MEDIA NEWS FOR COMMUNICATIONS WORLD JULY 8, 2000 BY GLENN HAUSER COMMON GROUND Common Ground, a syndicated radio program sponsored by the Stanley Foundation, has been doing a series on international broadcasting. Part 3 last week was about the VOA, especially the late Willis Conover. Part 4 this week is about clandestine broadcasting. Itís available on demand at http://www.commongroundradio.org WORLD FALUN DAFA RADIO One brand-new clandestine service is World Falun Dafa Radio. It started Saturday, July 1. Daily broadcasts are at 14-15 UT on 9915 from an undisclosed location targeted on northern and central China. Programs are produced in the USA by members of Falungong, which Chinese leaders consider a dangerous cult. Reception in North America and Europe has been difficult, and we assume it is also difficult inside China because of jamming and the sudden appearance of China National Radio program two on the same frequency. Try the website, which is in Chinese, http://www.falundafaradio.org That, of course, is also blocked in China. MELBOURNE TO GET NEW FM STATIONS Melbourne, Australia, is to get its first new commercial FM radio stations in 20 years, after the Australian Broadcasting Authority announced plans for 18 more radio licenses in southern Victoria. That report from ``The Age`` via Mike Cooper. The decision comes after the UK-based Daily Mail group paid a record $155 million in May for Sydney's fifth commercial FM license, which had also been the first offered since 1980. An auction for the first commercial Melbourne license is expected to be held later this year but the second will be delayed until 2004. MORE ENGLISH FROM THAILAND Alan Davies in Malaysia reports to Electronic DX Press that on July first, Radio Thailand converted its domestic shortwave frequencies from the Thai language to a mostly music service in English, all day long from 2200 to 1600 UT, apparently relaying 97 MHz FM in Bangkok on 4830, 6070, and 7115 kHz. STATE TV, RADIO TO BE PRIVATIZED IN JORDAN Via BBC Monitoring, the Jordan Times reports, that in accordance with the wishes of His Majesty King Abdullah, state television, radio and newspapers in Jordan will be privatized in the next three months, in order to rid the media of direct government influence. SERBIAN TV WORLDWIDE Radio Television Serbia has announced that by September at the latest, its satellite TV programs will be received throughout the world. Negotiations are under way on the use of two satellites, completely digital, not including Eutelsat. So reported ĎVestií via BBC Monitoring. WORLD EXPO TELEVISION A press release from Astra via BBCM says a new international television service started July 3rd. WETV broadcasts from Expo2000, the World Exposition in Hannover, Germany. ``Welcome to the Global Village`` will be broadcast each Monday and Saturday at 1600 UT. Though based in Ottawa, Canada, WETV is on Astra at 19.2 degrees east, transponder 112, frequency 12610.5 MHz vertical. ITALY`S CASUAL BROADCASTS Mike Cooper reviews Rai`s brief English broadcast from Italy to America, now that modulation has improved on 11800 kHz. English at 0050 UT has a curious charm, with announcers who usually sound as though they`re in the middle of their cigarette or espresso and who deign to pause briefly to read a few news items at a leisurely pace, often punctuated by the sounds of rustling papers. The 20-minute English broadcast includes about 11 minutes of news and 9 minutes of fill music. RADIO MONTE CARLO TO BE AMERICANIZED BBCM quotes AFP news agency, that the NRJ Group is taking control of Radio Monte Carlo, by buying 5/6 of the shares. The principality of Monaco will keep the other sixth. The objective is to transform RMC into a news-talk radio on the American model. ANDY KERSHAWíS LAST MONTH ON BBC The effervescent host of ``World Music`` on BBC, Andy Kershaw, has departed BBC domestic radio, and Ivan Grishin points out his current series on the World Service is being replaced by something else in August. Enjoy Andy Kershaw while you can. A few of the times for ``World Music`` are, to the Americas, Thursday at 1430, Friday at 0030 and 1930; to Europe, Thursday 0830 and 1830, Friday 0030 and 1330. These are the two streams which are also webcast. BBC CLAIMS BIGGEST EVER AUDIENCE At least 151 million people now listen to the BBC World Service every week, according to the latest global audience research. This is the World Service's biggest-ever audience, up more than eight million from the previous year. A new national study in China gave the World Service a weekly reach of 0.3% and showed the difficulty of building an audience there. Nearly half the people in China never listen to any radio. Audiences in South Africa remain disappointingly small and declines were recorded in Albania, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, parts of Russia and Zimbabwe. Thatís all according to the World Service annual report brought to our attention by Richard Cuff; you can read it all at the link in our script. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/us/annual_report/index.shtml ANTENNA INVENTOR DIES The amateur radio community is mourning the death of Louis Varney, June 28 at the age of 89. Mr. Varney was the designer of the multiband wire antenna for HF, among the most popular of all antenna designs. It bears his callsign, G5RV. The antenna was first described in the November 1966 issue of the bulletin of the Radio Society of Great Britain. KPH COMES BACK FOR ANNIVERSARY The historic former RCA and Marconi coast station KPH, Bolinas, California, closed down last year, but is coming back for a commemorative session one year later, UT Thursday July 13 starting at 0000 with the cycle repeating every half-hour. The Morse code transmission starts with the KPH V-marker on HF: tune 17016.8, 13002, 8618, 6477.5 and 4247, as well as on MF 500 and 426 kilocycles per second. The frequencies KPH will monitor for possible contacts from ships are 16736 and 16738; 12552 and 12553.5; 8368 and 8369; 6276 and 6276.5; 4184 and 4184.5. This according to Dick Dillman, chief operator of the Maritime Radio Historical Society via World Utility News via Sheldon Harvey and Mike Harla. FCC BUDGET SLASHED The U.S. Congress moved last week to restrict the Federal Communications Commission's ability to meddle in telecommunications policy by slashing the agency's budget by $2 billion, leaving it $30 billion short of what it had requested for the next fiscal year. The House bill zeroed in on the FCC's media and legislative affairs offices, cutting funding for salaries and expenses. And, a key House subcommittee voted to limit the FCC's authority over telecommunications mergers by setting a strict 90-day deadline on investigations. Tension between Congress and the FCC has escalated over the FCC's approval of 1,000 new low-power radio stations, an initiative bitterly opposed by the broadcast interests who regularly contribute to congressional members' campaigns. Thanks to Kevin Redding for that item from the Wall Street Journal. SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO Another step forward by one of the two U.S. satellite radio services. Sergei Sossedkin forwards a press release from Sirius Satellite Radio announcing that the first of their three satellites was launched successfully from Baikonur, Kazakahstan, July first. The remaining two in the three-satellite constellation are scheduled to be launched and tested by November. Sirius says,`` We will then be poised to launch the Sirius Satellite Radio revolution, transforming the nature of radio forever.`` Log onto http://www.siriusradio.com for launch footage and mission details, as well as information on future launches. Thatís the media news on Communications World. For VOA News Now, Iím Glenn Hauser.