In 1947, the ABC took over an old Army station, 5DR, and relaunched it as its first station in the Northern Territory. In the early days, its staffers lived in huts without air conditioning, and most programming was flown up on discs. Since there was only one newspaper in the area, 5DR frequently broadcast funeral arrangements because the Northern Territory's humid climate made it impossible to keep a body for any long period of time.
The station came into its own in 1974, when Cyclone Tracy slammed into Darwin. Dick Muddimer, one of the station's reporters, was able to get to the studios of local television station NTD and get off a message to the ABC studios in Mount Isa asking them to notify Sydney that Darwin had been struck by a cyclone. Due to the great distance between Darwin and the rest of Australia and the fact the storm made landfall on Christmas Day, most of the rest of the nation didn't know about Tracy until mid-afternoon. It was the only station whose transmitter was not completely disabled by the storm, and for the next two days was the only link between Darwin and the outside world.
8DDD ABC Darwin began broadcasting in 1989, replacing 5DR. It was ABC Radio's ninth metropolitan station and was set up and first managed by Phil Cullen. It's broadcasting facilities are located in Cavenagh Street, in the Darwin City Centre. 8DDD is broadcast throughout the Darwin metropolitan areas and some rural country surrounding Darwin. The station brings Local, National and International news headlines throughout the hour. It also presents Sport and Weather.