June 19, 2010

Melbourne: 3TT, 3TTT

3TT made its debut at 5.00am on Easter Saturday, 2 April 1988 as the new call-sign for the station previously known as 3DB.  The name and format change followed the sale of the 3DB licence to the Albert family, whose radio network was the predecessor to the present-day Australian Radio Network.  The origin of the call-sign is not known, though it may possibly have reflected the station’s broadcast frequency – ‘Ten 26’ – 1026 kHz. 


3TT was programmed as a ‘Classic Hits’ format, featuring hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, as a rival to the popular 3KZ which had broadcast a ‘Hits and Memories’ format successfully for several years.  The first song played on 3TT was Listen To The Music by the Doobie Brothers – their initials, DB, providing a link to the station’s predecessor.

In 1989 the Federal Government invited bids from commercial AM radio stations for the right to convert to the FM band – with two conversion licences available in Melbourne.  3KZ gained the first licence after a record $32 million bid while, in a surprising move, low-rated station 3AK presented the second highest bid of $22 million.  3TT missed out on a conversion licence with its third-placed bid of $11 million but the station got a lucky break when 3AK defaulted on its payment – leaving 3TT the right to convert to the FM band at a third of the price of its main rival, 3KZ.

3TT made the move to the FM band at 12.00am on Sunday, 24 June 1990 (almost twenty years ago to the day).  The last song played on 3TT before midnight was the same as the first song played in April 1988 – Listen To The Music by the Doobie Brothers.

3TT’s conversion to FM led to the station adopting a new three-letter call-sign, 3TTT, with the on-air branding as ‘Classic Hits TTFM’, maintaining a similar format to its AM predecessor.  The first song played on TTFM was In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins.


The Classic Hits format still struggled to gain a decent audience on FM, so by the early ‘90s the station adopted a more contemporary format, accompanied by a colourful logo – 101.1 TTFM.  The move led to a ratings boost, with the station eventually claiming #1 spot in two surveys in 1995.


In 2001, TTFM had a change of image.  The station adopted a new branding, Mix 101.1, with a similar logo to its Sydney counterpart Mix 106.5.

Mix 101.1 now plays a contemporary music format, aimed at tackling rival station Fox.

Website: Mix 101.1


dbrmuz said...

Thanks for posting TVAU,informative as always.Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Listen to the Music was selected as the first song for 3TT because
3DB had a racing & talkback format for many, many years, and finally music was back on 1026 frequency - it had nothing to do with the initials of the band/3DB.

Anonymous said...

Also wanted to say that I love this website...thank you for going to all the trouble :)