Merge 104.8 FM, Oman – 3rd Day for New Station – “So Far, So GREAT!”

The big news of the week in Muscat is the launch of Oman’s newest radio station, Merge 104.8, currently on their 3rd day on-air.  “The capital’s newest, coolest, baddest radio station has just landed. The best hip-hop, R’n’B, house, rock, lounge and pop with fresh local flavour.” Merge 104.8′s radio presenters: Chris, Rumaitha, Sami and Sayeh.

The welcoming desk at the press conference on June 6th announcing the June 7th launch.  I guess your name has to start with “M” to be at this desk: Maurizio, Mariam and Mohsin.  (I wonder if they arranged that for “M“erge.  :-) )

Sami and Chris entertained the room while waiting for the press conference to begin.

The General Manager of SABCO Media, Eihab Abutaha, giving the Welcome Speech.  “Our concept is simple; we are all inspired by the diversity of cultures and richness in our society and Merge 104.8 embraces the demographic mix that forms our nation.  This has allowed us to create a unique offering that we believe is a major differentiating factor in Omani radio today.  Our aim is to achieve the highest penetration figures and listenership to become the leading FM station in the Sultanate.”

Nadim Attieh, the station manager, gave an interesting speech about the development of the station. “The programming has been carefully developed, taking into account the varying and evolving tastes of our listeners and advertisers.  Merge 104.8′s mix of Omani and expatriate presenters, and behind the scenes team has been specially selected to offer our audience a myriad of programming styles-an important factor when retaining and creating loyalty among listeners-while valuing diversity and remaining respectful of Omani cultures and customs.”

Feroz Khan, Director of Sales and Marketing explained how businesses can use Merge 104.8′s radio advertising as a platform to reach a large audience of listeners.

The whole Merge team at the end of the press conference on June 6th at Radisson Blu

Welcomed by models!  :-)

Rumaitha, Sayeh and Chris at their office which is conveniently in the same building as the station.  I’m sure they’ve been working quite hard as the launch date approached.  It looks like all their hardwork paid off.  Good reviews from many people not only across Muscat but around the world which is obvious from the comments on their facebook page.

Chris Fisher has probably been busier than most as he is not only the morning Presenter during weekdays 6-10am (“Chris Fisher in the Morning”), but he’s also the Programme Director.  I appreciate the full tour he gave me of the studio!

Here Mr. Fisher demonstrates the “microphone distance” that a presenter should be within to be clearly heard over the airwaves.

It was fascinating to hear about Chris’ experience as he transitioned years ago from “old school radio” to the more sophisticated type of programs that he had to become acquainted with in running a modern radio station.  It’s obvious to anyone who might get the chance to be shown around by Chris that he is extremely passionate about radio.

This might give an idea of different genres of music they play at Merge.  They are what is known in radio lingo as “Hot A/C” which stands for Hot Adult Contemporary.  95% Western Music and 5% Fushion.

Contact info if you’re interested.  During give-aways, you can text in answers (and sometimes through email I noticed)  For example, I listened carefully during the 1st Movie Mess-Up quiz on Chris’ first morning and guessed the quote to “Jaws” winning 2 tickets to the cinema! YIPPEE!  :-)  If I can win, folks, ANYONE CAN WIN!  They have a lot of trivia type games where listeners can text-in, call or email answers – I think that kind of stuff is a real blast!

Rumaitha is doing a great job on The Lunch Break. She’s a cool, young Omani lady with a lot of potential.  Great voice and a lot of fun.  I’ve heard a few people say that “she needs to get more confidence” but she sounds plenty confident to me.  She’s a great representative of the new, hip, educated Omani youth that is paving the way forward for the Sultanate!

Sayeh Stone is one quirky, animated lady!  Like a talking female Mr. Bean high on energy drinks.  She uses expressions like “cool beans” and “Yabadaba do” and I find myself listening in to see what funny expression she’s going to come up with next, ha!ha!  Keep it going, Sayeh!

It’s not all work and toil at the station.  I think this would be a pretty fun place to work, don’t you?  :-)  By the way, don’t let Chris Fisher hear you refer to these folks as “DJs” or “RJs”, as he kept telling me over and over again, “It’s Radio Presenters, Andy!”  I’ll try to remember that, Chris.  Whatever you call them, the people at Merge 104.8 are a lot of fun to spend time with.  Tune in at 104.8 MHz in the Muscat area or on the internet anywhere in the world at www.radiomerge.fm and listen for yourself why I’m so pumped about the radio for the first time in years!

(*Just for the record, NO, I have not received one dime (or Omani rial, ha!ha!) for promoting this fabulous radio station.  The banners you see at the top and on the right of the blog will be up for their 1st 3 months to let people know about the new station.  I am unashamedly plugging this station for the simply fact that I love it myself so why not tell others about it?!  :-)Tune into the Mix!

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20 responses to “Merge 104.8 FM, Oman – 3rd Day for New Station – “So Far, So GREAT!”

  1. Sami Al Asmi did a great job on his show last night: The station’s branded as “an English language station for the Arab youth”, and Sami really personified that with his “Omani Talents” debut (Fridays 1900-2100). Great to see that aspect of the station’s market approach put into action. And isn’t Ahmad Al Harthy a great guy? Very smart, eloquent and modest – a very good choice of guest!

    I’ve been giving Merge some very frank commentary over the last week as media’s a bit of a personal/professional fascination, and I’m one of the few it seems not to be advertising them from day one! Have to guard against possible sycophancy in the blogosphere ;) But overall they’ve definitely raised the game for English language stations in Oman, and with Rumaitha daily and now Sami as I think the pick of the bunch, they’re really starting to show a fresh, Oman-focused product.

    Onwards and upwards, Merge FM! I’ll keep telling it how it is…and so far I like where it’s going :)

  2. LOL Andy my name is not Mariam!
    I’ll let it slide this time because you’ve done an amazing jobwith the press conference coverage!
    Bravo ! :D

    • LS,
      Even your half-assed compiments are insulting. You should worry more about guarding against your own ego than guarding against so-called sycophancy. You go ahead and “keep telling it how it is…” I’m really not interested. You are simply rude.

      Maria,
      Sorry for that typo! Maria and Mariam are easily mixed up with me, ha!ha! Thanks for “letting it slide”. ;-)

      .

  3. Hey Andy, I could swear I posted a comment here, I dunno if it wasn’t sent!
    LOL anyways u got my name wrong by the way but I’m willing to let it slide this time for your amazing post ;)
    good job as always and I loved the shots! really fun
    Thanx again

  4. Well done Andy, nice post. You even managed to make me look handsome!!!..:) The last pic is hilarious!

    • @Maurizio,
      Thanks! Don’t be so humble now. We both know how photogenic you are, ha!ha! I also love that last pic. It captures the fun playfulness of the presenters which must be apparent to most by now after hearing them on the radio. Have a great summer! :-)

  5. Andy,
    Hi,
    I found your website to be a good source of information about Oman.
    I am planning to go to Salalah and drive up to the island of Misraha.
    I guess this is enough to cover one week !!
    My question is that do you have a GoogleEarth file with the important tourists-attraction sites in Oman.

  6. Great radio station, good music.

  7. @Ramzy,
    Happy to hear you’ve got some helpful info from the blog! Unfortunately, I don’t have any GoogleEarth files that could help you out. I hope you have a great time in Salalah and Miseera!

  8. good Fm in Oman…..i like it….

  9. Thank you

  10. found your blog while searching for info on cost of living in Oman. Sounds like you enjoy your life there …wonder if you have time to give me any up-to-date info on costs ? I am looking at taking up a job offer …. can you email me direct if you can help? Thanks heaps…
    joy

  11. joy,
    Yes, I am really enjoying life here in the Sultanate! If you have any direct questions, feel free to email me at andydbrown@hotmail.com. Cheers!

  12. Now that you mention it ,she really does look a lot like Rowan Atkinson in that last picture! (0.o)

    • Haha! Didn’t notice this comment, Antony! As funny as she can make herself look when she “hams it up”, she is also one beautiful person! :-)

  13. Hi could u please play more Hindi (Indian) songs.
    I love your FM.
    Thanks and regards

    Neha.

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