Star Media Radio Group Sdn Bhd, the radio arm of Star Media Group Bhd, is a leading Malaysian radio broadcaster that currently owns and operates one Malay language radio station, Suria FM, and one Chinese language radio station, 988 FM.
Star Media Radio Group traces its history back to the very beginnings of commercial radio broadcasting in Malaysia. 988 FM began in 1996 as a tri-lingual station known as RFM 98.8. Broadcasting in Chinese, Malay and English, the station was originally owned by Rediffusion Cable Network Sdn Bhd. Rediffusion operated the country’s first commercial cable-transmitted radio station, serving listeners in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Penang, Butterworth and Ipoh in the 1950s and 1960s. RFM 98.8 marked the company’s first foray into the FM radio arena.
Rediffusion ceased its cable transmission operations on 31st December 1997, but continued operating two FM radio stations, namely REDI-FM 98.8 – dedicated to the Chinese language market – and RfM 91.5, catering to the English and Malay language markets.
In 1999, RfM 91.5’s name was changed to RfM 104.9FM to reflect its change of bandwidth. It was later renamed RED 104.9; REDI-FM 98.8’s name was also shortened to 988. Both stations were acquired by Star Publications (M) Bhd in 2003 and managed by a new entity known as Star RFM Sdn Bhd.
2007 marked new milestones for Star RFM with the introduction of online streaming for both RED 104.9 and 988. It was also the year that Star Publications (M) Bhd became a major shareholder in Rimakmur Sdn Bhd and launched Suria FM, its first full-fledged Malay content radio station.
2008 was a ground breaking year for Suria FM as it diversified its content with a split broadcast in Sabah offering localised content and featuring local announcers. This was also the year that RED 104.9 was rebranded as Red FM.
Star Publications (M) Bhd marked another historical footprint in the Malaysian radio industry in 2011 with the introduction of Capital FM, the country’s first female-centric English language radio station.
In 2015, Star Publications (M) Bhd officially changed its name to Star Media Group Bhd. This also led to the formation of Star Media Radio Group Sdn Bhd, incorporating both Star RFM and Rimakmur.
In line with the changes in local listening habits and the increase of digital media consumption among Malaysians, the company ceased operations of Suria FM’s Sabah split broadcast, Capital FM and Red FM in 2015 in order to focus on the growing vernacular language markets while enhancing its digital content and platforms.