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Radio News in December 2003

Ireland, Denmark and Norway leaving shortwave

RTE logoNew year 2004 marks the end of shortwave transmissions by public broadcasters in three European countries. Radio Telefis Éireann (RTÉ) in Ireland, Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) in Norway, and the Danish Danmarks Radio (DR) are closing their shortwave services on December 31, 2003. Aiming to cut costs and saying that shortwave is history, the stations are urging their listeners to continue to tune in via satellite or on the internet.
      Radio Telefis Éireann (RTÉ) has announced that it will end its daily half-hour shortwave broadcasts on January 1, 2004. According to a press release from RTÉ, this is the "first step in the re-alignment of its distribution platforms, both at home and abroad." RTE will increase its Danmarks Radio logotransmissions over the World Radio Network (WRN) and will provide, free of charge, a Worldspace satellite receiver to some of its isolated listeners in Africa. RTÉ began shortwave transmissions in 1995 and has been buying airtime from outside Ireland.
      In Denmark, Radio Denmark (Danmarks Radio) declares that "an era in radio's history is over." The foreign service, Radio Denmark, has been broadcasting in Danish via Norway's shortwave transmitters. Denmark closed its own shortwave site in Herstedvester already in 1990. Programs will continue to be available abroad on mediumwave, internet, telephone, CD recordings and telephone.
      Norway's public broadcaster Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) will air NRK logoits last shortwave transmission on December 31 after broadcasting to the world for 55 years. "Shortwave is a big and important part of NRK's history. At the same time you have to be realistic. Shortwave transmissions are not the future," says NRK's distribution chief Petter Hox on the station website. Programs are now offered via mediumwave, satellite, internet and telephone.
      Also in Europe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is ending broadcasts in seven languages. Services broadcasting to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia will close on December 31, 2003, under a directive from the White House and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), RFE/RL's oversight body.
(DXing.info, December 25, 2003)

New mediumwave station to be launched in Finland

A new mediumwave station is planned to go on the air in Finland in spring 2004. Swedish salesman and radio enthusiast Roy Sandgren has received a permission to launch a radio station in the Åland Islands, an autonomous region in Southwestern Finland. The station doesn't have a name yet, Sandgren says to DXing.info, but it will be on the air "in spring, I hope," using the frequency of 603 kHz and a power of 2.5 kW. Unlike initially told, Sandgren says that the station will not be offshore, instead, he is planning to set up the transmitter "on a pier or on shore" in Western Åland. He is planning to broadcast in AM stereo and says that he would be targeting also audiences in Sweden and mainland Finland, as the population of the Åland Islands is only 26,000. On December 17 Åland's government and administrative board approved Sandgren's application to set up a news and tourism station on condition that local workforce will be used as much as possible and that the station will broadcast in Swedish, the official language of the Åland Islands. According to official records, spotted by Vesa Hienonen, the license is valid until the end of 2008.
      Previously Sandgren has announced that he plans to set up a non-commercial offshore station near his hometown Malmö, using a 500-watt transmitter on board radio ship St. Paul.
(DXing.info, December 23, 2003)

Radio Uncía new from Bolivia on 4723 kHz shortwave

A new Bolivian shortwave station has been heard broadcasting irregularly on 4722.86 kHz. Radio Uncía was first noticed on December 17 by hobbyists on three continents as an unidentified station. Based on a recording made by Björn Malm in Ecuador, the station name was discovered by Henrik Klemetz in Sweden. According to information received by Klemetz and published in DXLD 3-234, the station is owned by the Municipality of Uncía with offices located at Plaza 6 de Agosto y Calle Villazón in Uncía. The station is simulcasting on the FM band at 105.3 MHz and on mediumwave at 1260 kHz. It has been heard identifying also as Radio Televisión Uncía. In the station identification the mediumwave frequency is given as 4700 kHz. Logs and more information about the station can be found in the South America forum (1/2/3).
(DXing.info, December 23, 2003, updated on January 3, 2004)

Historical pirate ship MV Communicator returns to the UK

Laser 558 logo The former Laser 558 ship, MV Communicator, is returning from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. The ship is due to arrive in Lowestoft on December 20, 2003, according to a press release of the owner, the Super Station. The Super Station says the ship is to play a crucial part in its plans to create a new radio station in 2004. Once repairs to the ship are complete, the company aims to launch a live 24-hour station, broadcasting a mixture of AC and soft rock.
      The MV Communicator has played an important role in offshore radio history. Between 1984 and 1987 Laser 558 and Laser Hot Hits broadcast to the UK and Europe. Since 1987 the ship has changed hands many times. The Super Station acquired the ship in 2002 from Clear Channel. The station can be contacted by writing to the Super Station, Suite 449, 305 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10165, U.S.A. or by email.
(DXing.info, December 19, 2003)

Dutch Radio Paradijs testing on 828 kHz

Radio Paradijs logoRadio Paradijs from the Netherlands began test transmissions on the frequency of 828 kHz on December 12. The transmitter is operated at 5-20 kW of power and is located in Rotterdam. Programming consists of oldies from the 60's and 70's. 828 kHz is one of six mediumwave frequencies licensed to Quality Radio B.V. and was previously used by Arrow Classic Rock. Earlier Radio Paradijs used to operate on 1584 kHz from Utrecht. Reception reports can be sent to Quality Radio B.V., P.O. Box 11122, 3505 BC Utrecht, The Netherlands or by email.
(DXing.info, December 19, 2003)

China launching new transmitters

China Radio International logoDXers around the world have heard test transmissions of classical music on different shortwave frequencies, presumably originating from a new transmitter site in Western China. Also on the new frequency of 1422 kHz mediumwave, China Radio International has been logged in India by Jose Jacob. According to the ITU, this 600-kilowatt transmitter is located in Kashi, Xinjiang, and may operate also on 1197 or 1539 kHz.
(DXing.info, December 19, 2003)

Low-power KCC Live from UK on 1251 kHz

KCC Live is a new low power AM (LPAM) station that was launched on December 1 at Knowsley Community College in Liverpool on 1251 kHz AM. According to Hywel Evans, posted on BDXC-UK by Alan Pennington, current broadcast hours are (local time): 8 am - 6 pm Monday & Tuesday, 8 am - 9 pm Wednesday & Thursday and 8 am - 7 pm on Friday. The station is off air at weekends and does not carry overnight programming. Station Manager Hywel Evans can be reached by email or by writing to KCC Live, Knowsley Community College Rupert Road, Roby, Knowsley, Liverpool, Merseyside L36 9TD, United Kingdom.
(DXing.info, December 19, 2003)

Sports station WBHE Charlotte NC begins on 1660 kHz

WFNZ logoSports fans in North Carolina and DXers all over the world have a new station to listen to. WBHE in Charlotte began broadcasting on 1660 kHz mediumwave on December 1. Part of the time the station is relaying WFNZ Charlotte NC on 610 kHz, but partly programming is separate. The station has been heard identifying as WBHE, but according to Operations Manager Donald Stout, call letters will be changed as early as next week.
      "We are very excited to be able to give our listeners a chance to hear us throughout the metro area. It is amazing what we have been able to do with 610 AM and the additional frequency will only enhance that success," Stout says on the station website.
      John Rieger in Wisconsin has already received an email verification from Stout. Reception reports can also be sent by snail mail to WFNZ, 1520 South Boulevard, Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28203-3701, U.S.A., and the station can also be contacted by telephone +1-704-319-9369.
       On December 9 the station changed call letters to WFNA.
(DXing.info, December 5, 2003, updated on December 19)

New X-band station: KBIV from El Paso Texas on 1650 kHz

A country music station from Texas has begun testing on 1650 kHz. KBIV in El Paso is expected to go on the air fulltime soon, this according to Patrick Martin who has called the station. According to El Paso Inc, KBIV will feature classic country music from the 70s and 80s, including artists like Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Reba McEntire and Willie Nelson. The station will target an adult audience in a market where the only other country station is KHEY-FM (96.3 MHz) owned by Clear Channel Communications. KBIV is owned by Entravision Communications Corporation. In the El Paso market Entravision also operates KOFX-FM (92.3 MHz), KINT-FM (93.9 MHz), KHRO-FM (94.7 MHz) and KSVE-AM (1150 kHz). KBIV can be contacted by writing to KBIV, 5426 North Mesa, El Paso, TX 79912, U.S.A. The telephone number is +1-915-581-1126 and telefax +1-915-585-4613.
(DXing.info, December 4, 2003)

Ilusión AM new from Ecuador on 1600 kHz

Ilusión AM has been heard by SWB's Björn Malm in Ecuador on the split frequency of 1600.15 kHz on December 4. The station is listed in the World Radio TV Handbook, but hasn't been on the air before now. Malm heard the station broadcasting mostly Ecuadorian music with some boleros in between. Another Ecuadorian station on a nearby split frequency is Ondas de Caluma on 1600.27 kHz, which is heard often in Ecuador also on its 2nd harmonic frequency of 3200.54 kHz.
      Also around 1600 kHz, on 1559.97 kHz Malm has logged HJXZ Santa Maria de la Paz Radio from Medellín in Colombia. According to Malm, this is presumably a new owner and new name for listed Emisoras El Poblado in Medellín. Malm heard the announcer asking for financial support for the station, which had been on the air for 3 months.
(DXing.info, December 4, 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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