Antenna, better known as ANT1, is a television network airing in Greece and Cyprus. The alternate spelling is wordplay in Greek; ena (ένα) is the Greek number 1 (one), thus ANT1 is pronounced the same as Antenna (Αντέννα).
It launched on 31 December 1989, the same year as rival Mega Channel, and is owned by ANT1 Group. ANT1 had been the most popular network in Greece for years with its line up of hit series including popular dramas Lampsi and Kalimera Zoi. Programming consists of comedies, dramas, news, current affairs programs, game shows, and entertainment shows.
The first broadcast was on 31 December 1989. One of the concept executive producers has been Nico Mastorakis who brought with him several original (for the Greek viewers) ideas after his stay in the United States. Programs like Wheel of Fortune (Greek version) and Oi Men Kai Oi Den were immediately among the top-ten shows in Greece. Cartoons used to be offered in the morning; most were shown in the Greek language.
The antenna also runs Easy 97.2FM and Rythmos 94.9 (a local pop-music radio station in Athens), as well as international networks ANT1 Satellite (from North America), ANT1 Pacific (Australia), and ANT1 Europe (from Europe and outside the Balkans) which broadcast the best of ANT1 programming to audiences abroad. ANT1 has also launched a digital channel, Antenna Gold, that airs programming from Antenna's programming library including many number-one hit shows. It airs in North America via Dish Network. It also owns a stake in Makedonia TV, a TV station with national coverage in Greece, and Easy 97.5FM based in Thessaloniki.
Programs that were once shown on ANT1 include CBS Evening News from the U.S. ANT1 Satellite News was also shown until the late 1990s. Antenna TV studios are located in the Athens suburb of Marousi. Its main Athens transmission tower is on Mount Hymettus. The station broadcasts terrestrially via a network of repeaters throughout all of Greece and Cyprus.
The antenna is led by Theodore Kyriakou. He served as Executive Vice President of the Antenna Group SA (from 1995) and as Chief Operating Officer (from September 1998) until his appointment in March 1999 as Chief Executive Officer, a position which he held until his appointment in January 2002 as Group Vice Chairman. Mr. Kyriakou has been a Director since September 1998.
Before 1995, he worked for the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. owned by Gannett Broadcasting, WUSA. WUSA is a television station broadcasting on channel 9 in Washington, D.C. Once again owned by Gannett Broadcasting, WUSA is an affiliate of the CBS television network, and the longest-tenured affiliate of that network. WUSA's studios and transmitter are located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington. He has also worked for Antenna Satellite in New York. He holds a degree in International Business and Finance and a degree in Physics from Georgetown University, where he graduated cum laude.
Kyriakou is credited with reshaping the Antenna asset portfolio. in October 2008, he built up a war chest for potential media acquisitions following the sale Nova, the Bulgarian assets of his Antenna TV company to Modern Times Group of Sweden for €628m (£600m). Interviewed following that transaction by the Financial Times, Kyriakou said: “We will be looking at a variety of assets across the broad spectrum of the media world and across Europe.” As the FT reported, Antenna was founded by Mr. Kyriakou's father Minos in 1989 and it is now the largest Greek-language media company in the world with production companies, radio stations, magazines, and television channels at home.
It also owns channels in the US and Australia, serving the large Greek-speaking populations in those countries.