Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Andrea! I’m most impressed with their auditorium which can accommodate both a full orchestra and an audience!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following:
I’m sending you two interesting articles from the renewed website of Radio Bulgaria:
Many attempts have been made to tell the story of the Bulgarian National Radio but usually, in an effort to present a concise version, we fail to mention some curious details that would sparkle the interest of anyone keen on the history of this country. Over the course of its existence, the Bulgarian National Radio has resisted many changes that transformed Bulgaria over the past eight decades.
What is considered to be the official start of radio broadcasting in Bulgaria? It happened in the remote 1929 and consisted in the construction of a 60-watt radio transmitter by a group of engineers. The desire of the enthusiastic members of the radio amateurs club called Rodno Radio (Native Radio) to create a radio program was supported by the state authorities, which allowed them to use a small building on the corner of the central Sofia streets Moskovska and Benkovski.
Soon, however, it became clear that the available equipment was insufficient to reach a larger audience, and a team of local engineers took up the challenging task to build a more powerful transmitter. Another problem arose as the people working on the radio programs increased and the building soon turned out to be too small to accommodate all. Therefore, with the permission of the state, the amateurs moved and occupied an entire floor of a building on 19 Moskovska Street. After radio broadcasting was made a state monopoly with the decree of Tsar Boris III in 1935, the Bulgarian radio began developing at a rapid pace. In addition to the Bulgarian language broadcasts, the year 1936 saw the start of overseas emissions – first in Esperanto, and several months later, also in French, German, English and Italian, the foreign service department of the radio known today as Radio Bulgaria. […]
Radio Bulgaria reaches users in more than 150 countries through its internet pages in Bulgarian and nine foreign languages, which is an excellent achievement, Boyko Stankushev who works as analysts at the Programme Department of the Bulgarian National Radio pointed out.
Highest number of people using Radio Bulgaria’s web sites is registered in Germany. The users in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hessen are most active. In the United Kingdom highest number of users is registered in London, followed by Manchester-apparently the people living in these two British cities show specific interest in the information published on the web sites of Radio Bulgaria’s foreign language sections. When it comes to Bulgaria’s neighboring countries Turkey is the undisputed leader in terms of the number of visitors in Radio Bulgaria’s site. I would underline that many people in this country visit the Bulgarian pages of the Bulgarian National Radio, including the Bulgarian web page of Radio Bulgaria. Istanbul is the leader in this ranking, followed by Ankara, Bursa and Izmir. Radio Bulgaria has users in some smaller Turkish towns such as Mu?la and Tekirda?. I believe that the Bulgarians studying at the local universities are regular users of Radio Bulgaria’s content and read both in Bulgarian and Turkish.
In 2018 the interest in Radio Bulgaria’s content by US users increased. The number of visits in publications in English was very high, followed by visits in Radio Bulgaria’s Greek and Spanish page from North and Latin America. In the USA the highest number of visits was registered in Illinois, which is not surprising, because of the huge Bulgarian community living in Chicago. In California huge internet activity was registered in areas with large technological parks and highly-educated people, i.e. we are talking in this case about a very high-quality audience.[…]
Thank you, David!
Your message prompted me to find a recording I made of the final Radio Bulgaria broadcast on shortwave which, coincidentally, happened seven years ago today!
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Sarkis, who writes with the following inquiry:
I thought I would turn to the SWLing Post for some advice please.
I am trying to find recordings of Radio Bulgaria’s Italian Service which was taken off the air in 1997.
I’m after a jingle with which the current affairs programme started. If my memory serves me right, it was Italo Disco style.
Thank you in advance!
Post readers: Does anyone have a recording of this jingle or remember the tune? Please feel free to comment with any details or a link to the recording!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:
Hi Thomas: I’m sending you what I received today from Radio Bulgaria.
The petition can be read in Spanish, English or Bulgarian.
We need your support for a noble and responsible cause.
Radio Bulgaria, which belongs to National Radio of Bulgaria, is the only means of communication that presents the image of Bulgaria before the world in nine languages, as well as in Bulgarian language with programs destined to the Bulgarian communities abroad. Today Radio Bulgaria faces the risk of being in history!
We urge you to support the efforts of editors, journalists, translators and institutions against this destructive act, contrary to the interests of society and statehood of Bulgaria, signing our request to save our, and yours also Radio Bulgaria.
Here is the address of the website with the request: http://www.saveradiobulgaria.com/en
Spanish Language Section of Radio Bulgaria
Many thanks, David!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who provides the following update regarding the closure of several Radio Bulgaria language services:
The Bulgarian National Radio`s Horizont Channel aired an interview, live, with BNR Director General Alexander Velev and the chair of Radio Bulgaria`s editorial staff panel Daniela Konstantinova on the plans by the BNR management to close down Radio Bulgaria.
Alexander Velev stated there was a little interest in the content offered by Radio Bulgaria, adding there was need to vacate posts for new appointments at the BNR. Daniela Konstantinova on her part expressed concerns that by closing down Radio Bulgaria, the BNR will be deprived of the unique advantage it now has as an institution of presenting a balanced picture of the country abroad.
She added she disagreed there was little interest in Radio Bulgaria, adducing examples of Radio Bulgaria content being extensively republished by other websites, where it generates a great many views, and shared in the social media. Asked whether he was inclined to reconsider the intention of terminating Radio Bulgaria, the BNR Director General stated that you cannot go against reality. Konstantinova said she expected the president, parliament and other institutions, addressed by the Radio Bulgaria staff in connection with the planned closure, to take note of their arguments. In conclusion, the Horizont radio host Tanya Velichkova stated she expected the debate to remain open.
The Open letter by the Radio Bulgaria editorial staff panel is available online on the website of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists.
Today the listeners of the Spanish service of Radio Bulgaria found a sad new in the website:
After the cessation of Radio Bulgaria short-wave broadcasts in 2012, the time has come when our programs will no longer be heard on the web. As of June 1, 2017, by decision of the Bulgarian National Radio Directive, of which Radio Bulgaria is part, the voice of this station will be extinguished. However, they will be able to continue reading our articles and to know the news about the happening in this country in our web site during a couple of months more.
For us journalists from Radio Bulgaria, programs abroad have meant much more than conventional notions about radio journalism, since it has been our mission, our link with the world, our relationship with foreigners eager to know more about the History, culture and traditions of Bulgaria.
Thank you for having been with us for all these years.
Please try to write to the radio and authorities for supporting to RB.
Yours from Argentina
Many thanks for passing along this news, David.
This reminds me of the final broadcast of Radio Bulgaria which I recorded over five years ago. Hard to believe it was that long ago:
Bulgaria’s public radio broadcaster has been banned from playing millions of contemporary songs because of a row over copyright payments.
Since 1 January, state-funded Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) has been filling its airwaves with classical pieces, jazz and traditional folk music instead, the Novinite news agency reports. It’s locked in a dispute with the non-profit Musicautor organisation, which manages the rights to work by both local and international artists – 14 million pieces of music in total.
Even the traditional version of the national anthem is off-limits. Listeners tuning in on New Year’s Eve instead heard the BNR symphony orchestra and choir’s take on the tune, Balkan Insight reports, adding that the copyright row means only music made before 1945 can be played. BNR itself says it cannot play “95% of today’s modern music repertoire”.
Musicautor wants BNR to pay more in royalties – triple the amount it pays at the moment – to bring it more into line with national radio in other EU countries. But radio director Aleksander Velev says that’s impossible unless it gets more funding or drops a regional broadcast, which would “tarnish the radio’s public mission”.[…]