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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.