Latest blog posts

Your long-weekend bangin barbie playlist from Summer 97/98!

The January long weekend is the perfect time for listening to a bunch of great tunes while you gather with ...

Hitz FM’s unforgettable Summer: And your 30th anniversary gift

It was 30 years ago - tonight - that Hitz FM's unforgettable Summer broadcast of 93-94 began. To celebrate, I've ...

DNA of Hitz: Christian Slater’s amazing Pump Up The Volume

Christian Slater knocked my socks off the first time I saw him in action. But it wasn't Pump Up The ...

Happy 50th birthday Hip Hop – from Hitz FM Melbourne

Happy birthday, Hip Hop! August 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the genre and culture - at ...

Your Top 9 stories in three years of Hitz Memories

It was back in August 2020 when this site began, and now it's time to celebrate three years of Hitz ...

Get your bangers here! The Original Hitz Volume 5

Once you hit June in Melbourne, it's seriously cold. So queing up for a nightclub is a real test of ...
More stories, photos, recordings… dating back to August 2020

Welcome to GabeMcGrath.com

Gabe’s a writer who works in radio. Gabe’s worked as a freelancer for magazines, newspapers and websites. And now he’s both blogging – and writing a memoir – about Hitz FM Melbourne.

Gabe was there at the beginning – in 1992 when Hitz FM first said ‘NO’ to classic rock, and burst onto the airwaves using borrowed gear and two small rooms in a highschool. He was there in 93/94 when this youth radio station became the ‘feel good’ story of Summer. And he was there in the mid 90s, when the station went from strength to strength, releasing its own CDs, starting its own TV show and training hundreds of volunteers in media and promotions.

Hitz FM Melbourne – the impact

When this ‘little station that could’ began, Melbourne’s two most popular FM radio stations we’re fighting it out over who could play the most classic rock. A third station was playing ballads (hello Michael Bolton) and a 4th was playing oldies.

Halfway through the station’s Summer 93/94 broadcast, one of the classic rock stations had started playing East 17 and Tevin Campbell. The other one crashed to 4th place in the ratings when young listeners found another option. And the “ballad” station was playing Robin S and M People.

Songs started appearing in the charts. Songs that were only played on Hitz FM. The announcers and guests were mobbed at live appearances. The volunteer-powered radio station appeared in every Melbourne TV news bulletin and newspaper.

Hitz FM Melbourne – the legacy

Although the station was ultimately unsuccessful in its application to the Australian government’s broadcast body – its name, achievements and impacts live on. Many Hitz alumni have moved on to great success in the media and other fields. Hundreds of volunteers have used the skills and experience they gained.

You can easily trace big changes in Melbourne radio formats back to the youth station and its music playlist. These changes eventually rippled elsewhere around Australia.

But most of all, for a generation of Melbournians, the name “Hitz FM” will trigger a massive grin. And for that, every sleepless night was worth it.