Saturday, August 01, 2020


Radio Netherlands opens a new satellite service to stations for 16 hours a day. Lee Martin has an office in New Jersey. Iran has opened a massive new shortwave site, though no-one is sure how many transmitters are ready. Radio Prague has announced possible cutbacks. Thieves have stolen a lot of copper from the Radio Mozambique. Jim Cutler explains the new RNW publication vault. All India Radio is making it into Europe on mediumwave. Radio London with 1 watt is being heard well. Radio Caroline is planning new broadcasts on 1278 KHz. Hans Knot updates us on offshore and “inshore” broadcasting. MV Communicator will be sold back to its owners. He reports 3 different ships off the coast of Israel. There’s a connection between Arthur Cushen and Peter Arnett – both born in Bluff, New Zealand. Arthur reports on a number of new stations that have been purchased. And there are developments in Bougainville. Lou Josephs has an update on Microsoft’s browser package – a huge 21MB (!) download. The Investment Channel has disappeared. They phoned the Dutch embassy to complain about our comments on the station’s owner. Turned out to be a scam.


This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault


A reportage from the International Audio and Video Electronics show in Berlin. This year was the launch for the DVD format, with a vast improvement on VHS. Philips has a rival system called MPEG-Multichannel audio. I remember Professor Doug Boyd was involved to set up the new DRM standard, which was a system designed to turn analogue shortwave broadcasting into digital. Glyn Jones of the BBC acknowledged that a lot of work still needs to be done before Walkman-style DAB radios become available. (Yes, I know, Photo is from a later Funkausstellung. I think I took slides in those days!)

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.24.07.1997.CNN Center Atlanta

Diana Janssen and Jonathan Marks arrived in Atlanta at the weekend. That was a big mistake – the centre of downtown Atlanta was deserted, except for people queuing to visit the Coca Cola museum on the Sunday afternoon. We talked to Ted Turner to discover his philosophy for international broadcasting. As we visited, CNN had hit some very low ratings. We compared the output with VOA and RFE. CNN Interactive is now one of the 9 networks. 150 people work for the Internet department. 3100 people work for all the networks put together. In those days Radio Netherlands would contribute weekly to the World Report programme. Andy Sennitt reports that Bloomberg TV has started distribution in Europe. Radio London is back on the air with a power of 1 watt. Jim Cutler wraps up the show in his extra special way

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.01.05.1997.Satellites in London

We report from the Cable and Satellite congress in London. Analogue is still alive in Holland and Germany. Digital is still very expensive. Rupert Murdoch has not announced which receivers he will chose for his BSKYB service. Increasingly satellite signals are scrambled. We explain the conditional access module which has considerably complicated the market for individual satellite enthusiasts. Professor John Campbell can’t imagine that viewers will want to edit their own programmes. He thinks that traditional radio is trouble. Remember that CBS started by importing Cuban Cigars. He also sums up exactly what happened to a lot of shortwave radio. Andy Sennit has also news about ASTRA. There is also news about Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica. Joseph M Costello has passed away on April 23rd at 56 so the future of WRNO. We looked at into the archives. Mike Bird has the propagation review. Radio Australia is having its budget cuts, with 80 staff to lose their jobs.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.24.04.1997.African Media

A salesman calls: It seems more than 800 people are building the new satellite service. It is getting ready for launch in July 1998. We also look at the work of AMARC in Africa. It seems the so-called Francophone countries are well ahead of other countries. Nigeria is well behind. The Catholic church is very active in arranging FM airtime. There are differing views from Sierra Leone and Prof. Kwame Karikari based in Accra in Ghana.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.17.04.1997. 50th RNW

This programme was broadcast on the station’s 50th anniversary. We learned that World Service of the Christian Science Monitor is getting out of shortwave. Monitor Radio is going away on June 30th 1997. WCSN has already been sold. It cost them US$6 million dollars to run the service. TWR has expanded their facilities on Bonaire. The future of Radio Australia is in doubt and the domestic services of the ABC takes priority. Radio Austria International is running a special station OE1M. Lou Josephs explains that IE4 has been launched by Microsoft. Microsoft has announced their answer to Real Audio. It’s called Netshow. Radio Netherlands Latin American service is organising a special conference for its 500 partners. We present a quick overview of what it sounds like.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.20.02.1997 Alaska KHNS

The main feature this week was on public radio in Alaska. In the news, it seems NHK is cutting some of its radio programmes. However, in Australia the situation is the opposite. Although cuts need to be made it seems Radio Australia is favoured by the government instead of the Australian external television.  We did a bit of digging to find out more about Jerry Hoffman. “Stocks and Funds” is a mystery SW radio station run by someone with a rather shady past. Our series on Radio in remote locations in Alaska, continues with Bert Oosterfeld visiting KHNS in Haines. Andy Sennit of the WRTH has news about low power stations in Kyoto. Irish Radio Ireland is in trouble before it even goes on the air. Radio Bayrak in Northern Cyprus is in the news again. North Korea appears to be having power problems. 

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, June 20, 2020

MN.14.08.1986.EAP and Laser 558

This edition of programme was subtitled “Crime Time”, a tongue in cheek look at the offshore pirate radio ship Laser 558, later sold to East Anglian Productions. I spoke with Ray Anderson, who said that Laser was going to Gibraltar. The UK Customs authorities have been very active in trying to prevent the ship leaving the UK. Ray Anderson says he has made a profit on the sale of the vessel. In InfoDutch, we talk about the HCC Hobby Club and the new CD-ROM player which can store a massive 600MB of data (remember this was the era of data on compact cassettes). We discuss the use of modems and the FIDO computer network. Victor Goonetilleke and Sarath Weerakoon report on new stations being launched in Sri Lanka. TWR is going on shortwave. RAE Argentina is being heard in South Asia on 15345 kHz at 1745 UTC.  

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.20.12.1984. Radio Monique

An early edition of the show. We were more reliant on off-air recordings because the phone was poor quality and very expensive.  Radio Monique, from the Ross Revenge ship in the North Sea has appeared on-air as expected. All the usual discussions about where the programmes are being made. The FM bands are full. A WARC has been held to tackle the overfull FM – there are 51,000 FM transmitters in the world in 1984. Nic Newman and I test out the new Panasonic RFB600L . We conclude it represents fair value, with some strange tuning quirks. Michael Murray updates on plans for the EDXC meeting in Madrid. The theme will be satellite communication. Richard Ginbey reports that a number of new transmitters are coming on the air in Botswana. Angola has launched an international service. We concluded this edition with Pubspot. Larry Miller has revamped his shortwave programme guide by turning it into a newspaper. We concluded with our own version of propagation – before Mike Bird appeared on the scene.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault


Another news edition of the programme. We reported that VOA Europe has been saved. Director Frank Scott in Munich explains how they plan to save money. Plans in French and German have been shelved. A reporter from Radio Marti has been asked not to ask any more questions at US presidential press conferences. Dutch TROS public broadcaster announces a plan to go commercial. Laos is being heard in Europe via transmitters in the USSR. 11852 kHz is being heard from Caracas. Jeff White reports that Radio Discovery is back on the air. Also on 6245 kHz. Europa TV is in financial trouble. We did a feature on Radio Truth, a South African based clandestine. Rob Horvitz went to investigate a new US address being announced by the station on the air. It turned out to be home Ndabaningi Sithole (photo), former leader of ZANU, who was living in exile in Silver Spring, Maryland. We also did a feature on STAD Radio Amsterdam, interviewing Director Leo Jacobs, At that time the stations broadcast 3 hours a day from a converted house in the capital city. They had a curious way of doing bilingual programmes. They are waiting for the green light to becoming a provincial station. We can also hear a bandscan of some of the pirates on the FM bands heard in Amsterdam.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, June 14, 2020


Analogue satellite stations are scrambling as a result of the HBO Captain Midnight incident. Now the mystery has been solved. John Campbell reports that there are still pirate radio stations operating from Ireland, including Radio Rainbow. Richard Ginbey has new recordings of Voice of the Black Cockerel. Media Network’s research file looks at the Woodpecker Project. We discuss this in some detail with ANARC’s Robert Horvitz. There is a lot of publicly available now becoming available. It is amazing now to see how accurate Robert's research turned out to be. Youtube contains many videos too. of the abandoned site in Ukraine.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault


A news edition of the programme. This year (1989) we’re starting to see the spectrum analysers on radio, ten years after frequency readouts appeared in 1980. The Italian Radio Relay Service is expanding with PLAY DX with Dario Monferini. There’s news of a clandestine Radio Venceremos from El Salvador. CHU Canada has a new voice. Tim Hendl in Miami reports has suddenly identified as La Voz de Nicaragua. We did an interview with Tom Fikkert and Dr Kim Andrew Elliott (pictured) about international broadcast research. We discuss the challenges of measuring the size of international broadcast audiences in a pre-Internet era. There was also a strong rise in satellite-delivered relays, plus poor frequency management on shortwave. We review a shortwave radio that is made in Poland made by Sabena. And we call Kaz Matsuda who is leaving Radio Japan after 18 years and heading for Australia. We were sad to learn that Kaz passed away in 2010

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault


We always had fun with openings on Media Network in an era when programmes had signature tunes, ours included. So we had the BeeGees and Diana Ross open this edition. Radio Netherlands launched a European Press Review – a project which was doomed to failure. Marcel Rommerts reports on new relays via Moscow. Julius Hermans has an update on his recent trip to Radio Vilnius. He gives great insights on how they recovered from Russian occupation in 1991 as well as some idea of the size of station – 20 journalists in 1993. There is also a report on the satellite service Euronet and its link with Radio Caroline. Correspondent Heddy Lubberdinck takes us on a visit to rebel radio station in Iraqi Kurdistan. The report contains some unique off the air recordings.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, May 31, 2020

MN.25.09.1985 Fake Radio Bandung

Black Clandestine stations go back decades with many appearing during the Second World War. Media Network documented many stations like Soldatensender Calais run from Crowborough in the UK. But in 1985 (yes this is time travel stuff) we reviewed a Japanese publication which told the story of a fake Radio Bandung set up by the Japanese in Vietnam.  John Campbell explains that many DX clubs are giving up their subscriptions to the BBC Monitoring Services World Broadcasting Information because of a major price hike. In other news, there has been an earthquake in Mexico. Victor Goonetilleke has spotted a new clandestine station Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front. Germany is switching off its chain of time stations like 12763.5 kHz. A nice escape from lockdown don't you think?

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Sunday, May 03, 2020

MN 03.02.1983 Turkish jamming FRG8800

BBC Turkish service is being jammed. Dennis Thompson explains. DW and VOA are also affected. The audio on the Radio Netherlands Flevo transmitters are being tweaked. We have an in-depth review of the FRG-8800 shortwave receiver from Yaesu. UN Radio is expanding its broadcasts for an hour in English and French to Africa.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault