THE LAUNCH OF ROCS MEDIA
With Rachel’s growing reputation there was only one place left to turn. In 2000, ROCS Group founded Timeline Entertainment, later rebranded as ROCS Media – the media arm of ROCS. Ostensibly this was intended to operate as an in-house marketing and production house but as always Rachel found a way to turn a simple tool into a powerful machine. The goal behind Timeline Entertainment was at first perceived as a folly by sceptics: through the subsidiary, Rachel intended to take a dead television time slot on a Sunday morning and transform it into a popular, well-followed programme. As the Public Broadcasting Services Management shook their heads, giving the operation six months before succumbing to market constraints, Tista’ Tkun Int! was launched. It ran for seven years; sceptics had failed to take Rachel’s determination and acumen into account.
The unstoppable show was an immediate and a staggering success that broke every possible record in Maltese broadcasting. The show was geared to be a feel-good family studio programme with plenty of giveaways presented by Rachel herself. Rachel soon became the darling of Maltese television, voted Most Popular Female Presenter for five years in a row. Tista’ Tkun Int! broke local broadcasting records in many ways. It was the first to offer grand scale prizes to the Maltese audience, prizes that included luxury cars, apartments and first class holidays. It was the first show to truly offer help to the needy and to draw attention to their plight. It was the first show to crack almost every record in local television – achieving an average 113,000 viewers on a morning slot and – quoting Profs. Mario Vassallo, who at the time was responsible of conducting the Broadcasting Authority Surveys – “ Tista’ Tkun Int! is a phenomenon in International TV viewership trends”.
In any given episode Rachel was bombarded with more calls than the local Eurovision voting spree. The show’s strong CSR pitch (among those to benefit were children, the sick and the socially under privileged) was hugely appreciated by the Maltese and to date Rachel remains the unofficial queen of hearts for many. Her work within the community – especially in her hometown of Mellieha – was noted and admired by all and even earnt her the coveted Ġieħ il-Mellieħa Award in February 2007.
The programme garnered international reputation and accolades poured in from all quarters. Thanks to her work in the community, Rachel was chosen by Mercedes-Benz International to represent Malta in a worldwide campaign. Only one personality was to be chosen from every country and Rachel represented Malta in Milan. The event was a glitterati bonanza, packed to the rafters with A-list celebrities, many of whom had already met Rachel before through guest appearances on Tistà Tkun Int! But no matter how many celebrities she met – from singers like Al Bano, to every single celebrity footballer, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Pope John Paul II and a multitude of divas – Rachel remained focused on the twofold task of maintaining a successful operation while offering a ray of hope to the less fortunate.
Despite all the accolades and the incredible advertising revenue (the show counted all of Malta’s top brands as advertising client, with no exception – a feat never since achieved by any other television show) Rachel soon felt that it was time to explore new pastures. In 2007, when the show was at the peak of its success, the decision was taken to bring Tista’ Tkun Int! to its closing chapter. Seven years on it remains a legend in local media.