Media Network Vintage Vault 2014
Re-live international shortwave radio between 1980-2000 through a radio show that pioneered producing narratives with its listeners. Over 370 complete programmes posted here to enjoy all over again. This is a non-commercial service to media historians done at the initiative of host, Jonathan Marks.

This is part two of the documentary about Dutch broadcasting in Indonesia. The programme begins with a look at the current state of the sunspot cycle and then launches into Part Two of the feature. This part looks at the rather uneasy situation between the Dutch and Indonesian population in the lead-up to independence. Then follows a portrait of the complex radio situation in Indonesia in 1995. I made most of these recordings during a trip there in early 1995. Joe Coman, head of Radio Netherlands Indonesian department at the time, added to the conversation.  

Direct download: MN.24.08.1995.IndonesiaB.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:59 PM
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This is an expanded rewrite and reworking of an episode of Media Wars, first broadcast in the 1980's examining the curious broadcasting situation in the Dutch East Indies from 1940 onwards. When the Japanese invaded Indonesia, the Dutch lost control of the broadcast networks. But there are some untold stories of what they tried to do under such unusual circumstances. 

Direct download: MN.17.08.1995.IndonesiaA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:09 PM
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This programme starts with a report from Hungary about protests to changes at Radio Budapest. We also learned of the passing of the editor of the RBSWC, Dennis Herner. Andy Sennitt had news of the reactivation of LRA36, the Argentine station on their Antarctic base. Victor Goonetilleke is on the line with news that TWR plans to return to shortwave. Bob Tomalski has some rants about why wide angle televisions are only appearing in PAL, and we look at some of the thoughts behind the Grundig 206 shortwave receiver. 

Direct download: MN.12.12.1991.Hungary2.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:30 AM
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Great to find a specialist book like Audio Audio by Jonathan Hill still in print after 15 years - and just a few pounds more than when it was published in 1995. This was a follow-up book to the popular book Radio Radio which is illustrated below. This Media Network programme kicks off by interviewing the author and asking him what's the fascinating of Vintage audio. The programme also includes news of changes at BBC Monitoring from Chis Greenway as well as developments in the Spanish service of Radio Netherlands. The jamming situation has changed in Asia - we have a report from Victor Goonetilleke. And the programme concludes with a profile of Radio TV Hong Kong. 

Direct download: MN.23.11.1995.asiajamming.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:00 PM
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There were major changes going on at AFN Europe at the start of the 1990's. That explains why I revisited the station even though we'd done an extensive profile on them just two years before. Sadly I understand that the great voice of AFN Europe in this documentary, Bob Harlan, is no longer with us. He passed away in Jacksonville, Florida in 2003 aged 77. Youtube has the tribute. You also can hear the voice of Paul van Dyke.

I do admire the get up and go attitude that I found at AFN Shape and AFN Frankfurt. Their mission was clear - and they sounded dedicated to that mission. 

Direct download: MN.03.10.1991.AFNupdate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:00 PM
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This show starts with callers to the Radio Netherlands answerline concerned about changes to Radio Netherlands' European service. A caller from Germany recommends looking for a UN Radio programme to verify Radio Bhutan. A feature on buying a second-hand shortwave radio follows, plus a conversation with the late Bob Tomalski on the introduction of no less than 3 new audio formats. Remember Mini Disc? It doesn't seem like 19 years ago does it? 

The programme also features an interview with the new boss of Radio Vilnius who told us the inside story on what happened when Soviet troops raided the station the year before and how they broadcast from the blind institute not knowing if their voices were being heard. I find that sign-on music they used continues to haunt me.

We also hear about the plans for a special ham radio station to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voice of America. K3EKA is the station based in the VOA HQ in Washington DC.  

Direct download: MN.16.01.1992.Vilnius.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:00 PM
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This programme was aired a few days after Radio Luxembourg's English service signed off from the highpower mediumwave channel of 1440 kHz, better known as the Great 208 (208 metres). The farewall show went on well into the night and contained some great stories of the English service in Luxy. The mediumwave transmitter in Marnbach is still there - I passed by on a trip to Luxembourg in the car a few years back. RTL German and China Radio International have used it since. 

I find it interesting that nearly 20 decades after this programme was made, Holland still has a mediumwave service. They have reduced the power to keep the coverage down to just the Netherlands and I am sure there must come a day when Radio 5 from the public network vacates 747 kHz.

This programme also contains an illustrated interview with Richard Jackson about the decision by the Thai government to terminate the licences of 5 radio channels in the hope of raising the commercial revenue of the government station Radio Thailand. 

Direct download: MN.02.01.1992Luxemburg.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:45 PM
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This programme turned out to have a different ending than was originally planned. During the recording session on a Wednesday afternoon came the tragic news that long-time contributor to the programme, Richard Ginbey, had been killed in a car accident. Richard was a true broadcast professional working on several stations in Southern Africa. He also spent some time in New Zealand it seems, as several Dxers in the Pacific recall him as a DJ there in the 1970's. He also ran his own media show on Radio Portugal in the days when it was known as the Voice of the West and had a shortwave service in English. The programme, called Radio Safari, even issued its own QSL cards signed by Richard. This programme simply broke the news of his passing. There were tributes in several subsequent programmes.

Other items in this programme include Radio Netherlands' single sideband tests to North America, changes at Radio Finland (interview with Juhani Niinstoe), a profile of VNG - the time signal station in Australia, Paul Ballster has news about GLR in London, and there are delivery problems with the International Listening Guide.

Direct download: MN.09.04.1991.Ginbeyobit.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:30 PM
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I see that Vasily Strelnikov is back on the Voice of Russia, reminiscing with colleagues about the days of Radio Moscow World Service. They have a facebook page (search for "from Moscow with Love"). Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring explains how time changes in Russia have affected the complex external broadcast schedule (curiously time changes are back in the news as Russia has decided to adopt permanent summer time in 2011). 

In this programme Vasily explains about Radio Ala, a station which played Bard folkmusic which popped up on shortwave having hired transmission facilities formerly used by Soviet jammers. It was fascinating while it lasted. There's also an interval signal contest as compensation for Jim Cutler's Impossible Contest which we put out in April 1992. We played three interval signals at once, one of them backwards. But it didn't fool the dedicated listeners. I made the photo on a wet but fascinating day in Moscow. Incredible to see where those programmes were made.

Direct download: MN.23.Jan.1992.RadioAla.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:00 PM
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This programme contains an interview with the late Joseph Mark Costello III, the founder of WRNO shortwave in New Orleans. He passed away from complications from diabetes in late April 1997 at the young age of 56. His first job after college was at a small radio station in DeRidder, where he became chief announcer. It was, Mr. Costello later said, the only time that he worked for a company he didn't own. In 1967, the son of Algiers grocery-store owners mortgaged his parents' rental property to help raise $25,000 to build WRNO, a pioneer FM stereo rock-music outlet that became one of the city's most listened-to and profitable radio stations. It was a risk. But Mr. Costello said in a 1982 interview, he never was worried. "I didn't know it would be successful," he said, "but I knew I could always make money at something. It's easy. You just don't spend more money than you make." When he couldn't hire a disc jockey, he acted as the station's announcer, too. Even long after Joe Costello became a millionaire with five homes and a 50-foot yacht, his voice could be heard delivering the station's slogan, "We're the rock of New Orleans." In 1991 I remember getting a call from him. He was visiting Amsterdam and wanted to see around Radio Netherlands. That explains his appearance in this programme. 

This show also contains a link up with Richard Measham talking about the wide range of Russian radio stations appearing on shortwave as well as a lab test of the Sony ICFSW-55 which I purchased in Tokyo. The programme actually starts with a promo for a programme by Dheera Sujan and gradually turns into Media Network. I could cut that bit off, but decided not to. Hope you enjoy the show.


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Direct download: MN.07.11.1991.WRNOMoscow.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:32 AM
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This was a regular edition of Media Network in the summer of 1986. We review the Grundig Satellit 400 shortwave receiver made in Portugal from German designs. Roger Broadbent explains about AM stereo and the challenges it faces. We look at the growth of English language radio in Paris - stations are now carryingVOA Europe. Arthur Cushen's tips include recordings of the internal shortwave services of ABC in Australia in Tennant Creek.

I personally remember this programme not for its content but for the panic before broadcast. We used an Apple IIe to write the script and the power supply short circuited a few hours before the recording. Luckily some of the segments had already been recorded but the main script was hastily rewritten before we went to air.

Direct download: MN.06.06.1986._AMStereo.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:41 AM
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