name = Triple M Melbourne
July 11th 1980
frequency = 105.1
format = Rock
Austereo Triple M
website = [http://www.triplem.com.au/melbourne http://www.triplem.com.au]
3MMM (identified on air and in print as Triple M) is a radio station broadcasting in
Melbourne, Australia. Its target demographic is the 30 - 54 age group. ["3MMM Station Profile", http://www.austereo.com.au/profiles/3mmm/index.php, retrieved 6 August 2006] Triple M Melbourne is part of the AustereoTriple M network and broadcasts on the 105.1 MHzfrequency.
The station was Australia's first commercial FM station ["How FM changed the mix", http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/14/1081838798300.html?from=storyrhs, retrieved
23 January 2007] , originally known as EON FM, broadcasting on 92.3 MHz.
EON FM: The Birth of Commercial FM Radio
In late 1979, a consortium, members of which included recording entrepreneur Bill Armstrong, band manager
Glenn Wheatleyand stockbroker Bill Conn, successfully bid on one of two Melbourne FM licenses and set about creating a commercial FM radio station. Armstrong headed the consortium, having seen the commercial opportunities of FM radio in the US and the UK.
Despite what their license application read, they had no blueprint at all with regard to marketing, programming, administration or promotion. The next six months was then spent building a radio station from scratch. A makeshift studio was set up in Bank Street,
South Melbourne, draped with hessian to deaden the noise. Late-night dummy runs were performed a week before the on-air date to test the equipment.
July 11, 1980, Australia’s first commercial FM radio station, EON FM, began broadcasting on 92.3 MHz,3 Triple M, "3 Triple M – Rock of the 90’s", Triple M Company Profile, circ. 1991] beating Fox FM to the title by two weeks.Crawford, Anne, "Birth of FM radio was an EON ago", TheAge.com.au, July 11, 2000] Behind the microphone at the momentous occasion was ex- 3XY(a popular radio station at the time; now defunct) DJ Peter Grace, who later said he was given that late night spot by default. ["Get This" radio program, Triple M, July 17, 2006] "It's one past midnight and this is 92.3, E-O-N FM, I'm Peter Grace and this is the beginning of a long, long time..." The first song was "New Kid in Town" by The Eagles.
Armstrong was the first managing director;
Clyde Simpson, the first general manager; Lee Simon, also ex-3XY, the first program director; Billy Pinnell, first music programmer – all names to circulate the Australian music industry for years. Other announcers included Karl Van Est, Joe Miller, John Peters, Andy McLean, Jan Cannon, Kenny The Paper-Boy, Kent Forbes, John Hood, Gavin Wood, Trish Mulholand and Mark Irvine. News reader Jennifer Keytealso began her career as a cadet at EON-FM. ["Speaker Details: Jennifer Keyte", http://www.saxton.com.au/default.asp?sd8=552, retrieved 23 January 2007] At first, EON FM played songs that “would not be played elsewhere”, having no play list and avoiding top 40 songs. Said Armstrong, "we thought we were going to be the beginning of a new era. It took us a while to realise we were wrong."
EON FM performed better than the other non-commercial FM stations, but was easily beaten by the AM stations. Management was worried, and shareholders were asked to invest another $1 million between them only a year after the station was launched.
Lee Simonthen went against the flow of the album rock formats favoured by Australia's FM stations and radically changed EON's format by playing Top 40 hits and staging outdoor concerts. Molly Meldrum, host of "Countdown", was even invited to do a regular breakfast spot with Gavin Wood, the voice-over man of "Countdown". Gavin and Molly's partnership included a segment of their own version of the crime fighters "Batman and Robin". They even appeared in the Moomba procession as the crime fighting duo in the Batmobile. The combination of Gavin and Molly proved to be a ratings winner when finally in 1985, EON FM topped Melbourne’s ratings. The station's distinctive blue-and-yellow 92.3 EON-FM bumper stickers soon became a familiar sight throughout Melbourne. In early 1986, 3EON FM was sold to Triple M Sydney(2MMM), owned by Hoyts, for $37.5 million. The deal was reportedly negotiated by Wheatley, who subsequently became managing director of Hoyts Media. ["Speaker Details: Glenn Wheatley", http://www.saxton.com.au/default.asp?sd8=1276, retrieved March 8, 2006] The station was rebranded 3MMM on November 27, 1988, and was moved to the current frequency.
Triple M Melbourne
In 1987, a new style of breakfast show had begun taking shape on 3MMM featuring a team of comedians known as
The D-Generation. With a successful sketch show on ABC TV behind them and initially hired in 1986 by Lee Simonto write comedy pieces for "The John Peters Breakfast Show", the team of Tom Gleisner(1986-92), Santo Cilauro(1986-92), Rob Sitch(1986, 1989-91), Tony Martin (1987-91), Michael Veitch(1987-89), Mick Molloy(1990-92), and Jason Stephens(1990-92), successfully took over the breakfast air waves; even recruiting a member of the news team, Jane Kennedy (1988-92). ( Marg Downey, Magda Szubanskiand Judith Lucyalso had small stints on the show). The show had a number of anchors during its run, notably Ian Rogerson(1987), Peter O’Callaghan(1988) and Kevin Hillier(1990-92), but it is the sixteen month 'anchorless' period (September 88-December 89) that is best-remembered by fans.
The show had a popular mix of sketches, characters and clever comedy, producing a number of best-of CD’s.
The on-air line-up in 1991 consisted of:
Triple M Melbourne Saturday Schedule
Triple M Melbourne Sunday Schedule
* 3 Triple M, "3 Triple M – Rock of the 90’s", Triple M Company Profile, circ. 1991
* "Austereo Group Profile", [http://web.archive.org/web/20050307225243/http://www.austereo.com.au/profiles/index.php|http://www.austereo.com.au/profiles/index.php] , retrieved
March 7, 2005
* Brady, Nicole, "Radio Waves: Melbourne show makes a splash in harbour city", The Age Green Guide, page 6,
20 November 2003
* Brady, Nicole, "Radio Waves", TheAge.com.au,
1 September 2005
* Crawford, Anne, "Birth of FM radio was an EON ago", TheAge.com.au,
July 11, 2000
* Molitorisz, Sacha, [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/14/1081838798300.html|"How FM changed the mix"] , smh.com.au,
15 April 2004
* "Richard Stubbs Profile", [http://www.abc.net.au/backyards/presenters/richardstubbs.htm] , retrieved
8 March 2006
* "Triple M website", retrieved
3 February 1999, 6 July 2001, 26 July 2002, 13 October 2003, at [http://web.archive.org]
* Unknown, [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/16/1079199226259.html|"Rebels without a pause"] , smh.com.au,
17 March 2004
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