The Story of Discoradio: Italy’s Iconic Radio Station

Discoradio was born as Studio Zeta Discoradio on September 14, 1988, from the intuition of publisher Angelo Zibetti and his two closest collaborators and DJs of the Studio Zeta discotheque, Walter Ravasi and Dario Desi, to open a dance station that would support the disco itself.

It began broadcasting directly from Studio Zeta in Caravaggio, on FM frequency 107.25 MHz, taking over the Civiglio, Baita Bondella (Co) plant of Radio Press Panda of Milan (and relocating it to Valcava, Bg).

In 1990, Dario Desi left the staff to join the national network Radio 101 one o one (now R101). Until 2006, Discoradio’s best-known programs were: Discoparade, the ranking of the most danced dance songs, conducted by Dario Desi until 1990 and then by Marco Ravelli; Dedicati un minuto with Fabiana Viola and then with Alberto Zanni; Colazione da Zanni, Discoradio’s wake-up call, always with Alberto Zanni, who later became Uno sveglio alle 7 with Andrea Dani. The BPM, hosted by Walter Pizzulli, and the D.D.D. (Discoradio Disco Dance) by Marco Ravelli. Others include Discoradio Fuori Orario, hosted by Paolo Simonetti, and The Best of Disco, hosted by Miky Boselli. Matteo Epis, Giampaolo Marconi (formerly), and Edo Munari (later) manage the technical part of the programs and are also the historic DJs of the Studio Zeta discotheque.

Many dance songs or groups have gained popularity after being played on Discoradio, including Eiffel 65, Gigi D’Agostino, and Molella. On November 30, 2006, DDD closed after nearly 12 years. On this occasion, Marco Ravelli, the voice of the station for 17 years and former artistic director, bid farewell to Discoradio.

Discoradio officially passed into new management, having been sold by its historic owner Angelo Zibetti to the Montefusco family, owner of the national network RDS Radio Dimensione Suono and some local stations in Lazio. Among the reasons for the sale was the so-called Gasparri Law on the telecommunications sector, which does not allow stations that have a local concession to cover an area where more than 15 million people live.

The new publisher immediately exchanged some frequencies with RDS, which acquired, among others, 107.3 from Valcava in exchange for 96.5 from the same location.

During the transition period between the old and new ownership, from May to December 2006, Discoradio was temporarily entrusted to Alberto Di Stefano (Station Manager of Dimensione Suono Roma), and then to Mirko Lagonegro, former Director of Programs of All Music, who oversaw the renewal phase of the station until September 2013. In the following years, several FM frequencies were acquired to strengthen the station’s presence in the Northwest regions.

The adopted music programming refers to the rhythmic format, which is always uptempo, positive, and energetic music, no longer just dance but also introducing pop, soul, and hip-hop sounds, still always uptempo.

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