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

Radio Malta
RADIO MALTA.JPG
Frequency
First air date
OwnerPublic Broadcasting Services (Government of Malta)
Sister stationsRadju Malta 2, Magic Malta
Websitewww.tvm.com.mt/mt/radju/

Contents

FoundingEdit

The origins of Radio Malta go back to 1935. For many years, transmissions were effected on a cable-radio system which started way back on 11 November 1935 by a British company called Rediffusion.[1] This Rediffusion Cable Radio Service was officially launched on 11 November 1935.[2] On 29 September 1962, the same company, officially opened the Malta Television Service, then known as MTV, now Television Malta (TVM).[3] 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".[4] 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.

DevelopmentEdit

 
Former Radio Malta logo

The cable radio system was officially closed down on 31 January 1989 and its programmes continued on as a wireless service on MW 999 kHz.[5] 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. Other veterans, still serving with Radio Malta,are George Peresso and Peter Paul Ciantar.

In 1990, Public Broadcasting Services took over the role and responsibility of Xandir Malta.[6] Its stereophonic transmissions are now also accessible in Malta on DAB+.

The year 1991 ushered in an era of broadcast pluralism in Malta.[7] 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, 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.

ContentEdit

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.

Its current Programmes Co-Ordinator is Frans Lia.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Remig Sacco, Ix-xandir F'Malta, Page 24,Malta 1985.
  2. ^ Toni Sant, Remembering Rediffusion in Malta, A History Without Future. Malta 2016. Page 50
  3. ^ Tony C. Cutajar, Ix-Xandir F'Malta, Page 53, Malta 2001
  4. ^ Remig Sacco,Ix-Xandir F'Malta, Page 134,Malta1985,
  5. ^ Toni Sant, Remembering Rediffusion in Malta, A History Without Future. Malta 2016. Page 14
  6. ^ Tony C. Cutajar,Ix-Xandir F'Malta,Page 90,Malta 2001.
  7. ^ Tony C. Cutajar,Ix-Xandir F'Malta,Page 89,Malta 2001