Media Network grew in the mid-nineties because of topical input from its listeners who volunteered information. This was in an age before email and phone calls abroad were very expensive. That may help to explain the shoeshine sketch at the start of this news edition of the programme. This coming winter the lower sunspot numbers will mean difficult reception in the lower frequencies. Radio Thailand external services is now using the VOA Udorn transmitter site. SRI is now operating via French Guiana. SRI talks about its shortwave signal via Monsinery, French Guiana as well as satellite feeds to stations in Brazil. Lou Josephs reports that the Philips car radio DCC811 will only have the 49 metre band on it. Lowe radio is expanding in North America. Universal Radio has published a new utility guide. Lou Josephs explains that audio downloads from VOA are still rather slow through dial-up. Holland FM is to start shortly on 1224 kHz via the Communicator. Some of the stations in the Ukraine appear to be off the air. Also some Russian stations have disappeared. Ghana has also disappeared from Shortwave. Arthur Cushen has tuning tips from Invercargill, New Zealand including news that the BBC World Service AM frequencies are up for sale.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Sunday, July 14, 2019
KGEI signed off for the last time. We trace the history of the station from the days when it was started by General Electric on Treasure Island for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. But now the costs of running this religious station out of Redwood City make no sense at all. We also find out about plans for a shortwave religious radio station in Zambia, Christian Voice. They will have a 100 kW transmitter serving a 1500 km radius. Karl Miosga explains expansion plans at World Radio Network in London.
We look at a mysterious station OPS which used to operate on 1430 kHz aimed at the US forces in Berlin. It was presumed to come from the Nalepastrasse, home of Radio Berlin International. Jonathan Marks visited to find out more about the BBC Networking Club. A small team of 8 people set up the club including a Bulletin board called Auntie. They started an Archive library. BBCNC started with 500 members. They were also trying to make the schedules of BBC World Service easier to understand. In 1994 there were an estimated 30 million users of the Internet.
This edition came from Washington DC where an international broadcasting meeting was being held at VOA Headquarters. There were major cuts announced to US International broadcasting. We did an interview with Worldspace founder, Noah Samara, who had a whole string of promises as a result of working with Motorola on satellite receivers. Gordon Harold of the BBC and an engineer from EBU comment on whether the Eureka 147 standard is suitable for satellite receivers. Terry Hargreaves of RCI says Canada has already made a decision for satellite DAB. In the final part of the programme, we chat with Alfonso Montealegre, media editor for Radio Netherlands Latin American service. He recounts his DXpedition to Easter Island and its radio links with Chile. Mike Bird closes with the propagation report.
Delighted to discover a cassette copy of this programme because the original Master has been lost. It includes a visit to Radio Moscow by Frans Suasso, former deputy programme chief at Radio Netherlands in the early 1990's. He was an authority on Eastern Europe, especially on the dramatic changes going on in the former Soviet Union. In 1994 he did a tour of Eastern Europe. This was the era where Russia had opened up its transmitting facilities and was relaying Western broadcasters (including Radio Netherlands) to the Middle East and Asia. Frans got to talk to Boris Belitsky, who presented programmes like "Science and Engineering". Boris was remarkably candid about the old days". We also found out more about the vast switching centre in Moscow at the heart of the largest radio transmitting network on the planet. We also had a correction to an item on WQEW which Arthur Cushen had been hearing in New Zealand. Robert Mugabe has inaugurated Zimbabwe's external service. Diana Janssen updates us on disappearance of Radio Gatashia and the role that radio was playing in the Rwandan genocide. Andy James gives us more information about Christian Voice in Zambia which has just signed on. Andy Sennitt has a round-up of tuning tips including the news that Radio Caroline is back on mediumwave.
Friday, July 05, 2019
After a few programme announcements and the propagation report, we presented a mini-documentary looking at various Western international broadcasters and their role in Eastern Europe. While stations like Radio Berlin International disappeared, stations like Radio France Internationale did deals with local radio stations in Bucharest, Romania. Obviously FM stations had running costs so nothing was for free. But exactly how much stations were paying for distribution on FM was often kept secret. This programme was made with a lot of input from Eric Beauchemin who was travelling in the region for other Radio Netherlands' programmes. The photo I made in Bucharest in 2007, where it was clear to see that the RFI relay was still going strong.