Radio France: mediumwave and longwave broadcasts to end

Maison_de_la_Radio_ParisMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Marc, who sends this news from France Inter.

The article (in French) states that Radio France, in a cost-cutting measure, will end mediumwave transmissions by the end of this year (2015) and longwave transmissions by the end of 2016. It’s estimated that this will save 13 million Euros annually.

Though I haven’t listened to Radio France on mediumwave since I actually lived in France, I have been attempting to log France Inter on long wave from here in the States. This will certainly motivate me to put them in the books as soon as conditions are favorable.

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21 thoughts on “Radio France: mediumwave and longwave broadcasts to end

  1. Pingback: Dean: An intrepid young DXer! | The SWLing Post

  2. Neil

    Sad to hear this. I was a daily listener to France Info 711 kHz in my car. I could get this reasonably well in south Wales during the day. France Bleu Paris 864kHz is another but only as darkness falls would it come in.
    I have a useful phone app which has all French radio but not quite the same.
    Is it just 1467 and 1593 now? I can just about get something on 1593 at the moment (9.30am), but nothing on 1467. Will try again this evening.

    Reply
    1. Lawrence Harris

      Save €13m – that’s about the salary and perks of a couple of top executives.

      It would be interesting to really find out how many people are upset by the disappearance of these long-distance broadcasts. I think most people who listen to radio don’t have smart phones, and those who do, don’t want to be walking around their homes with earphones in their lugs all day/night!

      Reply
    2. Al Morr

      Interesting reading all the above comments, I am 70 years of age and have loved radio since I was 4 years of age when my aunt gave me a “wireless” to listen to, back then in about 1950 there were only two stations to listen to, the BBC Home Service and the “Light Program” there was a 3rd in the evening called “The 3rd Programm” that eventually became Radio 3. It was great in the 1960’s and 70’s listening to all those high powered stations from Europe like Luxembourg, Saarland, WDR etc. The cost of electricity was cheap so they could all broadcast on high power, so powerful that I sometimes could hear them all day where I live in Central Scotland in December or January. Sadly most of those stations have now closed down AM but I can still listen to them on my Internet Radio, Laptop or Smartphone. From 2 stations in 1950 to over 100,000 on Tunein, is that progress?

      Reply
  3. Jose

    The problem is people that has been formed differently and react AGAINST they do not know well, or are looking for some way to make money. Yes, big tranmitters are a big expense, but have a very large coverage into the bushy part of the world. Even the ITU Radio Regulations recommend using localized transmissions. Wonder why? It is just a different world, and the younger generations are addicted to wires/fibers/WiFi, which is the only “wireless” they seem to know. Seems that you are not a citizen of this planet if you are not “wired”. Forget the poor and old… I am not going to see it, but some day WiFi will be switched off and only Li-Fi will work, standing under a lightpost in some city….

    Reply
  4. Keith Perron

    These services are too expensive for the limited audience they have. RFI’s most important audience is Africa. In Europe if people want to listen there are so many other options.

    And BTW shortwave from China also has its days numbered. Since the beginning of the year the central government has been discussing internally to drop SW to many regions as a cost cutting measure. The new president Xi Jinping who has been on a massive anti-corruption crackdown has CRI on his list. Since the March a number of CRI staff have been taken away by authorities.

    Reply
    1. Tomas

      The “many other options” is usually a buggy slow online player that is close to unusable (this is certainly true for Radio Taiwan International for example).

      I think that they will soon find themselves irrelevant in the flood of online “radio”… Transmit real radio or we will listen to something else.

      Reply
      1. Lawrence Harris

        Hear, hear,

        Don’t these people realise we can listen to SW radio on our little preset “trannies” while tucked up warmly in bed at night. Who on earth wants to fiddle around with a laptop in the middle of the night. I can operate my transistor radio with my eyes closed.
        Shame on you, of all people, radio China.
        Lawrence

        Reply
  5. Roy Sandgren

    An idea would be to replace the high powers TX with 50 kW TX instead and use it to private stations useing the existing masts/antennas !! DAB+ don’t make much listners per station. %0 Kw’s on AM will be better. All homes got some radio with lW MW

    Reply
    1. Al Morr

      in the UK we have to put up listening to “Community Radio” with a miserable ‘only’ 25 watts of power, they at least should be 100 or 150 watts, that is the power of a decent “old fashioned” light bulb

      Reply
  6. Lawrence Harris

    This is going from bad to worse. First German long wave, now French long wave broadcasts. Don’t these broadcasters realise there are people around Europe who enjoy listening to these amazing long wave transmitters? The German station helped me with my German language, and similarly the French station. When RTE (Ireland) medium wave stopped I could no longer listen to their high quality content programmes at night. Their long-wave signal is not very strong. All that will be left now on long wave is the BBC, which is effectively all-day cricket. Soon, a radio will only be used for endless boom-boom pop VHF music, and who listens to that these days – all the kids use mobile phones. Abandoning Long and medium wave is a big, big mistake in my opinion.
    Lawrence

    Reply
    1. Tomas

      Of course they will save money since they will transmit over a small part of their former coverage area. They can save even more money by sacking all employees and shut down all transmitters! Great idea…

      Is RTE even transmitting anymore? Couldn’t even hear them in London except very faint one night, some months ago I could hear them clearly in the middle of Sweden. I realize the conditions are worse now but RTE went bad much faster than the conditions did…

      Reply
      1. Lawrence Harris

        When I visited my family in England in March this year (2015) I could receive RTE on long wave, but the signal seemed weaker than previous visits. I would listen to RTE long wave all day.
        Lawrence

        Reply
        1. Tomas

          That was around the same time I listened in Sweden too, now you would probably not hear much at all. I used my Grundig Yacht Boy 80 which is quite good on LW.

          “Funny” that european nations don’t have the money for analog radio even though we pay more than ever in taxes… I’m sure the “saved” money will go to consultant frees and director bonuses so we will pay as much as before just that the infrastructure is destroyed and wasted.

          I’m sure the chinese want to buy the transmitter sites and frequencies for cheap, so more power to them…

          Reply
          1. Lawrence Harris

            You’re right – it’s only the Chinese and an occasional East European nation that broadcasts in English these days into Europe. The BBC? Well, if I wasn’t English, I’d comment:”Never heard of them”. The Chinese use the Radio Luxemburg 208m medium wave station to send out very interesting programmes in the evening in French, German and lastly, English. One could actually say thank God for the Chinese, at least they keep the airwaves full of English language broadcasts!
            Lawrence

          2. Tomas

            The CRI station that is using 1440 kHz in Europe is only in German these days, no English or French. I usually listen a few times every week on their Asian music programs.

          3. Lawrence Harris

            That explains why at around 11.15 pm CET I was still listening to CRI in German the other night. I was thinking that due to summer time, and the English broadcast was at midnight.
            Lawrence

        2. Al Morr

          At first, when RTE Long Wave took over from the previous owner, Atlantic 252, the transmitter power was a wonderful 500 Kilowatts, but that has been reduced by about half, that’s why it seems much weaker to you than previous visits.

          Reply
          1. Lawrence Harris

            Now I am back in North Germany and RTE LW 252 KHz is generally too faint to hear comfortably, but I do listen in occasionally now all I need to do is press a preset button. Amazingly, I think it was about a week ago on Tuesday 27.12.2016 I pressed the button and the signal strength was amazing. I presumed it was atmospherics, but on switching to BBC Radio 4 Long Wave on 198 Khz that was very faint, even though it took the “same path” to get to me. For a moment I thought they’d boosted the TX power up again, but the next day it was back to normal and faint. This is all part of the joy/fun of analogue radio listening!

            Best regards
            Lawrence

  7. Thomas Post author

    Andy Sennitt also posted more information about this on the PCJ Facebook page (via Southgate ARC RSS feed). Andy writes:

    “At the end of this year, the two mediumwave transmitters of France Bleu (864 kHz and 1278 kHz) and the remaining nine mediumwave transmitters of France Info (603, 711, 1206, 1242, 1377, 1404, 1494 and 1557 kHz) will be silenced. Last year, three high power stations of France Info were already closed.
    At the end of 2016. France-Inter will disappear from the longwave frequency 162 kHz.
    [Source: Radio.NL]”

    Reply

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