Happy 1st of December! Let’s bring the Christmas time on.
For this years anticipation to Christmas the RadioReporter community has created a special surprise for you! We have collected our favourite radio stations and put them in an online Advent Calendar for you.
We proudly present the RadioReporter Advent Calendar. Stay curious and explore a new radio station every day until Christmas. We hope you enjoy our special selection and share it with your loved ones.
What is the advent time and an advent calendar?
The advent time is a Christian tradition and spans over the period before Christmas. It covers the four Sundays before the Christmas Eve (24th December), starting with the Sunday closest to 30th November, the feast day of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
In the late 1800s the tradition of counting down the days til Christmas started in form of lighting candles or marking the days with chalk. “The first printed Advent calendar originated in Germany in the early 20th century with Gerhard Lang. When Gerhard was a little boy his mother made him a calendar with 24 small candies attached to cardboard, one for each day before Christmas.” (Source)
DAB has finally become very popular among broadcasters and listeners, the number of radio programs (“services”) available is continuously increasing, and so is the coverage. New cars will have to be equipped with DAB-enabled infotainment systems, and consumer radios are now available in all sizes and price ranges.
With the growing number of programs and broadcast packages (“multiplexes” or “ensembles”) available, it is not always easy to keep track of “who is on air, where, and how”. Where should one look for comprehensive, up-to-date (technical) information about services, transmitters and station details?
The website of WorldDAB, the official lobby organisation for DAB, provides only generic information in their „Country information“ section. On the internet, there is a variety of lists and overviews on national level, with various levels of reliability and technical content.
DABLIST.org brings all available sources together, and blends them with data obtained from real monitoring. Data from hundreds of receivers and monitoring systems is compiled, reviewed and amended with additional information by a team of dedicated editors. The result: An up-to-date, comprehensive directory of Digital Audio Broadcast.
The App …
… has been designed as a web app. Therefore, it does not require installation or download. Just navigate to app.dablist.organd create an icon on your desktop, on your home screen – on any current device running iOS, Android or Windows.
The start screen provides numbers of multiplexes, services and countries covered. Data is updated continuously, and the timestamp of the last update is also shown. The start screen lists all countries covered by DAB in alphabetical order.
When clicking any country link, the App will check the users current geo-location to know in which country he is located. For the current country, he will then have immediate access to the list of multiplexes, both in channel (“block”) order and in multiplex name (“ensemble label”) order.
To access data in other countries, the user must log in with his FMLIST account. FMLIST is the global database of radio stations and powers many web sites and solutions. If he does not have an account at FMLIST, he can register directly from the app – making sure to follow the indications of the two-step registration process. He may want to save the credentials for later use.
From the multiplex list, one can then enter into the multiplex details: These consist of a list of services with all essential data fields and details. The station logo is displayed for reference, and a rich list of URLs is provided, allowing quick access to websites, social media and streaming URLs for each service.
The services list is followed by a transmitter list which includes all known transmitters with technical details. When clicking on the transmitter site name (“location”), it will be displayed on a map.
More features are planned and will be added to the DABLIST app in due course, so stay tuned!
The DABLIST app is free for private, non-commercial use, and for broadcasters. Commercial users can obtain a license for 120 EUR/year per user (net excl. VAT). For questions, comments, suggestions, updates and commercial licensing, please contact email@example.com.
Switzerland is one of the most pioneering countries in the abandonment of Hertzian waves: in 2004, it switched off the Sottens shortwave transmitter (with 500 kW) and transferred the programs to the web. In 2010 it was the turn of the medium waves (the last to be switched off, the Sottens system) and in 2019 it was the turn of digital terrestrial television (which is still received via cable). Too bad, however, that the switch-off was done ignoring the agreements made with some private operators who were authorised to retransmit the DVB-T signal. So much so that some transmitters have now been switched on again. Christian Brülhart’s article analyses the situation. But digitalisation is continuing at a fast pace: the Swiss government has brought forward the abandonment of FM to the summer of 2022: analogue channels will be replaced by DAB digital channels.
ARTICLE (Auf Deutsch)
Das terrestrische Fernsehen wurde von der SRG in der Schweiz abgedreht, Private bringen es jetzt zurück
Ab dem Herbst 2014 wurden in der Schweiz überraschend die Sendeleistungen der DVB-T Sender massiv um den Faktor 10-15 reduziert, gestaffelt nach Regionen. Manche Auguren sahen das als Vorzeichen einer kompletten DVB-T Abschaltung, die fünf Jahre später folgen sollte. Im Herbst 2015 erklärte das Bakom, dass es das UHF-Band mittel- bis längerfristig komplett dem Mobilfunk übereignen wolle. Somit war klar, dass das Aus für das terrestrische Fernsehen kommen wird, nur wann, war damals noch unklar.
Fernsehen wird in der Schweiz vor allem über Kabelnetze und über Internet, Dienste wie Swisscom-TV mit hunderten Programmen und zeitunabhängigem Fernsehen dank einem 7 Tage-Zeitfenster, in denen man Programme nach der Erstausstrahlung schauen kann, findet viele Nutzer, die auch ein gutes Festnetz-Internet haben. Das terrestrische Netz strahlte über DVB-T fünf SRG-Programme landesweit aus; im Wallis und in Graubünden gab es indes private Netze, die dutzende Programme – teils verschlüsselt – über DVB-T ausgestrahlt haben, quasi Kabelnetze über die Luft. Valaiscom stellte den Betrieb, als das 800er Band dem Fernsehen weggenommen wurde («Digitale Dividende») und dem Mobilfunk zugeschanzt wurde, den Betrieb ein. Tele Rätia in Graubünden stellte den Betrieb Ende 2018 ein, als das Bakom auch noch das 700er Band für die Mobilfunk einkassierte.
Die SRG bekam Ende August 2018 eine neue Konzession vom Bakom, diese besagt, dass die SRG das terrestrische Fernsehen bis Ende 2019 aufgeben muss. Die SRG hat sich dann entschieden, DVB-T im Sommer 2019 abzuschalten; im Dezember 2018 wurde angekündigt, dass das terrestrische Fernsehen zum 3. Juni 2019 abgeschaltet werde. Die Informationskampagne war gut, aber das Aus von DVB-T hat doch ein paar zehntausend Haushalten den TV-Empfang weggenommen. Am 3.6.19 wurden die Programme über DVB-T eingestellt, danach wurden noch Hinweisbilder über die Sender ausgestrahlt, am 7.7.19 wurden die DVB-T Sender abgeschaltet.
Bereits im Juli 2019 hörte ich davon, dass am Hohen Kasten DVB-T reaktiviert werden könnte. Kabel-TV Lampert aus dem Vorarlberg bemühte sich darum, dass terrestrische Fernsehen auf diesem Ostschweizer Gipfel reaktivieren zu können, um das Schweizer Fernsehen weiterhin in ihr Kabelnetz einspeisen zu dürfen. Sie bekamen dann wirklich die Lizenz vom Bakom, DVB-T vom Hohen Kasten auf Kanal 34 ausstrahlen zu können. Geplant war ursprünglich, das noch vor dem Jahreswechsel 19/20 zu ermöglichen. Wetterunbill, die Revision der Bahn und die Corona-Pandemie verzögerten das um ein halbes Jahr, aber am 8.7.20 wurde der Hohe Kasten reaktiviert und strahlt seitdem wieder SRF1 und SRF2 aus. Der Hohe Kasten sendet den Kanal 34 mit einer ziemlich scharfen Richtstrahlung gen Nordwesten.
In der Romandie hat der private Sender Léman bleu ähnliches initiiert, seit dem Juni 2020 senden La Dôle-Barrilette und der Salève ebenfalls auf Kanal 34 die Programme der RTS wieder terrestrisch aus, dies in DVB-T2.
Wir sind froh, dass das terrestrische Fernsehen so zumindest regional zurückkehrte, denn das ist die einzige Möglichkeit, ohne Satellitenausrüstung und ohne Provider Fernsehen empfangen zu können.
From the first broadcast happening on Radio Zagreb back in 1926, until today, when a total of 155 radio stations operate in Croatia – radio has not lost its popularity. Radio survived the challenges of the modern age and is a very popular medium in Croatia. According to statistics more than half of Croatian citizens follow the radio waves every day!
ARTICLE (Na hrvatskom)
15. svibnja 2021.godine navršit će se točno devedeset i pet godina otkako se glas Božene Begović premijerno začuo u hrvatskom eteru i time označio početak gotovo stogodišnje povijesti radija u Hrvatskoj.
Iako se ovaj prijenos smatra početkom hrvatske radijske povijesti, njeni su temelji postavljeni nešto ranije, 1918. godine osnutkom radiotelegrafske postaje Radio Grič.
Radio-Grič, prva radiotelegrafska postaja u Hrvatskoj. Postavljena je u studenome 1918. na zagrebačkom Gornjem gradu (sastojala se od uređaja skinutih s austrougarske krstarice Novara) te je služila Hrvatskomu narodnom vijeću za veze s najvažnijim europskim gradovima; bila je jedan od glavnih izvora informacija iz inozemstva, koje su svakodnevno objavljivane i u posebnom biltenu. U tom je smislu Radio-Grič bio preteča Radiostanice Zagreb, prve radiodifuzijske postaje u Hrvatskoj, koja je počela emitirati 1926. Citat: Radio-Grič. Hrvatska enciklopedija, mrežno izdanje
Pet godina nakon osnutka Radio Griča, grupa entuzijasta na čelu s Dr. Ivom Sternom, osniva Radio klub Zagreb iz čijih će se prostorija na Markovom trgu 9, 1926. godine začuti sad već legendarna.
Halo, Halo, ovdje radio Zagreb!
Nakon najavne rečenice kojoj je prethodilo izvođenje himne, slušateljima se obratio Dr. Ivo Stern kao prvi ravnatelj Radio Zagreba. Program je nastavljen čitanjem službenog biltena , a prva emitirana glazba bila je ona Beethovena, Haydna, Chopina, Rameaua i Saint-Saensa.
Iste godine, nedugo nakon prvog emitiranja, Radio Zagreb je na konferenciji u Lausannei, postao punopravni član ITU-a (International Telecommunications Union).
Osim prijenosa uživo, većinu radijskog programa tadašnjeg vremena sačinjavale su glazba i radio drama – nova forma, koju je u Europi popularizirao BBC. Slijedeći trendove, Radio Zagreb već 4. prosinca 1926. objavljuje natječaj za izvorni radiodramski tekst, te kao jedna od prvih postaja u Europi javno poziva slušatelje na sudjelovanje u stvaranju originalnih rukopisa.
Prva hrvatska radiodrama, pod nazivom Vatra, autora i redatelja Ive Šrepela izvedena je 7. travnja 1927. Izvođenje je izazvalo toliko uzbuđenje kod slušatelja da su neki, prema informacijama navedenim u dnevnom tisku, izišli na balkone misleći da je na Griču buknuo požar.
S obzirom da je glazba od samih početka zauzimala najveći dio programa, Radio Zagrebu 1946. osniva big band Plesni orkestar Radio Zagreba(danas Jazz orkestarHrvatske radiotelevizije ), koji kontinuirano djeluje više od 60 godina, sve do danas.
Skoro dvadeset godina Radio Zagreb nastavlja djelovati kao jedini radijski medij na našim prostorima, sve do 1942. kad je osnovan Radio Dubrovnik, ujedno i prva lokalna postaja u Hrvatskoj.
Kao i većina tadašnjih radio stanica u Europi, radio Zagreb bio je u privatnom vlasništvu sve do početka 1940. kad je nacionaliziran i za vrijeme NDH djeluje kao Hrvatski krugoval. Po završetku Drugog svjetskog rata, postaje nacionalna postaja koja nezavisno djeluje u sastavu JRT (Jugoslovenske radio- televizije), a nakon 1990. u sklopu Hrvatske radio televizije.
Prema zadnjim istraživanjima, radio svakodnevno sluša 55,5 posto hrvatskih građana, a na tjednoj bazi njih 91,2 posto. I tjedna i dnevna slušanost je u zadnje četiri godine u blagom porastu. U prosjeku hrvatski slušatelj uz radio dnevno provede 78,6 minuta. Žene nešto više od muškaraca, 83,4 naspram 67,5 minuta. Citat
Scena nezavisnih radio stanica svoju ekspanziju doživljava šezdesetih godina, a nakon 1997. u Hrvatskoj s radom počinju i privatne nacionalne radijske postaje. Iste godine u pogon je stavljena prva zemaljska satelitska postaja na Prisavlju, putem koje se između ostalog , počeo emitirati Prvi program Hrvatskog radija u Europi i na Bliskom istoku.
Iako glazba i dalje zauzima najveći dio programa, informativni program, većinom prilagođen lokalnom slušateljstvu razlog je velike popularnosti radijskih postaja. Danas u hrvatskom eteru djeluje ukupno 155 radijskih postaja, a radio je i dalje, unatoč inovacijama jedan od najslušanijih i najutjecajnijih medija u Hrvatskoj.
IBA (Independent Broadcasters Association) is about to be set up in the United States. The aim is to increase the impact of thousands of member radio stations when communicating with record companies, selling airtime for advertisements (from the radio and social network to smart speakers like Alexa) and negotiating savings on services (from accountancy to putting programmes on air). We put three questions to Ron Stone, the promoter of the initiative.
RR:IBA not only offers its members the sale of commercials that will be broadcast on 3.000 radio stations, on as many apps and Facebook pages, but also to reduce the fees for music rights by negotiating royalties as a group of broadcasters. What difficulties did you encounter when explaining your proposal? Wasn’t getting 3.000 “heads” to agree a problem? Or has the prospect of earnings (and savings) made prospective members more willing to listen? RS: The goal is to represent the stations that become members as an unwired network, offering this network to clients that have a national presence. In addition, we will create a digital platform for all the members to participate in that will allow for the first time, a true digital sale opportunity by radio on a national scale to compete for digital spending.
RR:Could this model also work in other countries? Associations usually do lobbying or offer services, but none of them have thought of taking such an active role. RS: I really cannot answer this as I am not familiar with broadcasting in other countries. We will not be a lobbying group. We will leave that to the NAB, unless we find that there is a particular issue that we are being harmed by and not fairly represented.
RR:In order to sell advertising for 3.000 radio stations, are you going to create an independent advertising agency or rely on existing structures? RS: With an unwired network, it becomes fairly easy. It is an all or none sale. Clients cannot cherry pick stations.
The objectives of the Independent Broadcasters Association
Excerpt of the program of the association, from Radio IBA
The concept is to serve independent radio stations in ways we are NOT being served by existing organizations and provide independent operators with ways to drive revenue and achieve cost benefits from scale that cannot be achieved alone.
Below reflects my thoughts on what the organization would focus on right away and during the first two years.
Group employee benefits Better coverage and lower prices, and potentially add additional benefits for our employees.
Revenue generation An unwired network & digital platform supported by a national sales team to monetize for us.
Digital services group This would enable continuity across independent stations giving us the opportunity to accomplish double digit digital revenue through Web, Mobile, Alexa, & Streaming
Shared resources A system that allows sharing of that talent in non-competitive situations and reduces our dependence on national syndication that requires cash, barter and sometimes both.
Proprietary systems and services Under the umbrella of a member owned association, we can create proprietary systems that we control and eliminate some of the costly monthly per station fees for traffic, accounting, CRM, Yield Management, even automation and music scheduling.
This will of course take time, like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. But as independents, we are 7,000 stations strong, and multiply what each of us pay for any one service, it becomes crystal clear that through a membership owned organization, we would have the wherewithal to accomplish this, and the revenue growth and savings would be astronomical.
All Photos by NAARO, Architectural Photography Studio in London
After having announced over and over again that the official opening of the telecommunications tower on Kucuk Camlica hill would take place in a few months, progress was thwarted by the arrival of Covid-19. Then on May 3rd, 2020, a fire broke out, which, fortunately, was small and quickly under control by the workers.
Construction of the tower began in March 2016 and a year later the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication, Ahmet Arslan, hoped it would be completed by the end of Ramadan (May 2017) with a cost of USD 48.5. This was repeated the following year and again in July 2019 because they had to confront technical problems and delays caused by the wind, which when over 30km/h impedes work on the exterior.
An elegant, futuristic silhouette
The tower is one of ten major projects (including Istanbul airport, which is the largest in the world, and the tunnel under the Bosporus) that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had promised to give Turkey, one of the ten major world economies. “Complicated problems have been confronted and solved” states Melike Altinisik, Turkish architect, designer and founder of the international architectural design studio of the same name that is in charge of carrying out the project. ‘Designing a TV tower of almost 369 metres high is a complex and unique process, not only from the design but also from a technical point of view’.
Starting from the height: 369 metres from the cement base to the 145.5-metre steel mast which houses the antennas. The mast is made up of 12 pieces each weighing 1,400 tons. These were assembled inside the cement core and lifted by jacks to over 220 metres in height. Three hundred people, including technicians and engineers worked on the building site. 30,000 m3 of concrete and 3,000 tons of structural steel were used on a construction surface of 32,000 m2.
Particular engineering techniques
The engineering techniques used to construct the tower are particular. It was decided to build a circular cement core (220.5 metres high with foundations 21 metres deep) and to assemble the floors on the ground in groups of three or four. Each one is 4.5 metres high (the total weight of each module is about 1,000-1,200 tons, the equivalent weight of 1,000 cars). The modules (eight) were then lifted to the top by jacks and attached. Following this, a 2.5-metre-thick layer of reinforced concrete was laid between one module and the next. The tower is expected to draw 4.5 million visitors annually.
Like all telecommunication towers, apart from better reception of radio and TV signals and a lower impact on the environment (the hill is still covered with dozens of pylons) the structure is also a tourist attraction. The observation decks give you a breathtaking view of the Bosporus and both the eastern and western areas of Istanbul. It is expected to attract about 4.5 million visitors a year. The observation decks are on the 33rd and 34th floors (at 366.5 and 371 metres above sea level. The hill is 220 metres high). The 39th and 40th floors (at the heights of 393.5 and 398 metres above sea level) will host a restaurant and a cafeteria. Libraries and exhibition halls will be located in the four basement floors. The radio stations will be the first to be moved in.
The tower will be able to host 125 transmitters, thus replacing a large number of pylons on the two hills nearby. These will be dismantled. In this way both the impact on the environment and electromagnetic emissions, which are harmful to health, will be reduced. The remaining broadcasters, that cannot find a place, will be integrated into the television tower on Buyuk Camlica hill, owned by TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation).
From FMList, the radio stations that broadcast from Camlica
Transmitting without a license is a criminal offence but the desire to start one’s own radio station drives people to break the law in every country. This time we talk about Peru and Italy
PERU: 20,000 enforcement actions to catch a thousand illegal broadcasters
About 5,000 licensed radio stations and 1,000 illegal broadcasters operate in the Andean country. The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) is very active. In 2020 the ministry has planned 20,000 enforcement actions. They closed down 14 radio stations in the region of Lima in January 2020 and in 2019 they confiscated 1,072 pieces of transmission equipment and closed 200 stations. The fine for those who get caught is 200,000 Peruvian soles (about US$ 58,000).
ITALY: One of Radio Maria’s antennas was illegal
A repeater transmitting on 105.5 MHz, operated by Radio Maria in the province of Salerno, was closed down on June 13th, 2020. After receiving a number of reports from local citizens, the carabinieri in Amalfi confirmed that the radio antenna, that had been installed years ago in the courtyard of a privately owned building in Via dei Naviganti in Conca dei Marini, a municipality on the Amalfi coast, did not have a license. The Regional Environmental Protection Agency (Arpac) in Campania also established (after multiple inspections) that the electromagnetic emissions exceeded the limits allowed by the law. As a result the radio station was subject to criminal seizure. The broadcaster’s lawyers opposed the shutdown but the appeal at the Court of Appeal in Salerno was rejected.
Record number of criminal charges for a pirate in Palermo
The phenomenon of illegal radio stations is limited on the peninsula because they not only face fines, but also criminal charges. On June 11th, 2020, the carabinieri assisted by officials of the Ministry of Economic Development (the body that carries out enforcement actions) deactivated a radio station that modulated on 97.4 MHz. The owner was charged on three counts: The first for violation of the electronics communication code (the transmitter was not licensed): the second for damage (it interfered with the frequency of a licensed radio station) by broadcasting from a residential building on a hill. In fact, it interfered with RMC – Radio Monte Carlo transmitting on 97.6 MHz from Via Barone Manfredi 8, in Monreale. However, what really takes the biscuit is that the whole building (where the owner had set up studios and put an antenna on the roof) was illegally connected to the city’s electricity grid. In this way, the 44-year-old man was charged with the third count of theft of electrical energy.
In another city on Sicily, a radio station, that only broadcast music without commentary, appeared in Syracuse in April 2020. It modulated on 88.6 MHz and later moved to 93.8 MHz. We have recently been informed that it has now been shut down.
Another closedown one week later
After the enforcement action in Ciaculli, investigations were continued in the province of Palermo. These led to the deactivation of another unlicensed radio station a week later, this time in Pioppo, a part of the municipality of Monreale. The transmitter operated in the same way as a licensed commercial radio by not only broadcasting music but also commercials. It caused interference with the frequencies of two national networks: RMC Radio Monte Carlo and R101.
Radio Ondas Azuayas, the historical Ecuadorian radio station with headquarters in Cuenca, permanently closed down broadcasting on June 7th, 2020, after being on air for 72 years. They used to transmit on medium wave on 1110 kHz AM from Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca, the third most populated city in the country and capital of the province of Azuay. Broadcasting started on April 12th, 1948. After lengthy discussions on whether to continue transmitting, the director Fausto Cardoso, in an editorial broadcast, confirmed their decision to close after a last transmission saying goodbye. The radio station was already in a financial crisis due to continuous sanctions imposed on them by Supercom (Superintendencia de Comunicacion) with the purpose of persecution. This control and censorship body against the media was created by the ex-president, Rafael Correa. It was closed in July 2019, thus cancelling the sanctions (more information can be found in this article in the Quito daily newspaper El Comercio). However, by that time it was too late and the economic crisis caused by the pandemic brought the radio station to its knees. Details can be found here.
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The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the largest Christian group of radio stations in the United States into crisis.
The Salem Media Group had a business model that protected them from the highs and lows of the advertising market. In 2019 they made US$79 million by selling pastors time on their transmissions to deliver their sermons. However, they certainly did not forgo both local and national commercials that brought in $68 million. Nevertheless, the Covid-19 pandemic caused their shares to plummet to 80 cents (they were at US$8 in 2018 and US$30 in 2004). Moody’s, an American credit rating agency, has classified investments in the company as high risk.
The Salem Media Group has a network of 3,100 radio stations (100 of which they own) with a guaranteed 298 million listeners per week. The board of directors have announced a dividend block, a reduction of 10% in managers’ salaries and they are now considering personnel cuts (a total of over 1,400 employees). In this article the magazine Christianity Today outlines the situation in-depth.