Sunday, July 31, 2016

MN.17.1987.Nederhorst Revisited



Nederhorst den Berg used to be the centre for the Netherlands Radio Control Service, the government department responsible for monitoring the airwaves. Part of their job was investigating interference complaints - the other part was monitoring the spectrum for pirates and clandestine stations (read spies). Several of the staff were listeners to Media Network, and so we accepted an invitation to have a look round. The photo shows the monitoring station at the height of its importance, in the 1950's.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.30.10.1987. ITU Telecom 87



The Geneva based International Telecommunication Union used to organize huge telecom exhibitions at the PalExpo in Geneva. They were enormous technology showcases, mainly aimed at government officials. International broadcasters used to attend, mainly to lobby for satellite frequencies and spectrum space in other parts of the dial. I tried to liven it up with a musical box....

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.13.05.1993.Radio Havana



This was a news edition of the programme. Astra 1C is safely launched from French Guiana. The American Forces Antarctica is rare catch a on 6012. There is no need for it any more so it may not come back on the air. NSB Radio Tampa is still on shortwave in Japan with business information. We investigate the mystery about Radio Niege in France. Australian Forces are broadcasting to Somalia. They have switched from using transmitters in the Cox Penninsula and switched to military USB transmitters. Arthur Cushen reports hearing WFLA on 25 Mhz. This is a studio to transmitter link. VOA Sao Tome is testing on mediumwave. And we did an interview with Radio Havana Cuba's DX editor and chief engineer Arnie Coro about changes coming to the Cuban international broadcaster.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN. LatinAmericanMontage Special



Just found a cassette of Argentinian and Chilean radio stations taken off the air in 1981/1982. It was sent in by a Media Network listener while we were covering the Falkands crisis and I asked if anyone had recordings of the Argentine stations. This cassette starts with the official sign-on of RAE, Buenos Aires, and includes a longer extract of the clandestine station nicknamed by the Brits as "Argentine Annie". In the 1980's few stations operated 24 hours a day and one of the delights of long distance listening on shortwave was hearing stations in Latin America start and end the broadcast day. They were usually over the top, hyped to the extreme to match the 10 thousand watts of power they were using the transmit. The recording ends with the sign-on of LRA-36, Rado Nacional Arc├íngel San Gabriel, Base Esperanza in Antarctica as heard in 1982. The radio station broadcasts on 15476 kHz on shortwave and 97.6 MHz for FM.. Radio National Archangel Gabriel is the southernmost international radio station and the first to broadcast from the Antarctic.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tribute to Lou Josephs - Media Visionary and great friend

Lou Josephs
Very sad to learn that my colleague and friend, Lou Josephs, has passed away much too soon. He died after a short illness at 6:13 am Sunday July 10th 2016 at a house on Merritt Island, Florida close to his beloved Cape Canaveral. He was 65. My condolences to his life-long partner Susan Koonin who was by his side. There will be funeral in Washington DC on Wednesday July 13th. 

Jim Cutler in NY, Vasily Strelnikov in Moscow and I put together this 60 minute audio tribute to a great guy.



Lou was one of the first Media Network listeners in the 1980's to step forward and help us develop the programme into a serious media magazine on Radio Netherlands. He made hundreds of contributions to the programme over a period of 15 years, including this great portrait of commercial international broadcaster WNYW, New York. That documentary is one of the most popular editions in the current archive.





I think you'll agree that was Lou at his finest. Some of the other recollections about WNYW are also still online.

From Radio Specialist to Internet Expert

I first got to know Lou when he worked as a programme director at music station WROR in Boston. He was using very advanced audience research methods to understand the music mix that his audience wanted - and it made the station a market leader in an era when FM stations had big breakfast talent (Joe and Andy I seem to recall). Lou was always ahead of the game, got out of radio when automation took over, and then moved to Washington DC to work for one of the first US Internet companies. But he never lost his interest in broadcasting - championing on-line listening.

As others have pointed out, the Media Network programme in 1992 was actually a remake of a profile Lou originally made in 1985. As a kid living in New York, Lou got a Saturday job working at WNYW, Radio New York Worldwide and (thankfully) made some unique off the air studio recordings,




Space

Lou's first love was space - he was an authority on all the missions and found ways to follow launches from the early days. He was delighted at the success of the NASA Juno Jupiter mission and was hoping to witness the SpaceX launch this week.

Lou's second love was radio and in my Skype conversations with him over the last few days,  I've been reminiscing about how his predictions about digital AM, on-line audio and satellite television were spot on. I know of few other people who were so well read on the global media, yet willing to share their knowledge and expertise with friends and colleagues around the world. And he competed with our Australian propagation specialist Mike Bird knowing his California wines like no other.

Lou was not on Facebook or other social media platforms. But over the last few days, I did manage to pass on greetings from those who reacted to an earlier post on FB. Susan says those thoughts made him so happy. So long, Lou, and thanks for your being a great friend to many people around the world.

Other tributes from former MN contributors:


Many best wishes came in over the last few days, all of which were read to him by Susan. This included: 

Victor Goonetilleke in Sri Lanka writes: I enjoyed the clever jingles he made but also the many contributions to Media Network on changes to digital radio. I was happy to meet him in Washington DC after an SWLFEST and Lou helped me fulfill a teenage DX dream as I listened to VOA and JFKs final rites in 1963; To visit the Eternal Flame at Arlington National Cemetery. Lou took me there and then gave me a fantastic tour of DC. We always remember great friends like that with great affection. It is friends like Lou who make the hobby (?) of DXing, SWLing so fine..the highlight is not only in the signals that come through sitting alone in your shack. Take care Lou and all the very best my friend.

Tom Sundstrom in New Jersey: I am very sorry to hear of Lou's illness and I hope he recovers quickly. Lou and I often exchanged phone calls and notes while we were both associated with MN. The MN work was fun and interesting. I can't believe so many years have intervened. Space interests me too; the JUNO precision orbit insertion was bloody amazing!

Richard Cuff: I remember Lou joining us for an SWL Fest in Pennsylvania in the mid-2000s, where he presented a great retrospective on WRUL / WNYW, the commercial shortwave station with its heyday in the 1960s. And, of course, I remember him very well from Media Network. Lou, hope you get well soon!

John Figliozzi: Lou, I too recall with great fondness the presentation you gave at the Winter SWL Fest now several years ago about WNYW--Radio New York Worldwide. It was one of the first shortwave stations I tuned in on my then brand new Heathkit GR-54 receiver. I listened to the station regularly and it was great to experience such a thorough history and background of the station that only you were able to provide. It was clear that we shared a love for that broadcaster. It was great to meet you then and to link a face with a voice that I heard regularly on Radio Netherlands' Media Network. I am sorry to hear of your health issues and hope that this small message of support can help in some tiny but significant and ultimately successful way. Godspeed.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

MN.09.04.1992.Satellites


Radio Netherlands starts feeding radio stations in Latin America and the Caribbean with a satellite signal. We profile the first commercial radio station in Bulgaria which has just started up; Radio Aura. A listener in Gwent brings up the start of TV Marti. We test the Lowe HF150 communications receiver in some depth. Radio Australia is talking about a television service.  


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.24.09.1992.Firato News Show


We visit the 1992 FIRATO, one of the last public audio/video fairs to be held in Amsterdam. 131,000 turned up to see widescreen televisions. The analogue MAC system is running into trouble. Sony demonstrates a MiniDisc but fakes the demo. Grundig will expand its range of Satellit receivers. Bob Grove says there will be a slight delay to the SW-100 communications receiver. This is a 100% US product. There also working on a spectrum display unit. Julius Hermans has some tuning tips. Steve Whitt has a guide for ICF2001 owners. BASICCODE is to be discontinued alongside (Hobby)Scoop.  Lou Josephs explains how stations are using databases for customer marketing. (Not bad for 1992). NAB Superradio is the most expensive piece of garbage we’ve ever seen. David Hill dropped by our studios to explain the future of Radio Australia. Victor Goonetilleke reports that SLBC is testing to North America. We discuss why Iran might be interested in building a relay station in Sri Lanka.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

MN.12.06.1987.LondonTrain



Sections of this programme were recorded on a train heading for Harwich-Hook of Holland. We start with the news from BBC's Peter Udell that they are starting to feed radio as well as TV signals on the satellite. Spain will build a relay station in Costa Rica. Philips and Dixons have launched a Get into SW campaign at 60 stores. Sony reworks Tony Hancock's Radio sketch. Andy Sennitt has been to see the Cable-Sat exhibition in Brighton but was disappointed. The UK is also planning to extend its marine broadcasting offences act from 3 to 12 miles offshore. Britain has published a Green Paper on Broadcasting. Roger Tidy reports on the views of the community radio lobby. Carl Josephs reports on the data signals being sent over 200 kHz longwave to switch domestic electricity meters between a high and low tariff. 

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

MN.12.03.1992.Rosenthal



The late Dave Rosenthal was a regular contributor to the Media Network programme in the 90's. He was fascinated by the sun and propagation - as well as being a US airforce pilot. What a great friend he was. In this programme he reviews a new specialist book about the subject. Then we go through the new Radio Netherlands summer transmission schedule in English (remember this is pre-Internet!). Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing Kashmir on 6300 kHz. And there's a report on the Kosuth radio network from Hungary about some strange observations. 

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.10.09.1992.ICFSW15



This programme from 1992 starts with the news that Radio Netherlands board of governors has approved relays of its programmes via transmitters in the Former Soviet Union. Broadcasts to Asia should have improved reception quality. BBC World Service had fire-alarm at Bush House. BBC will also hire airtime in Russia. DW likewise. We review the Sony ICFSW15. Nick Meanwell is the new presentation manager at Radio Netherlands, ex BRMB. Jeff White is on the line to report Radio Recovery, to serve those affected by Hurricane Andrew. 

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

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