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3MBS is the premier broadcaster and supporter of fine music in Melbourne, supporting local music and musicians, working with the Australia-wide MBS network and offering services to listeners that will enhance their enjoyment of fine music.
3MBS passionately supports Melbourne musicians and composers, and is the only locally-based classical music radio station in Victoria. 3MBS relies on listener support in the form of subscriptions, donations and bequests.
Founded in 1975, 3MBS was the first FM station in Victoria and led the way for the introduction of community radio in Australia. 3MBS was conceived by music fan and radio engineer Brian Cabena in 1968 to address a lack of classical music being played on the radio. Cabena wrote a letter to The Age newspaper, calling for interest in a listener-run classical music radio station. 200 people attended that first meeting and founded the Music Broadcasting Society (MBS) of Victoria. In 1972, the new government licensed use of the FM band for this new station. MBS members travelled to Sydney to establish 2MBS in late 1974, which was followed a year later by the launch of Melbourne's 3MBS in July 1975.
As we still do, 3MBS relied on subscriptions from listeners to fund the operation of the station, and for a time, only divulged programming information to subscribers. Numbered items related to printed program notes and announcers would refer to the music by number only (a practice which was abandoned in 1976). 3MBS continues to produce a program guide, which is delivered to all subscribers in either printed or email format.
In 2007 3MBS relocated from Brian Cabena's original shopfront at Kew to our current home at the Abbotsford Convent. 3MBS is proud to be part of this beautiful cultural precinct.
Looking to the future, 3MBS built the new station to make the most of digital technology and features digitally linked studios and a state-of-the art performance studio and control room, with which 3MBS broadcasts and records local, national and international musicians. A small team of staff supports nearly 200 volunteers who undertake all presenting, programming, sound engineering, librarian and reception duties and a variety of administrative roles.
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