they stopped a pop concert broadcast at the Myer Music Bowl when a wild brawl broke out. During the 1970s/1980s Bert Newton introduced a "personality" format with Don Lane, Tony Barber and others filling in with top rating programs. Sold to Tas TV for $9.21 million in 1985, introducing a country format in 1986. Sold to the TAB using a sports format in 1988, known on air as “Radio Sport 927” from August 1996 (later Radio Sport National). In 1991, Sales Executive Tony Aloi was sentenced to 12 months gaol for attempting to rig Tasmanian State elections when he tried bribing a member to cross the floor. Now relays to several Victorian narrowcast stations. (Photo Captions) Jimmy Hannan, Max Barrenger, Peter Byrne, Tony Barber, Craig Willis + Kevin Bartlett, John Worthy with a news cross, 3UZ Coca Cola Ball, Graeme Lyndon 1957, Chadstone Studio, Don Lunn 1967.
Sep 1925 - 3PB - Melbourne
Commercial station owned by Noel Pemberton Billing (former British M.P.), owner of the World Record Company in Melbourne. His station played and advertised their records. On air 2000-2200 with 1,500 watts. Closed in January 1926 after only four months on air. This callsign was reissued as an A.B.C. Parliament Broadcasting station (now known as “News Radio”) in 1994.
21 Feb 1927 - 3DB - Melbourne
Owned by Druleigh Business College with five staff in two rooms in the Capitol Theatre. Sold to the Herald & Weekly Times newspaper on 14 Jun 1929. Experimented with television in 1929 (see 3AR for details). H. Holst (3BY). designed, built and installed new equipment in 1929. Fire destroyed the studios in 1930. Manager Dave Worrall hired Harry Kauper (5BG-5DN-5CL-5AD) to rebuild the station in the HWT building. Member of the 2UW Federal Radio Network with 4BC, 5AD, and 6ML from 1930. One tower fell down on 21 Mar 1931. An unemployed man bought a half hour time slot to promote himself seeking work on 22 Jul 1932. Installed two towers 208 feet high on the Herald building in 1933 with a 600 watt transmitter. Claimed to have the largest radio station record library in the world in 1934 (also see 5AD). Smokey Dawson won a talent quest, helping to launch his career (also see 3KZ). Had 25,000 members in their listeners “Smile Away Club” in 1934, distributing 10,000 clothing items to needy people in the 1930s (membership cost 1/-). Bought 3HS (later 3LK) on 16 May 1936 as a relay. Increased power to 1,000 watts in 1937, with new owners, The Herald and Weekly Times. Known as “The Herald Sun Broadcasting Service”. Formed the Major Network with 2UE in 1938. Their 1938 “Wildlife Talks” with Crosbie Morrison saw 78% of Victorian radios tuned in, and on relay to New Zealand and South African stations until 1965. Reinforced their studio against possible WWII air raids. In 1949, they were the only commercial station to have a symphony orchestra. Sponsored the Royal Children’s Hospital with an annual Easter appeal (raised £130,000 in 1953, and £156,000 in 1954; a world record for a one day radiothon). Broadcast Melbourne’s first Hit Parade and breakfast programs. Broadcast races from factory roofs when race callers were banned from courses. On air 24/7 from 1 Feb 1954. Ernie Sigley started here as a panel operator. One of several stations to air popular “On the Spot” programs, interviewing people in the street. Rejected a job application from John Laws. Ron Casey broadcast the Rome Olympics in 1960. Manager Dave Worrall started the idea of using nick names for announcers copyrighted to the station (announcers couldn’t use the name if they moved). He helped form the Federation of Australian Commercial Broadcasters (now Commercial Radio Australia). They were the first Australian station to play Beatles records. Barry Jones used a talkback format in February 1967 before it was legal. Bert Newton was manager in the 1980s with a ‘personality’ format. Had four owners during 1998 until purchased by 2UW. In April 1988 they changed their callsign to 3TT (after considering callsigns 3BB and 3MM), with a “Classic Hits” format. Moved to F.M. in 1990. The photo below is their 1931 studio. Garry Mac, Steve Murphy, Eric Welsh 1983.
1927 - 3CH - Birchip
Broadcast station owned by local radio dealer, Alfred Harris, using a 40 watt transmitter.
16 May 1927 - 3LK - Geelong
Broadcast station owned by the Gordon Institute of Technology and operated by the Geelong Radio Club using a 12 watt transmitter and a 60 feet high antenna between their Central and Southern Towers. Officially opened by Mayor T. Walls. Often received up to 350 miles distance. This callsign was reissued at Lubeck on 24 Dec 1936, as a commercial licence.
1928 - 3EF - Melbourne
Broadcast station owned by Bert Maddick. Transmitter at Elwood. Often heard in California. Bert’s daughter Dorothy aged 11 appeared in the Listener In magazine holding the station’s microphone, with the caption “World’s youngest radio announcer” (see photo). Also note the newspaper cutting regarding a parrot swearing on 3EF.
1929 - 3EX - Melbourne
Owned by A.W.A. and established as a temporary station for the “Made in Australia” exhibition. Visitors were given a full demonstration on how a radio station operates. Managed by H. Sibary, who was later manager of 6PR.
27 May 1929 - 3FB - Trafalgar
Broadcast station owned by the Trafalgar Radio Club using a 7.5 watt transmitter. Operated by Frank Berkery. Incorrectly listed as a Melbourne commercial station by the “Broadcast Australia” periodical (see 3FB Melbourne 1925). Opened with a broadcast from the Mechanics Hall. Broadcast local artists live, plus records lent by listeners. Heard all over Australia and New Zealand. Became commercial licence 3TR on 29 Sep 1930.
31 Jul 1930 - 3BA - Ballarat
See 3WA. Owned by Warne Wilson (VK3WA) and Alfred Kerr (VK3AL) with studios above a bank. Earlier, in 1929, Warne was the first person to receive experimental television transmissions from 3UZ and 3DB. On air three hours daily using 50 watts. Sold to the Ballarat Courier in June 1935 as "The Courier Station". Eight out of 10 staff went to WWII. Raised £100,000 with Rotary for the war effort. Also forced to give up a security pistol in 1940 for the war effort. In July 1955 they celebrated 25 years on air with new studios. Renowned for their numerous outside broadcasts. Started a children’s "Blue Bird" club, (2,500 members) and a "Friendship Circle" club in the 1940s. Moved to F.M. on 5 May 1998. The photographs are their 1950’s studio and announcer Gordon Murison in 1969.
29 Sep 1930 - 3TR - Trafalgar
(See 3FB Trafalgar 27 May 1929). Opened using 30 watts as Trafalgar Radio. Managed by Archibald Gilchrist from 3DB. Installed and operated by volunteers (as per its 3FB background). On air 1030-1300, then 1800-2230. Often used local artists on air, and borrowed records from listeners. Closed on 4 May 1932. Bought by Mr Gilchrist and reopened at Sale on 12 May 1932 using 50 watts. (See 3TR Sale 12 May 1932).
30 Dec 1930 - 3KZ - Melbourne
Applied for the licence on 28 May 1926. Their opening was further delayed when their tower fell down on 3 Dec 1930. Owned by the Labor Party until 1994, with studios in the Trades Hall. Broke the world record for non-stop use of a transmitter in 1931 (197 hours). Their management stated that television will never be introduced into Australia. In 1933 they kept their flooded 200 watt transmitter on the air by using all available hair dryers from one of their advertisers. (Photo Captions) Peter Leslie, Rex Mitchell, Gary Nicholls, Jim Hilcke, Keith Livingstone, Jon Royce, Ric Melbourne 1977, 3KZ Ad on 45 RPM Disc. Known as "The Brighter Broadcasting Service". Terry Dear (see 9AB) started his career here in 1933. Raised over £1,000,000 for the Austin hospital and the Blind Institute from 1938 with “Carols by Candlelight” broadcasts (devised by Norman Banks) and their Christmas Day appeals. Norman was later granted an MBE for “Services to Broadcasting”. Closed by the military during WWII for 24 hours for broadcasting a breach of security about the sinking of H.M.A.S. Sydney (read from a newspaper, which wasn’t subject to censorship like radio). First Australian station to broadcast news of Japan surrendering (14 Aug 1945). A competition once had 70,000 listener entries. Ron Atholwood introduced “The Bum of the Flightly Bee” instead of “The Flight of the Bumble Bee”. Smokey Dawson won a talent quest, launching his career (also see 3DB). Started a Children’s “Happiness” club (with “Aunty Jane”, Smokey Dawson’s wife) and a “Friendship Circle” club in the 1940s. Their 1954 Carols by candlelight broadcast from the Alexandra Gardens was relayed by the ABC to broadcasters around the world. All announcers recorded voice-overs for Val Morgan theatre advertisements. In 1955 they joined with the Age and Argus newspapers, plus 3XY and 3AW to apply for Melbourne’s first television licence. Increased power to 5,000 watts in March 1956 with a 444 feet high tower. Commenced 24 hour broadcasting in 1968. In 1976 a live broadcast from Pentridge Gaol included an inmate asking listeners to rob the Commonwealth bank. Launched a "Hits and Memories" format in 1987. Became KZFM on 1 Jan 1990. Their A.M. 1179 kHz frequency was then used by "Radio for the Print Handicapped" (3RPH).
31 Dec 1930 - 3GL - Geelong
Owned by the Geelong Advertiser (Victoria’s oldest existing newspaper), with the transmitter on their building, and a studio above Suttons music store. Often received in the U.S.A. and New Zealand while using a 50 watt transmitter built by their Chief Engineer, Morris Israel from 3ZN. On air 0930-1100, 1400-1500, and 1900-2230. Geelong gaol inmates presented a monthly program playing instruments from 1931. 1933 saw 5,000 children in their “Old King Cole” club. Their technician (Jack Mathews - 3SY) became their Chief Engineer in 1935 and did not retire until 1980. Moved to new studios in 1938 with a 500 watt transmitter at Grovedale (1,000 watts in 1949). Ordered to stop a broadcast of a fire during WWII, as the smoke made Geelong a bombing target. Broadcast live the first breaking of the sound barrier by a jet in Australia. The pilot and announcer Bill Acfield talked during the event on 21 Aug 1953. Experimented with stereo in July 1959, with the left channel, and 3CS broadcasting the right channel. Listeners needed two radios to hear stereo. Has the world record for the longest continuous sport broadcast (A.F.L. for over 90 years). Became K-Rock FM on 1 Jan 1990. (Their 1341 kHz A.M. frequency was taken over by 3CW for a Chinese service). Then bought by Austereo in receivership. The 3GL callsign was earlier used by a Melbourne experimental station in the 1920s.
4 Jun 1931 - 3BO - Bendigo
A.W.A. supplied and installed their equipment. Owned and operated by L. Shepherd, then bought by A.W.A. with Ernest Fisk as a Director. Heard all over Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.A. Known as “The Friendly Voice of the North”. Relayed some programs from the A.W.A. installed 9MI, the world’s only floating radio station on board the M.V. Kanimbla, from 1936 to 1939. Myra Dempsey was the first female cricket commentator in the world (1937). Their “Women’s Home Forum” club had over 6,000 members in 1938. Increased power to 500 watts in 1940. In April 1949 the Post Master General, Senator Cameron, threatened to close the station after some pro-communist broadcasts. In September 1949 their Manager, Mr. Fox, accepted a position as 2CH manager. Started a children’s “Smile” club in the 1950s. Relayed news from the Argus newspaper starting on 25-6-1951. First station to employ John Laws in 1953 (then 18 years) as an office boy. Known as “Centre State Radio: Home of the Happy People” in the 1980s. They opened stereo studios on 4-6-1981, in anticipation of stereo A.M. Bought by Ray Gamble in 1993 for $3,000,000. Became 3BOFM in 1993. Now located in the old Southern Cross Television building.
27 Aug 1931 - 3SH - Swan Hill
Started by Ronald Hipwell (see 3KU Swan Hill), and installed in his home using a 50 watt transmitter. Ron also started 2BH (30 Jun 1934). On air 1230-1730 and 1900-2200. Known as “The Border Feature Station” (later, “The Voice of the North”). Broadcast many balls from local towns. Their “Merry Makers” children’s club had 10,000 members in 1938. Relayed some programs from 3WM. Often heard in New Zealand and New Guinea. The popular “3SH Women’s Club” from 1940 had 7,000 members by 1965. Relayed news from the Age newspaper from 1957 (later from 3AW). Bought by GLV-10 TV on 6 Apr 1965. John Pearce was one of their well-known announcers. From September 1973 they relayed 3CV. Bought by Colin Cameron in the 1980s (previously manager of 4LG and 3UL).
Oct 1931 - 3YB - Rural Towns
A mobile commercial radio station touring rural Victorian towns until 1935. Started in a model “T” Ford using a spring-loaded 25 watt transmitter, towing a trailer with a power generator, and a model “A” Ford with the studio (both painted scarlet). Vic Dinenny (WWI veteran) was manager, announcer, and cook; Bert Aldridge was their technician, driver, and mechanic; and Bert Rennie looked after sales, schedules, and copy writing. Their temporary tower was often knocked down by cows in paddocks. Later, they rented the former 1899 Royal train for £12 per week from 17-10-1932. They had 1,000 records, a 50 watt transmitter, and a 20 feet collapsible tower at each end of a carriage. Licensed to operate anywhere in Victoria at least 30 miles from other stations, and two miles from any Post Office. Young of Ballarat (Jack Young, their first announcer) was also the first announcer at 3BA. They claimed to be the first mobile radio station in the world, but see 2XT 1925. On air 1830-2230 for one week in each town with the same program. An agent visited each town earlier to arrange advertising. Listeners were always invited to inspect the station. Listeners in towns with a hospital were asked to telephone the station with a record request and make a donation to their hospital. Their opening was at Creswick. They also operated from Colac, Yarram, Trafalgar, Horsham, Clunes, Traralgon, Warrnambool, Bairnsdale, Warragul, Leongatha, Wonthaggi, Korumburra, Camperdown, Port Fairy, Mortlake, Rushworth, Seymour, Murchison, Shepparton, Numurkah, Yarrawonga, Cobram, Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester, and Terang. Their news was read from the Argus newspaper. Closed on 15 Nov 1935, after operating for four years. Reopened permanently with two licences at Warrnambool (3YB 18 Jan 1936) and Warragul (3UL 18 May 1937).
24 Oct 1931 - 3HA - Hamilton
Installed by Rupert Fitts (Chief Engineer 3AR/3LO - later manager of the Victorian Broadcasting Network in 1937). Opened in the Y.M.C.A. building with a 200 watt A.W.A. transmitter 20 hours per week, powered by a crude oil generator. Ernest Fisk was a Director. Known as “The Age Broadcasting Service” (later “Western Radio 3HA”). Heard across Australia and New Zealand. Increased on-air hours to 90 per week in 1934 using 300 watts. Relayed some programs from 3WM and 3YB (also VBN members). Started a “Junior Farmers” club in 1937, plus a children’s “Sunshine” club in the 1950s. A women’s “Cheer Box” club in the 1950s donated some radios to their local hospital. They opened branches at Hamilton, Mt. Gambier, Naracoorte, Heywood, Portland, Casterton, Warrnambool, and Horsham. Jack Davey, while visiting the station, was supposed to say “The Best Teashop in Horsham”. He actually said “The Best Horeshop in Teasham”. Played one million records in their first 20 years. Bought by GLV-10 TV on 6 Apr 1965. Opened a temporary studio in Portland in 1967. A fire destroyed the station on 11 Nov 1975. Back on air the next day with salvaged equipment but no ceiling or roof in their building. Moved into their outside broadcast van parked outside their managers’ home until a new building could be arranged. Second Victorian country station to operate 24 hours (January 1978). Ceased 24 hour broadcasting in September 1979, and resumed in April 1986. Later bought by Ace Radio.
15 Nov 1931 - 3DW - Shepparton
Broadcast station owned by Doug Tacey and broadcast from his house, with many listeners as far away as New Zealand. On air Sundays 0900-1000, 1230-1400, and 1645-1745. Programs were mainly live, including bands that had to broadcast from his back yard. Known as “The Original Voice of Shepparton”. Doug closed his station in 1934 to work as a technician, moving 3WR from Wangaratta to Shepparton.
29 Nov 1931 - 3AK - Melbourne
Owned by Akron Tyre Co. Only station to apply for a “C” class licence, which was refused. Started in the owners bedroom (George Palmer at Balwyn – father of Clive Palmer), then at his tyre business. Most programs were live concerts from their Queen Street (later Bourke Street) studio. Known as “The Voice of the Night” with 200 watts, on air 2330-0200, and 0500-0700, then all night from 1937 until 1954. Until then, their licence conditions banned operating while other Melbourne stations were on. Their news was read from the first newspaper to be tied to a rope outside their studio window. Bought 7UV in 1933. Often heard in Perth and the U.S.A. Relayed some programs from the U.K. via short wave. Their tower blew down in 1937. Distributed 8,000 toys from listeners to children at Christmas in 1937. Broadcaster Rev. Reginald Nichols was found guilty of sending “filthy and obscene” letters to female listeners. Started a “Listeners League” club and a “Birthday” club in the 1930s. Broadcast the high rating dramas “Dr. Kildare” and “The Caltex Theatre” during the 1940s-1950s. Introduced religious programs all day Sunday in 1944. Until 1-2-1954, Melbourne was the only capital city without a 24 hour station (deemed unnecessary because 3AK was on air during the night), but from this date 3DB, 3UZ, and 3XY became 24 hour licensees, and 3AK then broadcast during daylight only (0500-1700 in winter and 0500-1900 in summer). They were still unable to broadcast in the evenings, which, in pre-television times, were considered the peak time for radio stations. In the 1950s they moved to new studios above a bank in St. Kilda. Purchased by Sir Frank Packer (owner of GTV-9 TV) in 1961 with power increasing to 2,000 watts. Originally broadcast from a caravan behind the TV studios until new studios were installed in the Richmond GTV-9 TV building. (The early 3AK logo uses the same style as GTV-9 TV). From April 1961, their announcers were replaced by GTV-9 personalities Bert Newton, Graham Kennedy, Eric (later Sir Eric) Pearce, Tommy Hanlon Jnr, Hal Todd, Geoff Corke and Philip Brady. (Photo Caption) THE 3AK GOOD GUYS. Launched the “3AK Top 100” but then banned all Rock ‘n’ Roll records in 1962. Relayed 2SM for three hours daily Monday to Friday from November 1962 with Bob Rogers. Experimented illegally with “Talkback in 1964. The Packer family purchased 2BS (same frequency) solely to install a directional aerial to stop interference with 3AK and from 8-10-1968, 3AK broadcast 24 hours a day. Started a “Beautiful Music” format in June 1972 (“Nice ‘n’ Easy” from 1985). Blind announcer Grantley Dee used a Braille watch for his time calls. Banned all ABBA records. Tried a “News-Talk” format in December 1985, with relays of John Laws and Alan Jones from 2UE. Sold to Alan Bond with the Nine Network, in 1987, but 3AK was resold due to low ratings. In 1990, most staff were sacked with three days’ notice, by new owner Peter Corso, using an Italian format. A.F.L. broadcasts were excepted, being still under contract. Sold to 3AW in 1994, with an “Easy Listening” format from their studios. Peter Corso then launched 3BM on 1116 KHz. with Italian programs, but didn’t last long. Sold to Fusion Media (Mal Garvin; “Breakthrough Generation”) in 1996. From late 2003 staff were not paid, so the station was then sub-let as an SEN (Sport-Entertainment-News) station in January 2004.
22 Feb 1932 - 3AW - Melbourne
Owned by Allans Music, and J.C. Williamson to promote their music and theatre businesses, plus the Age newspaper. Started on 300 watts from Her Majesty’s Theatre in Exhibition Street (later La Trobe Street). The callsign was first used illegally by Arthur Ward in 1928 at Camperdown. Known as “The Best Station on the Air”. A 1934 phone competition saw 3,000 calls cued up at the P.M.G. manual exchange. Later known as “The Feature Station”. 2GB bought a half share in the 1930s. Broadcast Footscray races from on top of the Pioneer Hotel when race callers were banned from courses. Had 71,000 members of their “Chums Chatterbox Corner” in 1938 with Cliff “Nicky” Nichols and Nancy Lee, who both won “Most Popular Announcer” awards. Used short wave to relay outside broadcasts to their studio. A community singing broadcast on 13-4-1941 at the Frankston Plaza Theatre raised funds for the Red Cross. First Australian station to use a tape recorder (bought from the U.S.A. by their Chief Engineer). Started a “Women’s Association” club and a “Breakfast” club in the 1940s. Used the first A.B.C. studios in 1946 for program production. Bought 3CV in the 1950s. Popular singer Johnny Ray urged listeners to donate to the Argus “Old Folks Appeal” on 15 Sep 1954.Conducts an annual appeal for the Royal Women’s hospital, and the men’s section of the Alfred hospital. Installed new studios and transmitter costing £150,000 in 1956. Once banned the Beatles records. Known as “Adult Radio” in the 1960s and “Life in the City” in the 1970s. Announcers included Rex Hunt, Steve Price, Ernie Sigley, Philip Brady, Norman Banks, Tony Charlton, Paul Barber, John Blackman, Ormsby Wilkins, Brian Taylor, John Burns, Bruce Mansfield, Billie Karen, and Derryn Hinch. They topped the ratings in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1975 the Minister for Media, Senator McCelland, warned 3AW that the licence would be suspended if they again breeched maximum advertising time limits. (Photo Captions) 1959, 1940s, 1959, Roadside Billboard, Keith McGowan, Lewis Bennett, Ron Barassi flicking a switch to change the 3AW frequency on 1 May 2006.
12 May 1932 - 3TR - Sale
(See 3FB Trafalgar 27 May 1929, and 3TR Trafalgar 29 Sep 1930). Located next to the Post Office. Known as Top Radio. Also had a Traralgon studio, and landlines to Maffra and Bairnsdale. The Gippsland Times tried to stop the move to Sale fearing loss of advertising. Started on 30 watts (250 watts in 1935, 1,000 in 1939, 2,000 in 1950, and 5,000 in 1979). Relayed some 3WM programs. On 27 Jul 1933 they broadcast on relay a political rally to 3GL, 3BO, 3HA, 3MA, 3SH, and 3WR. Dropped normal programming when 1,000 homes were burnt in 1939, and took over all firefighting communications. New studios in 1939 were opened by the Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Robert Menzies. Technician Cecil Hopkin was electrocuted by the transmitter in 1942. Often aired broadcasts live from their transmitter due to studio power failures. Started a “Women’s” club and a children’s “Koala” club in the 1950s. Ambulances in April 1952 were equipped with a radio to listen for urgent messages broadcast by 3TR. (This occurred in various Australian towns). Changed from the Argus to Age news in 1957. Bought by GLV-10 TV on 19 Mar 1965. Moved to F.M. on 26 Apr 2002, changing the A.M. callsign to 3GV (Goulburn and Latrobe Valley).
25 May 1933 - 3MA - Mildura
“The Sunraysia Station”. Officially opened by the Post Master General, The Hon. Mr. Parkhill. Their first Chief Engineer and Manager was Max Folie (VK3GZ) from mobile station 3YB. Max was later the first manager of STV-8 TV. Started on 50 watts from 1800 to 2200 (200 watts in 1945). Their first announcer was Gwen Salter from their T&G building studio. Had many landlines to local theatres, dance halls, and churches for live outside broadcasts in the 1930s. Operated at a loss for 20 years with 10 staff. Started a listeners “Sunraysia” club in the 1940s. Their popular “Sunraysia’s Artists of the Week” program was used to foster local talent. Changed their format to Easy Listening when they opened a separate F.M. service on 1 Apr 1996.
11 Sep 1933 - 3HS - Horsham
Horsham Shire. Owned by Jack Ward, owner of the Horsham Times and the New Sunraysia newspapers. Cost £2,500 to build. Renowned for their many outside broadcasts. On air 1200-1300 and 1800-2230 using 50 watts. Sold to 3DB for £2,500 on 16 May 1936, to be mainly used as a relay. One hour of local programs daily came from a 3DB studio. Often heard in New Zealand. Changed their callsign to 3LK Lubeck on 2 Jan 1937 with a new transmitter.
13 Sep 1934 - 3WR - Shepparton
See 3WR Wangaratta 25 Feb 1925. Opened by Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Joe Lyons in the Shepparton News building using 500 watts. Dropped plans to change the callsign to 3GV (see 3TR 12 May 1932). The equipment was installed by Doug Tacey from 3DW. Many requests from New Zealand and Japan. All trains were stopped on 22 Oct 1934 as their tower fell across the railway line. This tower was later used to start 3UL. Live community singing was popular from the Star Theatre. Organised an appeal in May 1935 for 214 headphones for the local hospital patients. Bought by the Argus in 1936 with on-air hours 0730-0830, 1100-1200, and 1900-2300, with a power increase to 1,000 watts. Founder Les Hellier stayed as manager for one year. Many complaints from listeners when they changed their format to classical music. Chief Engineer Geoff Steane installed the Public Address system at Melbourne’s Spencer Street railway station. Their callsign was changed to 3SR on 1 Feb 1937. (See 3SR 1 Feb 1937).
8 Sep 1935 - 3XY - Melbourne
Broadcast from the Princess Theatre as “Your Quality Station” with 600 watts. Founded by theatrical and movie pioneer Frank Thring Sr. Inherited by actor Frank Thring Jr. aged 10 in 1936. First manager was Tom Holt, father of Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Harold Holt. Race caller Ken Howard used a telescope when his binoculars were seized for the war effort. 15 year old Bob Rogers (now 2CH) began his career as a turntable operator in 1942 (later with 3MA, 7HO, 2TM, 2SM, and 2UE). Started a women’s “Good Companions” club and a “Fishermans” club in the 1940s. Put off the air when their two towers on top of the Princess Theatre were blown down on 6 Sep 1948. Held an annual radio appeal for the Brotherhood of St. Lawrence in the 1950s. Bert Newton started his career as a 12 year old junior announcer, reading advertisements for the “Peters Pals” children’s show (20,000 members). Joined with 3DB, 3UZ, and 3AW to apply for a television licence in 1953. Off the air on 13 Sep 1954 due to a fire. Experimented with stereo in 1958 (see 3UZ for details). Moved to Carlton in the 1960s, then to St. Kilda Road, and later The Age newspaper building in Spencer Street. 10% of 1965-1972 programs were ethnic with English translations (also see 2CH). Graham Kennedy had a studio in his house for his programs 1970-1971. During a Billy Thorpe interview in 1973, a man arrived with a shotgun demanding to see him. Rated number one for most of the 1970s-1980s. The above photo is Bruce Mansfield in 1966. Launched the 1974 “Rocktober” promotion. Sued by Fleetwood Mac during their 1980 Australian tour for copyright breaches with the 3XY advertising posters. Sold for 15.75 million in 1986, ten million in 1988 and 1 million in 1989. Their 1988/1989 slogan became “XY Easy Rock; The Station You Grew Up With, Has Grown Up Too”. Ownership arrangements during 1990 meant that for a short time, Geelong’s BAY FM programs were simulcast on 3XY’s 1422 kHz frequency. In august 1991, the following appeared in “THE AGE” weekly radio guide: Because of the uncertainty of programming due to ownership negotiations, no definite program schedule was made available. Sold to A.W.A. on 23 Sep 1991 for $600,000. They then closed the station, later relaunching as 3EE. (Photo Captions) 3XY QSL CARD. Graham Kennedy’s 3XY home studio.
26 Oct 1935 - 3MB - Birchip
Owned by Mallee Broadcasters P/L using 50 watts. Known as “The Brighter Country Station”. Only station to be received on Queensland’s Mornington Island. Became 3CV Charlton on 31 Mar 1938.
31 Oct 1935 - 3GI - Sale
A.B.C., relaying 3AR with several local programs. Gippsland service. Opened by the Post Master General, who then also opened 2GZ by landline. Opening broadcast was a fundraising Grand Hospital Ball in Victoria Hall with Jim Davidson, the A.B.C. Dance Band, and the Sundowners. Located next to 3TR in the Post Office. Their 7,000 watt water-cooled S.T.C. transmitter at Longford, used a 500 feet high tower (then the second highest in Australia). Moved to the former A.N.Z. bank building in 1951 and to purpose built studios on the Princes Highway in 1991. Army DUKWs carried supplies to technicians stranded by floods at the transmitter on 18-6-1952. Pictured is a copy of their QSL card.
18 Jan 1936 - 3YB - Warrnambool
(See 3YB 1931). Their 27 Dec 1935 opening was stopped when their 50 watt transmitter failed. Used most of the 3YB mobile station equipment. On air 1200-1400, and 1800-2200, four days a week. Known as “Your City of Warrnambool Station”. Relayed some programs from 3WM including local balls. Sold to the Argus newspaper on 4-3-1937, with new studios in the Commonwealth bank and a 200 watt transmitter built by their Chief Engineer, Harry Fuller (see 3HF). News was read from the Argus. Reduced on-air hours in 1940 due to loss of staff to WWII. The Army supplied a bottle of acid and a hatchet to destroy the transmitter if Australia was invaded. Their sports announcer’s binoculars were taken for the war effort. Destroyed by fire on 16 Apr 1945. Reopened on 6 May 1945 in the T&G building with a borrowed amateur transmitter (equipment was hard to obtain during WWII), plus equipment lent from other stations. After WWII, on-air hours were 1100-2230. Launched a “Boys” club and a “Breakfast” club in the 1950s. Harry Fuller designed and built the first Australian wire recorder. Their tower collapsed in 1947. Increased power to 1,000 watts on 11 Aug 1951 (2,000 in 1968). Relayed some 3HA programs from 1950. Chris Kerr once fell asleep while reading the news. Raised over £1,000,000 for hospital appeals. Helped to launch GMV-6 TV in 1961. Known as “The Station with the Happiest Listeners” in 1964. Operated a relay studio in Portland 1967-1971. Closed in 1967 for two days due to a lightning strike. Opened new studios in 1968.
2 Jan 1937 - 3LK - Lubeck
See 3HS Horsham 11 Sep 1934. Opened by Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Joe Lyons on relay from 7LA via 3DB. Mainly a 3DB relay station. Their five ton flywheel power generator was to power Lubeck’s street lights, but not enough power was generated. Their transmitter used 10 gallons of water hourly to cool it's valves. There was one turntable at the transmitter in case of landline failures. Often heard in New Zealand. Local news items were sent to 3DB by Morse code. During 1939, a separate one hour program for Lubeck was broadcast at midday each day from a 3DB studio. A mice plague shorted out their transmitter in July 1942. In 1953 their annual hospital appeal raised over £80,000. In 1954 all the studio and transmitter equipment was replaced. Introduced local programs on 4 Oct 1971; this new service being officially opened by Myles Wright, Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. Located in the A.M.P. building. They borrowed a record of “God Save the King” from the A.B.C. for their opening. Returned to Horsham on 1 Feb 1972 as 3WM. Also see unrelated 3LK Geelong 16 May 1927.
1 Feb 1937 - 3SR - Shepparton
(Chairman Stanisford Rickettson). Started as 3WR in Wangaratta on 25 Feb 1925. Moved to Shepparton on 13 Sep 1934. Opened by Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, with new owners, the Argus newspaper. Their 2,000 watt transmitter had a water cooled three feet long valve. Was to be 3SK (manager Sid Kemp). The old 3WR transmitter was rebuilt as a stand-by by technician Ray Shortell (see 3HF). Received over 1,000 letters weekly. Increased hours to 0600-0000 in 1937, with popular ball broadcasts. Bought 3YB and 3UL on 4 Mar 1937. Closed 1400-1800 during WWII. Started a listeners "Friendship Club" in 1937 with groups in 13 towns raising enough funds to purchase two WWII ambulances. Known as "The Heart of Victoria". A new studio complex, designed and installed by Len Schultz (2LO, 2GB), opened on 11 Dec 1954 with a new transmitter in 1956, with listeners in New Zealand and New Guinea. Launched the "Harmony Trail" Australian country music program in 1955, with Neville Pellitt, lasting for over nine years. Relayed to 45 Australian stations, plus New Zealand, Nebraska, Nashville, Florida, Israel, Austria, Canada, and South Africa, launching many country singer’s careers. Mike Walsh started his career here in 1960. Helped to launch GMV-6 TV in 1961. Once broadcast 40 commercials in one hour (a record). All equipment in their four studios, plus their records and office facilities were destroyed on 2 Oct 1966 by an announcer. Studio equipment was borrowed from GMV-6 TV and 3CS to go back on air. An escaped prisoner was caught by police hiding in their office. On air 24 hours for 10 days in May 1974 to relay emergency flood messages. Sandbags protected the transmitter with a rowboat being used for checks. Their new building was opened on 20 Feb 1985. Moved to FM on 9 Oct 1998. Their 1260 kHz frequency is now used as a 3UZ relay, known as Sport 927.
25 Feb 1937 - 3WV - Horsham
A.B.C., relaying 3AR with some local programs. Western Victoria service, using a 5,000 watt transmitter at Dooen (later 10,000 watts, then 50,000 watts in 1987) with a 670’ high tower. First planned to open as 3WY in 1935. Officially opened by the Post Master General, The Hon. A.J. McLachlan with a concert in the Town Hall. Local news was broadcast twice a week, supplied by the Horsham Times newspaper. Later opened a studio in the Ballarat Post Office, with two hand-wound turntables and 50 records. This station was to replace 3LO during WWII if Melbourne was bombed. They did broadcast some coded messages during WWII for the military. Off the air on 28 Oct 1953 due to a lightning strike.
18 May 1937 - 3UL - Warragul
The licence was owned by 3YB, but bought by the Argus on 4 Mar 1937 before opening. Originally planned to operate from Wonthaggi. Opened with three staff at Brooks Hill with 200 watts, using some of the equipment from the 3YB mobile station, and the original 3WR tower. After WWII they were granted a lower frequency to allow a wider coverage. Started a “Breakfast” club, and children’s “Cheerio” club, and women’s “Friendly Circle” club in the 1940s. Owned by local businesses through Associated Broadcasting Services from 23 Dec 1953. Their manager, Ron Williams, was appointed first manager of GMV-6 TV in 1961. Operated a relay studio in Morwell during the 1960s-1970s. Lent a transmitter crystal to 5UV (on the same frequency) in 1972 so they could launch their service. Manager Neville Pellitt trialled a fully automated computer driven on-air system for three years in the 1970s. (3YB and 3SR also tried it). Didn’t last long, being too awkward despite being able to record a four hour program in 20 minutes. Denise Drysdale started her radio career here, along with Ron Burke, who introduced the station’s first talkback program “Burke and the Beast”. Changed their callsign to 3GG (Greater Gippsland) on 29 Nov 1989, when sold to a local consortium. Letter below is from manager Neville Pellitt. Photo is announcer Max Tayler in 1963.
31 Aug 1938 - 3CV - Charlton
(See 3MB Birchip 26-10-1935). Owned by Central Victoria Broadcasters. On air with 500 watts. "The Peoples Station". Closed daily between 1300-1700. Operated by Cliff Parry with one other staff. Their Women’s Club had 11,000 members during WWII, providing ambulances, canteens, and food parcels for the war effort. Gained approval to move to Maryborough, however, their requested power increase to 3,000 watts was denied. The station was moved on the back of an old truck to Maryborough on 5 Oct 1943, with the cost of moving being £150. (See 3CV Maryborough 5 Oct 1943).
7 Oct 1939 - 3CS - Colac
Owned by C. Sellwood with two staff. Officially opened by Maurice Duffy (first 3KZ manager). Their Chief Engineer was Roy Streeter, also from 3KZ. They designed and built the studio equipment. Their Chief Announcer and Studio Manager was Basil O’Brien from 3AK, 7UV, and 7BU. Broadcast fundraiser balls for a WWII Patriotic Fund, financing two mobile kitchens, plus talent quests, community singing, and church services. On air 0630-0930, 1200-1600, and 1730-2230 using 200 watts (1,000 watts in 1952, 2,000 watts in 1960 with a directional antenna, and 5,000 watts in 1978, on air 24 hours from 13 Mar 1978). Their 300 feet high tower fell down in 1940. Their children’s “Helpmates” and women’s "Sunshiners" club supported numerous WWII fundraisers. Only had two announcers during WWII. Had 12 managers over 16 years after WWII. In 1955 the A.B.C.B. instructed the station to completely modernise its equipment. Relayed some programs from 3WM. Tried stereo experiments (for details see 3GL). Opened an Ararat studio in 1963, which included a broadcast of their Carols by Candlelight, and a Geelong studio in 1987. Once banned all Beatles records. Sold to Associated Broadcaster Services (3UL, 3SR, 3YB) in 1965. Closed their Ararat studio in 1967 after 3BA opened a studio there Ian MacRae and Sam Galea (later at 2SM), Ian Major (later 3XY and 3KZ), and Greg Evans started their careers here. Broadcast some Greek programs in the 1970s/80s which were relayed to 3GL and 3UL. They also had some Bulgarian and German programs. Installed a standby transmitter from 3AW in 1974. Plans to become a 3YB relay were stopped in 1975 with new owner Bill Bowie (3SH, 3TR, 2UW, 3AK). The telephone was disconnected in 1977 due to an unpaid bill. Their new manager, Alan Wheatley from 2BE, left the day he started. Changed to country music in 1982 which lasted two years (ratings went up but revenue went down). Once broadcast live from atop Ayers Rock. On air for two days from a hurriedly erected makeshift studio at their transmitter site due to a cut landline. Purchased by 3HA in 1985. Later bought by the Ace Radio Network. Has had more owners than any other station. Opened a Geelong studio on 2 Jul 1987. Also in 1987, their Grecian Musical Parade won an award for Outstanding Ethnic Broadcasting, with a satellite link to a station in Greece. Football was prominent in 1988 with 44 live descriptions plus live crosses to over 200 other games. In 1989 $500,000 was spent on new equipment. Doug Jennings (1966) Gary Turner (1992)
5 Oct 1943 - 3CV - Maryborough
See 3MB Birchip 26 Oct 1935, and 3CV Charlton 31 Aug 1938. Central Victoria. Started a “Young Crusaders” club and a “Women’s” club in the 1940s. Sold to 3AW in the 1950s, on relay from 1800 until the 1960s. Installed a new transmitter on 3 Aug 1952 (often heard in Hawaii, New Zealand, and the U.S.A.). New 1956 studios cost £15,000. Relayed to 3SH from September 1973. Later moved to Bendigo and bought by A.W.A. Bought by 3BO in 1993. Changed to an "Easy Listening" format as 3EL when 3BO moved to F.M. in 1999. Photo is Harry Wilde 1977.
1944 - 9AF - Melbourne
This callsign was used by the Australian Army Amenities Service on 1440 kHz to test 10 and 200 watt broadcast transmitters. The equipment was sent to 25 Army camps in the Pacific to entertain WWII personnel. QSL cards are rare and highly prized. Often 9AK and 9AN were also used as testing callsigns. The photo shows testing of the equipment by Sgt. M. Williams before being sent to Kure in Japan as 9AT.
2 May 1948 - DIG - Melbourne
Pirate radio station called “Station Dig” set up by Ricardo Blackburn denouncing communism by using (and therefore jamming) the 3UZ and 3XY frequencies. He was prosecuted and fined £35-5-0.
27 Mar 1954 - 3SA - Melbourne
Cable radio station owned by Clark Sinclair at St. Kilda East on air 0800-0000 three days a week. Operated radio announcer training courses, supplying announcers to stations around the country. Clark also worked for 3AK, 3XY, 3KZ, 3CV, 3UL, 3YB, 3AW, 3CR, 3EE, and 2QN. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to broadcasting in 1981. Clark passed away in 2010.
27 Mar 1954 - 3NE - Wangaratta
North Eastern Broadcasters P/L. Owned by a group of local businesses. Their transmitter site was chosen by conducting test transmissions at different sites from an Army weather balloon. Their official opening was a mixture of local and Melbourne artists performing in the St. Patricks hall, hosted by Ron Euling. First manager, Murray Norris, was sacked and locked out of the station on the next day. Allegedly he spent half the station’s first budget on a private car. Their first announcers were Jim Donnelly and Ron Alderton. Later manager, G. Billett, was previously manager of 3CS and earlier worked for 7HT, 3AK, and 4BK. Now known as "Solid Gold 3NE", with F.M. relay transmitters at Mt Hotham, Mt Beauty, Myrtleford, and Mt Buffalo.
Sep 1954 - 3WL - Warrnambool
A.B.C. Relay of 3WV.
1961 - 3BN - Bendigo
A.B.C. Bendigo National service. Projected station which never went to air.
1970 - 3PR - Melbourne
Pirate radio station called "Peoples Radio". Jammed by the Government then closed.
28 Sep 1971 - 3DR - Melbourne
Pirate radio station broadcasting from the union building of Melbourne university. Operated by four draft resisting students with police warrants for their arrest. Eventually raided and closed by the police.
1972 - 3MU - Melbourne
Pirate radio station called “Monash University Radio” using 3DR and 3PR equipment. Closed by the police. Years later they were heard broadcasting on the internet.
1 Feb 1972 - 3WM - Horsham
Wimmera/Mallee. (See 3HS Horsham 11 Sep 1933 and 3LK Lubeck 24 Dec 1936). First manager, Les Bradley was Vice President of the Federation of Australian Commercial Broadcasters. Started with 52 hours of local programs weekly, with 59 hours of 3DB programs. At one stage, 3WM relayed to 3SH, 3YB, 3CS, 3HA, and 3TR. Their slogan is “The Best Songs of All Time”. They also feature AFL broadcasts with Rex Hunt. Numerous landline failures to their transmitter resulted in a standby program on a tape recorder being installed at their transmitter. Bought by Colin Cameron (previously manager of 4LG and 3UL) in the 1980s, then by the Ace Radio Network in 1986, joining 3SH, 3HA, and 3CS as the largest regional Victorian radio network. Now relays to Ararat and Kaniva, and produces "The Weekly Advertiser" newspaper.
6 Feb 1973 - 3MT - Omeo
A.B.C. Relay of 3GI.
12 May 1975 - 3ZZ - Melbourne
A.B.C. A public access station for minority groups. This call sign may have come from the two main instigators of the station: (George Zangalis and Richard Zoeller). On air 1800-2300, with taped replays the following morning. Broadcast in English three days, and in 21 other languages for four days per week. Accused by the A.B.C. management of broadcasting "political propaganda". Described as "an experiment that failed because it succeeded too well". Senator Sir Magnus Cormack claimed they were “aggravating racial feeling in the community with raucous and rancid programs”. Closed on 15 Jul 1977. Several staff resigned and reopened the station with borrowed equipment, which was then closed by the Government. A demonstration was then held outside the station by 300 supporters. Most of their ethnic programs transferred to the S.B.S. station 3EA. Some other programs were relaunched on 3CR. The 3ZZ ‘experiment’ is often regarded as the forerunner of community radio (also see commercial station 5AU 25-5-1938 regarding community radio).
23 Jun 1975 - 3EA - Melbourne
Ethnic Australia with ethnic programs. An offer to the A.B.C. to take over the station in 1976 was not taken up. Became the Special Broadcasting Service in 1978, presenting 75 languages by 2013.
22 Jul 1976 - 3MP - Melbourne
Mornington Peninsula. Opened by their Director Mike Walsh. Their first announcer, Dean Matters, was put off the air by their fire sprinkler system in the studio. They later purchased 3EE and simulcast until the A.B.A. insisted on separate programs. The station was then sold to 3AW. They refused to broadcast an anti-abortion advertisement in 1988, featuring one baby’s heartbeat. Eventually leased by 2GB as a partial relay from 19 Apr 2010, known as MTR (Melbourne Talkback Radio). However, they were closed on 2 Mar 2012 due to financial problems, and then reverted to their previous format. The 3MP callsign was first issued at Hawthorne in the 1920s as a licensed experimental station. RIP
29 Dec 1976 - 3JR - Dandenong
Jamboree Radio. Operated 0600-2000 daily by scouts with Jamboree information and music. Used a borrowed 3DB outside broadcast van with a six watt transmitter. Closed on 6 Jan 1977. This callsign was previously allocated to an experimental broadcast station in Preston in the 1920s.
1976 - 3CR - Melbourne
Community radio with alternative programs for minority groups. Started with old tape recorders and turntables from the ABC, and old transmitters from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Operated under a “Limited Commercial” licence. (After 3ZZ closed, some programs went across to 3CR). Numerous politicians described the station as “scandalous, defamatory, mere propaganda, and contemptuous of the courts”. The callsign used to be a 1924 experimental licence.
1982 - 3RPH - Melbourne
Radio for the Print Handicapped. Started with test transmissions outside the broadcast band. Moved to the former 3KZ 1179 kHz A.M. frequency in 1990 after 3KZ moved to F.M. They now have F.M. relays at Albury, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Shepparton, Warragul, and Warrnambool.
1984 - 3AB - Wodonga
A.B.C. Relay of 2CO Corowa.
1987 - 3WA - Wangaratta
A.B.C. Relay of 3AR Melbourne.
22 Feb 1988 - 3ML - Mildura
Commercial station with an “Easy Listening” format. See 3MA 25 May 1933.
2 Apr 1988 - 3TT - Melbourne
See 3DB Melbourne 21 Feb 1927. Featured “Classic Hits”. The only 3DB announcer retained was Lawrence Costin. He had served the station for over 30 years. Now owned by 2UW. In 1989 they were the first station in the world to replace audio mixers with touch sensitive screens. This cost $2,300,000. Became “MIX F.M.” in June 1990, with their A.M. frequency used to launch A.B.C. station 3PB.
2 Jun 1988 - 3BT - Ballarat
"Radio Sports National".
1989 - 3CW - Geelong
Chinese language station using the old 3GL 1341 kHz A.M. frequency.
1989 - 3PB - Melbourne
A.B.C. Parliamentary Broadcasting network. Broadcast Muzak style music between daily Parliamentary sittings. Closed on non-sitting days, until starting a news service known as “A.B.C. News Radio” in August 1994. This callsign was previously issued as a commercial station in Melbourne in 1925, which closed in 1926.
29 Nov 1989 - 3GG - Warragul
(See 3UL Warragul 18 May 1937. (Greater Gippsland). Moved to Traralgon with their new callsign, selling their Warragul building, which they later bought back, moving back to Warragul. A promotion for a sci-fi movie at a local cinema received an award. It involved a fake flying saucer in a park being ‘discovered’ by a reporter. Several live crosses resulted in the public attending. The flying saucer then opened to reveal an advertisement for the movie. Rival 3TR broadcast it as a news item. Derryn Hinch on 3AW, criticised the promotion, and 3DB congratulated the announcer during a live interview. Their format changed from contemporary to an Easy Listening and Talkback mix in 2002, following the introduction of F.M. licenses in the area. Owners have included Reg Grundy Capital, Macquarie Regional Radioworks, and Resonate Broadcasting.
2 Jul 1992 - 3EE - Melbourne
See 3XY (8 Sep 1935) and 3MP (22 Jul 1976). Owned by A.W.A. with a low rating easy listening and talkback format. Only station to use a four tower directional antenna. Bought by, and relayed 3MP on 1 Sep 1992. Became “Magic 693” on 26 Mar 1994 as a separate service as per a directive from the A.B.A. Their new format was top hits of the 1940s to the 1960s. Bought by 3AW, swapping frequencies on 1 May 2006).
5 Dec 1994 - 3BM - Melbourne
Bilingual Media, but also known as Rete Italia, with Italian programs. Owned by Peter Corso. Started on 1116 kHz then moved to 1593 kHz swapping frequencies with 3AK (also see 3XY below).
26 Oct 1995 - 3XY - Melbourne
Greek language station known as Radio Hellas, started by Peter Corso, using the previous 3XY callsign and frequency. Off the air in August 2009 due to a tower collapse caused by an earth moving machine hitting a guy wire.
Oct 1999 - 3EL - Bendigo
See 3CV Maryborough 5 Oct 1943. Started as 3MB Birchip (26 Oct 1935). Later became 3CV Charlton (31 Mar 1938). "Easy Listening". Became “Easymix Radio” on 6 Sep 2005.
26 Apr 2002 - 3GV - Sale
See 3TR Sale 12 May 1932. (Gippsland and Latrobe Valley).
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor, and other bits ‘n’ pieces:
Summer nights are coming soon; we shall dance beneath the moon, while the sighing breezes blow, melodies from 3LO. Youth and pleasure, dance and song, dainty mind with escort strong. Summertime is sweet you know, dancing to the radio. Rounded cheek and flashing eye, see them swaying, flitting by, as their feet move to and fro, on the tunes from 3LO.
Why the howling and the fuss, 3LO’s cut off from us. 3UZ is more than weak, 3KZ can faintly squeak. 3AR’s not in the fun, or mixed up with t’other one. The more you want, the less you get, then you start to fume and fret. Plugging here, plugging there, 3HA is full of air. Disgruntled anonymous listener in Hamilton complaining about the launch of 3HA interfering with Melbourne stations.
“There are far too many records and cricket descriptions on 3AR, and a total lack of musical talent”.
Letter to the Editor 4 Mar 1927.
“I strongly object to the broadcast of advertisements for batteries, piano players, and tea etc. on 3LO and 3AR. I think it is a downright insult to my intelligence”. Letter to the Editor 6 May 1927.
“I wish to protest about the mediocre programmes on 3WV. This includes horrible imitation swing music and other much less than average programmes”. Letter to the Editor 2 Jan 1939.
A 3DB announcer once said “A woman was bitten on the funnel by a finger-web spider”.
MELBOURNE ALL-NIGHT PLANS FOR STUNTS, MUSIC, NEWS. (From the Listener In 30 Jan 1954).
News services, shift workers’ requests programmes and stunts will be featured in 24-hour broadcasting from three Melbourne stations from Sunday January 31. Night-owl listeners will be introduced to new radio people and will find former day-time favourites on the air at all hours. The extended broadcasting hours licences date from February 1, but 3DB, 3XY, and 3UZ have received permits to broadcast to midnight on Sunday without interrupting their services.
Listeners to 3DB on Sunday night will hear a gala opening to the new service. All of its radio personalities, including Danny Webb, Maurice Callard, Dick Cranbourne, John Eden, Peter Surrey, John Stuart, and Eric Welch will take part in the opening. They will introduce the new night announcer, Glenn Millins. Glen is known to theatregoers as producer and actor in the Kiwis. Programme manager for 3DB, Norman Spencer, said the emphasis in the 3DB night service would be on streamlined news presentation. News broadcasts will be given throughout the night and bulletins will be broadcast as they come to hand. The station will rebroadcast boxing, wrestling, and cycling events each week in the night programme. The 3DB announcing, programming and technical staffs have been increased to cope with the new service.
The 3XY all-night programmes will be conducted by British actor Leon Peers, who became known to Melbourne listeners when he recently took over the 3XY breakfast session while Jack Perry was on holidays. Night news bulletins will be heard over 3XY at midnight and three and six o’clock each morning. Information will be broadcast to waterside workers at 6-10 each morning. A newcomer to Australian radio, American Gerry Bogin, will compere the first 3XY late programme at 10-30 on Sunday night. Each Sunday he will broadcast “Spotlight Microgroove Hour”; a programme featuring Spotlight Variety records. Cyril Stevens, manager of Spotlight Varieties, secured an option of the first all-night programme from 3XY when plans for first night broadcasting were announced.
The 3UZ all-night programme will be opened by a staff show featuring well-known 3UZ personalities, beginning at 10-30 on Sunday night. Those taking part will include John McMahon, Nicky and Graham, Fred Tupper, Bob Horsfall, Norman Ellis, Bert Bryant, John Russell, Howard Scrivener, Shirley Radford, and John Pacini. Hourly news broadcasts will be given in the 3UZ night service which will be conducted by Donald Day. Requests will be played for night workers and hospital patients. Melbourne Program Line-up 1970