Puneet Varma (Editor)

Radio Malta

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Frequency  999 kHz (AM) 93.7 MHz (FM)
First air date  1935 (1935) (Cable radio) 8 January 1973 (1973-01-08) (Broadcast)
Owner  Public Broadcasting Services (Government of Malta)
Sister stations  Radju Malta 2, Magic Malta
Website  www.tvm.com.mt/radju-malta/

Radio Malta (Maltese: Radju Malta) is the main radio service of Public Broadcasting Services, the public broadcaster of Malta.

The origins of Radio Malta go back to 1935. For many years, transmissions were effected on a cable-radio system which started away back in 1935 by a British company called Rediffusion. On 29 September 1962, the same company officially opened TVM. During the late sixties Rediffusion Malta effected several test transmissions with the aim to set up a radio station. But the radio station never materialised, possibly due to conflict of interest with the cable radio system which the same company was utilising.

Regular Wireless radio transmissions in Maltese started on 8 January 1973 by the Malta Broadcasting Authority on 999 kHz Medium Wave (AM). It was called "Radju ta Malta". This frequency is still in use by Radio Malta.

Norman Hamilton,then Rediffusion's top D.J., left the company and decided to join Radio Malta from its first day of transmission. Norman is no longer involved in radio. Mario Laus was also one of Radio Malta's first D.J.s and today he is still one of its most popular D.J.s and certainly the longest-serving D.J. of this radio station. Vincent Scerri is a veteran too, and another popular D.J. is Brian Micallef who started presenting Rock Programs during the Rediffusion era and still continues on Radio Malta after some years of absence in the eighties.

In 1975, when Xandir Malta was set up, the Cable Radio system, now no longer belonging to Rediffusion, and Radio Malta, became one entity with a separate identity.

Radio Malta started transmitting on 93.7 F.M. when the British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS Malta) closed down on 31 March 1979 with the departure of British Services from the Maltese Islands.

The cable radio system was demised in 1989. Consequently many talented and experienced broadcasters were now working solely for Radio Malta. Among these, the late Charles Arrigo,trained by the B.B.C., and considered by many as the Dean of Maltese Broadcasting. The legendary and charismatic broadcaster, the late Charles Abela Mizzi, with his golden voice, also gave a great contribution to Radio Malta. Another veteran, still serving with Radio Malta,is George Peresso.

In 1990, PBS Ltd took over the role and responsibility of Xandir Malta. Its stereophonic transmissions are now also accessible in Malta on DAB+.

The nineties ushered in broadcasting pluralism in Malta. This phenomenon brought to Radio Malta many a new talent. However with pluralism, Malta witnessed greater staff mobility within local radio stations which started to mushroom on the Maltese Islands. Joe Dimech,Lilian Maistre, Ray Calleja, Tony Micallef, Albert Storace, Brian Micallef, Eddie Darmanin, Henry Calleja and Mario Meli are just some of its longest serving broadcasters.Today many new voices are part of Radio Malta's success. Other veterans have also returned to the fold.

Radio Malta transmits cultural and current affairs programmes putting a strong focus on news . Phone-Ins feature on some of its programmes. Classical music and classic hits form an integral part of its daily 24x7 schedule.

With the exception of the BBC News, all programmes on Radio Malta are transmitted in the Maltese language.

Surveys conducted in 2012 showed that Radio Malta doubled its listenership and is now the second most "listened to" radio station in Malta and Gozo.

In 2013, its co-ordinator was Carlo Borg Bonaci, a local d.j. now running Magic Radio. Carlo is one of Malta's leading voice-overs in the field of radio and television advertising. Today it is being managed by Sylvana Debono.

References

Radio Malta Wikipedia


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