Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Clever HBO GO campaign launches in the US



Let's face it, family television viewing in most countries is a thing of the past.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In memory of Frits Thors



Today it was announced that Dutch broadcaster Frits Thors has passed away at the age of 104. He was best known by the Dutch public as a television newsreader. I knew him through several interviews I made with him about his time in radio, especially working for BBC Dutch and Radio Nederland. He shared the stories in a documentary we broadcast in 1995. What a nice man. What a wonderful life. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

MN.24.09.1981. Karl Braun Dream Receiver



No apologies for my high voice. Media Network was just a few months old and I had been at Radio Nederland for just over a year. This program was recorded 33 years ago when having a radio with a digital readout was a luxury. People were also trying to develop the dream shortwave receiver, which included Karl Braun, a specialist receiver manufacturer in West Germany.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Long-Term Trouble in Tech Valley USA

If you are an entrepreneur and just have time to read one article this week, then make sure it is this excellent article by Kim-Mai Cutler on Techcrunch. Definitely food for thought on how we could do things differently in Europe.




The Santa Clara Valley in California used to have some of the most valuable agricultural land in the entire world, but it was paved over to create today’s Silicon Valley. This was simply the result of bad planning and layers of leadership failure — nobody thinks farms literally needed to be destroyed to create the technology industry’s success.

Today, the tech industry in Silicon Valley is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately.

It doesn’t have to be this way. But everyone who lives in the Bay Area today needs to accept responsibility for making changes where they live so that everyone who wants to be here, can.

The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia that many fear. I’ve spent time looking into the city’s historical housing and development policies. With the protests escalating again, I am pretty tired of seeing the city’s young and disenfranchised fight each other amid an extreme housing shortage created by 30 to 40 years of NIMBYism (or “Not-In-My-Backyard-ism”) from the old wealth of the city and down from the peninsula suburbs.

Here is a very long, but excellent explainer

Sunday, April 20, 2014

MN.27.01.1983. Victor Hafkamp & ICOM ICR-70



This was a new edition of Media Network dating from 1983, two years into the series. We covered the planned construction of KNLS in Alaska, unusual because it was beaming to Russia over the North Pole. Reception in very Northern parts of the world were thought to be affected more by solar disturbances, so deciding to build a station in Alaska was curious. There were also plans to build a mediumwave station KBQN on American Samoa. This was a Pacific version of the Caribbean Beacon. There were plans to build a 500 kW shortwave transmitter as well. The Surinamese government complains about Radio Netherlands broadcasts to their country. Victor Hafkamp explains the background. Radio New Zealand International may cancel its shortwave service. Radio Dublin is back on shortwave on 6910 kHz. We review the ICOM ICR-70 in great detail. Remember this was in a period when no website existed to share this kind of consumer information. Richard Ginbey does a profile of broadcasting in Swaziland. Victor Goonetilleke has been hearing KYOI beaming to Japan.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

MN.11.05.2000. South African Radio Scan



Found this example of the Media Network safari to Capetown in May 2000. We answer listener questions to gadget guru Bob Tomalski who explains about the challenges facing SuperVHS and the expected switch to DVD recording. He turned out to be spot on. Then we talk to Zane Ibrahim (pictured), head of Bush Radio, the mother of community radio in Capetown. He holds the deal makers feet to the fire!. There is also a bandscan we made in the hotel in Johannesburg which captures the flavour of radio there at the start of millennium. We also talk to others working professionally in the radio licensing sector of South Africa, specifically the future of community radio stations.

This episode is hosted on the Media Network vintage vault

Saturday, April 19, 2014

BVN- still going strong

Although Radio Nederland Wereldomroep no longer broadcasts on shortwave, external broadcasting from the Netherlands still exists, albeit only in Dutch. It is targeted at Dutch and Flemish viewers living abroad. In some places, like the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao you will find it on the cable. I note this current promo campaign is popping up on YouTube.

Friday, April 18, 2014

How Amsterdam grew up



Some nice animations by the Amsterdam City Archive have appeared showing the growth of the city first from 1600-1700 and then from 1800-1900. It's a pity there's no sound - it would be even better with an explanation.



Notice that major buildings like the Concertgebouw (built in 1888) were initially outside the city centre.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Now a word from our sponsor



More silliness from the Gremlins in Ireland, parodying what's wrong with a lot of commercial radio.








Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If Radio Requests were like a business



I know some radio stations who are actually sound like they are slave to their own automation. Gremlins have more parodies on radio over on Soundcloud.

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