Media Network Vintage Vault 2014-2015
Re-live international shortwave radio between 1980-2000 through a radio show that pioneered producing narratives with its listeners. Over 400 complete programmes are posted here to enjoy all over again. This is a non-commercial service to media historians done at the initiative of host, Jonathan Marks.

This was a listener driven edition of the Media Network, asking questions about DAB. We talk to Roberts Radio and World Radio Network in the UK. There's also a link to Professor Doug Boyd (pictured) who has comments on the Worldspace radio system and why it might have difficulty try to fly. They estimate that the potential audience globally is around 16 million listeners, not the 4 billion claimed by Worldspace. Andy Sennitt has a bumper bundle of listening suggestions.

Direct download: MN.15.06.2000._DAB_and_WRN.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:31 AM
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More time travel. This programme starts with the news of a fire in the Ostankino TV tower in Moscow, a blaze that later turned out to be very serious indeed. Vasily Strelnikov went off to investigate and was surprised at the extent of the blaze. We talk about security on the web comparing it with spy number stations! Love the Marconi radio joke. Also the Lincolnshire Poacher recording was crystal clear. We also talked to Bryan Clarke in Auckland about the BBC Calling the Falkands programme. Bob Tomalski talks about a new Onkyo hi-fi system. The DVD player with have a digital video output. Onkyo had no clue about copyright issues. Philips announces a delay to its DVD+ recorders.

Direct download: MN.30.08.2000.Ostankino.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:25 PM
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This was the last programme in the Media Network series that looked at pirate radio and the offshore stations. It featured the late Bob Tomalski who, at the time of the recording, was Media Network's UK gadget inspector. 

Direct download: MN.24.08.2000.OffshoreRemembered.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:00 PM
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This programme includes a feature about the US clandestine station targeted at Cuba called Radio Swan. Declassified documents from the CIA reveal how the station was involved in the Bay of Pigs attempted invasion. We hear from a Media Network correspondent at a Blutooth conference in Monaco. Radio Netherlands works with Bush Radio to produce a CD for AIDs awareness. We also look at the MP3 and start the discussion about the best codecs and copyrights. We try to understand how Napster works. Love the parody on the MTV song.

Direct download: MN.13.07.2000.RadioSwan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:17 AM
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This show is shorter than usual because it was prepared in Johannesburg and fed to Hilversum. I can't find the original show which would have had propagation news and listening tips as well. But the 20 minute feature on broadcasting in South Africa as it was at the start of the Millennium is interesting in itself. I get the impression that community stations in South Africa have not embraced the new media as well as had been hoped. That's strange in a country where mobile has become so important.

Direct download: MN.11.05.2000.SouthAfricaMontage.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:39 PM
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This news programme starts with a call from Fiji (the furthest we ever got), and we investigate all the various radio projects that CLT is involved in. This included a rather obscure radio service in French on shortwave towards Quebec. CLT was also planning a classical music station as well as Atlantic 252, together with RTE, from County Meath, Ireland. All India Radio tests shortwave out of Port Blair. Pete Myers reports on hopes that HDTV plans will expand.

We also looked into the problems of frequency announcements on shortwave, including the parody from Radio Morania and some bloopers from BBC World Service. Radio Australia spends 2.5 minutes announcing their schedule and have decided to get rid of references to "metre bands". Remember Radio Moscow with announcements that just mentioned metre bands - they had some many tranmitters they didn't need to be more specific. Kim Andrew Elliott, a researcher at Voice of America, had been doing research into receiver coverage. Andrew Piper explains why they add metre bands in some the transmissions to Africa.

Andy Sennitt has news about Namibia and transmissions from Radio RSA. RCI from Sackville (see photo) started using 13 MHz for the first time.  

Direct download: MN.13.04.1989._Frequency_Announcements.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:43 PM
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We didn't go to many offshore radio conventions on Media Network, but those that we did attend were fascinating. I realise now that it is over two decades ago since I last visited Blackpool, the holiday resort in NW England. I remember climbing the tower and that the weather was actually superb for early September. Fortunately, I found this report from Communicate 1988 the seaside. Remember that this was an era where the off-shore radio ships like Laser 558 were still fresh in the minds of many European listeners. I also believe I found where the presenters for the spy-number stations were trained. John Catlett was involved in Laser 558. By the time of the Blackpool conference, he was the consultant to Radio Tara, the name of the project that was later to become Atlantic 252. It was a joint project between Radio Luxembourg and RTE. BBC Radio 1 was changing to FM! So were'nt they trying to flog a dead horse with using longwave?. We also heard that AFTRS (American Forces) signed off from shortwave. A new station was planned to broadcast offshore Israel and Alan Weiner talked to us about the good ship Sarah and his plans for Radio New York International.  BBC is hiring a relay via Radio Bras and also opened their relay station in Seychelles. Wolf Harranth explains their shortwave agreement with RCI in Sackville.

Direct download: MN.29.09.1988.Blackpool.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:29 PM
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Pete Myers would often come up with great ideas towards the end of the year when the production budget in the English section was running low. Wednesday slots had to be filled. There was no money for in depth documentaries. Each producer was asked to make a 30 minute programme grabbing music from the record library and explaining what it meant to you. I confess that I did my best to get rid of just playing records in DX Juke Box. But those early days working in a foreign country for an international broadcaster was certainly the source of adventures. So this isn't a Media Network, although there are radio stories in the show.

Direct download: ThatRemindsMe1985.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 11:32 AM
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On April 17th 2012, my late friend and former colleague Pete Myers would have been 73 years old. Sadly, this great broadcaster from the sixties passed away all to soon on December 15th 1998. It seems like yesterday and partly because the Media Network programme now only exists as a nostalgic collection on the Internet I thought it appropriate to add this documentary tribute I made with Luc Lucas in 1999. It is called A Talent to Amuse.

Pete Myers was a regular voice on many editions of Media Network. He made his name at the BBC External Services in Bush House with a programme called Good Morning Africa. He was one of the early presenters on BBC Radio 1 in 1967 and from 1976 onwards one of the regular producers on Radio Netherlands English Service. He was the engine behind many magazine programmes like the Afroscene, Mainstream Asia and Asiascan. As we busy ourselves with Twitter, Facebook and Google+ I just wanted to put this documentary tribute back on the web for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the memories sent in by listeners at the time.

Much of the joy and magic of shortwave radio was ignited by Pete. Mainstream Asia, Asiascan, Happy Station, the specials and a host of other programmes, they all sparked of creativity. That personal touch gave radio sparkle and vitality. It touched many of us here in Asia and rest of the world. His spirit of bringing so much heart and texture to his reports was both a pleasure and inspiration to us. He was more than a voice to me, more than a friend, more than just a broadcaster. Long live the excellence that Pete strived for.

Xavier Gomez, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Not only did he entertain and inform on radio he also kindly wrote me some extremely funny letters. He will be sadly missed.

Michelle Thompson, Australia

 

Listening in South Africa to the BBC Morning Show in the early seventies, I found Pete Myers an inspirational broadcaster. He ignited my lifelong passion for radio and for Africa. In particular, his programmes opened my eyes to the world north of the Limpopo River which white South Africa tried so hard to ignore in those days. Above all, he enjoyed that rare gift... the genuine ability to communicate with his listeners.

Peter Biles, London, UK

A year ago I returned from serving with the Peace Corps in Romania. One day I discovered Radio Netherlands via shortwave and delightedly, I sent an e-mail to Pete Myers telling him how much I loved R.N. He called me up and interviewed me. Later he sent me a tape of some of his interviews which I played for my classes. The tape exposed my students to stories and sounds the like of which they had never encountered.

Cynthia D. Earman, Washington DC, USA.

All of the troubles I may have had would gently step aside for the duration of Pete's time on the air. I miss him tremendously. He was a reason to get through another week.

Steve Talia, Eugene, Oregon , USA

For how many times, I don't know, I have been amazed at his presentation...December 15th for some unknown reason was missing from diary and now suddenly you announced that he's gone...I just don't know what all this means!

Cui Litang Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, P.R.China

We lost a golden voice on the radio but his various documentaries will still be fresh in mind for all his numerous fans of the radio.

Alok Das Gupta, Calcutta, India

 

We needed him. We will miss him...

Alexandre Mossiava Moscow, Russia

Pete was one the icons during my growing years. I'll miss him.

Kittu Chennai, India -

I always knew that when Pete was on the air, it was going to be something worth listening to.

Mike Conway Merced California, USA

We are all diminished by his passing, but were most uplifted by his work. Pete Myers has left a fine legacy. He will be missed by all of us, including those of us who were privileged to know him via the radio.

John A. Figliozzi Clifton Park, NY, USA

Pete as a broadcaster not only reached the pinnacle that all broadcasters silently wish to reach, but he will live on in the hearts of us who heard him and through the works of people that he inspired. He was the centre of any gathering and the laughter and good cheer that exploded from him. Even in sadness his voice echoes and the sound of his laughter soothes our wounded hearts.

Victor Goonetilleke, Piliyandala, Sri Lanka

As someone who worked with Pete, I know how touched he would be to read these heartfelt messages from listeners around the world. Their wonderful sentiments are, of course, nothing less than the man deserves. He was a magnificent broadcaster. That rich deep voice of his so enveloping and warming. I am honoured to have known him, better for having learned from him, and proud that he was my friend.

Mike Bullen, former RN producer, writer of the series "Cold Feet", now resident in Australia.

Direct download: Talent_to_Amuse_Pete_Myers.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 3:24 PM
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