Radio remains an important source of information and entertainment for the Greek people, who listen to the radio approximately 3.5 hours a day (Focus- Bari/ΑΕΜΑΡ 2013). In effect, there are over 918 radio stations in Greece. The overwhelming majority operates on the FM band, while most of them are of private ownership and transmit on a local or regional basis (broadcasting in one of the 52 administrative regions). This is because only state radio has permission for national broadcasting. The most important private radio stations are located in Athens (56 in Attica prefecture) and in Thessaloniki. As in the case of television, most private stations are not officially licensed but are considered eligible to be awarded a license. Due to the fiscal crisis and the subsequent collapse of the advertising expenditure (61.2 percent in the period 2007-2012 only) has upset the potential of the radio. The big question is if this situation can change, and if yes, under what circumstances.
Two new radio stations broadcasted in 2017 in Athens and one was closed-down. One was Thema Radio, which belongs to weekly newspaper Protothema and the other 247radio, which belongs to 24 MEDIA group. On the other hand, Vima FM which belongs to DOL ( Marinakis group) ceased operation at the end of the 2017. The present Syriza- Independent Greeks coalition government on December 2017 set a new bill for public consultation concerning the procedures for licensing radio stations.
On the private radio sector, in November 2016 the news stations Real FM and SKAI 100.3 FM, and music stations Melodia FM, Rythmos FM, Athens Dee Jay, Red and Easy 102.2 were among the most listened-to stations in Athens. In recent years, there is an increase in sport radio stations’ audiences (Sport FM, Sport 24) and there is also an increase of web radio stations due to the development of the Internet in Greece . It is noted that most FM radio stations have their web version too.
As far as the public radio sector is concerned, the revived public broadcaster Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation S.A. (ERT S.A.) started transmissions in June 2015. It should be mentioned here that ERT was shut down by the previous Conservative-led coalition government (see below) in June 2013 and replaced by a smaller organization NERIT. In this context there are seven stations in operation now: First, Second, Third, Radio Programmes, ERA Sports and Kosmos. There is also the Voice of Greece, aimed at an international audience, particularly the Greek diaspora. ERT also operates 21 local or regional stations across Greece.
The first non-pirate private radio station was Athena 9.84 FM, which went on air in 1987 broadcast by the Municipality of Athens. On the other hand, one must also note that gradually with a few exemptions, municipal radio has given its place to private stations.