As Vibe FM’s Station Director and Operations Director, Frank Zammit and Andrew Zammit are a force to be reckoned with. Combining their strengths to push the station ever forward within an ever-changing and increasingly dynamic media landscape, their goal remains steadfast: to lead the way and always keep their followers guessing.
Explaining their individual areas of focus, Andrew says, “Frank looks outward, in a broad way, while my role is to look inwards – at the structures and departments and how they work.”
Since joining the station last year, Andrew’s role has gradually taken on some added responsibilities that were previously on Frank’s plate, with a view to allow Frank to focus on other aspects of the business. “In a nutshell, the day-to-day issues will come to my desk, whereas the broader, more strategic issues, go to Frank’s,” he notes. With clear roles, the duo can take a divide-and-conquer approach while also giving their team a clear point of contact.
Looking back on the last year, the pair reflect on a major landmark for the station: relocating to a new, larger studio space. “One of my proudest moments in my career with Vibe has been relocating the studios – we are now working within studios that the team and the station deserve,” Frank reveals, noting that while in the past the team was limited by resources, that is no longer an issue – “now, we have studios fitting for a leading radio station.”
Sharing Frank’s pride in moving to the new studios, Andrew humbly takes no credit, having joined only a short time prior, but Frank is quick to correct him. “If you were to look at last year’s numbers from a business point of view, considering all the distractions we had from moving to the new studios, it’s remarkable that we were crazy close to hitting numbers that we spoke about hitting a few years down the line. That’s all down to Andrew, because while I was dealing with the transition, there was magic happening on the other side,” he shares.
Ever the team player, Andrew smiles, “that may be a little too kind. It really boils down to having the right people in the right positions, doing the right jobs at the right level of efficiency. In fact, it’s not surprising because we have a dream team that works hard every day – we just weren’t expecting it so quickly.”
Delving into the history of the station and its evolution, Frank explains that initially, Vibe set out to be a music station, but when the company leaders at the time understood that music on demand was going to be a factor, personality radio came in. “Vibe championed personality radio in Malta, and everyone else followed. Moving forward into the digital world, we were one of the first, if not the first, to start sharing videos from the studio on a regular basis,” he states, attesting that the team at Vibe has been pushing the boundaries and the limits of what can be achieved by a radio station since its early days.
Today, the Station Director views Vibe as “more of a content creation hub than a radio station”, maintaining that, with so much content being produced worldwide, the challenge has become how to make content stick.
“This is how the media landscape has changed – whereas in the past people would wait for the eight o’clock news to figure out what’s happened in the world in the last 24 hours, or buy the newspaper in the morning, nowadays, by the time you buy that newspaper, it’s already old news. You need to be quick, you need to react, and you need to be on your toes the whole time.”
For the station, it is now about giving the team as many resources as possible; he continues. “Whereas in the past we were limited with the capabilities of the studio, and the number of people in the digital team, nowadays the tools are there. The company shareholders believed in the overall vision and invested heavily to give us the tools we needed. The challenge now is to make the most of those tools,” Frank says.
Nodding in agreement, Andrew adds, “consolidating what we built last year is important, but it also about figuring out how best to scale moving forward.”
Reflecting on leadership qualities, Frank believes that communication is the most important factor for business leaders. “You need to be ready to listen, and also be ready to deal with the elephant in the room,” he affirms, positing that people tend not to communicate well in business, particularly where conflicts are concerned.
“I think this is something we struggle with as a country. We try to sweep things under the carpet and hope that eventually the problem will go away, but I believe in the value of communication and, in turn, building a relationship with your employees, colleagues and even your clients where you can be open, even when there are problems that need addressing.”
Turning their attention to their plans for Vibe FM in 2024, Frank says that moving forward, it’s going to be about making the most of the opportunities they have. “Every day is an opportunity to make the brand bigger and take it another step forward. It’s about understanding what the opportunities are and making the most of them,” he maintains.
“The big success this year will be consolidating the results achieved last year, which were impressive, and my personal success will be around the team,” Andrew adds, stating, “fostering, and retaining a good core team of people that we can really trust to get things right. It is a challenge, as recruitment is still ongoing, but the end goal for this year will be to have a solid team in place with which to progress into 2025.”
On the listeners’ and followers’ front, meanwhile, the pair are unequivocal: “the goal is always to keep people guessing what we’ll be up to next.” We end our conversation with some final words of advice for aspiring leaders. For Frank, it’s about being patient. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, so eyes on the prize, but at the same time be patient – enjoy the journey, because sometimes the journey itself, and the people you meet along the way, is more beautiful than the view at the top of the mountain. Enjoy the ride.” As for Andrew, he admits, “I would tell 22-year-old me that it’s not going to be easy, and that there will be bumps in the road, but also that the most important thing is to get up, dust yourself off and go at it again – don’t give up.”
This interview forms part of the Digital 50 Business Leaders project. These high-profile interviews are exclusively featured online at MaltaCEOs.mt, highlighting 50 distinguished conversations with business leaders, CEOs, and emerging entrepreneurial talents. Through these discussions, we aim to showcase the remarkable journeys, achievements, and successes of Malta’s business leaders.
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