Fox brings former presenters back for 40th birthday celebrations

Former Editor & Content Director

Melbourne’s Fox FM is celebrating turning 40 by looking back on the presenters, the music and the moments which made the station.

Despite attempting to mark a milestone in a pandemic, the station’s content director Amanda Lee told Radio Today there is no mid-life crisis for “The Fox”.

“I think many who have had big milestones this year probably feel a bit ripped off,” she said, noting the station did plan to have a big party when it actually turned 40 back in August, but COVID-19 kept getting in the way.

So instead of a party, there will be a week-long on-air celebration. From today through to Thursday, the station will play music highlights from the past 40 years, including chart hits and key live moments when artists came into the studio or to the World Famous Rooftop.

Listeners will also reflect on their favourite moments growing up with, or growing old with, The Fox.

It will culminate on Friday with the return of some popular former presenters including Hamish & Andy, Osher Gunsberg (Andrew G when he was on air at the station), Ugly Phil, Tony Martin, Tracy Bartram, Gavin Wood, Barry Bissell, and the Matt & Jo Show.

“[This week] will be a really special week, paying homage to such an iconic brand. So many talent and shows have walked those hallways, and [there’s] just great memories. And I think its going to be a really special week, and really celebrate Melbourne. And that’s what The Fox was always built on, and always has been – being local, truly Melbourne, and very inclusive of our listeners,” Lee said.

Given Melbourne’s prolonged lockdowns though, and many in the city feeling downtrodden and excluded as the rest of the country exercises more freedoms, is the city in the mood for a party?

Lee said with school going back this week, there is a reason for some listeners to celebrate. Plus, she believes nostalgia and remembering a ‘simpler’ time, could be just what Melbourne needs.

“It will be a real walk down memory lane. And I think that’s probably what we indeed right now. I think it’s so dull in Melbourne right now, we’re still in lockdown, so when you hear some of that stuff, it really does put a smile on your face.

“It’s like when you play old-school music, you remember some of that nostalgia for what you were doing at the time. So I think it will give Melbourne a good little smile and laugh.”

Lee said despite Melbourne’s current struggles, and Fox’s fall in the recent radio ratings, what makes the station stand out over time is its connection to the city, and internally, the enduring “Fox Family”.

“I’ve worked at a lot of radio station and other networks as well, and I think what stands out for me is the team, and we do call it ‘The Fox Family’, and it is many, reincarnations of The Fox Family who have – it was a different team I was there last time as well – but it’s this kind of collection of misfits and it just works. It’s so open and open to ideas and it’s a real family who just wants to have fun, and I think that comes out of the speakers as well,” she told Radio Today.

Southern Cross Austereo’s chief content officer, Dave Cameron, has been at The Fox since the 90s, and said it’s always set the benchmark for on-air talent.

“From the very beginning we have engaged with the best, most experienced entertainers in the country who have created some of the best radio in the world. Our breakfast show Fifi, Fev and Byron has never been as connected to our audience than they are in 2020 and they’re going to have a lot of fun celebrating the last 40 years this week,” he said in a statement.

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Donald Trump
12 Oct 2020 - 12:56 pm

Good to see these guys are using my strategy of dismissing ratings and polls and just saying things in the hope that people will believe it.

Rating in the 4s and then saying “Our breakfast show Fifi, Fev and Byron has never been as connected to our audience than they are in 2020” is simply brilliant

12 Oct 2020 - 6:10 pm

I like reading the comments on this website more than the actual content

We need need to have a “like” button – the above observation is absolute gold

Michael Coles
12 Oct 2020 - 9:42 pm

This podcast is brilliant – can’t wait to hear these icons on Friday. Well done, probably the best 40 years celebration any station in Australia has ever seen!

13 Oct 2020 - 7:58 am

Dave has turned into Shane Warne the king of spin. What shows has he built ?
Grubby and Dee Dee and The Jamie Angel show ? Tired of SCA spin, boring, repetitive and unfounded. Can leaders be little more authentic and realistic instead of this constant waffle. Leave that to the CEO.

13 Oct 2020 - 12:06 pm

Bring on the comments from the washed up radio announcers from the 80’s who still pull a shift on 2-community-anyone-can-get-on-and-talk-crap FM… ‘back in my day’ *Fist shake*

As a radio fan… firstly @Donald Trump, you’re an idiot… we’re in a pandemic mate… ratings right now mean absolute jack! Melbourne only have a tiny percentage of people actually going to work. 3AW won’t keep a 26% in breakfast… pretty clear where the Melbourne market is at right now.

Everyone else can we just enjoy something for once… it’s a crap year! Look at all of these radio legends that we get to hear from… I for one am looking forward to hearing from them all and applying learnings into my work.

So bitter. Smile!

Jack Jones
13 Oct 2020 - 2:59 pm

I reckon we take this for what it is… a celebration not just for the FOX but for the radio industry and take the politics out of it (well said Chantelle)!

Well done to the FOX Team, creating a memorable week of radio, whilst STILL in lockdown.

13 Oct 2020 - 3:07 pm

I have missed the Matt & Jo Show ever since it ended so I’m truly looking forward to hearing them back on air this Friday. In my opinion there has never been a better Breakfast radio show in Melbourne.

nick bartlett
13 Oct 2020 - 5:41 pm

I am old enough to remember when The Fox was a Melbourne station and not a copy of so many regional and capital city radio stations; that is before the Hit Network.

The Fox is now a radio station in Melbourne and not a Melbourne radio station.

EON 92.3
13 Oct 2020 - 8:36 pm

I remember the 1980s. From those of you who were too young – it was the time before every hit music station (Nova, Fox and KIIS) did not sound like a cross between Capital FM in London and KIIS in Los Angeles.

Melbourne’s radio stations sounded like…..well……..Melbourne radio stations.

Donald Trump
14 Oct 2020 - 8:02 am

The thing is Chantelle, SCA and CRA have been boasting about how much listenership has increased during the pandemic. But when the ratings come out they blame the pandemic for the low numbers. It’s the contridiction that rubs people up the wrong way.

There seems to be some fake news going on.

As I’ll learn on November 3, making stuff up all the time doesn’t make people like or trust you.


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