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Tonle Group was founded in 2005 by Chin Phearum, a businessman who started in advertising and PR management. It is fully owned by Chin’s family and registered at the ministry of commerce as a private company under the name of Phearum’s wife, Chum Rachana, since 2005.
When it first started, Tonle Group operated Tonle FM in Siem Reap province. It established another radio station in Phnom Penh in 2008 and in Kampong Cham province in 2015. It is now planning to launch a fourth radio station in Battambang province.
In 2013, the Tonle Group was granted a license from the ministry of information to run Friends FM in Phnom Penh, that the group is planning to officially launch early next year. Friends FM’s programming will be focusing on news, particularly related to social issues, and the content will be produced by young journalists. It is available online, but the content is not regularly updated yet.
According to Chin, Tonle Group employs at least 50 people, with about 30 staff working in Phnom Penh station, while each station in the province has 15 to 20 staff members.