According to TheGreekRadio.com, 39 shortwave antennas located at the Voice of Greece Avlis transmitter site may soon be sold as scrap metal. It seems this information is based on a statement by ERT employees from Monday (September 16, 2013):
“in the shortwave broadcasting center of Avlis, a representative of a company that sells metal showed up and started taking photos of the site. After we, ERT people, asked him, we got informed that he had been mandated by the Ministry of Finance to give an offer for the dismantling of 39 masts and purchasing the metal as scrap.”
[…]The name of [the] company and the registration plate of the car are available. The union body of ERT notes that this is an area of 1160 acres, featuring 39 metal masts, with a height between 30 and 70 meters each, that function as the shortwave aerials that transmit the “Voice of Greece”, the ERA-pénte, across the world.
“Greek shortwave started operating in 1938 and later was also used sent information to the Greek soldiers fighting Fascists in Albania. The only ones who dared to turn it off were the Nazis during the occupation. Since the liberation, it never stopped to link the country with Greek seafarers and the Diaspora. The Voice of Greece broadcasts information, entertainment, culture and tradition from Greece with programs in 12 languages, all over the globe”.
I’ve predicted that the Voice of Greece may not be on the air even by the end of 2013. I certainly hope I’m wrong, but I simply can’t imagine there will be enough money in the reincarnated ERT budget to pay for the Voice of Greece Avlis shortwave transmitter site.
Follow the tag “ERT Cuts” for the latest developments.
The transition from ERT to New Hellenic Radio is underway and the European Broadcasting Union will cease broadcasting ERT over the Internet and satellite.
I’ve heard nothing regarding how this will affect the Voice of Greece, but I have certainly noted VoG’s absence on 9,420 and 15,650 kHz again tonight. I’m uncertain if VoG has been using the EBU satellite feed for broadcasts lately, or using legacy ERT sources. I will listen for VoG again tomorrow.
The EBU will cease to stream the former Greek public service broadcaster ERT via its satellite capacity and its website on Wednesday August 21 at 9am.
The decision follows reports that ERT’s temporary replacement, Greek Public Television (EDT), will broadcast news services this week.
Since 12 June, when the Greek Government abruptly stopped ERT from operating, the EBU has delivered 8.5 million live streams for a total of 4.4 million hours of cumulative viewing to 2.5 million unique visitors and consistently called for the restitution of public service media in Greece, which is vital for culture, democracy and for society itself.
The EBU leadership has also written to the Greek Government offering its support and expertise to help ERT’s planned successor, known as New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT), NERIT fulfil its potential for independence and solid governance.
Good news from our reader and regular Greek correspondent, Christos:
I listen to the programmes of ERT, almost everyday.
They continue transmitting as usual, with full programming, even these days around 15th of August (Virgin Mary Day) which is the peak of the Greek holidays. Other years we had a 2-3 minutes news bulletin and a lot of uninterrupted music.
I have written some comments about it in my blog but only in Greek.
Yesterday was the first day in nearly a month that I had turned on my SDR to record broadcasts. Between my travel schedule, getting the PC fixed, and near-constant summer thunderstorms, my SWLing has been limited to portables and sporadic travel listening. It felt so great yesterday to turn on the WinRadio Excalibur and do a little band-scanning. As I skimmed across the bands, I checked in with my good friend, the Voice of Greece, on 9,420 kHz. And, as I listened, I flipped on the “record” switch.
Since I don’t speak or understand Greek, and since they’ve only made a few public statements in English, I turned to my friend and SWLing Post reader/contributor, Christos, for details. He writes:
I will try to describe…the current situation regarding the ERT issue, I hope in an objective way.
…[I]n front of the Radio House in Aghia Paraskevi suburb…all the fence[s] and part of the building [are] covered by banners. Almost every [evening], concerts take place in the yard. The participant artists express their solidarity [with] those who run the ERT since 11 of June, when the government fired 2,650 employees in order to recruit some 2000 again.
The so-called occupiers of the Radio House demonstrate signs of [fatigue] as less producers and known journalists appear in the programmes. Their programme is transmitted from medium waves 729, 1008, 1260 1404 and 1512 KHz…enough to cover the whole country during night time. I checked the short wave frequency of 9420 KHz; they [host] a different musical programme…the one you receive in [the US] [hear this above]. I think that this is a dead end for those who continue, as 3,000 people in the media business have applied for job[s] in the new ERT. The vice minister responsible…will recruit only 500 of them…
Two days ago, we had a night of tension as some protesters appeared on the mountain where the antennas are located…[P]olice arrested some of them.
You can get an idea of this incident [by] watching the following two videos:
Another source of [information about] the ERT occupiers is:
…[T]here have not been announcements about the future of the Voice of Greece. Think that some 10 million…Greeks live in the country, and some 10 [million] more [live] abroad.
[The pace of] Greek summer…[is] slow. People go to the beaches or to their native villages. Everybody looks exhausted as the last two days the temperature reached 39 degrees Celsius which is 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Today the SKAI, one of the biggest private radio stations, fired 10 journalists add[ing] to [the] 50 [previously fired]. Now they repeat older programmes and there [is] no news broadcasted.
Remaining journalists in ERT refer to [the broadcasting service] as: Hellenic Radio – The Voice of Freedom, and often announce, “You are listening to the Free Hellenic Radio.”
Once again…giving you an idea [of the political] climate here…this morning the government announced the names of 2,122 teachers – public servants from technical education [–] who lost their job[s].
I hope this will be of…interest.
Christos, we thank you so much for your insight and opinions about the state of Greek national and international broadcasting! We at The SWLing Post support freedom of press in Greece, and commiserate with those who have lost their jobs, especially in such an oppressively hot summer. Please do continue to keep us informed.
I have sincere doubts about the longevity of the Voice of Greece (or Free Hellenic Radio) on shortwave. With the serious budget cuts the new ERT must be built on, I doubt they’ll consider funding shortwave radio in Greece. I feel like it may only be a matter of time before we lose yet another shortwave broadcaster. I certainly hope I’m wrong…
In the meantime, I’ll be dedicating more hard drive space to spectrum recordings of VOG.
I have recorded hours of the Voice of Greece on shortwave since they were supposed to shutdown weeks ago. This update, via EnetEnglish, describes a re-branded TV service; Greek Public Television (EDT):
[…]ERT staff are asking whether EDT has been approved by the state’s broadcasting regulator, the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (ESR). They also ask who is paying the staff working in EDT and on what kind of contracts.
A Greek court ruled that shuttered state broadcaster ERT must reopen immediately, a court official said on Monday, offering the squabbling ruling coalition a way out of a political crisis over the station’s abrupt closure.
The ruling – which ordered ERT switched back on until a restructured public broadcaster is launched – came six day[s] after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras took it off air in the name of austerity and public sector layoffs to please foreign lenders.
The ruling appeared to vindicate Samaras’s stance that a leaner, cheaper public broadcaster must be set up but also allowed for ERT’s immediate reopening as his coalition partners had demanded, offering all three a way out of an impasse that had raised the specter of snap polls.
“It appears that the interim decision of the top administrative court gives the three leaders an opportunity to find a face-saving formula,” said Theodore Couloumbis of the ELIAMEP think-tank.
A live feed of ERT – whose journalists have continued broadcasting over the Internet in defiance of orders – showed workers breaking into applause on hearing the court ruling. ERT’s Symphony Orchestra began an outdoor concert outside its headquarters, playing an old news jingle to cheering supporters.
“I’ve been here seven nights and this is the first time I’ve seen people smile,” said Eleni Hrona, an ERT reporter outside the headquarters.[…]