Andy Vajna’s Radio 1 gets permission to broadcast in “half the country”

October 27, 2016

Andy Vajna and Árpád Habony
Andy Vajna and Árpád Habony

TV2 owner Andy Vajna (left) has received permission from Hungary’s Media Commission to broadcast his station Radio 1 on six additional stations around the country.  Previously only broadcast on a Budapest frequency, Radio 1 will now be heard in and around Baja, Miskolc, Dunaföldvár, Paks, Tihany, Szekszárd, Győr, Heves and Nyiregyháza, reports

The new stations will broadcast local programming for four and a half hours per day, with the remaining airtime going to Radio 1 programming. The creation of the new networks will basically restore Radio 1’s former coverage area. Prior to the entrance of the Orbán government in 2010, it was one of the most popular stations in the country, but lost its frequency license shortly after the government came to power.

Frequently spotted together with so-called informal advisor to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Árpád Habony (right) who, like Vajna, is engaged in building a new pro-Fidesz media empire at Hungarian taxpayer expense, Hungary’s national film commissioner and casino magnate acquired the struggling radio in June this year.

Radio 1’s new programming will fill the gap left by the country’s currently most listened-to radio station Class FM, which lost its broadcasting frequency license this year after the owner, businessman and oligarch Lajos Simicska, had a very public falling out with Orbán. Simicska hoped to avoid this fate by selling the station to Sláger Rádió Zrt. earlier this year, but Hungary’s media authority announced it would not renew the license, which is due to expire on November 19.

This leaves plenty of room on the airwaves for Vajna’s new Radio 1 to fill.