ACE Radio hires ABC veterans for Friday drive on Melbourne’s 3MP

Coodabeen Champions

Coodabeen Champions leave ABC radio after 23 years for ACE network

ACE Radio is calling its latest signing one of the “most exciting trade deals in radio football history,” as the legendary Coodabeen Champions will be wearing new guernseys in 2022.

Hot on the heels of AFL trade season, the Coodabeens will join ACE Radio’s 3MP in Melbourne and ACE’s network of stations throughout regional Victoria.

Mediaweek reported after GfK Survey 6, 3MP breakfast nearly doubled its share, albeit off a low base, with hosts Jon Vertigan and Julie Strini.

See also: Melbourne Radio Ratings Survey 6, 2021

One of Australia’s longest-lasting radio teams, the Coodabeens – Jeff Richardson, Simon Whelan, Ian Cover, Greg Champion, Billy Baxter, Andy Bellairs and ‘Torch’ McGee – are coming off back-to-back seasons at the top of the ratings ladder.

The Coodabeens have built a loyal following since their program first aired on 3RRR in 1981. Over the four decades since, they’ve also established a reputation as broadcasters, authors, podcasters, live performers and all-round entertainers.

Mark Taylor, 3MP general manager and ACE Radio CEO, said the Coodabeens’ brand and humour will be a great fit for the station.

“The Coodabeens are a household name, not only in Melbourne but right across the state,” Taylor said.

“We’re very excited about them presenting their show on Friday afternoons when people are winding down from work and gearing up for the footy.”

And it’s not only the chairman of selectors who’s happy. Coodabeens vice-captain Ian Cover said the team is enthused by the prospect of broadcasting to listeners across the network’s 10 stations.

Coodabeens at a past Grand Final day at the MCG

“ACE offers the best of all worlds – 3MP is a growing Melbourne radio brand, they have a strong heritage in communities throughout regional Victoria and a suite of platforms which allow us to connect with listeners everywhere,” Cover said.

“We’ll be taking the show on the road at times, broadcasting from local footy grounds, sampling the canteens and meeting the people of our great state.”

The Coodabeens are currently enjoying a short 20-week end-of-season break, after which they plan to put in a light pre-season. Or they might not.

Listen to the Coodabeen Champions Fridays from 4-6pm on 3MP and across the ACE Radio network starting in March 2022. The program will also be available via the 3MP app and as a podcast.

Coodabeen Champions radio journey

3RRR 1981-1987
ABC Melbourne 1988-1992
3AW 1993-2002
ABC Melbourne 2003-2021

Read: The Coodabeen Champions: 40 Footy Seasons

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