Thanks a Million!

Hello. Jonathan Marks here. I know from experience that radio stations are notorious for not saying thank you to their listeners. But this isn't a radio station. It's a media archive, made just for fun, because I believe there are so many great media stories that we're quickly forgetting.

We're just coming up to the first anniversary of this audio vault and it looks like we're doing to break the 35,000 downloads mark. This is perfect proof that the long-tail works. What also amazes me is that this content is time-warp material which covers a golden age of international broadcasting, the last 60 years of the last century. Thanks for the comments that you have left, either on this site or on my Facebook  profile. I don't post a direct email address here because of horrific problems with spambots. Once again


and remember comments are always welcome! I really have enjoyed the conversations so far.

Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:38pm CEST

MN.27.06.1996. Barbados Special in the Caribbean

Most of this week' s edition of Media Network was narrated from the island of Barbados in the sunny Caribbean. It contains quite a lot off off-air recordings made by plugging a Sony ICF2010 into the professional Walkman WDM6 that I used to carry everywhere (and still own, although there are better recorders now with Flash memory). I think this programme is a good example of armchair radio listening, taking you to places on the dial you wouldn't normally visit. Its pure theatre of the mind. I just love those long URL's. Forgive us. 15 years ago, URL's were still new to us.

Direct download: MN.wk20.1996.Barbados.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:18pm CEST

MN.19.10.1995 - Dutch Medium Wave Pirates and dreams of experiments with satellite DAB

This edition of Media Network includes a feature about a guy in the North-West of the UK who had contact with hundreds of Dutch Mediumwave pirates. Hans Bakhuizen discusses satellite delivered DAB. 15 years later still nothing has happened. This is partly because the cost of the satellite delivered radios proved prohibited. Manufacturers were also not interested in building the chipset. Veronica also plans to rebroadcast the Dutch programme from Deutsche Welle in Cologne. That happened - but not for long.

Direct download: MN.18.10.1995.MWpirates.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:11pm CEST

MN.07.12.1995 - BBC World Service Cuts announced and visit to HCJB Quito Ecuador

Amazing how history repeats itself in international broadcasting.

At the start of December 1995 we reported that BBC World Service has to cut back by 5.5 million pounds in 1996. Interview with Caroline Thompson, then with the BBC WS management. 10 languages were threatened at that time. BBC has also been testing a mediumwave transmitter in Slovakia.

We also reported from a field to the East of Quito in the antenna farm of HCJB. Jonathan Marks attended a conference of local broadcasters in Ecuador and took a side trip to meet those behind a station he'd heard in Europe from the early 1970's. They were also testing a 26 MHz antenna. There are two weather problems - either winds or lack of rain. HCJB also build 100 kW shortwave transmitters as well as small FM transmitters. The site has now been dismantled as reported by HCJB on their blog in 2009.

Direct download: MN.07.12.1995.HCJB.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:25pm CEST

MN.06.04.2000 - DAB Needs a Rethink Too

This is what was news in April 2000 - We had quite a few e-mails reacting to our comments on this show that we believe Digital Audio Broadcasting DAB to be so seriously in trouble that it will probably have to be re-launched in a different form. With less than 10,000 receivers in use across the entire continent and no portable set yet on the horizon, this 10 year old technology needs a rapid re-think. David Aldridge in Northampton agrees with our correspondent Bob Tomalski that DAB lacks a focused publicity campaign and no-one will get excited about an 800 dollar radio. 


We reviewed the ICOM ICR-75 receiver. The ICOM ICR-75 first appeared in North America towards the end of 1999. This is a tabletop receiver for the serious listener. At a price of 610 pounds sterling in the UK, 780 dollars in Canada, or 1775 dollars in Australia, that’s before the options have been selected, you’re not going to be interested in such a set unless you take the hobby of digging weak stations out of the noise quite seriously.


Bryan Clark has some interesting catches from a DXpedition.




Direct download: MN.wk07.2000.IcomIC75.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:33pm CEST

MN.19.08.1999 - Veronica Revival Planned

This programme comes from a park bench in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam - I was testing out a new Minidisc recorder and it was a boiling hot summers day. Diana and I discussed the success of CNN Interactive with the then boss of the Interactive department in Atlanta, there was news of a Radio Veronica revival broadcast, and a parody on QSLing phone conversations. 12 years on, the memories have apparently not faded. is still attracting crowds each November- this year's reunion is set for Saturday November 12th 2011.

In the UK, a discussion had also started about how much of the UK licence fee should be devoted to serving the interests of non-payers living abroad. The BBC made an attempt to offer Internet access in 1994 with its Networking club set up by the Educational branch of this vast organisation. They quickly discovered that answering queries about modems and problems with operating systems wasn’t really their core business. So it was taken over by a commercial company in November 1995. So it is interesting that the BBC Online is about to try it all again but this time going further by launching free Internet access. The Jupiter communications research group has been predicting that free Net access in Europe is imminent, but the major European Internet service providers like AOL Europe and T-Online are not convinced that advertising and electronic commerce can cover the cost of telephone calls. Likewise, the grey area between public and private partnerships raises its head again. There will be some major questions about unfair competition down the bumpy Internet superhighway ahead no doubt.

Direct download: MN.VeronicaCNN.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:18pm CEST

MN. 23.07.1998 - Digital TV needs a rethink!

We talk to Herman van Wijk of Digitag who explains what's right and wrong with the future of Digital television. We also talk about the long running Delta Radio project which planned to move offshore. They wanted 2 antennas of 400 metres to broadcast on Long Wave 171 kHz from the North Sea. The cost was estimate at 12 million dollars. BBC was planning to cut its domestic radio channels by 10%...hey what's new? 

Direct download: MN.digitalTV.wk30.1998.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:56pm CEST

MN.13.04.2000 Radio Netherlands Training Centre

This edition of the programme looked at the work in the garden of Radio Netherlands, the Radio Netherlands Training Centre founded as a joint venture at the end of the sixties by Philips and Radio Netherlands. The electronics company in the south of the Netherlands at that time made a lot of broadcast equipment - and outfitted many of the Radio Netherlands studios. But they quickly got out of that side of things, although I still find some Philips studio mixers in various states of repair during my travels in Africa.

Direct download: MN.RNTC.wk14.2000.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:51pm CEST

MN.24.02.2000 Tonga & Propagation

We talk of propagation and desert islands. There's also a profile of broadcasting in Tonga. Mike Bird appears twice and chooses the kind of music he'd like to take with him on a DXpedition.Martin Allard, is a Project Consultant to UNESCO. Writing in the newsletter of AMARC, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters. He outlines some of the problems facing stations in the Pacific.


We stay in the Pacific for today’s main feature, following up on several letters. Peter Williamson from London, Ontario Canada, Kurt Gruber from Hamburg and Stefan Hoekstra in San Francisco California are just some of the people who want us to discuss more aspects of the ionosphere and how its affects reception of signals between 3 and 30 MHz.

Direct download: MN.tongapropagation.wk8.2000.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:35pm CEST

MN.17.02.2000. Kerbango & Worldspace test

This programme looks at Kerbango, the Internet radio that (with hindight) never was.At the last count there were three devices promised on the world market to allow you to listen to internet audio on a separate stand alone device. A few days ago (in Feb 2000), a California based company, calling itself Kerbango, showed the prototype of a special radio to be launched in a few months and which is styled a bit like a valve radio of the 1950’s. We asked Marc Auerbach, who’s Vice President of Marketing, why their approach is different.

Clement Stokes of Springfield,Durban in South Africa is a regular listener to this programme via the relay on SAFM on their domestic service. Two weeks ago he heard us mention that today we’d be testing one of the new Worldspace receivers. He is particularly curious because he sees the radio advertised in a hi-fi shop not far from his house, although he points out only one South African broadcaster is so far participating in the scheme. The question is simple, does the performance justify the price of more than US $300 . So we explain our findings on the Hitachi KH-WS1, one of four radios on the market in Southern and West Africa designed to pick up the proprietary Worldspace radio system. I still have the radio on my window sill, but the Worldspace feed is dead. Rather expensive FM radio!.


Direct download: MN.kerbango.wk7.2000.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:19pm CEST

MN.15.04.1999 - Serbia and Changes to UN Radio

We started this week's edition by looking at how Western countries are trying to get signals into Serbia now that the authorities have silenced independent radio stations in their country. On Thursday and Friday of the previous week press briefings at NATO headquarters created quite a bit of confusion in the media. It was first suggested that NATO was planning to destroy Serbian radio and television. In fact, NATO air-raids early on in the campaign had already severely damaged or destroyed domestic TV and radio transmitting masts. But the position was clarified in a briefing on Friday April 9th when NATO spokesman Jamie Shay said that whatever NATO feelings about Serb television, TV transmitters are not a main target. However, Serbian military communications facilities are often co-located with TV transmitters, as in many East European countries, so bombing may well have had a secondary effect.

On Thursday the 8th April 1999 NATO started its own radio and TV transmissions to Serbia and Kosovo from a fleet of specially modified Lockheed EC130E aircraft. The 193rd is normally based at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA where 1100 people have been trained in the mission of psychological warfare. This part of the US Air National Guard reportedly had an annual budget of $35 million dollars, and these flying broadcast platforms have been deployed in previous conflicts in Grenada, Haiti, The Gulf, Somalia and most recently in Bosnia. The programme also looks at what's next for UN Radio. People forget that in 1984, UN Radio was producing a total of 2,000 hours of programmes a year in 25 languages. Some 750 hours were transmitted on short-wave, including a number of SSB feeder frequencies aimed at stations willing to take and rebroadcast items in their own programmes. One of the more unusual outlets among these was a transmission from UN Radio in Geneva, Switzerland, on Fridays only in Russian on a frequency of 14500 kHz USB intended for Radio Moscow.



Direct download: MN.15.04.1999.Serbia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:40pm CEST

MN.14.Jan.1999 - Swatch Attempting to Digitize Time

Flashback to a news show in January 1999 when the capture of Chris Carey in New Zealand were the radio headlines and Lou Josephs explained how Command Audio was planning to bring Internet radio to the home. We explain the difference between UTC and GMT and the leap second. It seems that some of the Millennium countdown clocks are running too slow. We also talked to Swatch who had a strange idea to make the time metric with the Swatch Beat! We review the World Radio TV Handbook for 1999. Deutsche Welle's monitoring station has collected and published a CD of interval signals, including a number from Southern Africa. Brian Clarke talks about the rescue of the BBC World Service on mediumwave in Auckland. The station had an ingenious system of delaying the feed from London and speeding it up slightly, so as to squeeze in some commercials each hour. And the station with a strange name from Azerbaijan. Harald Kuhl reports about a new Peace Station in Ecuador.

Jonathan also reported on a short revival of Kootwijk Radio on the ham bands as part of bit of fun following the closure of facility for maritime communications. 

Direct download: MN.14.01.1999Swatch.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:23pm CEST






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