Media Network Vintage Vault 2016 - 2017
Re-live original Media Network shows as broadcast between 1980-2000. Curator & host Jonathan Marks shares the archive of insight into international broadcasting. Enjoy.
MN.27.11.1986.StadRadioAmsterdam

This is a really old edition of Media Network, from November 1986 when I visited what was then called Stad Radio Amsterdam. Since then, I don't believe Amsterdam has really been the success story of local public broadcasting. Stations in Rotterdam and Eindhoven sound a lot closer to the people than AT5. And why they put Radio Noord Holland out in an industrial park remains a mystery to me (in the picture). Radio stations need to be seen operating as well as heard. Look at the success of campaigns like the Glass House or the Radio 2 cafe in Holland. Out of site means definitely out of mind. And these days it means out of business.

Direct download: MN.27.11.1986.StadRadioAmsterdam.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:54pm CEST
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Media Network 26.12.1996 Boxing Day Show

A radio Christmas spent in the Media Network studio way back in 1996. Sounds like we were having fun! I look back on this period as perhaps one of the golden years for Dutch external broadcasting, producing a range of documentary productions in English and Spanish and recording great concerts, both classical and jazz. 

This programme focussed on answering listeners letters on subjects like satellite television in Australia (DW was organising a bouquet of signals) and the major changes to the commercial radio scene in New Zealand. The auction of FM frequencies in the Netherlands and shortwave stations that sold radios were also topics for discussions. RBI archives have, for the most part, been destroyed. Swiss shortwave listeners were quizzed on their listening habits. The 410 ft tower formerly used by AFN has been dynamited out of existence. Capital Radio in South Africa is in trouble. 

Direct download: MN.26.12.1996._XMas_Show.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:00pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 8 of 8

This is the last chapter in the 8 part series telling the story of Radio Netherlands focusing on the English language department. With Pete Myers as your guide we focus on our present decade as it draws to a close. This final episode for was broadcast by several stations, including Radio Netherlands, on December 3rd 1997. It is presented here purely for academic interest. The programme was researched and presented by Pete Myers and Luc Lucas. I supplied some of the recordings from the Media Network archive.

At the end of the 19th century, Oscar Wilde wrote that the only duty we have to history is to re-write it. When this decade is done I wonder what will have changed in the perception of Radio Netherlands in 1990's and the role it played in international broadcasting. The English service signed off in 2012.

Let me draw your attention to the last part of this programme, where we projected what might happen at the start of the new Millennium. In fact, it all came to pass. I still firmly believe that great international broadcasting needs an emotional context in order to bridge the cultural and political barriers. Without it, there doesn't seem much point any more. The days of effective government propaganda are over.

Direct download: RNW_at_50_Part_8_-_Conclusions.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 10:04pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 7 of 8

This is edition 7 of the 8-part documentary series on Radio Netherlands focuses on the 1980's and what it meant to the English language department in particular. It was a decade in which many women producers arrived, breaking through what had been a mainly male dominated radio station. Names such as Veronica Wilson, Dorothy Weirs, Dune Porter, Ginger da Silva, Martha Hawley, Marijke van der Meer and Anne Blair Gould. News to Africa and Asia was regionalised.

The decade started with a coronation in the Netherlands and a speech by US President Reagan about the evil empire. The massive delta-works were completed, making Zeeland less vulnerable to flooding from the North Sea. Taboos were broken in Rembrandt Express and the decade ended with fall of the Berlin Wall.

The series was written and presented by Pete Myers, with research from Luc Lucas and audio contributions from the Media Network archive. This programme was originally broadcast by several stations, including Radio Netherlands, in October 1997. It is released here for academic purposes only. 

Direct download: RNW_at_50_Part_7_-_the_eighties.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 4:59pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 6 of 8

The sixth part of the history of Radio Netherlands was originally broadcast on October 1st 1997. It's presented here for academic interest.

Radio Netherlands got a shock awakening in the seventies from its cocoon of request shows and Holland promotion. Pete Myers opens with words which could equally well apply to 2012. It was the decade of the attacks on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The age of the common man had passed to become the age of the common crook. The US pulled out of Saigon. A Dutch correspondent was one of the last to leave Vietnam. No baggage allowed. Was Dr Spock was the architect of the permissive society? Spock says it was connected to his opposition to the war in Vietnam. ABBA wins the Eurovision Contest in 1974. After some internal opposition, Radio Netherlands added news and introduced current affairs coverage with Afroscene. 

Tom Meyer took over Eddy Startz at the helm of the Happy Station interviewing the Dutch band Shocking Blue. Roger Broadbent, later head of Radio Netherlands English Department (later Radio Australia) says farewell to Fritz Greveling, the fourth DX editor of DX Juke Box. 

Direct download: RNW_at_50_Part_6_-_The_1970s_F.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 9:32pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 5 of 8

This second part of the look at the station in the 1960's was originally broadcast in July 1997. Pete Myers recalls the plans to put a man on the moon before the decade was out, and the Erasmus Prize went to Charlie Chaplin. There are extracts from  the last Happy Station with Eddy Startz and the popular His and Hers Show with Dody and Jerry Cowan. Perhaps you remember  Bed-In for Peace campaign that John Lennon and Yoko Ono launched from their bedroom in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel in March 1969.

Direct download: RNW_at_50_Part_5_-_the_Sixties_B.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 3:05pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 4 of 8

This part four of the eight part story of Radio Netherlands, the Dutch international broadcasting service.This first part of the look at the station in the 1960's was originally broadcast in June 1997. It recalls the opening of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the visit of David Ben Goerion to the Netherlands. Radio Netherlands moves from old studios in the Bothalaan to a purpose built studio complex in the North of Hilversum. Reporter van der Steen does an interview with the architects. Pete Myers doesn't recall seeing many rabbits from the studio window.

We also recall thoughts about the European Common Market, the Berlin wall and the assassination of President Kennedy. The second part of the sixties is covered in programme 5.

The programme was written and presented by Pete Myers with additional research by Luc Lucas. I found the clips with the architects buried in the archives.

Direct download: RNW_at_50_Part_4_-_the_Sixties_A.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 2:54pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 3 of 8

Third part of an eight part series presented by Pete Myers on the history of Radio Netherlands. It was made in connection with the station's 50th anniversary in 1997 and broadcast by several dozen radio stations back then who were in the Radio Netherlands partner network. This part deals with Radio Netherlands coverage of the 1950's. This included the devastating floods that hit Holland in 1953 and the uprising in Hungary in 1956. I'm posting it here for it's academic value. 

Earlier parts can he heard here.

Direct download: RNW_at_50_-_Part_3_-_the_50s.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 5:20pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 2 of 8

This is the second part of an 8 part series broadcast as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Radio Netherlands in March 1997.

This part covers the period 1947-1950. The programme, presented by Pete Myers, includes fragments from Eleanor Roosevelt during her trip to the Netherlands, George Marshall who came up with the famous plan to help European post-war economies, Winston Churchill on European cooperation. There is also an interview that George Sluizer made with Leonard Berstein. Queen Juliana ascends to the throne. The thorny question of Indonesian independence is also part of this programme. 

Direct download: RNW_at_50_Part_2.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 6:00pm CEST
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Radio Netherlands - A Golden Anniversary - Part 1 of 8

This is Part One of an Eight-part series on the history of Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Service. Presented by the late Pete Myers, he was in top form when this was recorded.

This is probably the most comprehensive audio compilation of what was achieved in the first 50 years of the Dutch external radio broadcaster. The series was recorded in November 1996 and broadcast in February 1997. It contains the voices and sound fragments from Guillermo Marconi, PCJ-tune "Happy Station"  and Eddy Startz, Radio Oranje , Radio Herrijzend Nederland, Lou de Jong, Henk van den Broek, (the station's first Director General), hr. Van Dulken, (the first Head of the English department), Joop Acda (Director General in 1980's), Bert Steinkamp (Programme Director), Lodewijk Bouwens (Director from 1994) and myself, Jonathan Marks (Director of Programmes 1992-2003).

I was talking back then about the need for Radio Netherlands to modernise and embrace new technology including the Internet. I was also concerned that the reason for international broadcasting was about to change - and that we were not moving fast enough to address the "why".  In the end, they didn't  - so these recordings lasted longer than the station!

About the host

Pete Myers made his name in international broadcasting on the BBC African Service in the 1960's, and at Radio Netherlands as the host and producer of the Afroscene, Mainstream Asia, Asiascan, as well as countless documentaries. There is a tribute programme to him on this site.

Pete wrote the series together with translator and researcher Luc Lucas. They used material from the Radio Netherlands sound archives, as well as recordings that I found in the Media Network broadcast collection.

From the Independent Obituary, written by Mike Popham.

Pete Myers, broadcaster: born Bangalore, India 17 April 1939; died Utrecht, The Netherlands 15 December 1998

Pete Myer's decision to leave the BBC while at the height of his popularity robbed listeners to the African Service and what is now the World Service of one of the most innovative and magnetic broadcasters to grace the international airwaves.

In the mid-1960s, as the first presenter of the African Service's controversially revamped breakfast programme, Good Morning Africa, Myers was an immediate hit with the huge new audience which had just been opened up by the mass-marketing of cheap transistor radios and, particularly in West Africa, by the start of the BBC's Atlantic relay station on Ascension Island. Within months, he was being accorded pop-star treatment whenever he arrived on tours to meet his fans in person.

Pete Myers was born in 1939 in Bangalore of Anglo-Indian parents but as he grew older enjoyed shrouding his origins in mystery. Consequently, and much to his delight, few people knew whether he was a Latin American, or an exotic blend of English, German, Jewish, Lebanese and Chinese. His father had in fact worked on the Indian railways.

Myers's feel for Africa resulted from his arrival in Ghana in 1957, around the time of independence. His broadcasting career began unexpectedly in Accra when he was 17. He had got to know the presenter of a jazz programme who allowed him to listen in the studio while the show was being broadcast. Then came the day when the presenter remembered, just as he was about to go on air, that he had left his script at home. Dashing out of the building to retrieve it, he was knocked down and killed. The panic-stricken producer had no choice but to ask the teenage Myers to take over.

Myers did so with such natural assurance that after five years he became Ghana's top music DJ and radio personality, and a favourite of the country's president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Away from the microphone, Myers pursued a parallel career as one of the founders of what subsequently became Ghana's National Theatre. During the Congo crisis, he and his companions risked their lives entertaining UN troops in Katanga. As Myers like to recount, the high spots of his thespian activity were taking the part of Elvis Presley in a musical called Pick Me a Paw-paw and playing Hamlet in Moscow at Nkrumah's behest.

Leaving Accra for London in the mid-1960s, he was snapped up to become the presenter of the BBC's Good Morning Africa. In stark contrast to what had gone before, his resonant baritone and slick mid-Atlantic informality soon made him a household name throughout the African continent.

A year or so later, while increasing his workload at Bush House, he became one of the founding presenters of Radio 1's Late Night Extra. But with a restricted playlist, and without the freedom to indulge his sometimes anarchic sense of humour, he failed to make the same impression on his domestic listeners. However, at the beginning of the 1970s, as a result of his spectacular success with African audiences, Myers was entrusted with transforming Good Morning Africa into a flagship breakfast show for the world.

He presented The Morning Show, with its mixture of pop, politics and personalities, four days a week, and at the weekends hosted PM, his own show-biz interview programme. His treatment of celebrities like Peggy Lee, Shirley Bassey and Ingrid Bergman - his favourite - heralded that of Michael Parkinson on BBC TV. Myers was thrown by Dame Edna Everage, for once impersonated across the microphone by a dapper Barry Humphries in suit, monocle and trilby.

Having broken the mould of broadcasting at Bush House, Myers felt he needed a change of scene and went to Lebanon to become the manager and resident impresario of a nightclub, the Crazy Horse Saloon. Unfortunately, he arrived just before the outbreak of the civil war.

Bombed out of Beirut, he returned to London to find that The Morning Show had been relaunched as Network Africa and a new presenter, Hilton Fyle from Sierra Leone, had taken his place. Through ex-colleagues, he found a job opening Radio Nederland, in Hilversum. From 1976 onwards, he produced and presented hundreds of programmes in the Asian Service (Mainstream Asia, Asiascan), African Service (Afroscene) as well as the general English department. He eventually took over the helm of one of its most popular programmes, Happy Station.

Pete Myers last visited London in 1987 for the 30th-anniversary recreation of the original Radio 1 group photograph on the steps of All Souls', Langham Place.

 

 
Direct download: RNW_at_50_-_Part_1.mp3
Category:Radio Netherlands Specials -- posted at: 1:55pm CEST
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Thanks for your support in 2012.

Welcome to this site. It is pure nostalgia about the era of international broadcasting (mainly radio) from 1918-2000. I would argue that many of the issues discussed in these programmes (such as digital broadcasting, jamming, political clandestines, vintage radio collection, hate media) are still very relevant today. And we have a habit of ignoring the past as being outdated because we're often obsessed by the new and unknown. And as a creative person, my biggest fear is to be trapped by routine. 

There are more than 120 hours of high quality MP3's on this site. All are free to download since they were made for public distribution over shortwave through the Dutch International Service, Radio Netherlands.

Please enjoy. I would love to hear your reaction, perhaps you remember hearing the first airing of these programmes on shortwave? Or perhaps you have been asked to do a student project on political broadcasting? You can either put comments in below or go to my switchboard for more details of other blogs and activities that I'm doing at the moment. 

Some of you are curious as to who is listening. November 2012 was another good listening month. We had more than 3917 downloads, which I think is pretty amazing since this material is unashamedly specialist. The dismantling of Radio Netherlands Bonaire relay station and the Media Wars series were the toppers this past month. 

Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:49am CEST
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