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 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 programme includes an appearance from Professor John Campbell. He was a professor of computing science at the University of London, but better known to Media Network listeners as a contributor on clandestine radio. When he popped through the Netherlands in 1996, we asked him about Radio Euskadi, the Voice of the Basque underground. It claimed to broadcast from the Pyrenees, but in fact came from a site in Venzuela. John is referring to the picture on their QSL verification card which had indeed been hurriedly montaged. Guess they didn't have Photoshop in those days. Today, Radio Euskadi is rather different. Not sure if it shares any history with the clandestine station.

Direct download: MN.17.10.1996.Euzkadi.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:37 PM
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An interesting chat in this programme with Olrich Cip, who was still frequency manager for Radio Prague at the time of the interview. Recently did an interview with him in Prague on camera in which he explains a lot about the Prague spring and how they managed to keep Radio Free Prague going. But in 1991, it was still too soon to talk about those times...still too many fresh memories of ruthless security services in one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Olrich was the man behind Radio Prague's Monitor Club, appearing on air as Peter Skala. In 1991 there were already concerns that the new governments would cut back on the extensive use of shortwave that was seen in Warsaw Pact times. 

Direct download: MN.25.04.1991.PeterSkala.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:36 AM
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This programme explored the idea of BVN-TV, Dutch language satellite television for Europe. We also looked at why more stations is the US have not moved into the expanded mediumwave band. We examine how the NOZEMA was planning to use lower bit rates for DAB. In the end, DAB never took off in the Netherlands so the research was superceded by events. There was a look at the IBOC alternative. The IBOC camp did not like the way the European's scheduled the Eureka 147 side by side tests. Voice of America is threatened with cutbacks. As AFN closes down it's operations in The Netherlands and Germany, so new stations are starting in the Balkans, Bosnia, Hungary and Uzbekistan. Victor is on the line from Sri Lanka with news about how to follow cricket on shortwave. Just love these early days of the world-wide web...Jim Cutler doing a full URL because browsers needed http:// or you got an error. 

Direct download: MN.21.12.1995.AFN_Berlin.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:07 AM
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Stocks and Shares Radio for Africa was one of the more unusual private shortwave ventures, dating back to 1996. And they got the prize for the most boring sign-on music.

Direct download: MN.12.12.1996.StocksandShares.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:53 AM
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Yes, this is a Media Network edition dating back to October 1984, which includes a double report from Roger Tidy and Bob Tomalski from London. At that time there were a nuge number of FM pirates, many of them operating out of semi-permanent locations in the tower blocks that dominate the skyline in North and South London. David Hermges reports on the disappearance of Austrian regional station Radio Tyrol on 6 MHz. Professor John Campbell has clandestine news from Tonga, started as pirate. Jim Young of WaveView explains a new type of low power television transmitter for 8000 pounds sterling. We talk to Dutch radio hams who are participating in one of the Friesland DX contexts. We also talked about the first test transmissions from the Flevo transmitter site. Victor Goonetilleke has bad news that the Maldives SW transmitter is off the air.

Direct download: MN.25.10.1984.LondonPirates.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:40 PM
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This edition goes way back to the time in late October 1984 when they started testing the new Radio Netherlands transmitter site out on the Flevo polder near the town od Zeewolde. I got a chance to take a short helicopter ride as they put the transmitters on low power to measure the antenna radiation pattern. I'll never forget the ride because I learned later the German helicopter couldn't stop the rotors when we landed because the battery had failed and he needed to get back to Germany the same day. It's rather ironic to learn that in 2012, the entire Flevo transmitter site has been sold to the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. The facility will now be converted to operate in the ultility bands, acting as a back-up system to Dutch military abroad incase conventional satellite systems failed or are compromised. Bearing in mind Syria and Iran are both jamming satellite communications at the moment, I can understand why they take precautions. Of course they will need much lower power than the 4 500 kW transmitters used for Radio Netherlands broadcasts.

The programme also discusses the return of Wonderful Radio London International. We spoke with John England from Texas. Enjoy this flashback.

Direct download: MN.01.11.1984.HelicopterFlevo.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:17 PM
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AM (mediumwave) stereo has been trying to take off since as long as I've been in radio. The idea surfaced in the early nineties again and we covered it in Media Network in December of 1991. Rather wierd listening to it 21 years later. Never did take off. Interesting to hear how listeners were calling in their tips to the show even though the cost was rather high compared to today's standards. And some familiar voices from long-time Media Network listeners in this show - Tony Barrett, Julius Hermans, Dave Onley.

Direct download: MN.04.12.1991_AM_Stereo.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:03 PM
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A rare glimpse into the inner workings of one of the strongest propaganda voices out of the Balkans from one of its smallest countries. Today Radio Tirana is a shadow of its former self when it was the mouthpiece of Enver Hoxha. One of the older female announcers used to fascinate me.

She would sometimes sign-off with the words. And that is the end of our broadcast. "Goodbye dear Listener". Perhaps I was the only one.

Direct download: MN.25.03.1992._Radio_Tirana_Albania.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:30 PM
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One of my favorite programmes from 1999 because of an excellent contribution from listener Nevil Coles in the UK explaining how fanfares used by international broadcasters had intrigued him. We voiced his contribution and managed to find most of the interval signals he was talking about in the Media Network Archives. We also looked at how the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was shutting down its AM broadcasting facilities as it transferred to FM. The new FM transmitter was opened with fireworks. But the shutdown of the AM facility in Hornby Ontario was witnessed by DX Audio Service reporter Scott Fybush. I am delighted to report that Fred Vobbe's DX Audio Service is still going strong in 2012.

Direct download: MN.08.07.1999.CBC_Fanfare_Conspiracy.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:06 PM
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