(formerly TIME Highway Radio
) is the name of Malaysia
's first private commercial radio station
, based in Kuala Lumpur
, Malaysia. The station was the initiative and for some time the flagship station of the TIME Engineering conglomerate, and as the name suggests the station was targeted at road/highway users with traffic reports
and entertainment. It heralded a new era in the Malaysian broadcasting scene as it was the first station to provide an alternative to government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia
radio stations and it marked the beginning of a stiff competition for the Malaysian English
THR began its test transmission on the night of August 31st 1994
(37th National Day) on FM
from the Gunung Ulu Kali transmitter
site covering the state of Selangor
, Kuala Lumpur, and Western Pahang
. It operated out of a studio
rented from Radio Televisyen Malaysia
at the Angkasapuri building in Kuala Lumpur. On September 9th at precisely 3PM local time, symbolically in line with its '99.3' frequency
THR officially came into being, operating in both Malay
and English for 24 hours a day on the 80:20 formula - 80% broadcast time was in English, 20% in Malay; it was the second station in Malaysia to go round-the-clock after Klasik Nasional FM
(then known as Radio 1), and did so right out on the first day of its transmission
THR featured some of the best deejays in the local broadcasting industry, most of which would later continue with other stations shaping a legacy in Malaysian English radio broadcasting.
A year later in 1995 THR expanded its broadcast coverage area to Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor; its broadcast could also be heard in Singapore; at one point THR proved so popular in Singapore stations there felt threatened by the alarming rate at which listeners changed to the station. Best 104 also began to feel the heat and decided to 'counterattack' by expanding its broadcast into Kuala Lumpur; between 1995 and 1998 competition for the English speaking audience was stiff between these two stations and Radio Televisyen Malaysia's English station Traxx FM, then known as Radio 4.
In 1996 THR moved into its own studio on Level 10 of Wisma TIME in Jalan Tun Razak, right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city center. The same year saw extension of broadcast coverage to the Northern states of Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis.
Stiff Competition and Decline
The extension of Best 104
's broadcast into THR's Klang Valley
listener hinterland in 1996 presented a challenge of sorts to THR, with at least one deejay 'leaping' from THR to Best 104. However, it was the start of AMP Radio Network
's HITZ FM
broadcast in January 1997 that really hurt the popularity of THR, as it did Best 104
. Introduction of further English stations by AMP Radio Network
eroded the English listenership of both stations (THR and Best 104
), upon which advertising
revenues of both were largely dependent. AMP's stations provided the Malaysian radio audience with specialised genre
playlist - with each station concentrating on one of the following - top hits, adult contemporary, and easy listening. Best 104
and THR themes were based on a combination of these genres, and the introduction of specialised station for each genre swayed listenership of the two stations away. Best 104
gradually decreased the time slot for English broadcast, from 10 hours a day to two, before finally doing away with it altogether in 2001. THR briefly went from bilingual to trilingual, introducing Chinese
time slots. It then dropped both the English and Chinese broadcast slots, retaining Malay slots (THR Gegar) and introducing Tamil broadcast (THR Raaga).
THR was taken over by AMP Radio Networks
in 2005 and currently features Tamil and Malay programming.
- FM 99.3 MHz from Gunung Ulu Kali transmitter site covering Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Western Pahang and Southern Perak
- FM 101.5 MHz from Gunung Telapak Burok transmitter site covering Negeri Sembilan
- FM 99.7 MHz from Gunung Ledang transmitter site covering Melaka and North Johor. Original frequency FM 99.6 MHz, changed in 1996
- FM 103.7 MHz from Gunung Pulai transmitter site covering South Johor, Singapore and Riau Islands
- FM 102.0 MHz from Gunung Changkat Rembian transmitter site covering South Perak. Transmitter is now used by Era.
- FM 97.9 MHz from Gunung Keledang transmitter site covering Central Perak and Kinta Valley
- FM 102.1 MHz from Bukit Larut transmitter site covering Northwest Perak
- FM 99.3 MHz from Bukit Penara transmitter site, covering Penang
- FM 102.4 MHz from Gunung Jerai transmitter site, covering Kedah, Penang and Perlis
- FM 101.9 MHz from Gunung Raya transmitter site, covering the island of Langkawi and Perlis. Transmitter is now possibly defunct.
- FM 88.8 MHz from Bukit Pelindong transmitter site, covering Eastern Pahang and parts of Southern Terengganu
- FM 106.8 MHz in central Terengganu
- FM 88.1 MHz in Northeast Kelantan