Dying AM stations (was Re: AM stereo)

Dying AM stations (was Re: AM stereo)

Post by Liron Lightwo » Thu, 23 Jul 1992 18:48:33


Quote:>As our moderator is aware, my opinion is that AM is dead and is just
>waiting to be buried. Frankly, I hope someone does it soon so that the
>corpse does not stink up the environment. This particular station is
>being kicked off the land that its towers occupy and is having
>considerable difficulty finding somewhere to go. I think the owner is
>nuts to even consider spending the cool quarter million that it will
>take to relocate it, but then it is his money. It would be the
>first AM in this market to go dark and maybe that is the reason he
>wants to keep it alive for now.
>Pride is certainly expensive!

Yeah, that happenned to an AM station here in Melbourne Australia last
year - it went off the air for nearly a year and only just started up
again on a new frequency and with a new identy and owner.

The station was called 3XY on 1422 Khz and was the number one rock station in
Melbourne during the 1970's and early 1980's.  Here is a brief history of
its demise.  Note that the company names are to the best of my knowledge
and may not be 100% accurate.  Moderator: if you feel that the company
names should be deleted, you are free to do so.

All $ values are in Australian dollars, $1 Aus = $0.74 US at present,
though was $75-$80 or more during 1988-1991.

1986 or 1987, - ratings of 8% compared with 11%-13% for the two only FM rock
              - Sold to Paul Dainty corporation (a music promoter I think)
                for $35 million! (that's over $US25 million - still !)

middle 1988   - ratings of 6% compared to 13% for two FM rock stations
              - Bought by Catholic Church for $12 million

late 1988     - Format change from Ppo and rock to "Easy rock" (over 30's)
              - ratings immediately plummited to 3%, while ratings of
                FM rock stations jumped to 15%

late 1989     - ratings of around 1-2%
              - Station bought by a Geelong (small city 80 km from
                Melbourne) FM station for $1.5 -2.0 Million.  The Geelong
                FM station, BAY FM 93.9 starts broadcasting in December and
                simulcasts with 3XY from 6am to 6pm nightly.  Format of BAY
                FM is everything from rock to dance music, a little of
                everything but not much of anything.  3XY's format is
                unchanged from 6am to 6pm daily.

January 1990  - Existing Geelong AM station (3GL 1341) (with existing audience
                and therefore, quite an advantage) moves to FM 95.5.
                Format is rock, but targeted for an older audience than BAY FM
                N.B.  BAY FM and FM 95.5 are the only commercial stations
                in Geelong
              - 3XY is now simulcasting 24 hours a day with BAY FM, with
                all programs coming from Geelong.  3XY has lost its
                Melbourne identity, and continues to do poorly in the

February 1991 - BAY FM/3XY is losing lots of money (in the order of
                thousands per month.  Receivership looks like a real
              - Furthermore, they are forced to stop simulcasting 3XY with
                BAY FM (by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal I think) and
                now have to produce separate programs for 3XY.
              - BAY FM makes a format change to easy listening, in order to
                capture the over 40's market which is uncatered for in
                Geelong (a good move financially in my opinion).
              - 3Xy starts separate programs, but they still come from

March 1991    - 3XY cannot afford to subscribe to the radio ratings
                service, and their ratings results are no longer published.
              - 3XY moves to a new transmitter site and erects a new
                transmitter, one which (based on what I have read or heard)
                was of considerably lower quality than the previous one.  For
                example, the AC hum was quite loud during quite music periods
                or when the DJ was talking.  Whether this move was voluntary
                or forced upon them, and why, I don't know, but I suspect it
                had to do with saving money.
              - The owners of 3XY want to sell the station

Mid 1991      - Morale at 3XY is at an all-time low, and finances are getting
                desperate.  Reports in the papers say, for example, that they
                are only able to give out the weather forecast because the
                brother of someone who works there rings up every morning!
              - Meanwhile, BAY FM is doing much better.  They are alot
                healthier than before their format change
              - 3XY has been sold to a consortium for $500,000 (!)  They
                prepare a new format, studios, lineup, even hire people who
                quit their old jobs.  A relaunch date is set.
              - Due to financing problems the sale falls through.

August 1991   - 3XY is bought by AWA media for $500,000.  This time the sale
                is successful.
              - After a couple of days, 3XY is closed down.  The end of an
                era in Melbourne


Dying AM stations (was Re: AM stereo)

Post by robert.f.cas » Sat, 25 Jul 1992 15:51:20

>Yeah, that happenned to an AM station here in Melbourne Australia last
>year - it went off the air for nearly a year and only just started up
>again on a new frequency and with a new identy and owner.

>The station was called 3XY on 1422 Khz and was the number one rock
>station ...

I remember hearing this station 3XY when I visited Melbourne back in
April '86 (a Halley's comet tour).  Thought it was pretty good during  my
2 day stay then.  I have a short aircheck I made of them, and other
stations, when I was there.  If memory serves correctly, there was
another station called the "FOX", another one called "EON".  These are
probably tradenames like the ones we have in USA, like Z-rock.  One
station had a "punk" style morning team.  Heard them arguing about what
time it was. "It's 5 before 8"  "No, it's 2 before 8!"  "No, it's 5
after 8!"  "Shut up!" or some such.  

I seem to remember most rock stations in Australia played what we in USA
call "modern rock", like WDRE Garden City, NY.  


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