August 14, 2010

Melbourne: 3FOX

Melbourne’s second commercial FM station, 3FOX, made its debut on 1 August 1980 on the frequency 101.9 MHz.

The first song played on 3FOX was Breezin’ by George Benson, though it was initially played at 45rpm before being slowed down to 33 1/3 rpm.

The station was initially branded on-air with the initials F-O-X (e.g. “3-F-O-X-F-M”) before it was streamlined to the snappier “Fox FM” or sometimes “The Fox”.

Broadcasting from studios co-located with television station ATV10 in the suburb of Nunawading, 3FOX initially had a very easy listening sound and, in an unusual move, had also come to an arrangement to simulcast the ABC radio news each weekday morning at 7.45am.

The station’s first ratings survey late in 1980 returned an audience share of 3.4 per cent for 3FOX, making it the lowest rating commercial station in Melbourne.

By the mid-1980s the music playlist was broadened to include more contemporary hits with some older favourites thrown in, and the station logo had been altered to include the fox motif.

3FOX_1985

The station had also adopted the slogan that “FM is Fox Music”.

In 1984, the station launched Australia’s first national Top 40 countdown, Take 40 Australia, hosted by Barry Bissell and produced by MCM Entertainment.  The weekly show was syndicated to radio stations around Australia and continues to broadcast today on 85 stations nationwide.

In 1986, 3FOX was bought by Austereo, the licensee of Adelaide’s SAFM, in the first step to the company establishing a national FM network.  The station’s playlist took on a more modern emphasis and with that came a more stylised logo:

3FOX_1988

3FOX_1992

In Survey 2, 1987, Fox won the ratings for the first time – with an audience share of 14.8 per cent – and continued to top the ratings in Melbourne until the first survey in 1990 when it was overtaken by FM newcomer KZFM.

Although Fox’s music format would continue to change over the next few years – including a brief dalliance into ‘Classic Rock’ in the early-‘90s – the  new logo would serve Fox in various forms right through until the re-branding of the entire network, including 2DAY, SAFM and B105, in the mid-2000s.

In the mid-90s, Fox was one of the first commercial radio stations in Australia to set up a presence on the World Wide Web.

In 1996, the Austereo network merged with the rival Triple M network which would bring 3FOX under the same roof as rival 3MMM.  Both stations now broadcast from studios in the suburb of South Melbourne.

Website: Fox 101.9

1 comment:

dbrmuz said...

Oh,how I miss the old Fox logo! Austereo really screwed up with the bland Today Network,in my opinion.
Cheers TV AU!