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Radio stars give a voice to new fm station

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Meet the Merge 104.8 presenters who bring global flavour and local spice to airwaves

With the wait finally over and Merge 104.8’s unique sound catching the ears of Oman’s hip and cool crowd, the presenters who have given the station a voice are already gaining local celebrity status in and around the Capital.

Chris Fisher, Rumaitha Al Busaidi, Sayeh Stone and Sami Al Asmi have introduced an eclectic mix of global and local talent to Merge 104.8’s dawn ‘til dusk broadcasts, taking their inspiration from the diversity of Oman’s rich and varied population.

Chosen for their wide appeal to different segments of the Sultanate’s contemporary culture, the Oman-based presenters have created a winning combination of global and local music, talk and entertainment, for which the station is now renowned.

Even before their first broadcast, Chris and Sayeh, the two non-Omani presenters were working hard to ‘merge’ into Omani society, by embracing the culture, the traditions and the people of Oman, travelling to far reaching villages to meet the locals and gain an understanding of the Sultanate’s unique way of living. The two larger than life characters failed to go unnoticed and were welcomed by the locals with open arms!

Chris Fisher, Programming Director at Merge 104.8 said, “It was important for us   to really soak up the culture of this beautiful country to enable Sayeh and I to understand our audience and target our entertainment in the right way.”

However, their Omani-born colleagues Rumaitha and Sami didn’t have to travel to such lengths for the sake of radio.  Already well known as a sports presenter of Radio Sultanate of Oman, hosting high profile shows like the 2010 Asian Beach Games and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Rumaitha joined Merge to bring life to the Lunch Break show.

Sami meanwhile, has been Red Bull Oman's official MC for the past two years and now hosts the very popular ‘Omani Talents’ show, presenting a platform for local, home-grown performers to showcase their ‘talents’ on air.

“Our presenters have been carefully chosen for their appeal to different audience segments,” explains Fisher.  “Bringing Omani nationals to the team not only gives us that fresh, local edge but we can also gain a broader insight into the trends in Omani youth culture, allowing us to stay ahead of the game and give our audience what they really need from a radio station.”

Chris is a veteran to radio in the Middle East, having spent many years working in Dubai radio.  As well as working as Programming Director for Merge, he is the presenter of the popular Breakfast (6-10am) show, while British/Iranian Sayeh entertains homebound commuters with her mix of cool tunes and chat on the Evening Drivetime (4-8pm) show.

“Merge 104.8 is all about rich, appealing content, served up with a fresh, local flavour, creating loyalty with our listeners, yet remaining respectful to local cultures and customs.  So far, our formula is proving a winner!” adds Chris.