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
Thursday July 24th 2003
Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:
Welcome to this early August edition of my report and thanks for the many
e-mails which came in. Of course not all will be answered, just a selection. The first one, which came in, was from the new owner of the
MV Communicator, David Miller – who probably doesn’t understand that this international report is an open forum where all radio lovers can communicate which each other. He reflected on my report from last time when I
mentioned the Communicator and brought a small report, which was sent in by two people from Amsterdam. They
found the ship without a guard as well as one of the doors open. David wrote: ‘I am concerned with the latest report of yours with info about the Communicator. As I said to you in a previous email the guard that was on board went home for a few days due to him being there for a couple of weeks without leave. I disapprove that the report has highlighted to the World that the ship is unmanned particularly as there is already a vandalism problem. The people who you report boarded the ship quite illegally and without permission from either Janie or me. I will be reported to the Police and legal action will be taken against them. As I am sure you understand the bad condition of the ship internally they report is due to malicious attacks which have been beyond our control. The inaccurate information regarding the fees at IJmuiden is simply incorrect. We have a fabulous relationship with the Harbourmaster who is very supportive to the ship and us. An agreement was made between us regarding how long she can stay there and we intend to adhere to this. The fees are certainly not expensive and the facilities we have are excellent for the work we need to complete before moving her.’ Well David once again, the two were on their on ship watching to the Communicator. Saw that no one was on the ship and that the door was open. They reported it to me and within an hour I
sent you an e-mail. Secondly the two are radio supporters and no youngsters who take vandalism as a hobby. So there is no reason to report them to the Police. Above that go to a certain harbour and look for yourself how many ships are unmanned. And thirdly the two
suggested that harbour fees are high. As they’ve their own ship they knew were they were talking about. Next to that they couldn’t know that you’ve organised a nice price with the authorities. Nevertheless once again I want to add that this report
has been published for a couple of years and it stays as an open forum where every radio enthusiast can bring in what
he or she likes.
Ray Anderson mentioned at the end of the report that there would be a test transmission on July 17th. Many people tuned in but nothing happened. Due to Jan Parent, former Radio Monique deejay and nowadays working for the regional radio station Radio Zeeland, I learned around 12 o’clock in the morning that nothing would happen. He phoned with Nozema, the company responsible for the transmitter on this frequency. All he heard was that nothing was planned on that day for the frequency. But a day later it really happened. Here's one of the reports: ‘today Friday July 18th a test transmission was heard on 1008 kHz, no station identification was heard when I listened about 1.45pm, the signal went off and came back on at times, music heard ain’t no mountain high enough by Tammi Terell, the Doors, Pink Floyd with ‘She Emily Play, Earth and Fire with Maybe tomorrow’ and others. The address mentioned was in Frinton on sea announcing this is a test transmission from Radlon’. And there you are the tests which Ray had promised a day to late. So Ray maybe in the future give us a mail when you know for sure that a test will not be happening. Thanks!
Bart van Leeuwen, Ferry Maat, Kas van Iersel, Rob van Someren en Peter Teekamp can be heard from August 31st on
the new Radio Veronica. It will be on the 103 FM frequency in the main part of the Netherlands and the format will be oldies – mainly form the eighties and nineties. On that date it’s exactly 29 years ago Radio Veronica closed down as an offshore radio station. As mentioned RTL got together with the Veronica organisation to get this station, which will be on for 24 hours a day, on the air. Hopefully it will bring a little joy in the radio again.
Barry Crompton, one of the people who have worked a lot for Caroline lately wrote in to me: ‘I will be, and a few others on our list too, will in
Amsterdam in October. So we will get to meet up, also Tony Christian said to me the other day that he will be over as well. Now the Ross is in Rochester/Strood on the Medway the reason I also say both towns as they are linked by the bridge. All the best and take care.’
May I wish you, Mary, a happy recovery and hopefully the Anoraks are patience enough for some new updates in the future and hope we will see each other in Groningen in the Autumn together with Chris, Paul, Martin,
Ulrike, Jana and Mark for a nice weekend.
One radio friend from Belgium, Jean Pierre Berckmans, wrote to me that he received the signal from the new offshore radio station. I wrote him back that probably he had dreamed as offshore radio from the Flevo transmitter is not possible. Here is his answer: ‘Yes that was a big mistake I did make. Probably I was making nostalgic dreams. I was 17 in 1966. My heart was going stronger yesterday when I heard the signal. Medium wave radio is still the feeling of warm radio. A crackle now and then doesn’t matter as it gives a good feeling. It’s like the good old records, which used to have noises which comes from using them often. But I waked up and now that it doesn’t come from the North Sea but it really sounds as before!
And as Martin is going on holiday soon and so his site will be not updated for some weeks I thought to send this report within 10 days after the last one. I promise that I won’t be back before August 16th. Let your news, gossip and memories come in as always at my PO Box 102 9700 AC Groningen Holland (old photographs are always welcome) or versus my e mail address Hknot@home.nl
And have a nice couple of weeks with warm weather, love and affection and good memories
P.S. I’m finishing this report with the sad news that Talpa Radio, owner of Radio 10 FM, has decided to dismiss 30 of the people working for the station. Since Radio 10FM lost their bit for a FM frequency and also the 695 AM frequency, they only transmit on the low power 1395 kHz and the cable networks. Deejays Ferry Maat and Bart van Leeuwen decided on their own to leave the station and will be back at the end of August with the new Veronica station. Radio 10FM is now a very low profiled station with only 10 people working for the organisation. It’s a pity for a station with such a long history. They’re leaving their building in Amsterdam and will use a studio, hired with the Wereldomroep in Hilversum. Later they will remove again to a building, which will bring all the Talpa Radio work together. With the lost of the 695 and FM frequencies lesser advertising came in and so decisions had to be made.
Wednesday July 23rd 2003
RADLON MEDIA LIMITED
PO BOX 7336
22th July 2003
"RADIO LONDON TEST TRANSMISSION REPORT"
A BIG THANK YOU FROM BIG L…
Radio London today carried out a test transmission on 1008 kHz from Flevoland in the Netherlands. Using 400 kilowatts of transmitter power.
We received over 300 reports by e-mail and telephone (mail reports will be delayed, of course). Reports were received from as far away as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and France. Plus the Netherlands, of course. Closer to home from Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.
These tests and your reception reports will greatly assist us in improving the signal into the UK. From your reports we can now prepare a contour map and compare this with the aerial pattern diagrams we currently have from the transmitter site to confirm and highlight existing black spots in the signal. Early indications show that our signal was good in the East, North and South but the Midlands and West London need to be improved upon.
Our engineers will now look at various options available to us. These are likely to include a combination of better processing, higher transmitter modulation and power (note that the channel is cleared for 1000 kilowatts) plus a detailed study of the antenna patterns, which could include a directional beam to the UK. We are hoping to have the engineers report by the end of the first week of August. This report, once implemented will then form the basis of our plans to provide Radio London with the best possible signal into the UK, which is our prime target area.
Again, a Big thank you for sending us your reception report and various other comments, which are greatly appreciated.
FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR CLARIFICATION
PLEASE RING RAY ANDERSON
FAX: 01255 850528
Sunday July 20th 2003
RADLON MEDIA LIMITED
PO BOX 7336
PRESS RELEASE 002
RADIO LONDON TEST BROADCAST
Radio London will conduct further engineering tests at 12.00 (UK Time) on 22nd July, 2003 for approximately two hours on 1008 kHz from the Flovoland transmitting site in the Netherlands.
The transmitter will be operated at 400 kilowatts with 95% peak modulation using an Optimod 9200 processing. This will enable our engineers to ascertain coverage in the UK. The current aerial pattern produces a figure eight pattern pointing NE - SW and our study will enable us to work on plans to alter the antenna pattern to produce a
better signal into our target areas.
Radlon Media Limited would welcome reception reports from anywhere in Europe. We are mainly interested in reports from listeners using standard domestic equipment, i.e. Hi-fi units, portable radio's and car radio's rather than full sinpo reports using communications equipment and long wire aerials. Please either post them to the address at the top of this press release of e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. All reports will be acknowledged.
We have received an enormous amount of correspondence, mainly by e- mail, many questions have been asked, and at your request, we are happy to give the following progress report:
Our fund raising has been rather slow. This time of year many people are away on vacation and we have lost a few weeks because of this. However, response has been very encouraging, despite what are difficult times for the radio industry. We now need to start closing deals and this is what our team are currently focusing on.
Opportunities to invest in this project are still available with investments starting at £10,000. Anyone interested should contact us ASAP.
On Thursday 17th July, 2003, our engineers made a full appraisal of the transmitter site at Flavoland on the Netherlands. The site also transmits the Dutch public broadcaster Radio 1 on 747 kHz so any changes that we may wish to make have to be compatible with their requirements. From our findings we can now evaluate the aerial patterns and work on commissioning a full report on the antenna and recommend changes. We also evaluated the suitability of the AEG Telefunken 600 kilowatt transmitter, which is 20 years old and may not be capable of producing positive peak modulations now used by many commercial broadcasters in Europe. So we need to await the full report in order to make our final deliberations.
The tests next Tuesday will also give our backers an indication of our signal strength, when engineering adjustments are made at a later date, our engineers are confident that a further 6db of signal will reach the UK.
It is also our plan to broadcast in AM stereo (although not on our current tests) and we will watch the progress of DRM, which looks set to revolutionize the AM dial.
The Radio London & Big L brands will be used to launch our Gold format. Much in attitude has changed since Radio London last attracted a significant audience and the station sound needs to be tuned to current market trends. Commercially, it is important to attract and please an audience, of hopefully 1 or 2 million listeners
and not a minority group, so emphasis will be on the music and presenters whilst retaining some of the magic and fun that the original station produced.
There is no official Radio London website at the moment, although we are working on this at the moment. In order to avoid confusion, please ensure that all correspondence regarding the re-launch of Radio London is addressed to the contact phone numbers, fax and e-mail in this press release.
FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR CLARIFICATION
PLEASE RING RAY ANDERSON
FAX: 01255 850528
Thursday July 17rd 2003
Radio Netherlands Media Network reporting:
Veronica 103 FM announces presenter line-up
Five of the main presenters have been announced for Dutch oldies station Radio Veronica 103 FM, which officially launches on 31 August 2003. The line-up is headed by veteran DJ Ferry Maat [ex-RNI], who abruptly left Radio 10 FM a couple of weeks ago. Also moving across from Radio 10 are Bart van Leeuwen [ex-Radio Veronica and Radio Mi Amigo] and Peter Teekamp [Carl de Jong on Radio Caroline]. Two other names announced today are Kas van Iersel [Cas Collins on the Voice of Peace] and Rob van Someren. Uunco Cerfontaine, currently station manager at Radio 538, will assume the same position at Radio Veronica. The station will "soft launch" without presenters on 1 August, playing music from the 80's and 90's. The official opening on 31 August will mark the 29th anniversary of Veronica's closure as an offshore station.
Sky Radio Director Ton Lathouwers [Hans Verlaan on Radio Caroline] said "Radio Veronica has always played an important role in the Dutch radio market. Our goal is clear: Radio Veronica must come alive again and take a significant market position. With the knowledge and experience of Sky Radio and the fantastic team of DJ's, I'm convinced that will definitely happen."
The names of more presenters and details of the programming will be announced over the next few weeks.
Tuesday July 15th 2003
Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:
Do you also have the feeling that this summer is one of the finest we have had since decades? My lady Jana and I have just had some short trips till
now, but did enjoy it for more than 100%.
Around the time you're reading this edition Les will back on his own spot but maybe there will be some other surprises when Roger is filling in for one of the other presenters on the station.
Another mention about a CD on the history of radio. To be more specific, I should have written: History of the jingle. In Holland, Genootschap radiojingles en -tunes, have produced a lot of brilliant CD's in the past years. Since a couple of weeks a new one is out. Its called TROS Radio TM jingles 1979-1981. Next to the beautiful jingles, which were re sung for the Dutch Public Broadcaster, also the original demo tapes from TM, which stands for Tom Merriman, can be heard. It's all produced in a documentary style and includes also an interview with Tom Merriman in which he tells how the packages 'TM Winning Score' and 'TM Radio Express' were produced in the seventies. For more info on the products of Genootschap Radiojingles and -tunes just take a look at the following site: www.jingleweb.com
It's has been a long time since I could mention a new
nickname in this report. We go back to the eighties when on the Ross Revenge for Radio Caroline there was a very good newsreader and presenter. His name was Peter Philips and he had the nickname 'Football Free'. Another one we have to go back to the seventies as Veronica deejay Chiel Montagne got the nickname 'Chiel Montagne zonder franje', which best could be translated in Chiel Montage without finery. I looked down in the list, which I keep with
all those nicknames and saw we forgot also one, who's coming back in this report later on. Radio London brought us Pete 'Dum Dum' Drummond. Also we could mention that Mike Barrington was named now and then 'The Hermit' by his crewmembers. I think from the days with Laser it was Ray Anderson, who we also know from Radio Atlantis days as Ray Warner, got the nick name Captain Hughie. With thanks to Stuart Dobson. Martin van der Ven brought two names in for the same person who worked on Laser as well as Caroline 558. Shaun Taylor, who made later fame at Radio Luxembourg as Shaun Tilney, used 'Young Shaun in the morning' (Laser) as well as 'Young Shaun Taylor" (Caroline).
Then the American government has brought on the air the biggest pirate ever. The Pentagon developed a special airplane to beam the signals of
Radio and TV Martí to Cuba, using a technology that one administration official said 'breached the wall' of Cuban jamming efforts. An Air Force EC-130 plane conducts the transmissions. It operates within U.S. airspace, not passing into Cuban territory. Cuba acknowledged that the United States had altered its normal transmissions of the two stations, but said they were ineffective and hinted that the Castro government might retaliate. A statement of the Cuban government was given in which was mentioned that the Cuban government could order to boosting power on their own radio stations to disrupt the broadcasts of many radio stations in Florida. Radio Martí's history goes back to 1985 on medium wave and short wave. In the past several years, criticism has been made that its programming had become stale. On April 1st, the White House replaced Radio Martí's chief, Salvador Lew, with another executive, Pedro Roig. Among recent changes to brighten the station's programming are broadcasts of Major League baseball
Who does remember from the mid eighties
Maarten de Jong on Radio Monique. He was in later years working for the cable radio station Cable One in Holland under his own name Paul Lek. He also went to Asia and is now living in Singapore. Paul is official dealer for Music Scheduling Software Selector. (With thanks to Herbie).
Then an e-mail came from an unexpected person, who I know since the early seventies. He was once of the 5 German's who I was in contact in those days regarding our love for RNI. It's Dietmar Flacke who wrote in: 'Since the end of the 60s I am a listener of Dutch Radio stations (offshore and later Hitradio Veronica, Radio 538 and so on). And of course I read these discussions about Dutch radio. And I must say (write): I don't understand you and Rob Olthof and ...
Nova, a radio station in Italy, was founded in Spring 1979 by a group of free radio enthusiasts inspired by the success of the offshore pirates - particularly the first RNI, Radio Northsea International. When the passing of Dutch legislation to outlaw offshore radio closed down most of the remaining pirates in the North Sea, and even Radio Veronica joined the Hilversum 'club' of licensed broadcasters. The Swiss owners of RNI, Meister and Bollier, are said to have considered sailing the MEBO II to
the Italian coast to commence broadcasting there under the name of Radio Nova International. The two Swiss people also officially told this to journalists. Of course the radio ship was locked up for a longer period in Slikkerveer harbour and in took up till 1977 before the ship could leave Holland for international waters. By then it had a new owner in the person of General Ghadaffi of Libya. However, the relaxation of Italian laws on private broadcasting, resulting from an almost anarchic proliferation of
land based pirates in that country made the expense and inconvenience of broadcasting from ships at sea rather unnecessary. Meister and Bollier lost interest in the Nova project, but gave their blessing for a group of Dutch, Belgian, German and French investors to use the name. Best known among them was AJ Beirens but they also included Ruud Kegel (Danny Thomas), Nils van Schijndel, Peter Janssen (Peter Hartwig), and Richard Adaridi. A lot of others have worked for the station, including Guy
Starkey - who did also some stints on the Voice of Peace. Have a look on his historical site on Radio Nova.
Hi to Nigel Harris. Well sorry to hear you can't make it for the Radio Day in October. A pity as this is the 25th Year. Hopefully next time and be careful with the new carpet in the studio.
Ending this edition of the report I would like to advice you to have a look on an Internet site on the subject 'Loving Awareness'. That's for people who do believe in it. Elsewhere forget it. www.getintola.nl
Thursday July 3rd 2003
Hello to everyone
After visiting Abie Nathan for the second time in a few weeks, I am happy to say that I caught him on one of his better days. Do not get me wrong, Abie is still very sick, and was in hospital last week, but we could understand more of what he was saying . Last time I went, he could hardly speak.
Abie has suffered a stroke, and is in a wheelchair. His speech is slurred,but is fully aware of what is going on around him. I went with someone else, and although he cannot speak full sentences, he was answering our questions with one or two word answers, that were very much to the point.
To everyone who has sent me e-mails asking me to pass their wishes on to Abie, I have done so. One has to remember that a lot of people passed through the VOP in its 20 years history, so you can forgive Abie for not remembering everyone.
Thank you for you e-mails, keep them coming in, Abie appreciates it very much. It is very important for him, that even though he is in an old age home, and in bad health, he is not forgotten. Now I know where he is, I will try to visit him every so often. Visits are important to him. So if you are in Israel, please call my mobile phone, and I will tell you exactly where Abie is, if you wish to visit him.
All the best
Besonders für deutschsprachige Leser ist ein fünfseitiger Artikel von Johannes Ruhr empfehlenswert, der im aktuellen Juli-Heft des Ostfriesland-Magazins erschienen ist (zumindest im norddeutschen Raum in gut sortierten Kiosken erhältlich):
Pictures from Shivering Sands (Radio City) taken by Paula Robb in June 2003
Click on the pictures to enlarge:
Monday June 30th 2002
Een commentaar door Rob Olthof (SMC):
Wow, Radio London komt eraan
Op aflevering 1 van de gelijknamige rubriek heb ik heel wat reacties op gehad van de lezers. Sommigen waren het geheel met me eens, anderen snapten het ‘klonen’ niet helemaal, dus ik ga dat even uitleggen. Stel je gaat voor het eerst op stedenbezoek: bijvoorbeeld naar Londen of Parijs. Je bent jong en je gaat met je ouders. Die indruk die je dan opdoet, is een heel andere dan wanneer je de stad met je vriendin voor de 3e, 5e of 10e keer bezoekt. De stad is praktisch hetzelfde gebleven, echter je indruk is anders geworden. Je bekijkt het met de ogen van anno 2003, de ogen van een volwassene, de ogen van een ‘Londen’ of ‘Parijs’ kenner.
Als je dus nu een station als Wonderful Radio London, dan wel Big L (in feite de enige zeezender die in de jaren 1964 t/m augustus 1967 wat geld heeft overgehouden) wil klonen, dan moet je ook de toenmalige deejays en presentatoren klonen. Je zoekt dus een stem á la Paul Kaye, een stem als Kenny Everett, een deejay die heel geestig was, een Keith Skues n ga zo maar door. Kortom onmogelijk. Nu heeft Engeland ruim 55 miljoen inwoners, dus de kans dat je bij een lokaal station een talent vindt, is groter dan in Nederland maar toch, je krijgt niet het Londen soundje van weleer. Nu heeft Ray Anderson de tijd met het starten van het station tot juni 2004, dus hij kan nog op talentenjacht gaan. We wensen hem succes.
De vraag blijft natuurlijk hoe je je staande moet houden in deze tijd van moordende concurrentie op het ‘gouwe ouwe’ gebied: wij hebben al Radio 192, Radio10FM en ook de Gouwe Ouwe Zender van Sky Radio.
Ik had laatst een vreselijke droom: ik deed morgens de radio aan en hoorde in plaats van de publieke Radio 2 Sky Radio. Ik zette wat anders aan en hoorde Sky Gouwe Ouwe, ik zapte door en hoorde Sky Klassiek, ik zapte verder en hoorde Sky Blues en Rock, in paniek zapte ik naar Sky Jazz, hijgend zapte ik naar Sky Country en vervolgens naar Sky Easy listening. Ik stond op het punt te gaan gillen, maar Moortje, de kat, sprong gelukkig boven op mijn gezicht omdat hij eten wilde. Zwetend werd ik wakker en bemerkte dat de Publieke Omroep er nog was. Eens geen platte vertoningen a la Noordzee (wat een slap aftreksel van wat eens een fantastisch station was) en geen andere vormen van Sky achtigen.
De overheid heeft flink geld gebeurd voor de FM frequenties, de vraag is of de pluriformiteit niet heel erg in het gedrang is gekomen: Noordzee, Sky, Yorin (gaap!), RTL Radio (gaap!) en Radio 538 vissen allemaal uit dezelfde vijver, waarbij misschien Radio 538 de vlotste van alle is. Merkwaardig dat computer radio het heeft gewonnen van het ouderwetse vakwerk en dat kleinere stations als Arrow Classic Rock, Radio192 en dat Radio 10 het onderspit moest delven. Wij zien nu het fenomeen dat gladde programmeringen- die met een zak euro’s stonden te zwaaien op de FM zijn terechtgekomen en de meer kwaliteit gerichte stations moeten uitwijken naar de AM.
Nog merkwaardiger is het dat deze overheid, die ruim 70 jaar de piratenzenders te vuur en te zwaard bestreed, nu opeens pleidooi houdt voor de piraten, omdat ze platen draaien die andere stations links laten liggen, zoals de Marianne Webers en andere smartlappen koningen en koninginnen. CDA’er Atsma komt er rond voor uit dat hij Marianne Weber miste in de ether en minister Brinkhorst laat onderzoeken of het toelaten van piraten in de ether mogelijk is. “Wij moeten ons afvragen of we een systeem moeten invoeren met ruimte voor mensen zonder een vergunning.” Na enig onderzoek blijkt dat een meerderheid in de Tweede Kamer wil dat er een ‘gedoogzone’ voor piraten kan komen. Kennelijk vindt de overheid ook dat de pluriformiteit wel erg in het gedrang is gekomen. Van de zotte is ook dat Radio 1 in het buitenland niet meer te ontvangen is terwijl de waardeloze programmering op 747kHz wel op de middengolf blijft zitten. Inmiddels werd bekend dat de ‘747’ gedeeltelijk wordt gebruikt door Radio 1. Op de 1008 kHz is het nog stil en het zal wel eens lang stil kunnen blijven omdat meneer Ray Anderson in Engeland eerst een nationale collecte moet houden om de huur van de 1008 kHz te kunnen betalen.
1st June to 27th June 2003
20th April to 16th May 2003
1st March to 13th April 2003
25th December 2002 to 14th February 2003