Thursday 29 November 2012

Chestnuts and truffles on Radio Romania International

Radio Romania International is still up there with a comprehensive schedule, aiming English all over the world. Obviously the frequencies aimed to Europe will be the easiest catches but some of the other frequencies are worth checking as well. 

Bucharest starts each day by talking to North America’s east coast from 0100 to 0200 UTC on 6145 and 7340kHz; to North America’s west coast from 0400 to 0500 on 6130 and 7305kHz and to India at the same time on 15220 and 17870kHz; to Australia from 0630 to 0700 UTC on 21600kHz. The first broadcast of the day to western Europe is at noon for 30 minutes on 15460 an 17530kHz.

Africa meanwhile gets a full hour from 1200 UTC on 17765 and 21570kHz. There’s then a long gap until 2130 UTC when 7310 and 9435kHz carry 30 minutes to North America’s east coast. The main broadcast to western Europe is quite late at 2300 until midnight UTC on 6015 and 7220kHz, which is the same time that Bucharest puts out its call in English to Japan, on 9530 and 11810kHz.

Quality and engrossing programmes which are easy enough to tune into. Regular readers will vouch for this and any doubters should just tune in. Radio Romania International for instance, even in some of its duller sounding programmes can have some nice surprises. 

For example Business Club has covered truffle and chestnut cultivation, Society Today could include anything but a feature on getting old while staying active was good. Inside Romania again covers anything from kite festivals to eco houses. 

All That Jazz does what you would expect, Romanian without tears is a three minute sound bite of learning the lingo, and Travellers' Guide is constantly excellent, be it in a luxury casino or on the country’s oldest railway.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Albania and Germany in English

News of two winter shortwave schedules. Starting in Albania where English from Radio Tirana is aimed at Europe from 2200 to 2300 UTC on 7465kHz and to North America from 0330 to 0400 UTC on 6100kHz. 

Other languages and frequencies to follow include their Italian service at 1900 UTC on 6040kHz, French at 1930 on 7465kHz and German at 2130 UTC on 7465kHz. 

Deutsche Welle meanwhile continues to broadcast solely from the Kigali transmitter site in Rwanda. English to Africa (but also heard in Europe) is on from 0400 UTC right through until 2200 UTC. A wide range of ever changing frequencies are in use: 5905, 7285, 9420, 9470, 9655, 11800, 12045, 12070, 13780, 15275 and 17800kHz.

Sunday 25 November 2012

RCI & Under the Pavement

Here are two diverse but (in my mind) equally enthralling online radio station tips for you.

Under the Pavement is a weekly show on community station ALL FM. You can hear their cloudcast at Mixcloud.  

Branded as anarchy on the airwaves, Under the Pavement presenters David and Spike have a blend of music and chat, covering grass roots activism and an eclectic range of alternative music.

Across the pond, Radio Canada International may have been unceremoniously booted off of shortwave by Prime Minster Stephen Harper and the CBC, but The Link programme is hanging on for a 30 minute weekly online show. 

You can listen or download at and also subscribe to a daily cyber magazine full of Canadian news.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Beatwolf, Smiths, Quiet KYOT and Wazobia

Some selections from my November 2012 Radio Websites column in Radio User magazine.
Beatwolf Radio is an independent online station broadcasting from Salford Quays and headed up by former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce. There’s an interesting mix of new, often well thought through, music to be heard there. The station follows a “no playlist, no party line” approach so there is plenty of variety aired. 

Radios Online is a useful portal showcasing the biggest as well as some of the smaller stations in UK radio. The obvious BBC and local commercial stations are there but you can click through to regional stations that you might normally miss out on. It’s well worth a few random clicks to see where it leads you. 

Quiet Music is another channel on Mixcloud that I would recommend. You can also find it at Nick Francis is the man behind this weekly three hour show that previously was on Phoenix radio station KYOT for 17 years until 2011. A tranquil merging of ambient, cinematic, acoustic soundtracks, jazz and quiet music will sooth your battered ears. Nick is currently Music Director at Seattle and Pacific north–west station KPLU and Jazz 24 

Radio Wazobia is a Nigerian station that broadcasts in Pidgin English at times, to try and unite and establish a common language for the 150 different languages that can be heard in Lagos.

Monday 12 November 2012

BBC Children In Need DAB Radio & BBC 90th

Earlier in 2012 Radio 4’s flagship programme Today, hosted a competition to design a new radio. This was inspired by the programme moving into the New Broadcasting house. Listeners were invited to design a skin (outer cover) for a limited edition DAB Radio, which is being sold to raise money for BBC Children in Need. 

The brief asked people to reflect the great traditions of radio but also represent broadcasting in a contemporary way. Some impressive design skills surfaced although the ones I liked best did not win. There is a glimpse into some of the designs and the judging process here.

See also the Children In Need blog posts, especially the 31 July 2012 post, at Examples of the many varied designs submitted can also be seen from a link there, or at:

They retail from Tivoli at £199: 

On Wednesday 14th November, BBC hits its 90th birthday. Suffice to say that the “BBC is attempting an ambitious first, bringing together around 60 our stations (network, local, national and international) for a single remarkable moment – a three-minute piece of history broadcast simultaneously around the UK and the world. At its heart will be an idea that explains radio’s success: listening to each other.” 

Wednesday 7 November 2012

DX Window on Denmark

Extract from my monthly Radio Websites column in Radio User, September 2012, 
Who remembers Radio Denmark’s DX Window programme? Bradley Allen in Whitstable asked me for information on it, even though he didn’t ever get to hear it himself.

It was first on air on Sundays way, way back in November 1967, ran for two years and verified over 3,000 reception reports. There is a look back at it in the Shortwave Central blog (look for 23 May 2008):  

The programme included Radio Denmark’s English Service secretary Susanne Jackson who helped compile the programme presented by DJ Christian Flagstad, Anker Peterson and others. There is a short audio extract at a 1989 edition of Media Network, which you can hear at the Media Network Vintage Vault (posted in February 2012), at:  

DX Window went onto become a printed newsletter and most recently, as you’d expect, an online version, the Danish Shortwave Club website has more information on the radio programme and its current formats.  

Monday 5 November 2012

Re-used November & December desk calendar, BBC WS

As 1973 shares the same dates and days as 2012 I thought it'd be fun to post some of the calendar girls and boys from the BBC External Services Audience Research Calendar from 1973.  

Here to round off the calendar, modelling November and December we have the Arabic Service's Walid Moussa and Raymond Micallef, perusing a souvenir edition of a newspaper that commemorated the 1972 Tutankhamen exhibition in London.

Thursday 1 November 2012

BBC WS Take it or Leave it Quiz

My favourite BBC quiz (way back when) was Take it or Leave it presented by Michael Aspel. I felt one of a select bunch who tuned in to the BBC World Service to hear employees of major companies take part in this novel game show.

Once upon a time: to smartphones and podcast apps

Once upon a time, many years ago, when I was a child, I used to dream of owning a magic book that would contain every comic strip, poe...