History of Communications Fiji Limited
The idea of starting a private commercial radio station in Fiji was born in 1983 when then Managing Director, and now, currently Executive Director, William Parkinson, decided to follow up on a campaign promise made by the Alliance government in the 1982 elections. On his return to Fiji at the end of 1983, following completion of a university degree, he formed Communications Fiji Ltd with founding director Matt Wilson and began preparation of a submission to Government.
The submission was approved late 1984 and the company’s first radio station, FM96, opened on the 5th July 1985. Initially the station covered the Capital City Suva, and was one of the smallest stations in the South Pacific.
Following a period of early consolidation, the company aggressively pursued a policy of growth and that saw it establish three national networks in Fiji, two networks in Papua New Guinea and a number of other non-radio profit centres.
In December 2001, Communications Fiji Limited listed as a Public Company on the South Pacific Stock Exchange. This development is seen as critical as the company prepared for a further phase of growth.
FM96: Broadcasts a westernised format in English aimed at the younger section (under 30) of the market in Fiji.
Navtarang: Broadcasts in Hindustani, aimed at the Indian market and is the dominant radio station in this lucrative advertising market. This station opened September 15th 1989.
Viti FM: This opened November 1st 1996. The station broadcasts in the Fijian language and is targeted at the 25-45 Fijian market.
Legend FM: Launched in August 16th 2002. This broadcasts an older Western format, targeting an over 30 market. It acts as an older version of FM96.
Radio Sargam: Launched March 31st 2004. This station was launched to meet the needs of the Hindustani Public Service Contract and so has more of a community rather than commercial focus. Radio Sargam also features an older music format so compliments Navtarang.
In addition, the CFL also runs a number of non radio profit centers. We have been careful in developing these new sources of revenue. Each one works in partnership with the radio stations and are important contributors to the companies bottom line.
Total Event Company: Good radio needs action and in all the countries that we work we make a point of creating events.As a result we have developed some expertise in the event area and it has become a very profitable business. The Total Event Company runs this side of our business and this includes running our own events plus running events for other organizations who wish to hire our expertise.
Fijivillage.com: Recognising the rapid growth of the Internet, CFL in 1997 developed our first website fijivillage.com. The site is now the biggest news website in the country .
CFL CinemADs: Launched April 16th 2010. This followed CFL winning the exclusive rights to sell cinema advertising in Damodar Village cinemas, Fiji wide.
In 1994, the company was invited to assist with the creation of Papua New Guinea’s first privately owned commercial radio network. CFL in partnership with several prominent PNG investors formed PNG FM Pty Ltd. In 1999, CFL bought out their PNG partners and now owns 100% of the company. PNG FM LTD now runs three national networks.
Nau FM: Opened November 14th 1994. The station is similar to FM96 aiming at a younger more westernised audience.
Yumi FM: Opened February 24th 1997. The station broadcasts in Tok Pisin or Pidgin English and is targeted at the older/traditional PNG mark.
Both are “Number 1” in their respective markets by large margins. The stations broadcast to a potential audience of around 2.5 million people via a network of 15 transmitter sites.
Legend FM: Launched on 16th September 2011, Legend FM Bikpla 101 is the newest member to the PNG FM radio networks. Legend FM broadcasts a similar radio format to its Fiji namesake targeting an urban educated mature market (30+). This market while small in comparison to the other two markets, make up for it in spending power. Primarily Papua New Guinean, Legend FM’s audience also includes a large expatriate component.
Total Event Company: PNG FM has also developed its own version of the Total Event Company and this is now an important profit center.