Digitalizing radio in North Macedonia

Digitalizing radio in North Macedonia
Photo: Kanal 77

The work

Founded in 1991 as a local radio station, Kanal 77 in North Macedonia has since expanded its frequencies to cover all four regions, delivering valuable independent news and information to its listeners. However, as a traditional radio station, it faced challenges in adapting to the digital age. A significant generational transition in the station’s management prompted a progressive review and modernization of programming, aimed at better serving their dedicated audience.

MDIF supported Kanal 77’s transformative process. The first loan from MDIF was extended in 2014, with a subsequent loan in 2021 to facilitate the acquisition of essential equipment and the construction of a new studio. Furthermore, Media Advisory Services (MAS), MDIF’s management capacity-building unit, provided extensive support through consultancies, knowledge-sharing events and other capacity-building resources. The objective was to devise a comprehensive strategic approach, enhance content planning, optimize audience acquisition, explore new revenue opportunities and improve the station’s operational strategy.


  • Under new leadership, Kanal 77 has made significant progress, implementing a comprehensive strategic approach. They modernized news broadcasts, improved the program line-up and launched several fresh radio shows. Through continuous collaboration with a consultant, Kanal77 enhanced anchor training and implemented regular remote air check and development sessions, leading to a substantial improvement in output quality.
  • Although the advertising market in Northern Macedonia is relatively small and focused on other media channels, Kanal 77 has devised strategic initiatives to elevate its attractiveness to advertisers and now provides clients with diverse marketing options. As a prime illustration of setting itself apart from competitors, Kanal 77 introduced the “Pay Your Bills” promotion—a widely recognized on-air method for branding a cash giveaway, although still relatively novel in the Macedonian market.
  • The radio has significantly grown its presence and branding in the country. By collaborating with numerous regional radio stations to rebroadcast its news program, Kanal 77 effectively amplifies its impact and extends its reach. It also enhanced engagement by curating compelling content, fostering listener interaction through contests and live shows, and leveraging social media platforms to create a more immersive and interactive experience. This concerted approach has led to a notable upswing in daily and weekly listenership, underscoring a substantial surge in both growth and engagement. Their two flagship shows – morning and afternoon – are among the most popular ones in their categories in North Macedonia.
  • Kanal 77 has taken strides in its digitalization journey. Embracing advancements in technology and recognizing the potential it holds, the company dedicated substantial efforts to establish its MMS website. Moreover, they fortified their presence across major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Viber to promote their radio programming. With the intention of targeting the younger generation, they launched a new news project on TikTok, with their most popular video garnering more than 235,000 views. Additionally, the station launched its first online radio channel, Kanal 77 Ex-Yu, and created a system allowing it to easily introduce further digital radio stations in the future.
  • With a renewed focus on urban populations and advertising, and continuing to improve workflows and cost efficiencies, in 2023 Kanal 77 reached top position in the market. Going forward, the station has prepared a very aggressive plan to increase revenue opportunities and maintain its position in the market.

Cooperation and support from MDIF has given us the opportunity to learn from the best and to develop into a medium that works according to unimaginable standards for a small country like North Macedonia, something we never thought we would achieve, and it really wouldn’t achieve without MDIF support.

Viktor Gavrilov, Kanal 77 CEO