Media Network will be closing on Saturday 24 March 2012

On Saturday, March 24, RNW’s Andy Sennitt will be closing down his Media Network blog. SWLing Post readers will recognize the name “Media Network” as I have referenced it many times as the source of news regarding international broadcasting. Andy posted the following message to his readers:

Important announcement to all our readers
March 8th, 2012 – 20:32 UTC by Andy Sennitt.
This Weblog will be closing on Saturday 24 March 2012.

I shall be taking early retirement from RNW at the end of April. Due to the new mandate of RNW effective on 1 January 2013, it will no longer be possible for the organisation to provide coverage of international media news.

In April I shall be writing a series of articles reflecting on the changes in international broadcasting since I started appearing on the Media Network radio show in 1981, and looking ahead to the coming decade. The articles will be published on the RNW English website.

If you have any memories of RNW or other international broadcasters that you would like to share, I will be pleased to hear from you at and I’ll try to include them in the articles.

The Weblog contains over 15,000 media news items published since October 2003. It will remain online as a searchable archive. To prevent spam, it will no longer be possible to add comments, but nearly 14,000 comments already received will still be available.

Andy Sennitt

Our best wishes to Andy in his early retirement and hopes that we will not completely lose him from the media scene. Andy, keep in touch!

RNW posts photos of ABB transmitter at Madagascar relay station

(Source: Media Network Newsletter)

Media Network Newsletter
By Andy Sennitt
22 December 2011

Several people asked us if we had any photos of the first ABB transmitter to go into service at our Madagascar relay station. The transmitter, formerly used by Radio Sweden at the Hörby transmitter site, is in regular service in place of an old Philips transmitter following successful tests a few weeks ago. I have published some photos in the Weblog.

These photos are all © Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Radio World looks into the future of digital shortwave radio

(Source: Radio World Online)

“DRM is not seen as a profitable line for the major manufacturers,” said Sennitt. “A few smaller manufacturers have produced DRM receivers, but the unit cost is still too high, and there simply aren’t enough DRM transmissions audible at any one location to stimulate consumer demand. It’s a classic chicken and egg situation — which comes first, the transmissions or the receivers? The broadcasters and the receiver manufacturers are each waiting for the other to move first.”

Read the full article at Radio World Online.

BBC World Service annual broadcast to Antarctica

(Thanks to Andy Sennitt for bringing this to my attention.)

This year, it’s difficult for me appreciate the annual tradition of broadcasting to the 43 scientists and technicians at the British Antarctic Survey in light of the recent BBC World Service cuts. Still, the broadcast is quirky, nostalgic and certainly DX worth catching.

Here are the times/frequencies courtesy of RNW Media Network:

This half-hour programme will be on the air at 2130-2200 UTC tomorrow (Tuesday 21 June) on the following shortwave frequencies:

  • 5950 kHz  Skelton 300 kW beam 180 degrees
  • 7295 kHz  Rampisham 500 kW  beam 180 degrees
  • 7360 kHz  Ascension 250 kW beam 207 degrees
  • 9850 kHz  Skelton 300 kW beam 180 degrees

Read RNW Media Network’s full article on the broadcast here.

Radio World: Whatever Happened to Shortwave Radio?

For all its transmission expense and audio problems, analog shortwave radio has one clear advantage over the Internet and domestic radio/TV: It cannot be easily blocked — even when states try to disrupt its signals using jamming transmitters.

This is one of the best articles I’ve read recently about the state of shortwave broadcasting. It features authorities on the subject like Andy Sennitt, Larry Magne and Kim Elliott. Moreover, it highlights the historical appeal and the challenges shortwave broadcasts face in the internet age. Click here to read the full article on Radio World’s website.