July 05, 2009

Adelaide: 5KA, 5KKA, 5MMM

Adelaide’s second commercial radio station, 5KA, was launched in March 1927. The station was first broadcast on the frequency 1200 kHz, changing to 1197 kHz when 9 kHz spacing was introduced on the AM dial in 1978.

Above: 5KA in 1989.

In 1989, 5KA was one of two AM radio stations in Adelaide to be granted a licence to convert to the FM band. The station changed to KAFM (call-sign: 5KKA) on 1 January 1990. Existing FM station SAFM (call-sign: 5SSA) considered legal action against KAFM over the use of a similar branding but did not proceed as KAFM was assumed to be a legitimate adaptation of the former AM call-sign.


In 1993, Hoyts Media (owners of the Triple M network in the eastern states) had bought KAFM but were unable to adopt the Triple M branding in Adelaide as a local community radio station already had the call-sign 5MMM. Hoyts then paid 5MMM, reportedly a six-figure sum, for the right to use the call-sign. The community station 5MMM then became 5DDD, allowing KAFM to become Triple M (call-sign 5MMM).


5MMM and 5SSA are now both owned by the national Austereo network. 5MMM also operates a relay transmitter in the Adelaide Hills district on 98.3 MHz.

Website: 5MMM

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