Offshore Radio News

The latest offshore radio related news by reporters from Europe and the Middle East, updated whenever there is a new item. Please feel free to contribute via


 

Friday June 27th 2003

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Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

It's already June 26th and the last edition of the international report for this month. In the second report this month I mentioned the link between radio and train spotters. In some books can be read that Boom Boom Brannigan on Swinging Radio England had his own model train imported from the USA. His former colleague Roger 'Twiggy' Day wrote me that he has never seen a train in the hole of the Laissez Faire. So one of the many 'stories' in the history of Offshore Radio was a false one. But there was another guy who responded on the trains. Steve wrote me to say: ' Thank you for sending me the latest report. Are you saying that some of those cool Caroline DJs were in fact "train spotters". It makes me feel a little bit better about my own anorak tendencies. Twenty-five years ago I worked for the then British Rail as a surveyor based at Paddington. I can assure you there's nothing very romantic about standing next to a railway line with an express train charging by at 90mph - especially if a passenger chose to flush the loo at that very same instant! Still, that could explain a plug on Caroline for the North Norfolk Railway - a local enthusiasts line - which cropped up on an air-check from March 77 - remember that? I'm not surprised you didn't remember the plug, it was just one of those announcements that the DJs read out, rather than a properly produced add - I only remembered it after hearing it on a recording of James Ross.

Speaking of James - he was one of my favourite presenters from those days. (I still remember one program where he was hinting that he would be leaving Caroline shortly.) Apologies if you know all this already but I saw on the Stevie Gordon profile at the Radio Caroline NL website that James's real name is Kelvin O'Shea and is presumably responsible for the following radio blooper found at: http://www.personal.u-net.com/~tedder/radio/whoops.htm

'Conditions on the road are bad, so if you are just setting off for work, leave a little earlier.' DJ Kelvin O'Shea . In fact on another recording I have of him from February 1977. James opens up the station at 10am by announcing: 'This is Radio Caroline broadcasting from the MEBO 2' - so he obviously hadn't changed very much!' Thank you Steve.

During the past three editions I was on search for two guys, who have worked on the MV Mi Amigo. Peter van Dijken and Jaap de Haan were most enjoyable persons for the deejays on Radio Caroline during the period 1972/1974. In the last edition I mentioned that they were traced and that Bob Noakes would try to meet them soon. However some days before the international report was sent out Peter didn't feel well and went to a hospital. There he got a heart attack. Lucky enough he's now feeling much better. All best wishes, Peter.

Going back to Roger Day, I did asked him when he thinks Music Mann comes on the air and he answered with: 'I still think the Music Mann thing will happen and has great potential. When it will happen I don't know. My feeling is that it will be before the 40th anniversary of Radio Caroline next March. Wouldn't that be nice. But that is personal not logical. My recent work at Radio Caroline has reinforced my belief that the public will tune to great radio no matter what it is delivered on.'

And even from California we had one written in that he had heard Roger on Radio Caroline: 'I got to say you're not missing much by not listening to Radio Caroline (Roger Day of course aside). Something just doesn't sound right, you know? Maybe I'm just too much of a North Sea Fundamentalist'.

From the USA came also an e-mail from the man behind the Air-check Factory: 'As always I've enjoyed your newsy report! I guess you get a flood of e-mails right after you send it out. I was shocked, though, to hear of Johnnie Walker's cancer, but trust he can beat it. My radio hobby goes back to include 1970's Johnnie Walker and succeeding shows on various stations so I feel like I know him, certainly as a DJ. Again, thanks for the newsy report. I especially enjoy the photos you include, when available. Tom Konard.' Thanks Tom and indeed the e-mails are coming in within 15 minutes after sending it away each time the report is published. You can all go and have a look on Tom's internet site, which you can find at: www.theaircheckfactory.com

It was my good old friend since the late seventies, Ron C Jones, who wrote from Ontario in Canada: 'Greetings from Canada's number one Radio market. Not too much to report this time my friend. 92.5mhz, which started broadcasting as CISS (KISS 92.5) with a Country music format and then switched to Urban/CHR after 2 years, has been sold and is now broadcasting as 'Jack FM' with a 70's/80's mix of music, there are no! jocks at this time and no commercials. Just music, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1050 CHUM is still on air, with a 'Oldies' format, but the listener's are few, so there may be a format change again? 1150 CKOC, which is located in Hamilton, has a much better mix of 'Oldies' but reception is poor/average from my location. 107.9 FM, which used to be a great Oldies station but switched to Urban/Rap music has switched formats again to Classic Rock and sounds 'tired & boring' (to my ears, anyway), perhaps I am getting *Too Old?*. Strange as it may seem, this Radio market does not have a Radio Station targeted to Teenagers/Young Adults? But the more things change, the more things stay the same! I hope all is well in Groningen. Ron.'

Well thanks a lot Ron. I have been exchanging cassettes (yes of course with radio recordings) with Ron for a few decades. There was a time, during the eighties, I thought I had lost contact with him and so after not hearing from him for a long time I did wrote to him. He told me he had sent off a parcel for me, which hadn't arrived. Believe it or not another two months later a package came in with an official letter from the JFK Airport. A plane had crashed and got on fire. Finally they have sent the post which was just little damaged to the one who was on the front side of the envelope and so I got in contact again with good old Ron.

These came in a photo from Leen Vingerling, which was taken onboard the Communicator in 1987. The ship was then anchored off the Belgian coast. A lot of rumours were going at that stage, one of them that the MV Nannell would be on the air soon. Also rumours were going that the Communicator was used for other things than radio, but probably we will never know. Captain in those days was Captain Bob and he can be seen on the photo. The big question from Leen is who can tell who those other two persons are?

Some people have enough with sending in an one liner, like Andrew from Northampton: 'Thanks Hans! Fascinating stuff, as always. I do enjoy reading these reports. Andy' You're welcome Andy. 

Some days later the same Andrew Emmerson sent in a statement where the word 'color radio' came from. 'I once met Jean Purcell, whose husband, former KFI announcer and later Crowell-Collier Stations manager Bob Purcell, initiated 'Color Radio' here on the West Coast at KFWB-Los Angeles. ('Color Channel 98'). It began in 1958 and lasted about 8 years. Color Radio included brassy sounding jingles, which Mrs Purcell said were inspired by the music of West Side Story and a very upbeat sounding format. Another attempt to lure TV viewers back to radio, even if all they were going to get on Color Radio was the pop music of the day. Other stations in other markets picked up on it right away. KFWB which is all news today, still uses the basic 'Color Radio' tune for their jingles.' Eric Cooper sent it in to Andrew.

Even in New Brunswick Canada people are reading the facts about the changes in the tiny radio world of the Netherlands, the country behind the dykes. Here's what came in from there: 'Thanks for including me on your list. Just how European Governments handle licences is fascinating. Here in Canada, the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) only gave out licences for any broadcast outlet if they could prove that they could succeed without harming any other stations in the market. In the last few years, they've done a complete about face, and as long as you have the money to get going, you can get a licence for anything anywhere. Religious broadcasters on Low Power FM's seem to be the one's taking advantage of this the most. Great reading Hans, and thanks again. Darren MacDonald Miramichi NB Canada'. 

We all think back sometimes to the good old days of radio. The next came in from Roger Day: 'Ladies & Gentlemen: When you read the attached I expect you will think I wrote it. It could quite easily have been me, but it is an extract from Have Mercy the biography of Wolfman Jack. As he would have said 'Ain't that the truth baby.' 
'One of my problems is, I don't listen to the pop stations. I try to, and I tune to MTV to sample what's happening, but I find I just can't keep my attention on it. I don't think it's about being old; it's about not being moved. When Elvis was at his peak, when rock'n'roll was at its peak, even the adults would be into his latest hit tune, whistling along whenever it came on the radio. When the Beatles and Stones had a great record, the over fifties were getting down to it too. Now I meet kids who in their teens or early twenties who have a big fixation on music from the sixties and seventies. It's almost like they wish they'd been living in an earlier time. Part of the problem is radio itself. I still love the medium but nowadays a new artist has to practically go through a computer bank just to get on air. They've a perfect video and have sex appeal written on their face in big letters. They have got to be a whole lot like what's already popular so programme directors won't be scared to play their records. In the old days, someone who had a band together in a little town or medium sized city could go in the studio and press a record of their two best tunes. If the local disc jockeys liked it, they'd get behind it. If the request calls came in, record stores would pick up on the vibe and stock the record. And if it sold quite a few, the big labels would zero in. Even if I wish there was more adventurous spirit in today's play lists, radio still has a magic that no other medium has. To be good in radio is really a very tough thing to do. Give the listener a voice and a personality and they can picture what you look like. On the radio you've got to immediately put your ass on the line. To be a disc jockey now, when the music is so controlled, is harder than it was in my early days. You can't express your feeling for music, like old time DJ's used to do. You could feel their personalities through the style of music they played. They knew how to put records together to give you a boost. So you might call me a dinosaur, but I'm one of the last people who know how to do that thing and how to do an improvised disc jockey show. I know how to put records together so over, say fifteen minutes I've built the audience up to a certain peak. I play something to trigger their memory banks and their imaginations and take them to ecstasy. When you hear a guy on the air and you know he knows what he's doing. It's a pleasure to listen to somebody like that. You can't learn it in a broadcasting school. You can learn the fundamentals and the rules, but the style of presentation has got to come from you. ' 

'Thanks for yet another report that was very interesting. I have sent a copy down to Chris Cortez in Cherry Hinton', wrote Ian B and he went on: 'I read that you liked the June 1973 period of Caroline on 389 and I must say that this is also one of my favourite times in my offshore listening. As an 11 year old I had only been listening to offshore radio for a few months and remember being very excited when I heard the test transmissions on 259 and 389 from Radio Caroline. Being in the west of Scotland, I could not hear the transmissions during the day in the summer months. But at night 389 used to come in well and I especially remember Norman Barrington, Robin Adcroft and Paul Alexander on the air, as well as Michael Lindsay on at least one occasion. Sadly it did not last long and we were waiting for a long time for the return of 389. It is funny how a service that lasted less than four weeks is still talked about 30 years later. I don't think the same will be said of a four week RSL that we have these days '

Bob, from Yorkshire, is astonished as he wrote: 'Wow what a lot of events on your side of the North Sea. Do hope Country FM eventually gain access to 675 - although I have to say Arrow knocks spots off anything in the UK.' Well Bob going back in history a lot happened in Holland including worlds first regular transmissions. 

June 15th: Communicator here Communicator there, these weeks. All kind of journalists were trying to get in contact with me for the latest news. I try to be as normal as ever when rumours are going around. So most of them did not get me on the phone or did not get any answers. So I always see: 'Believe it when you hear it'. Of course some papers quoted me but those are friends in journalism and know how I think about those rumours. In one of the many newsgroups Mike from England found the following warning, which he found on: www.mvcommunicator.com/8326.html
'Our most recent visit to the ship brought more frustration and concern as we discovered that once again our beloved vessel had been broken into and vandalised. We immediately alerted Dutch Police who have heightened security measures. These include more frequent water and foot patrols. If you have any information regarding persons boarding the ship without permission, please phone the police immediately. You can speak to PC Derikson of Amsterdam Police on 20 52 30 232, or contact Officer Goudzwaard of the Dutch Water Police by fax on 32 02 61 008. We would be extremely grateful for any help you can give us in preventing any more cruel acts of vandalism. And should you have any information that will help us catch and prosecute these criminals, you can also contact us via e-mail on info@mvcommunicator.com. Some more positive news however, is that we are close to appointing a very experienced captain for the ship. He is by far one of the most passionate shipping people we have ever met, and we're extremely excited about the prospect of him heading the team.'

The next e-mail, which came in on June 17th, came from Canada and I must say it was a little thrill getting it as it came from one of the deejays I used to listen to a lot on '242' metres in the Sixties. Radio Scotland could be received in the North of Holland very good: 'Hi Hans: As always your news is fascinating and very informative and I really like your new format (with the photos). I am dropping you a quick line to let you know that I will be a guest on the Kenny Tosh show on City Beat Belfast on the 27th of July from 9 a.m. till 1 a.m. Kenny like your self is a great friend of offshore radio and I am really looking forward to doing his show. It is also available live on the net. Radio Scotland was heard very clearly in Northern Ireland and Kenny was so kind to send me some tapes of me during my Radio Scotland days. He also let me pick a lot of the music. Radio Scotland for a short period of time was anchored off Ballywater near Belfast. At that time I had the pleasure of interviewing Irelands favourite son Van Morrison, who by the way was recently inducted into the songwriter's hall of fame in New York. All the best Hans and thanks again for your great contribution to the love of our life that was offshore radio. Ben Healy' Thanks a lot Ben and keep on reading the international report.

I also say greetings and salutations to Derek May. He's one of the many people who wrote in this time, of whom I've never heard before: 'Thank you very much for such a detailed Web Site.I am an old Anorak - 54 years old, Day 3 of Radio Caroline in 1964 - mad on Offshore Radio and Good Radio ever since. Just let me say how fantastic it is to hear Arrow on 675khz, when on 828 you could not receive it in most of UK, being jammed out by local commercial rubbish. Please convey our thanks to Arrow and say there are many rock music fans listening in their cars across UK. Looking forward to July's newsletter. Regards, Derek May Hampshire UK'. From this month you'll get the report by e-mail too.

Business News Radio hit the exclusive top just in the middle of the month. This when announcing that Princess Maxima of the House of Oranje is pregnant. The news station, which can be received since a couple of weeks in almost the whole of the Netherlands, did beat all the gossip magazines. Just hours after the radio station claimed that the Princess is expecting a baby, the official press conference by the Royal Family was given. So certainly it is 10-0 for Business News Radio this month.

Robb Eden sent in details of the 'unsigned artistes' campaign. And it will be at Radio 2's Great British Music Debate on 2nd July: 'Like many people in the industry I am saddened by the lack of support that unsigned artistes are receiving from radio & television services in this country (Great Britain). Hence, I have been in contact with Dr Kim Howells, at the Department of Media, Culture & Sport (DCMS), asking his government to ensure that local, regional & national services provide a conduit for the
huge amount of talent that is waiting to be heard. This will help to ensure a future for live music, as local acts will gain exposure not afforded to them at present. In the Cabinet reshuffle Dr Howells has been moved to a new position. The new Minister for Broadcasting is Lord McIntosh. However, the DCMS have already indicated that they are not willing to introduce any statutory obligation for companies to promote local artistes. They have stated that there is already a requirement for radio & television companies to carry local programming and that it is in the interest of these companies to do so. My experience shows that it is more or less impossible to get a local band onto a local radio station, whether BBC or commercial. As a licence fee payer I feel that the BBC, at least, should give reasonable exposure to these acts. If they are not
prepared to do so the government should step in.

I beg you to support unsigned artistes who are desperate for media exposure. Please all of you go to www.jacobsladder.oorg.uk/music and copy and paste a template of a letter to your MP. Please feel free to change anything or write your own letter stating why, you believe, something must be done. On the website there is also a letter to the BPI asking their members to introduce an A&R kite mark to ensure that unsigned artistes who send demos receive a reply. Hopefully, these companies will go one better by responding with criticism or praise where due. Your support could bring about a change for the better, one that will help ensure a healthy future for the live music scene and for the UK music industry. With best wishes: Robb Eden Manager Surefire'.

On June 22nd an e-mail came in from our good friend for years Mike Brand, who's living in Israël for many decades. He wrote: "Last week, I went to visit the founder of the Voice Of Peace, Abie Nathan in an old age home, somewhere in Tel-Aviv. Contrary to reports and rumours that Abie had died, I can tell you that he is very much alive. His condition is not good, and he is confined to a wheelchair. His speech is a bit slurred, but his memory is still sharp, and remembers events that happened years ago. Abie is now 76 years old, and I am sure that we all wish him a long life. If any of you who once knew him, want to pass any messages on to him, you may do it through my e-mail address (mike@selasys.com) . I don't promise any answers from him, but I will pass the message on to him the next time I see him.' 

Further on in another, more personal, e-mail Mike told me that Abe did had good memories on me personally. I met him a few times during the period the Peace Ship was bought in Groningen and was painted in Amsterdam, as well as two times in the second part of the Seventies. After that we were in contact a few times by phone and letter. After my book on the VOP was published in 1994 there was a personal thanks from Abe. So his long time memory is still in good condition. Hope he can enjoy life for many years. 

Also Mike Brand added some lines on the subject 'merchandise': 'If anyone wants to purchase an Arutz 7 hat or T-Shirt - after all, they are the only real offshore radio station left in the world, you can do it through their website at the following address: http://www.israelnnmall.com/tshotju.html

Another good friend who appears on a regular base in this report is Leendert Vingerling. He's trying to find everyone he ever met on his trips as the tender king to the Ross Revenge. On June 22nd he wrote me that he found, with thanks to the internet, again one old guy: 'With thanks to Walter Zwart, who found a message from him in his guest book from Fergus Penman (Fergie McNeill). Well I decided to write him at once. And he came back with the following answer about the things he did during the past years. 'After I went back to England, I studied to go to university and ended up with a master's degree and a teaching certificate and developed an interest in Asia and was offered jobs in several countries but decided Thailand would suit me better. I am single but you never have to be single in Thailand if you don't want to! I have never seen so many beautiful women, but the best thing is the people, they are always smiling and happy and friendly. The food is great, and the climate, especially in the deep south, where I am, it is hot every day of the year. I never ever need to wear a jacket. The scenery is amazing too I am teaching English to postgraduates at a southern state university, and will probably remain here for the rest of my life. After 3 years I couldn't imagine leaving.' 

Fergus Panman, Leendert added, started his radio career on the Ross Revenge in 1984. First as cook, later on as a deejay too. He stayed on board until a lady from Hook of Holland came aboard with a trip. She asked him to come with her to the village on the coastline and so he did. After a year Fergie married his Mariëlla Post and became father of the daughter Valery. After the marriage broke up Fergie went back to England to start his study Dutch in England. In this way he could communicate with his daughter.'

Then an e-mail came in from Martin Wedge. 'Hello I did came across your site by accident whilst looking for info on Radio10FM. I have been listening to this station for years on 675 kHz AM and am very unhappy that it has gone. I know it will not return but I really liked 10FM and will miss it very much. Silly Arrow is just another automated computer all night. Why do governments constantly interfere with frequencies, etc. I am sure 10FM must also be pissed off at losing their FM frequency in Holland too. What a crazy situation as 10FM is always so popular because DJ's, music and style is so good. Did they know that so many also listened in UK? Best wishes Martin Wedge.'

Well a welcome to the international newsletter for you too Martin. Just to go into a few of your questions: Governments do interfere with the frequencies, as they want to earn as much money as possible. And as the company behind Radio 10FM was bidding lower than the competitor they lost the frequency. On the question if they knew so many people were listening to the station I can assure you they knew. The director of Radio 10FM is a regular reader to this board too and has read a lot of praise in several comments made by the readers. By the way Martin, I hope you don't see it in the future as 'coming by accident on our site'. Keep visiting it on a regular base.

Also feel free to visit the on line journal for media and music culture, run by my colleague Ger Tillekens and me at the University of Groningen. Surely you will find a lot of interest in the months and years to come: www.soundscapes.info

On the afternoon of June the 25th the MV Communicator, which was taken out of the mud, was towed away from her anchorage at Pampus harbour, which is near the fast growing city of Almere. It will be towed to the harbour of IJmuiden were more work will be done before it will take the trip to the next anchorage, wherever it may be. Photos of the towing were exclusively taken for the international report by former RNI technician Peter Damave.

Later that day, around the start of a beautiful evening, the MV Communicator arrived in IJmuiden Visserharbour, where work will be done in the forthcoming weeks - before the ship will go to her next destination. The ship is lying a bit unstable in the harbour and probably the problems with the water circuit. Lucky enough a guard is now 24 hours a day on the ship so no people with bad ideas can make further problems. In the meantime I got an e-mail from Dave Miller, who's one of the new owners, who promised me to keep us informed. From this place I want to wish them all the success in the world. [Note from the editor: More exclusive pictures can be found HERE.]

Anyway, an official press report came out in which they, the people behind the project announced several things. I warned them in my report, in personal messages, as well in news groups, not to mention too much and better go for silence. Well they don't want to keep silence and kept the Dutch Anoraks on 'a minute to minute report' in their news group. They want to rebuild the ship into a real radio ship again and mention it Radio Rainbow. A song by The Rolling Stones (She's a rainbow) will, when they will be ever on the air, be used as a station tune. They proclaim they've deejays and staff of former stations like Veronica, RNI and Monique who can help them utmost. Some things they want, including a 50 kW transmitter. Everyone is rolling over the AM to see when the station will be on the air, but please be patient as it will take a long time. Even someone suggested that it's only a publicity stunt from Rusling to get more attention for his forthcoming Long Wave station. Well, as always I'll keep you informed in the weeks to come.

Those readers who've passed the age of 50 maybe do remember the underground newspaper in England, called 'The International Times'. It was published during the period 1966 up till 1969 and was not for sale in the regular book or newspaper shops. Everybody could send in his or her item, which was published. After that each reader could give her or his ideas on the subject. It brought the subjects, which normally was not written about in the common newspapers or spoken about within the family. In Holland there was also such an underground newspaper called Hitweek. Since a view weeks there's an exhibition on the history of the newspaper as well as a thick book on A3 format. More information how to order this book can be obtained by writing to the Foundation for Media Communication in Amsterdam: SMC@caiw.nl

After September 1st this year Dutch public radio is lesser interesting as Radio 2 will loose some of their programs which are aimed to the age group 45+. So programs about old music like AVRO's 'Steenen Tijdperk' (Stone Age Time) as well as KRO's 'Theater van het Sentiment' (sentimental theatre) will disappear from the radio. This resulted in angry e-mails coming in. One wrote that for us, the baby boomers from the sixties, Radio 2 will be less interesting. It was Bert who wrote to us: 'the best thing is to put a bomb under the studios of Radio 2. 90% of the programming will be for a younger public. We will be put next to the radio as we're garbage. Another reader suggested that the PD at Radio 2 probably thinks that the teenagers from the sixties are all successful in their careers as well have all their favourite music on cd and so they don't have to listen anymore to the radio. Those are the same teenagers who once went to The Hague with 150.000 other people to fight to keep their favourite station, Radio Veronica on the air. Seems the managers don't need this group anymore, as they're not interested for the advertisers. This is a big shame.'

Roel Jager sent in some news he got on the site from Earth Radio. 'News today that the pirate radio ship now to be renamed MV Marianas and registered in Hong Kong, is almost ready to go With a new transmitter having been installed due to the fact that the one supplied recently suddenly decided to give up the ghost by melting most of it's components, causing some trouble for the skeleton crew aboard the ship which has now been painted a striking white and blue colour with the aerial array in the same colours. The crew of seven, one American and the rest Dutch, except for the cook who is Spanish are at the moment preparing the ship to go to sea with the help of local engineers, employed by the French/Dutch consortium which own the station and ship. Unfortunately we have not been given the name which the station is to be called, but it is hoped to be on air before the beginning of August, and certainly before August 14th.' 

Let's hope this news is correct, as this could be a terrific future. And please don't use computers and text cards. Only radio, as radio should be.

Also e-mail contact with John Cronnolley, which brought back memories to the late seventies and the eighties. In those days I also wrote for the Monitor Magazine which was run by the late Ronald C Pearson, Jean and Don in Benfleet. I've many good memories to those days and spent a lot of time at the Avondale Road. But writing is a big word. I always used a cassette recorder and made a long spoken letter and added a list of Dutch words, so no mistakes could be made when transferring the text to script. Well John always did this work. Good to hear something back from you and I can inform that Don and Jean are also regular readers of this report 

Then a Dutch reader, Jan van Plateringen, wrote in and told me that he found so many excellent sites on Internet relating the history on Offshore Radio. One thing he missed as he didn't found too much newspaper cuts. Jan has a lot of newspaper cuts from the sixties up till the nineties and so if any one want to use it on his or her site you can contact Jan at: plate-ringen@home.nl

Readers in the Birmingham area should tune in their radio set on weekdays between 7 and 10 PM as Caroline Martin is presenting the Evening Show on BRMB. Caroline worked on Radio Caroline in the eighties and brought a warm atmosphere on the Ross Revenge..

June 25th five Dutch commercials broadcasters who tried to get a new FM licence, but failed, presented their case to the court in Rotterdam. They asked for a new procedure as they think the special Committee from Dutch government has not made the good decision. The case went for many hours and the five stations are Radio 10FM, Arrow Classic Rock, Radio Nationaal, 100NL and NRG. The judge will decide on July 3rd if the 5 stations will get a new change for a new procedure.

Recently the new edition from Caroline Newsbeat, the official bulletin of the Radio Caroline Support Group NL, was published. In this issue Herry Kuipers, the secretary, announced that there is still a little chance that the station will get on the air versus AM by working together with another rganisation which did get a licence. If they don't succeed in coming on the air also other activities will be stopped, including the Internet transmissions of the programme. It gives to much work for too less listeners. And also this was only started with the aim as a back up to the normal cable programs. Those were stopped due to financial problems earlier this year. May I wish Sietse, Herry and the rest of the gang at Harlingen a lot of success with the talks about using someone else's frequency in the future?

Holidays have already started in Holland and probably also in your country. For those who are planning a holiday this coming month I wish you a happy time and to all I will return with more soon. And don't forget to send in your e-mails with comments, questions and the memories you want to share with thousands of other lovers in radio land.

Hans Knot


 

Wednesday June 25th 2003

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If anyone wants to purchase an Arutz 7 hat or T-Shirt - after all, they are the only REAL offshore radio station left in the world, you can do it through their website at the following address.

From the Arutz 7 Internet Daily News Update:

Arutz Sheva continues to grow month by month, and we appreciate our subscribers' vote of confidence in our Daily Israel News List. The Arutz Sheva Internet Team is happy to announce the grand opening of the Arutz Sheva Mall, with an exclusive discount to you - our loyal subscribers. Many items on the Arutz Sheva Mall (www.IsraelNNmall.com) cannot be purchased elsewhere.

At the Arutz Sheva Mall: Arutz Sheva T-Shirts & Caps. These items are made with high quality material exclusively for Arutz Sheva by MV Sport/Weatherproof. (...)


 

Sunday June 22nd 2003

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Last week, I went to visit the founder of the Voice Of Peace, Abie Nathan in an old age home "somewhere in Tel-Aviv". Contrary to reports and rumours that Abie had died, I can tell you that he is very much alive. 

His condition is not good, and he is confined to a wheelchair. His speech is a bit slurred, but his memory is still sharp, and remembers events that happened years ago.

Abie is now 76 years old, and I am sure that we all wish him a long life. If any of you who once knew him, want to pass any messages on to him, you may do it through my e-mail address (mike@selasys.com). I don't promise any answers from him, but I will pass the message on to him the next time I see him.


Mike Brand
Israel

 

Tuesday June 17th 2003

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Knesset Legal Counsel "Clarifies" Arutz-7 Ruling 

Knesset Legal Counsel Anna Schneider has essentially withdrawn her decision of yesterday that led to the ejection of an Arutz-7 reporter from a Knesset committee session. Knesset Law Committee Chairman Roni Bar-On of the Likud threw out Arutz-7's Haggai Seri from the session, claiming that Schneider had ruled that Arutz-7 was illegal. This, despite the fact that Bar-On had been interviewed several times on Arutz-7. Last night, however, Schneider released a statement explaining that she objected only to Seri's presence at a hearing dealing with Arutz-7. Seri and Bar-On were to get together this morning for an "amends-making" meeting. 


From the Arutz 7 Internet Daily News Update:

LIKUD MK THROWS OUT ARUTZ-7 REPORTER

Knesset Law Committee Chairman Roni Bar-On (Likud), an attorney who has been interviewed more than once on Arutz-7, threw out an Arutz-7 reporter from today's committee session. As the session started, veteran Arutz-7 Knesset correspondent Haggai Seri, who has covered many Knesset committee sessions, was summarily ejected from the conference room at the behest of Chairman Bar-On. Bar-On claimed that he was acting at the behest of the Knesset legal counsel, who stated that Arutz-7 is not legal. The Knesset voted on Feb. 23, 1999 that Arutz-7 should be granted a license - but the Supreme Court, in an unprecedented decision, later overruled the law, 
forcing Arutz-7 to continue broadcasting from the sea.

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin said afterwards that Arutz-7 cannot be described as a pirate station because its transmissions are broadcast from the ocean. MK Sha'ul Yahalom (NRP) said that Arutz-7 broadcasts to hundreds of thousands of listeners and has long become a legitimate institution. Likud MK Ayoub Kara said that a Committee Chairman does not have the authority to determine whether a given reporter is allowed to work in the Knesset.


Same story, but from the Haaretz online Newspaper edition:

Arutz Sheva reporter removed from Knesset discussion <<...>> <<...>> 

<<...>> <<...>>The chairman of the Knesset House Committee, MK

Roni Bar-On (Likud), on Monday ordered the removal of Haggai Seri, the Knesset correspondent for the right-wing Arutz Sheva (Channel 7) radio station, from a committee meeting, on the grounds that the station broadcasts without a license. 

<<...>> The move came after Labor MK Shalom Simhon noticed the reporter was recording during the meeting to discuss the government's economic plan. 

Simhon said it was unacceptable for a reporter working for an illegal radio station to be present during such meetings. Following a very brief consultation with Knesset legal advisor Anna Shneider, Bar-On ordered Seri's immediate removal, despite the fact that he holds a government-issued reporter's permit, and has been a Knesset correspondent for the past four years. 

There was no objection to the decision from right-wing MKs participating in the meeting, among them Nissan Slominski (National Religious Party), Eliezer Cohen (National Union), and Likud MKs Omri Sharon, Inbal Gavrieli, Daniel Benlulu and Gideon Sa'ar. 

"I'm not sure the committee chairman should have acted as he did," Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) commented, "but I will back any decision reached by any committee chairperson, so long as it's devoid of political interests."

Rivlin added that the radio station broadcasts from international waters, and therefore is not breaking any laws. 

Among the harsh responses from the right-wing, deputy Education Minister Zvi Hendel (National Union) said that as long as the legal status of the radio station remains unsettled, the station is broadcasting from international waters, and paying royalties as required, it is not breaking any laws. Shaul Yahalom (NRP), outraged by the removal of the reporter, claimed that Arutz Sheva is an important media body that reaches thousands of listeners, and has long been legitimate. 

MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) called on Rivlin to prevent Knesset access for Arutz Sheva reporters, claiming that by cooperating with the reporters, the Knesset is taking a position contrary to the recommendations of the attorney general, and contrary to the law. 

Seri, who reports for an internet site affiliated with the radio station, regularly attends House Committee discussions, and often interviews ministers and MKs. 

"I'm a regular journalist, and do my job," Seri said. "It is unheard of for anyone to bar a reporter holding a government-issued permit. It's a blow to the freedom of the press."

 

Sunday June 15th 2003

Colour bar

 

Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

Welcome to this second edition of my international report in June. You will be astonished by reading this bulletin and think that Dutch people are really made. Last time I wrote about the fact Radio 10FM didn’t get a licence from Dutch authorities. But a lot has happened since.

Bad decision by Dutch government
Just a day after sending away the last issue of this report the big news came in that not only 125.000 listeners responded to the studio of Radio10 FM for the bad decision done by Dutch government not to provide the station with a new licence. Even an industry magazine in Great Britain talked about ‘Half-baked renewal scheme Dutch Government’. Also the big news came in that the station would stay on 103 FM as the big frequency. Talks between Talpa Radio International, the owners of Radio 10FM and Sky Radio had ended on Saturday afternoon the 31st of May. It was announced that Radio 10FM will be owned by Sky from June 1st and stay on the air. Tom Mulder director of Radio 10FM: “There was always a strong connection with the listeners but that those were so close to us in their hearts astonished us. Unbelievable so much mails, phone calls and faxes came in. Sometimes very emotional.”  With the former and the new frequencies it’s possible to be received on FM in almost the whole of the Netherlands. And next to that the station will be a golden oldie station again.

Arrow on 675 AM
And on June 1st at midnight it was Arrow Classic Rock which took over the 675 kHz as the owners made a deal with the people who got the licence for the 675, Country Radio. Well I can tell you that the owners are the same and so Arrow can now be heard on 675 kHz. One of the nicest comments on internet, after Arrow came on the air on 675 was: ‘Arrow couldn't have started at a better time. I tuned into UK Caroline at 10.00 hours to hear one of their good and reliable presenters Pat Edison and there is some crap Japanese live music on, or did I hear this is cultural music. Sorry, but I'm glad I have two frequencies to listen to Arrow on. Yes Arrow is still going out on 828, as well as 675. If they broadcast the left channel on 675 and right channel on 828, I could use two radios to get stereo, then it would be better than Caroline!’ It must be added that the owner of the frequency has to start his own format within 3 months after going on the air. Personally I think it will stay on as Arrow Classic Rock with some more Country Rock in the format.

Peter Philips
Last time one of the reader’s questions came in regarding the present whereabouts of Peter Philips. We can answer by telling that Peter nowadays is working for BBC Radio Kent. Really within 10 minutes after sending away the report, the solution came in. He can be heard on the station under his own name: Graham Cooke. There were several people replying and so thank you all.

Caroline technicians Peter and Jaap
It was Bob Noakes who started two editions ago about Peter and Jaap, who both work as technicians on the Mi Amigo in 1973. Also Paul Rusling brought in some nice memories and it’s Andy Archer who wrote in this time telling that he was in contact with Peter not too long ago. He lost his e mail address but Andy can tell us that Peter is now a lorry driver.

Andy Archer
Talking about Andy Archer, he made the decision not to work anymore every weekday. He wrote me:  ‘I'm taking some time off from Radio Norfolk (thirty seven years doing the same thing is a very long time). I will be covering for people on holiday, but feel that I need a break from the day to day routine.’

Ray Anderson's Radio London
Some of the readers were very surprised to read about Ray Anderson’s plan to start Radio London on an official licence from the Netherlands. We wish Ray and his people all the success in the world but not everyone is sure he will make it: ‘Thanks for the International report- another great read. Please keep your anoraky readers up to date on the latest Ray Anderson happenings. Obviously, bearing in mind he's in charge, it'll probably never make it to air! Any idea who else is involved with the project? Maybe we should start a betting syndicate on how long it'll take for it to go bankrupt.’
Well Ray, maybe you can tell our readers who are involved and when the station will come on the air.

Samantha Dubois
Also I got a few comments on the photo I published from Samantha Dubois, a deejay who did stints on Radio Caroline in the seventies and eighties. Not too much photos have been going around of her. One of the readers wrote: ‘Liked the picture of Samantha in the Report, btw...that's only the third photo I've got of her. Gotta be some more out there somewhere.’ Another person, Steve, wrote: ‘I particularly liked the picture of Samantha, whom I had the pleasure of seeing on the Mi Amigo in 1976. This was the first time my friends and I had seen her and we all got very excited when we saw how good looking she was!’

Alton Andrews
In last issue we brought the news that Alton Andrews had passed away. This news came in from the BFBS news desk. A reliable source we thought. After sending away the e mail version the next mail came in: ‘I'm afraid we were was given erroneous information regarding the death of Alton Andrews. The news received from BFBS concerned the demise of another unfortunate person of a similar name, and not the ex-Luxembourg and Radio Caroline presenter.’ So we think this is lucky for Andrew, and sorry for taking the wrong news from the BFBS. By the way congratulations to Alton and his wife for your marriage last May.

Stichting Norderney website
Next I like to invite you to have a look at two internet sites. First of all the one of the Foundation Norderney, which is run by Ad Bouman and Juul Geleick. It will be all about the rich offshore history from Radio Veronica. As both have worked there they’ve a lot of nice material. They’ve just started with the site but a lot can be expected in the future: www.norderney.nl

Radio Delmare
Another one is from Theo Van Halsema. He runs a site about his (private) live as well as is hobbies. One of them is trams and trains (as so many offshore deejays) and the other interest he has is the history of Radio Delmare. It can be find on: www.geocities.com/theovanhalsema

Nicknames
By the way, Theo brought some other nick names we did not mention before. It was the Baken 16 team on Radio Mi Amigo who gave deejay Hugo Meulenhoff the nick name ‘Heerhugowaard’. This is officially a small village in Holland. Also they called him ‘dubbel f’ (double f). Marc Jacobs got a nick name from Ferry Eden on Radio Mi Amigo: ‘Papa Jacobs’ (Father Jacobs).

Communicator
Then a report from the people at Earthradio Broadcasting Systems on their website, early June: ‘After our last news report regarding the new radio ship, a lot of people mailed the Earthradio News desk as regards this being the MV Communicator, sorry wrong there!, the ship that was purchased was bought outside the UK, but not unlike the Ross Revenge, and today is in a port outside the jurisdiction of the EU and the UK, it is being fitted out by people dedicated to Free Radio, and sponsored by supporters both in the Irish Republic, UK and the Netherlands. The people involved in this project hope to rename the ship MV Freedom and after some extensive work, both onboard and on the outside of the ship, they have the intention of moving it to the waters off the Irish coast where it will not be subject to the UK laws and from there with the support of Irish, Dutch and UK free radio supporters, it is intended to bring about a new awareness of free independent radio. More news as it becomes available.’

If they succeed a very good initiative, but on the other hand why should this be published on forehand? Remember certain projects in the past, which failed due to early publishing in newspapers. ‘Big brother is watching you and us!’, as a good friend of mine from Cambridge always says. So, with the work on the Communicator, there are two initiatives to revive the old dream. Or should I say ‘Dream a little dream’.

Clive Boutell
Again this time some names to be mentioned. It was Clive Boutell who did sent in: ‘Just a quick message to say how much I enjoy reading your reports. The reports are a lot more reliable than some of the other news sites on the net. Its a shame that Radio10 FM lost their medium wave tx, it was my favourite station of late playing both new and old music, something that is missing on stations here in the United Kingdom. It’s good that Arrow has moved to 675 but it is not a patch on 10fm and being automated most of the time and there is no personality in my opinion. Regards Clive Boutell.

Report on several websites
Dave Polley is one of the many new readers who come in each month: ‘Hans, I must say how much I enjoyed reading your radio report this month for the first time via a link to UK Radio. I have requested the guys at UK Radio  to put a permanent link to your report via their weekly newsletter which I receive and  currently is not the case. Hans, should they not wish to do this can you tell me if there are any other sites where I can arrange to be put on a permanent mailing list in order to receive your reports as and when they are published. Keep publishing, as your efforts are appreciated Hans: Dave Polley.
In the meantime Dave knows he’s on the e mail lists. If in a case of deleting the report you can find it on several sites like www.ukradio.com or www.offshore-radio.de or www.mediapages.nl.

New radio licences in Holland
On the subject ‘new licences in Holland’ I did get a lot of e mails. Most questions were the same. For instant: ‘I would like to know when the new Laser and Radio London Stations, which have been announced recently, expect to be on air. A lot of us over here in England thought that they were due on air from 1 June! ‘ Well the licences start at June 1st and run 8 years and two months. But, as you can think for yourself when a new organisation gets a licence, they’re happy and must arrange a lot to start the station. Building studio’s, finding backers now that finally they got the licence, putting up a commercial department and so on. Or did you think they had it ready on June 1st?  So Ray Anderson’s station could, for instant, have some three months before it starts. This was mentioned on Radio 1, the Dutch informative channel early June.

I will believe it only when I've heard it!
Than the next question: ‘They only thing I have found are a lot of silent frequencies with the only exception being Arrow on 675. I sent an e-mail to Peter Moore and asked him if he thought he had missed out on getting Caroline back on AM with perhaps Caroline NL on one of the frequencies.’ The Dutch part of Caroline, Sietse Brouwer and his friends did go for a licence but were not awarded. A pity as they did some real good programs from their cozy studio in Harlingen.  And the comments of Peter Moore, who wrote to one of our readers on the fact Ray Anderson would get the 1008 khz: ‘I will believe it only when I’ve heard it!’ Sorry Malcolm, that’s a quote, which I already use for decades and so you’ve stolen this from me. It will cost you a good beer when we do meet up again.

Laser and London
Also there were questions why Laser got so many and Radio London (Radlon) only one frequency. This question can be answered very simply. The Dutch partner of both, Quality Radio, did write in for one high power frequency for Radlon. The 400 kW is big enough in power to cover a good part of Britain. The Laser frequencies are lower in price and lower in power. So they went for more frequencies. All those transmitters together, they can cover a good part of the Netherlands. Only the northern part will get no signal. And there’s a real problem as I’m living in the top of the Netherlands, very near to the German border. So thank you Ruud Poeze and Andrew Yates not to think about me, when going for frequencies.

675 AM
Then an email from Geoff Baldwin from Romford: ‘Thanks for your recent reports.! The funny thing is that I have recently been listening to Radio 10 FM more because I liked the new weekday programmes but it didn't last very long! I happened to tune into 675AM late on Saturday evening May 31st, unaware of what was happening but I thought it was strange that the music sounded more like Arrow than Radio 10. I presume that was the beginning of the handover or the first tests by Arrow on 675 kHz. However, it wasn't until Sunday morning that I really gathered what was happening and then I looked at your latest report, which partly explains it all.

How can Radio 10 just disappear overnight?
I always thought that the Radio Authority over here were an odd bunch but they can't match what the licensing authorities in Holland have done! How can a big well-established station like Radio 10 just disappear overnight? It sounds like it's all gone money, money, money in Holland. At least they seem to give new companies a chance and even anorak types can win frequencies but can they come up with the licence money demanded? That's the question.’

You can see that this email was sent away before the news came that the Sky Group had bought Radio 10. It’s of course a pity for all those listeners in the UK and Ireland, who have tuned in on a regular base in the past to Radio 10FM. And I know that the people at the station were always very happy to hear they were loved in those countries too.

Even the Offshore Stations were allowed time to close down
Then Geoff went on with: ‘I presume that the people behind Arrow Classic Rock were also caught out, failing to win an FM frequency but losing 828, as well. Does this mean that the new country station will be put on the back burner or will Arrow have to vacate 675 shortly? It's good to be able to hear Arrow again properly, even in the evening (828 was useless) but it was still wrong to get rid of Radio 10 so suddenly. Even the offshore pirate stations were allowed time to close down before being taken off the air!

The story continues
Then I did wake up on Thursday the 5th at a few minutes to seven. I heard in the news that Sky Radio Group has decided not to buy Radio 10FM from Talpa International Radio (John de Mol), although it was decided otherwise five days ago. Talpa had announced to go to a court to try to get a licence themselves, was the reason of the Sky announcement today. When Talpa owners heard this they decided to go to court today to fight against Sky too. In the main part of Holland the FM frequencies had no longer the Radio 10 programming but a new sound called ‘De Gouwe Ouwe Zender’. Some frequencies however still carried the Radio 10 program. Around half past two in the afternoon it was announced that Radio 10 would not go to court to fight the Sky Group as both parties were sitting around the table again for further talks. The story continues.

Roger Day on Caroline
June the 5th saw a one-day return of Roger Day on Caroline’s broadcasting schedule. He did a three-hour stint in the afternoon. Thinking back it was almost 30 year to date that he was on Radio Caroline 389, the period which was in my year the best of the seventies including deejays like Young Paul Alexander, Andy Archer, Steve England, Spangles Muldoon and Roger himself. But Roger probably had forgotten the short period in 1973 as he went back to the sixties and mentioned the last program he made in March 1968. Nevertheless Roger, a wonderful show. And the good news is that a week later Roger could be heard once again.

Two Offshore legends
From Ireland came mail from Pat Healy, who wrote: ‘I've been reading your articles on the web for quite a while now.  So I decided to drop you a line to let you know that we have two offshore legends doing the breakfast programmes on our local commercial stations here in Cork in Southern Ireland. On 96fm, which has been on the air for almost 14 years, we have ex Caroline man Nick Richards. Nick is no stranger to Cork as he was on South Coast Radio, one of the first Superpirates, in the early 80’s. Tony Allan, Johnny Moss, Mark Lawrence, Don Stevens and Stevie Gordon all appeared on South Coast in 82/83. (By the way do you have any idea where Stevie Gordon is now?). Over on Red FM, on air for about 1 1/2 years we have Charlie Wolf. Charlie has been on the station since the beginning and changed from late night to the breakfast show earlier this year. Station manager Henry Condon aka Henry Owens was on Atlantic252 with Charlie and decided that the Wolfman was to be one of his first appointments at the station .At present Nick is leading in the audience stakes but Charlie is catching up all the time. You can listen live to Nick on www.96fm.ie and to Charlie on www.redfm.ie

Thanks Pat. Well Charlie is a regular reader from the report since a few years. Nice to hear that Nick Richards is also doing very well. I think they will have a lot of new listeners on the web soon. Stevie Gordon is living and working in Norway and two years ago I had the privilege meeting him after decades. He could be heard up till earlier this year on Radio Caroline in the Netherlands.

Tony Allen
Then a review about a cd I did receive early June:
‘Everybody can be a jock so I thought I want to be a jock.’ On the age of 15 years Tony Allen went to the Caroline House in Chesterfields Gardens to help the girls of the Caroline Club sending out material to the members. After a few visits he became totally pissed off after asking Ronan O’Rahilly if Tony could be a deejay. Of course Ronan thought he was far too young to go out to one of the then radio ships of the station. Just a few years later a dream became reality when he went down from London to Glasgow by train. Reason: Scotland was a country with his own rights and a radio station from international waters: Radio Scotland.

He did some links in the land based studio, so he could his thing to show he was a talent. There was the start of a long career for an excellent deejay who worked on a lot of offshore radio stations. RNI, Radio Caroline, Radio Seagull, Radio Mi Amigo and even live broadcasts for the Dutch service of Radio Atlantis were a few of the stations. Of course we may not forget his work for Abe Nathan and the Voice of Peace.

There’s a double cd out, produced by no one else than Bob Lawrence. Tony tells his fascinating story. Very emotional he tells about his friendship with Stuart Henry, which even got me tears in the eyes. After his Scotland period he worked on a couple of television stations as continuity announcer. And one day, when working for Grenada Television he watched the ITV news and saw an item about Radio North Sea International. It was summer 1970 and Tony new that he wouldn’t be anymore in television, which he disliked anyway. He did phone his friend Graham Gill and he could sleep for a while on his floor in Amsterdam. From there on he tried to get a job on Radio Northsea International.

On RNI in 1971 Tony made real good programs and even did announcements in very good Dutch and on this cd he reveals how he learned the Dutch language. Also he declares how he made Bolland and Bolland to break the chart for the first time. And not forgetting the big thing when Tony was the one who opened RNI 2, on the former Radio Veronica frequency ‘192’, when Veronica switched frequencies to 538 metres. Wonderful stories.

I’ve mentioned earlier the stories Ed Simeone told about the Voice of Peace going from the USA to Cadiz in Spain. But hearing Tony Allan, how he parked the ship as the captain was drunk, was fascinating. Of course he got on talking about the problems in Spain with the police. They were looking for guns on the Voice of Peace. There was also a story, which even I didn’t know, on the money which came in from the Mafia from Messsina in Italy. Then followed by his memories about the time off the Israelis coast. He did went back a couple of times to Radio Caroline. I do remember he came back the very first time in October 1973. It was Dennis King who did drove him from Schiphol Airport to the Van Hoogendorpstraat. I was there on that very day and it was emotional to see how the Caroline people were happy that their lost son was back.

That was also the very first time I did met Tony and it would not be the last time. It should go too far to tell you in advance on all the subjects producer Bob Lawrence was talking with Tony. Of course there was the subject of Loving Awareness. We all know that for a lot of people LA had become a habit, but talking 12 minutes long on the idea is a bit too long. Good it was also to hear how Tony Allan talked about the fact he’s gay and that he was the very first deejay on the world he talked freely about the fact he’s gay. And he gives also some comments how the jingles ‘Tony Allan is gay’ were produced.

One part of his career was producing jingles and commercials, as well as doing radio programs on several Irish stations; so this part of his life is not forgotten.
Truly I must confess that I’ve listened to the cd’s twice, in instant replay, and there’s only one other thing I had problems with. There was too much music in the background during the interview. Maybe this due to the fact I’m getting older and so the music irritates more than before. For the rest Tony and Bob Lawrence have made an excellent thing.

The Tony Allan story is available on two cd roms and can be ordered for 21 Pounds or 30 Euro’s by sending a cheque or money to The Radio Production Company, PO Box 113, Sheerness, ME12, 2TD United Kingdom.

It is a great shame about 10FM
Nice to see also people from England are reading the report on a Dutch site, the one from Wim van de Water. Here’s what Peter Halls wrote to us: ‘Another great news letter! It is a great shame about 10FM it always sounded like "time warp radio" in other words the Veronica style of programming, and the other offshore Dutch stations. I look forward to finding your next  newsletter on Media Pages NL.

Johnny Walker
Then, on June 5th a very sad mail came in concerning Johnny Walker and was sent out by the BBC: ‘Johnnie Walker, who presents the drive time show on BBC Radio 2, revealed his audience today that he has cancer. Johnnie said: Five weeks ago I was diagnosed with cancer in the form of a malignant tumour in my colon. Obviously at the time this was a great shock but I have now come to terms with it and I am determined to face the challenge and do all that's necessary to try and get well. Sadly it's an all too familiar situation for so many people these days and I'm beginning to truly understand the difficult times sufferers and they families face. Normally this is something one would like to keep private but with the need to take some time off from my Radio 2 show and the effort involved in making excuses for my absence, I decided it would be much easier for me to just be honest about the situation.’

We all have proud memories on Johnny, who I followed since his early shows in the sixties. I did met him last summer in London and he was in wonderful shape then, so lucky with his new woman in live. They married a couple of weeks ago and I hope Johnny will recover completely. We will cross fingers for you Johnny!

Listen to a Johnny Walker jingle from Swinging Radio England!

Fred Bolland
Two other persons who have serious problems with their health, or must I write with their hearth, are Fred Bolland and Eric Wiltshire. Fred went to the background during the past years but he was an organiser in the Dutch Offshore scene since decades. In the late seventies he was responsible with some other people for the tendering of the Mi Amigo, he was the man who tried to bring Radio Monique on the air from the MV Magdalena and later on was responsible for Radio Monique from the Ross Revenge. He went to hospital at June 13th and let’s hope he will come out in a better condition. He was suffering problems during the past few years. Then Eric Wiltshire, who did some very good things in radio in the past decade but also dissatisfied some people with his stories on the return of Radio Luxembourg., Nevertheless the few times I did met and work with him were very nice memories and Eric from all the readers a good health is wished for the future.

Peter and Jaap
June 5th the two men from the Hague, Peter and Jaap, were traced. They’ve been found back with thanks to Ron van Dijken, Peter’s brother. After leaving Caroline Peter started a driving school, which he did for 10 years. Then we became a trolley driver, which he still does. Jaap had a special garage in Scheveningen, which he sold a couple of month ago. There’s a big chance to see them – together with Archer, Noakes and Rusling -  at the radio day in Amsterdam in October.

It's great having Arrow on 675
On June 6th Mick C wrote in from England: ‘I have just read that the city government in Heinenoord has decided that the antenna which supplies the signal for 828 kHz is to cease. I know  you have a different system in Holland for the operation of transmitters. If it is true that 828 kHz will cease within 6 months why has the new Laser Radio  acquired it with an operating licence for 8 years. Also, there is a lot of doubt  over here in the UK over whether these new stations, meaning Radio London as well as Laser, will actually get on-air and if they do what sort of reception coverage will they have. I personally hope they are successful. I think these  stations will give UK stations a big wake up call. Lastly. It's great having Arrow on 675 kHz with a much better signal.’

Thanks Mick. Well probably they will find another transmitter site to place the antenna. And for the rest of the station I just can tell you that they’ve time till June 1st next year to come on the air. Of course they’ve all to boy a building, transmitters, studio equipment, selling advertisements, finding the real backers and even buying toilet paper. So wait and we will hear. And if not they will loose their licence next June.

Radio 10 FM back on 1395 AM
In the evening of the 6th I heard that talks between Talpa Radio International (read Radio 10FM) and Sky Radio Group are definitely off. No more future for Radio 10 to use the new frequency for the Gouwe Ouwe Zender. This is like a day to day report. So sorry for Tom Mulder and his club. During the day another frequency, one of the many Quality Radio got, is testing with Radio 10 programs. Another deal has been made with owner Ruud Poeze and so from June 7th at 6th in the morning Radio 10 is back on AM 1395 kHz. And I can finally inform that the station closed down at 20.00 hrs Dutch time on AM as reception will then almost impossible. The power is lowered earlier in the evening due to an international agreement. An high power Albanian station uses the frequency during evening and night.

Also it can be revealed that the court case from Talpa Radio International – owner of Radio 10FM-  against the Dutch Ministry of Economy, which was responsible for the sale of the frequencies, will take place on June 25th. We’re crossing our fingers for Talpa as well as the team of Tom Mulder at 10FM.

Peter Quinn
June 7th we learned about another former Caroline deejay from the eighties. We did think Peter Quinn was still working on Arrow FM. But versus our good friend Martin van der Ven I did learn that this is old information. Peter got in touch and wrote: ‘I am at the moment operating an internet radio station:  www.radio4living.com. So go and have a listen.

Radio ship
From Sweden the news of a radio ship, called St. Paul: ‘here is the radio ship, planned as a community radio of 500watts on the am-band. A legal radio station. A flagpole (none metallic) of 10 meters will carry the special designed antenna. Music and old time radio 1900-1969. Even tests in DRM,  100-500 watts, of course on another frequency. Future plans is a commercial licence of 2-5 kW with a special glass fibre antenna, am or drm. Don't forget to sponsor us by your commercial's in our programs. Roy: www.amradio.se
The ship, which will be used, is in the harbour of Malmö and a pity for St Paul Rusling the tx has such a low power.

Jim Murphy
Sunday June 8th brought an update for Mary and Chris Payne’s site on internet. And for the people who liked the late Big Jim Murphy they had great news. Mary and Chris did send an email to tell the news: ‘Many people will remember the website launched by the late Caroline North DJ, Jim Murphy, which contained fascinating photos taken aboard the Fredericia, including many from the private collection of the late Don Allen. Sadly the site had become inaccessible some time ago, probably since Jim became ill and was no longer able to work on it. Sadly, Jim died in 2000. Kenny Tosh, the custodian of Don Allen's photographs, had been actively involved with the launch of Jim's site. However, Kenny was unable to access the missing web files and it seemed Jim's site might be lost for ever. Radio London Ltd, the organisers of the last year's successful 35th Anniversary Offshore Reunion, are pleased to announce that, after extensive work by Chris Payne, the files have been recovered and restored. Jim's original site is now available via the Radio London website. Apart from a few minor repairs, the website is exactly as Jim left it, with the addition of some photographs which he never managed to finish placing on the site.’  You can find the site from Chris and Mary on: www.radiolondon.co.uk.

Paul and Mark de Haan
And another wonderful update can be found on www.marine-broadcaster.com. This is the site of Paul and Mark de Haan and, like me, they come from Groningen. In the update photos from several trips made in the seventies by one of the German Anoraks. Also a lot of exclusive photo’s of the Communicator, mostly not seen before. Finally in the second update of this site this year there’s a story from yours truly in which I tell that there are far much more offshore links to Groningen than the Voice of Peace and King David. Go and see and read it.

My good friend Paul de Haan wrote an article about the circumstances on the MV Communicator. Since the cabins have been broken away some years ago there are problems with asbestos on the ship. The Labour Inspection has made an official report about the danger on the ship. In the Dutch News Group Paul made a warning for the anoraks who would probably go out and work to restore the ship into a museum or something else. Most of the people in the news group are 50+ and still some are super anoraks (thanks Andy for providing us with this marvellous word). So those are free to go to work on the ship but a warning from Paul for asbestos was on the right place. I did answer that I did totally agree. Some ‘watchers’ thought we went too far with the warning and even someone wrote if there was a company behind the MV Communicator the attorney would do his work.

I know for sure there’s a ‘world’ of free speech, free talking and writing and warning in the Netherlands. So please, new owners of the Communicator, be careful with the rules for asbestos. It’s very dangerous to work with the material without knowing how the official rules are to take it from the ship. Many people have died due to ill fated care taking. We all would love to have a radio ship back on international waters but please without health problems.

Trains
Enough about ships. I want to finish this report by writing about trains and other driving material. It seems that a lot of deejays are also addicted to train spotting or tram history. In my archive are also some exclusive videos about trains and trams. This week it was revealed by The Radio Magazine that Virgin Trains has signed a deal with SAGA 105.7 FM, which is the regional station in the Midlands. They will sponsor the breakfast show, presented by  Les Ross for the coming six months. Ross is a train enthusiast himself and even an engine, The 86259 Les Ross, is named after him.

In my memory I went back to the two deejays from offshore days who were or are still addicted to the train hobby. Boom Boom Brannigan, who was deejay on Swinging Radio England came originally from America and his model trains were sent over by plane and in one of the holds of the MV Laissez Faire he played many hours with his trains in international waters. When Tom Mulder, aka Klaas Vaak was 25 years in radio artists, colleagues and radio friends were invited to celebrate this. It’s ten years ago that first, early in the morning, Tom Mulder was the driver of a tram, which went through Amsterdam. A youth dream finally came reality. But that wasn’t all for in the afternoon we went with a very old train through the Province of North Holland. Great memories and when Tom was 30 years in business I did know what to give him: a videotape with exclusive material from my own train archive.

So 10 pages are filled again and so it’s time to sent them to all our e mail readers. As normal I hope you’ve enjoyed this report and keep sending your news, memories, questions or other things to my e mail address: HKnot@home.nl

In July we will back with the next report. Keep on loving radio!


 

Tuesday June 3rd 2002

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Een commentaar door Rob Olthof (SMC):

Wow, Radio London komt eraan

Radio London komt na 39 jaar weer terug in de ether. Het legendarische station kwam kort voor Kerstmis 1964 in de lucht en tienduizenden hoorden haar zwanenzang op 14 augustus. 1967. Omdat Big L op toppunt van zijn roem uitzenden werd verboden door de Britse overheid, begon de legende 'Big L' pas goed. Klonen is sinds kort erg in de mode zoals u weet en na de succesvolle film 'Boys from Brazil', waarin Onkel Adolf Hitler gekloond werd door Neo Nazis, volgde het schaap Dolly en binnenkort ook de mens. 

In de tussentijd worden nu 'dingen' en 'popsterren' gekloond. Omdat bijvoorbeeld Abba niet meer optreedt, bedacht Joop van de Ende de musical 'Mamma Mia', waarop het publiek in de zaal een gekloonde Abba hoort. De mens is een volgzaam zoogdier, zoals u weet, en popsterren worden dan ook nageaapt: hoeveel Presley's lopen er niet rond op de wereld dus één nieuwe Big L moet mogelijk zijn, denkt Ray Anderson.

'Vriend Ray Anderson', bekend van EAP producties, onder de naam Jumbo Records, ook bekend omdat de eigenaren van Jumbo weleens kennis maakten met justitie, maker van voortreffelijke LP's en CD's over zeezenders en kortstondig eigenaar van Laser Hot Hits, gaat zich nu opwerpen als manager van Radio London. Hoe deze zakenman, welke reeds eerder failliet ging, nu de vele duizenden euro's gaat ophoesten voor een 400 kW zender, is velen een raadsel. Meneer Ray Anderson, welke nu door het leven hoopt te gaan als Philip Burch, gaat binnen 3 maanden Radio London opstarten.

Mr. Anderson leeft zeker nog in de jaren zestig, toen je in Engeland uitsluitend BBC Light Program had. Nu, anno 2003, zit het hele land vol met stations, gouwe ouwe stations, easy listening, pop, rock etc. Wie zit nou te wachten op Big L? Wat voegt Big L nou toe aan het radiolandschap? Vele deejays van het toenmalige station zijn dood, hebben een andere baan of zijn gepensioneerd. De eerste RSL van Radio London - jaren geleden - was een groot succes, de tweede ook nog wel, de derde helemaal niet. 

Welke muziek moet je nu draaien als Big L? Gouwe ouwe, pop? In deze moeilijke tijd, waarin een nieuwe cd van Madonna nog eerder op internet te downloaden is dan te koop in de winkel. In een tijd van popstations als Virgin, XFM, Capital Gold, Classic Gold en Easy listening Prime Time Radio in perfect digitaal geluid. Wie zit nu op meneer Anderson te wachten? Een kopie maken van het verleden, heeft toch geen zin? Wie zit nu op een kopie van Van Gogh te wachten? Of een namaak Presley? De kloon is altijd de mindere van het origineel. Waarom je station Big L noemen? Waarom niet Radio Peking Int? 

In een tijd van digitaal geluid ga je toch niet een mega zender van 400 kW gebruiken om je speeltje, je ultieme natte droom te verwezenlijken? Kijk, Radio 390 werd leuk 'gekloond' door Prime Time Radio, eigentijds en toch door de ex luisteraars van 390 gewaardeerd. Zelfde format, toch eigentijds. In de ether op FM band in Engeland, dus aantrekkelijk voor adverteerders. Helaas is de middengolf niet meer aantrekkelijk voor adverteerders, daar kunnen Ruud Hendriks en Michael Bakker meer over vertellen.

Rob Olthof

 

Sunday June 1st 2003

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Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

Hello friends and already it's June within a day and time for another international report. Again your response was great. Most of you take it simple by writing 'thank you' and some are responding on the contents of the report. And also this time a few of them are included. 

The first one is an e-mail coming in from the USA. It's former inhabitant of Harwich, Shaun, who likes to respond on my story on AFN and on the remarks Roger Day brought in on the difference between the radio in Great Britain and the USA: 'Once again, a great read - really enjoyed your memories of listening to AFN as a kid. Listening-under-the-bedclothes seems to be the starting point for most of us of an anoraky persuasion. For me it was John Peel and the inimitable Samantha Dubois...great memories. 

Got to take issue with Roger Day's claim that American radio is superior to the European model. You'd be hard pressed to find a music station out here (aside from college radio) that isn't automated, takes syndicated programming or, most heinous of all, takes programming from a 'central' network location, then inserts the occasional pre-recorded link to make the show sound local. And the computerised play lists seem to get smaller every year. Our local oldies station, the legendary KFRC, seems to have a core of about 500 tracks now. Bad. bad, bad and, did I mention, bad? Well, had to be said. Much as I respect Twiggy on most radio issues, I think he's 100% wrong here. Having said that, people who take brief trips out here always seem to enjoy the radio: I guess you don't notice the repetition, robot-programming etc till you've listened for a few weeks, perhaps.' 

Concerning the radio in the USA there was also a comment coming in from René Burcksen. He lives in America since a few decades and originates from Holland. He wrote: 'There are no personalities anymore on the radio who are working just for 'your' station and who let you come back to that certain station over and over again. Maybe the shock deejays, if you like that kind of radio. At the other hand the shock deejays are all the same. The play list of a radio station is focused on a certain listening group and sometimes it sounds if they've not more than 15 songs in the list. Above that they're programmed by computers. And the same computers doesn't have a feeling for the things happening in town, region or in the world. Some strange songs can appear in that way in a program. Has anyone a suggestion for some good radio stations where I can listen to on the internet?'

But talking about Roger Day we heard that he only does the regular show on SAGA Radio and that he hopes the long wave radio station on the Isle of Man will start soon. When it does he will be on the air again.

During the years people are contacting me from all around the world for information about offshore radio as well as questions if I could provide photos or other materials from the past. So two years ago I got such a question from Denmark and out of the blue came the following message in on May 16th: 'At last I can tell you that the book of The Danish Offshore radiostations, Radio Mercur and DCR, is being published. In June this year the book titled "Pirater i æteren - Radio Mercur og Danmarks Commercielle Radio. Dansk reklameradio fra Øresund 1958-62" is in the bookstores in Denmark - published by The Press Museum of Denmark and the University Press of Southern Denmark. The Press Museum - situated in Odense on Funen - is presenting an exhibition on the offshore stations with pictures, television-recordings and sound from the Danish pirates.- The exhibition runs from June 14th until August 31st 2003.
Again I would like to thank you for your help!' was signed Hendrik Noegaard.
http://www.radio-mercur.dk
So now you know what to do if you're planning your summer holiday in Denmark.

Then it was Bob Noakes who asked last time who knew something about two technicians, who worked onboard the MV Mi Amigo. Well Paul Rusling, who was on the ship in 1973, has some memories to share: 'Once again, a big thank you for the excellent international news round up. All interesting stuff once again. Interesting that Bob Noakes should remember Jaap en Peter. They were both Dutch motor engineers from Den Haag who Chris and Kate Cary recruited to repair generators in 1973. They were really nice guys too and we had some interesting nights in bars and places in Scheveningen. They got their own motor repair garage a bit later, but I lost touch with them. So if anybody finds how to contact them I would also like to be in touch with them and see them again. 

They were both really friendly and very comical guys, always making a good laugh out of everything they did. They were excellent at practical jokes and caught me out a few times (Hey, I was very young then, just 18!). One of those times was when they gave me a new name. I was looking for an alternative name, (for a few reasons) to use on the air. Jaap en Peter suggested I call myself 'The Flicker'. To a young innocent Englishman, this was a great sounding name - just one word, like ROSKO, or WOLFMAN . It suited my style too - and I could have things like Flicker Stickers, and even Flicker Nickers, which I could send to listeners. The next morning, a Sunday, I began my programme using the new name - which maybe I would have got away with for English listeners, as Flicker. But I made the big mistake of adding some Dutch (well, maybe you Nederlanders call it 'almost Dutch') IDs too - 'Goeie Morgen luisteraars in Nederland, hier is Uw Engelse vriendelijke Flicker DJ.'

Well, after maybe two hours of this, Dick Palmer got out of his bed, and rushed to tell me what 'The Flicker' (rude word for a homosexual man) means in Dutch, and I had to go back to my old name once again. I was very embarrassed, but Peter en Jaap thought it was a great joke. And I do too now of course. So it would be great to see them once again.'

Stevie Merike (Radio Scotland, Caroline International and of course Radio Northsea International in 1971) can be heard on the airwaves again on SAGA Radio, an FM radio station for old people. They now have a regional licence for Nottingham and the east Midlands. Maybe Stevie is getting old too as he calls himself Steve Merike these days. Steve is one of the very few Caroline deejays, who had a chart hit in England - his version of 'Lady Jane' made it into the Top 50 in 1966. Steve now lives in Loughborough. 

I do write a lot on former 'pirates' but nowadays there are still pirates, people who do transmit illegal radio signals. In the USA some people can not stop transmitting and then the next thing is happening: 'A former Orlando pirate was sentenced to 9 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of operating an FM station without a license. After his release, Rayon Sherwin Payne will be on probation for a year and must perform 50 hours of community service. The case stemmed from an interference complaint in 1999. In February of this year, Payne pled guilty and agreed to forfeit his equipment.'

Last time I briefly mentioned Radio Geronimo and the names of some of the guys working at the station in the seventies. And here's a response on that, coming in from Chris Bent: 'Hello Hans, I have a website all about Geronimo/Seagull at www.radiogeronimo.co.uk and since it went online 12 months ago it's had around 2250 unique hits. Mark Dezzani (Caroline South) has written advising me of your newsletter which includes Barry Everitt and Hugh Nolan. Could I please have access to this newsletter? It's interesting to hear that Barry would like to be on terrestrial radio. I recently had an e-mail from one of the original people who helped set up Geronimo (Terry Yason) and he also would like to see a return for a station like Geronimo/Seagull, although he does not favour using the same name again. As you may know, although I have no offshore background, I have a daily program on Caroline NL. I occasionally tend to veer towards the outer limits of music, much like Geronimo and Seagull. I can accept that none of the original Geronimo team would probably like my tribute site - my experience is that the originators of things often had bad experiences and don't like to be reminded of them. However, now might be a good time for them to initiate a new radio station with the same ideals as Geronimo/Seagull…in collaboration with another radio station perhaps to share expenses? Best wishes, Chris Bent a.k.a. Chris B.

Then a press report which came in from our friends in Vauxhall at World Radio Network: ' World Radio Network (WRN), the London-based international broadcaster and transmission service provider, has joined the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM ) Consortium. DRM comprises broadcasters, network operators, manufacturers and researchers who have created a digital system (also called DRM) for the broadcasting bands below 30 MHz. DRM is the world's only non-proprietary, digital system for short-wave, medium-wave and long-wave with the ability to use existing frequencies and bandwidth across the globe. WRN's participation brings DRM's membership to a record high of 81 members from 30 countries.

Placing his full support behind DRM, Karl Miosga, WRN's Managing Director said: "World Radio Network is delighted to be playing an active part in DRM which represents a combination of digital innovation and close cooperation between broadcasters around the world - two of the founding principles behind WRN. We have been a long-time proponents of the distribution of international, cross-border radio by innovative and sustainable digital platforms, be that the Internet, digital satellite, digital cable or mobile cell phone services in order to reach new listeners around the world. To this list we add DRM because we believe it is going to offer listeners increased choice in radio listening combined with digital audio quality."

"Several of DRM's broadcaster members are also associated with WRN," said DRM Chairman Peter Senger. "The addition of WRN as a member of DRM is a great fit, and we look forward to working together in the future."

The world's first DRM broadcasts will be transmitted across the globe on June 16th, 2003. The precise moment of DRM's inaugural broadcasts will occur during the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) World Radio communication Conference (WRC 2003) in Geneva, marked by a reception at the Château de Penthes.' 

One of the readers wrote us the following mail: 'I was going through my offshore collection and notice that I do not have the book Veronica - 'Speelbal van de golven'. Does this book ever appear in second hand shops in the Netherlands and is there a web site that might find such things?? Please let me know.' So if anyone has a double copy or knows where to find it, please sent me an e mail me to the attention of Ian at: Hknot@home.nl

Recent figures show that in Holland 6,5 million households make use of their local cable net when watching television. This is 93,4% of the total population. 509.400 households make use of their own satellite dish, which is 7.3%. Yet there are 97.700 (1,4%) households which neither use the cable or a dish but the original television aerial system.

John and Jenny Knight from the Horizon and Caroline Sales mentioned in their last issue that still people are needed to work on the MV Ross Revenge as a volunteer. A lot of painting has to be done as well as other maintenance work. So if you have some spare time this summer please lent them a hand. Contact John by e mailing: johnwknight@tiscali.co.uk

It now seems that the plans to have an RSL from the Ross Revenge this summer are passé. Nothing has been made official, but I read in the Horizon that there is a plan to bring the Ross Revenge to Southend on Sea in 2004.. By the time you're reading this the former Radio Caroline ship has also left the mooring at Queenborough. It is not known yet where the ship is at the moment. Reason for towing it away is that a mooring maintenance programme is undertaken in The Medway Ports. When this is completed the authorities will review their charging regime. So there will be more money needed to save the ship. Contact the above e mail for more info about how you can donate money.

Probably our good old friend from Highgate, who reads this news report from the first edition, could be so friendly to sent from time to time some more info about what he's doing concerning Radio Caroline and the radio ship. If so we could have informed everyone 100% this and other times. Read in the latest edition of OEM some comments again from Chief Apache Moore criticizing the editorial staff of this magazine. As long as you're not writing and sending decent press reports Apache Moore you will have to spent more time in criticizing. So stop this as those people have done a lot for you in the long past. Not only Chris Edwards and his people, also John and Jenny and Rob Olthof and his people. Do it like every other radio station. Just sent honest press updates like the Caroline family did in the sixties and than all will be happy and you don't have to take the upper step to get angry again.

Last time we talked a bit about the double cd on AFN and one thing I didn't mention was the times I crept into the radio to listen to the episodes of 'Chickenman'. A series of radio comedies about the world's most fantastic crime fighter. A brainchild from Dick Orkin. Well in total there were 273 different episodes and they've been saved all. Those who do remember the series when listening to AFN/AFRTS or versus American Radio, I do advice to have a look on the following internet site: http://www.danoday.com/offer.cgi?desc=1492&refpage=pref

On May 21st we learnt something new on Yorin FM, one of the commercial radio stations aimed at the youth. In their daily schedule there is some space to mention the people within the entertainment industry who are celebrating their birthday. Today also Ronan O'Rahilly was mentioned as he celebrates his 63rd birthday. Congratulations to you, Ronan. But now to the fact that we learnt something new as the presenter told us that he was the famous owner of Radio Caroline and that he named his radio station after the wife of John F. Kennedy. Can anyone tell me what the name of the daughter was? Oh yes we did get, in the end, Radio Jackie, but that was a land based pirate station.

On Friday May 23rd on Radio 2 from de VRT (the Flemish Radio and Television) there was a special guest in the program from Albrecht Wauters. He invited the first Flemish deejay ever Fred Steyn. He got famous in Belgium in 1959 working for the Dutch/ Flemish service of Radio Luxembourg. After that he joined forces with the team of Radio Antwerp, which transmitted from a concrete vessel, the MV Uilenspiegel. A pity the interview lasted for only 5 minutes.

Sunday May 25th was the last day of the Libelle Summer Week on Radio 10 FM. On the beach of Almere a special radio studio was built, where the listeners could see live action. On Thursday morning (22nd) the listeners could dig for 'gold'. In the sand 100 treasuries were hidden. In one of them the big price could be found: 'A trip for two to France'. During The Libelle Summer Week (a women's magazine for many decades) live broadcasts were made by Peter Holland, Bart van Leeuwen and Ferry Maat. Yes, all former offshore deejays. 

I know, some of you think the Dutch people are sometimes mad. Never mind, but reading this you should think we're insane: Op the public radio stations part of financing comes from Dutch government or from us the taxpayer. One other source is income from advertising, which is possible here in Holland. Each hour before the news on top of the hour and after the bulletin there is space for commercials. Depending on how much listeners the station has the prices for those commercials are made. So the more listeners the more money comes in. The commercial airtime is organised since the mid sixties by the STER, the Foundation for ether commercials. More and more commercial radio stations want to have airtime to promote their radio stations within the advertising time on public radio. Until recently this was refused by STER and Public Broadcasters. Dutch government announced on May 22nd that refusal isn't possible anymore and that commercials for commercial radio stations have to be aired on public radio. However they still refuse to do so.

May 23rd the first radio station, which was going for a new FM frequency in Holland, got a letter from Dutch Government that they were not within the group which will get a new frequency (of course paying millions of Euro's to the Dutch government a year). Radio 192, the station which started a few years ago and did try to copy as good as possible the old sounds of Veronica, will not be on FM. Till now they used a regional AM frequency. It is expected that in the future Radio 192 will be a cable station only. Lucky enough they've a 90% plus cover of the Dutch cable networks.

In the evening of the same day I got an e-mail from Herbert Visser, by some of you the reader known as Herbie the Fish. He nowadays works as a newsreader for ANP Radio, a company which makes the news reports for public radio as well as for a lot of commercial radio stations. He wrote: 'Something very strange happened this afternoon, a quarter past five. Around the cabins, where the news is read for the several stations, on the walls are hanging several frames. In those are the logos for the stations and other companies we are working for. So they're hanging there very big, like the one of Arrow Classic Rock, Radio 10 FM, Sky Radio and many more. And Radio 192 was also included. On that very moment without anyone in the surrounding of the 192 frame and without any noise the 192 frame broke down to the floor. The glass could be found back in over thousand pieces. This is a real story, I was there and next to that it's a very strange and bizarre happening.'

The Attorney from the Virgin Group in London wants action against the Dutch company 
ML Express Services. Boss of this company. Mr Van der Meer had talks with people from Virgin in which was agreed that the Dutch Company would relay the signal of Virgin Radio on the Dutch cable systems. He told them he had access on 90% of the cable networks, starting July 1st. Indeed the ML Express Service got a licence from Dutch Radio Authority last March using cable networks for starting a commercial radio station. However Van der Meer had not the idea to relay the signal of Virgin Radio but start a Dutch version of the station. In 1993, when former owner Richard Branson had started the station in London, he also registrated the word 'Virgin' worldwide as a brand and can only be used by companies run by him, either by companies who have an official licence from the Virgin Group.

Last time I did asked a question about the present whereabouts of Carl Mitchell. He worked on Radio Caroline as well on RNI. Chris Baird did see him after he left RNI in 1970: 'To fill in a gap in the knowledge of what happened to Carl Mitchell after RNI. Well, in early 1971 he, me and a lot of other English DJ's went to the I.D.A in Copenhagen. This was called the International Disc Jockey Agency, run by an English guy called Laurie something. The I.D.A. booked English speaking DJ's into night clubs throughout Scandinavia. He was famous in 1971 at the 'Revolution Club' in Copenhagen for his Moody Blues and Jethro Tull tracks. Carl did me some jingles back then which I finally got to air on RN1 99, which sound so right on the RSL.
As far as I know he went back to a suburb of New York at the end of 1971 and no one has heard of him since. Shame as he was a great guy and fun to be with. Do you have any other information I'd like to hear it. Keep up the fading spirit of free radio for as long as you can.' 

Thanks Chris and a question to Roger and Andy or maybe Peter Chicago who are all reading: 'Does anyone of you know the real name from Carl Mitchell as this could maybe a little of help to me (and us).

In the meantime it was Roger who responded with: 'I think his real name was David Carmichael'. I surfed on the internet and found a lot of people with the same name, but not the one we're looking for. What Chris wrote me, after getting this information, that he remembered his real name too. Carl or David Carmichael his father, by the way, owned in those days a newspaper in New York

In Holland finally on Monday 26 May the decision was announced on the future for the commercial radio stations. It has taken, due to all kind of procedures, many years before Dutch government could publish the following results. In total 9 frequencies with the so called nationwide coverage could be bid for. From June 1st the following organizations will have such a FM license. Behind the name of the stations you will find the amount of money they've offered for the license in the forthcoming eight years: Sky Radio 56.025.000 Euro un-claused, Gouwe Ouwe Zender 33.600.000 Oldies, Noordzee FM 80.400.000 un-claused. Business Nieuws Radio 1.320.000 news radio, ID&T Radio 1.320.000 alternative, Radio 538 un-claused 57.000.000, Yorin FM 32.892.000 un-claused RTLFM 22.936.000 European Music and Dutch language. The classical frequency has not been given away. Next to that a lot of regional and local frequencies have been 'given away'. Big losers are Radio10 FM as well as Classic FM. Both organizations have to leave their FM frequency June 1st. Also some of the stations have to switch frequency. It will therefore be a hectic week. All stations shall try to attract as much listeners as possible.

The most strange thing is that the FM frequency from Radio 10 FM, which is the oldest commercial radio station in Holland and 15 years on the air, has to leave the air for another group who went for a oldies format, 'de gouwe ouwe zender', This is a station which has been on the air years and years ago and is financed by the Sky Radio Group. During the short period it was on the air it showed it wasn't successful at all and it seems the Dutch commission, which had to advice the government had only Euro Signs in their eyes. I hope that Tom Mulder, director of Radio 10FM and his people will go to the highest court to fight for justice. As it looks now they're banned to the cable networks. Lucky enough the listeners were also very angry and within a day more than 30.000 people did sent in an e mail to the station. Within 48 hours more than 50.000 people did sent in e- mails, faxes or phoned the station to tell that the government had taken a shameless decision to give the frequency for a oldies format to an organization which only consist on paper.. Erik de Zwart, director Talpa BV, the company which owns the station, was on television and told it's now time to talk with other parties. Also he told they will go to court as he thinks their bid was higher than from the company behind De Gouwe Ouwe Zender. So maybe there's a little change to cooperate with others. The very near future will tell.

The most interesting is the news that the license for the 1008 kHz transmitter, which is a 400 kW transmitter, is given to Radlon Sales. It's Ray Anderson and his friends who want to bring back the sound of Radio London. With this powerful transmitter they want to target the station at 20 million people in the UK. Now they're very busily looking for investors and staff. Two other former offshore people who didn't make it in their bid for a new license are Ruud Hendriks en Look Boden. Ruud wanted a new license for FM and his Radio Nationaal but failed. The station will also stop with cable transmissions. Look Boden, former deejay in the sixties on Radio Dolfijn and Radio 227 wanted a regional AM licence. Also he didn't get one. The aim of the company is going for cable transmissions and maybe satellite. In the forthcoming years some more AM licenses are for sale so Radio 227 wants to go for one of them too.

Another former radio person who has worked for Tom Mulder, when he did run Cable One in the eighties, is Frits Koning. He started working in radio on the local pirate radio station of Amsterdam, Radio Unique in the early eighties. Then he went to the offshore radio station Radio Monique. During the last years he has worked for Business News Radio. He has left the radio scene and also the Netherlands. Frits now lives in Cambodia, under his real name Frits Mulder, and will from there inform newspapers and radio stations as a free lance journalist. Good Luck there Frits!!

Back to the licences which have been given away in Holland. As told there are also a lot of local licences which have been 'bought' by several organisations. One of the is Quality Radio, a company from Utrecht run by Ruud Poeze. Some years ago he worked very closely together with Bob Noakes but due to a big dispute they broke with each other. Poeze has found British people who are interested in making radio in England, so see the next press report: 'In association with our Dutch partners, Laser Radio Limited has successfully applied for broadcasting licences in the Netherlands. With our Dutch partner Quality Radio, we have won the following AM broadcasting frequencies: 828 kHz, 1035 kHz, 1224 kHz, 1395 kHz and 1557 kHz Andrew Yeates, Managing Director of Laser Radio Limited said 'This is a tremendous result and shows the strength of our applications and future plans for AM broadcasting. We have some exciting programming planned, which will transform AM listening across the Benelux and surrounding markets' Managing Director of Quality Radio, Ruud Poeze, was equally delighted with the result and was looking forward to building a strong radio brand in the Netherlands. The broadcasting licences will be valid for an eight year period.'

Who does remember Bob Lawrence from Caroline days? I do but lost contact some time ago and he wrote in during the past weeks: 'It's been a while since you stopped sending me your e-mail newsletter, I thought you'd stopped doing it. I had a look at Martin's website for the first time in ages today and found your newsletter there. It's good to see you are still keeping us all informed. I noticed that you are asking for nick-names, as you know mine is Buzby. When I arrived on the Mi Amigo for the first time in August 1978 I had a t-shirt on which featured a cartoon bird called "Buzby" (the character was used by British Telecom to promote using the phone more, my tee-shirt said "Buzby say's Who's Tapping Your Phone"). Marc Jacobs decided that I should be called Buzby (although Kees Borrell said that my hair looked like a toilet brush, so he called me Toilet Brush!!!). I also noticed talk of The Voice Of Peace in the very early days. If you give me your address I'll send you a free copy of a double CD I am selling called "The Tony Allan Story". As you can imagine Tony tells some great stuff about sailing over to America in the very early days. With Best wishes, Bob Lawrence.' Good to have you back on the mailing list Bob. As soon as I've listened to the CD I'll write a review and inform you all how you can order the CD.

In the late days of the MV Mi Amigo (1979/1980) they broadcast Dutch as well as English language programmes. One of the Dutch deejays was Sebastiaan Peters. After his offshore days he went to work for KRO Radio, became voice over on several television stations and worked a period for Radio 10 FM. His real name is Eddie Keur and he has a new radio job. On Noordzee FM he does work as a side kick in the program of Gordon, which is transmitted every weekday between 7 and 10 AM.

Then my good friend Mike Brand from Tel Aviv reports the following about budget cutting: 'The commander of Galei Zahal - Army Radio, will cut his yearly budget by 3 million shekels ( about 570,000 Euro ). This is because of the budget cut made to the Ministry Of Defence, and the upcoming payments that the station will have to pay to A.K.U.M, The Writers and Performers Guild. The stations budget stands at 40 million shekels ( just over 7.5 million Euro). 25 million from the Ministry of Defence, and 15 million from sponsored messages. The cut is to lead to a 10% wage cut of most of the
stations workers, and might, in some cases, mean redundancies.

Today it's May 30th and I was away for two days. More than 400 e-mails were waiting for me, mostly questions about the frequencies. Well there is some latest news. First of all the amount of people who have protested against the fact that Radio 10FM has to leave the air has reached the 80.000 yesterday and heading to 100.000. Also it became known that Talpa International, the company that owns Radio10FM (read John de Mol jr) and Sky Radio (Ton Lathouwers) are in talk about the future of Radio10. As told before the Sky Radio Group got a licence for 'De gouwe ouwe zender', a station only known on paper. Both Ton Lathouwers as well as Erik de Zwart for Talpa confirmed that both organizations are in talk. It could be possible that Radio 10 will be taken over by Sky and so this station could be saved.

The company which got the licence for the AM675, Country Radio FM, has the same address as Arrow Classic Rock. Both companies agreed that until a later date Arrow can use the 675 kHz. They will also go to court to fight the decision of Dutch government. So I suggest there will be much more news to tell about this all next month.

Finally some questions from Jeff Gold, also mentioning himself 'Mebo Martin': 'I was hoping you could may be help me. Firstly someone has asked me the real name of Peter Philips and where he is working now? Also have you any idea of the whereabouts of Roger Kent and Mike Ross. I met Mike at the 'Driftback 20' event in London in 1987. We had a great chat and he was doing a slide show later. Unfortunately I had to get the last train home and missed it. As for Roger, I loved his shows on RNI it is a pity he did not have longer on board.'

So dear friends if you know an answer just write to me: HKnot@home.nl

Till another time I wish you all the very best and don't stay in the sun too long as the batteries in your transistor radio are getting worse and worse in the sun.

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Taken from the UK Radio website:

RADLON MEDIA LIMITED
PO BOX 7336
FRINTON-ON-SEA
ESSEX
CO13 0WZ
ENGLAND
PRESS RELEASE


"RADLON MEDIA LIMITED IS AWARDED HIGH POWER MEDIUM WAVE FREQUENCY TO BROADCAST TO UK"

Essex based Radlon Media Limited has secured a high power AM – Medium Wave Frequency from the Dutch government to broadcast to the UK. The frequency is one of only a few high-power International frequencies available – 1008 kHz with a transmitter power of 400 kilowatts.

Managing Director of Radlon Media Limited – Ray Anderson, said, "We are delighted in being awarded this frequency, it is the culmination of over 12 months work. This will now enable us to proceed with our plans to re-launch the former pirate radio station – RADIO LONDON – BIG L and other programming formats".

The footprint from this transmitter should cover a population of 20 million people in the South East and East of Great Britain as well as much of The Netherlands and Belgium. 

Ray Anderson added "We will be interested in hearing from Airtime Sales personnel, Deejays and Investing partners who can assist us so we can quickly bring this station back on-air and make it a tremendous success". 

FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR CLARIFICATION PLEASE RING
01255 676252
FAX: 01255 850528

e-mail: bigl@everything.fsbusiness.co.uk


 

News Archive:

20th April to 16th May 2003

1st March to 13th April 2003

25th December 2002 to 14th February 2003

 

 

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