Kossuth Radio is the main radio station of Hungary. Created in 1925, the station has over 3 million listeners per day. As a talk radio station, it primarily broadcasts news and current affairs, as well as cultural content.
A few years ago, Petőfi Radio underwent a total revamp with respect to its profile. It now targets the young to middle-aged audience segment, broadcasting the latest music, along with recommendations for cultural and arts events, and with news.
This station is dedicated to classical music, also hosting discussion programmes and radio dramas.
Dankó Radio is a relatively new channel offering a programme of light entertainment especially designed to please admirers of Hungarian folk and world music while also catering to lovers of operetta.
The channel broadcasts programmes for ethnic minorities living in Hungary as well as current affairs, cultural and music content.
Regular parliamentary sessions, broadcast daily.
Duna World Radio broadcasts to expatriate Hungarians around the world, presenting a selection of best public service content including archives and news segments in English.
On 15th March 1924, the first experimental radio broadcast was aired in Hungary. Ever since regular radio broadcasts began on 1 December 1925, Hungarian Radio has been a flagship in the formation of Hungarian public opinion, and a reliable measure of the population’s taste.
In the beginning, the station was operated via a 20 kW radio transmitter and a so-called T-aereal, which consisted of a horizontal wire suspended between two buildings. The first powerful transmitter suitable to achieve nationwide coverage was inaugurated in April 1928 on Lakihegy Hill.
Five years later, in 1933, a 307-meter-high (1,031 ft) Blaw-Knox type Lakihegy Tower replaced its predecessor and became one of Europe's highest structures of its time. It was designed to provide broadcast coverage for the whole of Hungary, utilising a 120 kW transmitter, and from then on it broadcast the programmes of the station known as ’Budapest 1’.
In February 1949, ’Budapest 1’ was renamed to ’Kossuth Radio’ in honour of Lajos Kossuth, one of the emblematic leaders of the Hungarian revolution of 1848. ’Budapest 2’, which had been broadcasting since 1946, became ’Petőfi Radio’ – named after one of the most influential Hungarian poets.
In 1950, the Telegraphic Office was nationalized, resulting in the secession of Hungarian Radio, which began to operate independently from the News Agency.
In 1957, Hungarian Public Radio and Television merged and continued to operate in this form until 1974.
Hungarian Radio began broadcasting its 3rd channel on 23 May 1987 this time utilising VHF bandwidth. The station was named after the world famous Hungarian composer, Béla Bartók. Featuring a daily program of classical music it has been broadcasting continuously ever since.
1998 saw the formation of a dual media system, with strong competition between different mass media channels. After commercial television and radio stations began to flood the market - primarily with the products of the entertainment industry - public service radio maintained its important role in preserving the country’s colourful and vast cultural heritage.
In 2011, MTVA, (Media Support and Asset Management Fund) became programme producer and asset manager to the Hungarian public service media, giving place to both its administrative, and programme making segments, in its newly built headquarters and production base.
Up until 2013, all the premises and studios operated by Hungarian Radio were located in Budapest, in the block between Bródy Sándor Street and Pollack Mihály Square. Included among these working premises were two exquisite palaces. One of these palaces was previously owned by the Eszterházy Dynasty and includes a remarkable interior known as “The Marble Hall”. The other palace formerly belonged to the Károlyi Family, and later became known as „The Italian building”.
By 2013, a number of studios had already moved to the current headquarters of MTVA, although the major studios on Pollack Mihály Square are still in use.
Due to a change in media law Hungarian Radio (MR) merged with the other Hungarian public service media providers (Hungarian Television, Duna Television and the Hungarian News Agency) and continues to operate within Duna Media Service Non-Profit Ltd. from 1 July 2015.