|City of license||Hilversum|
|Slogan||The Beat Of The Moment!|
|Frequency||between 102.0 and 102.9 MHz (FM) (and in Limburg on 891 kHz on Medium Wave)|
|First air date||11 December 1992|
|Format||Pop Dance R&B|
|Audience share||12% (January 2012 / February 2012, )|
Radio 538 (1992–2012)538 (2012-2013)
|Owner||Talpa Media Holding|
|Webcast|| 538 Webstream
Radio 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 is the successor of Sky Hitradio, a sister station of Sky Radio that broadcast from July to 11 December 1992. Radio 538 is founded in 1992 and is an initiative of 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 (538m:558 kHz) on which Radio Veronica was broadcast in the seventies (Dutch: Zeventies). 538 refers to the wavelength at which Veronica in the seventies exceptions from the sea (538 meters on the medium, approximately 557 kHz). Presenters of the first hour were Rick Velthuysen, Wessel van Diepen, Erik de Zwart, Michael Pilarczyk, Will Luikinga and Corné Klijn.
The broadcasts of Radio 538 were initially made in Studio Concordia in Bussum, a building that is already in the fifties was used as a television studio and was used in the eighties and nineties by Veronica program Countdown. Late nineties Radio 538 moved from Bussum to Hilversum, where it moved into a studio complex close to the town hall. Since December 1, 2012 houses the entire 538 Group in the 4400 m2 large former NCRV building at Bergweg 70 in Hilversum.
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). 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 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.
Radio 538 managed in 10 years to win a substantial market share. In April/May 2004 the station nudged years of market leader Sky Radio to the throne. Nowadays 538 still alternating with NPO Radio 2 and NPO 3FM the most listened radio station in the Netherlands. The market share is between 10 and 12 percent. In 2002, 2004 and 2009 Radio 538 won the Marconi Award for best radio station.
In Flanders a Flemish version of Radio 538 launched on cable in February 1999, pending the airwave frequency allocation for national commercial radio, which in the late nineties was announced by the Flemish government in 2000. When in 2000 was no clear procedure for a given frequency, Radio 538 withdrew from Flanders.
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 station SLAM!FM. In 2014 Radio 538 started with some new program's. De Avondploeg, De Show Zonder Naam and Jurk!FM.
The station focused in the beginning mainly on youth with slogans like "The station of a young generation". With the advent of disc jockeys as Edwin Evers was the target group expanded and the station became wider. Is still a new weekly Alarmschijf and Dancesmash rotated. The listener can also help decide which music is played in the program Maak 't or kraak 't and in past the Top 538. Jingles for the station will be recorded by Wessel van Diepen, Rick Romijn and Kimberly of Berkt.
Today, the station makes commercial hitradio for young people in the broadest sense of the word. The format consists of Top 40 music, dance, Contemporary R&B and hits from a young history, supplemented with information and entertainment by DJs.
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. Since 1 July 2005, Juize FM is broadcast in most of the Netherlands by cable and has also started running shows with presenters.
TV 538 is a television channel which started in 2011 as a TV channel of Radio 538. In addition, the station has a number of digital channels that link to Radio 538, as 53L8, 538NL and 538IBIZA.