Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Radio Marindia!

Your listening to the smooth sounds of 88.9 on your FM radio dial. Reaching out to our listeners down in Pinamar and all the way up to Parque del Plata. This is Radio Marindía saying, "Good Morning, Uruguay"!

Okay, I guess that's the extent of my radio career. I just couldn't help myself! I had better leave the disc jockeying to the professionals, like El señor Mario Mautone, the Director/owner and D.J. of the radio station Radio Marindía. To be fair, I hear that his wife, Ana María Alvarez also shares in some on-air announcing.

Just around the corner from my house is a radio station. I didn't notice, it was a station, when I first moved here. At first glance, it just looks like an ordinary house. Then I noticed the "name" of the house, written in iron scroll letters.  I saw that the sign said, FM 106.3 with the word, "señales" under it, meaning, "signal" in Spanish. When I asked my friends about it they said yes, they do listen to the station. Well, that's the great thing about having a blog, your constantly on the look out for more things to post about on your blog. So, I decided that an interview with my local radio station was needed!

One of the first things I learned, was that the call numbers or frequency had changed! In April of this year (2011), after applying for a license, the licensing board upon approving their station, changed the frequency from 106.3 FM to 88.9 FM. Mario said you have to apply to the President of the Republic to get radio stations licensed. They (Radio Marindía) just hadn't changed the house name yet to the new dial number, even though it changed 8 months ago. Welcome to Uruguay!

I mentioned that they needed to change the house's name and get new numbers to advertise the change. That same day, when walking past the station I saw a new banner hung on the gate with the new station dial numbers advertised. They had the sign already but it was nice seeing it up. I guess loyal fans knew all along, where to tune into, despite the change.

I asked Mario, what his job description or profession is called and he said that he is a communicator or comunicador in El Español. He explained that, that meant more than just announcing things but involved a two way line of communication, a give and take, an interactive form.

He first became interested in radio and announcing when he was just a boy, at 5 years old. He used to get the family records out and set up a pretend station. Using a microphone he would introduce the songs and talk away, playing at being a DJ. He has been at it for 40 years!

The station here in Marindía or Radio Marindía as it's called, has been here in town for 5 years. It's more than just a hobby, it's a passion! However, Mario currently works in Atlántida. In 5 months he will be retiring and can devote his full time to what he loves, his wife Ana, his daughter Leticia and of course this station.

Mario has that typical smooth sounding announcer voice! Not so much in person but over the radio he really pours it on.

The station's broadcast hours are from 7AM (in the morning) to 12PM (midnight) a nice long day. The programs are set up on the computer and pre-recorded. With advertising, announcements and music preselected.The station is set up in his garage. He says the whole neighborhood, as well as, his individual neighbors, help to contribute to the station and it's programming.

I asked about advertising and announcements. He said that community events and clubs or any news worthy items can be mentioned over the radio and are announced for free. Businesses can advertise on the station for a small fee. Recently the station asked for donations to upgrade their equipment. This station uses a very large antenna on their garage roof that reaches the airways of this and the neighboring communities previously mentioned. They also use the internet. So their listeners are far flung. The whole world can hear using the internet says Mario. Their site is  It claims to be the first on-line radio station in the area.

He believes his audience is in the 30 year and up age bracket. He loves all music. His lineup of music includes melodies, music from the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Also, Brazilian and Jazz! Music International is included because he loves all types of music.

His daughter, Leticia, I met on a previous visit. I haven't gotten a chance to meet her mom, his wife, Ana yet. However, the whole family is just charming, you can tell.

Reaching out to people is something I do via the internet (our blog) and meeting them face to face, door to door. Reaching out to people using the internet and via the airways is something that Mario Mautone does very well! I was happy to have the opportunity to get to know my local radio station, Radio Marindía!


TV said...

Great bit on the homegrown radio station. Quaint to say the least. That station is really a public service. Also, of course this is just another of your great stories about life in Uruguay.
Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise and Willy,
My name is Giorgio and my wife is Doriana. I have decided to contact you after reading your blog for a long time. I am sorry to disturb you because we do not know each other but you could help me to get a better understanding about living in Uruguay.
We are living in Florida (St. Petersburg) but originally we are Italian and in 1995 we decide to move to Florida from our hometown in Trieste/Venice. I am Italian native and this is why my English writing is not very good. You are living in Uruguay since 2008 and you too did a big move. My American experience is not what I was expecting and this is why for my retirement I am looking to Uruguay. I am 61 years old and ready to start over again. My wife has some concern about the move to Uruguay. I got a lot of information from the web, but everything is confusing. Housing is more expensive then in USA today. From the web the house prices are very high for a poor country (they say is a poor country, I do not know yet). I think that no Uruguayan can afford a house. I see the average salary is very low US$600-700 a month but the prices of everything are high.
I do not know what is a Uruguay standard of living but for sure is not the American way. As an Italian I think my way is closer to the Uruguayans and not to the Americans. I cook every day and I buy vegetable to the flea market and I go to the restaurant just occasionally with friends not because of the food but because of joy to be together. I still prefer a dinner at home with my friends. Now, just a simple question that probably everybody is asking to you. Owning the house, how much I need every month for living (just two of us)? Yes, of course I need one car, internet, TV, telephone and ?????. My pension is US$1900 a month. I am going to save some money every month or I will need to take money from my piggybank? We are not American shoppers we live a modest and simple life. Growing ours garden and making our tomato sauce and our home cheese. And hope also our vine.
This is a long letter, probably too long and I am not sure you will respond because you have so many contact and comment to follow with your blog. We have a Facebook page and my name is BRACICH GIORGIO. My wife is VISINTINI DORIANA.
If you decide to contact me, my email address is
You have a very nice blog and you are a very good writer.
Thank you
Giorgio and Doriana

Denise said...

Dear Giorgio and Doriana,
I am very glad you wrote. I will try and write to you using your email address. First of all, I want to say that your English is very good! I'm only wish my Spanish came across as easily to me as your English does to you.

You actually sound like your NOT confused about Uruguay but do have an understanding of it. Yes, the wages are low and the housing prices are high. Especially now that the USA is in a recession and house prices are much lower there, particularly in Florida!

Many families here make do by living together. Grown sons often live with their parents. Most houses have a small second guest/maid house in their back yard where the grown children live until they can afford one of their own. Then when empty the family can rent that 2nd house out for a little extra cash. I wish our house had such a house with it but alas NO!

You will be interested to know that about 85% of Uruguayans have Italian ancestry in them and that many have Italian passports.

Thanks for writing! I'll try and write you more privately
Ciao, Denise