International News

Cracking up

An English radio station has been forced into making a public apology after an April Fool’s prank badly backfired. Southern FM announced on air that a full-sized replica of the Titanic would sail along the Sussex coast near Beachy Head. Hundreds of listeners rushed to the cliffs to witness the event causing a 5ft crack to appear in the rock face.

Vatican Radio protest

Several hundred protestors demonstrated against Vatican Radio yesterday, Mike Terry reports. They claim that electromagnetic emissions from the station’s transmitter is polluting the air and causing cases of leukemia. Protesters carried an effigy of the Grim Reaper perched on top of a mock radio tower with a sign reading “Electrosmog Cancer.” Station officials have already been charged with damaging the environment and a trial has been scheduled for the Autumn.

It’s a dog’s life

When the hosts of the “Todd and Tyler Show” on radio station KEZO in Omaha, Nebraska read in a newspaper that Alex Captyne was homeless and lived in an abandoned dog house, they started a fundraising drive on the show as a joke. The listeners took it seriously enough to donate enough money to buy a wooden 8-by-8-foot insulated shack with a window and a locking door. Captyne, 56 was grateful to the station’s listeners. “I’ve got a nice place now. Can you believe it?”.

Vatican Radio station under threat

Vatican Radio will be shut down next week unless it complies with the Italian government’s standards for electromagnetic emissions. Italy’s electicity provider will be ordered to cut the power supply to the radio station if tests show that the station’s transmitter in Santa Maria di Galeria continues to defy Italian standards. The Vatican is insisting that their emissions meet international guidelines, which are less strict than those in Italy. Their claim is that the Vatican is exempt from Italian law because Vatican City is an independent state.

Vatican Radio to cut hours

Vatican Radio have announced that they will cut back transmission times ‘as a goodwill gesture’, Mike Terry reports. They are under threat of closure by the Italian government because of high radiation levels from their transmitter site. The station has said that it will cut its transmission time on medium wave by half to 7 hours from April 16 – the day after Easter. “It is neither a surrender nor a definitive solution,” said programming director, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. “We are seeking to avoid a clash.” Despite this, the government have reiterated their threat to block power supply to the station unless electro-magnetic radiation is reduced. Prosecutors say Vatican Radio violates the strict standards Italy adopted in 1998 on electromagnetic fields emitted by radio stations and telephone transmitters. The Vatican insists the transmissions are in line with less strict international standards and says its officials are shielded from Italian law under a 1929 pact that established Vatican City as an independent city-state.

Vatican Radio threatened with closure again

Italy has once again threatened to shut down Vatican Radio if it fails to reduce levels of electro-magnetic radiation from its transmitters within the next week, Mike Terry reports. The renewed threat has come despite an offer by the station to cut its transmission times after Easter. Italian Environment Minister Willer Bordon called the offer “absolutely insufficient”. Speaking at a news conference in Rome, he said that he wanted a timetable from the radio station illustrating by when it would abide by the government’s regulations for electromagnetic emissions. “We have negotiated until the last [moment] to avoid taking measures we don’t want to take,” he said. “We want Italian law to be respected but we also don’t want to prevent the voice of the Pope from reaching all parts of the world.” Last month, Mr Bordon said the National Agency for the Protection of the Environment had registered three times the legal limit for electro-magnetic radiation during one evening broadcast.”

Compromise by Italian government

Vatican Radio has now been given until the end of the month to negotiate a reduction in electromagnetic reductions, Mike Terry reports. The Italian government have decided to compromise with Vatican Radio officials, who are said to be satisfied with the decision. The station had been threatened with closure.

Riviera Radio change face

Monaco-based station Riviera Radio are offering a face-lift as a prize to one of their listeners. The station, which can be heard on 106.3MHz & 106.5MHz across the south of France, announced the details of their new competition on air this morning.
Entitled ‘The Grand Four Tune’, listeners must ring when they hear a certain four tunes in a row to claim their new face. But the winner doesn’t have to undergo the knife – they can choose to take one of a cash equivalent of 10,000 euros; His & Hers Cartier watches; a private yacht or plane charter; or a brand new car.
Prizes were chosen after the station asked their listeners what they’d like to win according to the Riviera Radio’s MD Paul Kavanagh. He says: “Our listeners are some of the richest people in the world so it was hard to come up with prizes they would like, so we asked them…so that is what we are offering.”
The four songs which will net the prize are, in order: Elton John ‘Are You Ready’; Natalie Imbruglia ‘Torn’; Robbie Williams ‘Angels’; Eurytmics ‘Sweet Dreams’.
Riviera Radio website: RivieraRadio.mc

Stern’s Clear Channel suspension made permanent

The Federal Communications Commission have put the final nail in the coffin built for Howard Stern at Clear Channel. The radio group had suspended the Stern show from its stations back in February, but were still targetted yesterday with fines totalling almost $½m as a result of indecent broadcast material aired during the show, which had been syndicated to six of Clear Channel’s stations. The fines relate to three separate incidents in a single show broadcast in April 2003, and Clear Channel have been hit for each of their stations that carried the show, totalling 18 separate counts of indecency. The radio group responded instantly by announcing that they are now permanently dropping the Howard Stern Show.
The Howard Stern Show is still broadcast on 35 stations owned by rival group Infinity which broadcasts across the States. It is also possible that they will be hit with similar fines relating to the particular show for which Clear Channel have been hammered.

Radio Cymru is Celtic Station of the Year

Welsh language station BBC Radio Cymru has carried off the prestigious ‘Radio Station of the Year’ award at the international Celtic Film and Television Festival. The station recently recorded its highest share of radio listening in Wales since 1999 and it is by far the most popular radio station among Welsh speakers with one in three listening each week.
Glynne Davies, Editor, Radio Cymru, said: “This prize is a tribute to the hard work of those who work on Radio Cymru’s programmes, who work together to create such entertaining, accessible and popular programmes. We’re also moving with the times, with “C2″ – our evening service for young people – now being podcasted. We all feel very proud to receive this award.”
The Celtic Film and Television Festival is a three-day annual international event that recognises quality, originality and achievement on screen and in broadcasting.

Orla appoints news editor

Radio Orla, the new online information and entertainment Polish community radio station aimed at the UK and Ireland, have announced the appointment of Joanna Figlak as news editor and studio manager. The station have also announced that its studio will be in the heart of the Polish community in Ealing, west London.

Radio Orla, the new online information and entertainment Polish community radio station aimed at the UK and Ireland, have announced the appointment of Joanna Figlak as news editor and studio manager. The station have also announced that its studio will be in the heart of the Polish community in Ealing, west London.

On making the announcements George Matlock, Radio Orla’s editor-in-chief and managing director, said: “I am personally delighted about hiring Joanna Figlak as news editor. Joanna brings 12 years of radio experience to her role, as a broadcaster in Poland and in the UK. She has been sorely missed from the airwaves in recent months and now we are bringing her back with a daily show on Radio Orla. We are very excited about our new studios in the heart of the Polish community we serve and look forward to the company of distinguished guests when we go live, which will be very soon indeed.”

The station’s new studio will have state-of-the-art technology and a lay-out which allows for live broadcasting as well as off-air show recordings for playback at other times. Radio Orla has identified a considerable need and opportunity for an Anglo-Polish radio station engaged with its community that can relate Polish issues to British and Irish authorities, as well as to Poles back in Poland thinking of coming to the UK and Ireland.

New licence for Liverpool

Liverpool is to get a third commercial station on FM. A new local licence is being offered by the UK’s radio regulator Ofcom and will cover the city of Liverpool and surrounding areas. Ofcom estimates that the new station could achieve a reach of 1.5 million and will broadcast on 105.9MHz.

Radio station cleared in fatal competition

Prosecutors in the US will not be pressing charges against a radio station which ran a competition in which a young mother died from water intoxication.

Prosecutors in the US will not be pressing charges against a radio station which ran a competition in which a young mother died from water intoxication.

Jennifer Strange was found dead in her home on January 12th after drinking an inordinate amount of water in the competition ‘Hold Your Wee for Wii’ which was organised by Californian station KDND 107.9. Contestants drank water over a period of time and had to refrain from taking toilet breaks.

In a statement issued yesterday the Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said that Strange was a willing participant who could have quit at any time and that no charges would be brought against the radio station.