Thankyou Anton and Nick

This week marks a special anniversary for the Hitz team. It’s the week Anton Vanderlely and Nick Karlas won a Tattersall’s ‘Enterprise and Achievement’ award for their groundbreaking idea of creating a youth radio station in Melbourne.

And this time… “that’s enough from me”.

I’m handing this post over to other members of the Hitz crew. They’re all very grateful to Anton and Nick, for creating that ‘Sliding Doors’ moment when their lives changed…

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When Hitz Supersized McHappy Day

Over the years, I did a few McHappy Days in community radio. In 1992, the ECB FM team helped out at Nunawading McDonald’s with Greg Evans (Perfect Match) and Ian McFadyen (Comedy Company). Many of ECB’s Night Crew (under 25s) went on to participate in Hitz FM. So it wasn’t a big surprise, when Hitz did a bit of McHappying of our own.

Following Hitz’s huge Summer 93/94 broadcast, we were very keen to keep interacting with the public. We just had to take ourselves TO the public – now that we weren’t onair. So we assembled two teams for McHappy Day 1994, and sent them to Melbourne’s Eastern and South-Eastern suburbs. It was a great day out.

But in 1995, the Hitz crew decided to really UPSIZE our involvement. Four teams of volunteers. Not 10 stores. Not 15. Twenty One stores. 21…. in one day. Madness.

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On this day – Hitz got hacked

Hitz FM’s 5th broadcast had been going well.

We’d tweaked the music to add a bit more hiphop and alternative to the mix. We were smashing out the big pop/dance tracks of early ’95 like The Bomb (The Bucketheads), Living in Danger (Ace of Base) and the Hardfloor remix of Yeke Yeke [Mary Kante]. We had fantastic Jeep Renegade vehicles for giving out prizes. And the Hitz team were living on a very healthy (?) diet of Jolt Cola and Kettle Chips.

But one day in the final week of the broadcast, a little “beep” changed everything.

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Remembering Hitz One CD (1998)

On this day in 1998, the Hitz CD series had a ‘reboot’ of sorts. No more ‘Original Hitz’. No more single CD releases. The Hitz One CD modernised the series, going to a two disc format, and adding an exclusive megamix with each release.

Today we look back on this historic CD, and I’ve invited a few of the team who put it together to share some memories.

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LISTEN: On this night: Hitz FM’s 3rd broadcast ends

Right now, it seems a lifetime since I posted about the anniversary of the start of Hitz FM’s 3rd broadcast. And back on this night, March 11 in 1994 – it felt the same. Ninety days felt like ninety weeks.

Our planned 2 month broadcast – had been extended to three months. Our borrowed school classroms had become a proper office. We knew we’d be able to be heard all over Melbourne – but we didn’t realise people would LISTEN all over Melbourne.

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On this day: Peter Andre PANDAMONIUM at Hitz FM

First of all, happy Valentines Day.

Tonight I bring you news of a February 14 like no other. And for the first time ever on GabeMcGrath.com – I’ve invited a few of my old Hitz friends to help me.

As I noted the other day in our A Current Affair post, early 1994 was a pretty crazy time at Hitz FM. We had tonnes of media coverage. Hundreds of phone calls every day.

Then one night, Peter Andre dropped in…

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On this Day: Hitz 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…

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STREAM: 1st HOUR of Hitz Summer 93/94 Broadcast 3

Today’s the day. December 10. The day back in 1993 when something pretty amazing started. The 3rd broadcast of a little youth-run radio station called Hitz FM.

Over the next 90 days the request phone line went from 1 phone to 2 phones, to 4. The media went crazy. Radio ratings showed Melbourne kids were tuning in – in their thousands. And a near riot occured when we invited a popstar to visit.

But first – the big news. One of my audio experts has found a cassette of the first hour of broadcast 3. I hadn’t heard it since the day it happenned in 1993. And I’m excited to bring it to you now…

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25 years ago today – Hitz FM’s 6th Broadcast

25 years ago tonight, Hitz FM Melbourne was broadcasting live from Inflation Nightclub. It was the final night of the station’s 6th broadcast. Time to celebrate. The station had come back onair, it had a new CD in the shops, and it had one of those brand new “webpage” things on the “internet”.

Yes – it was clearly 1995.

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