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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.