Kiss 90 FM
|City of license||Melbourne|
|Broadcast area||Greater Melbourne|
|Slogan||100% Dance Bliss, Serious Dance|
|Frequency||FM 89.9 MHz|
Kiss 90 was an aspirant dance radio station based in Melbourne, Australia.
Kiss was the first 100% dance format radio station in Melbourne. The station broadcast sporadically to the Greater Melbourne area between 1994 and 2001 on 89.9 FM.
Kiss 90 had a reputation for setting Melbourne's music trends. The station was at the centre of nightclub and rave culture trends. The music format was designed to unite dance music lovers and showcase a broad range of dance music, featuring most of Melbourne's big name DJs live on air.
The station continually broke new songs and gave airplay to many artists for the first time on Australian radio, pushing many into the mainstream charts. Kiss is also credited with significantly influencing the sound of radio in the southern capital. This resulted in mainstream commercial radio stations introducing more dance music into their playlists and Fox FM dropping classic rock for a Rhythmic CHR format in the late '90s.
Kiss 90 was licenced as an 'aspirant' community broadcaster and created to foster Melbourne's dance music culture. The station's mission was to achieve a full-time Melbourne-wide community licence.
Kiss conducted a number of broadcasts to gain listen support and convince the Australian Broadcasting Authority(ABA) to grant a permanent Melbourne wide licence. The station was one of many aspirant community groups who shared the 89.9FM frequency in Melbourne. Kiss, like the other aspirants was only allowed to broadcast for a limited amount of time, usually for 4–8 weeks at any one time.
After many delays, the ABA finally made a decision on the licence and Kiss was not successful. The ABA awarded the available high-power FM frequencies to the Light FM (Christian) on 89.9FM and SYN (Student Youth Network) on 90.7FM. At the same time, the ABA awarded a low-power FM licence for Melbourne and the inner city to Joy FM to serve the Gay and Lesbian community.
For more information: ACMA Allocation of community licences in Melbourne
Michael Hughes and Nigel Slater, both presenters of dance shows on local metro stations, discussed the opportunity of a 100% dance format radio station. At the time, Melbourne’s commercial radio stations were playing classic rock, hits and memories, easy music and rock. None of stations were running a top 40 format during the day, let alone dance music. A few dance shows existed on local community stations, but they were often limited to small broadcast areas, obscure timeslots and for limited periods. Despite the challenges of finding these shows, many had strong and loyal audience bases. At the time, the mainstream media didn’t see the potential for a dance format station and were more interested in focusing on getting the biggest slice of the more traditional baby boomers.
Michael Hughes and Nigel Slater join forces with renowned night club promotions and event managers Jake Kogakis, Peter Raff and Eric Pipersberg (aka The Gingerbread Men). Together, they worked to form a broadcasting organisation, gain support from the dance music industry, nightclubs and Melbourne’s best DJs.
A non-profit organisation, called Dance Club Broadcasters was formed with Michael, Nigel, Jake, Peter and Eric as well as representatives of the industry. A submission for a temporary licence was then put to the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA). The committee discussed various options on what to call the new station including D-FM (for Dance FM) as well as GBM FM (initials of Jake, Raff and Eric’s company, GingerBread Men). Eventually, the name Kiss was agreed on due to the awareness and reputation leading dance stations in other big cities including London and New York.
Kiss debuts on Melbourne airwaves with a pre-recorded 24 hour broadcast. This was a low power (200 watts) broadcast from the top of Swinburne University in Hawthorn reaching the surrounding eastern suburbs and inner city. Contrary to expectations, with no publicity, the station received 50 phone calls from excited listeners and support steadily grew for the station.
October 1994 – The first Melbourne-wide broadcast
Officially, the 2nd broadcast, but for most it was the first time they experienced Kiss in Melbourne. The station was on air for six weeks, broadcasting live from studios above Chapel St in South Yarra. The transmitter (as with all future broadcasts) was high-power and located at the top of Mt Dandenong (along with the rest of Melbourne’s high power commercial and national FM and television stations) which enabled the station to cover all of Melbourne, Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula.
|Number||Start date||End date||Weeks on air|
|1||2 July 1994||2 July 1994||(1 day)|
|2||14 October 1994||27 November 1994||6 weeks|
|3||20 February 1995||20 March 1995||4 weeks|
|4||18 June 1995||16 July 1995||4 weeks|
|5||18 August 1995||11 September 1995||3 weeks|
|6||24 November 1995||18 December 1995||3 weeks|
|7||3 May 1996||27 May 1996||3 weeks|
|8||26 July 1996||24 August 1996||4 weeks|
|9||27 November 1996||26 December 1996||4 weeks|
|10||21 March 1997||19 April 1997||4 weeks|
|11||August 1997||4 weeks|
|12||24 October 1997||November 1997||4 weeks|
|13||25 January 1998||22 March 1998||7 weeks|
|14||July 1998||4 weeks|
|15||August 1998||6 weeks|
|16||25 January 1999||7 March 1999||5 weeks|
|17||6 September 1999||17 October 1999||6 weeks|
The programming format had consistent shows across the weekdays with familiar breakfast, morning, afternoon, drive and evening request shows but the music and the presentation style was like nothing else on Melbourne radio at the time. During the evenings and over the weekends, Kiss had specialist nightclub DJs doing niche dance shows with an emphasis on a different dance genre each night.
Although some of the DJs changed during the broadcasts, this format remained and enabled Kiss to reach a wide audience during the day but also build strong niche audience followings in the evenings and over the weekend.
First Programme Grid: October/November 1994
|07.00||Breakfast||Greg Maxwell & Natalene Muscat|
|10.00||Morning Show||David Reece|
|13.00||Club Lunch||Various DJs in the mix|
|14.00||Afternoon Show||Sean Quinn|
|16.00||Dangerous Drive||Michael Hughes & Annette Lipert|
|19.00||Night Bliss||Nigel Slater|
|07.00||Breakfast Steve Douglas||Wind-down Show DJ Mal|
|10.00||Morning Glory Dean Cherney||Ambient Brewster|
|12.00||Pick Up The Soap Eric, Alex and Dean||I wish Johnce|
|14.00||Beautiful Saturday||Camping Out Lisa Garner|
|17.00||Kiss D-25 (Dance Chart) Michael Hughes||Aussie Kiss Ashley James|
|20.00||Night Bliss Nigel Slater||Andy's House Andy Van|
|22.00||Kiss In The Clubs Live from Melbourne clubs||Intoxication Frank Gee|
|00.00||Kiss In The Clubs (cont)||Hot BBQ Mr Takse|
|02.00||Kiss In The Clubs (cont)||Madd J-Madd & T-Madd|
|04.00||Wind-down DJ Mal||Watt's Up Leon Danziger|
Specialist shows, weeknights
|22.00||Feed Your Head Richie Rich||Satin Service Paul Main & Timmy B||Happy House Mark James||Air Raid Wayne Fernandex & Craig Grant||Clubbed Out John Course|
|00.00||Mindbomb H20 & Rudeboy||Disco Universe Tony Crea||Progressive House Sean Quinn & KCee||The Joint Peril & Rob Farley||Serious Selection Liz Millar|
|02.00||Industrial Ollie Olsen||Deep House & Garage Nigel Last||Speedball Dj Speedball||Real Hip Hop||Kiss in the Clubs Live from Melbourne Nightclubs|
|04.00||Overnight Franky Dee||Fresh Kiss Various||Tracktion Ian B||Brother's Groove Steve Douglas & Steve Eno||Early Breakfast Steve Brooks|