MEDIA NEWS FOR VOA COMMUNICATIONS WORLD SEPT 16, 2000 by GLENN HAUSER FIRE AT FRENCH GUIANA RELAY Larry Nebron and I heard Swiss Radio International announce there had been a fire at their French Guiana relay, disrupting transmissions for about a week. Bob Zanotti of SRI tells us the fire was September 10th in a high voltage transformer, but there was no great damage to the infrastructure, transmitters or antennas. Meanwhile, SRI`s 9905 frequency at 0100 to 0500 UT has been moved to Switzerland, and 9885 from Switzerland to France. Other relays via French Guiana are also off the air, among them Radio Japan which has moved some of its transmissions to France and Ascension, says NHK monitor Rubén Guillermo Margenet. VATICAN TO RELAY RUSSIA TOO Kai Ludwig reports that Vatican Radio will relay not only Switzerland but also Voice of Russia to Africa and North America from the end of October. CHRISTIAN VOICE STARTS TESTING FROM AUSTRALIA Christian Voice is about to start testing the Cox Peninsula shortwave transmitters it has acquired in Australia. Wolfgang Büschel obtained this schedule effective September 18th to October 28th: 2230-0230 UT on 21680, 17775, 13585 and 6010. OLYMPICS FORCE BBCWS TO SUSPEND STREAMING Phillip Dampier and I note that on Wednesday, BBC World Service removed audio streaming from its website, because of Olympic restrictions. That`s the entire BBC World Service, not just Olympic coverage. It appears the International Olympic Committee wields a great deal of power over the world`s broadcasters, even preventing unrelated news and other programming from being webcast. Meanwhile, BBC has a daily two-hour Olympic show on the radio starting at 0905 UT, convenient everywhere except in North America. Radio Australia is also forbidden to webcast the Olympics, but has a schedule of two special shortwave frequencies at a time. IMAGINATION RADIO QUITS SHORTWAVE Imagination Radio in Britain is not renewing its one-year contract to broadcast on shortwave. So its final weekly soft-rock show will be Friday September 29th at 1900-2000 UT on 6010. It will continue via satellite or other media. ALMOST OPEN HOUSE AT THE BBC The British DX Club reports residents or visitors to London have a chance to tour a few of 550 historic buildings Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, in a charity event, including BBC`s Bush House and Broadcasting House, but not including the studios. Details are at http://www.londonopenhouse.org NEW BALTIC PORTAL The Baltic News Agency BNS in Latvia reports via BBCM a new internet television and news portal, TVNET, is being launched in the three Baltic countries this month. The URLs match, http://www.tvnet.lv, http://www.tvnet.lt and http://www.tvnet.ee BEREZOVSKY TURNING ORT OVER TO JOURNALISTS AND INTELLECTUALS Russian Media Mogul Boris Berezovsky says he intends to turn over his stake in the ORT television company for four-year management to a long list of journalists and creative intellectuals. So reports the ITAR/TASS news agency via Mike Cooper. One name we immediately recognize is Vladimir Pozner. RUSSIAN SUBLIMINAL TV A television company in Yekaterinburg, Russia, ATN, has had its license revoked for two months, for violating a regulation banning subliminal advertising. Five frames out of 25 per second carried the message ``Sit and watch only ATN!`` That from the Voice of Russia DX Klub via BBC Monitoring. NIGERIAN PRESS REVIEWS CANCELLED Reviews of the Nigerian press on morning radio programs between 6:30 and 8 am have attracted a cult following among commuters, who prefer the packaged reviews to actual newscasts. They were highly profitable and competitive, and the newspapers viewed them as good publicity, but now the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria has decided the broadcast reviews are cutting into their own circulation, and the Tempo website via BBCM reports that the reviews stopped on September first. EGYPTIAN MEDIA TO BE PRIVATIZED In Egypt, the Information Ministry plans to make itself obsolete by privatizing much of the media, selling off six of the eight television channels, and all radio stations except for Radio Cairo. Political parties, religious organizations and foreign investors are not eligible to buy the stations. This is reported by the newspaper Al-Arabi via BBCM. CHINA LAUNCHES 24-HOUR ENGLISH TV CHANNEL BBC Monitoring also reports that China Central Television will launch a 24-hour English language channel September 25th, designated CCTV-9. The channel will be mostly news, but also carry cultural and educational programming. It will be aimed at both domestic and overseas viewers, and also be on the internet. LI DAN HEADS CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL The new president of China Radio International is Li Dan, who has worked his way to the top of the organization. In the 1970s and 80s he studied at four North American universities, Stanford and American University in the United States, McGill and the University of British Columbia in Canada. MALAYSIAN MAGAZINE BANNED, GOES TO WEB The Malaysian government has banned a magazine for teenagers, without giving any reason, although magazines with nudity have not been banned. The Detik Daily website reports via BBCM that Al-Wasilah has moved from print to internet publication, at http://www.majalah.com/wasilah/ RFPI ANNIVERSARY FIESTA Congratulations to Radio for Peace International, that unique shortwave station in Costa Rica. It celebrates 13 years on the air with another Fiesta call-in Saturday night, starting UT Sunday the 17th at midnight, at least on 15049 kHz. CHILEAN RADIO TAKES A DAY OFF Next Thursday, September 21st, is Radio Workers Day in Chile. Every medium wave station but one will celebrate by taking the day off. This is a great opportunity once a year for listeners to DX other countries, says Gabriel Iván Barrera in Conexión Digital. However, some of the silent stations leave their carriers on. CUBA AUTHORIZES AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS Three U.S. newspapers have been authorized to open press offices in Havana, Cuba, says Radio Havana via BBCM. They are the Chicago Tribune, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and Dallas Morning News. They join only two other American news bureaus there, CNN and Associated Press. WOR CANCELS RAMBLING WITH GAMBLING AFTER 75 YEARS Joel Rubin has forwarded a New York Times report that one of the longest-running American radio shows, Rambling with Gambling, has been canceled by WOR, 710 in New York. It had been on the air since 1925, hosted by three generations, father, son and grandson. The latest host at age 50 was considered too old to appeal to the audience desired. PLUG Much more media news is on my own program World of Radio, and in DX Listening Digest. You’ll find the links at http://www.angelfire.com/ok/worldofradio That's the media news on Communications World. For VOA News Now, I'm Glenn Hauser.