NASWA Journal Columns · Easy Listening

Richard Cuff • 42 North 37th Street • Allentown, PA 18104 richard◊thecuffs.us

Easy Listening, May 1999

BBC: Another Opinion

Accepting my challenge to provide input the column, NASWAn John Lyon sent me the following note regarding his thoughts on the changes the BBC World Service has been implementing of late:

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Easy Listening, January 1999

BBC World Service: Big Changes

For months, the BBC has hinted that changes were afoot in World Service philosophy and programming. Effective January 10th, the World Service becomes even more like an all-news radio station with a significant expansion of The World Today. The World Today was launched last year as Europe’s “Breakfast” news program; we in the Americas were treated to half-hour versions at 0400 and 0500, while Europe received the program continuously from 0400 to 0700. At the time, The World Today effectively replaced Europe Today in the program lineup.

What does that mean to us in the Americas? For starters, 12 of the 24 hours of the day will feature minimum half hour weekday newscasts as follows:

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Easy Listening, August 1998

If this month’s column appears to be more eclectic and opinionated than usual, it’s only because it is. All Times are in UTC. All frequencies are in kHz.

For Good People to Do Nothing

More bad news caused again by another horrendous (and, in my view, most intentional) political judgment. By the time you read this, Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) will have implemented a drastic reduction to its broadcast output on a number of levels. After apparently promising stable funding for the next fiscal year, the New Zealand government (putting a new spin on the word “stable”) slashed RNZI‘s budget by 13% on July 13. In the inimitable logic of today’s “neo-liberal” (Orwellian newspeak for “conservative in sheep’s clothing”) governments, the cuts were put in place after three successive government sponsored reviews conducted by independent analysts attested to the cost-effectiveness of RNZI and the trust and reliance that Pacific Island nations and peoples place on the service.

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Easy Listening, December 1997

Tis the Season! And without further adieu, may yours be happy, healthy and fulfilling. As our gift to you, we have a special section detailing some of the excellent Seasonal programming available via shortwave this month. But first, we have to take care of business…

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Easy Listening, October 1997

Sorry, no time or space for chitchat!…Editor’s orders! [Sorry-Ed.]

On BBC World Service This Month

Listings are for the Americas/Europe stream. Days and times are in UTC. Frequencies for North America at different times of the day include 5965, 5975, 6175, 6195, 9515, 9590, 9895, 11750, 11865, 15220 and 17840. In a few cases, programs can be heard via the Americas/Europe stream only on frequencies intended for Europe. These are denoted with an * and these frequencies usually are listenable at times in parts of North America: 17640, 15575, 15485, 12095, 9410 and 7325. Times marked with an # means that the program also can be heard in western North America via the Asia stream on 9740.

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Easy Listening, August 1997

Some people say the shortwave bands are dead during the summer months. The next few pages should belie that statement!

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Easy Listening, April 1997

Lots to report on this month, so let’s get right to it!

BBC World Service

As of March 30, the BBCWS has reduced it “streams” from five to three and has (again!) radically revised its program schedules. The former Americas and European streams are now combined. The South Asian and Asia-Pacific streams have also been joined. The African stream remains intact.

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Easy Listening, March 1997

Introductions Are in Order

John Figliozzi, pleased to meet you. I’ll be your interim Easy Listening editor, for the next little while. I’ve got big shoes to fill as Rich Cuff has done yeoman work gathering and presenting shortwave programming news, which (if you haven’t noticed by trying it yourself) is a darn difficult thing to do. Nonetheless, over the years Rich’s column has doubled in size and become the best of its genre available anywhere. I look forward to the challenge of living up to those standards, formidable as they are.

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Easy Listening, December 1996

Season’s Greetings

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays often provide opportunities for special celebrations and parties, and also prompt special programming on domestic radio and TV outlets. Shortwave is no exception, as several broadcasters plan special Christmas and year-end programs. The Target Topics section below highlights these. As this is the issue of the Journal you’ll have in your hands on January 1st, I have also included a New Year’s reflection of my own further on the column. Hopefully you’ll still be paying attention then!

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Easy Listening, September 1996

Escaping Political News

Those of us who get our news from Shortwave, in my humble opinion, are much better off than those stuck with domestic USA news sources, and election years are excellent examples of the perspectives available to us on shortwave. Politics will dominate the domestic news here until early November, and I personally don’t have much stomach for daily doses from the political campaign trail. It often seems to be news for news’ sake. I think the BBC’s or RCI/CBC’s perspectives on the American political process are often more insightful than what the domestic networks have to say, anyway.

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