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Radio News in June 2003

Radio La Amistad new from Peru on 5176.5 kHz shortwave

Once again a new Peruvian shortwave station has been heard; Radio La Amistad on 5176.5 kHz, possibly from Tayabamba, Provincia de Pataz, Departamento de La Libertad. The station was first logged by Björn Malm in Ecuador on June 23 at 1120 UTC.
(DXing.info, June 29, 2003)


White House requested Commando Solo to transmit to Cuba

EC-130 Commando SoloDXing.info has learned that a request to deploy Commando Solo EC-130 aircraft to broadcast to Cuba on May 20 came from the National Security Council (NSC). The NSC is the President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials.
       Earlier, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had received inquiries from the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) concerning the possibility of IBB using Commando Solo to broadcast Radio and TV Martí into Cuba. IBB is the U.S. agency that manages Radio and TV Martí, the U.S. propaganda station broadcasting to Cuba 24 hours a day on mediumwave and shortwave frequencies. Eventually the NSC requested the DOD to support the IBB with Commando Solo broadcasting capability to better broadcast the President's address on the anniversary of Cuban independence on Tuesday, May 20, 2003.

       According to information received by DXing.info, the mission was approved and Commando Solo was able to broadcast the President's message along with approximately 2.5 hours of TV Martí programming from an orbit inside U.S. airspace starting at around 6.30 p.m. Eastern time (2230 UTC) on May 20. The broadcast included a retransmission of President George Bush's speech carried earlier on Radio Martí.
The IBB has been evaluating the coverage and effectiveness of the one-time transmission via Commando Solo, which was chosen to overcome Cuban jamming of TV Martí. The day after, Cuban daily Granma said that very few Cubans were able to hear the U.S. airborne test transmission. Cuban-American activists have long complained that the U.S. needs to improve the poor reception of Radio Martí, which is why Commando Solo was tested as a potential new transmission platform.
       The mission was carried out by an EC-130E plane that was earlier used to broadcast Information Radio programming to Iraq. After the plane had returned from Qatar back to its home base at the Harrisburg International airport in Pennsylvania, it was deployed to Hurlburt Field near Pensacola, Florida, for a training mission.
       Another sign of increased activity in making Radio Martí more accessible, on June 28 Radio Martí was logged on a new frequency of 1020 kHz mediumwave by DXer Bob Foxworth in Florida.

(DXing.info, June 27, 2003, updated June 28)


UK DXers pick up trans-Atlantic FM stations

A very rare case of trans-Atlantic FM reception occurred on June 26 when at least two DXers in the United Kingdom managed to identify U.S. and Canadian FM stations. First Paul Logan in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, identified WHCF (WHCF-FM station identification) Bangor ME on 88.5 MHz at 1900 UTC. Soon at 2000 UTC David Hamilton in Ayrshire, Scotland received the Fisheries Broadcast (Fisheries Broadcast on CBTB-FM) hosted by John Murphy on 97.1 MHz via the CBC transmitter CBTB-FM at Baie Verte, NF. Paul Logan also heard CBC stations in English (CBVG Gaspe PQ) and in French (CBAF Moncton NB) on 88.5 MHz, as well as CBTR Roddickton NF, and CKLE (CKLE-FM station identification) Bathurst NB, both on 92.9 MHz. Details of the logs are documented on Mark Hattam's website.
       Previously, Derek Hilleard had identified CBC Sydney NS on 95.9 MHz during intense Sporadic E conditions on June 15 and 22, 1994. Also Mark Hattam has identified TV audio from WECT Wilmington NC on 87.75 MHz in November 1999.

(DXing.info, June 27, 2003)


New Latin American stations on 1610 kHz mediumwave

Radio station Ecos del Portéte from Girón in Ecuador (call sign HCTP5) and Radio Sabor from Paucarpata, Arequipa, Peru, have been heard on the frequency of 1610 kHz mediumwave. Both stations were logged first on June 16 by Björn Malm in Ecuador. By June 25 Radio Ecos del Portéte had shifted to 1614 kHz. The station has Christian programming until 0100 UTC, followed by non-stop rocolera ecuatoriana and cumbia music. Radio Sabor has most recently been heard on 1610.11 kHz with non-stop music. Its location was discovered by Alfredo Cañote in Peru.
(DXing.info, June 25, 2003, updated on July 15)


Radio Terra from Uzbekistan on 999 kHz mediumwave

A private radio station called Radio Terra from the Uzbek capital Tashkent has been heard on the frequency of 999 kHz. DXer Alexander Polyakov reports on Signal DX No. 102a that reception quality is excellent in the region around Tashkent. It is unclear when exactly this station has hit the airwaves. The station has a flashy website offering program and station information, photos and a discussion forum. Contact information is given as Glavpochtamt, a/ya Radio Terra, 700000, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Telephone: +998-71-136-2261, or email.
(DXing.info, June 25, 2003)


Digital shortwave radio launched officially

DRM logoSeveral international broadcasting stations have launched a digital shortwave radio service promising a near-FM quality sound in stead of the noise and interference of current analogue shortwave transmissions. The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium officially launched its digital service in conjunction with the ITU's World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) in Geneva on June 16. The conference is held every few years to decide broadcasting issues such as the sharing of radio frequencies. Among the stations that participated in the first live daily digital shortwave transmissions were Voice of America, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, Radio Netherlands and Voice of Russia. Altogether the DRM consortium, based in Geneva, has expanded into a group of 80 broadcasters, network operators, equipment manufacturers, broadcasting unions, regulatory bodies and NGOs from 29 countries. The DRM system aims to become a universal standard for digital shortwave, medium wave and longwave broadcasts, but the U.S. regulatory body FCC has already approved a different standard (IBOC) for digital AM transmissions. Also, another digital system known as DAB has already been used for years by several broadcasters in Europe, Asia and Canada for digital radio broadcasting, though without commercial success. Digital receivers are still few and expensive, and the digital broadcasting systems are unknown to most shortwave listeners.
       Digital and satellite broadcasting is one of the forums in the DXing.info Community.
(DXing.info, June 20, 2003)



Drastic cuts proposed for Radio Netherlands

Radio Netherlands logoManagement consulting company McKinsey has produced a report suggesting savings in public broadcasting that would dramatically affect Radio Netherlands. The report unveiled by Dutch TV current affairs program Nova suggests either an 83.5 % or a 57.6 % reduction in the budget of Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, says Karel Ornstein of Nova to DXing.info. The fate of the Dutch international radio service will be in the hands of Dutch politicians. According to the Dutch Journalists' Federation, Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ), implementing the McKinsey report would be the end of Radio Netherlands. According to the report it is no longer necessary to inform the Dutch overseas audience on shortwave, neither is there a need to use Radio Netherlands as a tool to give the world a realistic view of the Netherlands, in an age when the Internet is widely available. Under the most radical scenario, everything except broadcasts to the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname would be scrapped.
       The McKinsey report about the the efficiency of public broadcasting was jointly commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and the broadcasters themselves. In a press statement on June 12, Radio Netherlands management pointed out that the purpose of the report was to identify different scenarios where cost savings could be made, of which the example quoted by Nova was just one.
       Radio Netherlands currently employs over 300 people and has a budget of €48 million, which according to the plans could be slashed even down to €8 million. The station broadcasts radio programs and publishes Internet pages in six languages over its own facilities: Dutch, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian and Papiamento. The program division also supplies stations in Africa with radio programming via satellite in French, bringing the total to seven. Radio Netherlands Television produces programs in English and Dutch. The TV programs are aimed both at the Dutch and the international audiences, and can be seen around the world through CNN World Report, the global news exchange show of CNN.
(DXing.info, June 11, 2003, last update June 14)

New licenses create an upheaval on the Dutch MW band

Radio 10 FM logoRadio 10 FM has temporarily began renting airtime from Quality Radio on 1395 kHz after it was left without frequencies of its own in a revamp of the Dutch mediumwave band. Radio 10 FM has announced that it will sue the Ministry of Economic Affairs for allegedly sidelining the station without a reason. The FM frequencies previously awarded to Radio 10 FM are now broadcasting Sky Radio's oldies station Radio 103. Previously also on 675 kHz, Radio 10 FM can now be heard only on 1395 kHz at 0400-1800 UTC, officially signing on on June 7. Business Nieuws Radio (1395 kHz) and Haagstad Radio (1485 kHz) had signed off on May 31.
       Meanwhile, Arrow Classic Rock has taken over 675 kHz (ex-828 kHz where a non-stop tape is now being played), which is licensed to Music Country, 828 kHz to Radio Tropical, 1035 kHz to Radio Paradijs - both by Quality Radio, which is also to operate a talk station in Amsterdam in 1557 kHz and Liberty Radio on 1395 kHz. The new licenses are valid for eight years. A sample station identification of Radio 10 FM can be found in the DXing.info audio archive. One of the new stations emerging on the band will be Radio London run by the UK-based Radlon Media Limited on 1008 kHz.
       Commercial Radio Paradijs from Utrecht signed on on 1584 kHz on June 8, and Radio 538 on 891 kHz on June 11.
(DXing.info, June 11, 2003, last update June 16)


Anker Radio from the UK new on 1386 kHz

Anker Radio logoA new lowpower station on 1386 kHz went on the air in the United Kingdom on June 3, and was immediately heard as far away as Finland. Anker Radio was named after River Anker that runs through Nuneaton in Warwickshire. The station began operating already in 1980, but until now not on the mediumwave band. The address of Anker Radio is: Arbury Broadcasting Centre, George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7DJ, United Kingdom. The station has a website and it can be contacted also by email. A station identification of Anker Radio can be heard in the DXing.info audio archive.
(DXing.info, June 11, 2003)


News edited by Mika Mäkeläinen. News items originate from DXing.info site or own sources unless another source is mentioned. Extracts from news items may be quoted if the website http://www.DXing.info is mentioned as source. See terms of use for details.


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