On this Day: Hitz FM on A Current Affair

It was one crazy Summer. The Summer of ’93/’94.
When Hitz FM appeared on A Current Affair.

Sure, every day during the 3rd broadcast, things seemed to be getting bigger.

First we noticed when we stopped at traffic lights – other people listening to our youth station. Other people we didn’t even know. Then the phone calls kept coming in… soon we had 4 telephone lines ringing all day.

Then, ACA arrived…

The entrance to Hitz FM in Station Street Moorabbin.

The first thing to remember, is that back in the early 90s, the nightly news and current affairs shows were A BIG THING. Nobody had Netflix, smartphones or even the internet as another option. So when A Current Affair called to say they wanted to do a story on Hitz FM- our jaws dropped.

Our Power 20 countdown host Glenn Hampson. aka “Glenn 20”. Brought to you by Sportsgirl

It was a BIG story

We assumed it would just be a ‘little thing’ – but they spent ages at the station. They talked to pretty much everyone. Filmed every area. At one point I asked the reporter.. ‘Have you seen our little Hitz cruiser?‘ He said no.

I suggested that Denis (our promotions guy) and I SPRINT TO THE CAR as if it’s that moment in the 1960s Batman TV series. Of course, we never did that in real life – but it was a great bit of action. We visited a local shopping strip – schoolkids swarmed and it was brilliant television. As one of the girls said of our little station ‘It’s great coz they don’t play that old fogey stuff’. And I couldn’t have put it better myself.

The Hitz FM cruiser. We told everyone it came from ‘Mebourne’s Cheapest Cars’ and THERE’S THE STICKER TO PROVE IT.

The also interviewed Matt (one of our announcers) and yours truly in the recording booth. There they captured me putting on a ridiculous ‘cool voice’ for a nightclub ad. And then the final insult – they mispronounced my name in the final report.

Hilariously everything I said hit the cutting room floor (besides my sponsor promo recording)

And the impact was huge

The screening of the A Current Affair story – on this day in 1994 – was another leap forward in Hitz FM’s popularity that one crazy Summer. In the weeks that followed we had a near-riot of pop fans at the station, a shock ratings triump, news coverage galore, and…

Well, I’d better leave something for the blog.

And as for the really cool behind-the-scenes stuff, that’s all going in the book.

Finally, if you haven’t seen the video… enjoy!

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Author: Gabe McGrath

Gabe McGrath is a radio creative and freelance writer. He helped set up 89.9 Hitz FM Melbourne in the 90s. This youth radio station caused a sensation and 30 years later many a 90s kid will smile when 'Hitz' is mentioned. Gabe is working on a book about that era and now blogs about Hitz Melbourne. GabeMcGrath.com includes tonnes of streaming audio recordings, photos, stories and behind-the-scenes info.

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