538 (radio station)
|City of license||Hilversum|
|Slogan||Are You In ?|
|Frequency||between 102.0 and 102.9 MHz (FM) (and in Limburg on 891 kHz midwave)|
|First air date||11 December 1992|
|Audience share||12% (January 2012 / February 2012, )|
|Former callsigns||Radio 538 (1992–2012)|
|Owner||Talpa Media Holding|
|Sister stations||Radio 10 Gold and SLAM!FM|
538 (Dutch: vijf-drie-acht) is a Dutch commercial radio station aimed at young people. It has a broad format which includes Top 40, dance, R&B and recent hits. As of January–February 2012, the station has a daily audience reach in the 7:00–19:00 time period of 12%, putting it in first place. The regional broadcasting network from ORN Radio is on second place with 11,9%, the third place is for the public broadcaster Radio 2 with a share of 10%.
Radio 538 was founded in 1992 by a group of former Radio Veronica employees, led by Lex Harding. Transmissions began on 11 December 1992 from a villa in Bussum. The name Radio 538 is a reference to the wavelength (538 m) on which Radio Veronica was broadcast in the seventies.
Initially, from its start in 1992 until 1995, Radio 538 was available only via cable. A request to be allowed to broadcast over the air was rejected at that time. Following a media campaign during which 320,000 signatures were collected, Radio 538 got its over-the-air frequency in 1995 – or more precisely, a collection of several regional frequencies. In 2003, Radio 538 was granted a new nationwide frequency, 102 MHz (FM). Radio 538 had to pay €57 million for the new frequencies.
In 1995 Lex Harding started TMF (The Music Factory), a TV station, and Erik de Zwart became the new chairman of Radio 538. At the end of 2002 Erik de Zwart left to go to competitor Noordzee FM. Jan-Willem Brüggenwirth became the new chairman. In December 2003 Radio 538 was sold to Advent International, Lex Harding retaining 10% of the shares. In May 2005 Radio 538 was sold in its entirety to Talpa Media Holding, owned by Dutch media mogul John de Mol. In June 2007 De Mol sold the TV and radio assets of Talpa to RTL Nederland and became shareholder of RTL Nederland.
In 2011 Talpa worked together with Finnish media conglomerate Sanoma to buy the Dutch activities of SBS Broadcasting from German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media. As part of that deal De Mol sold his shares in RTL Nederland to the RTL Group, retaining the ownership of Radio 538 and its sister stations Radio 10 Gold and SLAM!FM.
In 1999, Radio 538 started the hip-hop and contemporary R&B program Juize, which developed into the radio station Juize.FM on 18 July 2004. Currently,[when?] the station has 16,000 listeners per day, making it one of the five most popular radio stations on the internet. Since 1 July 2005, Juize FM is broadcast in most of the Netherlands by cable and has also started running shows with presenters.