Kiss FM Australia

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Kiss FM
Broadcast areaMelbourne, Australia
BrandingKiss FM
SloganDance Music Australia
Frequency87.6 MHz FM
Repeater(s)87.8 MHz FM
88.0 MHz FM
First air date2005 (2005)
FormatElectronic & dance music
ClassNarrowcast (LPON)
OwnerTimmy Byrne

Kiss FM is a narrowcast dance music station, based in Melbourne's CBD, and broadcasting on various frequencies between 87.6 and 88.0 FM in Melbourne. The station's programmes are also networked to Orbit FM, a local narrowcaster in Cairns, Queensland.


The station grew out of aspirant community licensee Kiss 90 FM, which lost out for a full-time license in 2001, and Sydney and Brisbane narrowcaster Rhythm FM. Rhythm FM was bought by some of the previous management of Kiss 90 and relaunched as Kiss FM in 2005 as a narrowcast radio service.[1][2]

Kiss 90 FM[edit]

Kiss 90 FM
Broadcast areaGreater Melbourne
BrandingKiss 90
Slogan100% Dance Bliss, Serious Dance
FrequencyFM 89.9 MHz
First air dateJune 1994
Last air date2001
FormatDance/Rhythmic CHR
ClassCommunity Aspirant

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.

February 1994[edit]

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.

March 1994[edit]

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.

June 1994[edit]

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.

July 1994[edit]

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[edit]

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.

By 1996 and the 5th Broadcast the Board that ran Kiss was virtually non existent. The Station had been moved from Prahran to Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD and was close to folding. Timmy Byrne who copresented along with Paul Main and Mark Neil the most popular show on Kiss FM Beautiful Saturdays approached what was left of the board to lobby joining the board and offered his services as station manager. Timmy had extensive experience in the media both in radio and audio production as well as television production. He had held DJ residencies in Melbourne's major clubs - The Underground, Redhead and Saratoga to name but a few plus he also had a degree in Media and Japanese. At the AGM held at the new Collins Street address he was voted onto the board and made station manager.

Timmy then set about building Kiss into the highly successful station it became. A new Board was gradually recruited and volunteers appointed in various departments.

By the eighth broadcast the station was forced to relocate and moved to St.Kilda. It was here that it really hit its mark. There were now some 20 volunteers, eight paid staff and 50 plus DJs. The station was continuing to do intermittent broadcasts of four to six weeks but each broadcast saw it go from strength to strength.

To keep the whole thing going between broadcasts Go Magazine was launched to great critical acclaim - it was Australia's first dance music magazine.

The station ventured outside the studio on numerous occasions broadcasting live from street raves, The Big Day Out, The Apollo Festival and the St. Kilda Festival.

Marketing efforts saw bill boards promote each broadcast, Kiss cruisers were on the road facilitating live crosses from clubs and events and a Kiss emblazoned tram sponsored by Telstra spread the Kiss message across the wider metropolitan area.

Every international DJ that visited Melbourne when the station was on air graced the Kiss studio. The likes of John Digweed, Frankie Knuckles, Paul Oakenfold, Derek May, Juan Atkins and more.


Kiss 90 was licensed 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 21 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

Test broadcasts[edit]

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[edit]


Time Show Presenters
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


Time Saturday Sunday
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 Saturdays Timmy Byrne, Paul Main & Mark Neil 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

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
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

Kiss FM currently has active transmitters at Flemington, Geelong, Kangaroo Ground, Melbourne City, and a relay service to Cairns. Previously, Kiss FM had also broadcast in regional Victoria in Wangaratta and Daylesford however these services were under an agreement with another operator, who has since closed the services and sold the licences to other broadcast service operators.

Today, the station is owned and managed by Timmy Byrne & Kate Wignell. It is the home of duo TRANCEGRESSION, which features live DJ mixes including vocal hard trance though to hardstyle; The Beautiful Drive with Timmy Byrne. Annually, the station hosts a dance party on Australia Day - 26 January - at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, known as Kiss My Grass.[3] All radio hosts are invited to play a 45-minute set to an audience exceeding 10,000.

Kiss and KIIS[edit]

In late 2013, Kiss FM had unsuccessfully attempted to prevent commercial radio network Australian Radio Network rebranding its Mix Network stations - initially only in Sydney - to the similar KIIS. At the time of the attempt, Kiss FM's trademark had expired, and a new application from ARN for KIIS had been submitted and accepted. With industry rumors that Melbourne's Mix 101.1 would also rebrand to KIIS, Kiss FM Australia launched the "Kiss Off ARN" campaign, stating that ARN's new branding was a breach of their trademark, and that the station would be pursuing legal action.[4] However, in February 2014, the two parties reached a "confidential agreement", and the issue never made it to court.[5]

In November 2014, it was confirmed that Mix 101.1 would rebrand as KIIS,[6] and did so in January 2015.

Kiss FM is the only Australian radio station to be invited to the prestigious International Radio Festival. Kiss FM has participated three times. Twice in Zurich, Switzerland and in 2018 Valetta, Malta. Each time Timmy Byrne (station manager & presenter "The Beautiful Drive") has presented an all Australian dance music version of his show to a world wide audience of up to 100 million people.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ "Kiss Off ARN - the battle for the name is on". Radio Today. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Kiss and KIIS to co-exist, as legal battle ends". Radio Today. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Melbourne's MIX 101.1 Rebrands as KIIS 101.1". B&T. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.

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