Media Network Vintage Vault 2016 - 2017 (media network archives)
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.17.1987.Nederhorst Revisited

Nederhorst den Berg used to be the centre for the Netherlands Radio Control Service, the government department responsible for monitoring the airwaves. Part of their job was investigating interference complaints - the other part was monitoring the spectrum for pirates and clandestine stations (read spies). Several of the staff were listeners to Media Network, and so we accepted an invitation to have a look round. The photo shows the monitoring station at the height of its importance, in the 1950's. 

Direct download: MN.17.08.1987.Nederhorstinterference.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:41pm CEST

MN.30.10.1987. ITU Telecom 87

The Geneva based International Telecommunication Union used to organize huge telecom exhibitions at the PalExpo in Geneva. They were enormous technology showcases, mainly aimed at government officials. International broadcasters used to attend, mainly to lobby for satellite frequencies and spectrum space in other parts of the dial. I tried to liven it up with a musical box....  

Direct download: MN.30.10.1987.ITU.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:20pm CEST

MN.13.05.1993.Radio Havana

This was a news edition of the programme. Astra 1C is safely launched from French Guiana. The American Forces Antarctica is rare catch a on 6012. There is no need for it any more so it may not come back on the air. NSB Radio Tampa is still on shortwave in Japan with business information. We investigate the mystery about Radio Niege in France. Australian Forces are broadcasting to Somalia. They have switched from using transmitters in the Cox Penninsula and switched to military USB transmitters. Arthur Cushen reports hearing WFLA on 25 Mhz. This is a studio to transmitter link. VOA Sao Tome is testing on mediumwave. And we did an interview with Radio Havana Cuba's DX editor and chief engineer Arnie Coro about changes coming to the Cuban international broadcaster.  

Direct download: MN.13.05.1993.Cuba.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:52pm CEST

MN. LatinAmericanMontage Special

Just found a cassette of Argentinian and Chilean radio stations taken off the air in 1981/1982. It was sent in by a Media Network listener while we were covering the Falkands crisis and I asked if anyone had recordings of the Argentine stations. This cassette starts with the official sign-on of RAE, Buenos Aires, and includes a longer extract of the clandestine station nicknamed by the Brits as "Argentine Annie". In the 1980's few stations operated 24 hours a day and one of the delights of long distance listening on shortwave was hearing stations in Latin America start and end the broadcast day. They were usually over the top, hyped to the extreme to match the 10 thousand watts of power they were using the transmit. The recording ends with the sign-on of LRA-36, Rado Nacional Arc├íngel San Gabriel, Base Esperanza in Antarctica as heard in 1982. The radio station broadcasts on 15476 kHz on shortwave and 97.6 MHz for FM.. Radio National Archangel Gabriel is the southernmost international radio station and the first to broadcast from the Antarctic.

Direct download: MN.bothsidesoftheandesmontage1982.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:24pm CEST

Memories of a Great Friend and Radio Specialist - Lou Josephs

Very sad to learn that my colleague and friend, Lou Josephs, has passed away much too soon. He died after a short illness at 6:13 am Sunday July 10th 2016 at a house on Merritt Island, Florida close to his beloved Cape Canaveral. He was 65. My condolences to his life-long partner Susan Koonin who was by his side. There will be funeral in Washington DC on Wednesday July 13th.

Jim Cutler and Vasily Strelnikov sent their thoughts and best wishes when they knew he was ill. I delved into this Media Network archive to pick some of the contributions which stick in my memory - but it is a fraction of what Lou contributed behind the scenes. 

Lou was one of the first Media Network listeners in the 1980's to step forward and help us develop the programme into a serious media magazine on Radio Netherlands. He made hundreds of contributions to the programme over a period of 15 years, including this great portrait of commercial international broadcaster WNYW, New York. That documentary is one of the most popular editions in the current archive.


I think you'll agree that was Lou at his finest. Some of the other recollections about WNYW are also still online.

From Radio Specialist to Internet Expert

I first got to know Lou when he worked as a programme director at music station WROR in Boston. He was using very advanced audience research methods to understand the music mix that his audience wanted - and it made the station a market leader in an era when FM stations had big breakfast talent (Joe and Andy I seem to recall). Lou was always ahead of the game, got out of radio when automation took over, and then moved to Washington DC to work for one of the first US Internet companies. But he never lost his interest in broadcasting - championing on-line listening.


As others have pointed out, the Media Network programme in 1992 was actually a remake of a profile Lou originally made in 1985. As a kid living in New York, Lou got a Saturday job working at WNYW, Radio New York Worldwide and (thankfully) made some unique off the air studio recordings,



Lou's first love was space - he was an authority on all the missions and found ways to follow launches from the early days. He was delighted at the success of the NASA Juno Jupiter mission and was hoping to witness the SpaceX launch this week.


Lou's second love was radio and in my Skype conversations with him over the last few days,  I've been reminiscing about how his predictions about digital AM, on-line audio and satellite television were spot on. I know of few other people who were so well read on the global media, yet willing to share their knowledge and expertise with friends and colleagues around the world. And he competed with our Australian propagation specialist Mike Bird knowing his California wines like no other.


Lou was not on Facebook or other social media platforms. But over the last few days, I did manage to pass on greetings from those who reacted to an earlier post on FB. Susan says those thoughts made him so happy. So long, Lou, and thanks for your being a great friend to many people around the world.


Other tributes from former MN contributors:


Many best wishes came in over the last few days, all of which were read to him by Susan. This included: 

Victor Goonetilleke in Sri Lanka writes: I enjoyed the clever jingles he made but also the many contributions to Media Network on changes to digital radio. I was happy to meet him in Washington DC after an SWLFEST and Lou helped me fulfill a teenage DX dream as I listened to VOA and JFKs final rites in 1963; To visit the Eternal Flame at Arlington National Cemetery. Lou took me there and then gave me a fantastic tour of DC. We always remember great friends like that with great affection. It is friends like Lou who make the hobby (?) of DXing, SWLing so fine..the highlight is not only in the signals that come through sitting alone in your shack. Take care Lou and all the very best my friend.


Tom Sundstrom in New Jersey: I am very sorry to hear of Lou's illness and I hope he recovers quickly. Lou and I often exchanged phone calls and notes while we were both associated with MN. The MN work was fun and interesting. I can't believe so many years have intervened. Space interests me too; the JUNO precision orbit insertion was bloody amazing!


Richard Cuff: I remember Lou joining us for an SWL Fest in Pennsylvania in the mid-2000s, where he presented a great retrospective on WRUL / WNYW, the commercial shortwave station with its heyday in the 1960s. And, of course, I remember him very well from Media Network. Lou, hope you get well soon!


John Figliozzi: Lou, I too recall with great fondness the presentation you gave at the Winter SWL Fest now several years ago about WNYW--Radio New York Worldwide. It was one of the first shortwave stations I tuned in on my then brand new Heathkit GR-54 receiver. I listened to the station regularly and it was great to experience such a thorough history and background of the station that only you were able to provide. It was clear that we shared a love for that broadcaster. It was great to meet you then and to link a face with a voice that I heard regularly on Radio Netherlands' Media Network. I am sorry to hear of your health issues and hope that this small message of support can help in some tiny but significant and ultimately successful way. Godspeed.



Direct download: loujosephstributeJuly10th.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:20pm CEST

MN.24.09.1992.Firato News Show

We visit the 1992 FIRATO, one of the last public audio/video fairs to be held in Amsterdam. 131,000 turned up to see widescreen televisions. The analogue MAC system is running into trouble. Sony demonstrates a MiniDisc but fakes the demo. Grundig will expand its range of Satellit receivers. Bob Grove says there will be a slight delay to the SW-100 communications receiver. This is a 100% US product. There also working on a spectrum display unit. Julius Hermans has some tuning tips. Steve Whitt has a guide for ICF2001 owners. BASICCODE is to be discontinued alongside (Hobby)Scoop.  Lou Josephs explains how stations are using databases for customer marketing. (Not bad for 1992). NAB Superradio is the most expensive piece of garbage we’ve ever seen. David Hill dropped by our studios to explain the future of Radio Australia. Victor Goonetilleke reports that SLBC is testing to North America. We discuss why Iran might be interested in building a relay station in Sri Lanka.

Direct download: MN.24.09.1992Firato.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:41pm CEST


This edition of the programme from 1992 has news that Kuwait has started up 2 250kW transmitters, BBC World Service television to Asia has been spotted in the clear. Then we reexamine the war of words across the Straits of Taiwan. We look at stations like Radio Democracy. We also examine the rise and fall of the Christian Science Monitor World Service in Boston. Includes clips from the World Monitor channel. BBC is expanding its Pay TV service to Africa. CNN has also appeared on Astra. Lou Josephs reports that several MW frequencies are being blocked with English transmissions from Havana. Voice of Europe has also been testing. Mike Bird wraps up with propagation. 

Direct download: MN.16.04.1992.China.Taiwan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:40pm CEST


Sections of this programme were recorded on a train heading for Harwich-Hook of Holland. We start with the news from BBC's Peter Udell that they are starting to feed radio as well as TV signals on the satellite. Spain will build a relay station in Costa Rica. Philips and Dixons have launched a Get into SW campaign at 60 stores. Sony reworks Tony Hancock's Radio sketch. Andy Sennitt has been to see the Cable-Sat exhibition in Brighton but was disappointed. The UK is also planning to extend its marine broadcasting offences act from 3 to 12 miles offshore. Britain has published a Green Paper on Broadcasting. Roger Tidy reports on the views of the community radio lobby. Carl Josephs reports on the data signals being sent over 200 kHz longwave to switch domestic electricity meters between a high and low tariff. 

Direct download: MN.12.06.1987.TidyLondon.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:39pm CEST


The late Dave Rosenthal was a regular contributor to the Media Network programme in the 90's. He was fascinated by the sun and propagation - as well as being a US airforce pilot. What a great friend he was. In this programme he reviews a new specialist book about the subject. Then we go through the new Radio Netherlands summer transmission schedule in English (remember this is pre-Internet!). Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing Kashmir on 6300 kHz. And there's a report on the Kosuth radio network from Hungary about some strange observations. 

Direct download: MN.12.03.1992.RosenthalonProp.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:37pm CEST


This programme from 1992 starts with the news that Radio Netherlands board of governors has approved relays of its programmes via transmitters in the Former Soviet Union. Broadcasts to Asia should have improved reception quality. BBC World Service had fire-alarm at Bush House. BBC will also hire airtime in Russia. DW likewise. We review the Sony ICFSW15. Nick Meanwell is the new presentation manager at Radio Netherlands, ex BRMB. Jeff White is on the line to report Radio Recovery, to serve those affected by Hurricane Andrew. 

Direct download: MN.10.09.1992.ICFSW15.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:36pm CEST


Radio Netherlands starts feeding radio stations in Latin America and the Caribbean with a satellite signal. We profile the first commercial radio station in Bulgaria which has just started up; Radio Aura. A listener in Gwent brings up the start of TV Marti. We test the Lowe HF150 communications receiver in some depth. Radio Australia is talking about a television service.  

Direct download: MN.09.04.1992.Bonairelink.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:35pm CEST

MN.23.12.1998. XmasMyersTribute

This was a sad week - presenter Pete Myers had passed away the week before. This programme included a great tribute from Victor Goonetilleke. We made a full tribute to Pete in a programme called A Talent to Amuse which is also archived on this site.

But the programme also included news about media changes in Iraq. And a clandestine station, Voice of the Tamil Tiger is a new AM broadcasting station being heard in Sri Lanka. We also look at the possible link with London based IBC.  Radio Napa in Cyprus is linking with several local stations around Europe for a Christmas special. Peter Walsh in Australia on the future of radio. Andy Sennitt is working on the Real Radio Ezine and came on permanent staff at Radio Netherlands. Media Network's Christmas Quiz wants you to tell us what you like. My son, Christopher who was 9 years old at the time did the intros this time.  Fun times.... Picture shows Pete Myers with Dheera Sujan and Maggie Ayre.

Direct download: MN.23.12.1998.Myerstribute.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:48pm CEST

MN.18.12.1997. LatinAmerica

I personally think the old Media Network was at its best when it mixed documentary features with informed reports from the network of media enthusiasts around the globe. We built all kinds of conversations about our shared passion for international broadcasting and searching for signals between "DC and daylight." This was a typical show from December 1997, which this time featured a new station in Buenos Aires.

Stay tuned to this podcast channel, because news is coming about the return of Media Network in 2016. I am personally intrigued to find out what happened since we reported all this. You heard it here first.

Direct download: MN.18.12.1997.LatinAmericaFeature.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:36pm CEST

MN.06.04.1988. DXing Indonesia

This programme from April 1988 was a based on my personal trip to Indonesia. I took a shortwave radio and a Walkman Pro on my holidays, making tapes of the local broadcasts off-air to compile this travelogue. I'm glad these recordings have survived because you couldn't hear most of it on shortwave. I recall the Voice of Indonesia kept re-using tape, with the result that the print-through from previous broadcasts was clearly audible. Interested in a copy of DXing Indonesia? Leave a message in the comments section.

Direct download: MN.06.04.1988.IndonesiaExpedition.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:08pm CEST

MN.06.08.1981. Pacific broadcast Indonesian Special

A year after I joined Radio Netherlands, I remember making a feature on the different kinds of music you could hear on Indonesian radio stations. Thousands of stations were operating on the lower shortwave bands in those days, which meant the signal would often spill over to other parts of world. Victor Goonetilleke would often report hearing stations, but also Dan Robinson on the US East Coast. I got tape back from some of the stations in the RRI network and compiled the feature you can hear in this release. In fact this was a one-off repeat broadcast via Bonaire to the Pacific. There had been a transmission failure during the original broadcast, and we got letters asking to hear it again. The answer was to do the second of the two Pacific broadcasts live. So that explains why I sign-off the transmission at the end. I wonder if there is interest in posting the brochure "DXing Indonesia" which I still have?

Direct download: MN.06.08.1981.PacificIndonesiaSpecial.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:01pm CEST


Welcome. I'm Jonathan Marks. If this is the first time you've visited this blog, then I'm glad you dropped by! As you may know, I currently work with all kinds of high-tech startups and scale-ups in many parts of Europe, but especially in the Eindhoven region. I can frequently be found at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, now home to more than 140 extremely interesting companies. I'm particularly fascinated because this region is where international broadcasting started in Europe and where the long-range properties of shortwave radio were first discovered in 1926/1927.

Reliving Mainstream broadcast heritage

Nearly six years ago, in early February 2010, I began an on-line experiment with podcasting to understand how the distribution system works and see whether we could rebuild an audience. We wanted to recreate a place to listen to vintage editions of the Media Network programme as broadcast on short-wave by Radio Netherlands in the period 1981-2000. It is over 35 years since the Media Network was launched as the name of the media show on Radio Netherlands, building on the rich heritage of programmes that went before it.

We ran on the shortwave wireless from May 7th 1981 until the end of October 2000 with more than 1000 editions of the show. Many of the features are gradually making their way onto the website as a celebration of international broadcasting's second Golden Age.

Radio Netherlands no longer exists as a radio station in English in the way that we knew it. (They signed off at the end of June 2012 as documented on this site). The RN Classical Music station was around for a short while after, but that too had been yanked from the Interwebs. Join me in raising a glass to the great days of analogue adventures!

I release between 6 and 8 vintage Media Network's a month, as time permits. We have now reached more than 538,845 downloads, numbers being boosted by interest in the programmes about China and several documentaries about propaganda, during the Second World War and later.

First of its kind

Media Network was one of the first international communications magazines of its time. I hosted and produced the programme, but a lot of the content was made by a network of volunteer monitors, reporters and researchers located all over the globe. Diana Janssen also joined me as co-host during the last 5 years of the programme. She made a considerable contribution to the programme. 

I kept copies of most of the programmes, especially those that dealt with specific issues or were connected to current events in that period. Since leaving Radio Netherlands in 2003, I have gradually digitized the tapes as part of my research into international broadcasting and where it might go after shortwave. Personally, I find it amazing to relive this era, especially as most of it was pre-Web, pre-Skype, pre-YouTube, pre-email, when most people thought twice about picking up the phone to call a radio station in another country. There is also a lot to be learned from what worked and what failed. Too many recent media ventures could have learned a lot from those who went before them. 

I am always interested in your reactions, especially from people who may be discovering this material for the first time. It will encourage me to post more. Looking at the site stats, it would seem that around 13% of the subscribers are downloading via iTunes. The rest do so directly from the site or using 3rd party apps. Please tell friends about the vault and encourage them to subscribe. 

There are also radio related videos which I made more recently over on my video vault.

Finding a show 

If you want to see what has been put up since February 2010, click on the Media Network Archives  blue button on the right and all the editions will be listed. Clicking on a particular month shows the editions uploaded that month. You can also subscribe in iTunes by searching for "Media Network Vintage". As each "new" edition is published, it will download automatically to your MP3-player of choice. I personally find the Downcast app to be the best for IOS. 

Listening Figures

The statistics show that most people download the shows through this site directly or through Facebook. As of the end of December 2015, the most popular programmes have been those on Wartime Deception, Radio London (offshore station and the train), WNYW Tribute, the Giant MN Jingle collection and the RNI Libya programme. Note that programmes are now archived under the months in which they were published. I know some of the material here is niche stuff to many broadcasters - but I also know that people interested in international communications and broadcasting are very passionate people. Because of the politics, it provided a constant wave of stories. I also believe that we developed one of the first collaborative formats on international radio, where individuals could do some detective work, report their results, and share experiences with those with a similar passion.

Recent remarks on Facebook and Linked-in have generated all kinds of reactions including a request to share some statistics

Here are the stats for 2015. When I post series of programmes, the number of monthly downloads goes up considerably. The peak in July 2015 was nearly 80,000 downloads in one month which I think is pretty amazing considering the age of this material and the fact that it was never intended for a mainstream audience.

Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 3:52pm CEST

MN.25.12.1997 Christmas Special

The feature producers at Radio Netherlands were always given the task of making extended pre-recorded Christmas and New Years Day programmes because there were no current affairs magazines like Newsline aired on those days. So Media Network suddenly became 46 minutes long. I'm glad I found this Christmas Day show from 1997 in time for Christmas 2015. It includes a feature about offshore radio. You will hear the voices of Jim Cutler, Lou Josephs, Vasily Strelinikov, Andy Sennitt, Bryan Clarke, Esther van Pluym, Willemien Groot, Ray Anderson et al, Victor Goonetilleke, Katherine Farnon and Mike Bird. Please don't write to those addresses or call the answerline. Although it sounds fresh, this is time travel back to 18 years ago.  Christmas was always a special time at Radio Netherlands, especially for kids of staff and freelancers. The visit of Sinterklaas a few weeks before at the start of December was always a highlight. Wherever you are this year and whatever you celebrate, I wish you peace, happiness and joy.  

Direct download: MN.25.12.1997.XMAS_SPECIAL.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:23am CEST

MN.16.03.1995.Benidorm & BVN

This edition of Media Network includes details of Radio Netherlands summer transmission schedule, an interview with the late Joop Heintz about the project together with Radio Benidorm and Director General Lodewijk Bouwens on the setting up of the BVN Television service. I see that BVN is finally streaming its service online for viewers outside the Benelux, though I am not sure why they are using a rather old-fashioned Flash-based player.

Direct download: MN.16.03.1995.Benidorm.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:25pm CEST

MN.26.11.1981 Live Asian Special

In 1981 we experimented with live special editions of Media Network directed to South Asia. There was a lot of mail coming in from India and Sri Lanka (mainly postcards) which we couldn't handle in the regular show. It was always a balance too - we were talking about technology that was not readily available in South Asia. But the feedback we got was that was an excellent reason to listen. This programme is 34 years old - from an era when phone calls were very expensive and mail sometimes took up to 3 months to arrive in Hilversum. 

Direct download: MN.26.11.1981.asianspecial.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:19pm CEST

MN.02.07.1981. BBC Cuts & 2EA

This early edition of the Media Network programme has details of proposed cuts at BBC World Service with a call to Douglas Muggeridge, the Director General. There was a feature on ethnic stations like 2EA in Sydney and short-term holiday stations in New Zealand. 

Direct download: MN.02.07.1981.2EA_Ethnic.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:01pm CEST

MN.10.06.1995 Live from the Broadcast Museum

In June 1995 we decided to borrow some airtime from Robert Chesal and broadcast a live programme from the Netherlands broadcasting museum. The premises were on the South side of Hilversum on the Oude Amerfoortse Weg 121 in what looked like a warehouse in those days. This was a decade before they moved to brand new premises on the Media Park, although much of the collection of old equipment didn't move with them. Since it was 60 years of the Dutch transmission authority NOZEMA we put on a ham radio station from the broadcast museum, in line with similar experiments we did on the Flevo polder in 1985. The shortwave transmitter site still stands on the Flevo polder, and Peter Veenendaal has posted a lovely video of the silent transmitter site which is now owned by the Dutch Ministry of Defence. We're told it is a backup system in case satellites fail or get hacked. One thing about analogue shortwave radio, it is difficult to block.

This programme was one of several live segments Jeff Clayborn and I did during the day marking 100 years of radio, 60 years of NOZEMA, and 10 years of Flevo. Check out the helicopter sequence when they put a new antenna on top of the Lopik TV Tower. 

Direct download: MN.10.06.1995._NOZEMA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:36pm CEST

MN.01.01.1998 New Year Receiver Survey

This extended edition of Media Network broadcast on January 1st 1998 contains an extensive international survey on the state of the international shortwave receiver market. This was probably the peak of the shortwave listening period, when more than 60 receivers were available on the market. This was probably the most extensive survey we ever completed. Presenters Jonathan Marks and Diana Janssen. Enjoy! 

Direct download: MN.01.01.1998.New_Year_Receivers.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:51pm CEST

MN.02.09.1982 Firato 82

There used to be an annual hi-fi and TV exhibition at the RAI Amsterdam called FIRATO. It gradually died out as organisers realized that going to see pop stars dancing on stages next to gadgets didn't sell any more gadgets. The acoustics in the vast halls bear no resemblance to what it sounded like at home. When we visited in 1982, the show was already passed its peak. I was always surprised that a new shortwave radio was often shown there, though seldom on the market until months after. Back then DAT was the big story. In 2015, the only show in Europe left is IFA in Berlin, but I seriously wonder for how much longer. 

Direct download: MN.02.09.1982.firato.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:56pm CEST

MN.09.09.1982. Malta and More

More editions of Media Network from a very turbulent year -1982. Malta and Libya had entered into a Friendship and Cooperation Treaty, in response to repeated overtures by Gaddafi for a closer, more formal union between the two countries; and, for a brief period, Arabic had become a compulsory subject in Maltese secondary schools. German international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, was forced to shut down its relay station on the island under the Foreign Interference Act. Mike Barraclough gives a plus for the popular Reading Meetings for SWLs. Voice of Greece and RTBF Belgium are being heard well at the moment. Tony Jones (pictured) gives us a feature about the return to shortwave of several Bolivian stations. We speak with George Otis, who has built the religious station the Voice of Hope that we're hearing on the 49-metre band. Professor John Campbell reports that some clandestine radio stations are replying to listeners letters. Radio Venceremos has an address in Mexico City. Richard Ginbey has an item about Radio Biko. Strange things happening in Swaziland, following the death of their long-reigning Monarch.    

Direct download: MN.09.09.1982.Malta.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:44pm CEST

MN.23.09.1982.Botswana and Seychelles

We started with an interview with Patrick Humphreys (pictured) who explains the demise of Voices magazine - an attempt to start a listening guide about the programmes on international broadcasting. Financially, it turns out to have been a disaster. This edition includes a profile by Richard Ginbey of broadcasting in Botswana as it was in 1982. There was also an oblique reference to the World and Rhodesia programme which the BBC broadcast from a transmitter site in Botswana. It would be 1995 before we discovered exactly what BBC's Douglas Muggeridge was talking about. We rang up the charming Andrew Piper, programme organiser at the BBC who explained about new series they were launching. We interview an author on new propagation theories. Victor Goonetilleke rounds out the edition with recordings he made of a coup in the Seychelles. 

Direct download: MN.23.09.1982.Botwana.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:38pm CEST

MN.02.12.1982 Angola Profile

Paul Ballister reports from London on a Polish clandestine radio station supporting the Solidarity movement which has popped up in London. And Radio 4 Today's programme has been talking about pirates.

Media Network was a labour of love for all those who contributed on a regular basis. Richard Ginbey, at that time a media enthusiast working in broadcasting in South Africa, compiled a series of radio portraits using his own extensive recordings taken off air. I think that they are probably some of the only surviving recordings of radio stations in places like Angola. Also, check out of the Interval signal database.

This edition also contains an interview with Michiel Schaay, the Dutch author and publisher of many utility books. 

Direct download: MN.02.12.1982angola.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:35pm CEST


The programme starts with news of a clandestine radio station, Radio Solidarity, broadcasting within Poland. The country is under marshall law. And BFBS has started a special programme of requests to the UK Task Force heading to the Falklands. In fact, those broadcasts from BBC Ascension Island were monitored in Buenos Aires and later used by an Argentine propaganda station to address the same UK troops. Sarah Kennedy was giving out names so the Argentines knew who was on which ship. We also asked the BBC World Service about their extended coverage in English and Spanish to Latin America. Beverley Wakeham has news on the fate of the Radio New Zealand shortwave service. And we solved the mystery of that strange Spanish language radio station reported back on April 1st. 

Direct download: MN.06.05.1982.BFBSFALKPoland.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:30pm CEST


Remember the TV ship Odelia broadcasting off the Israeli coast? Neither did I until I revisited this edition of Media Network and an interview done by Kas Van Iersel. There was also the on-going discussions about Radio Marti to Cuba. We talk with the late Willem Bos about Citizen's Band Radio on 27 MHz. He's set up a magazine to serve this new audience of radio enthusiasts. Dennis Powell has news about clandestine broadcasting in Afghanistan. Radio Caroline is promising to return over Easter. No mediumwave frequency has been announced. Arthur Cushen reports on Australian pirates. And we conclude with a unique recording of a strange Spanish language radio station. Professor John Campbell had some interesting theories.

Direct download: MN.01.04.1982.aprilfool.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:26pm CEST

MN.11.03.1982.Mozambique and Afghanistan

We start this edition with news about clandestine radio stations being set up to broadcast to Afghanistan, currently occupied by Soviet troops. Dennis Powell reports on concerns in the US about vastly expanded Cuban mediumwave stations and possible interference. Andy Sennitt reports about the legendary format change for WABC in New York to all talk. We phoned RTV Hong Kong to find out why they were going on shortwave for a brief period. Richard Ginbey presents Part 2 of his illustrated feature on radio in Mozambique. Those recordings of Radio Free Mozambique must be unique these days. No-one else has kept this material. Sadly, Richard was killed in a car accident. Not sure what happened to his cassette collection of those radio recordings. Dan Robinson has been hearing Radio Portugal and Radio Singapore with very strong signals.  

Direct download: MN.11.03.1982.mozambique.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:21pm CEST

MN.23.03.1984 SW Commercial Radio & Philips AC739

This edition of the programme involved phoning more than 9 different shortwave stations in the USA as non-government licences to broadcast internationally were dished out by the FCC, following the lead of WRNO in New Orleans. We also tested the Philips AC739, one of the few car radio shortwave receivers with more than the 49 metre band on them. I guess there are probably no surviving examples for this set left on the planet. I remember using it for a couple of years, but it was incredibly fiddly to change stations. Not recommended while driving.

Direct download: MN.23.03.1984.transatlanticspecial.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 2:40pm CEST

MN.15.03.1984.CFRB Toronto

From time to time we mentioned the low-power Canadian shortwave relays on the Media Network programme. These transmissions were originally intended for listeners in the far North of Canada as a way of hearing some of the commercial stations. But when part of the antenna came down in the storm, the owners decided to switch to an omnidirectional pattern. CFRB/CFRX in Toronto was featured in this 1984 edition of Media Network. The photo is of Harold Sellers, one of the founders of the Ontario DX Association, who still responds to reception reports for those lucky enough to hear the station. In the end, these stations lasted longer than Radio Canada International.

Direct download: MN.15.03.1984.CFRB.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:32pm CEST

MN.21.07.1984 200th show including RNTC

In July 2004 I decided it was time to use the summer to reorganise the Media Network archive. By that time, there were around 180 shows which I had made, plus several DX Juke Box specials from previous presenters. We were also getting correspondence from listeners in North America asking us to cover home computers and do less on antennas and build-your-own equipment like aerial preselectors. We decided to revamp the consumer guides like the Receiver Shopping List. Looking back on it, these were probably some of the most comprehensive publications of their day.  

This edition was also the first time we profiled the Radio Netherlands Training Centre. Started in 1969 in combination with Philips, the training centre became very important to Radio Netherlands strategy in Africa and Latin America. I find it fascinating to listen to the philosophy of Jaap Swart, the centre's first managing director because I think it still applies more than 30 years later. 

Direct download: MN.21.07.1984200thRNTC.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:55am CEST

MN.16.02.1984 Australia

This programme includes news of the rebuild of Radio Australia's Darwin transmission facility, following damage by Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Barry Seeber reports that 3 250 kW are being tested. The English language broadcasts will be relayed by Darwin once the station is fully operational.

We also had news of shortwave tests from KFBS Saipan. They were using a 100 kW transmitter. Both Arthur Cushen and Victor Goonetilleke report good reception. The BBC has announced plans for a satellite TV service. Sinclair computing is interested in producing receivers for the home. We review the ICR-71 communications receiver - and the fact that the radio has 32 memories!

Bill Whitacre reports from Washington DC that stations in Honduras are being heard well on the US East Coast. Following a tip from Roger Tidy, we picked up Laser 729 kHz in Hilversum is back on the air.  

Direct download: MN.16.02.1984.Australia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:21am CEST

MN.15.11.1984. WMLK & Gordon Bennett

This edition of the programme looked at WMLK, a religious radio station in Bethel, PA USA. YouTube now has video from the transmission site we're talking about in the programme. We also talked to UK listener Gordon Bennett about receiver specifications and the lack of standards in measuring radio sets. Pete Myers reports on the FRG-8800 from Yaesu. It can be controlled by a home computer. The ICOM ICR-71 interface has disappointed some. We review the book Harrier at War by Alfred Price about the radio side to the Falklands Conflict in 1982. This book looks at electronic warfare and the huge amount of money spent on deliberate interference. Richard Ginbey has a Mediaview feature on broadcasting in Rwanda. As usual it has some rather unique off-air recordings. We talk with Nevil Gray, who used to work with Deutsche Welle about the "Publicity in Africa project" which turned out to be a tax dodge. Andy Sennitt has news about King of Hope in Lebanon. Radio Netherlands new transmitters on the Flevo polder are testing on 9895 kHz next week.  

Direct download: MN.15.11.1984.bennett.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:30am CEST

MN.19.04.1984. ICOM ICR71E

These days it would be daft to broadcast long technical reviews of radio receivers over the radio. But in 1984, there were few sources of independent information about the performance of shortwave radios. So we used to send out lots of copies of our on-air reviews. This edition contains our summary of the ICOM-ICR71E, a communications receiver which was around until the mid-90's. 

Direct download: MN.19.04.1984.ICR71E.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:09am CEST

MN.14.06.1984.EDXC Stockholm

I remember this trip to Stockholm as though it were yesterday. I tried to cover this DX convention at Radio Sweden by editing interviews in my hotel room and then rushing back to Swedish radio to feed the result down a line to Hilversum so it could be cut into the broadcast tape of Media Network. I underestimated the complexity of the process, especially as I was used to fine editing with a razor blade and the UHER reel to reel tape was so thin it curled on the splicing block.

The European DX Council meetings were mainly social gatherings - I rather enjoyed them. This was the first time I met Media Network contributor Victor Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka. I remember him shivering as we all waited for the boat trip on a summer evening. The programme also contains contributions from Professor John Campbell and Richard Ginbey has some unique recordings from Radio Cameroon. 

Direct download: MN.14.06.1984.EDXC.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:05am CEST

MN.08.03.1984: Propagation & Radio Truth

This is a news edition of the show. The Catholic church is increasing its power in the light of the success of HCJB in Quito Ecuador. There is a new transmitter site being built in Sveio, Norway. (Note there is video on YouTube of the antenna being dismantled in 2012). Jim Vastenhoud talks about the possible move to Single Sideband. There's a promo for the Receiver Shopping List Edition 7 because 18 new receivers have come onto the world market. African Media Network reporter Richard Ginbey has noted Angola is now operating 24 hours a day. A lot of stations are drifting down the dial. We look at Radio Truth, a station beaming from South Africa towards Zimbabwe. We ask what's happened to Radio Database International and talk to Larry Magne.  

Direct download: MN.08.03.1984.propagation.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:01am CEST

MN.11.11.1982 Clandestine Special - Radio Taiwan and China

KYOI will get its transmitter delivered to Saipan next week. We called Charles Brigg at the FCC who explained that KNLS Alaska still has to do environmental tests in Alaska before it can begin broadcasting over to the North Pole. And in Florida, a new station is preparing to go on the air. We look at the rather solemn coverage on Radio Moscow of the death of Leonid Brezhnev. There seems to be a new clandestine station in Libya. Elsewhere in this clandestine special, Professor John Campbell looks at trends in Italy and Ireland from unlicensed stations - and we look at the war of words between China and Taiwan. 

Direct download: MN.11.11.1982.Taiwan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:58pm CEST

MN.10.05.1984. Sky Channel & Laser 558

We start the programme with several reports from listeners that Laser Radio is back from the North Sea, this time on a new frequency of 558 kHz. They are advertising for DJ's from a PO Box address in Grand Central Station, New York City. Prof John Campbell has been investigating The Voice of National Resistance of Mozambique which has been closed down as part of an agreement between South Africa and Mozambique. Radio Free Suriname is still on the air on 6850 kHz. There seem to be several unofficial FM pirates operating in German from Belgium near Aachen. Bob Chaundy reports on the Philips D7456 cassette radio and 9 band shortwave receiver. There is African Media News with Richard Ginbey who reports on stations from Southern Africa. 

There are problems with a Japanese DBS satellite. Radio Japan's signal to their Gabon relay station has been interrupted for several days. Radio Sweden has changed its interval signal. Iraq has started using 13 MHz. Sky Channel's Patrick Cox explains why it has taken so long to get their signal distributed in the Netherlands.

Direct download: MN.10.05.1984.skychannel.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:55pm CEST

MN.07.06.1984 Radio Camilo Cienfuegos

We're hearing a clandestine station from Central America, targeting Cuban troops serving in Angola and Ethiopia. Called Radio Camilo Cienfuegos, it is named after the Cuban revolutionary who fought alongside Castro. But, in fact, this station has an anti-Castro message. Laser Radio 558 has started broadcasting from the North Sea. We learn some of the details about the ship being used. The crew is entirely American. The supplies come from Spain. Richard Ginbey's Mediaview looks at Equatorial Guinea. There are some rather unique off-air clips of Radio Malabo in his report. Prof John Campbell passes on some interesting anecdotes about the letters coming out from that country. We announced a computer program for propagation. Hans Bakhuizen explains how this has been developed. This is called MICROMUF has been derived, which shows the max and minimum usable frequency.  Arthur Cushen reports that DX meetings are popular in the South Pacific.  

Direct download: MN.07.06.1984.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:52pm CEST

MN.05.04.1984 NHK Radio Japan Plans

By the mid-eighties, many international broadcasters were locked in a power race as the shortwave broadcast bands were full with the output of some 100 different countries. We looked at the plans that NHK Radio Japan were examining to strengthen their overseas signal. Because although Japan was the main country producing shortwave radios, it's commitment to shortwave broadcasting has always been somewhat meagre. Even today (2015) Japan broadcaster NHK is not allowed by law to make extensive use of the Internet - due to some archaic law designed to protect publishers. For some reason, NHK only used phone line quality connections to its shortwave relay stations for many years. That made music sound particularly awful. 

This program also contains a rare interview with Nico Bogaart, who was Director General at Radio Netherlands for a very short period. Much liked for his kindness and approachability, he sadly took his own life a short time after taking office. 

Direct download: MN.05.04.1984.Japan.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:46pm CEST

MN.03.05.1984 Spy Intruders & UBIX

It wasn't often that the spy number stations strayed into the part of the dial reserved for ham radio operators. But on this occasion, radio amateurs in Germany and Austria were furious when one of the espionage senders did just that. They did some direction finding and pinpointed the signal as coming from Czechoslovakia. We also look at the clandestine transmissions beaming across the straits of Florida. Robert Horvitz asked the organisers of Radio Abdala what was holding up their return to the airwaves. Dennis Powell has news about a new type of rating system to find out what motorists are listening to. It is called Audiscan.  Universal Shortwave has set up an electronic bulletin board and Dxers Directory. Fred Osterman explains. Remember this is about 10 years before the Internet was opened up to the general public. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1984..mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:43pm CEST

MN.01.03.1984. Satellite TV Plans & Offshore News

This edition of the programme explores the state of international satellite television. At that time, a commercial company in Amsterdam called Holland on Satellite was hiring airtime in the US for Holland promotion. But the BBC's Managing Director of External Broadcasting, Douglas Muggeridge, floated an idea of a TV service of sorts - sounded to me more like "radio with pictures".  Interesting that he didn't see any future for direct- satellite delivered radio programmes. Radio France Internationale has been building a relay station in French Guyana. They are expanding their output in foreign languages, especially in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. There is also offshore radio news: Laser 730 signs off temporarily. Kas Van Iersel has been talking with the founder of Radio Paradise.

Direct download: MN.01.03.1984.Muggeridge.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:39pm CEST

MN.28.07.1983. Inside Story Radio Bloemendaal et al

This is the third and final part of one of the first sound portraits I made of Dutch broadcasting in the 1980's. It includes a profile of Radio Bloemendaal, which has retained its mediumwave licence to broadcast on 1116 kHz since it was granted by the Dutch government in 1924. A lot has changed in Hilversum since this programme series was made, but Radio Bloemendaal is still on the air every Sunday from 09-21 hrs local Dutch time (+1 UTC in winter, +2 in summer) and every Tuesday from 12-1330 hrs. The transmitter belongs to the Protestantse Gemeente van Bloemendaal en Overveen, formerly the Dutch reformed church of Bloemendaal. Their broadcasts also go out over the Internet

For reference, the other two parts are here.

Inside Story Part 1

Inside Story Part 2

Thanks to 80'sTimeTunnel on Twitter for pointing out that this edition was missing. Fixed now. More suggestions welcome.

Direct download: MN.28.07.1983.Insidestory3.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:06pm CEST

MN.05.01.1995 News Update

This news edition of the programme kicks off the new year 1995 with a range of new items. This was a good example of a news show without a particular theme, based on a "crowd sourced" pile of news items. Victor Goonetilleke is hearing a new station from Ethiopia Radio Fanaa,  DW has announced the old Radio Berlin International transmitter site in Nauen is to be upgraded. Voice of America announces major expansion and record audiences. Pete Costello has launched a catalogue of hypertext links. All the mediumwave stations in Austria have signed off for the last time. 

Direct download: MN.05.01.1995.Newsupdate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:50pm CEST

MN.11.04.1985 Micromuf and Yaesu FRG-8800

This early Media Network is more than 30 years old, so be gentle when listening to it. Lou Josephs reports from Boston on how radio stations across the US have united to play the USA for Africa single, we are the world. Voice of America is expanding both its output and audience according to VOA Director designate Gene Pell. A VOA relay station is being planned for Belize. We discuss the use of a computer interfaces to control a shortwave radio. The TROS has published plans for the Sinclair ZX-80. Rainer Lichte has published plans to connect to a Apple IIe to a shortwave radio.

The 10th West Coast computer fair has just closed. Our reporter talked to computer critic John C. Dvorak, now a host on the popular No Agenda Show podcast and on the TWIT network. John actually had some interesting thoughts about why the home computer was never going to make it. Richard Ginbey had several interesting clips from the airwaves in his African Media report. John Campbell also has clandestine radio news, including a follow-up to the book Secret Warfare.  

Direct download: MN.11.04.1985.micromuf.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:37pm CEST

MN.03.04.1997. Receiver Market Changes

This edition looks at the changes to the receiver market in the 400-700 US dollar price range. Gilfer Shortwave and 47th Street Photo have both gone out of business. Rick Lansing in Colorado has a problem with a time signal station in Caracas, Venezuela. There is a mystery on 1440 kHz. DXers in Finland have been hearing a station on 1440 when RTL closes down. It seems to be broadcasting in Swahili and may be coming from Tanzania. There are major changes to broadcasts from Radio Tirana, Albania. Voice of Mongolia has started using e-mail! Voice of Hope has started broadcasting from Tbilisi. If you want to see new cars being tested, look at the models driving by VOA Greenville, North Carolina transmitter site. Tim Hendel has comments about local radio in the US and the possible threat from satellite radio. Lou Josephs has a survey of changes to international broadcast websites. BBC World Service has cut back on the number of streams and has issues with viewing their site in some browsers. Victor Goonetilleke has news about TWR broadcasting in English on 882 kHz. He is also hearing Angola on 4950 kHz. Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica is making it into South Asia. The first tests from the HAARP facilty have been heard in Europe. Trevor Brook, owner of Radio Fax broadcasting from Ireland, says he is going to the European Court of Law to fight for private shortwave licences in the UK.  

Direct download: MN.03.04.1997._Receiver_Slumps_African_Safari.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:54pm CEST

MN.29.07.1992. Vriezen on Caroline

For many years, Media Network had a shorter version sent to around 150 foreign radio stations for rebroadcast on FM. That worked better than crackly shortwave, although the fading and static added to the magic of distance in different ways. This transcription edition of Media Network features an interview with Radio Netherlands Dutch Service presenter Wim Vriezen, someone who became one of the leading voices on the programme Newsline Europe. One of the best all-round news presenters in the Netherlands.

Direct download: MN.29.07.1992.RadioCarolineVriezen.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:42pm CEST

MN.21.10.1993. Changes DLF & RFE

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet revolution are starting to have an affect on stations serving Eastern Europe. This programme looked at the major changes announced to Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty with budget cuts to staff numbers from 1540 to 705 people. In 1993 the Munich based station had a budget of US$200 million dollars. Services to Afghanistan, were stopped! Melisse Fleming explained they were moving eastwards. Olrich Cip, (in photo), frequency manager at Radio Prague explains the implications of the recent split of the Czechoslovak republic. Wolfgang Pleines at DW has news of changes to Deutschlandfunk. Hans Bakhuizen explains DAB tests about to start in Hilversum and why they are important. Lou Josephs reports that DAB tests are to happen in the US but with their own system. There are problems with the current audio algorhythms. Radio Australia is testing two transmitters from its new facility in Darwin. 

Direct download: MN.21.10.1993.DLF.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:41pm CEST

MN.10.03.1993.Transcription Changes

This transcription version of Media Network was sent to about 150 stations who subscribed to a condensed version of the show. Obviously propagation reports were not relevant, and we were concious that the items had to be less time sensitive. This edition looks at the rise of rebroadcasting activities and distribution challenges facing BBC World Service, Radio Finland, RFE/RL, Radio Netherlands and Radio Austria International. Interesting to listen to this programme 20 years later, and realise that many of the fears expressed by the international stations actually came true. The rise of the gatekeeper has always been the biggest hurdle to the international broadcasters. If only FM radio could travel over the horizon, the scene would have been different. And this is before the convenience and lower costs of digital satellite television made it into a much more effective medium for many countries. 

Direct download: MN.10.03.1993.Transcription.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:39pm CEST

MN.09.10.1997. Stanford Visit to Archimedes

By the mid-nineties, the Internet was starting to interest many people in the communications business. We made trips to Silicon Valley to figure out what was going on and the role played by Stanford University. This is one of those on-location safaris. Diana Janssen and I spent some fascinating days talking to Netscape and various audio companies working on early mp3 players. We also visited Neil G Scott, who was building the Archimedes project on the campus of Stanford University. He later moved everything to Hawaii. He was busy working out alternative interfaces to the mouse. Remember this is two years before Google went public and speech recognition was in very early stages. 

Direct download: MN.09.10.1997.archimedes.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:38pm CEST

MN.09.06.1988 WLW and Asian Ambitions

This edition of the programme starts with an interview with Jim Vastenhoud. He was one of the authors of a fact finding survey to Asia where Radio Netherlands examined possibilities to build a new relay facility in the region and boost it's signal. Vastenhoud explains the reasons for narrowing down the options.

NDXE says it has approached Voice of America in order to hire airtime on a mothballed SW radio facility in Dixon, California. That reminded me of station WLW in Mason, Ohio which was hired by VOA at the outbreak of war. Its famous diamond-shaped antenna mast is still there.

In other news, Sky channel announces a major expansion plan when the Astra satellite launches later this year. Alan Sugar says he will deliver the dish sets for 199 pounds. A US listener travelling in Europe has heard a strange sound which turns out to be a national paging system. Arthur Cushen has been hearing distant stations on mediumwave from a listening post in New Zealand. 

Direct download: MN.09.06.1988.WLW.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:35pm CEST

MN.03.09.1992. Norway & Garden Antennas

This programme carries the news about the launch of Classic FM in the UK and several stations having been recovering from storm damage. Jonathan Marks does a just outside broadcast from his garden, putting several commercial antennas side by side with some off-air examples of what they bring in. (Actually those antennas are still standing 20 years later!) We cross to Oslo Norway to find out the extent of the cutbacks announced at Radio Norway International. There are some rather spectacular videos on YouTube showing the dismantling of the antennas described in this programme. This happened much later. 

Direct download: MN.03.09.1992.NorwayAntennas.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:15pm CEST

MN.03.07.1996. Sony SW600 & Listener Calls

We had just installed a new answerline recorder. Listeners want to know about the Sony SW600, the existance of a portable MP3 player, frequency changes for RNW, Victor has been hearing Radio Miami International - a rare catch in Asia. Voice of the Tamil Tiger being jammed by Sri Lankan authorities. Michel Schmidt wants to know about DAB in Germany and the Netherlands. 1997 will be the year of introduction. We followed the launch of Radio-E, set up to demonstrate digital radio. Radio Netherlands launches a daily email newsletter. The NOS Gender monitoring unit has been closed down.  The Dutch seem to be rather traditional. Only 18% of all experts on TV are women. We got a lot of reaction to our contest. Arthur Cushen recalls a record frost - and excellent mediumwave reception in Invercargill New Zealand.  

Direct download: MN.03.07.1996.Women.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:13pm CEST

Welcome. I'm Jonathan Marks. Glad you dropped by! Thanks for making April a record month for downloads - we had just over 45,600 downloads. Recent remarks on Facebook and Linked-in have generated all kinds of reactions.

This site is a project started nearly five and a half years ago in early February 2010 - an experiment which is so far working well. It is simply a place to listen to vintage editions of the Media Network programme as broadcast on short-wave by Radio Netherlands in the period 1981-2000.

It is near 35 years since the Media Network was launched as the name of the media show on Radio Netherlands, building on the rich heritage of programmes that went before it. We ran on the wireless from May 7th 1981 until October 2000 with more than 1000 editions. Many of the features are gradually making their way onto this website as a celebration of international broadcasting's second Golden Age. Radio Netherlands no longer exists as a radio station in English as we knew it. (They closed at the end of June 2012 as documented on this site). The RN Classical Music station was around for a short while after, but that too had been yanked from the Interwebs.

Join me in raising a glass to the great days of analogue adventures! Yes, you may have seen this page earlier. I keep moving it up the list because otherwise newcomers can't find it. I release between 6 and 8 vintage Media Network's a month, as time permits.  We have now reached more than 283,000 downloads, numbers being boosted by interest in the programmes about Aspidistra, connected with the ending of BBC transmissions via 648 kHz at Orfordness in March 2011.

Media Network was one of the first international communications magazines of its time. I hosted and produced the programme, but a lot of the content was made by a network of volunteer monitors, reporters and researchers located all over the globe. I kept copies of most of the programmes, especially those that dealt with specific issues or were connected to current events in that period. Since leaving Radio Netherlands in 2003, I have been slowly digitizing the tapes as part of my research into international broadcasting and where it might go after shortwave. Personally, I find it amazing to relive this era, especially as most of it was pre-Web, pre-Skype, pre-YouTube, pre-email, when most people thought twice about picking up the phone to call a radio station in another country. There is also a lot to be learned from what worked and what failed. Too many recent media ventures could have learned a lot from those who went before them.

I am always interested in your reactions, especially from people who may be discovering this material for the first time. It will encourage me to post more. Looking at the site stats, it would seem that around 13% of the subscribers are downloading via iTunes. The rest do so directly from the site. Please tell friends about this site and encourage them to subscribe. There are also radio related videos which I made more recently over on my video vault. This podcast publishing system archives editions on a monthly basis, showing only the latest editions on the home page.

Finding a show

If you want to see what has been put up since February 2010, click on the Media Network Archives orange button on the left and all the editions will be listed. You can also subscribe in iTunes by searching for "Media Network Vintage". As each "new" edition is published, it will download automatically to your MP3-player. The statistics show that most people download the shows through this site directly or through Facebook.

As of the end of April 2015, the most popular programmes have been those on wartime deception, Radio London (offshore station and the train), the MN Jingle collection and the RNI Libya programme. Note that programmes are now archived under the months in which they were published. I know some of the material here is niche stuff - but I also know that people interested in international communications and broadcasting are very passionate people. Because of the politics, it provided a constant wave of stories. I also believe that we developed one of the first collaborative formats on international radio, where individuals could do some detective work, report their results, and share experiences with those with a similar passion.

Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:53pm CEST

MN.15.10.1992. Mediaraad Report & RTL Satellite

The programme starts with the voice of the late Paul Holmes, a New Zealand broadcaster who worked at RNW in 1980. I did shifts with him.

International broadcasters usually have friends all over the world, but few in their own country. That's because they don't target their own people - and politicians are often clueless as to what their role is, relying on hearsay. During its life as a broadcaster, Radio Nederland Wereldomroep would regularly become the subject of commissions. One of the most important reports was put together by the Mediaraad (Media Council) in 1992, and triggered a major reorganisation of the station in 1994. 

Trans World Radio has hired airtime from Radio Tirana Albania..unthinkable a few years before. WRTH reports that Radio Czechoslovakia International may shortly change its name again as the country splits in 1993. Marcel Rommerts has problems hearing BBC Radio 1 on 1053 kHz. Russian separatists are jamming a station. Andy Sennitt makes me a cup of tea. Lou Josephs says the new transmitter in Costa Rica from Spanish Foreign Radio is difficult to hear. John Catlett of Radio Luxembourg announces the descision to end the English language programming. 

The programme concludes with an interview with Pat Gowan, G3IOR, who's fascinated by reception of satellites on the wrong side of the Earth. 

Direct download: MN.15.10.1992.mediaraad.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:29pm CEST

MN.27.02.1992. WARC Malaga and Voice of Russia, Moscow

There are rumours in Holland about the start of a second TV service from RTL, to be called RTL-5. Vasily Strelnikov reports from Moscow about the start of the Voice of Russia, and its plans to serve the Russian speakers living in the Ukraine (sic- compare 1992 to 2014).

There was an extensive WARC report from Malaga, Spain. Some important issues remain deadlocked on future expansion on shortwave broadcast bands. Victor Goonetilleke reports that SLBC has started a service to North America. 

Direct download: MN.27.02.1992.WARCMoscow.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:24pm CEST

MN.15.10.1992. Caracol Reportage

We're trying to work out why listeners have not received the latest Radio Netherlands programme schedule On Target from Costa Rica. Typhoon Brian hit Guam but didn't do any damage to station KSDA. Jeff White reports from Bogota profiling Caracol and RCN and their use of international broadcasters. Ken MacHarg reports on other areas where they plan to establish relay facilities. Listeners in Asia are hearing National Unity Radio in Sudan. Richard Measham reports on why it was set up - to counteract the clandestine Radio SPLA. Entrepreneur Lex Harding says he will start Radio 538 before the end of the year. Andy Sennitt of the WRTH has news from the Balkans about transmitters for hire.

Direct download: MN.15.10.1992.Caracol.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:22pm CEST

MN.07.05.1992. VOA Koreas WSHB

This programme starts with a link to Bill Whitacre who reports on the start of a VOA Kurdish language radio service. Bill also explains that VOA has started relays of its programmes from a transmitter in Armenia - something that would have been unthinkable just a few year ago. Marcel Rommerts can hear Spanish Foreign Radio on a new out of band channel. 

The Asian Broadcasting Institute reports on the current war of words between North and South Korea. It includes several recordings. Lou Josephs reports on the financial woes of the Christian Science Monitor. Spanish programmes have suddenly disappeared. 

The programme includes a test of the Grundig Satelliet 700. The set is manufacturerd in Portugal. The set comes with a 32 page instruction manual. It sells at 540 US dollars.

Direct download: MN.07.05.1992.VOAKorea.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:21pm CEST

MN.07.02.1992.Kashmir, Iraq and Andorra

Another listener driven programme. Kanwarjit Sandhu spots a station called the Voice of Free Kashmir. It seems to be a separate station from Azad Kashmir Radio. Victor Goonetilleke reports on his observations from Sri Lanka. He can hear Baghdad on 3980 kHz at 1800 GMT. And terrorists have planted a bomb outside the VOA transmitting station in the Philippines. Richard Measham of BBC Montoring reports that Mother of Battles Radio hasn't been heard since 4th of February. Pete Myers looks at the coverage by CNN of the Gulf War. EBU is worried. It later led to the establishment of Euronews.

The feature today is a look at broadcasting from Andorra. AWR Andorra is off the air and there's a dispute in the courts. Andorra wants to restart its plans for satellite TV broadcasting. Richard Langley reports on plans to cut RCI funds again. Richard Measham reports on Radio Rossi.   

Direct download: MN.07.02.1992.iraqandorra.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:19pm CEST

MN.06.08.1992. Radio Free Asia & Bloopers

We start with receiver news. Yaesu Musen announces a new FRG-800, which is supposed to have better dynamic range than the FRG-8800. Radio Free Europe, TV Marti and Radio Free Asia are under fire from the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Tom Korologos chairs the commission and spoke with us.

It's trash week on Radio Netherlands. So we played a few bloopers from the recording sessions which haven't been aired before.

Tony Barrett has heard a special transmission from HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. 


Direct download: MN.06.08.1992.RadioFreeAsia.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:17pm CEST

MN.05.02.1992.DX Nightmare SRI 5XX

This programme starts with an interval signal contest with a difference. We played 3 signals at the same time, and one of them was backwards. Can you still get them right? Swiss Radio International announced a major change to its transmitter usage - realising that its transmitters inside Switzerland had limited range. This was a significant change for a neutral country. Tim Hendel believes we should rely more Radio Caroline is being rebroadcast by Radio Fax on 6205 kHz, but they are from the archives. 

BBC closes its Daventry SW transmitting station at the end of March 1992. Ham radio operators have an idea. They have gained permission for a celebration station on April 4th and 11th. GB67XX. Bryan Clarke reports on a station in Bougainville on 3880 kHz.

As of the 8th of February, NOS has started D2MAC test transmissions as Bart Kuperus reports. Victor Goonetilleke closes out the programme with tuning tips from Asia.

Direct download: MN.05.02.1992.DXnightmaresri.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:15pm CEST

Mn.04.11.1988.VOA Relay Stations Feature

The tape of this programme has not survived well, so I have only included part of this programme. I think it's interesting because it explains the plans the US had to expand the number of relay stations for Voice of America. It involved major investments in several countries to strengthen America's voice abroad. Remember this is November 1988, more than a decade before the Internet was even a remote possibility as a way of getting audio around the planet. Willis Conover (pictured) was broadcasting jazz programmes from the Voice of America.

Direct download: MN.04.11.1988Voafeature.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:12pm CEST

MN.04.06.1992 Caribbean Bandscan

Media Network was putting the bang back into WorldBand Radio. We begin with news about QSL cards, which I made myself in the Keukenhof. We also look at the challenges some stations have in making a station identifcation. In the UK and Netherlands, many stations started by pushing their mediumwave wavelength. Lou Josephs has been travelling in the Caribbean, where he encountered many satellite fed music stations. Is the culture of the region being affected by all these US music feeds. There is also a clip from Radio Free Grenada which operated on the 19 metre band, set up to relay cricket commentaries to the UK. We also explain the story of Radio Antilles, originally set up by Deutsche Welle. BBC's Caribbean service was very popular in those days - discontinued in 2011.

Direct download: MN.04.06.1992.Caribbean.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 4:11pm CEST

MN.11.07.1990. VOA in Brazil

We started with news about Radio Tirana, VOA Liberia, Spectrum Radio in London has a problem with interference from Radio Caroline. BBC is changing its focus, cancelling Japanese but expanding to Europe.

Part of this programme was recorded in Washington DC at a time when Voice of America broadcast to Brazil and was looking at ways to replace shortwave. SW audiences in Brazil were never large (except in the Amazon) - it's always been dominated by TV. Niels Linquist headed the VOA Brazilian Branch. He believed in finding radio talent rather translators with a written language skill. 

We also talked with Lou Josephs who has been reading a new book about pirate radio in the USA. And we reviewed the DAK Industries MR101 portable radio, which was one of the first cheaper portable digitally-tuned receivers.

Direct download: MN.11.07.1990.VOABrazil.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 8:04pm CEST

MN.26.12.1991. News Mix Finnish Local Radio

This programme had good news about Radio Canada International. Andrew Simon was also investigating commercials on RCI. Radio Denmark is closing its shortwave site, hiring airtime out of Norway instead. Dutch radio is going to make more radio plays. Booklist Edition 12 is out. We find out more about Radio Clarin. Jeff White says the SW transmitter on 11700 kHz is coming back. We also discuss some of the stations targeting Cuba. Professor John Campbell explains why listening in the Pacific is often better in Europe. He notes the end of many Indonesian broadcasters on shortwave. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing AIR’s new Banglore transmitting station just in time for the elections. He also has news about clandestine stations targeting Burma. Listener Kauto Huopio also helped us make a profile of Finnish Local Radio. And DXers have been looking at South Korean clandestine stations broadcasting towards Pyongyang

Direct download: MN.26.12.1991.finland.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:33pm CEST

MN.19.09.1991 Drake R8

A very technical edition of the programme, but then we were never afraid of talking tech on Media Network.

After announcing some frequency changes, we look at the possible use of single sideband (SSB) for shortwave broadcasters. in theory, 2015 should have been the point at which AM could be switched off. In the end, that's probably true, except that it wasn't replaced by SSB. This was before anyone saw the opportunities of the Internet.

Trevor Brook of Radio Fax was completely sceptical. Peter Senger of DW was also realistic. It was all about the availability of receiving equipment.

We did an in-depth on-air review of the Drake R8 and spoke with John Bryant, one the authors of Proceedings 91. This was an excellent collection of in-depth technical articles. A great read. Thomas Witherspoon reported in July 2015 that the Ontario DX Association has published Proceedings electronically. All the books are available on a single CD for $10 from the ODXA if anyone is interested. ( Hope you can still find a CD-ROM player...

Direct download: MN.19.09.1991.DrakeR8.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:32pm CEST

MN.04.07.1991. Sony Car Radio Review

This programme was recorded on location at the HAM-FEST in Friedrichshaven, Southern Germany. We talked to Uwe Bräutigam of the German clubc ADDX about the German BC scene. We’ve seen some stations cease broadcasting in the German language. They heard from many people during the Gulf War. VOA has also resumed a new half hour programme in Germany. We also looked at the various English language services coming out of Yugoslavia. Radio Slovene also appeared with its side of the story. The Receiver NewsDesk. 8 radios are being seen here in Europe for the first time. In the case of Sony ICF-SW55 and the ICFSW-77. The Sony car radio XRU882 also had shortwave coverage. DW was also working on a system to add an inaudible label via medium or shortwave. Peter Senger explains how the system could work. There is also a total eclipse of the sun o July 11th. Dave Rosenthal has been checking into what might happen to shortwave propagation. 

Direct download: MN.04.07.1991.sonycarradio.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:17pm CEST

MN.04.04.1991. RN Pacific Expansion

This news edition covers media developments in Yugoslavia and a group in Canada supporting Croatian independence. Radio Libertas has been using WHRI. Radio For Peace International has a new transmitter on the air on 15030 kHz. Austrian SW Panorama is returning to air after a short hiatus. ELBC is back on the air in Liberia with English news at 0700 on 7275 kHz. Radio Netherlands announces expanded services to the Pacific, adding 0830 UTC. 0930 UTC is also new. Arthur Cushen is dismantling antennas at Shepparton, so European beams will become a thing of the past. Radio Bras carrying the programmes of Radio Beijing has also been logged by Arthur. Satellite dish owners in Latin America have noticed that CNN is scrambling its signal. It turns out the signal was being pirated. They are also experimenting with more Spanish language material from Atlanta. A new cassette with off-air recordings of Brazilian radio stations has been produced. Lou Josephs adds a note about US ham radio operators in space.

Direct download: MN.04.04.1991.pacificexpansion.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:14pm CEST

MN.07.03.1991 Vilnius and Brussels

This was a news edition of the programme which starts with a short survey of English programmes coming out of the Baltic States and the Soviet Union. Radio Vilnius is still being relayed by Russian transmitters. Radio Riga, Latvia is on the air at 2130. Each Monday, Radio Tallinn Estonia is also heard at 2130 UTC on 5925. English programmes have also appeared from Kazakhstan, Radio Alma Ata.

Radio4 International RTBF says they are going off the air. We also tell the story of how Belgian international broadcasting began in Zaire.

Philips and Thomson are cross that high definition standard D2MAC has not got the support of satellite broadcasters like Astra.

A private transmitter called Radio Centrus is operating in Lithuania. The 1991 Soviet Radio tour is being organized by ANARC. Spend a week in Moscow and Leningrad! Wolf Harranth reports that Radio Tirana in Albania is suddenly cutting back.


We look at satellite radio regulations and the story of Intelsat and Tongasat, in what was a Polynesian power play. BBC reports that Radio Kuwait is back on the air. Radio Baghdad has also returned to the air. Gulf Voice Radio is also being heard. Radio Monte Carlo is also being heard in French. The programme ends with the propagation survey from Mike Bird.

Direct download: MN.07.03.1991.VRT.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:11pm CEST

MN.17.01.1991 Profile of Radio Free Europe

Try our national anthem contest, although the closing date was in 1991. Radio Vilnius, Lithuania is calling members of the public to help defend broadcasting house. Radio Riga International, Latvia has now expanded its English language output, twice a week. Peter Walsh in Australia has a question of the Icom ICR-1. Kim Andrew Elliott sends in a bizarre recording of Radio Beijing New Year Staff party. We visit Radio Free Europe, in those days based in Munich, and talked to William Marsh.  He explains how the audiences to shortwave are going down. BBC is now being heard on FM in Czechslovak republic. Peter Herman explains how the RFE’s audience survey’s worked. Interesting that the slogan in those days was "Crusade for Freedom". That has very different overtones now.

Direct download: MN.17.01.1991RFE.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:05pm CEST

MN.21.02.1991. RTL4 and more

This edition includes tuning suggestions from Arthur Cushen – Caribbean Beacon is trying a shortwave relay. Bob Tomalski is delighted that a universal video recorder NVW-1 that will handle PAL and NTSC. But at £2000 it is expensive. Paul Ballster in London has spotted two VOA Europe programmes. So which is the real one? Eric Beauchemin researched a piece on a planned radio station from RTL-4, the new commercial network that grew out of RTL Veronique. Iceland is being heard on shortwave as a result of b ad weather. We also talked to a listening group in Vilnius about the serious situation in Lithuania and why Russia is still relaying programmes. RCI’s funding is still up in the air. Jeff White says that the budget estimates are between 10-13 million Canadian dollars. Atlantic 252 has won a court case about its mast in the Irish country side. And ABC has been criticized for its coverage of the Gulf War. 

Direct download: MN.21.02.1991.RTL4.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 7:00pm CEST

MN.28.02.1991 Free China Broadcasts

This programme looks at the private initiatives beaming into mainland China as a result of events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Now, two years later, the June the 4th Production company has been active from Chicago. We also hear that WYFR is reducing its broadcasts because of a funding challenges. Radio Austria International is resuming transmission of its SW Panorama programme. Sarath Weerakoon reports on what happened as a result of the military coup in Thailand.  

Direct download: MN.28.02.1991.freechina.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:53am CEST

MN.21.11.1991. Century Closes & Radio Caroline

The programme starts with the news that Irelands only commercial radio network Century FM has closed. We analysed why. Herbert Visser called with news that Radio Caroline has not sunk as reported by some mainstream media, but it did lose its anchor and drifted. A special ham radio event is being held in India. Domestic public broadcasting is reacting to a report that no-one is listening to Radio 5 on mediumwave. What has happened to Radio Vilnius in Lithuania? Queensland Australia is being heard in Europe. Andy Sennitt reports that Radio Surinam International has signed off. We do a follow-up on Radio Polonia and recent changes to its focus. And Mark Deutsch says the BBC has time on 17 stations in Poland. 

Direct download: MN.21.11.1991.carolinesinks.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:44am CEST

MN.18.04.1991. Whats up in Jaffna?

This was a news programme in which we looked at DX programmes to replace RCI's DX Digest which has ceased transmission. World of Radio from Glenn Hauser runs via WWCR. And Radio Havana Cuba's Arnie Coro reported his station was doing tests with compatible single sideband. Western media this week have speculated that a new clandestine station called Voice of Free Iraq coming out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is actually backed by the CIA. Richard Measham of BBC Monitoring has details of clandestine stations operating out of Kurdistan. Sarath Weerakoon in Sri Lanka is hearing a new service out of Radio Baghdad which also seems to be aimed at Kurdistan. We hear about a new FM station in Jaffna run by the Tamil Tigers. That part of Sri Lanka at the moment is going through very difficult times, with batteries being banned and no mains electricity being available. BRTN Teletekst reports that Libya has started broadcasts to Eastern Europe with German and Russian being monitored so far. And the Francophone part of Belgium wants to revamp its international radio service in French with a new name. 

Direct download: MN.18.04.1991.srilanka.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:42am CEST

MN.16.05.1991.anniversary contest

This was a news edition of the programme. Kol Israel is planning to cut its shortwave broadcasts in half. We also aired the impossible context presented by voiceover artist Jim Cutler (pictured). The 10th anniversary contest promo later won a gold medal at the New York Radio Awards. We had a barrage of listener complaints - which subsided when we aired a proper contest a few weeks later. Victor Goonetilleke reports a successful convention for DXers in India. The Radio 5 Africa project, a joint project of several Francophone countries, appears to be building momentum. 

Direct download: MN.16.05.1991.anncontest.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:40am CEST

MN.13.06.1991. US Private SW Commercial Scan

There are terrible shortwave conditions at the moment because of solar flares. We looked at new stations, including Radio Northern, the Voice of Oro in Papua New Guinea which is now on the air, as Gordon Darling reports. The BBC has announced that the Daventry transmitter site is to close in 1992. VNG Time signal services will change frequencies. Icelandic National Broadcasting Service has started a new English news broadcast via the phone! The main feature looks at the last 10 years of commercial shortwave broadcasting in the USA. WWCR has sold all of its airtime. Jeff White helped us with the interview with George McClintock of WWCR (transmitter site picture is their current facility). The programme also includes clips from the various stations broadcasting to Cuba. 

Direct download: MN.13.06.1991.USprivate.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:37am CEST

MN.10.01.1991. BFBS to the Gulf

Radio Tirana has stopped using the Internationale and announced some curious changes to its transmissions, including taking adverts! Vasily Strelnikov on Radio Moscow says hallo to Radio Netherlands and wants a programme schedule! Radio Moscow is running syndicated programmes from Australia and has also made some drastic cutbacks to its English service. There has been a 10% cutback last year. BBC Monitoring has spotted a new station called Voice of Free Iraq. It mimics the real Radio Baghdad in its use of music. Paraguay is being heard on 11945 kHz with just 500 watts. Richard Ginbey reports that test transmissions have started from BBC's Lesotho site. Namibia Broadcasting Corporation has new station Idents, and to go on shortwave. Radio Truth targeting Zimbabwe has closed down. Rudy Van Dalen, reports hearing the Lincolnshire Poacher numbers station out of Cyprus. Clandestine station Agent 847 is also jammed. An anti-Sudanese clandestine station is also being blocked with a very old fashioned jamming sound. Radio France Internationale has been given the go ahead for a major transmitter upgrade. BFBS Middle East has started shortwave broadcasts plus operating an FM station out of al-jubail, a city in Northern-Eastern Saudi Arabia. NHK has started a morning broadcast in Urdu via Ekala, Sri Lanka. The BBC may have to close it's Hong Kong relay station. It is 41 degrees in Melbourne, where Mike Bird has the propagation news. 

Direct download: MN.10.01.1991.bfbstogulf.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:27am CEST

MN.05.03.1992 News Updates

A listener-powered edition of the programme, with a range of updates from the shortwave bands. What power is being used by Radio Luxembourg on 15 MHz? The answer is 10 kW. Julius Hermans has been listening to Radio Ala, and Radio Dublin is back on 6910 kHz. There is a shortage of books about HF propagation. Dave Rosenthal has been reviewing what's available. Radio Netherlands English broadcasts are expanding to the Pacific. So why isn't QSL and DX in the Oxford English Dictionary. Victor Goonetilleke has been following broadcasts from Kashmir. A Purple Hair story from Hungary. In 1995 experiments with digital radio experiments (DAB) are due to start in the Netherlands. Arthur Cushen has media news updates from Tonga. The shortwave transmitter on 5030 kHz has been moved to a new building. Radio Free Bougainville is verifying reports via Sam Voron. 

Direct download: MN.05.03.1992.schedule.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:24am CEST

MN.03.05.1991. BFBS London train profile

This was one of the few broadcasts to originate from a train. I was on my way back from London after meeting Richard Astbury, of British Forces Broadcasting Service based at that time in studios next to Paddington Station. He explained why they had started shortwave broacasts to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf. Andy Sennitt was trying to get a FIDO bulletin board working in Amsterdam and a company in Bussum wanted to use broadcast networks in Holland for scrambled distribution of programmes in the middle of the night. Bert Steinkamp and Andrew Taussig explain what international broadcasters are trying to do to improve coverage of their own continent. Trevor Brook of Surrey Electronics has critical remarks about Dynamic Amplitude Modulation. 

Direct download: MN.03.05.1991.BFBSLondon.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:21am CEST

MN.13.04.1989 Luxembourg

We covered developments at RTL Luxembourg several times towards the end of the 1980's as RTL phased out several mediumwave services (like the great 208) and invested in a station in Ireland (Atlantic 252). In this programme there's an extensive update of the scene in 1989, and we ponder on the problem of explaining wavelengths and frequencies to listeners. With the arrival of satellite, tuning information was becoming ever more complex. 

Direct download: MN.13.04.1989.luxembourgSES.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 12:02am CEST

MN.12.07.1994. AFN Berlin closedown

This edition of the programme includes the news that the American Forces Radio relay in Berlin is to sign-off. We also reported on the death of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, as reported by Radio Pyongyang. BBC Caversham reports that Rwanda may be returning to shortwave, which we assumed was the transmitter site built by Deutsche Welle in Kigali. VOA is looking to expand their FM distribution in Africa. 

Direct download: MN.12.07.1994.AFNBerlin.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:52pm CEST

MN.09.06.1988 Asian Relay Station

At one time, Radio Netherlands was planning to build a third relay station to improve its shortwave radio coverage into South Asia and China. the late Bert Steinkamp and Jim Vastenhoud went on a fact finding mission to look at possible sites. Jim Vastenhoud came into the Media Network studio to explain the findings. In the end, the BBC found the money to build a station in Thailand - and Radio Netherlands did not.

Direct download: MN.09.06.1988.TransmitterThailand.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:40pm CEST

MN.30.11.1995. Quito Radio Profile

Twenty years ago, I was part of a Radio Netherlands delegation to a conference in Quito, Ecuador on the future of radio, especially community radio. At that time many local radio stations were finding it difficult to compete with the new giant (international) music networks delivering slickly presented music programmes via satellite. They were buying up local FM licenses across the continent. Most of this programme was recorded in Quito and includes several off-air montages of stations broadcasting at that time. Enjoy.

Direct download: MN.30.11.1995.quito.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:33pm CEST


This was the first of several visits we made to the VERON amateur radio news station, which operated at that time out of a tower in the Sikkens (now AKZO) paint factory in Sassenheim. You could see the antennas as you passed by the factory on the A44 motorway. The news service from the VERON still exists, and can also be followed on line via Youtube. Again, remember this is all 10 years before the Internet was invented. So the only way to exchange news about ham radio was by radio or in a printed bulletin. The VERON did both. 

Direct download: MN.20.01.1983.PAOAA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:31pm CEST

MN.29.09.1983 AM STEREO

Here we are 32 years after this programme was made and some people still hope that AM stereo is going to work. Of course, AM Stereo was analogue technology. In the meantime, several attempts have been made to digitize the AM broadcast dial with technologies like HDRadio and DRM. Frankly, I think the conclusions we drew in 1983 apply now. It isn't going to happen. But it is still fun to discuss why. Enjoy this vintage edition of Media Network. 

Direct download: MN.29.09.1983.AMSTEREO.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:29pm CEST

MN.13.01.1983 Malta

I remember Malta on my radio map because Deutsche Welle built a relay station for North Africa on the island, which was later nationalised. Malta started getting closer to both Algeria and Libyan. In this programme we interviewed the new station manager of the "Radio Mediterranean". The aim was to give Malta a voice in the world.

In the official story of the Broadcasting Authority of Malta, there's a passage indicating that these government agreements for stations like DW and Radio Mediterranean were set up directly by the Maltese government. 

Although the contractual relationship that existed between the Broadcasting Authority and the Rediffusion were also operative with the Telemalta Corporation (when the latter became responsible through its broadcasting division, Xandir Malta) the same cannot be said for those stations which operated under direct licence from the Government.  At the start of 1979 these included the Central Mediterranean Relay Station; the British Forces Broadcasting Service; the Deutsche Welle Relay Station; TiveMalta Ltd.; the Voice of Friendship and Solidarity (later Voice of the Mediterranean operating under joint management provided by the Maltese and Libyan Governments); and Radio Mediterranean (a joint venture between the Maltese and Algerian Governments) – all these were not contracted by the Authority

Thanks to Mario J Cachi for the photo of Valetta. Never been to Malta myself , but one day...

Direct download: MN.13.01.1983.MALTA.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:25pm CEST

MN African Safari 1981 Capital Radio

This is a very early Media Network magazine documentary about broadcasting in Southern Africa, when apartheid South Africa had stations operating from the various "homelands". We had no internet, only cassettes - and the link to the late Frits Greveling who had presented and produced the previous DX show to this one, DX Juke Box. He returned to Johannesburg to work for several South African radio stations. Although the style is totally out of date, the information about broadcasting in Southern Africa in the early 1980's remains fascinating. 

I note that there's a site dedicated to the memory of Capital 604 Transkei. You can find most of the jingles they used here.

You may also find the video interview with David Smith to be interesting. He also had adventures with Capital Radio which can be found here.  

Direct download: AfricanSafari1981Part2.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 11:21pm CEST

MN.06.01.1983 Dutch UNIFIL Radio

In 1983, Media Network broadcast a series of features on forces broadcasting. At the time, the Dutch were part of a UN peace keeping mission in Lebanon. It was also the era of FM pirate radio stations in many cities in the Netherlands. So, infact, Dutch forces radio had its origins as a pirate radio station. Infact the story of the Dutch forces is now brilliantly told at the new Dutch National Military Museum, which opened on December 13th 2014 on the grounds of the former American Air Force base in Soesterberg. 

Direct download: MN.06.01.1983UNIFIL.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:55pm CEST

MN.05.05.1983 BFBS Profile

In 1983, Media Network ran a series of thematic features on Forces Broadcasting. This was the final part, which featured the British Forces Broadcasting Service. Apart from an FM transmitter in the South of the Netherlands, BFBS was heard widely on the cable radio systems in many cities across the Netherlands. FM signals could be picked up from neighbouring Germany by the aerials on the top of the cable head ends. But propagation was not reliable enough to hear FM signals from the UK. So, no BBC Radio 4. Remember this is 5 years before we saw the launch of SKY television. The photo is of BFBS in Hamburg in 1946, which is referred to in the interview. 

Direct download: MN.05.05.1983.BFBS.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:51pm CEST

MN.26.08.1987. Nicaragua & New Radios in Berlin

This was a new edition of the programme covering the strange move by President Reagan to use clandestine Radio Liberation broadcasting from El Salvador. VOA Spanish is much better received in the target area of Nicaragua. We also learned that Radio France Internationale has decided against putting a relay station in Sri Lanka, looking at the island of Reunion instead (later dropped when they discovered the island is prone to very high winds). Mark Deutsch at BBC World Service explains their expansion plans for satellite coverage of Europe. People are not watching the new Superchannel service because there are no subtitles on the programmes. Radio Lebanon has been off the air because of a heat wave in Beirut. We also covered the Berlin Audio and Video Fair. Sony has launched a radio with a fax receiver built in SR6768. We learn about EuroMac and why Philips believes DAT will not take off as a consumer tape standard. Wolf Harranth reports on an Italian station broadcasting to Slovenia. Enthusiasts in the Netherlands have discovered a way to make free international calls via Denmark.

Direct download: MN.26.08.1987.NicaraguaSuperchannel.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:14pm CEST

MN.23.08.2000 Offshore Radio Revivals

A nice summer edition of Media Network in which Diana and I looked at a revival of Radio Caroline in the Netherlands, organised by Sietse Brouwer from Harlingen. Land-based pirate stations have been meeting in London. Bob Tomalski reports on one of the biggest booze-ups in 35 years. Bob laments that the old passion has gone. Audio quality is not what it used be. Bryan Clark reports from New Zealand on the reappearance of American Forces stations on shortwave. And that includes Diego Garcia. We also looked at the future of radio design, highlighting some work going on at the University of Twente.

Direct download: MN.23.08.2000.Pirates.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 9:48am CEST

MN.08.04.1988 The Indonesian Journey

This was a documentary I made about Indonesian radio broadcasting, based on a holiday trip I took in 1988. I recall taking an ICF2001D and a Walkman Professional so as to capture sound effects of the train journey. 

The tape of this documentary did not survive well - some print through because the tape was in poor condition and not complete. But I have processed it so it probably sounds better than it did on shortwave back then. The sounds of RRI in English, especially on the local stations was something out of a living radio museum. 


Direct download: MN.08.04.1988.Indonesiarepaired.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 6:00pm CEST

MN.01.09.1983. Zimbabwe & Satellites

This was an early attempt to do longer investigative features. We start the programme looking at the challenges facing the satellite broadcast industry (remember this is well before the launch of SKY television). Richard Ginbey also did a marathon overview of the history of broadcasting in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. I think the off-air recordings are rather unique - not sure that much has survived. He put this togther using cassette tape recorders - must have taken ages. And the programme ends with tuning suggestions from Andy Sennitt and Arthur Cushen. 

Direct download: MN.01.09.1983.Zimbabwe.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 5:33pm CEST

MN.25.09.1987. Guatemalan Mysteries

This programme has a strong Latin American flavour starting with the news of test transmissions from Radio For Peace International in Costa Rica. Sky Channel in the UK is not making money yet but has no intention of stopping. Some broadcasters are experimenting with AM stereo. Don Rhodes in Australia reports that Deutsche Welle is going to start testing the new 22 metre shortwave band. A special shortwave broadcast is on the air from a station in Syria during the Mediterraean Games. 

We then announced the Radio Netherlands SSB Feeder Challenged. RNW has to bridge a four-week gap in the satellite feed to Madagascar. A special SSB transmitter was hired at a transmitter site at Ruislede, Belgium.

The first edition of Passport to World Band Radio is reviewed with Harry Kliphuis. 

Christian Zettl from Austria is travelling in Central America and has been investigating some strange political clandestine radio stations in Guatemala, including one with a connection to a recording by Nat King Cole.

Direct download: MN.25.09.1987.Guatemala.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:48pm CEST

MN.06.10.1987. Superconductors & Lightning

Jonathan gets a tube of "on-air" radio toothpaste. China is being relayed by Swiss Radio International, some transmissions being well heard. We started to spot strong signals from Radio Beijing but not coming from Europe. Dave Rosenthal explains Electrometeors and why lightning can make shortwave radios suddenly insensitive. Carefully tuned outdoor antennas can "blow-up" the front end of a portable radio. In fact, the Sony ICF2001D was particularly suspectible. A lightning arrestor is a bit of a misnomer.

We review the RFB40L shortwave portable from Panasonic.

We also report on superconductor research displayed at Telecom 87 in Geneva by AT&T.

Direct download: MN.06.10.1987.superconductors.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:46pm CEST

MN.08.01.1987. Riyadh & Scanners

A New Year has dawned but without the expected reduction in Soviet jamming of Western broadcasters. West German television airs the wrong new year speech from Chancellor Kohl. The Dutch have been measuring devices for radio interference levels, banning two devices because of poor shielding. We also talk to the UK engineers who had to shield a football stadium in Saudi Arabia, because of a nearby 1.2 Megawatt mediumwave transmission tower. Solar specialist Mike Bird reviews 1986 from a radio reception point of view.

Out in the Iraqi desert, French transmitter manufacturer Thomson is to build 16 high power transmitters. We look at satellite radio with the BBC's Jonathan Stott.

On 6009 kHz a clandestine radio station in Libya has been making some mistakes. Radio Truth, a clandestine in South Africa targeting Zimbabwe, has made a clever frequency change. Radio West in The Hague, a station of 18 people, has just started operations. Willem Bos has been testing a special device for scanner enthusiasts.   

Direct download: MN.08.01.1987.riyadh.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:30pm CEST

MN.02.07.1987. Iranian Clandestines

We start this programme with news of a two-in-one RS-10 and RS-11 amateur radio satellite launched by the Russians. Pat Gowan reports. Radio Moscow has started a summer programme for the tourists to the capital. Radio Danubius in Budapest is doing something similar. Poland objects to a new Israeli relay station for VOA (never built). India is upgrading its time signal station. Philips says its solved the problem of poor resolution on LCD displays. We also discuss radio broadcast radiation and it's danger to humans. Wim van Amstel explains. 

We also discuss clandestine broadcasting to Iran, using transmitters in Iraq. We solve the mystery of the number station contest, and Anne Blair Gould reviews the Guide to Broadcasting Stations by Philip Darrington.

The programme concludes with Arthur Cushen's DX report including a very clear recording of Radio Luxembourg signing off in English on 49 metres. 

Direct download: MN.02.07.1987.Monster.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:18pm CEST

MN.02.10.1987. Europe No 1 & Citizen's Radio

We're postponing a series of features until the satellite link with Madagascar is resorted after maintenance.

Europe-1, a commercial network in France, has been heard on a Radio Caribbean on 1210 kHz 05 UTC. It seems it's the start of a major expansion plan.

We tell the story of Atlantic 252, which apparently was an idea from Luxembourg. More than 4 million pounds has been invested in the project. Radio Tara was the project name.

We explain the Stickers on the Move contest.  Radio Nacional Venezuela is being heard more regularly.

Paris KISS-FM has started a station Tahiti. We were clearly intrigued at how the signal got to the Pacific. Radio Finland has started using a new higher power transmitter on 963 kHz. 

Japanese cordless phones are being monitored on shortwave radios in India because they are so poorly made. We take the situation to its illogical conclusions. Ben Kobb explains that Citizens Band radio didn't start on 27 MHz but infact began in 1947 in 460 MHz. 

Direct download: MN.02.10.1987.europe1.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 10:10pm CEST

MN.04.09.1987. The US Emergency Broadcast System

This edition of the programme discusses how the US Emergency Broadcast System works. This was a predecessor to what is now called the Emergency Alert System. Benn Kobb elaborates and Frank Lucia explains how President Truman gave the go-ahead for the development of the CONELRAD system. Gary Burgeois also explains what could go wrong at 9.33 every Saturday morning. It sounds like stations then were better prepared than today. 

The programme also discusses changes to the domestic shortwave service in Australia. Andy Sennitt explains that Nigeria has discontinued some of its shortwave services and the location of Radio Sovereign. Bob Tomalski (known as Roger Tate in those days) reports on DAT digital recorders. 

The tape of this programme didn't survive as well as others, which explains the slightly higher level of hiss than other editions at the start of the programme. But it quickly gets better. 

Direct download: MN.04.09.1987.emergency.mp3
Category:Media Network Archives -- posted at: 1:09pm CEST