Tag Archives: International Radio Report

Radio Waves: Radio Garden, BBC Budget, Legacy of Ronan O’Rahilly, and ARISS to Begin Experimental Demonstrations

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 Dennis Dura, Mike Terry and the International Radio Report for the following tips:


A trip around the world through local radio stations (The Guardian)

Streaming means we can tune into breakfast shows, travel bulletins and local gossip on every continent – and revel in radio’s ability to create a sense of community

I’d missed the joke about the three-legged chicken. It was causing a stir.

“That one about the chicken with three legs you told yesterday,” said a presenter on Ireland’s Midwest Radio’s afternoon show, “apparently Ronald Reagan told it first.”

“Did he, now?” the co-host replied.

“Yes. You stole a joke from Ronald Reagan.”

Jeez, I’m going as red as a tomato here.”

The conjunction of tripedal fowl, the 40th president of the United States and two men in a studio in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, will never make a list of great radio moments but it was enough to coax me from between my four walls, even if it was via the imagination.

Radio has never been more popular: it’s seen off challenges, from television to the internet, to become stronger than ever. In 2017, according to industry ratings body Rajar, nine out of 10 people in the UK listened to the radio every week. Perhaps it succeeds because we have to conjure up our own pictures of events and places beyond our immediate surroundings. As a bored, lonely boy growing up in an anonymous south-east London suburb, I’d spend most evenings in my bedroom jamming a coathanger into the back of an old radio and scanning the airwaves, awestruck by the range of languages and music bursting out of the night through skirling static; each voice sending tantalising reassurance of a world beyond the dispiriting confines of my own.[]

Coronavirus: BBC ‘needs to make £125m savings this year’ (BBC News)

The BBC has said it will have to “think hard about every pound” it spends on new programmes because of financial pressures during the current lockdown.

Delays to a new licence fee regime for people over 75 and problems collecting fees are among the challenges cited.

Staff have been told the BBC will have to find £125m savings this year.

Senior leaders will take a pay freeze until August 2021 and all non-essential recruitment will be put on hold as part of the cost-cutting measures.

Staff will also be invited to work part time or take unpaid leave if they find it “helpful” during the lockdown.

In a briefing on Wednesday, director general Tony Hall said other reasons behind the cash shortfall were a delay to a plan to cut 450 jobs, and uncertainty around commercial revenues.

Other broadcasters have been badly hit during the crisis, with ITV last month cutting its programme budget by £100m and Channel 4 cutting £150m from its programming.

On Wednesday, Channel 4’s director of programmes Ian Katz said the broadcaster would have to cut back on drama and produce “lower tariff” shows.[]

The Irish Legacy of Ronan O’Rahilly and Radio Caroline (The Irish Broadcasting Hall of Fame)

With the passing of Ronan O’Rahilly in April 2020, a colossus of radio broadcasting has left a legacy that will stand the test of time and has made a massive impression on radio broadcasting in Ireland. While his beloved Radio Caroline was a familiar sight off the South East of England, its influence on both radio and music in 1960’s Britain cannot be underestimated. It forced the British Government to enact new legislation outlawing the almost a dozen pirate radio ships that blasted pop music into Britain and it forced the BBC to reorganise and compete with the opening of a dedicated pop channel in 1967, BBC Radio One. In the month when Ronan passed onto the afterlife, both BBC Radio One and Radio Caroline still broadcast today. But while Caroline’s history focusses mainly on its influence on Britain, Ireland has played a key role in that colourful history and this is that story.

At the helm of Radio Caroline was Ronan O’Rahilly. He was born in Clondalkin, Dublin in 1940, his father Aodogan was a well-known and wealthy businessman, regarded as an influential ally of Eamon DeValera, while his grandfather Michael O’Rahilly was better known as The O’Rahilly, sacrificed his life during the 1916 Easter Rising having been shot dead while leading a charge on a British position at the end of Moore Street.[]

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, ARISS to Begin Experimental Demonstrations of School Contacts using a Multipoint Telebridge Amateur Radio Approach (ARISS)

ARISS News Release                                                                             No. 20-03          
April 28, 2020 —Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is pleased to announce the first use of a concept called Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio, allowing school contacts for Stay-At-Home students and simultaneous reception by families, school faculty and the public.

During the last several weeks, efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in massive school closures worldwide. In addition, the Stay-At-Home policies invoked by authorities, initially shut down opportunities for ARISS school contacts for the near future.

To circumvent these challenges and keep students and the public safe, ARISS is introducing the Multipoint Telebridge Contact via Amateur Radio concept. First operation of this experimental system will occur during a contact scheduled with a group of Northern Virginia Students located in Woodbridge, VA on Thursday, April 30 at 13:35 UTC (9:35 EDT). During this event, an ARISS telebridge radio ground station will link to the astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) ham radio station and each Stay-At-Home student and their teacher will be individually linked to the telebridge station. Under the teacher’s direction, each student, from their home, takes a turn asking their question of the astronaut.

Quoting ARISS Chair Frank Bauer, “This approach is a huge pivot for ARISS, but we feel it is a great strategic move for ARISS. In these times of isolation due to the virus, these ARISS connections provide a fantastic psychological boost to students, families, educators and the public. And they continue our long-standing efforts to inspire, engage and educate student in STEAM subjects and encourage them to pursue STEAM careers.”

ARISS is inviting the public to view a live stream of the upcoming contact at its new ARISS YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/Cu8I9ose4Vo.

During the contact, participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1. What does the sun look like from outer space?
2. How comfortable is it to sleep in space?
3. What is one thing you want to eat when you get back to earth?
4. I’ve heard that stars are red, yellow and blue. Can you see those colors in space when you look at the stars?
5. Besides your family, what do you miss most while being in space?
6. What are your thoughts on our Covid-19 situation right now? Does the Earth look differently over the last 3 months now that many people are inside and not creating pollution?
7. How often do you get to go out of the ISS? Have you been on any space walks?
8. Who makes the rocket that takes you to the ISS?
9. What does it feel like to float all the time?
10. Do you use flashlights on space walks?
11. How do you exercise in space?
12. How do you get out for space walks safely without the air from the ISS coming out into space? How does it feel to walk in space?
13. What do you wear in the space station?
14. How did it feel when you first got to space?
15. How is space different from Earth?
16. What do you study in school to become an astronaut?
17. What do you like the most about being in space?
18. Were you nervous when you launched into space?
19. How do you communicate with loved ones while you are in space?


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Special Notice and Update from the International Radio Report

Many thanks to Sheldon Harvey who writes with an update from the International Radio Report:

When we received notice that CKUT was closing the office and studio due to the COVID-19 crisis, we originally decided to go on hiatus. However, after discussing the situation, and the ability of CKUT to air pre-recorded programming during the shutdown, Gilles came up with a plan to test out a system for us to be able to pre-record a show. Gilles and I will be recording a new edition of the program using Skype between our two homes tomorrow afternoon. Gilles will be recording the Skype link-up, editing it and then forwarding the recording to CKUT. The plan will be to have it aired in its usual time slot, at 10:30 Eastern; 1430 UTC on Sunday morning. This will be a test. If all goes well, then we should be able to continue to provide a new program each week during the shutdown.

Please tune in on Sunday on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal, or online at www.ckut.ca

Sheldon Harvey.

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International Radio Report is on hiatus

Many thanks to Sheldon Harvey with the International Radio Report who shares the following announcement:

Hi, all. We received the following notice from the management of CKUT-FM. As a result, International Radio Report is on hiatus, effective immediately. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to post items of interest here [on our Facebook] group. We also encourage you to check in to the twice a week YouTube shows hosted by Gilles Letourneau on the OfficialSWLChannel on YouTube. You can also look for his Facebook group under the same name. Gilles has two live YouTube shows weekly; on Wednesdays at 8 pm Eastern; 0000 UTC-Thursdays) and on Fridays at 4 PM Eastern, 2000 UTC. We will be attempting to include some elements of the Int. Radio Report show into Gilles’ two weekly shows. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of our radio program.

Sheldon Harvey

Important (and unprecedented) notice from CKUT-FM:

CKUT’s studios, music library, offices, and equipment will be closed/unavailable until further notice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to our at-risk members. In the meantime, we will be operating remotely and will air a mix of original pre-recorded programming from our regular programmers, recent archives, and other relevant special programming.

The studios are locked and door codes are being changed. There is no possibility of hosting your show live at the CKUT studios. We will also be locking the office (all of the 2nd floor).

*Current CKUT Programmers*: please email your programming coordinator (Arts & Culture, News, or Music respectively) *ASAP* to confirm your plans for your show (at least 24 hours in advance beginning March 16th, 6 pm EST). If you would like to arrange for the broadcast of a pre-recorded program, please send your file to your programming coordinator 24 hours in advance. Please contact your coordinator if you have ideas for special programming and we’ll do our best to make it work.

Please note that our 2020 Funding Drive has been postponed until a later date.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is and will continue to be a reality that affects our loved ones and members of our communities, CKUT opposes the alarmist discourses that have been weaponized to justify racism, xenophobia, imperialism, increased state sanctions, and surveillance. We believe that this phenomenon highlights the pre-existing need – and now the undeniable urgency – for accessible and free health care, paid sick leave and a guaranteed minimum income, mutual aid, and strengthened community.

We hope to see you again soon. Please be safe!

Thanks for passing this along, Sheldon.  We look forward to your return to the airwaves after the Covid-19 pandemic is history!

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Today: Listen to the 30th Anniversary of The International Radio Report

Note: Our previous post had incorrectly noted the date in the title.  The show is today, Sunday November 19:

(International Radio Report press release via Sheldon Harvey)

NOTICE: 30th Anniversary edition of The International Radio Report on CKUT-FM 90.3 MHz in Montreal

Sunday, November 19, 2017 from 10:30 am to 11:30 AM Eastern (1530 to 1630 UTC)
The International Radio Report, is a radio program conceived by Sheldon Harvey and submitted to CKUT’s first station manager Ms. Susan Elrington as a proposal in the fall of 1987. CKUT obtained its FM broadcasting license in 1987 and began broadcasting regular programming, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in November 1987.

The program proposal was approved and the International Radio Report, a weekly 30-minute program about the medium of radio, first aired on Thursday afternoons from 2:30 to 3 PM, beginning in mid-November 1987 when CKUT first went on the air. The program eventually moved to Sunday mornings from 10:30 to 11:00 AM. It has aired every week for the past 30 years on CKUT.

The program, originally hosted and produced by Sheldon Harvey and William Westenhaver, initially dealt exclusively with the world of international radio broadcasting, or shortwave radio, featuring information on radio broadcasts from around the world that could be listened to on shortwave radio. Over the years the scope of the program evolved and expanded to also include information and developments in local and national radio broadcasting, campus/community radio, pirate and clandestine radio and, eventually, Internet and digital radio. The program also covers developments in radio equipment, radio technology, and more.

Throughout its 30 years on the air, the program has had a few other hosts and producers. Sheldon Harvey and William Westenhaver took a break for several years, but the program continued with hosts Janice Laws and Steve Karlock. Eventually Steve left and Sheldon returned to co-host with Janice. Then Janice left and was replaced by David Asselin. Today the show continues with co-hosts Sheldon Harvey and David Asselin.

Over the years numerous guests have appeared on the program, including personalities from local and international radio stations, members of various shortwave and amateur radio clubs and organizations, representatives of Industry Canada and the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and other radio related organizations.

The program has developed a dedicated local audience, as well as many listeners from around the world tuning in via CKUT’s webpage live-stream. There is also a very active Facebook group with over 365 members from around the world.

The International Radio Report will be celebrating its 30th anniversary broadcast on Sunday, November 19th with a special one-hour edition of the program from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Sheldon and David will have an array of special in-studio guests, plus some samplings of past historic broadcasts, including a clip from the very first edition in November 1987. We will also pay tribute to past hosts and guests and have a round-table discussion on the evolution of radio over the last 30 years and what the future holds for the medium.

We invite you to tune in to this special 1-hour edition of the International Radio Report, live from 10:30 to 11:30 AM, on Sunday, November 19, 2017 on CKUT-FM 90.3 in Montreal and online, live-streaming, on www.ckut.ca. The broadcast will then be available on the CKUT archives.

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Listen to the 30th Anniversary of The International Radio Report–Sunday, November 12

(International Radio Report press release via Sheldon Harvey)

NOTICE: 30th Anniversary edition of The International Radio Report on CKUT-FM 90.3 MHz in Montreal

Sunday, November 19, 2017 from 10:30 am to 11:30 AM Eastern (1530 to 1630 UTC)
The International Radio Report, is a radio program conceived by Sheldon Harvey and submitted to CKUT’s first station manager Ms. Susan Elrington as a proposal in the fall of 1987. CKUT obtained its FM broadcasting license in 1987 and began broadcasting regular programming, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in November 1987.

The program proposal was approved and the International Radio Report, a weekly 30-minute program about the medium of radio, first aired on Thursday afternoons from 2:30 to 3 PM, beginning in mid-November 1987 when CKUT first went on the air. The program eventually moved to Sunday mornings from 10:30 to 11:00 AM. It has aired every week for the past 30 years on CKUT.

The program, originally hosted and produced by Sheldon Harvey and William Westenhaver, initially dealt exclusively with the world of international radio broadcasting, or shortwave radio, featuring information on radio broadcasts from around the world that could be listened to on shortwave radio. Over the years the scope of the program evolved and expanded to also include information and developments in local and national radio broadcasting, campus/community radio, pirate and clandestine radio and, eventually, Internet and digital radio. The program also covers developments in radio equipment, radio technology, and more.

Throughout its 30 years on the air, the program has had a few other hosts and producers. Sheldon Harvey and William Westenhaver took a break for several years, but the program continued with hosts Janice Laws and Steve Karlock. Eventually Steve left and Sheldon returned to co-host with Janice. Then Janice left and was replaced by David Asselin. Today the show continues with co-hosts Sheldon Harvey and David Asselin.

Over the years numerous guests have appeared on the program, including personalities from local and international radio stations, members of various shortwave and amateur radio clubs and organizations, representatives of Industry Canada and the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and other radio related organizations.

The program has developed a dedicated local audience, as well as many listeners from around the world tuning in via CKUT’s webpage live-stream. There is also a very active Facebook group with over 365 members from around the world.

The International Radio Report will be celebrating its 30th anniversary broadcast on Sunday, November 19th with a special one-hour edition of the program from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Sheldon and David will have an array of special in-studio guests, plus some samplings of past historic broadcasts, including a clip from the very first edition in November 1987. We will also pay tribute to past hosts and guests and have a round-table discussion on the evolution of radio over the last 30 years and what the future holds for the medium.

We invite you to tune in to this special 1-hour edition of the International Radio Report, live from 10:30 to 11:30 AM, on Sunday, November 19, 2017 on CKUT-FM 90.3 in Montreal and online, live-streaming, on www.ckut.ca. The broadcast will then be available on the CKUT archives.

 

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CKUT’s International Radio Report sheds light on RCI cuts

The International Radio Report with Wojtek (left), Janice (center) and Sheldon (right). Photo: RCI Action

Sunday, concerned as I am about the deep cuts to RCI’s (Radio Canada International’s) vital radio programming, I listened to CKUT‘s International Radio Report with much interest.  Hosts (and good friends) Sheldon and Janice were joined by Wojtek Gwiazda, RCI Action Committee spokesperson, as their on-air guest. RCI Action is a coalition that has worked to restore RCI funding since cuts in 1991; Wojtek explains some of their history in the interview.

Most importantly, the interview provides insight into the internal reaction to the program cuts and changes. Wojtek makes many excellent points, including the fact that since RCI’s English and French news rooms are being eliminated, Canada will effectively have no international voice, no means to offer their opinion of world events. He also notes that, even though the US has the VOA, and UK has the BBC World Service, these countries also have periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, so forth, all of which carry their voices abroad.  Canada, sadly, has no such international news presence. Indeed, I’m aware that The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, has very limited international exposure).

If, like me, you’re interested in the recent developments at RCI–or in reductions to radio’s international presence generally–this show is a must-listen.

Click here to download this episode of the International Radio Report. Click here for an audio archive of past shows.

Note that Wojtek Gwiazda, besides his role with RCI Action, also hosts a show on RCI called Masala Canada. On Saturday, he posted the following message “off mic” for his listeners:

Saturday, April 7, 2012 – 13:34

Why the silence? And a budget cut.

I wanted to take a moment to explain why I’ve been so silent on this site in the last few days.

Some of you may have heard by now that this past Wednesday, Canada’s national radio and television public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced the impact of federal government cutbacks to the financing of the broadcaster.

Many services will be affected, many people will lose their jobs.

At Radio Canada International – the effects are quite devastating.

Our budget of $12.3 million will be reduced to $2.3 million.

At least, two-thirds of our staff will be laid off.

We will no longer broadcast on shortwave. The only presence we’ll have is on the Internet, on our website.

The RCI newsroom will be closed, there will be no newscasts.

Our Russian service will be closed, the Brazilian program eliminated.

What will be left is a presence on our website in English, French, Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish. What kind of presence this will be, is yet to be determined.

And yes, that means, that as with everything else that’s being eliminated, the last edition of MASALA CANADA will be on June 23rd.

So far that is all that we know.

I can tell you that there is a union supported lobby group, the RCI Action Committee, which is actively lobbying to stop the cuts. Whether it will be successful, is unknown.

I’ll give you updates when I can.

All the best,

Wojtek

 

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