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Broadcast area Australia Melbourne, Australia
Slogan "Talking Melbourne"
"Melbourne's Own"
Frequency 693 kHz (2006– )
First air date 22 February 1932
Format Talkback
Transmitter coordinates 37°47′59″S 144°36′53″E / 37.7997°S 144.6147°E / -37.7997; 144.6147Coordinates: 37°47′59″S 144°36′53″E / 37.7997°S 144.6147°E / -37.7997; 144.6147
Former frequencies 1425 kHz (1932–1935)
1280 kHz (1935–1978)
1278 kHz (1978–2006)
Affiliations News. Talk. Sport
Owner Macquarie Media
(Radio 3AW Melbourne Pty Ltd)
Sister stations Magic 1278
Webcast Windows Media
Website 3aw.com.au
An 1940s billboard advertising For the Term of his Natural Life in Melbourne

3AW is a talkback radio station based in Melbourne. It is broadcast on 693 kHz AM. It began transmission on 22 February 1932 as Melbourne's fifth commercial radio station.

The station is owned and operated by Macquarie Radio Network


3AW was created when a company formed by Allans, J.C. Williamson's and David Syme (then publishers of The Age newspaper) was granted a radio broadcasting licence,[1] with the first broadcast on 22 February 1932.[2] The "AW" in 3AW comes from the names of part-owners "Allans" and "J. C. Williamson".[3] 3AW's first studio was situated in His Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne (now Her Majesty’s Theatre).

3AW's original broadcast frequency was 1425 kHz and changed to 1280 kHz on 1 September 1935 as part of a national reshuffle of the radio broadcasting spectrum.[4] On 23 November 1978 the station changed to 1278 kHz with the introduction of 9 kHz spacing on the AM band. Due to poor reception problems, at 7:15 a.m. on 1 May 2006, 3AW swapped with its sister station Magic 1278 to its present frequency of 693 kHz.[5] The station's broadcast signal originates from a transmitter in Werribee.

3AW studios are located at Media House, 655 Collins Street, Docklands, in Melbourne and shares facilities with Magic 1278, Fairfax Digital, The Australian Financial Review and The Age newspaper.[6] The studios were previously located at Bank Street, South Melbourne from 1991 until March 2010.[7]

Technical innovations[edit]

In April 2007, 3AW introduced cameras into their main studio so that fans, via the 3AW website, can watch the program being broadcast, as well as listen.[8] The cameras do not operate during news services, commercial breaks, or outside broadcasts.

In August 2009, 3AW "went digital", offering a superior quality sound and other features, for those with digital receivers. Stations utilising the digital signal can also offer multi-channels and interactive features.[9] The digital format used in Australia is DAB+, reportedly a superior technology to other digital formats.[10]

In October 2011 (iPhone) and mid 2012 (Android), 3AW introduced an application (App) for smartphones or tablets. The application allows users to listen to the current program, read or listen to current news articles, get weather updates, contact the station via phone, email, Twitter or Facebook and also has an alarm clock feature.[11][12]

Current presenters and programs[edit]

  • Breakfast with Ross Stevenson and John Burns
  • Mornings with Neil Mitchell
  • Afternoons with Denis Walter
  • Drive with Tom Elliott
  • Sports Today with Gerard Healy and Dwayne Russell
  • Money News with Ross Greenwood
  • Nights with Steve Price
  • Nightline/Remember When with Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady (Sunday to Friday except when football broadcasts are on). Relayed to some network affiliates.
  • 3AW Football headed by Brian Taylor
  • 3AW Overnight with Andrew McLaren (Sunday to Thursday) (was on relay to sister stations 2UE and 4BC and various affiliate stations nationwide for a period until late March 2014, when it reverted to being a local program)[13][14]
  • Weekend mornings with Darren James and various personalities/regular segments.
  • Weekend Break with Peter 'Grubby' Stubbs and Diane 'Dee Dee' Dunleavy. The show airs during non-football season on weekend afternoons and is relay to sister stations 6PR and 4BC and various affiliate stations nationwide.
  • Mike to Midnight with Mike Brady Saturday night (during non-football season).

In 2013 former Weekend Break host Tom Elliott replaced Derryn Hinch in the Drive shift which was extended to 3 pm to 6 pm and Peter 'Grubby' Stubbs and Diane 'Dee Dee' Dunleavy took over Weekend Break.

Fill-in presenters[edit]

  • John Blackman usually for Bruce Mansfield and/or Philip Brady
  • Mike Brady usually for Andrew McLaren
  • Dr Sally Cockburn (Dr Feelgood)[15] for Tom Elliott
  • Darren James usually for Denis Walter
  • Peter Maher (with Tony Leonard or Kate Stevenson) usually for Ross Stevenson and John Burns
  • Nick McCallum for either Neil Mitchell or Tom Elliott
  • Tony Leonard (with Peter Maher) usually for Ross Stevenson and John Burns
  • Tony Moclair - floater
  • Steve Murphy usually for Darren James
  • Simon Owens for Bruce Mansfield and/or Philip Brady or Alan Pearsall
  • Kate Stevenson (with Peter Maher) for Ross Stevenson and John Burns

Former presenters[edit]

(not a complete list)

3AW Football (AFL)[edit]

'3AW Football' is the brand under which 3AW broadcasts Australian rules football and the station broadcasts football on all AFL match days.

3AW Football dates back to before 1960 and legendary commentators such as Norman Banks and Harry Beitzel have spent time calling games at 3AW. Rex Hunt called football at 3AW for 21 years before moving to rival Triple M in 2010.[16]

Matthew Lloyd and Dr Peter Larkins joined 3AW Football in 2012. The team for 2013 had a number of changes too.[17] Stephen Quartermain[18] called on weekends, alongside either Tim Lane or Tony Leonard and the expert commentators. Cameron Ling[18] has an expert commentary role on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons (interchangeably).

2014 saw the departure of Stephen Quartermain, now the chief newsreader at Network Ten Melbourne and the recruitment of Nathan Brown as a ball-by-ball commentator for Saturday night and Sunday twilight matches.[19]

Current 3AW Football team (2015)[edit]

Former 3AW Football team members[edit]

(not a complete list)

¹left at the end of 2013 season


On 1 November 2013, 3AW's parent company, Fairfax Radio Network (FRN), announced that it had signed a five-year non-exclusive contract commencing with the 2013/2014 Australian cricket season, to broadcast the Boxing Day and Sydney Test matches, all One Day Internationals, the Big Bash League (BBL) and International T20 matches on network stations including 3AW. Subsequently, in December 2013, FRN decided on an earlier start to their coverage by including the Perth test match which commenced on 13 December 2013.[20] Fairfax stated that "Fairfax Radio Network will bring to its coverage more than 60 years’ experience of broadcasting sport, assembling a star-studded commentary line up".[21] The coverage will provide a ball-by-ball commentary of all broadcast matches.[22]

The commentary team is anchored by Tim Lane and Bruce Eva, together with a panel consisting of the following experts[23]

Station ratings and market position[edit]

In the sixth ratings survey for 2014, released 30 September 2014, 3AW came first with a 13.8% market share followed by 774 ABC with 11.4% and Fox FM with 8.2%. In this survey 3AW won every timeslot.[24]

In the fifth ratings survey for 2014, released 26 August 2014, 3AW came first with a 14% market share followed by 774 ABC with 12% and Fox FM with 8.0%.[25]

In the fourth survey, 3AW lost its No. 1 station rating, scoring a 13.0% market share against 774 ABC's 13.4% share with Gold 104.3 FM third on 7.4%.[25]

In the first survey for 2014, released on 11 March 2014, 3AW was the No. 1 station scoring an 11.9% market share followed by 774 ABC's 10.6% share with Fox FM third on 8.5%.[26] This survey was also the first for new ratings supplier GfK Group, the company that has taken over the running of surveys from Nielsen ratings which produced the surveys for 66 years.[27]

The final ratings survey for 2013 and the last to be conducted by Nielsen,[27] saw 3AW complete five years as Melbourne’s number one radio station with 40 consecutive survey wins.[28]

Past controversies[edit]

In 1996, drive-time host Paul Barber was dismissed for telling listeners to boycott the Nine Network program, A Current Affair over the treatment of the Paxton family.[29] He was dismissed after the Nine Network withdrew up to $300,000 in advertising.[30]

A handful of announcers around the country were dismissed after admitting they accepted cash to talk favourably about sponsors. They were later re-employed.

Former presenter Steve Price was tricked into accepting fake ecstasy tablets from comedian John Safran as part of Safran's television show.[31]

The station is considered by some to be the most vocal conservative voice in Melbourne radio.[32][33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allan's Music. Department of History, The University of Melbourne | Retrieved 1 April 2013
  2. ^ Book launch - "3AW is Melbourne". Mediasearch | Retrieved 1 April 2013
  3. ^ 3AW Radio turns 80 years old. 3AW | Retrieved 1 April 2013
  4. ^ "New Wave Lengths". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 August 1935. p. 11. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Do touch that dial, 3AW tells listeners | The Age 2 May 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  6. ^ Media House opens, reviving interest in building over rail lines | The Age 28 October 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  7. ^ South Melbourne Home of 3AW, Magic 1278, to be Sold
  8. ^ 3AW announcers under big brother camera | radioinfo website 13 April 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  9. ^ 3AW and Digital Radio | 3AW website. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  10. ^ About Digital Radio | Digital Radio Plus. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  11. ^ McMahon, Neil (18 July 2013). "Digital radio apps: Next stop, all stations". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media Limited. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Download the all-new 3AW radio application". 3AW. Fairfax Media Limited. 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "New Host Australia Overnight". Radio Today. Radio Today. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Shaw to do legal show on TV - mid dawns on Fairfax networked", radioinfo, 4 September 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  15. ^ 3AW profile
  16. ^ Rex Hunt leaves 3AW after shock offer from Triple M
  17. ^ 3AW reveal footy team for 2013 season | Radio Today. Retrieved 15 February 2013
  18. ^ a b Cameron Ling joins 3AW broadcast team | Herald Sun 11 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013
  19. ^ "3AW Football Profiles". 3AW. Fairfax Media. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Murnane, Matt (10 December 2013). "Fairfax Radio joins the Ashes cricket fray early". The Age. Fairfax Media Limited. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Fairfax Radio Network secures cricket broadcast rights deal" by 3AW Radio, The Age, 1 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  22. ^ "2UE to air Ashes as ABC loses stranglehold" by Chris Barrett, The Age, 4 October2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  23. ^ "3AW cricket team revealed". 3AW. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Melbourne Radio-Survey 6 2014". Radio Today. Radio Today. 30 September 2014. Retrieved September 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Te Koha, Nui (26 August 2014). "3AW radio kings Ross Stevenson, John Burns and Neil Mitchell snatch back ratings crown". Herald Sun. News Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  26. ^ "Melbourne Radio Survey 3 2014". Radio Today. Radio Today. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  27. ^ a b Jackson, Sally (19 February 2013). "GfK new radio ratings provider". The Australian. News Ltd. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  28. ^ "3AW celebrates 5yrs at No.1 in Melbourne". Fairfax Media Limited. Fairfax Media Limited. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  29. ^ The rating's on the wall, so Barber gets his air cut | The Age 29 March 1996. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  30. ^ Media create new Paxton episode | The Age 27 March 1996. Retrieved 18 April 2013
  31. ^ "Radio jock victim of drug hoax stunt". Cairns Post. 27 May 2002. p. 29. 
  32. ^ Crikey - Crikey's Bias-o-meter Part V: the shock jocks - Crikey's Bias-o-meter Part V: the shock jocks
  33. ^ "Stan and deliver". The Age (Melbourne). 10 March 2002. 

External links[edit]