3AW is a talkback radio station based in Melbourne, Australia, owned by parent company Nine Radio, a division of Nine Entertainment Co. It broadcasts on 693 kHz AM. It began transmission on 22 February 1932 as Melbourne's fifth commercial radio station.[1]

A 1940s billboard advertising For the Term of his Natural Life in Melbourne
Broadcast areaMelbourne RA1
FormatTalk radio
NetworkNine Radio
AffiliationsNine News
3EE, broadcasting as Magic 1278
First air date
22 September 1932; 91 years ago (1932-09-22)
Former frequencies
  • AM: 1425 kHz (1932–1935)
  • AM: 1280 kHz (1935–1978)
  • AM: 1278 kHz (1978–2006)
Call sign meaning
Allans & The Age; and J.C. Williamson
Technical information
Licensing authority
Power5,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
37°47′59″S 144°36′53″E / 37.7997°S 144.6147°E / -37.7997; 144.6147
Public licence information
WebcastListen Live

History edit

3AW was established when a company formed by Allans, JC Williamson's and David Syme (then publishers of The Age newspaper) was granted a radio broadcasting licence,[2] with the first broadcast on 22 February 1932.[3][4] The A in 3AW comes from the names of "Allans" and "The Age"; and the W is from "J. C. Williamson".[5]

It is the only one of Melbourne's original eight stations that has retained its original name.[6] (In comparison, Sydney, the only other Australian city with eight original stations, has five of them still using their original name, namely 2CH, 2GB, 2KY, 2SM, 2UE.)

3AW has consistently appeared high in ratings surveys.[7][8]

In 1931/1932, 3AW was one of two organisations that applied for a licence for a new Melbourne radio station; the other contender being the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. At the time, the Postmaster-General's Department was responsible for the issuing of all radio station licences, and it came out in favour of the 3AW application on the grounds that it had recently issued a licence to 2SM Sydney, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. However, a condition was placed on the 3AW licence to the effect that they had to provide one hour of free broadcasting to the Roman Catholic Church, at a time decided upon by the Church; hence The Catholic Hour was broadcast every Sunday night at was then a peak listening time, namely 9.00pm.[9]

The fact that The Catholic Hour was originally broadcast in peak listening time is emphasized by the fact the program was preceded by two of Australia's most listened-to programs, namely Quiz Kids and Lux Radio Theatre.[10]

In latter years, the nostalgia program Remember When[11] was broadcast both prior to, and after The Catholic Hour. Therefore, in the 1990s (confirmation needed) 3AW management, ignorant of its history, decided to scrap The Catholic Hour. Not surprisingly, the Church objected and the Australian Communications and Media Authority was called in to adjudicate. Their compromise decision was that the program should continue, but that the time should be decided upon by 3AW rather than by the Church. Not surprisingly 3AW moved the program to an hour that had the least listeners of every time in the week; namely midnight to 1.00am on Sunday mornings. This meant that there were hardly any listeners to the program and, within just a few months, the Church scrapped The Catholic Hour altogether!

In 1938 the Macquarie Broadcasting Service was formed, with stations right across Australia, including 3AW in Melbourne. In 2015 the Macquarie Media Group was acquired by Fairfax Media and the name was changed to Nine Radio under which it currently operates.

3AW's first studio was situated in His Majesty's Theatre from whence it broadcast from 1932 to 1935.[4]

The 3AW studios are now located at Media House, 655 Collins Street, Melbourne where it shares facilities with Magic 1278, the Australian Financial Review and The Age newspapers.[12] After moving from their original studios at His Majesty's Theatre, the station was re-sited at 382 Latrobe Street, where it remained for most of the next 55 years.[4] However, during renovations at 382 Latrobe Street, 3AW moved into the former premises of the ABC in Melbourne Place, a laneway off Russell Street, near Little Collins Street, which is now the premises of the Kelvin Club.[13] Then, from 1991 until March 2010, the station broadcast from studios located at Bank Street, South Melbourne.[14]

3AW's original broadcast frequency was 1425 kHz and changed to 1280 kHz on 1 September 1935 as part of a national reshuffle of the radio broadcasting spectrum.[15] On 23 November 1978 the station changed to 1278 kHz with the introduction of 9 kHz spacing on the AM band. Due to poor reception problems, at 7:15 am on 1 May 2006, 3AW swapped with its sister station Magic to its present frequency of 693 kHz.[16] The station's broadcast signal originates from a transmitter in Werribee.

In the 1950s, 3AW purchased 3CV in Maryborough in Central Victoria, which the "CV" nomenclature represents. For many years, 3AW programming was broadcast on 3CV after about 6.00pm.[17]

Broadcasters edit

◆ Sunday night host Philip Brady has already notched up 34 years

Darren James has hosted weekend morning programs for 34 years

◆ One of the current Breakfast presenters, Ross Stevenson has already been at the station for 32 years.

A number of people spent many years at 3AW in the past. Most of these are on the "3AW presenters" list (see "External Links"below). They include:

  • Neil Mitchell was with the station for 36 years (1987-2023) and filled a number of roles and hosted Mornings for 34 years. On 1 September 2023, Mitchell announced that he would retire on 1 December 2023 and this has occurred. [18][19]

3AW announced that Tom Elliott, Tony Moclair and Jacqueline Felgate will host Mornings, Afternoons and Drive from January 2024 following Neil Mitchell's retirement.[20][21]

  • David McGee who spent 31 years at 3AW, 1955-1986[22]
  • Geoff Manion's 29 years (1956–1985),[23]
  • Martha Gardener who was at the station for 30 years, from 1952 to 1982
  • Norman Banks, 26 years, 1952-1978
  • The Revd. Alex Kenworthy presented the Nightline program for 20 years, 1971-1991
  • Fred Tupper was responsible for sporting and general programming during his 21 years at the station, 1933-1954[24]
  • One of 3AW's announcers when the station commenced in 1932 was John Masters who presented a request program, Choice of the People for many years. 30 minute segments of Choice of the People were broadcast at various times throughout the day. A photo in the 1987 history of the station[25] shows that he was a member of the original 1932 broadcasting staff; and then there is a website[26] that highlights the fact that he was still broadcasting in 1951, 19 years later; memories from listeners (not substantiated) show that his career continued for over a decade after that
  • Peter James (father of Darren James) was with the station for at least 18 years (1959-1987),[27] although some sources suggest that he was with the station for at least 20 years.[28]
  • Derryn Hinch broadcast at a number of radio and television stations and was at 3AW from 1979 to 1987, 2000-2001 and again from 2003 to 2012, a total of 23 years. However, he was often off the air (particularly during his last stint) due to suspension, poor health and house arrest.
  • Harry Beitzel was a football commentator on 3AW for 17 years, from 1972 to 1989, and in 2005 he rejoined 3AW as a semi-regular contributor to Rex Hunt's pre-match show.

Technical innovations edit

In April 2007, 3AW introduced cameras into their main studio so that fans, via the 3AW website, can watch the program being broadcast, as well as listen.[29] The cameras do not operate during news services, commercial breaks, or outside broadcasts.

In August 2009, 3AW "went digital", offering a superior quality sound and other features, for those with digital receivers. Stations utilising the digital signal can also offer multi-channels and interactive features.[30] The digital format used in Australia is DAB+, reportedly a superior technology to other digital formats.[31] the digital signal is not rebroadcast in road tunnels like the AM signal and does not have the distance range of AM.

In October 2011 (iPhone) and mid-2012 (Android), 3AW introduced an application (App) for smartphones or tablets. The application allows users to listen to the current program, read or listen to current news articles, get weather updates, contact the station via phone, email, Twitter or Facebook and also has an alarm clock feature.[32][33]

3AW Football (AFL) edit

3AW Football is the brand under which 3AW broadcasts Australian rules football and the station broadcasts football on all AFL match days.

3AW Football dates back to 1953, and legendary commentators such as Norman Banks and Harry Beitzel have spent time calling games at 3AW. Rex Hunt called football at 3AW for 21 years before moving to rival Triple M in 2010.[34]

Matthew Lloyd and Dr Peter Larkins joined 3AW Football in 2012. The team for 2013 also had a number of changes,[35]Stephen Quartermain[36] called on weekends, alongside either Tim Lane or Tony Leonard and the expert commentators. Cameron Ling[36] has an expert commentary role interchangeably on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons.

2014 saw the departure of Stephen Quartermain, and the recruitment of Nathan Brown as a ball-by-ball commentator for Saturday night and Sunday twilight matches.[37]

Current 3AW Football team (2023)[38]
Commentators Experts Journalists
Tim Lane Matthew Lloyd Caroline Wilson
Anthony Hudson Leigh Matthews Sam McClure
Tony Leonard Jimmy Bartel Jacqui Felgate
Bruce Eva Matthew Richardson Eddie Summerfield
Matt Granland Tony Shaw Jacqui Reed
Shane McInnes Libby Birch
Abbie McKay

Former 3AW Football team members edit

(not a complete list)

Cricket edit

On 1 November 2013, 3AW's parent company, Fairfax Radio Network (FRN), announced that it had signed a five-year non-exclusive contract commencing with the 2013/2014 Australian cricket season, to broadcast the Boxing Day and Sydney Test matches, all One Day Internationals, the Big Bash League (BBL) and International T20 matches on network stations including 3AW. Subsequently, in December 2013, FRN decided on an earlier start to their coverage by including the Perth test match which commenced on 13 December 2013.[40] Fairfax stated that "Fairfax Radio Network will bring to its coverage more than 60 years' experience of broadcasting sport, assembling a star-studded commentary line up".[41] The coverage will provide a ball-by-ball commentary of all broadcast matches.[42]

The commentary team is anchored by Tim Lane and Bruce Eva, together with a panel consisting of the following experts[43]

Horse Racing edit

During his years at 3AW, 1933–1954, Fred Tupper (see above) provided sporting coverage, particularly horse racing.[44]

Station ratings and market position edit

In the sixth ratings survey for 2014, released 30 September 2014, 3AW came first with a 13.8% market share followed by ABC Radio Melbourne with 11.4% and Fox FM with 8.2%. In this survey 3AW won every timeslot.[45]

In the fifth ratings survey for 2014, released 26 August 2014, 3AW came first with a 14% market share followed by ABC Radio Melbourne with 12% and Fox FM with 8.0%.[46]

In the fourth survey, 3AW lost its No. 1 station rating, scoring a 13.0% market share against ABC Radio Melbourne's 13.4% share with Gold 104.3 FM third on 7.4%.[46]

In the first survey for 2014, released on 11 March 2014, 3AW was the No. 1 station scoring an 11.9% market share followed by ABC Radio Melbourne's 10.6% share with Fox FM third on 8.5%.[47] This survey was also the first for new ratings supplier GfK Group, the company that has taken over the running of surveys from Nielsen ratings which produced the surveys for 66 years.[48]

The final ratings survey for 2013 and the last to be conducted by Nielsen,[48] saw 3AW complete five years as Melbourne's number one radio station with 40 consecutive survey wins.[49]

Controversies edit

In 1996, drive-time host Paul Barber was dismissed for telling listeners to boycott the Nine Network program, A Current Affair over the treatment of the Paxton family.[50] He was dismissed after the Nine Network withdrew up to $300,000 in advertising.[51]

In 1999, presenter Bruce Mansfield was sacked after it emerged that he had received benefits in exchange for giving favourable comments and interviews to companies on-air without proper prior disclosure.[52] He returned to the station as its night-time presenter in 2001.[53][54]

Former presenter Steve Price was tricked into accepting fake ecstasy tablets pressed with "3AW" from comedian John Safran as part of Safran's television show.[55]

Elise Elliott (formerly known as Elise Mooney) was exposed on ABC TV's Media Watch for plagiarizing a story when a salaried editor. Journalistic eyebrows have been raised at her appointment by 3AW, and whether this issue was disclosed by her.[56]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ If one counts Noel Pamberton Billing's 3PB (1925-26) which was a Melbourne commercial radio station that was only on the air for four months, then 3AW would be Melbourne's sixth commercial station.
  2. ^ "Allan's Music". Department of History, The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  3. ^ Pascuzzi, Carmine. "Book launch - "3AW is Melbourne"". Mediasearch. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Boland, Bray (22 February 2022). "3AW turns 90". RadioToday. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  5. ^ "3AW Radio turns 80 years old". 3AW. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  6. ^ https://worldradiomap.com/au/melbourne
  7. ^ Jones, Colin, "Something in the Air: A History of Radio in Australia", Kangaroo Press, 1995
  8. ^ https://www.theage.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/3aw-maintains-dominance-in-radio-ratings-while-abc-continues-upward-trend-20230828-p5e03z.html
  9. ^ "Catholic broadcast hour from 3AW - Programme for Sunday, July 3Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 18681954)30 Jun 1932". Trove. 30 June 1932. Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  10. ^ https://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/7997663
  11. ^ https://www.3aw.com.au/show/remember-when/
  12. ^ Dobbin, Marika (28 October 2009). "Media House opens, reviving interest in building over rail lines". The Age. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  13. ^ https://kelvinclub.com/history/
  14. ^ "South Melbourne Home of 3AW, Magic 1278, to be Sold". realestatesource.com.au. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  15. ^ "New Wave Lengths". Sydney Morning Herald. 30 August 1935. p. 11. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Do touch that dial, 3AW tells listeners | The Age 2 May 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2013". Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  17. ^ https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/History_of_wireless_telegraphy_and_broadcasting_in_Australia/Topical/Publications/Australian_Radio_History/Vic_AM_Stations
  18. ^ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-01/neil-mitchell-to-step-down-from-3aw-morning-show/102802488
  19. ^ https://au.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=neil%20mitchell%20retirement&hspart=fc&hsimp=yhs-2461&type=fc_ABD7BF90295_s58_g_e_d042023_n9998_c999&param1=7&param2=eJwti8sKgzAURH%2FlLhUk3hiTGtz2C7oVF6mmGhKN%2BMDSr%2B%2BVltmcOcMMrm%2Fq9nHniEJo2WTtTF1rXRFeE5YFFoJK9%2FNEbiGUFeOoWMEVk9c82EjWHISHIZrix4VgcskQktPNfTw3mHfgyLAGEqqs4a3KFMyyBHvap3d7LsWNCQWJH%2FcpZBCctzDYzscUunGNk8051wyvwGZeZnX%2FyxcCHjsW
  20. ^ Boland, Bray (3 September 2023). "3AW's new lineup". Radio Today. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  21. ^ "3AW's new line-up revealed". 3AW. 3 September 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  22. ^ "David Mcgee - Top podcast episodes".
  23. ^ "Obituary - Geoffrey Francis Allan (Geoff) Manion - Obituaries Australia".
  24. ^ https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/206085639
  25. ^ Campion, Margaret, 3AW is Melbourne. 75 Years of Radio, Prime Advertising Marketing Publishing, 1987; page 20
  26. ^ "John Masters - Housewifes Choice (BBC 1951)". YouTube.
  27. ^ "Vale the veteran, Peter James". 5 July 2009.
  28. ^ "3AW Mary Hardy and Peter James - Circa 1979 - the 3AW Archive".
  29. ^ "3AW announcers under big brother camera". radioinfo.com.au. 13 April 2007. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  30. ^ "3AW and Digital Radio". 3aw.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  31. ^ "About Digital Radio". Digital Radio Plus. Archived from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  32. ^ McMahon, Neil (18 July 2013). "Digital radio apps: Next stop, all stations". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media Limited. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  33. ^ "Download the all-new 3AW radio application". 3AW. Fairfax Media Limited. 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  34. ^ "Rex Hunt leaves 3AW after shock offer from Triple M". Retrieved 6 August 2023.
  35. ^ 3AW reveal footy team for 2013 season | Radio Today. Retrieved 15 February 2013
  36. ^ a b Cameron Ling joins 3AW broadcast team | Herald Sun 11 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013
  37. ^ "3AW Football Profiles". 3AW. Fairfax Media. 2 March 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Meet The Team: 3AW Football". 3AW. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  39. ^ "Vale Bill Jacobs". 31 July 2011.
  40. ^ Murnane, Matt (10 December 2013). "Fairfax Radio joins the Ashes cricket fray early". The Age. Fairfax Media Limited. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  41. ^ "Fairfax Radio Network secures cricket broadcast rights deal" Archived 7 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine by 3AW Radio, The Age, 1 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  42. ^ "2UE to air Ashes as ABC loses stranglehold" by Chris Barrett, The Age, 4 October2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  43. ^ "3AW cricket team revealed". 3AW. 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  44. ^ https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/206085639
  45. ^ "Melbourne Radio-Survey 6 2014". Radio Today. Radio Today. 30 September 2014. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  46. ^ a b Te Koha, Nui (26 August 2014). "3AW radio kings Ross Stevenson, John Burns and Neil Mitchell snatch back ratings crown". Herald Sun. News Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  47. ^ "Melbourne Radio Survey 3 2014". Radio Today. Radio Today. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  48. ^ a b Jackson, Sally (19 February 2013). "GfK new radio ratings provider". The Australian. News Ltd. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  49. ^ "3AW celebrates 5yrs at No.1 in Melbourne". Fairfax Media Limited. Fairfax Media Limited. 10 December 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  50. ^ The rating's on the wall, so Barber gets his air cut | The Age 29 March 1996. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  51. ^ Media create new Paxton episode | The Age 27 March 1996. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  52. ^ ABC Radio, 23 December 1999. Radio station in new cash controversy. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  53. ^ "Hypocrite Price sledges others and sues Crikey". 21 January 2001. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  54. ^ Safi M (17 April 2016). "Bruce Mansfield, Melbourne radio personality, dies at 71". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  55. ^ "Radio jock victim of drug hoax stunt". Cairns Post. 27 May 2002. p. 29.
  56. ^ "Elise Mooney". Media Watch.

External links edit