GTV (General Television Corporation) is a television station in Melbourne, Australia owned by the Nine Network. It was the second commercial TV stations in Melbourne, and amongst the first to began transmission in Australia. Test transmissions began on 27 September 1956, introduced by former 3DB radio announcer Geoff Corke. The station is based at a converted factory in Bendigo Street, Richmond.
Sir Dallas Brooks officially opened GTV-9 on 19 January 1957 from studios in Bendigo Street, Richmond. The building had been converted from a Heinz tinned food factory, also occupied in the past by include Wertheim Piano (from 1908 - 1935). A conerstone, now visible from the staff canteen courtyard, was laid when construction of the Piano factory began.
The station was licensed to the General Television Corporation Ltd., a consortium of two newspapers, The Argus and The Age, as well as Hoyts, Greater Union, Electronic Industries, JC William's Theatres, Cinesound Productions, and radio stations 3XY, 3UZ, 3KZ. GTV-9's first major production, in 1957, was the variety show In Melbourne Tonight ("IMT"), hosted by Graham Kennedy. Kennedy was a radio announcer at 3UZ in Melbourne before being 'discovered' by GTV-9 producer Norm Spencer, when appearing on a GTV telethon. IMT continued for thirteen years, dominating Melbourne's television scene for most of that time. It set a precedent for a number of live variety programmes from the station. Soon after the station's launch, Eric Pearce was appointed to read the news on the station - a position held for almost twenty years.
In 1957 The Argus was acquired by The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, which in turn sold its interests in the station to Sir Arthur Warner's Electronic Industries, later acquired by UK television manufacturer Pye, in 1960. Because of the restriction on foreign ownership of television stations, GTV-9 was then sold to Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press, which already owned TCN-9 in Sydney, resulting in the formation of the country's first commercial television network.
Along with most Australian TV stations, GTV-9 commenced colour test transmissions in October, 1974. The official changeover took place at 12.00am on Saturday 1 March 1975. GTV became the first Melbourne television station to commence 24 hour transmission in 1976. The station commenced digital television broadcasting in 2001, in line with most other metropolitan stations. GTV continued broadcasting in analogue on VHF9, with a digital simulcast on VHF8.
HSV-7 newsreader Brian Naylor joined the station in 1979, an association that lasted 20 years. Retiring at the end of 1998, Naylor was replaced by deputy newsreader Peter Hitchener. The station's evening news bulletin, National Nine News is currently presented by Hitchener from every Monday to Friday, with Jo Hall presenting the Saturday & Sunday bulletins.
Brett McLeod is the fill-in presenter for the Melbourne news service on Saturdays & Sundays, with Christine Ahern the fill-in sport presenter. Carolyne Randoe presents the weather in place of Livinia Nixon over the summer or as a fill-in.