Samuel In Dolgnwot: Series 2, Episode 10 Samuel’s Footy Tips: Results

The 3AW/Magic Changeover

May 8th, 2006 at 07:15am

It is 7:15AM, which means Melbourne was in the midst of radio history exactly one week ago when 3AW changed frequency from 1278kHz to 693kHz. The changover was (apparently) done by AFL legend Ron Barassi by flicking a large yellow switch on the top of a big black box with wires attached.
Ron Barassi flicks the switch to move 3AW from 1278kHz to 693kHz

Unfortunately I fear that the switch was more of a press event than anything else, as the changeover semi-occured before the switch was flicked. Here is what was heard on 1278kHz

Ross Stevenson: “Throw that switch”
(Sound effect)
Ross Stevenson: “Ross Stevenson”
John Burns: “John Burns”
Ross Stevenson: “Welcome you to the new age on 6-9-3”

Whilst on 693kHz the following took place

Ann Gilding: “You know Andy there’s just one thing I’d like to do, just one more time before we move to 1278”
Andrew McLaren: “I hate to think Ann”
Ann Gilding: “Can we play a Magic 693 jingle just one more time?”
(Magic 693 Jingle)
Ross Stevenson: “Throw That Swi…”
Ross Stevenson: “Ross Stevenson”
John Burns: “John Burns”
Ross Stevenson: “Welcome you to the new age on 6-9-3”

None the less, the changeover was interesting, and the technicians obviously only had one chance to get it right. If it had been me I would have tried to get 3AW on 693kHz starting with the sound effect. I suspect they did too, but not to worry, it all worked out in the end.

Magic 693 ended with the song they came to life with, “Magic Moments” by Perry Como. The man who played the song when Magic first went to air, Artie Stevens, said that “it was a significant thing to finish with”.

With thanks to Robert “Wombat Lover” I am able to bring you some audio of the changeover.

Firstly we have the last minutes of Magic 693, the changeover, and the first minutes of 3AW 693 (10 minutes 13 seconds, 4.3MB, Click here to download)

Next up we have the first topical discussion on 3AW 693, a discussion about the Fremantle V St. Kilda inaudible siren fiasco, and the first 3AW news on 693, which features a story about the changeover, including the audio from the 1278 version of the changeover. (9 minutes 45 seconds, 4.1MB, Click here to download)

Magic 1278 came to life, not at 10am as promised, but at 10:05:16 when the ad break between the 3AW news and the Magic 1278 weather started, the Magic 1278 weather started at 10:06:01, and the Magic 1278 intro featuring a potted history of Magic 693/1278 and Olivia Newton John’s “Magic” started at 10:06:37. The download for this features 3AW using Auld Lang Syne as their goodbye to 1278kHz, 3AW News, the Magic 1278 intro and the Magic breakfast hosts dropping in on the morning host for a little chat. (17 minutes 15 seconds, 7.2MB, Click here to download)

So there you have it folks, Australian radio history recorded on Samuel’s Blog, and therefore the National Library of Australia’s PANDORA archive.

The final radio ratings containing Magic 693 and 3AW 1278 is due out tomorrow (the survey period ended on the Saturday prior to the changeover), and the first ratings containing Magic 1278 and 3AW 693 is due out on Tuesday, June 20 (the survey period started yesterday), and I will endeavour to bring you both.


Entry Filed under: Entertainment,General News,TV/Radio/Media

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1 Comment

  • 1. Chuck A. Spear  |  May 8th, 2006 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for detailing this historic moment in Australian Radio.

    It comes a close second to Samuel’s Blog getting a Favicon.

    Just a question. What kind of a relationship does Robert ‘Wombat’ Lover have with our furry native tunnel maker?


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