Pacific Scoop

Veteran Tongan broadcasters launch new FM 88.1 station

Pacific Press Release – Pacific Media Watch, 15 September 2009


NUKU’ALOFA (Matangi Tonga/Pacific Media Watch):  Tonga’s newest media  company, BroadCom-TMN Group has launched a new FM 88.1 radio station and television production unit at Ngele’ia.

BroadCom is owned and operated by Maka Tohi, a former chief engineer for the Tonga Broadcasting Commission and wife Katalina, a former Television Tonga manager who retired from the TBC in May after nearly 30 years service.

FM 88.1, is the fifth FM station in Nuku’alofa and will offer a 24 hour Tongan language service, covering only Tongatapu and ‘Eua. News bulletins will be presented both in Tongan and English, while on Sundays, they will be devoted to church programmes.

Katalina Tohi said they hoped to extend their coverage nationwide before December.

The BroadCom’s staff is headed by former TBC staff, Siaosi Lavaka as the chief operation manager and news editor; and ‘Anolo Manu as chief announcer.

Katalina tohi said that with television they were buying airtime from Kalafi Moala’s Taimi Media Network TV2.

“We will not be doing any television news, we will just focus on producing Tongan programmes, which will be slotted in the TV2 programmes when it is available,” she said.

“But we are hoping to get a separate television channel that we can use to broadcast educational programmes in the future,” she added.

Katalina Tohi confirmed BroadCom signed an agreement with the Taimi Media Network to lease their radio licence for the next five years.

She explained this was because government had to date not made any official response to their licence application, which was lodged in March.

TMN TV2 on the other hand leases airtime from TV Tonga2 to broadcast its news items and other programmes running daily from 5.30pm to 11.30pm.

“We are just thankful for Kalafi’s assistance because we are up and running, which is the main thing in relation to performing our role as informants of the public “, she said.

The new media company was launched by ‘Alisi Taumopeau, Tonga’s former Minister of Justice.

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