Friday, December 27, 2013

Remembering Radio Luxembourg 1991 -1995

2014 is going to be a nostalgic year for Radio Caroline. There is plenty of material about that station. But much less about Radio Luxembourg. I found two Media Network editions from 1992 which tell some of the story.

The first Media Network programme was aired a few days after Radio Luxembourg's English service signed off from the high-power medium-wave channel of 1440 kHz, better known as the Great 208 (208 metres). The farewell show went on well into the night and contained some great stories of the English service in Luxy. The mediumwave transmitter in Marnbach is still there - I passed by on a trip to Luxembourg in the car a few years back. RTL German and China Radio International have used it since. 

I find it interesting that over 20 decades after this programme was made, Holland still has a mediumwave service. They have reduced the power to keep the coverage down to just the Netherlands and I am sure there must come a day when Radio 5 from the public network vacates 747 kHz.

We linked up with Vasily Strelnikov to discover what might happen to Radio Moscow in 1992 (kinda topical now).

This programme also contains an illustrated interview with Richard Jackson about the decision by the Thai government to terminate the licences of 5 radio channels in the hope of raising the commercial revenue of the government station Radio Thailand. 

This was a fun show to end 1992, catching up on the media news that was current on the last day of that year. It was a rather momentus day for Radio Luxembourg because they closed down their English service, playing many of their jingles in full so enthusiasts could tape them. But the majority of the show is devoted to a collection of radio mistakes which seemed funny at the time. Remember a lot of international broadcasting was pre-recorded in those days, so many of the fluffs were retaken. Sometimes though, people forgot to edit them out.

In 1995, Radio Netherlands signed a deal with RTL Radio Luxembourg to use the great 208 metres for a few hours each night for it's English language broadcast. We combined that with a visit to the station and made the following documentary. This was one of the first dual presentations we tried with co-host Diana Janssen. Interesting old recordings of RTL which I haven't heard elsewhere in a long time. The picture of the transmitter site at Marnach is shown above. That was were the English transmissions came from.

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