Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, who writes:
Propagation is very good. Reach Beyond Australia is now picked up with regularity from my noisy Northern Illinois Condominium. I find it fascinating to hear the different 15-minute language programs, including indigenous music, in Hindi, Tamil, different Burmese dialects, etc. Of course, since it is a Christian broadcaster, the music and teachings are about Jesus as Lord. However, all of the programs are authentically created inside the target country and uploaded to the Western Australian computer server in order to be broadcast. Here is a link on archive.org where I spliced 2 mornings of (mostly) music:
Also, it just so happens this week that Jeff White, hosting the popular WaveScan radio program, interviewed the CEO of Reach Beyond Australia, Dale Stagg, who explains the origins and continued mission of Reach Beyond Global as a continuation of HCJB’s shortwave radio vision established in 1931.
Radio Waves: Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio
Welcome to the SWLing Post’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors David Iurescia, Christopher Brennen, Doug Katz, Dennis Dura, Jon Langley, and Mark Pascoe for the following tips:
Czech National Bank issues special coin to commemorate 100 years of Czech Radio (Czech Radio)
A special CZK 200 silver coin has been issued by the Czech National Bank to mark the 100th anniversary of Czech Radio. The coin’s design features images related to the history of the radio’s first broadcasts.
It was way back in 1923, specifically on May 18 at 8:15pm in the evening, that Czechoslovak Radio began broadcasting from what was a Scouts’ tent in Prague’s Kbely district. Czechoslovakia thus became only the second country in Europe to establish regular broadcasting. At first these were only hour-long broadcasts, but soon they grew into longer and more varied segments that even included broadcasting in English and Esperanto as early as 1924.
The popularity, size and resources of the country’s radio grew rapidly from that point onwards and Czechoslovak Radio would go on to also play important roles in the country’s history by providing vital information to its citizens during the 1945 uprising against Nazi occupation forces and the 1968 Invasion of Czechoslovakia.
No wonder then that the centenary the country’s public broadcaster is being celebrated in great style. Czech Radio itself has prepared a variety of events and shows commemorating the anniversary this year – and especially this week. Meanwhile, the Czech Post has issued special stamps marking the occasion.
Now, the Czech National Bank has joined in, by issuing its own special CZK 200 silver coin. On one side, it features pictures of a radio microphone, transmission masts and of the historic broadcasting facility in Kbely. The other side of the coin shows the tent from which the first broadcast was made and the logo of Czechoslovak Radio. The design is the work of academic sculptor Marie Šeborová, who has already created several commemorative coins and medals in the past. Continue reading →
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Patrizio (IN3032SWL), who writes:
If you are a fan of foreign radio broadcasts (BCL), you may have experienced the difficulty of transcribing the details of the programs, especially if they are in an unknown language. In addition, many radio stations have their own web pages where listeners can input their listening data, but these pages often do not allow the upload of any kind of file, even partial recordings of the broadcasts.
For these kinds of problems, Speechtexter can be a great help. It is a speech-to-text program that can automatically transcribe audio in real time, allowing BCL fans to have an accurate and detailed transcription of what they are listening to.
Speechtexter can recognize a wide range of languages, including Italian, English, French, Spanish, and many others. The program is completely free and does not require any registration. Moreover, it is very precise and offers high-quality transcriptions. It is also available online, which means that you can access it from any internet-connected device.
Using Speechtexter to transcribe foreign radio broadcasts is very easy: simply go to the official website and click on the “Start talking” button. The program will start transcribing everything that is said during the broadcast, and the text will appear automatically on the screen.
In conclusion, if you are a fan of foreign radio broadcasts and want to transcribe the programs you listen to accurately and quickly, Speechtexter could be the solution for you. Try it now and see how it can simplify your life as a BCL listener! Here’s the link to the website: https://www.speechtexter.com.
Very clever, Patrizio–what a great trick! Thank you for sharing.
State association questionnaire finds one in three AM stations have no FM translator
The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Association (NASBA) is reporting insights it discovered after polling AM stations about the removal of over-the-air AM in new cars.
The data collected from more than 1,000 AM stations shows that many do not have an FM translator and/or do not stream their signals over internet connections, NASBA says. The group is hoping to use the information to rally proponents of AM to help convince companies like Ford, Mazda, BMW and others to keep reception of AM in their new vehicles.
NASBA says the automakers “are cutting corners on expensive new electric vehicles” by eliminating AM radios, which means more than 4,000 AM stations in the United States are at risk. But its survey results show that AM radio across the country provides a diverse mix of music and talk and is a vital link for millions of listeners. [Continue reading…]
“It was the music without the spots, that made FM,” says a reader
The comments written by Dave Bialik in the latest Radio World hits the nail right on the head. The average person, which is about 95% of the population, couldn’t care less about audio fidelity. The days of “audiophiles” are gone. The downturn of AM listenership is almost exclusively due to poor programming, poor content. Yes, FM in its early days was mostly easy listening, beautiful music and classical music. It catered to the audiophiles, and had a very limited audience even though it sounded great and in 1963 by offering multiplex stereo.
Once a few of the FM guys realized people were fed up with the 45 minute commercial breaks on AM stations with popular music, the format was adopted on FM, but with none or few commercials (because no one wanted to advertise on FM). Once people found out they could get the rock and pop music on FM without all the talk, the band switch started taking place. It had nothing to do with audio — remember at this time people were buying 8-track tapes by the millions and they were technically several steps below AM radio. It was the music without the spots, that made FM. Once that happened, most of the large and middle market stations threw all of their eggs into the FM basket and put something on the AM just to hold the license.
I once worked for an AM station owned by one of the large groups. In its heyday, in the 50’s–70’s, it was THE top 40 station. In a market of 40 stations, it had a 60 share. Once the group owners bought a big FM signal, they blew the AM away and loaded it with satellite talk. After a few years, that 60 share was .5 — yes point 5. After a few years of this, and it becoming unsellable, one of the staff suggested to management that they should go back to a music format playing the hits of the 50’s and 60’s (this was in 2002). [Continue reading…]
Czech Radio celebrates a significant anniversary this year. 18 May 2023 marks exactly 100 years since the start of regular radio broadcasting in the Czech Republic, then Czechoslovakia, when the private company Radiojournal began broadcasting from a humble scout tent in Prague’s Kbely.
For the occasion of its monumental jubilee, Czech Radio has prepared a rich programme for the public, new broadcasting highlights and a unique exhibition at the National Technical Museum. Celebrations throughout the year will illustrate the remarkable journey of the most trusted public service media in the Czech Republic.
“Czech Radio will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the start of regular broadcasting. It is an honour for me to be at the helm of this public institution at a time when we are recapitulating important past moments, revisiting our history and remembering outstanding radio personalities. But this extraordinary anniversary is also an opportunity for us to show that 100 years of radio broadcasting is only the beginning. We are ready to launch the next century of our existence with new programming projects and technological innovations. The entire project of our anniversary celebrations aims to support the position of Czech Radio on the media market and also to show that it is an important partner for other institutions. I believe that with an imaginative programme we will not only delight current listeners, but also attract new ones,” said René Zavoral, Director General.
The celebrations will officially commence on 10 March with a formal ball at the Municipal House in Prague, where the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gustav Brom Radio Big Band and musical guests Ewa Farna, Mirai, Dara Rolins and No Name will perform.
On the day of its 100th birthday, Czech Radio will hold a grand concert in the Riegrovy Sady park for listeners and the general public. The concert will include performances by the band Chinaski, as well as musicians Aneta Langerová, Mirai Navrátil and Marek Ztracený, who will be the first performer broadcast on Czech Radio in its second century of existence. [Continue reading…]
Cumulus publishes analysis to counter prevailing sentiments about AM and radio in general
“Ford owners are massive users of AM radio.”
So writes Pierre Bouvard, chief insights office of Cumulus Media, citing data from MRI Simmons.
That is but one of his observations as Cumulus Media/Westwood One released an analysis of listening data from sources that also include the Nielsen fall 2022 survey, Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” and research by Advertiser Perceptions.
Bouvard regularly posts about the power of radio and what he calls misperceptions about the medium among the broader marketing community.
He summarized takeaways from the new Cumulus analysis:
“The Nielsen Fall 2022 survey reveals that 82,346,800 Americans listen to AM radio monthly; 57% of the AM radio audience listens to news/talk stations, the very outlets that Americans turn to in times of crisis and breaking local news; and one out of three American AM/FM radio listeners are reached monthly by AM radio,” he wrote. [Continue reading…]
“Some clouds over the city right now. I’m Paul Murnane,” says a familiar voice.
“I’m Wayne Cabot,” says another.
Few would know their faces. But as names, they’re as recognizable as anyone in New York.
Fewer still could tell you their address — an 11th floor studio in a light-brick high-rise in lower Manhattan, between a Chase bank branch and patisserie named Maman.
But hundreds of thousands know where to find them on the AM dial — right between 820 WNYC (“public affairs”) and 930 WPAT (“multi-ethnic”). That, for 56 years, has been the location of WCBS Newsradio 880 — one of those rare unchanging institutions in a changeable city. [Continue reading…]
GENEVA — The voices sound like well-known personalities, the music features trendy dance beats and hip-hop syncopations, and the jokes and laughter are contagious. But listeners of an offbeat Swiss public radio station repeatedly got the message on Thursday: Today’s programming is brought to you by Artificial Intelligence.
Three months in the making, the French-language station Couleur 3 (Color 3) is touting a one-day experiment using cloned voices of five real, human presenters — in what managers claim is a world first — and never-aired-before music composed almost entirely by computers, not people. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the station said, AI controlled its airwaves. Every 20 minutes, listeners got a reminder. Continue reading →
The prized retro audio components are mostly manufactured in Russia and China. Now, a small Georgia company is rebooting US production.
ROSSVILLE, GEORGIA, ON the border with Tennessee, doesn’t look like a tech town. It’s the kind of place where homey restaurants promising succulent fried chicken and sweet tea are tucked among shuttered businesses and prosperous liquor stores. The cost of living is moderate, crime is high, politics are red, and the population has withered to 3,980.
But in the view of entrepreneur Charles Whitener, Rossville is the perfect place to stage a revival in US technology and manufacturing—albeit with a device that was cutting edge when the Ford Model A ruled the roads.
Whitener owns Western Electric, the last US manufacturer of vacuum tubes, those glass and metal bulbs that controlled current in electric circuits before the advent of the transistor made them largely obsolete. Tubes are still prized for high-end hi-fi equipment and by music gear companies such as Fender for their distinctive sound. But most of the world’s supply comes from manufacturers in Russia and China, which after the transistor era began in earnest in the 1960s helped sunset the US vacuum tube industry by driving down prices.
Whitener, a 69-year-old self-described inventor, vintage hi-fi collector, and Led Zeppelin fanatic, bought and revived AT&T’s shuttered vacuum tube business in 1995. The business has ticked along in the era of cheap overseas tubes primarily by serving the small market for vacuum tubes in premium hi-fi equipment with a model called the 300B, originally designed in 1938 to enable transoceanic phone calls. [Continue reading…]
100 years is an incredible milestone for any business or organization! In this Valley PBS Original Documentary, we take you back in time as we explore the origins of KMJ as a conservative talk radio station as well as the long-lasting legacy and impact of their century-long run on the air and in the hearts & minds of their listeners.
Many still rely on radio broadcasts for news, entertainment across continent
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Just the size of his hand, the radio set hung in the busy marketplace stall is essential to Mark Nyabanda.
“I can’t do without it,” said the 25-year old, taking a break from selling fertilizer in Mbare market in the capital, Harare, to listen to a radio weather report warning of possible floods.
Radio bulletins also provide him with information on disease outbreaks, political news and entertainment, he said.
“I don’t trust these new technologies,” he said, referring to social media. “They are full of falsehoods. We saw it during the coronavirus outbreak.”
In many Western countries, conventional radio has been overtaken by streaming, podcasts and on-demand content accessed via smartphones and computers.
But in many of Africa’s 54 countries, with a combined population of 1.3 billion people, traditional radio sets are widely used, highlighting the digital divide between rich countries and those still struggling to have reliable internet.
Radio sets are all over the place in Zimbabwe. Rural livestock herders dangle them from their necks while tending animals while those in the cities listen to their radio sets for news. [Continue reading…]