Hello old friend: Radio revival as Geelong’s 3GL gets ready for relaunch


It was home to big radio names like Gene Fisk, Don Lunn, Denis Scanlan, Gary Newton, Tim Hind, Rod Poynter, Ric Ditchburn and Don Crawford. 

It’s the station that gave Happy Hammond his start in TV back in the 1940s.

Now, everything old is new again, and – thanks to the team at Geelong Broadcasters3GL is set to be officially relaunched on April 1st.

As Geelong Broadcasters General Manager Rachel Patterson tells Radio Today, 3GL is on air as we speak, running at reduced power on 1341.

“We still have a fair bit of engineering work to do to bring the site up to standard, including erecting a new antenna mast,” she says.

“We are also live on a handful of narrowcast FM frequencies from Wyndham to Colac, Queenscliff and Apollo Bay.”

3GL first went to air in 1930 and though based in Geelong, its signal could be heard across most of the Melbourne metropolitan area.

The 3GL call sign remained up until 1990, when the station underwent a conversion to FM and became K rock.

That spelt the end for the 1341 AM licence.

Subsequently, a new narrowcast licence with that frequency was auctioned by ACMA.

Geelong Broadcasters was the successful bidder.

Patterson says “The frequency was leased out to Chinese Broadcasters at a site owned and managed by third parties. Ultimately, this venture failed.”

Geelong Broadcasters acquired what remained of the transmission equipment and entered a new lease for the land.

Patterson says “In getting the transmission site working again, the search for a new narrowcast format began and our Chief Engineer Dean Gray joked about temporarily resurrecting 3GL on 1341, which piqued the station’s interest.”

“We had also been running a nostalgia format on some low powered narrowcast FM transmitters called West Coast Oldies.”

Whilst local businesses loved the concept of West Coast Oldies, they weren’t exactly sold on the name.

“When Dean suggested switching our heritage brand 3GL back on air, we loved it,” says Patterson. “So much so, we decided to re-launch the 3GL brand on both AM and FM frequencies.”

The official station format and imaging is currently being curated.

Listeners who tune in right now will hear a mix of 50s, 60s and early 70s music, with original imaging.

Patterson says so far, the feedback’s been great.

“We turned the 1341 transmitter back on in December around 3pm in the afternoon and by 5pm, Facebook had lit up with hundreds of comments and likes.”

Patterson says the person who runs the Facebook page called 3GL On The West Coast called Geelong Broadcasters’ reception the next day to say he’d been inundated with messages.

Patterson says they’ve also had calls from the former GM and a few of the announcers, two of whom have created a podcast called ‘Remembering 3GL,’ which launches March 28th.

“All in all, we think 3GL is being fairly well received.”

The revival of 3GL has certainly been music to the ears of Denis Scanlan, who posted to social media, saying “Thank you Grant Broadcasting for bringing back 3GL.”

“I hear they’re picking up a lot of listeners and it’s great to hear that 3GL is being run by professional radio people who love radio.”

“My daughter told me she picked them up the other day by accident and thought they sounded great.”

“It’s like a beloved friend came back to life.”

*Photos: 3GL On The West Coast Facebook page

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Rory grummisch
18 Mar 2024 - 4:18 pm

Gd luck

Peter Tate
19 Mar 2024 - 11:49 am

Great work guys… But if this is really a HPON license….

Graham Rawlins
20 Mar 2024 - 12:49 am

What GREAT news. I was involved as a sports commentator from 1968 until 3GL went FM. Great memories of mentors like Mr. Reg Gray and then Terry Taylor – among a host of top broadcasters and technical staff – Jack Matthews, John McConnell and Eric Forsyth just to mention a few. My first involvement with 3GL goes back to the 50’s when we did Sunday School of the Air. Would love to become reinvolved and present top programs of true local Geelong interest.

Jennifer Azzopardi
29 Mar 2024 - 12:24 pm

Accidentially found 3GL Am loving the music . the music I love to listen to.

14 Apr 2024 - 2:40 pm

Woo bloody hoo !! This is the best news, best station, best music ever!


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