Media Network Vintage Vault 2015 - 2016
Re-live international shortwave radio between 1980-2000 through a radio show that pioneered producing narratives with its listeners. Over 470 complete programmes are posted here to enjoy all over again. This is a non-commercial service to media historians done at the initiative of host, Jonathan Marks.

This edition of the programme involved phoning more than 9 different shortwave stations in the USA as non-government licences to broadcast internationally were dished out by the FCC, following the lead of WRNO in New Orleans. We also tested the Philips AC739, one of the few car radio shortwave receivers with more than the 49 metre band on them. I guess there are probably no surviving examples for this set left on the planet. I remember using it for a couple of years, but it was incredibly fiddly to change stations. Not recommended while driving.

Direct download: MN.23.03.1984.transatlanticspecial.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:40 PM

From time to time we mentioned the low-power Canadian shortwave relays on the Media Network programme. These transmissions were originally intended for listeners in the far North of Canada as a way of hearing some of the commercial stations. But when part of the antenna came down in the storm, the owners decided to switch to an omnidirectional pattern. CFRB/CFRX in Toronto was featured in this 1984 edition of Media Network. The photo is of Harold Sellers, one of the founders of the Ontario DX Association, who still responds to reception reports for those lucky enough to hear the station. In the end, these stations lasted longer than Radio Canada International.

Direct download: MN.15.03.1984.CFRB.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:32 AM

In July 2004 I decided it was time to use the summer to reorganise the Media Network archive. By that time, there were around 180 shows which I had made, plus several DX Juke Box specials from previous presenters. We were also getting correspondence from listeners in North America asking us to cover home computers and do less on antennas and build-your-own equipment like aerial preselectors. We decided to revamp the consumer guides like the Receiver Shopping List. Looking back on it, these were probably some of the most comprehensive publications of their day.  

This edition was also the first time we profiled the Radio Netherlands Training Centre. Started in 1969 in combination with Philips, the training centre became very important to Radio Netherlands strategy in Africa and Latin America. I find it fascinating to listen to the philosophy of Jaap Swart, the centre's first managing director because I think it still applies more than 30 years later. 

Direct download: MN.21.07.1984200thRNTC.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:55 AM

This programme includes news of the rebuild of Radio Australia's Darwin transmission facility, following damage by Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Barry Seeber reports that 3 250 kW are being tested. The English language broadcasts will be relayed by Darwin once the station is fully operational.

We also had news of shortwave tests from KFBS Saipan. They were using a 100 kW transmitter. Both Arthur Cushen and Victor Goonetilleke report good reception. The BBC has announced plans for a satellite TV service. Sinclair computing is interested in producing receivers for the home. We review the ICR-71 communications receiver - and the fact that the radio has 32 memories!

Bill Whitacre reports from Washington DC that stations in Honduras are being heard well on the US East Coast. Following a tip from Roger Tidy, we picked up Laser 729 kHz in Hilversum is back on the air.  

Direct download: MN.16.02.1984.Australia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:21 AM

This edition of the programme looked at WMLK, a religious radio station in Bethel, PA USA. YouTube now has video from the transmission site we're talking about in the programme. We also talked to UK listener Gordon Bennett about receiver specifications and the lack of standards in measuring radio sets. Pete Myers reports on the FRG-8800 from Yaesu. It can be controlled by a home computer. The ICOM ICR-71 interface has disappointed some. We review the book Harrier at War by Alfred Price about the radio side to the Falklands Conflict in 1982. This book looks at electronic warfare and the huge amount of money spent on deliberate interference. Richard Ginbey has a Mediaview feature on broadcasting in Rwanda. As usual it has some rather unique off-air recordings. We talk with Nevil Gray, who used to work with Deutsche Welle about the "Publicity in Africa project" which turned out to be a tax dodge. Andy Sennitt has news about King of Hope in Lebanon. Radio Netherlands new transmitters on the Flevo polder are testing on 9895 kHz next week.  

Direct download: MN.15.11.1984.bennett.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:30 AM

These days it would be daft to broadcast long technical reviews of radio receivers over the radio. But in 1984, there were few sources of independent information about the performance of shortwave radios. So we used to send out lots of copies of our on-air reviews. This edition contains our summary of the ICOM-ICR71E, a communications receiver which was around until the mid-90's. 

Direct download: MN.19.04.1984.ICR71E.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:09 AM

I remember this trip to Stockholm as though it were yesterday. I tried to cover this DX convention at Radio Sweden by editing interviews in my hotel room and then rushing back to Swedish radio to feed the result down a line to Hilversum so it could be cut into the broadcast tape of Media Network. I underestimated the complexity of the process, especially as I was used to fine editing with a razor blade and the UHER reel to reel tape was so thin it curled on the splicing block.

The European DX Council meetings were mainly social gatherings - I rather enjoyed them. This was the first time I met Media Network contributor Victor Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka. I remember him shivering as we all waited for the boat trip on a summer evening. The programme also contains contributions from Professor John Campbell and Richard Ginbey has some unique recordings from Radio Cameroon. 

Direct download: MN.14.06.1984.EDXC.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:05 AM

This is a news edition of the show. The Catholic church is increasing its power in the light of the success of HCJB in Quito Ecuador. There is a new transmitter site being built in Sveio, Norway. (Note there is video on YouTube of the antenna being dismantled in 2012). Jim Vastenhoud talks about the possible move to Single Sideband. There's a promo for the Receiver Shopping List Edition 7 because 18 new receivers have come onto the world market. African Media Network reporter Richard Ginbey has noted Angola is now operating 24 hours a day. A lot of stations are drifting down the dial. We look at Radio Truth, a station beaming from South Africa towards Zimbabwe. We ask what's happened to Radio Database International and talk to Larry Magne.  

Direct download: MN.08.03.1984.propagation.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:01 AM

KYOI will get its transmitter delivered to Saipan next week. We called Charles Brigg at the FCC who explained that KNLS Alaska still has to do environmental tests in Alaska before it can begin broadcasting over to the North Pole. And in Florida, a new station is preparing to go on the air. We look at the rather solemn coverage on Radio Moscow of the death of Leonid Brezhnev. There seems to be a new clandestine station in Libya. Elsewhere in this clandestine special, Professor John Campbell looks at trends in Italy and Ireland from unlicensed stations - and we look at the war of words between China and Taiwan. 

Direct download: MN.11.11.1982.Taiwan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:58 AM

We start the programme with several reports from listeners that Laser Radio is back from the North Sea, this time on a new frequency of 558 kHz. They are advertising for DJ's from a PO Box address in Grand Central Station, New York City. Prof John Campbell has been investigating The Voice of National Resistance of Mozambique which has been closed down as part of an agreement between South Africa and Mozambique. Radio Free Suriname is still on the air on 6850 kHz. There seem to be several unofficial FM pirates operating in German from Belgium near Aachen. Bob Chaundy reports on the Philips D7456 cassette radio and 9 band shortwave receiver. There is African Media News with Richard Ginbey who reports on stations from Southern Africa. 

There are problems with a Japanese DBS satellite. Radio Japan's signal to their Gabon relay station has been interrupted for several days. Radio Sweden has changed its interval signal. Iraq has started using 13 MHz. Sky Channel's Patrick Cox explains why it has taken so long to get their signal distributed in the Netherlands.

Direct download: MN.10.05.1984.skychannel.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:55 AM

We're hearing a clandestine station from Central America, targeting Cuban troops serving in Angola and Ethiopia. Called Radio Camilo Cienfuegos, it is named after the Cuban revolutionary who fought alongside Castro. But, in fact, this station has an anti-Castro message. Laser Radio 558 has started broadcasting from the North Sea. We learn some of the details about the ship being used. The crew is entirely American. The supplies come from Spain. Richard Ginbey's Mediaview looks at Equatorial Guinea. There are some rather unique off-air clips of Radio Malabo in his report. Prof John Campbell passes on some interesting anecdotes about the letters coming out from that country. We announced a computer program for propagation. Hans Bakhuizen explains how this has been developed. This is called MICROMUF has been derived, which shows the max and minimum usable frequency.  Arthur Cushen reports that DX meetings are popular in the South Pacific.  

Direct download: MN.07.06.1984.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:52 AM

By the mid-eighties, many international broadcasters were locked in a power race as the shortwave broadcast bands were full with the output of some 100 different countries. We looked at the plans that NHK Radio Japan were examining to strengthen their overseas signal. Because although Japan was the main country producing shortwave radios, it's commitment to shortwave broadcasting has always been somewhat meagre. Even today (2015) Japan broadcaster NHK is not allowed by law to make extensive use of the Internet - due to some archaic law designed to protect publishers. For some reason, NHK only used phone line quality connections to its shortwave relay stations for many years. That made music sound particularly awful. 

This program also contains a rare interview with Nico Bogaart, who was Director General at Radio Netherlands for a very short period. Much liked for his kindness and approachability, he sadly took his own life a short time after taking office. 

Direct download: MN.05.04.1984.Japan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:46 AM

It wasn't often that the spy number stations strayed into the part of the dial reserved for ham radio operators. But on this occasion, radio amateurs in Germany and Austria were furious when one of the espionage senders did just that. They did some direction finding and pinpointed the signal as coming from Czechoslovakia. We also look at the clandestine transmissions beaming across the straits of Florida. Robert Horvitz asked the organisers of Radio Abdala what was holding up their return to the airwaves. Dennis Powell has news about a new type of rating system to find out what motorists are listening to. It is called Audiscan.  Universal Shortwave has set up an electronic bulletin board and Dxers Directory. Fred Osterman explains. Remember this is about 10 years before the Internet was opened up to the general public. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1984..mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:43 AM

This edition of the programme explores the state of international satellite television. At that time, a commercial company in Amsterdam called Holland on Satellite was hiring airtime in the US for Holland promotion. But the BBC's Managing Director of External Broadcasting, Douglas Muggeridge, floated an idea of a TV service of sorts - sounded to me more like "radio with pictures".  Interesting that he didn't see any future for direct- satellite delivered radio programmes. Radio France Internationale has been building a relay station in French Guyana. They are expanding their output in foreign languages, especially in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. There is also offshore radio news: Laser 730 signs off temporarily. Kas Van Iersel has been talking with the founder of Radio Paradise.

Direct download: MN.01.03.1984.Muggeridge.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:39 AM

This is the third and final part of one of the first sound portraits I made of Dutch broadcasting in the 1980's. It includes a profile of Radio Blumendaal, which has retained its mediumwave licence to broadcast on 1116 kHz since it was granted by the Dutch government in 1924. A lot has changed in Hilversum since this programme series was made, but Radio Blumendaal is still on the air every Sunday from 09-21 hrs local Dutch time (+1 UTC in winter, +2 in summer) and every Tuesday from 12-1330 hrs. The transmitter belongs to the Protestantse Gemeente van Bloemendaal en Overveen, formerly the Dutch reformed church of Bloemendaal. Their broadcasts also go out over the Internet

For reference, the other two parts are here.

Inside Story Part 1

Inside Story Part 2

Thanks to 80'sTimeTunnel on Twitter for pointing out that this edition was missing. Fixed now. More suggestions welcome.

Direct download: MN.28.07.1983.Insidestory3.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:06 AM

This news edition of the programme kicks off the new year 1995 with a range of new items. This was a good example of a news show without a particular theme, based on a "crowd sourced" pile of news items. Victor Goonetilleke is hearing a new station from Ethiopia Radio Fanaa,  DW has announced the old Radio Berlin International transmitter site in Nauen is to be upgraded. Voice of America announces major expansion and record audiences. Pete Costello has launched a catalogue of hypertext links. All the mediumwave stations in Austria have signed off for the last time. 

Direct download: MN.05.01.1995.Newsupdate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:50 PM

This early Media Network is more than 30 years old, so be gentle when listening to it. Lou Josephs reports from Boston on how radio stations across the US have united to play the USA for Africa single, we are the world. Voice of America is expanding both its output and audience according to VOA Director designate Gene Pell. A VOA relay station is being planned for Belize. We discuss the use of a computer interfaces to control a shortwave radio. The TROS has published plans for the Sinclair ZX-80. Rainer Lichte has published plans to connect to a Apple IIe to a shortwave radio.

The 10th West Coast computer fair has just closed. Our reporter talked to computer critic John C. Dvorak, now a host on the popular No Agenda Show podcast and on the TWIT network. John actually had some interesting thoughts about why the home computer was never going to make it. Richard Ginbey had several interesting clips from the airwaves in his African Media report. John Campbell also has clandestine radio news, including a follow-up to the book Secret Warfare.  

Direct download: MN.11.04.1985.micromuf.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:37 PM

This edition looks at the changes to the receiver market in the 400-700 US dollar price range. Gilfer Shortwave and 47th Street Photo have both gone out of business. Rick Lansing in Colorado has a problem with a time signal station in Caracas, Venezuela. There is a mystery on 1440 kHz. DXers in Finland have been hearing a station on 1440 when RTL closes down. It seems to be broadcasting in Swahili and may be coming from Tanzania. There are major changes to broadcasts from Radio Tirana, Albania. Voice of Mongolia has started using e-mail! Voice of Hope has started broadcasting from Tbilisi. If you want to see new cars being tested, look at the models driving by VOA Greenville, North Carolina transmitter site. Tim Hendel has comments about local radio in the US and the possible threat from satellite radio. Lou Josephs has a survey of changes to international broadcast websites. BBC World Service has cut back on the number of streams and has issues with viewing their site in some browsers. Victor Goonetilleke has news about TWR broadcasting in English on 882 kHz. He is also hearing Angola on 4950 kHz. Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica is making it into South Asia. The first tests from the HAARP facilty have been heard in Europe. Trevor Brook, owner of Radio Fax broadcasting from Ireland, says he is going to the European Court of Law to fight for private shortwave licences in the UK.  

Direct download: MN.03.04.1997._Receiver_Slumps_African_Safari.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:54 PM

For many years, Media Network had a shorter version sent to around 150 foreign radio stations for rebroadcast on FM. That worked better than crackly shortwave, although the fading and static added to the magic of distance in different ways. This transcription edition of Media Network features an interview with Radio Netherlands Dutch Service presenter Wim Vriezen, someone who became one of the leading voices on the programme Newsline Europe. One of the best all-round news presenters in the Netherlands.

Direct download: MN.29.07.1992.RadioCarolineVriezen.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:42 PM

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet revolution are starting to have an affect on stations serving Eastern Europe. This programme looked at the major changes announced to Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty with budget cuts to staff numbers from 1540 to 705 people. In 1993 the Munich based station had a budget of US$200 million dollars. Services to Afghanistan, were stopped! Melisse Fleming explained they were moving eastwards. Olrich Cip, (in photo), frequency manager at Radio Prague explains the implications of the recent split of the Czechoslovak republic. Wolfgang Pleines at DW has news of changes to Deutschlandfunk. Hans Bakhuizen explains DAB tests about to start in Hilversum and why they are important. Lou Josephs reports that DAB tests are to happen in the US but with their own system. There are problems with the current audio algorhythms. Radio Australia is testing two transmitters from its new facility in Darwin. 

Direct download: MN.21.10.1993.DLF.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:41 PM

This transcription version of Media Network was sent to about 150 stations who subscribed to a condensed version of the show. Obviously propagation reports were not relevant, and we were concious that the items had to be less time sensitive. This edition looks at the rise of rebroadcasting activities and distribution challenges facing BBC World Service, Radio Finland, RFE/RL, Radio Netherlands and Radio Austria International. Interesting to listen to this programme 20 years later, and realise that many of the fears expressed by the international stations actually came true. The rise of the gatekeeper has always been the biggest hurdle to the international broadcasters. If only FM radio could travel over the horizon, the scene would have been different. And this is before the convenience and lower costs of digital satellite television made it into a much more effective medium for many countries. 

Direct download: MN.10.03.1993.Transcription.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:39 PM

By the mid-nineties, the Internet was starting to interest many people in the communications business. We made trips to Silicon Valley to figure out what was going on and the role played by Stanford University. This is one of those on-location safaris. Diana Janssen and I spent some fascinating days talking to Netscape and various audio companies working on early mp3 players. We also visited Neil G Scott, who was building the Archimedes project on the campus of Stanford University. He later moved everything to Hawaii. He was busy working out alternative interfaces to the mouse. Remember this is two years before Google went public and speech recognition was in very early stages. 

Direct download: MN.09.10.1997.archimedes.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:38 PM

This edition of the programme starts with an interview with Jim Vastenhoud. He was one of the authors of a fact finding survey to Asia where Radio Netherlands examined possibilities to build a new relay facility in the region and boost it's signal. Vastenhoud explains the reasons for narrowing down the options.

NDXE says it has approached Voice of America in order to hire airtime on a mothballed SW radio facility in Dixon, California. That reminded me of station WLW in Mason, Ohio which was hired by VOA at the outbreak of war. Its famous diamond-shaped antenna mast is still there.

In other news, Sky channel announces a major expansion plan when the Astra satellite launches later this year. Alan Sugar says he will deliver the dish sets for 199 pounds. A US listener travelling in Europe has heard a strange sound which turns out to be a national paging system. Arthur Cushen has been hearing distant stations on mediumwave from a listening post in New Zealand. 

Direct download: MN.09.06.1988.WLW.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:35 PM

This programme carries the news about the launch of Classic FM in the UK and several stations having been recovering from storm damage. Jonathan Marks does a just outside broadcast from his garden, putting several commercial antennas side by side with some off-air examples of what they bring in. (Actually those antennas are still standing 20 years later!) We cross to Oslo Norway to find out the extent of the cutbacks announced at Radio Norway International. There are some rather spectacular videos on YouTube showing the dismantling of the antennas described in this programme. This happened much later. 

Direct download: MN.03.09.1992.NorwayAntennas.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:15 PM

We had just installed a new answerline recorder. Listeners want to know about the Sony SW600, the existance of a portable MP3 player, frequency changes for RNW, Victor has been hearing Radio Miami International - a rare catch in Asia. Voice of the Tamil Tiger being jammed by Sri Lankan authorities. Michel Schmidt wants to know about DAB in Germany and the Netherlands. 1997 will be the year of introduction. We followed the launch of Radio-E, set up to demonstrate digital radio. Radio Netherlands launches a daily email newsletter. The NOS Gender monitoring unit has been closed down.  The Dutch seem to be rather traditional. Only 18% of all experts on TV are women. We got a lot of reaction to our contest. Arthur Cushen recalls a record frost - and excellent mediumwave reception in Invercargill New Zealand.  

Direct download: MN.03.07.1996.Women.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:13 PM

Welcome. I'm Jonathan Marks. Glad you dropped by! Thanks for making April a record month for downloads - we had just over 45,600 downloads. Recent remarks on Facebook and Linked-in have generated all kinds of reactions.

This site is a project started nearly five and a half years ago in early February 2010 - an experiment which is so far working well. It is simply a place to listen to vintage editions of the Media Network programme as broadcast on short-wave by Radio Netherlands in the period 1981-2000.

It is near 35 years since the Media Network was launched as the name of the media show on Radio Netherlands, building on the rich heritage of programmes that went before it. We ran on the wireless from May 7th 1981 until October 2000 with more than 1000 editions. Many of the features are gradually making their way onto this website as a celebration of international broadcasting's second Golden Age. Radio Netherlands no longer exists as a radio station in English as we knew it. (They closed at the end of June 2012 as documented on this site). The RN Classical Music station was around for a short while after, but that too had been yanked from the Interwebs.

Join me in raising a glass to the great days of analogue adventures! Yes, you may have seen this page earlier. I keep moving it up the list because otherwise newcomers can't find it. I release between 6 and 8 vintage Media Network's a month, as time permits.  We have now reached more than 283,000 downloads, numbers being boosted by interest in the programmes about Aspidistra, connected with the ending of BBC transmissions via 648 kHz at Orfordness in March 2011.

Media Network was one of the first international communications magazines of its time. I hosted and produced the programme, but a lot of the content was made by a network of volunteer monitors, reporters and researchers located all over the globe. I kept copies of most of the programmes, especially those that dealt with specific issues or were connected to current events in that period. Since leaving Radio Netherlands in 2003, I have been slowly digitizing the tapes as part of my research into international broadcasting and where it might go after shortwave. Personally, I find it amazing to relive this era, especially as most of it was pre-Web, pre-Skype, pre-YouTube, pre-email, when most people thought twice about picking up the phone to call a radio station in another country. There is also a lot to be learned from what worked and what failed. Too many recent media ventures could have learned a lot from those who went before them.

I am always interested in your reactions, especially from people who may be discovering this material for the first time. It will encourage me to post more. Looking at the site stats, it would seem that around 13% of the subscribers are downloading via iTunes. The rest do so directly from the site. Please tell friends about this site and encourage them to subscribe. There are also radio related videos which I made more recently over on my video vault. This podcast publishing system archives editions on a monthly basis, showing only the latest editions on the home page.

Finding a show

If you want to see what has been put up since February 2010, click on the Media Network Archives orange button on the left and all the editions will be listed. You can also subscribe in iTunes by searching for "Media Network Vintage". As each "new" edition is published, it will download automatically to your MP3-player. The statistics show that most people download the shows through this site directly or through Facebook.

As of the end of April 2015, the most popular programmes have been those on wartime deception, Radio London (offshore station and the train), the MN Jingle collection and the RNI Libya programme. Note that programmes are now archived under the months in which they were published. I know some of the material here is niche stuff - but I also know that people interested in international communications and broadcasting are very passionate people. Because of the politics, it provided a constant wave of stories. I also believe that we developed one of the first collaborative formats on international radio, where individuals could do some detective work, report their results, and share experiences with those with a similar passion.

Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:53 PM

The programme starts with the voice of the late Paul Holmes, a New Zealand broadcaster who worked at RNW in 1980. I did shifts with him.

International broadcasters usually have friends all over the world, but few in their own country. That's because they don't target their own people - and politicians are often clueless as to what their role is, relying on hearsay. During its life as a broadcaster, Radio Nederland Wereldomroep would regularly become the subject of commissions. One of the most important reports was put together by the Mediaraad (Media Council) in 1992, and triggered a major reorganisation of the station in 1994. 

Trans World Radio has hired airtime from Radio Tirana Albania..unthinkable a few years before. WRTH reports that Radio Czechoslovakia International may shortly change its name again as the country splits in 1993. Marcel Rommerts has problems hearing BBC Radio 1 on 1053 kHz. Russian separatists are jamming a station. Andy Sennitt makes me a cup of tea. Lou Josephs says the new transmitter in Costa Rica from Spanish Foreign Radio is difficult to hear. John Catlett of Radio Luxembourg announces the descision to end the English language programming. 

The programme concludes with an interview with Pat Gowan, G3IOR, who's fascinated by reception of satellites on the wrong side of the Earth. 

Direct download: MN.15.10.1992.mediaraad.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:29 PM

There are rumours in Holland about the start of a second TV service from RTL, to be called RTL-5. Vasily Strelnikov reports from Moscow about the start of the Voice of Russia, and its plans to serve the Russian speakers living in the Ukraine (sic- compare 1992 to 2014).

There was an extensive WARC report from Malaga, Spain. Some important issues remain deadlocked on future expansion on shortwave broadcast bands. Victor Goonetilleke reports that SLBC has started a service to North America. 

Direct download: MN.27.02.1992.WARCMoscow.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:24 PM

We're trying to work out why listeners have not received the latest Radio Netherlands programme schedule On Target from Costa Rica. Typhoon Brian hit Guam but didn't do any damage to station KSDA. Jeff White reports from Bogota profiling Caracol and RCN and their use of international broadcasters. Ken MacHarg reports on other areas where they plan to establish relay facilities. Listeners in Asia are hearing National Unity Radio in Sudan. Richard Measham reports on why it was set up - to counteract the clandestine Radio SPLA. Entrepreneur Lex Harding says he will start Radio 538 before the end of the year. Andy Sennitt of the WRTH has news from the Balkans about transmitters for hire.

Direct download: MN.15.10.1992.Caracol.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:22 PM

This programme starts with a link to Bill Whitacre who reports on the start of a VOA Kurdish language radio service. Bill also explains that VOA has started relays of its programmes from a transmitter in Armenia - something that would have been unthinkable just a few year ago. Marcel Rommerts can hear Spanish Foreign Radio on a new out of band channel. 

The Asian Broadcasting Institute reports on the current war of words between North and South Korea. It includes several recordings. Lou Josephs reports on the financial woes of the Christian Science Monitor. Spanish programmes have suddenly disappeared. 

The programme includes a test of the Grundig Satelliet 700. The set is manufacturerd in Portugal. The set comes with a 32 page instruction manual. It sells at 540 US dollars.

Direct download: MN.07.05.1992.VOAKorea.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:21 PM

Another listener driven programme. Kanwarjit Sandhu spots a station called the Voice of Free Kashmir. It seems to be a separate station from Azad Kashmir Radio. Victor Goonetilleke reports on his observations from Sri Lanka. He can hear Baghdad on 3980 kHz at 1800 GMT. And terrorists have planted a bomb outside the VOA transmitting station in the Philippines. Richard Measham of BBC Montoring reports that Mother of Battles Radio hasn't been heard since 4th of February. Pete Myers looks at the coverage by CNN of the Gulf War. EBU is worried. It later led to the establishment of Euronews.

The feature today is a look at broadcasting from Andorra. AWR Andorra is off the air and there's a dispute in the courts. Andorra wants to restart its plans for satellite TV broadcasting. Richard Langley reports on plans to cut RCI funds again. Richard Measham reports on Radio Rossi.   

Direct download: MN.07.02.1992.iraqandorra.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:19 PM

We start with receiver news. Yaesu Musen announces a new FRG-800, which is supposed to have better dynamic range than the FRG-8800. Radio Free Europe, TV Marti and Radio Free Asia are under fire from the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Tom Korologos chairs the commission and spoke with us.

It's trash week on Radio Netherlands. So we played a few bloopers from the recording sessions which haven't been aired before.

Tony Barrett has heard a special transmission from HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. 


Direct download: MN.06.08.1992.RadioFreeAsia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:17 PM

This programme starts with an interval signal contest with a difference. We played 3 signals at the same time, and one of them was backwards. Can you still get them right? Swiss Radio International announced a major change to its transmitter usage - realising that its transmitters inside Switzerland had limited range. This was a significant change for a neutral country. Tim Hendel believes we should rely more Radio Caroline is being rebroadcast by Radio Fax on 6205 kHz, but they are from the archives. 

BBC closes its Daventry SW transmitting station at the end of March 1992. Ham radio operators have an idea. They have gained permission for a celebration station on April 4th and 11th. GB67XX. Bryan Clarke reports on a station in Bougainville on 3880 kHz.

As of the 8th of February, NOS has started D2MAC test transmissions as Bart Kuperus reports. Victor Goonetilleke closes out the programme with tuning tips from Asia.

Direct download: MN.05.02.1992.DXnightmaresri.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:15 PM

The tape of this programme has not survived well, so I have only included part of this programme. I think it's interesting because it explains the plans the US had to expand the number of relay stations for Voice of America. It involved major investments in several countries to strengthen America's voice abroad. Remember this is November 1988, more than a decade before the Internet was even a remote possibility as a way of getting audio around the planet. Willis Conover (pictured) was broadcasting jazz programmes from the Voice of America.

Direct download: MN.04.11.1988Voafeature.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:12 PM

Media Network was putting the bang back into WorldBand Radio. We begin with news about QSL cards, which I made myself in the Keukenhof. We also look at the challenges some stations have in making a station identifcation. In the UK and Netherlands, many stations started by pushing their mediumwave wavelength. Lou Josephs has been travelling in the Caribbean, where he encountered many satellite fed music stations. Is the culture of the region being affected by all these US music feeds. There is also a clip from Radio Free Grenada which operated on the 19 metre band, set up to relay cricket commentaries to the UK. We also explain the story of Radio Antilles, originally set up by Deutsche Welle. BBC's Caribbean service was very popular in those days - discontinued in 2011.

Direct download: MN.04.06.1992.Caribbean.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:11 PM

We started with news about Radio Tirana, VOA Liberia, Spectrum Radio in London has a problem with interference from Radio Caroline. BBC is changing its focus, cancelling Japanese but expanding to Europe.

Part of this programme was recorded in Washington DC at a time when Voice of America broadcast to Brazil and was looking at ways to replace shortwave. SW audiences in Brazil were never large (except in the Amazon) - it's always been dominated by TV. Niels Linquist headed the VOA Brazilian Branch. He believed in finding radio talent rather translators with a written language skill. 

We also talked with Lou Josephs who has been reading a new book about pirate radio in the USA. And we reviewed the DAK Industries MR101 portable radio, which was one of the first cheaper portable digitally-tuned receivers.

Direct download: MN.11.07.1990.VOABrazil.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:04 PM

This programme had good news about Radio Canada International. Andrew Simon was also investigating commercials on RCI. Radio Denmark is closing its shortwave site, hiring airtime out of Norway instead. Dutch radio is going to make more radio plays. Booklist Edition 12 is out. We find out more about Radio Clarin. Jeff White says the SW transmitter on 11700 kHz is coming back. We also discuss some of the stations targeting Cuba. Professor John Campbell explains why listening in the Pacific is often better in Europe. He notes the end of many Indonesian broadcasters on shortwave. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing AIR’s new Banglore transmitting station just in time for the elections. He also has news about clandestine stations targeting Burma. Listener Kauto Huopio also helped us make a profile of Finnish Local Radio. And DXers have been looking at South Korean clandestine stations broadcasting towards Pyongyang

Direct download: MN.26.12.1991.finland.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:33 PM

A very technical edition of the programme, but then we were never afraid of talking tech on Media Network.

After announcing some frequency changes, we look at the possible use of single sideband (SSB) for shortwave broadcasters. in theory, 2015 should have been the point at which AM could be switched off. In the end, that's probably true, except that it wasn't replaced by SSB. This was before anyone saw the opportunities of the Internet.

Trevor Brook of Radio Fax was completely sceptical. Peter Senger of DW was also realistic. It was all about the availability of receiving equipment.

We did an in-depth on-air review of the Drake R8 and spoke with John Bryant, one the authors of Proceedings 91. This was an excellent collection of in-depth technical articles. A great read. Thomas Witherspoon reported in July 2015 that the Ontario DX Association has published Proceedings electronically. All the books are available on a single CD for $10 from the ODXA if anyone is interested. ( Hope you can still find a CD-ROM player...

Direct download: MN.19.09.1991.DrakeR8.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:32 PM

This programme was recorded on location at the HAM-FEST in Friedrichshaven, Southern Germany. We talked to Uwe Bräutigam of the German clubc ADDX about the German BC scene. We’ve seen some stations cease broadcasting in the German language. They heard from many people during the Gulf War. VOA has also resumed a new half hour programme in Germany. We also looked at the various English language services coming out of Yugoslavia. Radio Slovene also appeared with its side of the story. The Receiver NewsDesk. 8 radios are being seen here in Europe for the first time. In the case of Sony ICF-SW55 and the ICFSW-77. The Sony car radio XRU882 also had shortwave coverage. DW was also working on a system to add an inaudible label via medium or shortwave. Peter Senger explains how the system could work. There is also a total eclipse of the sun o July 11th. Dave Rosenthal has been checking into what might happen to shortwave propagation. 

Direct download: MN.04.07.1991.sonycarradio.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:17 PM

This news edition covers media developments in Yugoslavia and a group in Canada supporting Croatian independence. Radio Libertas has been using WHRI. Radio For Peace International has a new transmitter on the air on 15030 kHz. Austrian SW Panorama is returning to air after a short hiatus. ELBC is back on the air in Liberia with English news at 0700 on 7275 kHz. Radio Netherlands announces expanded services to the Pacific, adding 0830 UTC. 0930 UTC is also new. Arthur Cushen is dismantling antennas at Shepparton, so European beams will become a thing of the past. Radio Bras carrying the programmes of Radio Beijing has also been logged by Arthur. Satellite dish owners in Latin America have noticed that CNN is scrambling its signal. It turns out the signal was being pirated. They are also experimenting with more Spanish language material from Atlanta. A new cassette with off-air recordings of Brazilian radio stations has been produced. Lou Josephs adds a note about US ham radio operators in space.

Direct download: MN.04.04.1991.pacificexpansion.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:14 PM

This was a news edition of the programme which starts with a short survey of English programmes coming out of the Baltic States and the Soviet Union. Radio Vilnius is still being relayed by Russian transmitters. Radio Riga, Latvia is on the air at 2130. Each Monday, Radio Tallinn Estonia is also heard at 2130 UTC on 5925. English programmes have also appeared from Kazakhstan, Radio Alma Ata.

Radio4 International RTBF says they are going off the air. We also tell the story of how Belgian international broadcasting began in Zaire.

Philips and Thomson are cross that high definition standard D2MAC has not got the support of satellite broadcasters like Astra.

A private transmitter called Radio Centrus is operating in Lithuania. The 1991 Soviet Radio tour is being organized by ANARC. Spend a week in Moscow and Leningrad! Wolf Harranth reports that Radio Tirana in Albania is suddenly cutting back.


We look at satellite radio regulations and the story of Intelsat and Tongasat, in what was a Polynesian power play. BBC reports that Radio Kuwait is back on the air. Radio Baghdad has also returned to the air. Gulf Voice Radio is also being heard. Radio Monte Carlo is also being heard in French. The programme ends with the propagation survey from Mike Bird.

Direct download: MN.07.03.1991.VRT.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:11 PM

Try our national anthem contest, although the closing date was in 1991. Radio Vilnius, Lithuania is calling members of the public to help defend broadcasting house. Radio Riga International, Latvia has now expanded its English language output, twice a week. Peter Walsh in Australia has a question of the Icom ICR-1. Kim Andrew Elliott sends in a bizarre recording of Radio Beijing New Year Staff party. We visit Radio Free Europe, in those days based in Munich, and talked to William Marsh.  He explains how the audiences to shortwave are going down. BBC is now being heard on FM in Czechslovak republic. Peter Herman explains how the RFE’s audience survey’s worked. Interesting that the slogan in those days was "Crusade for Freedom". That has very different overtones now.

Direct download: MN.17.01.1991RFE.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:05 PM

This edition includes tuning suggestions from Arthur Cushen – Caribbean Beacon is trying a shortwave relay. Bob Tomalski is delighted that a universal video recorder NVW-1 that will handle PAL and NTSC. But at £2000 it is expensive. Paul Ballster in London has spotted two VOA Europe programmes. So which is the real one? Eric Beauchemin researched a piece on a planned radio station from RTL-4, the new commercial network that grew out of RTL Veronique. Iceland is being heard on shortwave as a result of b ad weather. We also talked to a listening group in Vilnius about the serious situation in Lithuania and why Russia is still relaying programmes. RCI’s funding is still up in the air. Jeff White says that the budget estimates are between 10-13 million Canadian dollars. Atlantic 252 has won a court case about its mast in the Irish country side. And ABC has been criticized for its coverage of the Gulf War. 

Direct download: MN.21.02.1991.RTL4.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:00 PM

This programme looks at the private initiatives beaming into mainland China as a result of events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Now, two years later, the June the 4th Production company has been active from Chicago. We also hear that WYFR is reducing its broadcasts because of a funding challenges. Radio Austria International is resuming transmission of its SW Panorama programme. Sarath Weerakoon reports on what happened as a result of the military coup in Thailand.  

Direct download: MN.28.02.1991.freechina.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:53 AM

The programme starts with the news that Irelands only commercial radio network Century FM has closed. We analysed why. Herbert Visser called with news that Radio Caroline has not sunk as reported by some mainstream media, but it did lose its anchor and drifted. A special ham radio event is being held in India. Domestic public broadcasting is reacting to a report that no-one is listening to Radio 5 on mediumwave. What has happened to Radio Vilnius in Lithuania? Queensland Australia is being heard in Europe. Andy Sennitt reports that Radio Surinam International has signed off. We do a follow-up on Radio Polonia and recent changes to its focus. And Mark Deutsch says the BBC has time on 17 stations in Poland. 

Direct download: MN.21.11.1991.carolinesinks.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:44 AM

This was a news programme in which we looked at DX programmes to replace RCI's DX Digest which has ceased transmission. World of Radio from Glenn Hauser runs via WWCR. And Radio Havana Cuba's Arnie Coro reported his station was doing tests with compatible single sideband. Western media this week have speculated that a new clandestine station called Voice of Free Iraq coming out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is actually backed by the CIA. Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring has details of clandestine stations operating out of Kurdistan. Sarath Weerakoon in Sri Lanka is hearing a new service out of Radio Baghdad which also seems to be aimed at Kurdistan. We hear about a new FM station in Jaffna run by the Tamil Tigers. That part of Sri Lanka at the moment is going through very difficult times, with batteries being banned and no mains electricity being available. BRTN Teletekst reports that Libya has started broadcasts to Eastern Europe with German and Russian being monitored so far. And the Francophone part of Belgium wants to revamp its international radio service in French with a new name. 

Direct download: MN.18.04.1991.srilanka.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:42 AM

This was a news edition of the programme. Kol Israel is planning to cut its shortwave broadcasts in half. We also aired the impossible context presented by voiceover artist Jim Cutler (pictured). The 10th anniversary contest promo later won a gold medal at the New York Radio Awards. We had a barrage of listener complaints - which subsided when we aired a proper contest a few weeks later. Victor Goonetilleke reports a successful convention for DXers in India. The Radio 5 Africa project, a joint project of several Francophone countries, appears to be building momentum. 

Direct download: MN.16.05.1991.anncontest.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:40 AM

There are terrible shortwave conditions at the moment because of solar flares. We looked at new stations, including Radio Northern, the Voice of Oro in Papua New Guinea which is now on the air, as Gordon Darling reports. The BBC has announced that the Daventry transmitter site is to close in 1992. VNG Time signal services will change frequencies. Icelandic National Broadcasting Service has started a new English news broadcast via the phone! The main feature looks at the last 10 years of commercial shortwave broadcasting in the USA. WWCR has sold all of its airtime. Jeff White helped us with the interview with George McClintock of WWCR (transmitter site picture is their current facility). The programme also includes clips from the various stations broadcasting to Cuba. 

Direct download: MN.13.06.1991.USprivate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:37 AM

Radio Tirana has stopped using the Internationale and announced some curious changes to its transmissions, including taking adverts! Vasily Strelnikov on Radio Moscow says hallo to Radio Netherlands and wants a programme schedule! Radio Moscow is running syndicated programmes from Australia and has also made some drastic cutbacks to its English service. There has been a 10% cutback last year. BBC Monitoring has spotted a new station called Voice of Free Iraq. It mimics the real Radio Baghdad in its use of music. Paraguay is being heard on 11945 kHz with just 500 watts. Richard Ginbey reports that test transmissions have started from BBC's Lesotho site. Namibia Broadcasting Corporation has new station Idents, and to go on shortwave. Radio Truth targeting Zimbabwe has closed down. Rudy Van Dalen, reports hearing the Lincolnshire Poacher numbers station out of Cyprus. Clandestine station Agent 847 is also jammed. An anti-Sudanese clandestine station is also being blocked with a very old fashioned jamming sound. Radio France Internationale has been given the go ahead for a major transmitter upgrade. BFBS Middle East has started shortwave broadcasts plus operating an FM station out of al-jubail, a city in Northern-Eastern Saudi Arabia. NHK has started a morning broadcast in Urdu via Ekala, Sri Lanka. The BBC may have to close it's Hong Kong relay station. It is 41 degrees in Melbourne, where Mike Bird has the propagation news. 

Direct download: MN.10.01.1991.bfbstogulf.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:27 AM

A listener-powered edition of the programme, with a range of updates from the shortwave bands. What power is being used by Radio Luxembourg on 15 MHz? The answer is 10 kW. Julius Hermans has been listening to Radio Ala, and Radio Dublin is back on 6910 kHz. There is a shortage of books about HF propagation. Dave Rosenthal has been reviewing what's available. Radio Netherlands English broadcasts are expanding to the Pacific. So why isn't QSL and DX in the Oxford English Dictionary. Victor Goonetilleke has been following broadcasts from Kashmir. A Purple Hair story from Hungary. In 1995 experiments with digital radio experiments (DAB) are due to start in the Netherlands. Arthur Cushen has media news updates from Tonga. The shortwave transmitter on 5030 kHz has been moved to a new building. Radio Free Bougainville is verifying reports via Sam Voron. 

Direct download: MN.05.03.1992.schedule.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:24 AM