Tag Archives: Cold War

Radio Waves: iHeart Layoffs • Radio JK FM • 2nd Chance for Pirates • Invisible War


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’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Here’s the first Radio Waves story collection. Enjoy!

‘The Culling Has Begun’: Inside the iHeartMedia Layoffs (Rolling Stone)

The largest radio company in America cut a number of employees this week, dealing a blow to local radio across the country

“The largest radio conglomerate in the country, iHeartMedia, initiated a round of mass layoffs this week, cutting enough people that one former on-air host described Tuesday as “one of the worst days in on-air radio history.” The layoffs were concentrated in small and medium markets, where staffs had already been reduced, striking another major blow to local radio.”

AER (Asociación Española de Radioescucha) Radio JK FM

SWLing Post contributor, Martin Butera, writes:

“Proclaimed in 2011 by UNESCO member states, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD). This 2020, on World Radio Day, UNESCO calls on all radio stations to defend diversity, both in their newsrooms and on radio waves. Martin Butera, visited an important FM of Brasilia DF, capital of Brazil and anticipates this year’s motto that will be: “Pluralism, representation and diversity.”

A report in Spanish that Martin invites you to read by clicking here.

Give radio pirates chance to go legit (The Boston Globe)

The massive fines levied last month against two unlicensed Boston stations that served the Haitian immigrant community went too far.

The Invisible War of the Cold War Airwaves (X-Ray Audio)

In the radio show below, an episode of our Bureau of Lost Culture series on Soho Radio, we meet with Russian journalist, broadcaster and writer Vladimir Raevsky to hear the fascinating story of the Soviet Radio Jammers. Vladimir tells of the extraordinary lengths people went to to listen to the music they loved and of the gigantic amount of money spent by both sides in this invisible war of the airwaves.

We also hear from BBC Russian Arts correspondent Alex Kan about the brave / foolhardy so-called Radio Hooligans – the technically savvy young Soviets who dared to risk punishment by setting up their own little pirate radio stations to broadcast themselves and the music they liked using bootlegged and adapted equipment.

And finally we hear the strange story of the signal emitted by The Duga a gigantic mysterious installation near the Chernobyl nuclear site.

 

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Cold War Sports: High-Speed Telegraphy

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Evans, who shares the following short radio documentary from the BBC World Service:

The end of the Cold War in 1989 spelt the demise of a little-known, but surprisingly popular sport behind the Iron Curtain – high-speed telegraphy competitions. With the help of two of Czechoslovakia’s best former Morse-coders, we revisit the inaugural World Championship in Moscow in 1983 when the Soviet Union rolled out the red carpet for teams from across the Communist bloc. Ashley Byrne reports. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.

Click here to listen to this program via the BBC.

As Paul points out, “HST is still going strong as a sport!” Indeed it is because CW is simply timeless! Thanks for the tip, Paul!

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Short film about RIAS (Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gerhart, who shares links to this short 1994 film, produced by Deutsche Welle TV, about the West Berlin radio station, RIAS:

Part 1:

Part 2:

I’m curious if any SWLing Post readers ever listened to or logged RIAS while living or travelling in West/East Berlin during the Cold War years. Please comment!

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BBC World Service documentary about Radio Berlin International Service to Africa


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Kris and Ed who both note a fascinating BBC World Service documentary. Ed writes:

Hey Thomas,

SWLing Post readers will surely enjoy this brilliant BBC World Service documentary about Radio Berlin International Service to Africa. “Comrade Africa” offers a 53-minute fascinating blast from the cold-war past with many nostalgic RBI airchecks and programming analyses.

-Ed

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct036t

Comrade Africa

The Documentary

How Communist East Germany tried to influence Africa via radio, during the Cold War. The West often saw the GDR as a grim and grey place, so it’s something of a surprise to find a radio station based in East Berlin playing swinging African tunes. Yet Radio Berlin International (RBI), the ‘voice of the German Democratic Republic’, made it all happen over the many years it broadcast to Africa. It built on the little known strong bonds between East Germany and several large states in Africa such as Tanzania and Angola during the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Dr Emily Oliver, a historian of postwar Germany from Warwick University, finds out why multicultural Radio Berlin International was a special place within East Germany and what happened behind the scenes. The government set tight reporting restrictions on output. Staff faced the dilemma of following the rules while competing with the likes of the BBC World Service. They were also conscious of the output of the station’s main direct rival, West Germany’s Deutsche Welle, which portrayed the world quite differently. And how did RBI employees coming from nations like Tanzania cope with working for the oppressive East German regime?

Emily hears how RBI appealed to listeners in Africa, reveals how East Germans and Angolans made friends over coffee and tractors, and discovers how the Cold War played out in Africa at a time when many African states were fighting for independence.

Presenter: Emily Oliver
Producer: Sabine Schereck
Researcher: Balthazar Kitundu
Editor: Hugh Levinson
Readers: Neil McCaul, Leone Ouedraogo (podcast only), Ian Conningham and Adam Courting
The Two Comrades: Will Kirk and Greg Jones

Click here to listen on the BBC World Service website.

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“The BBC and the Cold War”

A vintage radio from Kim Andre Elliott’s collection.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partridge, who writes:

With Saturday being the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, BBC OnLine has posted this to commemorate the anniversary:

https://www.bbc.com/historyofthebbc/100-voices/coldwar

The Cold War was the defining global conflict of the second half of the Twentieth Century. Fought across multiple terrains, the “soft power” of international broadcasting placed the BBC on the frontline of the information war.To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we explore the role the BBC played in communicating our understanding and experience of the Cold War, with the help of newly-released oral history interviews with those involved.

Click here to view this collection of stories and memories at the BBC.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Kris!

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BBC Program: “London Calling: Cold War Letters”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David (G4EDR), who writes:

Looking forward to this documentary TV programme tonight. Looks like it will be about the BBC WS during the cold war.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b1h0

Thanks for the tip, David!

Readers, my post is a bit late–David sent this two days ago. Still, the program is on the BBC website for a few more weeks, however it is very much geo-blocked so you’ll need a work-around if viewing from outside the UK.

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Eifeler Radiotage to broadcast from Cold War bunker

Photo source: Eifeler Radiotage

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gérard Koopal, who writes:

This might be interesting for your followers in Europe and especially for those living in or nearby Germany.

On the 9th and 10th of November, the Eifeler Radiotage are to start transmitting in German from a Cold War bunker in Germany. There is also a possibility to visit the location (Kall Krekel). Below is a link to their homepage where you can also find a few videos from the Cold War radio room which is still functional and in use.

https://www.eifeler-radiotage.de/

Thanks for the tip, Gérard!

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