ITALY: RADIO ZETA BECOMES NATIONAL

Radio Zeta becomes national
Lorenzo Suraci, president of the RTL 102.5 radio group that includes Radio Zeta and Radiofreccia, pictured during the press conference in which he announced the acquisition of the national concession
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From being a multi-regional broadcaster, Radio Zeta has become national, with the purchase (on May 25) of the concession that gives it the right to broadcast its signal no longer over certain regions but throughout Italy. The authorization to broadcast the signal nationwide was held by Monradio, a company in the Mediaset galaxy, the second-largest television hub after RAI (with the Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4 brands) and which through Mediaset Radio owns four radio networks (Radio 105, R101, RMC – Radio Monte Carlo and Virgin Radio) and the superstation Radio Subasio. To keep it from lapsing, the concession had been used for years to broadcast (lately from a single facility located in Valtellina, in the province of Sondrio, in Lombardy) Radio Orbital, a Portuguese broadcaster. Why a foreign broadcaster on Italian soil? Because the concession had been created in the 1990s (requested from the then Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications) by Radio Milano International to repeat a foreign broadcaster, VOA-Voice of America. And when Monradio took over the RMI network (which has since become Radio 101-One O One) from bankruptcy in 2005, turning it into the current R101, it found itself with a second valuable concession to use.

How many national radio stations are there?

In the table produced by Confindustria Radio TV, for each radio network the company that owns it, the publishing group to which it belongs, and the type of concession (public, commercial or community) are indicated
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The announcement of the acquisition was made by Lorenzo Suraci, president of RTL 102.5, during the press conference of “Future Hits Live 2022,” a festival promoted by Radio Zeta. In Suraci’s statement reported on the website of the association Confindustria Radio TV, of which the publisher is also a director, it is stated that “Radio Zeta to all intents and purposes is the 18th national radio station.” However, the same Confindustria, in a study on national advertising some time ago, had published the list that we reproduce, which counts 21. Since then Radiofreccia has turned into a commercial radio station (in 2021) thus leaving Radio Maria as the only national community radio station, while Radio Radicale, which has a commercial concession, does not carry advertising.

Acquisitions restart

Radio Zeta was established 1 January 2016 on the frequencies taken over from the multi-regional radio station of the same name
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Radio Zeta can now complete its national coverage. It has 256 repeaters, less than half the number of Radiofreccia (the group’s other station has 545) and one-third of flagship RTL 102.5 (which can boast 765). After all, the radio station had to concentrate only on certain regions in order not to exceed coverage limits, which the law sets at 15 million potential listeners for superstations (broadcasters with multi-regional coverage). To reach uncovered areas, the broadcaster is acquiring dozens of new frequencies in different regions, either by taking over redundant channels from other broadcasters in the group or by purchasing them. This could revitalize somewhat the frequency market, which has been depressed by the crisis and with prices in free fall. This is a typical anomaly in the Italian market, in that no new authorizations have been issued since 1990 (pending regulation that never happened), so they must be purchased from other publishers.

UKRAINE: MANY RADIO STATIONS ACTIVE FROM THE KIEV TOWER

The video of the impact of a missile on the tower, posted on Telegram by Vitali Klitschko and taken up by the website of the Italian newspaper il Fatto Quotidiano
The video of the impact of a missile on the tower, posted on Telegram by Vitali Klitschko and taken up by the website of the Italian newspaper il Fatto Quotidiano
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Radio Mariya stopped transmitting. But then it was reactivated

Compared to what one read in the newspapers about the FM stations housed in the Kiev tower, the numbers are different: before 1 March, in the “old” FM band (called OIRT, ranging from 65.8 to 74 MHz) only Radio Mariya was active (suspended transmissions after the attack, but has informed RadioReporter that it is back). The other stations in this band, mainly state-owned, had been discontinued due to budget problems, as they had been replaced by frequencies in the new band, where broadcasts were in stereo rather than mono. Between 87.5 and 108 MHz (CCIR band), there were fifteen stations. Of these, only two have suspended broadcasting:

Of the 12 transmitters in Ukraine, all in the Oirt band, ten remain active: in addition to Kiev, the Kharkiv plant has also been shut down following damage to the transmission tower by the Russian army
Of the 12 transmitters in Ukraine, all in the Oirt band, eleven remain active: the Kharkiv plant has also been shut down following damage to the transmission tower by the Russian army
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Here’s what was on the air on 30 March 2022 on the various channels:
69.68 Radio Mariya: inactive in March. Reactivated. (Listen now in streaming).
88.40 Radio Pryamyy FM: inactive since 25 March. The “news” section of the website is updated with short flashes of the situation. Audio in parallel with UR1. (Listen now in streaming) (not working on 4 April 2022).
91.76 TV channel audio of Telekanal 1+1: news on the situation (video streaming).
94.60 Armiya FM: is the official radio of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it was already active before the conflict. News on the website. (Listen now in streaming).
96.00 Radio NV: not in parallel with the unified channel on 30 March and 4 April 2022. (Listen now in streaming)
96.80 DJ FM: has the website down, but the radio station keeps its Facebook and Instagram pages up to date. (Listen now in streaming).
98.00 Radio Kyiv (only the Facebook page works).
98.50 Radio Bayraktar (inactive since 23 March).
99.00 Radio Nostalgie: music(Listen now in streaming)
100.00 Krayina FM: music. (Listen now in streaming)
100.50 Radio Miami: in parallel with UR1. (Listen now in streaming)
101.90 Radio Shanson (commercial radio, no hint of war on the site): in parallel with UR1 national programme. (Listen now in streaming)
102.50 Prosto Radi.O: audio streaming off.
104.00 Power FM: Parallel with UR1. (Listen now in streaming)
105.00 UR 1 Persha Programa: news. (Listen now in streaming)
105.50 Styl’noye radio Perets’ FM: in parallel with UR1. (Listen now in streaming)

Travelling around the websites of broadcasters

An overview of the websites of the broadcasters transmitting from the Kiev radio TV tower, with indications of what was being heard and links to the site and to streaming audio.

88.40 Radio Pryamyy FM (inactive since 25 March). The news section is updated with short flashes of the situation. Audio in parallel with UR1 30 March. Listen now in streaming (not working on 4 April 2022).
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91.76 TV channel audio of Telekanal 1+1, news on the situation (video)
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94.60 Armiya FM Is the official radio station of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it was already active before the conflict. News on the website. Listen now in streaming
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96.00 Radio NV not in parallel with the unified channel on 30 March and 4 April 2022. Listen now in streaming
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96.80 DJ FM has the website down, but the radio station keeps its Facebook and Instagram page up to date. Listen now in streaming
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99.00 Radio Nostalgie Music. Listen now in streaming
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100.000 Krayina FM Music. Listen now in streaming
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100.50 Radio Miami: in parallel with UR1. Listen now in streaming
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101.90 Radio Shanson (commercial radio, no hint of war on the site). In parallel with UR1 national programme. Listen now in streaming
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102.50 Prosto Radi.O audio off
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104.00 Power FM In parallel with UR1, Listen now in streaming
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105.00 UR 1 Persha Programa. News. Listen now in streaming
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105.50 Styl’noye radio Perets’ FM: in parallel with UR1. Listen now in streaming
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PORTUGAL: Radio Maria gets underway

Radio Maria gets underway
The website of Radio Maria Portugal shows, from the left, the photo of Father Livio Fanzaga, director of Radio Maria (Italy), in the middle Father Marco Luís, director of Radio Maria Portugal and on the right the photo of a broadcasting studio
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Since 13 May 2021, with the live connection from the sanctuary of Fatima for the transmission of the Holy Rosary, Radio Maria’s broadcasts have begun in Portugal. An expression of the Portuguese association of the same name, the project to open the station began in 2018, when the president of the Spanish office José Manuel Quintanilla took up the invitation of Emanuele Ferrario, the historic president who passed away in 2020 and whoglobalisedthe station.

The frequencies are those of the former Radio Sim

A picture taken in the studios during the opening day and posted by the broadcaster on Facebook
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The Portuguese station acquired the ownership of Rádio Sim from Grupo Rádio Renascença (a Portuguese media hub that owns Rádio Renascença, RFM and Mega Hits) and switched on 102.2 MHz in Lisbon and 100.8 MHz in Porto, and opened its headquarters in Lisbon and studios in Fatima. The editorial director and head of programmes is Father Marco Luís, appointed on 6 November 2020 by José Ornelas Carvalho, Bishop of Setúbal and President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.

With the Portuguese office, there are 82 affiliates

Also from the radio station’s Facebook account, another shot posted on the day of the inauguration
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The station is part of the World Family of Radio Maria, an association created in 1998 to promote the development of the station in the world by offering technical and organisational support to the associations that have arisen in various countries. The World Family of Radio Maria has 82 stations, of which 28 in Europe, 23 in America, 23 in Africa and 8 in Asia and Oceania. With more than two thousand transmitters, Radio Maria reaches more than 500 million listeners around the world, speaking in more than 65 languages.

ITALY: Radiofreccia becomes a commercial broadcaster

Radiofreccia becomes a commercial broadcaster
The article published on Prima Comunicazione Online, with statements by Lorenzo Suraci, now owner of Radiofreccia
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Although in December 2020 he told Prima Comunicazione “it is not a gift”, Lorenzo Suraci, publisher of nationwide RTL 102.5 and Radio Zeta (a so-called “superstation”), then took advantage of the opportunity offered by Law 176/2020, which allows a national network to transform a community licence into a commercial one. It thus had Radiofreccia purchased by RTL 102.5, making it its second licence and transforming it from a national community radio station into a commercial one. This removes the advertising limit of 10% per hour, which can be raised to 20%.

Reconstructing the history of the broadcaster7

The Newslinet article examines the transformation of the licence from a legal point of view
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In July 2016, Mediaset took control (72.12%) of the Finelco Group (owner of Radio 105 and Virgin Radio) and formed a partnership with RMC-Radio Monte Carlo (later acquired in 2018), exceeding 10 million listeners on the average day (including R101, already owned by the group). Suraci, who can count on the 7 million listeners of RTL 102.5 (first in Italy for ratings) and Radio Zeta, found himself bypassed. In order to counter the firepower of Mediaset, which can sell advertising on its radio stations on a “package” basis, he tried to grow his group by buying Radio Padania (a Lega Nord station with a national community licence) for 2.1 million euros, transforming it into Radiofreccia, a station with a rock format. The community licence allows the broadcaster to turn on hundreds of repeaters without buying them from other radio stations (the law was tailored to favour the Lega Nord and allow it to extend Radio Padania’s coverage throughout the Peninsula), but limits advertising to 10% per hour. Now the “cap” has been blown off, and the only national community radio station remains Radio Maria, which has never used this loophole to turn on new equipment.

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