Thursday, August 09, 2012

VOA Bethany Remembered, WLW & RFE/RL

Video narrated by Nick Clooney, Sponsored by Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty and Created by Murray Multimedia Resources.

Some of the video platforms like Vimeo and YouTube are proving to be a better source of historical material about broadcasting than the respective broadcast sites of the broadcasters themselves. Take this reportage on the story of the Voice of America transmission facilities in Bethany, Ohio. It is just North of Cincinnati. It looks to me like they are still trying to raise funds to turn the old transmitter building into a museum of radio broadcasting. The station closed in 1995 (I have one of the grid coils from one of the Crosley SW-1 transmitters. That was decommissioned in November 1989, six years before the whole station closed.).

The public affairs office for the Broadcasting Board of Governors tells me that they're currently working with Congress on legislation that, if it becomes law, "would hand a substantial amount of our audio and video material to the National Archives, where there’s a deep well of talent in curating and presenting materials for the public. The US House of Representatives has passed this legislation; we await Senate action" . In the meantime there is also footage on YouTube from the nearby AM station WLW, made in 1997. That station was famous because it got a licence to broadcast with 500 kW instead of 50 kW. They built a very famous tower by putting one mast on top of another. In the end, when the US entered the war, the US government decided that the maximum power for AM stations in the US would remain at 50 kW. 

There is also a Media Network show made in 1995 which mentions other ideas for VOA Bethany at the time.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty already has an archiving project with The Hoover Institution at Stanford University Various videos and audio recordings are appearing in the public domain

I hope they also curate the footage from Catalan TV of when the same era closed. Apparently this footage was quite popular with the public (80,000 views).

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