MN.02.09.1982 Firato 82

There used to be an annual hi-fi and TV exhibition at the RAI Amsterdam called FIRATO. It gradually died out as organisers realized that going to see pop stars dancing on stages next to gadgets didn't sell any more gadgets. The acoustics in the vast halls bear no resemblance to what it sounded like at home. When we visited in 1982, the show was already passed its peak. I was always surprised that a new shortwave radio was often shown there, though seldom on the market until months after. Back then DAT was the big story. In 2015, the only show in Europe left is IFA in Berlin, but I seriously wonder for how much longer. 

Direct download: MN.02.09.1982.firato.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:56pm CET

MN.09.09.1982. Malta and More

More editions of Media Network from a very turbulent year -1982. Malta and Libya had entered into a Friendship and Cooperation Treaty, in response to repeated overtures by Gaddafi for a closer, more formal union between the two countries; and, for a brief period, Arabic had become a compulsory subject in Maltese secondary schools. German international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, was forced to shut down its relay station on the island under the Foreign Interference Act. Mike Barraclough gives a plus for the popular Reading Meetings for SWLs. Voice of Greece and RTBF Belgium are being heard well at the moment. Tony Jones (pictured) gives us a feature about the return to shortwave of several Bolivian stations. We speak with George Otis, who has built the religious station the Voice of Hope that we're hearing on the 49-metre band. Professor John Campbell reports that some clandestine radio stations are replying to listeners letters. Radio Venceremos has an address in Mexico City. Richard Ginbey has an item about Radio Biko. Strange things happening in Swaziland, following the death of their long-reigning Monarch.    

Direct download: MN.09.09.1982.Malta.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:44pm CET

MN.23.09.1982.Botswana and Seychelles

We started with an interview with Patrick Humphreys (pictured) who explains the demise of Voices magazine - an attempt to start a listening guide about the programmes on international broadcasting. Financially, it turns out to have been a disaster. This edition includes a profile by Richard Ginbey of broadcasting in Botswana as it was in 1982. There was also an oblique reference to the World and Rhodesia programme which the BBC broadcast from a transmitter site in Botswana. It would be 1995 before we discovered exactly what BBC's Douglas Muggeridge was talking about. We rang up the charming Andrew Piper, programme organiser at the BBC who explained about new series they were launching. We interview an author on new propagation theories. Victor Goonetilleke rounds out the edition with recordings he made of a coup in the Seychelles. 

Direct download: MN.23.09.1982.Botwana.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:38pm CET

MN.02.12.1982 Angola Profile

Paul Ballister reports from London on a Polish clandestine radio station supporting the Solidarity movement which has popped up in London. And Radio 4 Today's programme has been talking about pirates.

Media Network was a labour of love for all those who contributed on a regular basis. Richard Ginbey, at that time a media enthusiast working in broadcasting in South Africa, compiled a series of radio portraits using his own extensive recordings taken off air. I think that they are probably some of the only surviving recordings of radio stations in places like Angola. Also, check out of the Interval signal database.

This edition also contains an interview with Michiel Schaay, the Dutch author and publisher of many utility books. 

Direct download: MN.02.12.1982angola.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:35pm CET


The programme starts with news of a clandestine radio station, Radio Solidarity, broadcasting within Poland. The country is under marshall law. And BFBS has started a special programme of requests to the UK Task Force heading to the Falklands. In fact, those broadcasts from BBC Ascension Island were monitored in Buenos Aires and later used by an Argentine propaganda station to address the same UK troops. Sarah Kennedy was giving out names so the Argentines knew who was on which ship. We also asked the BBC World Service about their extended coverage in English and Spanish to Latin America. Beverley Wakeham has news on the fate of the Radio New Zealand shortwave service. And we solved the mystery of that strange Spanish language radio station reported back on April 1st. 

Direct download: MN.06.05.1982.BFBSFALKPoland.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:30pm CET


Remember the TV ship Odelia broadcasting off the Israeli coast? Neither did I until I revisited this edition of Media Network and an interview done by Kas Van Iersel. There was also the on-going discussions about Radio Marti to Cuba. We talk with the late Willem Bos about Citizen's Band Radio on 27 MHz. He's set up a magazine to serve this new audience of radio enthusiasts. Dennis Powell has news about clandestine broadcasting in Afghanistan. Radio Caroline is promising to return over Easter. No mediumwave frequency has been announced. Arthur Cushen reports on Australian pirates. And we conclude with a unique recording of a strange Spanish language radio station. Professor John Campbell had some interesting theories.

Direct download: MN.01.04.1982.aprilfool.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:26pm CET

MN.11.03.1982.Mozambique and Afghanistan

We start this edition with news about clandestine radio stations being set up to broadcast to Afghanistan, currently occupied by Soviet troops. Dennis Powell reports on concerns in the US about vastly expanded Cuban mediumwave stations and possible interference. Andy Sennitt reports about the legendary format change for WABC in New York to all talk. We phoned RTV Hong Kong to find out why they were going on shortwave for a brief period. Richard Ginbey presents Part 2 of his illustrated feature on radio in Mozambique. Those recordings of Radio Free Mozambique must be unique these days. No-one else has kept this material. Sadly, Richard was killed in a car accident. Not sure what happened to his cassette collection of those radio recordings. Dan Robinson has been hearing Radio Portugal and Radio Singapore with very strong signals.  

Direct download: MN.11.03.1982.mozambique.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:21pm CET

MN.23.03.1984 SW Commercial Radio & Philips AC739

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: 2:40pm CET

MN.15.03.1984.CFRB Toronto

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: 12:32pm CET

MN.21.07.1984 200th show including RNTC

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: 11:55am CET

MN.16.02.1984 Australia

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: 11:21am CET

MN.15.11.1984. WMLK & Gordon Bennett

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: 10:30am CET

MN.19.04.1984. ICOM ICR71E

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: 10:09am CET

MN.14.06.1984.EDXC Stockholm

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: 10:05am CET

MN.08.03.1984: Propagation & Radio Truth

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: 10:01am CET

MN.11.11.1982 Clandestine Special - Radio Taiwan and China

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: 1:58pm CET

MN.10.05.1984. Sky Channel & Laser 558

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: 1:55pm CET

MN.07.06.1984 Radio Camilo Cienfuegos

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: 1:52pm CET

MN.05.04.1984 NHK Radio Japan Plans

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: 1:46pm CET

MN.03.05.1984 Spy Intruders & UBIX

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: 1:43pm CET

MN.01.03.1984. Satellite TV Plans & Offshore News

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: 1:39pm CET

MN.28.07.1983. Inside Story Radio Blumendaal et al

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: 12:06pm CET

MN.05.01.1995 News Update

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: 10:50pm CET

MN.11.04.1985 Micromuf and Yaesu FRG-8800

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: 10:37pm CET

MN.03.04.1997. Receiver Market Changes

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: 5:54pm CET

MN.29.07.1992. Vriezen on Caroline

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: 11:42pm CET

MN.21.10.1993. Changes DLF & RFE

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: 11:41pm CET

MN.10.03.1993.Transcription Changes

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: 11:39pm CET

MN.09.10.1997. Stanford Visit to Archimedes

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: 11:38pm CET

MN.09.06.1988 WLW and Asian Ambitions

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: 11:35pm CET

MN.03.09.1992. Norway & Garden Antennas

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: 11:15pm CET

MN.03.07.1996. Sony SW600 & Listener Calls

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: 11:13pm CET

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: 7:53pm CET

MN.15.10.1992. Mediaraad Report & RTL Satellite

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: 4:29pm CET

MN.27.02.1992. WARC Malaga and Voice of Russia, Moscow

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: 4:24pm CET

MN.15.10.1992. Caracol Reportage

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: 4:22pm CET

MN.07.05.1992. VOA Koreas WSHB

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: 4:21pm CET

MN.07.02.1992.Kashmir, Iraq and Andorra

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: 4:19pm CET

MN.06.08.1992. Radio Free Asia & Bloopers

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: 4:17pm CET

MN.05.02.1992.DX Nightmare SRI 5XX

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: 4:15pm CET

Mn.04.11.1988.VOA Relay Stations Feature

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: 4:12pm CET

MN.04.06.1992 Caribbean Bandscan

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: 4:11pm CET

MN.11.07.1990. VOA in Brazil

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: 8:04pm CET

MN.26.12.1991. News Mix Finnish Local Radio

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: 7:33pm CET

MN.19.09.1991 Drake R8

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: 7:32pm CET

MN.04.07.1991. Sony Car Radio Review

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: 7:17pm CET

MN.04.04.1991. RN Pacific Expansion

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: 7:14pm CET

MN.07.03.1991 Vilnius and Brussels

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: 7:11pm CET

MN.17.01.1991 Profile of Radio Free Europe

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: 7:05pm CET

MN.21.02.1991. RTL4 and more

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: 7:00pm CET

MN.28.02.1991 Free China Broadcasts

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: 10:53am CET

MN.21.11.1991. Century Closes & Radio Caroline

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: 10:44am CET

MN.18.04.1991. Whats up in Jaffna?

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: 10:42am CET

MN.16.05.1991.anniversary contest

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: 10:40am CET

MN.13.06.1991. US Private SW Commercial Scan

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: 10:37am CET

MN.10.01.1991. BFBS to the Gulf

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: 10:27am CET

MN.05.03.1992 News Updates

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: 10:24am CET

MN.03.05.1991. BFBS London train profile

This was one of the few broadcasts to originate from a train. I was on my way back from London after meeting Richard Astbury, of British Forces Broadcasting Service based at that time in studios next to Paddington Station. He explained why they had started shortwave broacasts to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf. Andy Sennitt was trying to get a FIDO bulletin board working in Amsterdam and a company in Bussum wanted to use broadcast networks in Holland for scrambled distribution of programmes in the middle of the night. Bert Steinkamp and Andrew Taussig explain what international broadcasters are trying to do to improve coverage of their own continent. Trevor Brook of Surrey Electronics has critical remarks about Dynamic Amplitude Modulation. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1991.BFBSLondon.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:21am CET

MN.13.04.1989 Luxembourg

We covered developments at RTL Luxembourg several times towards the end of the 1980's as RTL phased out several mediumwave services (like the great 208) and invested in a station in Ireland (Atlantic 252). In this programme there's an extensive update of the scene in 1989, and we ponder on the problem of explaining wavelengths and frequencies to listeners. With the arrival of satellite, tuning information was becoming ever more complex. 

Direct download: MN.13.04.1989.luxembourgSES.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:02am CET

MN.12.07.1994. AFN Berlin closedown

This edition of the programme includes the news that the American Forces Radio relay in Berlin is to sign-off. We also reported on the death of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, as reported by Radio Pyongyang. BBC Caversham reports that Rwanda may be returning to shortwave, which we assumed was the transmitter site built by Deutsche Welle in Kigali. VOA is looking to expand their FM distribution in Africa. 

Direct download: MN.12.07.1994.AFNBerlin.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:52pm CET

MN.09.06.1988 Asian Relay Station

At one time, Radio Netherlands was planning to build a third relay station to improve its shortwave radio coverage into South Asia and China. the late Bert Steinkamp and Jim Vastenhoud went on a fact finding mission to look at possible sites. Jim Vastenhoud came into the Media Network studio to explain the findings. In the end, the BBC found the money to build a station in Thailand - and Radio Netherlands did not.

Direct download: MN.09.06.1988.TransmitterThailand.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:40pm CET

MN.30.11.1995. Quito Radio Profile

Twenty years ago, I was part of a Radio Netherlands delegation to a conference in Quito, Ecuador on the future of radio, especially community radio. At that time many local radio stations were finding it difficult to compete with the new giant (international) music networks delivering slickly presented music programmes via satellite. They were buying up local FM licenses across the continent. Most of this programme was recorded in Quito and includes several off-air montages of stations broadcasting at that time. Enjoy.

Direct download: MN.30.11.1995.quito.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:33pm CET


This was the first of several visits we made to the VERON amateur radio news station, which operated at that time out of a tower in the Sikkens (now AKZO) paint factory in Sassenheim. You could see the antennas as you passed by the factory on the A44 motorway. The news service from the VERON still exists, and can also be followed on line via Youtube. Again, remember this is all 10 years before the Internet was invented. So the only way to exchange news about ham radio was by radio or in a printed bulletin. The VERON did both. 

Direct download: MN.20.01.1983.PAOAA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:31pm CET

MN.29.09.1983 AM STEREO

Here we are 32 years after this programme was made and some people still hope that AM stereo is going to work. Of course, AM Stereo was analogue technology. In the meantime, several attempts have been made to digitize the AM broadcast dial with technologies like HDRadio and DRM. Frankly, I think the conclusions we drew in 1983 apply now. It isn't going to happen. But it is still fun to discuss why. Enjoy this vintage edition of Media Network. 

Direct download: MN.29.09.1983.AMSTEREO.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:29pm CET

MN.13.01.1983 Malta

I remember Malta on my radio map because Deutsche Welle built a relay station for North Africa on the island, which was later nationalised. Malta started getting closer to both Algeria and Libyan. In this programme we interviewed the new station manager of the "Radio Mediterranean". The aim was to give Malta a voice in the world.

In the official story of the Broadcasting Authority of Malta, there's a passage indicating that these government agreements for stations like DW and Radio Mediterranean were set up directly by the Maltese government. 

Although the contractual relationship that existed between the Broadcasting Authority and the Rediffusion were also operative with the Telemalta Corporation (when the latter became responsible through its broadcasting division, Xandir Malta) the same cannot be said for those stations which operated under direct licence from the Government.  At the start of 1979 these included the Central Mediterranean Relay Station; the British Forces Broadcasting Service; the Deutsche Welle Relay Station; TiveMalta Ltd.; the Voice of Friendship and Solidarity (later Voice of the Mediterranean operating under joint management provided by the Maltese and Libyan Governments); and Radio Mediterranean (a joint venture between the Maltese and Algerian Governments) – all these were not contracted by the Authority

Thanks to Mario J Cachi for the photo of Valetta. Never been to Malta myself , but one day...

Direct download: MN.13.01.1983.MALTA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:25pm CET

MN African Safari 1981 Capital Radio

This is a very early Media Network magazine documentary about broadcasting in Southern Africa, when apartheid South Africa had stations operating from the various "homelands". We had no internet, only cassettes - and the link to the late Frits Greveling who had presented and produced the previous DX show to this one, DX Juke Box. He returned to Johannesburg to work for several South African radio stations. Although the style is totally out of date, the information about broadcasting in Southern Africa in the early 1980's remains fascinating. 

I note that there's a site dedicated to the memory of Capital 604 Transkei. You can find most of the jingles they used here.

You may also find the video interview with David Smith to be interesting. He also had adventures with Capital Radio which can be found here.  

Direct download: AfricanSafari1981Part2.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:21pm CET

MN.06.01.1983 Dutch UNIFIL Radio

In 1983, Media Network broadcast a series of features on forces broadcasting. At the time, the Dutch were part of a UN peace keeping mission in Lebanon. It was also the era of FM pirate radio stations in many cities in the Netherlands. So, infact, Dutch forces radio had its origins as a pirate radio station. Infact the story of the Dutch forces is now brilliantly told at the new Dutch National Military Museum, which opened on December 13th 2014 on the grounds of the former American Air Force base in Soesterberg. 

Direct download: MN.06.01.1983UNIFIL.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:55pm CET

MN.05.05.1983 BFBS Profile

In 1983, Media Network ran a series of thematic features on Forces Broadcasting. This was the final part, which featured the British Forces Broadcasting Service. Apart from an FM transmitter in the South of the Netherlands, BFBS was heard widely on the cable radio systems in many cities across the Netherlands. FM signals could be picked up from neighbouring Germany by the aerials on the top of the cable head ends. But propagation was not reliable enough to hear FM signals from the UK. So, no BBC Radio 4. Remember this is 5 years before we saw the launch of SKY television. The photo is of BFBS in Hamburg in 1946, which is referred to in the interview. 

Direct download: MN.05.05.1983.BFBS.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:51pm CET

MN.26.08.1987. Nicaragua & New Radios in Berlin

This was a new edition of the programme covering the strange move by President Reagan to use clandestine Radio Liberation broadcasting from El Salvador. VOA Spanish is much better received in the target area of Nicaragua. We also learned that Radio France Internationale has decided against putting a relay station in Sri Lanka, looking at the island of Reunion instead (later dropped when they discovered the island is prone to very high winds). Mark Deutsch at BBC World Service explains their expansion plans for satellite coverage of Europe. People are not watching the new Superchannel service because there are no subtitles on the programmes. Radio Lebanon has been off the air because of a heat wave in Beirut. We also covered the Berlin Audio and Video Fair. Sony has launched a radio with a fax receiver built in SR6768. We learn about EuroMac and why Philips believes DAT will not take off as a consumer tape standard. Wolf Harranth reports on an Italian station broadcasting to Slovenia. Enthusiasts in the Netherlands have discovered a way to make free international calls via Denmark.

Direct download: MN.26.08.1987.NicaraguaSuperchannel.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:14pm CET

MN.23.08.2000 Offshore Radio Revivals

A nice summer edition of Media Network in which Diana and I looked at a revival of Radio Caroline in the Netherlands, organised by Sietse Brouwer from Harlingen. Land-based pirate stations have been meeting in London. Bob Tomalski reports on one of the biggest booze-ups in 35 years. Bob laments that the old passion has gone. Audio quality is not what it used be. Bryan Clark reports from New Zealand on the reappearance of American Forces stations on shortwave. And that includes Diego Garcia. We also looked at the future of radio design, highlighting some work going on at the University of Twente.

Direct download: MN.23.08.2000.Pirates.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:48am CET

MN.08.04.1988 The Indonesian Journey

This was a documentary I made about Indonesian radio broadcasting, based on a holiday trip I took in 1988. I recall taking an ICF2001D and a Walkman Professional so as to capture sound effects of the train journey. 

The tape of this documentary did not survive well - some print through because the tape was in poor condition and not complete. But I have processed it so it probably sounds better than it did on shortwave back then. The sounds of RRI in English, especially on the local stations was something out of a living radio museum. 


Direct download: MN.08.04.1988.Indonesiarepaired.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:00pm CET

MN.01.09.1983. Zimbabwe & Satellites

This was an early attempt to do longer investigative features. We start the programme looking at the challenges facing the satellite broadcast industry (remember this is well before the launch of SKY television). Richard Ginbey also did a marathon overview of the history of broadcasting in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. I think the off-air recordings are rather unique - not sure that much has survived. He put this togther using cassette tape recorders - must have taken ages. And the programme ends with tuning suggestions from Andy Sennitt and Arthur Cushen. 

Direct download: MN.01.09.1983.Zimbabwe.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:33pm CET

Radio South Atlantic May 1982

Radio South Atlantic was a short-lived clandestine radio station started by the UK Ministry of Defence with programmes aimed at Argentine troops on the Falkland islands. This programme was broadcast from a transmitter on Ascension Island which was temporarily taken away from BBC World Service.

The Falklands War (SpanishGuerra de las Malvinas), also known as the Falklands Conflict, Falklands Crisis and the Guerra del Atlántico Sur (Spanish for "South Atlantic War"), was a ten-week war between Argentina and the United Kingdom over two British overseas territories in the South Atlantic: theFalkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. It began on Friday 2 April 1982 when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands (and, the following day, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had long claimed over them. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.

This is a studio copy of Radio South Atlantic. In May 1982, the British government decided to set up a Spanish language radio station targeting Argentine troops. This was probably in response to an Argentine radio station (nicnamed Argentine Annie by the UK press) which appeared on shortwave some weeks earlier using the Beatles theme "Yesterday" as a signature tune. 

I was editing the Media Network programme at the time. We could hear Radio South Atlantic in Hilversum - but the signal was very weak. So I rang the British embassy in the Hague and asked if it would be possible to get a studio copy of the programme to use in a documentary feature we were making. A few days later, a courier riding a large motorbike arrived at RN's reception and asked for me. I went down to the front-desk to sign for the tape. "But you can't keep this tape. You can only listen to it" was the message from guy in the helmet. "I have to take it back to the Hague in about half an hour". I said I'd look for an empty studio, gave the guy a large coffee and wandered casually round the corner. Then I made a mad dash to the fast copy-room used to make tape copies of RNW transcription programmes for other radio stations. It had a machine that could copy tapes at around 8 times faster than normal. Luckily, Jos, the guy in charge, saw my challenge, set up the machine immediately and 15 minutes later I was back in reception to return the tape to the messanger. And I had a copy.

It seems the British dropped leaflets over the Falklands to try and spread the word that this shortwave radio station existed. And we later analysed the programme. It was classic Sefton Delmer (Black Propaganda), although rather poorly presented. Bit like calling up Vera Lynne if the British had a dispute with France.

But this is one of the few surviving recordings of Radio South Atlantic. You be the judge of how effective it all was.  

Direct download: RadioAtlanticodelSur.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 5:28pm CET

MN.25.09.1987. Guatemalan Mysteries

This programme has a strong Latin American flavour starting with the news of test transmissions from Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica. Sky Channel in the UK is not making money yet but has no intention of stopping. Some broadcasters are experimenting with AM stereo. Don Rhodes in Australia reports that Deutsche Welle is going to start testing the new 22 metre shortwave band. A special shortwave broadcast is on the air from a station in Syria during the Mediterraean Games. 

We then announced the Radio Netherlands SSB Feeder Challenged. RNW has to bridge a four-week gap in the satellite feed to Madagascar. A special SSB transmitter was hired at a transmitter site at Ruislede, Belgium.

The first edition of Passport to World Band Radio is reviewed with Harry Kliphuis. 

Christian Zettl from Austria is travelling in Central America and has been investigating some strange political clandestine radio stations in Guatemala, including one with a connection to a recording by Nat King Cole.

Direct download: MN.25.09.1987.Guatemala.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:48pm CET

MN.06.10.1987. Superconductors & Lightning

Jonathan gets a tube of "on-air" radio toothpaste. China is being relayed by Swiss Radio International, some transmissions being well heard. We started to spot strong signals from Radio Beijing but not coming from Europe. Dave Rosenthal explains Electrometeors and why lightning can make shortwave radios suddenly insensitive. Carefully tuned outdoor antennas can "blow-up" the front end of a portable radio. In fact, the Sony ICF2001D was particularly suspectible. A lightning arrestor is a bit of a misnomer.

We review the RFB40L shortwave portable from Panasonic.

We also report on superconductor research displayed at Telecom 87 in Geneva by AT&T.

Direct download: MN.06.10.1987.superconductors.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:46pm CET

MN.08.01.1987. Riyadh & Scanners

A New Year has dawned but without the expected reduction in Soviet jamming of Western broadcasters. West German television airs the wrong new year speech from Chancellor Kohl. The Dutch have been measuring devices for radio interference levels, banning two devices because of poor shielding. We also talk to the UK engineers who had to shield a football stadium in Saudi Arabia, because of a nearby 1.2 Megawatt mediumwave transmission tower. Solar specialist Mike Bird reviews 1986 from a radio reception point of view.

Out in the Iraqi desert, French transmitter manufacturer Thomson is to build 16 high power transmitters. We look at satellite radio with the BBC's Jonathan Stott.

On 6009 kHz a clandestine radio station in Libya has been making some mistakes. Radio Truth, a clandestine in South Africa targeting Zimbabwe, has made a clever frequency change. Radio West in The Hague, a station of 18 people, has just started operations. Willem Bos has been testing a special device for scanner enthusiasts.   

Direct download: MN.08.01.1987.riyadh.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:30pm CET

MN.02.07.1987. Iranian Clandestines

We start this programme with news of a two-in-one RS-10 and RS-11 amateur radio satellite launched by the Russians. Pat Gowan reports. Radio Moscow has started a summer programme for the tourists to the capital. Radio Danubius in Budapest is doing something similar. Poland objects to a new Israeli relay station for VOA (never built). India is upgrading its time signal station. Philips says its solved the problem of poor resolution on LCD displays. We also discuss radio broadcast radiation and it's danger to humans. Wim van Amstel explains. 

We also discuss clandestine broadcasting to Iran, using transmitters in Iraq. We solve the mystery of the number station contest, and Anne Blair Gould reviews the Guide to Broadcasting Stations by Philip Darrington.

The programme concludes with Arthur Cushen's DX report including a very clear recording of Radio Luxembourg signing off in English on 49 metres. 

Direct download: MN.02.07.1987.Monster.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:18pm CET

MN.02.10.1987. Europe No 1 & Citizen's Radio

We're postponing a series of features until the satellite link with Madagascar is resorted after maintenance.

Europe-1, a commercial network in France, has been heard on a Radio Caribbean on 1210 kHz 05 UTC. It seems it's the start of a major expansion plan.

We tell the story of Atlantic 252, which apparently was an idea from Luxembourg. More than 4 million pounds has been invested in the project. Radio Tara was the project name.

We explain the Stickers on the Move contest.  Radio Nacional Venezuela is being heard more regularly.

Paris KISS-FM has started a station Tahiti. We were clearly intrigued at how the signal got to the Pacific. Radio Finland has started using a new higher power transmitter on 963 kHz. 

Japanese cordless phones are being monitored on shortwave radios in India because they are so poorly made. We take the situation to its illogical conclusions. Ben Kobb explains that Citizens Band radio didn't start on 27 MHz but infact began in 1947 in 460 MHz. 

Direct download: MN.02.10.1987.europe1.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:10pm CET

MN.04.09.1987. The US Emergency Broadcast System

This edition of the programme discusses how the US Emergency Broadcast System works. This was a predecessor to what is now called the Emergency Alert System. Benn Kobb elaborates and Frank Lucia explains how President Truman gave the go-ahead for the development of the CONELRAD system. Gary Burgeois also explains what could go wrong at 9.33 every Saturday morning. It sounds like stations then were better prepared than today. 

The programme also discusses changes to the domestic shortwave service in Australia. Andy Sennitt explains that Nigeria has discontinued some of its shortwave services and the location of Radio Sovereign. Bob Tomalski (known as Roger Tate in those days) reports on DAT digital recorders. 

The tape of this programme didn't survive as well as others, which explains the slightly higher level of hiss than other editions at the start of the programme. But it quickly gets better. 

Direct download: MN.04.09.1987.emergency.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:09pm CET

MN.12.02.1987. Vanuatu & Telex Decoding

Vanuatu has been counting the cost of a major cyclone to hit this Pacific island chain. They’ve asked Radio Australia to help out while repairs are made to Radio Vanuatu. We also discuss progress 10 days into the WARC 1987 conference in Geneva. Jim Vastenhoud reports about the technical decisions being made. Single Sideband raises its head again. Of course SSB never happened.


Willem Bos looks at decoders to receive and decode “telex over radio”. At that time there was a large group of enthusiasts monitoring utility stations. We also review a new book about Radio Wave Propagation written by antenna specialist Fred Judd

Direct download: MN.12.02.1987.vanuatu.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:49pm CET

MN.27.09.1987. Mali Relays Beijing & Batteries

This news edition of the programme starts with a major raid by Amsterdam police on the four largest pirate radio stations in the Dutch capital. We solved the mystery of very strong signals from Radio Beijing (now China Radio International) beamed to North America from a new relay station in Africa. It turned out this was a new project in Mali.

There were other news headlines: Ariane launches TVSat1, which later turned out to be one of the most expensive launch failures. The D2MAC TV standard is having development challenges in Germany. Ralf Carlson of KUSW explains his plans. The Ross Revenge antenna has collapsed. We announced the results of the Radio Netherlands SSB Find-the-Feeder Challenge.

The programme also looked at the challenges of pollution from batteries. That was 100 million in 1987. (Wonder what it is now?) I talked with Lucas Reinders about what’s been agreed to reduce the amount of mercury in alkaline batteries.


Richard Dearborn of the Christian Science Monitor in Boston explains what they’re planning to do with the rock station KYOI on Saipan which they purchased. Victor Goonetilleke closes out the programme with tuning suggestions including a clandestine station targeting listeners in Iran.

Direct download: MN.27.09.1987.mali.beijing.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:31pm CET


I remember this edition of Media Network broadcast in August 1987. At that time digital recording was only just becoming possible, using a PCM adaptor connected to a Umatic video tape recorder. The late Joop Zuidam was a music producer at Radio Netherlands and he told me he was heading to Breda to record another in his series about carillons, the set of bells in church towers. Radio Netherlands had been using an ancient recording of the carillon in Den Bosch, but the tape had been copied so many times that it sounded awful, especially when played back on a cartridge. So I asked Joop if he could arrange for Jacque Maasens, the carillon player of the Great Church of Breda, to record a new version of the interval signal played at the start of each broadcast from Radio Netherlands on shortwave. It seems there is an interview with Jacques in Dutch on Youtube, also taken in the same tower. I will always remember the view (pictured). And we also recorded a few jokes, including Yankee Doodle, the theme used by the VOA at the time.

This edition also includes news that the BBC is to start transmitting from Hong Kong on shortwave and Pirate radio sovereign has been broadcasting again. We look at the pirate radio scene on FM in Paris. Arthur Cushen has a bumper crop of tuning suggestions from his listening post in the Pacific.

Direct download: MN.06.08.1987.HongKongBreda.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:29pm CET

MN.04.04.1985 Brannigan and Edwards

Great to hear the voices of John Brannigan, a Scottish radio propagation specialist, who was the perfect interviewee. He really knew his field and could explain things in non-technical language. The other guest in this programme is BBC World Service Chief Engineer Keith Edwards. He was one of the first top managers to turn up at shortwave listener gathering and explain what they were trying to do at the transmitting end. He also anticipated home satellite radio and TV reception several years before it took off in hobby circles. Remember this is well before the launch of Sky Satellite Television.

Direct download: MN.04.04.1985BranniganEdwards.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:58pm CET

MN.04.07.1985. Expo85 and Radio Tampa

One of a series of Media Network programmes that originated from the 1985 Expo in Tsuba, just North of Tokyo. I used the visit to the expo to visit Akihabara, called Electric Town, even then. The Sony ICF2001D has just gone on sale, and I remember picking one up for considerably less than in Europe. Just had to make do with a Japanese only instruction booklet. We also look at the domestic shortwave radio station Radio Tampa. This was one of the first Media Network safaris, exploring media in other countries. Remember it is nearly 30 years old!  

Direct download: MN.04.07.1985.JapanExpo2.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:24pm CET

MN.07.02.1985. Radio Jackie London

Radio Netherlands won't be getting access to 747 kHz. Things are going to plan for PA6FLD ham radio station operating from the new Flevoland transmitter site. I also did a marathon edition of SW Feedback live from the transmitter site.

Radio Jackie gets raided again in South West London. Bob Tomalski, later a contributor to Media Network, looks at whether they were a community station or just in it for the money. In the Netherlands, Broadcast minister Elco Brinkman says that pirate radio stations will not get access to extended FM bands. Roger Tidy in London has started a new monitoring magazine. 

Direct download: MN.07.02.1985.RadioJackie.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:08pm CET

MN.12.09.1985. Radio Impacto

In 1985, we didn't know much about a new station that had gone on the air in Costa Rica, but was clearly targeting listeners in neighbouring Nicaragua. As Don Moore wrote in 1992, Radio Impacto did little to hide its Contra connection. On its staff were an official spokesperson for the FDN, some announcers from former Somoza radio stations in Managua, and several former staffers for La Prensa, the the primary anti-Sandinista newspaper in Nicaragua. Elsewhere, Impacto's Tegucigalpa correspondent actually doubled as the FDN's local spokesman. The strongest evidence for the contra connection came from Edgar Chamorro, former director of communications for the FDN, who told the World Court that Impacto was a CIA operation. 


Direct download: MN.12.09.1985.radioimpacto.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:52am CET

MN.13.06.1985.Future of the cassette

I remember going on a trip to the BASF chemical factory in Ludwigshafen, Germany. We went to see why Chrome Dioxide cassette tape was such a superior recording medium. At that time, there were stories in the scientific press that audio and data could be stored in "bubble memory". BASF said that this was a long way off. In this programme the prediction was that solid state memory with a capacity of 650MB might be around by 2014. It shows how difficult it is to predict the rapid advance of techology, since some of the high end iPads now have 128 GB of solid-state storage. The machine I'm using for this entry has 256 GB. 

Direct download: MN.13.06.1985.BASF.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:11pm CET

MN.18.07.1985. WRUL Scituate

We delve into the Media Network archives to look back at the early days of commercial shortwave broadcasting from the United States. On October 15, 1927, Walter Lemmon, a radio inventor, was granted the first shortwave radio license in the United States and began experimental shortwave station W1XAL in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1935, the station began transmitting non-commercial, educational, and cultural programs. Supported by charitable institutions it was a not run for profit. The broadcasts came from a transmitter site in Scituate, Massachussets.

I found some recordings of the station in the audio section of the US Library of Congress for this programme. And Lou Josephs got me the recordings from a later stage in the station's history when it was WNYW, Radio New York World Wide. He used to work there as a Saturday job in the 1970's, and made some great studio recordings which I haven't heard elsewhere. 

Direct download: MN.18.07.1985.wrul.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:57pm CET

MN.19.09.1985. Copenhagen Safari

This was my first visit to Copenhagen when the radio and television production were in two separate houses in the downtown area of the city. Radiohuset (literally "Radio House") was located on Rosenørns Allé in FrederiksbergCopenhagen. Vacated by DR when DR Byen was inaugurated in 2006, the buildings now house the Royal Danish Academy of Music as well as the Museum of Music. 

On my visit to DR we went to a tiny room where a Revox tape-recorder on a time-switch was playing out the shortwave service of Radio Denmark. But there had been grander times. I also heard the story of DX Window, one of the world's first DX programmes which had more of a style of the off shore pirate stations. There was talk of working together with the Norwegians to make a Scandinavian external service. But when this was recorded, it was simply an idea. 

Direct download: MN.19.09.1985.denmark.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:45pm CET

MN.25.08.1983. Caroline & Enormous Confusion

Radio Caroline is back from the North Sea, complete with sounds of the generators. And we talk to Ruud Hendriks, producer of the media show on Veronica Radio which translated as the Enormous Confusion. Ruud is now a presenter on Business News Radio. Some would say that 32 years later, it is even more confused in Hilversum.

Direct download: MN.25.08.1983.EnormousConfusion.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:05pm CET

MN.07.07.1983 Gabon

Africa Number One is still around, although unless you're in Libreville, Gabon, you'll need to listen online. Mind you, the station's audio quality via TuneIn is superb which is more than could be said for the shortwave signal in the 1980's.

This edition of Media Network discusses the thorny problem of jamming of Western broadcasters. NHK Radio Japan is testing via the new shortwave transmitter site in Moyabi, Gabon. FIBS in the Falklands has switched its frequency of 2380 kHz. (Those bumps on the line with Andy were the counting system that worked out the cost of the call). We reviewed the new book by Ellic Howe called The Black Game. We later returned to the subject in the editions entitled Wartime Deception. Professor John Campbell reports strange broadcasting on 3345 kHz. Sometimes its Radio Mayak. The radio situation is Chad is confusing with at least two stations operating. Radio Bardai is being heard on 2009 kHz. The programme also contains a comparison of the NRD515, ICR70, and the Drake R7A. Michael Schaay has tested all three.  


Direct download: MN..07.07.1983.NHK.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:04pm CET

MN.25.02.1993 - Bosnia and Yacht Boys

A news edition of the programme, most of it triggered by listeners.

Norman Scott reports that Dr Gene Scott is planning major expansion of his shortwave ministry. Andy Sennitt reports changes to WJCR, Voice of Vietnam, the rumour about Country Nights, a special station on RTL 1440. Richard Measham reports on the radio of the Bosnian Serbs, on 9720 and 6100 kHz. BBC resumes broadcasts in Albanian after a break of 26 years. Uganda changes their media law. Radio Hope in Somalia. Radio Ala, the station of the Bards, has disappeared. Voice of Iranian Kurdistan is being heard in the UK. James Robinson, Birkenhead has been monitoring Quality Country Music on satellite. Nick Meanwell reports on new shortwave radios. Grundig Yacht Boy 222 isn't as good as the Grundig Yacht Boy 206. We look at the difficulty of operating some shortwave receivers if you are visually disabled. And Bill Whitacre updates up on Chinese jamming of US broadcasts relayed via transmitters in the former Soviet Union.

Direct download: MN.25.02.1993._RadiofortheBlind.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:50pm CET

MN.03.05.1990 Dayton Hamvention

I have only made it once to the Dayton Hamvention, the largest meetup of amateur radio operators anywhere on the planet. My trip was in April 1990, and I remember that Lou Josephs was invaluable in helping me to connect with the KLM flight connection at Boston Logan Airport. Lou warned me that the "Useless Air" flight from Dayton to Logan was always late. And sure enough it was. He gave me a lift from the wrong side of Logan to the right side for transatlantic departures. Made it with seconds to spare.

Oh, and please enjoy the reportage from Dayton Ohio. It was immense fun. Also recall running in to George Wood of Radio Sweden. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1990.DaytonHamvention.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:10am CET

MN.14.05.1990 Radio Volga & Studio 11

This programme from 1990 profiles the Russian Forces Radio station Radio Volga set up in the GDR. We also look at how synchronous detection works on the Grundig Satelliet 7000 receiver, including some examples of how it improved reception.

I remember recording this edition of Media Network with Mark Eylers on a boiling hot evening in Radio Netherlands Studio 11 studio. For some reason the airconditioning wasn't working that well, so the decision to do a just outside broadcast really happened. The studio was just below my office in those days, as the photo shows. 

Direct download: MN.14.05.1990.radiovolgarussia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:55pm CET

MN.23.04.1992 Sangean Radio Visit

This edition of the programme in 1992 came together out of the blue. I suddenly got a tape from Taiwan from David Monson, a presenter on BRT Brussels who I knew in the 1990's. He was now in Taiwan and offered me a story about who is behind the Sangean shortwave radio company. The result in the second half of this show. (Sadly we learned that David Monson passed away in 2010). 

We discuss the international distribution of the Lowe HF150, DAK Industries new shortwave DM3000 is difficult to get hold of. Marcel Rommerts has news about Radio Galaxy from Moscow. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing a strong station from Myanmar on 5973 kHz, aimed at the internal security forces. There's a new book called The Setmakers about the history of British radio receivers from the BREMA association. This includes the story about how Philips took over the Mullard valve company. 

Direct download: MN.23.04.1992.sangean.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:55pm CET

MN.23.07.1992.Moscow Radio Profile

Long before Putin there was a different type of media in Moscow. It was just gradually breaking free of the old Communist era, experimenting with all kinds of different formats. In this editon of Media Network recorded in 1992, Vasily Strelnikov (who some now call the Russian Podfather) scans the dial for us. We look at the newly launched Radio-7 commercial station.

This news edition of the programme also contains news of the Democratic Voice of Burma which has has challenges reaching Rangoon, and the French company of TDF has made a new type of shortwave transmitter, where each sender has its own curtain array on top. And we review the latest edition of Shortwave Navigator from Jim Frimmel.



Direct download: MN.23.07.1992.MoscowRadio7.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:27pm CET

MN. 21.12.1989. US Invades Panama

We live in troubled times (again). Bumped into a Media Network programme recorded in December 1989. We were reporting on the media surrounding the US intervention into Panama to capture Manuel Noriega. Listener Al Quagleri tipped us off after monitoring airforce communications from Albrook Airforce Base in Panama. Lou Josephs helped us unravel the media plan, which revealed the involvement of Pentagon backed Radio Impacto as well as extended broadcasts from the Spanish service of Voice of America. We also looked at the serious situation developing in Romania and the involvement of Radio Free Europe and the plans to build a 34 million dollar shortwave facility in Israel. Note the comment that people in Europe no longer listen to shortwave, so that FM was important. We called KNLS in, Anchor Point, Alaska and talked to Dave Stuart about the volcano that's been erupting. Arthur Cushen sent in Christmas greetings. And there are changes to report at Radio Australia. They were celebrating 50 years of their existence. Andy Sennitt was celebrating the new office in Amsterdam.

I think this is a good example of a listener-driven media show, about 6 years before the Internet started appearing in peoples' homes. This was the era when radio was the Internet.

Direct download: MN.21.12.1989.Panama.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:03pm CET

MN.12.10.1989 Vilnius & VOA Bethany

Interesting programme which revealed that Radio Vilnius, Lithuania was no longer using material sent to the station from Radio Moscow. We also profiled the early days of Voice of America transmitting station in Bethany, Ohio which recently closed down. 

Direct download: MN.12.10.1989vilnius.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:24am CET

MN.02.06.1983 HCJB Quito

This is a very early Media Network from the summer of 1983. Yes, the presentation is dated and it has nothing like the pace of later programmes in the series. But it is interesting none the less. I recall the indepth interview about what HCJB was building in Pifo, near Quito Ecuador. The photo shows the studio buildings in downtown Quito which I remember visiting years later in 1995. And Professor John Campbell had some excellent insights into the clandestine radio scene in North Africa. Enjoy.

Direct download: MN.02.06.1983.HCJB.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:46pm CET

MN.15.09.1983 Korean Airliner Shot Down

On July 17th 2014, a commercial aircraft from Malaysian Airlines, flight MH17, was shot down over Ukraine. The exact details of who was responsible are still be determined. But 298 passengers were killed, many of them Dutch nationals.

But this reminds me of an incident on September 1st 1983, when the Soviet government shot down a Korean airliner, flight 007. All 269 passengers and crew aboard the Korean airliner were killed, The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a U.S. reconnaissance mission. In this edition of the Media Network programme as broadcast in September 1983, we hear how Radio Moscow, the voice of the Soviet government reacted. Remember this is before the took several days before an official reaction was forthcoming.


Direct download: MN.15.09.1983korean007.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:17pm CET





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