Category Archives: International Broadcasting

WBCQ purchases World Harvest Radio (WHRI)

WBCQ’s Ampegon antenna at the Monticello transmitting site.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Benjamin, who shares the following news tip via Radio Insight:

Family Broadcasting Corporation is selling shortwave Christian “World Harvest Radio” WHRI Furman SC to Allan Weiner for $1.25 million. Weiner also owns shortwave Talk “The Planet” WBCQ Monticello ME as well as Talk/Rock 780 WXME/98.3 W252DW and Classic Country “Kixx 94.7” WBCQ-FM Monticello. The seller owns multiple Christian television stations as well as Christian AC “Pulse-FM” 103.1 WHME South Bend IN, 96.9 WHPZ Bremen IN, and 92.1 WHPD Dowagiac MI.

Click here to read this item at Radio Insight.

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Radio Waves: GatesAir Invests in Equatorial Guinea, Community Radio Champion Lorenzo Wilson Milam SK, and GQRP Online Convention

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Tracy Wood, John Figliozzi, Heath Hall and Gérard Koopal for the following tips:


Investment project by North American company GatesAir in digitalisation of Equatorial Guinea (Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office)

The company GatesAir could invest in a digitalisation project for audiovisual media in Equatorial Guinea in the near future. The information was revealed at the audience that the Vice-President of the Republic, H. E. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, granted on Friday 7th August, at the People’s palace in Malabo, to the accredited North American Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, Susan Stevenson.

The willingness of the United States Government was expressed at a bilateral meeting that the Vice-President held with the Ambassador, Susan Stevenson, who came to report to H. E. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue about the interest of the North American company GatesAir in investing in a digitalisation project in the country.

The initiative was well received by Nguema Obiang Mangue, who declared to his interlocutor that Equatorial Guinea has its doors open to any foreign investment.

The Coronavirus pandemic which is currently affecting the whole world also occupied a page on the menu of discussions between Nguema Obiang Mangue and Susan Stevenson.

In addition to this project, Equatorial Guinea and the United States continue to form closer ties in other sectors such as Defence, Education, the Economy and Culture, among others.[]

Lorenzo Wilson Milam, Guru of Community Radio, Is Dead at 86 (NY times)

He helped start noncommercial stations in the 1960s and ’70s, offering an eclectic mix of music and talk. His goal: to change the world.

Lorenzo Wilson Milam, who devoted much of his life to building noncommercial radio stations with eclectic fusions of music, talk and public affairs, died on July 19 at his home in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. He was 86.

[…]Mr. Milam loathed commercial radio stations, which he saw as purveyors of mindless junk. With KRAB and about a dozen other stations that he helped start in the 1960s and ’70s, he created a freewheeling, esoteric vision of commercial-free community radio as the voice of the people it served.

He wanted his stations to have inexperienced contributors, both on and off the air. He encouraged locals to help him program the stations and contribute a few dollars to keep these shoestring operations open.[]

RAE 100 year anniversary specials (Gérard Koopal)

I heard on RAE German that Argentina celebrates 100 years radio in Argentina on august 27th of this year.

This was announced by Rayén Braun the 4th of august on her broadcast show in German.

German listeners are asked to send in a personal message as video or mp3 to this event which will be incorporated in the special broadcast show on this matter.

She points out that more information will be found on the website of RAE. (www.rae.com.ar)

GQRP Club releases agenda for its Online Convention 2020 (Southgate ARC)

The GQRP Club has released a detailed agenda for its Online Convention 2020, taking place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September.

The online event, which replaces the club’s annual GQRP convention at Telford due to current Covid-19 restrictions, is open to existing members. There is a special rate for non-members which will include GQRP Club membership until January 2022.

The two-day event comprises a series of online presentations and knowledge-sharing meetings where people can share ideas.

The packed presentation list includes:

• “Building QRP transceivers” with Hans Summers G0UPL, designer and manufacturer of the QCX QRP transceiver.

• “HF propagation and QRP” with Steve Nichols G0KYA, author and chairman of the RSGB’s Propagation Studies Committee

• “Homebrew SSB Transceivers” with Pete Juliano N6QW, co-presenter of the Soldersmoke podcast and a prolific home brewer.

• “Vector Network analysers explained and the NanoVNA” with Alan Wolke W2AEW, a professional electrical engineer who works for Tektronix.

• “Antennas for QRP” with Callum McCormick M0MCX, YouTube star and inventor and manufacturer of the DX Commander vertical antenna.

• “FT8/FT4 for the QRPer” with Anthony Luscre K8ZT, who will take a detailed look at this the fastest-growing mode in amateur radio.

There will also be range of knowledge-sharing sessions, including “Using Antenna analysers” with Heather M0HMO, “Running a QRP DxPedition” with Dom M1KTA, “Battery technology for QRP portable” with Bill G4ERV, “Omni Directional antennas” with John G8SEQ and many more.

The event costs £4 for GQRP club members. Non-members can also sign up for the event and join the GQRP club for just £10 (or £17 for international participants).

To sign up for the event just go to the Eventbrite sign-up page at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gqrp-club-2020-online-convention-tickets-115417887007

For more information and to view the full event schedule see http://www.gqrp.com/convention.htm


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K9ZDK: Return of a Silent Key

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy (VR2HF), who writes:

It was one of the most sublime moments in my 55+ years in radio. Almost every night I listen to shortwave station, KNLS in Anchor Point, Alaska, from my home in Hong Kong. KNLS broadcasts to Asia and the Pacific in English, Russian and Mandarin. The English broadcast is an amazing mix of secular and Christian music and topics, science, current affairs and more. It has something for both the seeker and the saint and is one of the most informative and entertaining shows on radio.

On this particular Monday evening, August 3, 2020, I tuned in late to the English broadcast from KNLS at 1000 UTC, but went on to listen to the remainder of the show. To my complete surprise as the show closed I heard “73 de K9ZDK” in Morse code and quickly wrote down that callsign. I assumed it was the engineer on duty, obviously a ham, having a little on-air fun with a big transmitter and antenna.

A few minutes later, I also heard “CQ de K9ZDK” at the beginning of the Russian program at 1100 UTC. So, I looked up K9ZDK on QRZ.com and found it was Zavier, a young ham who had become a silent key in June of 2019.

Zavier Klingensmith (K9ZDK) Silent Key

A little more online sleuthing and a phone call later revealed that his father, Thomas, KL0K, was at the controls of KNLS that night sending Zavier’s final CQ and 73 on this planet with at least 1 million watts of power (ERP: 100KW TX + 10dBd TCI curtain array) all around Asia and the Pacific. His call on CW was heard on every English, Russian and Mandarin show that evening over 16 hours of broadcasts (two Continental 100 KW transmitters). Wow!

In Zavier’s memory, Thomas has created a DIY kit for an Iambic Keyer and is offering it for FREE (though you might want to send some $$ for his production and mailing costs…my suggestion) to anyone who asks. Details can be found at Thomas’, KL0K, QRZ page. Maybe one of the first things you can send when your keyer is completed is,”K9ZDK de YOUR CALL, 73 OM!”

Thomas, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Thanks for the amazing on-air tribute to Zavier. I suspect he was listening with a big, big smile!

Dan VR2HF, Hong Kong
(K7DAN, USA)

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Radio Waves: Switzerland’s Move to Digital, Guyana Rejects USAGM’s Request, Ham Records China/US Encounter, and Farm Radio International Endorsement

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Mike Terry, Dan Robinson, Ulis Fleming, and William Lee for the following tips:


Switzerland Inches Closer to FM Switch-Off (Radio World)

GENEVA — Switzerland is embarking on the next phase of its digital radio switchover strategy. In May René Wehrlin, media specialist at Switzerland’s Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom) announced the country’s next steps toward the country’s total transition to DAB+.

Ofcom officially confirmed in 2019 that the nation would say “adios” to all FM radio programs by the end of 2024 at the latest. At the time, the “Digital Migration” (DigiMig) working group, set up by the Swiss private and public radio sectors and Ofcom in 2013, stated that 68% of radio listening was digital, 37% of which was via DAB+ and 15% exclusively via FM.[]

Guyana refuses US’ request to facilitate radio broadcasts to Venezuela (Demerara Waves)

Guyana’s President David Granger late Friday said his administration rejected a request by the United States (US) to use the medium wave radio frequencies of this South American nation to broadcast Voice of America programmes to Venezuela.

Mr. Granger said Guyana turned down the request because of security, health and political risks that Guyana could expose itself to with Venezuela which is claiming the Essequibo Region that makes up about two-thirds of this former British colony.

“Given the length of an unpoliced western border, the influx of refugees, the unsettled territorial question and the public health risks, it would not be in our national interest to do anything to contribute to destabilising relations at this time,” the President said.

A US Embassy spokeswoman said the American government was no longer interested in the project. ” The U.S Agency for Global Media is not actively considering this anymore. It is important that the people of Venezuela have access to uncensored news from credible Venezuelan and international journalistic news sources. Guyana has shown leadership in the past, in defense of representative government by joining other Lima Group members from the Americas to strive for a democratic resolution to the crisis in Venezuela,” she said.[]

Close encounter between US-China militaries captured by radio amateur (South China Morning Post)

The Chinese navy has warned off a US military plane that briefly flew close to the southern coast of China, north of the Taiwan Strait, according to a Beijing-based think tank.

In a 34-second scratchy radio recording released by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a think tank based in Beijing, a man – purported to be a Chinese naval official – can be heard saying in English: “This is China Naval Air Force on guard, you are approaching Chinese air domain, change your course immediately or you will be intercepted.”
He then repeated the warning in Mandarin Chinese.

The institute said on its Twitter account that the recording was captured on Thursday morning by a radio amateur. It remains unclear which aircraft was involved, or if there was any face-off in the air.[]

Charity Intelligence recommends Farm Radio International (Charity Intelligence)

Charity Intelligence is recommending donors support Farm Radio International for the coronavirus pandemic. Farm Radio has a network of over 1,000 radio programs reaching more than 250 million people in 41 countries across Africa.

To donate to Farm Radio’s covid-response

Communication is critical in the early stages of a disease outbreak to give people information. Rumours swirl that Africans cannot get coronavirus. Tanzania’s president, Magufuli, said churches should stay open because the coronavirus is “satanic” and “cannot survive in the body of Christ.” As all have witnessed, fake news has harmful consequences with the quick coronavirus.

Farm Radio International is a Canadian, medium-sized charity with donations of $3.9m in 2018. Typically, a charity of this size would not be front of mind in a global response. Yet Farm Radio has the existing platform and local operations to play an effective role reaching millions quickly in a coronavirus response. Early communication is an urgent need. []


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Radio Waves: Radio Six on Shortwave Again, ATN Refrains from Politics, NPR Ratings Drop in C-19, and Grand Central’s Role in Standard Time

A WWV Time Code Generator

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Michael Bird,  John Figliozzi, and Jack Dully for the following tips:


Radio Six Pops Up Again on Shortwave (Radio World)

Radio Six International has not been a full-time shortwave broadcaster for some time. But after two recent live broadcasts on 6070 kHz prompted by the pandemic, it says it will continue monthly broadcasts at least for now.

Radio World visited electronically with Tony Currie.[]

WLW’s America’s Truckin’ Network To Refrain From Political Talk (Radio Insight)

iHeartMedia News/Talk 700 WLW Cincinnati has eliminated political talk from its overnight “America’s Truckin’ Network” show hosted by Steve Sommers.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Sommers told listeners of the change on Monday morning’s show after multiple unspecified complaints.

In the on-air statement, Sommers blamed the change on a group of individuals who took offense with comments made by a caller a few weeks ago.[]

NPR Radio Ratings Collapse As Pandemic Ends Listeners’ Commutes (NPR)

Broadcast ratings for nearly all of NPR’s radio shows took a steep dive in major markets this spring, as the coronavirus pandemic kept many Americans from commuting to work and school. The network’s shows lost roughly a quarter of their audience between the second quarter of 2019 and the same months in 2020.

People who listened to NPR shows on the radio at home before the pandemic by and large still do. But many of those who listened on their commute have not rejoined from home. And that threatens to alter the terrain for NPR for years to come, said Lori Kaplan, the network’s senior director of audience insights.

“We anticipated these changes,” Kaplan said. “This kind of change was going to take place over the next decade. But the pandemic has shown us what our future is now.”

Commercial radio is experiencing, if anything, worse declines. But audience research commissioned by Kaplan indicates that NPR’s audience is disproportionately made up of professionals who are able to work from home and who are interested in doing so even after the pandemic subsides.[]

The Day That New York Had Two Noons, a Century After Losing 11 Days (Untapped New York)

New York’s history has included everything from transit strikes to riots over Shakespeare to immigration from nearly every country in the world. Yet, for much of this history, people didn’t always know the “correct” time or date. Until 1883, virtually every place in the country set local time according to the sun. According to Sam Roberts in his book Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America, “Typically, noon would be regularly signaled so people could synchronize their clocks and watches.” From dropping a ball down a flagpole in Manhattan to ringing a gong, settlements all across the country would alert people of noon. But as railroads spread throughout the country, it was nearly impossible to standardize the time.

“A passenger traveling from Portland, Maine, to Buffalo could arrive in Buffalo at 12:15 according to his own watch set by Portland time,” Roberts writes. “He might be met by a friend at the station whose watch indicated 11:40 Buffalo time. The Central clock said noon. The Lake Shore clock said it was only 11:25. At Pennsylvania Station in Jersey City, New Jersey, one clock displayed Philadelphia time and another New York time. When it was 12:12 in New York, it was 12:24 in Boston, 12:07 in Philadelphia, and 11:17 in Chicago.”[]


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Dan Robinson takes critical look at USAGM as Pack enters scene

Dan Robinson is a former White House correspondent for the VOA.

SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, has recently written a series of opinion articles for the BBG-USAGM Watch website. Dan worked 34 years with the Voice of America, most recently serving as the senior White House correspondent from 2010 to 2014 before his retirement.

Dan’s Op-Ed pieces (in five parts at time of posting) take a critical look at the USAGM as Michael Pack CEO takes charge.

Click here to view all of Dan’s articles at USAGM-BBG Watch.

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Video: 1954 Inauguration of REE/RNE Shortwave Radio Transmitters

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ulis Fleming (K3LU), who shares the following video via Twitter and notes:

Spain: Must see newsreel video of the 1954 inauguration of REE/RNE shortwave radio transmitters:

Click here to watch video at the RTVE archives.

Many thanks for sharing this excellent bit of radio history, Ulis. I was just telling a friend that Radio Exterior de España still has one of the biggest signals out of Europe into North America these days on 9690 kHz.

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