Radio Caroline, the most famous radio station in the world, celebrates her 36th birthday this weekend. Caroline can be accessed on the Astra 1c satellite at 19.2 degrees east by tuning to channel 35 (Challenge TV) and selecting audio subcarriers 7.38/7.56mhz.
Times are 6pm – midnight Fridays and 8am – 11pm Saturday & Sunday. A special birthday stream is available globally on Saturday 22nd at 8am and can be accessed by visiting here.
Prison sentences have been handed down to two pirate broadcasters in the UK after the station they operated – Klass – was heard quite clearly by air traffic control at Rochester Airport in Kent. The sentences consisted of 6 months for one of the men and 4 months for the other. These sentences are heavy compared to 1999 when 47 people were prosecuted for their involvement in illegal broadcasts and fines averaged £239.
Virgin Radio – the UK adult contemporary station – have been ranked the third most listened to online station worldwide. First and second places went to internet only stations provided by NetRadio. Stations were ranked by the total amount of hours spent listening.
David Baker – a name which will be familiar to listeners to just about any pirate radio station of the eighties – is planning a reunion in October for all the ’70s and ’80s pirates. He can be contacted by email with ideas and suggestions (and is particularly seeking a venue) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Baker is currently a presenter on Chelmer 107.7FM in Essex and can also be heard on Premier FM in Dublin in recorded insert form on their morning show.
Radio Caroline will be back on medium wave with high-powered transmissions next month for the first time since 1990. The broadcast will be in honour of the Dutch Caroline Supporters Day which takes place on August 19th – also the 11th anniversary of the UK/Dutch armed raid on the Ross Revenge – and the frequency will be 1296 kHz.
Internet based radio station KSEXradio.com are embarking on a search to find the world’s most well endowed man! They have already had an entry from a Los Angeles man claiming 14 inches. The top three entries will be flown to California from anywhere in the world and win a years supply of hot dogs as well as the chance to show off their winning member on national tv! It can all be found on their website from where you can also enter if you think you have what it takes. It’s all at ksexradio.com.
Radio London continue their 28 day RSL service with a 33rd anniversary special tomorrow to mark the day they closed. Highlight of the day’s special programming will be a rebroadcast of the final 2 hours from 1pm UK time. Those who cannot receive the broadcasts off air can tune in via the Big L website at www.bigl.co.uk which is worth a visit anyway!
Radio Caroline launched her full-time internet broadcasts today with a special broadcast on medium wave and shortwave as well as the regular Astra 19E broadcast. The site to go to to access Caroline on the web is radio-caroline.nl.
Hospital Radio Chelmsford presenter Greg Daines is attempting the world record for longest continuous radio broadcast which currently stands at 72 hours. The programme started at 7am this morning and Greg needs to be still doing his thing at 7am on Saturday to equal the record. Updates and webcam pictures are available at HRC’s website.
Hospital Radio Chelmsford presenter Greg Daines beat the record for longest continuous radio broadcast on Saturday. The previous record was 72 hours which Greg managed to beat by 1 hour and 33 minutes. When the show was finished Greg slept for 22 hours non-stop! Full details with plenty of pictures will be available on their website by the end of the week.
Comment: Just as well there were hospital beds close by when he finished. Congratulations!
Virgin Radio in the UK are now the most listened to station on the internet. Arbitron today released findings for the month of July which, according to “Aggregate Tuning Hours”, places Virgin Radio in top place – a jump of one place from previously published figures.
Red Dragon FM in Cardiff is having complaints against them investigated after their drive-time presenters yesterday mentioned rumours on-air that further blockades of oil refineries were imminent. This led to panic petrol buying in Wales leading to chaos on the roads and the rumour then spread to South-West England followed by the rest of the UK.
The Radio Authority in the UK have stated that they do not believe that Red Dragon FM were guilty of scaremongering when mentioning rumours of more oil refinery blockades which caused chaos around the UK earlier in the week.
A rolling 24-hour Dublin news radio station will start broadcasting on the internet from the beginning of October at Dublinradionews.com. The service will be provided by Flycatcher.ie who are a sister-company of FM104 and those behind the dance internet station Wod1.com. Staff will consist of the existing FM104 news team plus some new recruits.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK government can continue with its restrictive policy of refusing to allow independent stations on short wave despite allowing independent operators on the FM and medium wave bands, but this now raises the separate question of whether the short wave monopoly is legal under European Union competition law. Trevor Brook took his case to the courts in 1997 after numerous requests to the government to license his proposed service “Radiofax”.
The Radio Authority in Britain has set a limit on automated programming during daytime on its local radio stations. In it’s letter to the stations the authority stated that they “…felt that the ‘localness’ of stations would be jeopardised if programming were allowed to be automated for more than limited periods during the day. They also considered that listeners have a reasonable expectation for presentation to be live, and that too high a level of automation could undermine the trust that exists between the station and its audience…FM stations are to be allowed a maximum of two hours of automation during daytime.”
In an effort to attract female listeners, Sweden’s 106.7 FM Rockklassiker is offering a breast enlargement as first prize in a competition. The woman who gives the best reason for having the operation shall receive the prize. Not surprisingly the station has been attacked by women’s groups but station manager Jessica Melcher-Claesson points out that the competition is voluntary.
Comment: Prizes are getting bigger in some parts of the world.
Radio Caroline’s last pirate broadcast was ten years ago this Sunday. To mark the occasion, this week’s ‘Anorak Hour’ from Phantom FM will have a special guest in the studio, Steve Conway, who worked on the Ross through the mid 80’s, until he was one of 6 people rescued by helicopter when she ran aground on the notorious Goodwin Sands in November 1991. Steve will be talking about the Dutch Raid and the grounding as well as general stories about life on the Ross. Also scheduled for broadcast on the programme is an exclusive short documentary about last year’s Caroline RSL from Southport pier. The item features airchecks of the broadcast as well as interviews with the main presenters and has not been played on air before…not even on Caroline. The Anorak Hour can be heard at 1pm on Sunday not only on 91.6FM and 102.9FM across Dublin, but across the world on the newly launched live webcast from Phantom and on demand here on Radiowaves.FM.
Vatican Radio has reduced the power of its medium wave transmitter on 1530 kHz, Mike Terry reports. This follows on from the recent problems over electromagnetic radiation levels from its transmitting site at Santa Maria di Galeria. Transmissions between 1710 and 1840 UTC are now being relayed additionally via the transmitter of Radio Monte Carlo on 1467 kHz.
Chris Cary is, at present, living on the Isle of Man receiving treatment for the effects of his stroke. Never one to rest idle, he is also applying for planning permission to erect an 860ft long wave radio mast for the licensed 279kHz frequency, which, according to his website, may later develop into the new Radio Nova.
A Brazilian dj has been held at gunpoint on air and forced to play tracks from a particular album. Marcos Vinicius dos Santos, who is a member of the band Beyond the Grey Sky, managed to get into Atlantida radio station in Porto Alegre. He forced the dj to tell the listening audience that there was a gun trained on him and over the next hour made him play tracks from the band’s album and ordered him to tell listeners where they could buy it. The singer eventually gave himself up.
Dublin station Pulse FM are back on air again, and are once again broadcasting on a frequency already used by another station. Now operating on 102.5MHz, this frequency has been occupied by weekend rock service ‘The Zone’ since March of last year.
Speaking to Radiowaves News this evening, The Zone’s station manager expressed his disappointment at these latest developments: “Without any regard to the station already broadcasting on this frequency, the operators of Pulse FM believe they can just occupy the frequency and cause severe interference with the Zone’s weekend service. While we are acutely conscious that no illegal operator owns any frequency, one would like to hope that even in a competitive environment, no one station would run rough-shot over another.”
Pulse FM first started in February of this year and have already been involved in a few frequency disputes, the most recent being a very public falling out with Breeze FM over the use of 105.7MHz.
National UK station Virgin Radio has been accused of racism. Following a recent decision to omit manufactured pop bands from their playlist, Virgin have added the R’n’B and rap genres to the ‘banned’ list of ‘processed crap’. According to the station’s website, Virgin’s boss “has [also] had enough of ‘any R’n’B or rap act'”.
The station’s policy has been condemned as ‘verging on racism’ by industry insiders. R ‘n’ B and Rap music is made by predominently black artists. Virgin Radio claim that it is all just a bit of fun.
Robin Banks is back on his drivetime show at London dance station Kiss 100 following suspension. Banks was suspended after he invaded the studios in a drunken state in the early hours of the morning and took the pre-recorded programming off the air. Worse was to follow as he launched into a live session full of swearing which led listeners to ring the station and complain.
Banks has a history of causing offence. Four years ago, whilst with Virgin Radio, the Radio Authority upheld a serious complaint over a ‘deeply offensive’ comment made by the presenter. Banks said on air, after he’d heard a story about a man who choked to death: “Too bad he wasn’t a woman or gay.”
He was eventually fired by Virgin Radio following his announcement that Chris Evans was dead.
An ’80s pirate station is about to make a return to London’s airwaves, this time with a licence. On Sunday, for the first time since Radio Jackie’s famous closedown in February 1985, listeners across south-west London and north Surrey will be able to tune in once more to ‘The Sound of South West London’ on 107.8MHz. The opportunity has arisen because the original management team behind Radio Jackie purchased the loss-making Thames Radio back in March and then began the task of revamping the whole operation in order to prepare for a re-launch. The team had applied for the licence back in 1996, but lost out to Thames radio.
Dublin alternative music station XFM celebrates its 12th birthday today. The station first appeared back in 1991 at a time when there was a dearth of their unique style of music radio broadcasting in the city. It started out as Alice’s Restaurant on 106.4MHz.
The station proudly boasts of being the first Irish radio station to have a web presence – their first website appeared in 1992. They also lay claim to being the first Irish station to have a live stream webcasting to the world. This appeared in 1996, but prior to that, they changed their name to XFM in 1994, prompted when the closure of another extreme station – RadioActive – led to some of that station’s staff to join up with Alice’s Restaurant. XFM’s station manager David, speaking to Radiowaves News today, says that the station’s aims today are pretty similar to when they first started out all those years ago: “Our aim is to keep the format alt. The current interpretation of alt on the radio scene is very tired and dated. Alt radio shouldn’t be just about jangly guitars, rehashed white stripes wannabees and Nuevo Irish Indie groups looking for a space with the hacks. Everybody now seems to be playing the same stuff and the fear of experimentation with music format is rendering the whole scene drab. That’s where – as in the past – we come in, trying to do something different! Xfm’s format, much like Alice’s before it, is to introduce new alternative music types and styles from the mundane to the brilliant to the obscure. Groups like Orbital, The Breeders and Stereolab fitted that bill perfectly back in 1991. Just like 12 years ago the audience is small but seriously dedicated and support is 100%.”
David says that the station are happy as they exist at present. “Its just a big hobby,” he insists. Despite the flippancy, he has serious views on the issue of applying for a licence. “Under the current system, where a pre-determined group are almost sure of the outcome [of the licencing process] it is a waste of time. If a fairer system like, perhaps, the Specialist Radio Association proposals were envisaged, then not just XFM but a whole host of independent groups and media interests could apply in the knowledge that at least they would get a fair hearing and that their applications would be judged not only on a business platform merit, but on their ability to deliver a service to niche audiences successfully.” David is optimistic about the future though, not just for XFM but for radio in general. He says: “Webcasting developments now and future versions of WiFi will render the FM band and the elusive DAB to where LW and MW is now…in another 12 years that’s where it’ll be at!” XFM presently broadcasts at weekends only on 107.9MHz.
Listeners of Radio Paulina in Santiago, Chile, are given the chance to win one hour with a male or female escort in a love motel every night. Competitors have to call the station to have their names entered into the nightly draw on the show ‘The Frack’. The winner can choose the form of ‘entertainment’ they wish to indulge in.
Many of London’s estimated 80 pirate stations have been shut in a series of raids which started last Saturday and ended midweek. Ofcom, with police help, removed 53 radio transmitters, putting 44 stations involved in illegal broadcasting out of business. Stations affected include Afrique FM in Tottenham, Lush FM in Acton, Whoa FM in Elephant & Castle, Baseline FM in Lewisham, Powerjam in Battersea, Ragga FM in Edmonton and Have It FM in Bow. The operation was carried out because many of the stations are believed to be linked to criminal gangs. The raids also uncovered drugs and weapons, including firearms.
Bahrain is set to have its first private radio station. Sawt al-Ghad (Voice of Tomorrow) has already gone on the air on a trial basis on 98.4MHz FM. The station is expected to launch officially in a few weeks and will focus on music, sports, culture and the stock market but avoid news and politics.
As the global Reality TV phenomenon continues its juggernaut into the lives of billions across the globe, American radio has now also joined the party with ‘reality radio’ being introduced by the newly-created US based consultancy Absolute & Dowse (A&D).
America’s initial introduction to reality radio was via 95.5 KLOS – Los Angeles and 95.5 WPLJ – New York with the globally successful “2 Strangers & a Wedding” in which the audience select a bride and her groom from self-nominated candidates, then tune in as the couple literally meet for the first time just before walking down the aisle to say “I do”. This so-called ‘matrimonial social experiment’ was also a hit in Ireland, through Dublin’s 98FM, as well as the UK, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Australia where reality radio is almost as prevalent as reality TV.
Clive Dickens, Programme & Operations Director of ARI, says: “Absolute & Dowse is proud to have successfully brought its global experience to North America and to work in the world’s biggest media market. We look forward to developing our relationships with more broadcasters in other US markets soon.”
A&D comprises of partners from two globally successful consulting companies who execute and create the properties they promote.
Long-running pirate station Ministry FM has ceased broadcasting following representations made to them by ComReg. The dance music station, who had been broadcasting on 93.2MHz FM, were informed that they would be raided unless they closed down: they complied with this request.
All of Ministry’s equipment is now being offered for sale amidst rumours that station personnel are planning on bringing it back.
Ministry started life as Mad Radio with a low-powered signal covering Dublin’s city centre. They changed name to Ministry at the end of 2002 and went from strength to strength. They have closed in the past thanks to official activity, but later returned.
Another dance music station, Flash FM, has now appeared on 93.2MHz FM.
Flirt FM, Galway’s student radio station since 1995, are now broadcasting on 101.3MHz FM. The station previously broadcast on 105.6MHz.
Encompassing the campuses of NUI, Galway and GMIT Flirt FM broadcasts weekdays year round, with an abridged summer schedule outside of term-time. The station is operated by two full-time staff and up to 120 student volunteers.
A new station website will be launched next week at flirtfm.ie and a freshly designed logo (below) has been released.
Radio Orla, the internet-based Anglo-Polish radio station, and Hayes FM, a brand-new multi-lingual FM broadcaster in west London which launched on Saturday, have teamed up to reach the Polish community in the FM station’s catchment area. It marks the first time that a Polish-language commercial broadcaster has gone FM in the United Kingdom and underlines the interest not only from the large Polish community in the UK for such content but also the appetite from a British audience to learn about Polish culture. Radio Orla will be providing Lukasz Foster’s bi-lingual shows to listeners of Hayes FM 91.8.
Hayes FM 91.8 will broadcast a range of local radio programmes for the whole area, including targeted music and community programmes for the Irish, Polish, South Asian, African and Caribbean populations in West London.
George Matlock, managing director of Radio Orla, says: “Radio Orla is very pleased to have been approached with this proposal as it is an endorsement of our content and established position in the market for Polish programming. We are especially keen to foster stronger and positive ties with other communities. In fact, we already provide knowledge to other East European communities about how to broadcast online. I know Lukasz will be a fine bi-lingual entertainer for the Hayes-based community.”
Sutish Sharma, managing editor of Hayes FM, says: “Hayes FM offers a format that cannot be found anywhere in the world, and the partnership with Radio Orla not only adds great value to our output, but continues our commitment to bring communities together and bring about positive change for our area through solidarity.”
In preparation for Jack FM’s launch on October 18th, Oxfordshire’s newest radio station has started carrying out test transmissions. From last Monday the people of Oxfordshire have been getting a taste of what to expect when the station launches.
Ian Walker, Jack FM’s General Manager, says: “We’re on the brink of a radio revolution in Oxfordshire. We’ve been incredibly busy building Jack’s playlist over the past few months and now we finally get to play a few of our favourite records to make sure there’s no scratches on our best vinyl.”
Jack FM has called upon the services of many local Oxfordshire businesses in getting their North Oxford Broadcast Centre refitted and ready for broadcasting. Absolute Radio International (ARI), Jack’s owner, has invested a significant sum in new facilities there, including studios, office space and the latest broadcast and IT technology.
A UK radio station has fallen foul of the authorities after running a competition last May in which they gave away 100 prizes ‘to go to Athens and watch the Champions League final’.
What BRMB, who are based in England’s midlands, failed to mention was that the ‘Athens’ in question was a Greek restaurant in Birmingham rather than the city where the match was taking place.
This led to complaints from three of the winners who felt they were unfairly misled. Ofcom ruled that the competition had breached rules on fairness and had been executed “in a manner designed to obscure the true nature of the prize”.
BRMB’s owners, GCap Radio, claim that they had given clues to listeners to indicate that the prize was not a trip to Greece. “The fact the radio station advised people to arrive at BRMB for 1500 BST on the day of the match (taking into account the time difference and flight time to Greece from the UK) should have alerted participants to the fact something was amiss.”
However, the first of these ‘clues’ was not given until a full week after listeners had been encouraged to enter the competition.
The watchdog said it would not take action against the station as it was the first breach recorded against them. The cost of entry to the competition – ran by SMS – was refunded to the complainants.
The competition was broadcast on the station’s Drivetime show.
Berlin radio station Kiss FM have promised that they will broadcast its entire morning show in Latin on September 26. The unique idea is to mark the European day of languages. Trailers, news and weather will be translated into Latin for the show which has a listenership of over 4m. A station member of staff has also written a Latin rap song!
Two Irish-based online stations, Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake, are to close with immediate effect.
Stations owner David Baker said today:- “I’ve decided to close both Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake completely. The reasons behind this sudden decision is to protect Chelmer Radio going forward. My workload with Chelmer Radio has increased and I need to focus on that going forward with no other distractions.”
Both Radio Leinster and Radio Snowflake were nostalgic recreations of 1980s pirate stations.
A new internet only station has come under fire for their choice of name. Launched on Sunday, Musc One has a very strong line up and is already proving very popular with listeners.
However, the station has been accused of stealing the name from 1Music in order to piggyback on the success of that name, which has been established since 2016.
In a hard-hitting post on social media, 1Music founder Frankie Beats said:-
“This is not a reflection on the presenters on MusicOne. As you know an ex-2FM presenter has started a radio station called MusicOne.ie in Ireland, which is a blatant copy of my 1Music.ie name, which is registered as a business name since 2016. Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve worked hard for 5yrs to build my brand, it was all I had to show the world and 1MUSIC went on to win global awards in 2018 and recognition in the music industry. Today i see that 1MUSIC.ie is now gone from Google page 1 listings for the first time since 2016 and replaced by MusicOne.ie. Weeks before the other station launched I contacted the owner and his response was: “Contact my solicitor” and the launch went ahead and today I have received some nasty messages from one of its presenters who has started to defame me publicly over the name. Irish Radio has always been a hard place and this shows how unoriginal and nasty some people can be. MusicOne has already had issues with its previous incarnation and now it’s destroying my hard work.”