In case it passed you by, and it probably has as it is currently “radio silence” in the Luxembourg press, you should know that the FM radio frequencies occupied by the now defunct DNR Radio, have been released for new applicants to apply, on the proviso that it will be in the French language.
The frequency 107.7 FM is currently hotly contended by four projects, but having studied them all, at FUZE we have decided to take the step and speak out to support one application in particular – 7FM.
Why? Quite simply because it is the only application that has clearly stated it will support and give airtime to local music. If any proof was needed, several artists from the region, both Belgium and Luxembourg acts are regularly given airtime and more is planned.
But who are 7FM? I hear you say and of course you can be forgiven for not knowing in the south of Luxembourg as their airwaves don’t reach that far. But if you live in the north of the country you will no doubt be aware of the station that has actually been around for 30 years in one form or another!
Although the studios are firmly based in the Grand Duchy, 7FM, owned by a Luxembourg promotions and advertising agency PLG, currently broadcast mostly to the local area of Belgium. However it never forgets where it is and supports local Luxembourg communities supporting events and businesses.
“Our strategy is to work with partners, support local artists and cultural groups and events”, explains 7FM DJ Jonathan Laberger, “we have an advantage of already being in Luxembourg and know the public and want to continue this growing further”.
7FM admits it has a bit a handicap being up in the north of the country but if the station wins the 107.7 frequency it would “create something new for the region”, open an office in Luxembourg City, and continue its course on promoting local music.
Meanwhile, the mission of FUZE as a non-profit project is to support and promote local music, something that is lacking at some of the current national radio broadcasters. In fact quite frequently we receive complaints from local musicians that they are ignored or told their music “doesn’t fit” the station. Or the belief that the tracks will “not be popular”. When FUZE ran a weekly radio show broadcasting only local music, we proved this to be totally wrong. While we are not blaming all broadcasters, a new ‘player’ including local music in its playlist is sorely needed, enter 7FM!
Jonathan went on to point out that, “any local talent can send tracks to our radio station. However the media project “7FM” pays the same attention in its musical selection as it does for international artists; it goes through the same selection process. Quality of recording and originality are our priorities. Our strength is that we have radio shows which sometimes highlight unknown artists. That is an integral part of our cultural promotion. Basically if one song is not broadcast in regular airplay, the artist or band can still have a kind of promotion and we usually follow their evolution. So everyone has its chance”.
So as there seems to be no other campaign or voice on the matter FUZE is speaking out. Please note this is absolutely voluntary support by us, no financial or publicity gain, but maybe FUZE and 7FM could work together in the future, who knows.
You actually only need to listen to 7FM for a short time to catch what it is all about. While it is a commercial radio station and of course plays hits, its adverts for the Rockhal, Kulturfabrik, local business and events, its events calendar, the interviews and indeed playlist, all clearly prove it is invested in the Grand Duchy.
Who are the other players, what else is on offer?
There are three other bids for the 107.7 frequency all with different strategies… well at least we think so. The biggest of them all is French giant NRJ. When approached by us and other medias for information we were all met by a wall or “no comment” when asked about their plans. This leads us to believe that we would be getting an NRJ as we know it, just extended to Luxembourg. No plans for local music.
Next up is Lor’FM, a station based in France. Their strategy would be to concentrate on cross-border francophone residents in both France and Luxembourg, no mention of local music strategy.
Finally a totally new consortium called “Radiolux” headed up by l’Essential and Tageblatt is likely to be a news and music station, again no specific local music strategy appears to be planned.
7FM are quick to point out that the 107.7 project, if they are successful, will “not be a Belgian station” but a project totally integrating Luxembourg. This they consider a strong argument against two of their competitors that, for all intents and purposes, seem to be offering a “copy-paste” of their operations in France.
7FM owners PLG have issued a statement in French regarding their plans for the radio station. To read it CLICK HERE
So what happens now?
All four bids have now passed through hands of ALIA or “Autorité Luxembourgeoise Indépendante de l’Audiovisuel”. Each application sent their “arguments” and a decision has been made, but ALIA has kept this confindential. The final decision actually goes to the government to decide and next week we should hear the final outcome!
We believe that 7FM as commercial radio station that is already involved in the Luxembourg community and supports local music will be the most beneficial option for the music scene. Of course it is not the biggest bid, but then again it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it!
If you agree with FUZE why not send an email to ALIA stating that you support 7FM’s bid for 107.7 MHz frequency for the reasons mentioned above to: email@example.com
If you have any questions for 7FM directly, or want to voice your opinion, you can write to Jonathan Laberger directly by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org