- FOX FM (Melbourne)
name = Fox FM
slogan = "Melbourne's #1 Hit Music Station"
August 1 1980
frequency = 101.9
format = Pop, Rock, Rap
Austereo Today Network
erp = 56
website = [http://www.fox.com.au http://www.fox.com.au]
FOX FM (call sign: 3FOX) is a radio station broadcasting in
Melbourne, Australia. Fox FM broadcasts on 101.9 MHzon the FM dial. Fox FM is part of the Austereo Today Network. Its target demographicis 12 to 29 year olds.
Fox FM started life at 5 pm on August 1st, 1980. The station was put together by radio consultant Rhett H. Walker, who also acted as first General Manager. This followed a successful stint for Walker as a consultant for Radio 3KZ in 1979.
The first song to be played on air, George Benson's Breezin, was played at the wrong speed by the stations first presenter, John Aimes. John suggested this was due to harassment by studio manager Gary Collins, who was allegedly fussing around him in the studio right before the station went on air. Of course in 1980 there were no CDs and the first track was played from a 33 rpm album. This was quickly rectified however and all was well. The first station studio equipment comprised of a 16 channel Poul Kirk mixing desk, 4 cuemaster cart decks, JBL studio pro speakers and (then brand new) Technics turntables. The studio was pleasant to work in with a floor to ceiling window giving a view of filming of such Channel Ten programs as Neighbours, Prisoner and the short lived Holiday Island.
However the first two years of the stations life were not easy. Melbourne listeners did not initially flock to the new FM stations, sticking to their regular listening habits with stations such as 3AW, 3MP and 3XY. It was positioned originally as a classy easy listening style format. The format, FM is FOX MUSIC, came later, under the management of former 3XY station manager Graeham Smith.
The first presenter line up for FOX FM was:
Breakfast: Mike Jeffreys: (now breakfast presenter 2CC Canberra)
Mornings: Rod McNeil; Former ABC National Newsreader (now working on Thai radio)
Afternoons: Graham Braddy: Former 3KZ (unknown at present) Afternoons: Richard Coombe: Former 3LO drive presenter (with Graeme Kennedy) - ABC (sadly deceased - 1990) Drive: John Aimes: Former 3LO ABC (unknown at present)
Overnight: Geoff Harrison: Former 3KZ (now foreign correspondent based in Sweden for BBC TV/Radio)
The first newsroom staff were:
News Director - Michael Schildberger: (now Director of Business Essentials Australia)
Pamela Mckay: (now Network Ten USA news chief)
Charles Slade: Former 747 pilot who went on to Network Ten TV news in the 80s and early 90s. Reporter for Channel Nine Melbourne since 1994.
In 1982, the stations owners (which included Sir Donald Trescowthic, major shareholder of the Age Newspaper group) lost confidence in the original format and hired Mr. Smith to implement changes.
All the former announcers, except for Geoff Harrison were let go. Also, the stations instigator and first General Manager, Rhett H. Walker (now Professor Rhett H. Walker, Associate Dean at La Trobe University) moved on to greener pastures.
From then on, the station was positioned with a pop rock format, appealing to the widest possible audience. This caused a steady rise in ratings through the mid 1980s, eventually landing the station in top position in Melbourne by 1986. The changes included new presenters, such as Gavin Wood (former TV show Countdown and 3XY announcer) and Barry Bissell, now presenter of the weekly Take 40 Australia network program. Take 40 Australia was a weekly countdown of the current ARIA Top 40 singles chart.
FOX was one of two original FM radio license holders in Melbourne. It aimed to be the first commercial FM station to commence broadcasting in Australia, although it was eventually beaten by
EON FM(which is now FOX's sister station, Triple M). FOX started life playing popular easy listening music whilst it's other FM rival had adopted a more rock album orientated format. Throughout the history of the station its logo and marketing have always included a picture of a fox, although this was discontinued in 2005 when the entire Today Networkintroduced new standardised logos, much to the disappointment of many.
In 1986 FOX was bought by the owners of Sydney's
2Day FMto create the Today Network, which now boasts five additional stations around Australia. It was at this time that announcer Mark Carter was moved from the breakfast shift to the afternoon shift, quickly becoming the most popular announcer in Melbourne over a record 11 surveys conducted and contributing to the rise in popularity of the station.
In 1996 the
Today Network, owned by the Melbournebased Austereo, merged with the Triple Mnetwork to form a single radio company. The merge was unpopular with Fox staff due to the rivalry between the two stations.
FOX FM transmits from the
ATV-10transmission tower on top of Mount Dandenong, Victoria, from a shared facility alongside radio stations Nova 100, Triple M, Gold FM 104.3, Mix 101.1, Student Youth Networkand Triple R. Its base power is 10KW, and this is provided by a Harris HT10 FM transmitter.
Fox FM gradually grew from a rock station into a top 40 / dance format over its history. Notable past announcers and programs have included Pillow Talk with Dr. Feelgood, ,
Barry Bissell, and ABCTV's Jodie J. Hill.
From 1995 to 1998, Fox FM broadcast the highly successful
Martin/Molloydrive program with Tony Martin and Mick Molloy. This program was networked to over 50 stations around Australia, and is considered one of Australia's most successful FM radio shows.
For six years the breakfast shift was held by
Tracy Bartramand Matt Tilley, using the title Tracy and Matt in the Morning. After a gradual increase in ratings, the pair secured the number one position for the Melbourne breakfast shift in the AC Nielsonsurvey during 2001, beating traditional Melbourne number one station 3AW. Along with the rest of the station, Tracey and Matt's ratings fell with the introduction of rival station Nova 100into the market.
The current breakfast program is "
The Matt and Jo Show", with Matt Tilley, Jo Stanley, Adam Richard, and long time anchor Troy Ellis.
Current executive team
* GENERAL MANAGER - Ben Amarfio
* PROGRAM DIRECTOR - Dave Cameron
* SALES DIRECTORS - Cathy Thomas & Peter Whitehead
* FINANCE MANAGER - John Bucknell
* MUSIC DIRECTOR - Scott Baker-Smith
* TECHNOLOGY MANAGER - Matt Steadman
* NEWS DIRECTOR - Steve Speziale
* PRODUCTION MANAGER - Matt Nikolic
* PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR - Scott McLaughlin
* [http://www.fox.com.au/ FOX FM]
* [http://www.austereo.com.au Austereo]
* [http://www.hot30.com Hot 30 Countdown Website]
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