NASWA Journal Columns · Easy Listening, April 1997

John Figliozzi • 45 Algonquin Rd. • Clifton Park, NY 12065 jfiglio1◊

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.

Because the program and time changes are so extensive, this month’s column includes the new times for all regular programs and notes the series that have been discontinued.

Times listed are for the new Americas/Europe stream, unless otherwise indicated. Frequencies for North America at various times of the day: 5965, 5975, 6175, 9515,9590, 9895, 11750, 11865, 15220, 17840. In some cases, one of a program’s air times may be available via shortwave to only one area. These circumstances are denoted by * for the Americas only and ** for Europe only. European frequencies received well afternoons here in NY are 15485, 12095, 9410. 9740 carries the new Asian stream to western North America 1200-1600. Programs carried on this frequency only are denoted with a #.

Current Affairs

The global phone-in series, International Question Time, returns for an eight week run. Panelists change weekly; Sheena McDonald hosts. To participate, contact the BBC after 1200 each Sun. by phone (+44 171 379 7444), or by letter (Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH), fax (+44 171 240 8776) or e-mail ( Studio staff will return calls at the BBC’s expense. Listen live on Sun. at 1401. A three-part series, Policy and Prejudice, examines how Western statesmen addressed Balkan questions in the early ’90s and what historical assumptions shaped those policies. Sun. until 13th 1701, repeated Tue. until 15th 0630, 1130. In Reports From the Silk Road, Paul Bergne, a specialist on Central Asia and Britain’s former ambassador to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, takes a comprehensive look at that region and how the effects of Soviet rule and their five-year experience with independence have positioned them for the future. Airing in 5 parts Sat.1030, repeated Mon. 0430, 2130.

New Times: Assignment–Thu. 1430#, 1830*; Fri. 0530** and 1030**. Britain Today–Daily 0045, 2115; Mon.-Fri. 1215, 1645. From Our Own Correspondent (I) Sat. 1715, Sun. 0330; (II) Wed. 1515#, 1730, Thu. 0030, 1145. Letter from America Sun. 0030, 0715, 1445 (latter time often pre-empted). People and Politics–Fri. 2130, Sat. 0230, 1130. Seven Days–Mon. 1230, 1730; Tue. 0130. The World Today–Mon.-Fri. 1715, 2230; Tue.-Sat. 0330**, 0615.


New Times: Meridian(Books)–Thu. 0230, 0630, 2130, Fri. 1530#; (Feature)–Sat. 0630, 2130, Mon. 0230, 1530#; (Live)–Tue. 2130, Wed. 0230, 0730; (On Screen)–Tue. 0230,1030, Wed. 1530#, 2130. Spotlight–Sat. 0155. Discontinued: Book Choice, Good Books.

Business and Finance

Global Business is a new 1/2 hour weekly series with interviews, features and discussions focusing on international business. Sun. 0430, 1030.

New Times: World Business Report (Review)–Mon.-Fri. (Sat.) 1205, 2105; Tue.-Sat. (Sun.) 0305. Discontinued: World Business Brief.

Classical Music

Composer of the Month features an appreciation of the life and music of Johannes Brahms but is now available only at 0730 Thu. (also 1530#), inconvenient times for all but those in the western time zones. But fortunately for lovers of Brahms’ music, Concert Hall will present four concerts this month featuring ( in succession) his Double Concerto, piano works, one of his Violin Sonatas and, in the fourth week, the Tragic Overture and St. Anthony Variations. The air time of 1515 Sun. (1515 Tue.#) should be more accessible for more listeners. Performance is a new weekly series examining the art of performance in all its aspects with portraits of some of the profession’s greatest soloists, ensembles, conductors, musicians and venues. This first run is for five weeks and airs Wed. 1515.

New Times: Greenfield Collection–Tue. 1530. Music Review–Fri. 0730; Sun. 0230, 2130. Discontinued: Record News, Who’s Who In Music.

Development and Environment

One Planet is a new 30 minute program focusing on these themes. Wed. 0530, 1030.

New Times: The Farming World–Wed. 0030. Discontinued: Development ’97, Global Concerns, On the Move.

Drama and Reading

Plays of the Week (Sat. 2230, repeated Sun. 0530, 1830*) this month are:

Ashes to Ashes (60 min. on 5th/6th) offers the British dramatist Harold Pinter’s 1996 play which was performed on the London stage last fall. Pinter directs the two actors that appeared in the original production, Steven Rea and Lindsay Duncan in this fascinating and sometimes horrifying two-hander. In honor of American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder’s birth 100 years ago this month, his classic play, Our Town (90 min. on 12th/13th), is presented this month. The Glass Menagerie (In two 60 min. parts on subsequent weeks 19th/20th and 26th/27th), one of Tennessee Williams’ best loved plays, describes a mother’s struggle to find a “gentleman caller” for her crippled and emotionally vulnerable daughter. Recorded at LA Theatreworks, this production features the same cast that performed the 50th anniversary revival of the play on Broadway. Television actor John Goodman narrates.

As a bonus this month, a one-act play by W. W. Jacobs is also presented. Entitled Jerry Bundler and set at the turn of the last century, the plot centers around a practical joke gone awry. Mon. the 7th at 0330.

Off the Shelf (Mon.-Fri. 1230#, 0715; Tue.-Sat. 0345**) features these readings: Cheri by Collette about the relationship between an aging courtesan and her young lover. (Beginning Mon. 7th and read in 8 parts.); In Penelope Lively’s The Dream Merchant, he tries out one of his own dreams.(17th); In William Trevor’s Widows, Catherine learns that her recently deceased husband wasn’t all that he seemed.(18th). The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan is a classic adventure tale of the hunt for a wanted man who is innocent.(Presented in 10 parts beginning Mon. the 21st.).

Short Story

Listeners from Sweden, the USA, Australia and Kenya provide this month’s works which now air Sat. at 1245 and Mon. at 0030.


Learning Zone presents The Making of Hamlet (Sun. 2310) and What’s That You’re Eating?, which examines personal tastes and feelings about food around the world (Fri. 1230). Discontinued: Voicebox.


The musical quiz Counterpoint (Sat. 0730, repeated 1230#, Mon. 1830*) returns for a twelve week run with Ned Sherrin conducting contestants through diverse musical topics.

Songs, Sonnets and Sounds of Laughter is an anthology of poetry, prose and song performed before an invited audience. Its three week run starts on Sat.12th 1901*, repeated Mon. 0330**.

Features and Documentaries

A Cry in the Dark (Tue. 0030, 1515) features the sounds of local wildlife as recorded in five places around the world by naturalist Joanna Pinnock. Everywoman (Wed. 1530) is a new half-hour series and the first ever regular women’s program on World Service. On Your Behalf (Sun. 0130, Mon. 1515) is also a new program and begins a 13 week run featuring Malcolm Billings in pursuit of answers to listener questions prompted by other BBC programs. Among this month’s topics on Outlook (Mon.-Fri. 1405, 1901*, 2305; Tue.-Sat. 0430**) is the legacy of Henry Ford (7th) and the fifth anniversary of EuroDisney (11th). Pick of the World (Mon. 0130, repeated Fri. 0630) returns for 13 weeks and offers a second chance to hear a segment of a BBC program you might have missed. For six weeks, Michael Kaye looks at the stories that lie behind the busy commercial facade of The Streets of London (Sat. 0130, repeated Mon. 0615 and Fri. 1515).

New Times: Omnibus–Mon. 0630, 1030; Thu. 0130. Write On–Sun. 1205 and 2105; Mon. 0305. Discontinued: Network UK, Take Five.


New Times: From the Weeklies–Sat. 0030, 0715. The Insider’s Guide–Fri. 1515#, 1730; Sat. 0145.

Popular Music

Jazz Expo (Sun. 0730, repeated Mon. 1130) seeks answers to the question, “What is this thing called jazz?”. Malcolm Laycock guides. This is an eight part series that will be succeeded in June by a new half-hour program called Jazzmatazz, which the BBC is billing as a new approach to the presentation of jazz. A new eight week run of the heavy metal Tommy Vance Rock Show (Sun#/Mon. 1530) also starts this month. The Vintage Chart Show (Mon. 0730, repeated Thu, 2330) revisits 1987, 1974, 1969 and 1961.

New Times: A Jolly Good Show–Sat. 1215; Sun. 0630. Andy Kershaw’s World of Music–Sat. 2330 (also 1830 via African stream on 15400 kHz.) Anything Goes–Sun. 1130; 1930*. John Peel–Thu. 1530, 1930*. Multitrack–(Alternative) Fri. 1430, 1930*, 2330; (Hit-List) Mon.1930*, 2330, Tue. 1430; (X-Press) Wed. 1930*, 2330, Thu. 1430. Pop Short–Sun. 2325. Discontinued: Country Style, Folk Routes, Jazz for the Asking, Jazz Now and Then.


New Times: Focus on Faith–Fri. 0230, 1130, 1930*. In Praise of God–Sun. 1215 and 2330. Discontinued: Words of Faith.

Science and Technology

Anatomy of Addiction examines why humans appear to be prone to addictions. (A four week series commencing on Sun. the 20th at 1701, repeated Tue. 0630, 1130.)

Science Update (Sun 1501#, repeated Tues. 1730,Wed. 1230, Thu. 1515#) is a new umbrella title encompassing five monthly science-themed programs. First, there’s Seeing Stars, the monthly astronomy report. The second week features Soundbyte, which focuses on the Internet and other computer-related subjects. Wildtrack, on the third week, is a new monthly magazine for those interested in the natural world. And Waveguide returns with a look at international radio broadcasting on the fourth week of the month. Finally, when a month has a fifth week, Science Feedback answers listener queries about World Service science programs. The Works (Mon. 0530**, Wed. 1830*, Fri. 0130) is a new 30 min. program that looks at all things technological.

New Times: Discovery–Tue. 0530**, 1430#; Wed. 0130, Thu. 1030. Health Matters–Sun. 2230; Tue. 1230. Science in Action–Fri. 1430#, 1530; Sat. 0530, 1830*. Science View–Sun. 2305; Fri. 0455. Discontinued: New Ideas.


Football Extra is a new program designed to address the massive global interest in soccer. The program reviews the week’s action, looks forward to the weekend matches, hears from the stars and profiles the key players. (Fri. 1505)

New Times: Sports International–Wed. 0630, 1130, 1430#. Sports Roundup–Sun. 0145; Daily 0315, 1745; Sun.-Fri. 1245, 2245; Sun.-Thu. 1505. Sportsworld–Sat. at 1405 (3 hrs. with news breaks on the hour.)


My Generation (Sat. 1930*, repeated Mon. 1430, Tue. 0730) looks at the aspirations of the second generation of Indians, born in Britain of parents who migrated to the UK looking for work. Touched With Fire profiles four child prodigies, including Sonny Pike a 13 year old British soccer player who trains with Ajax Amsterdam. (Series begins Sat 26th 1930*; repeated Mon. 1430, Tue. 0730, Thu. 1615**.) The Good Relationship Guide is a new four-part series that seeks to steer young listeners through the issues that most young adolescents around the world face. (Series begins Sat. 26th 1945*, repeated Mon. 1445, Tue. 0745 and Thu. 1630**.)

New Times: Megamix–Tue. 1930*, 2330; Wed. 1430.

Radio Netherlands Documentaries

(0053 Thu./2353 Fri. on 6020/6165/9845; 0453 Thu. on 6165/9590.)

8th/9th–50th Anniversary Celebrations-Light Music and Jazz. Martha Hawley ruminates through the massive RN music library. 15th/16th–Gypsies in Holland. Helene Michaud’s report on their fight for their rightful place in society. 22nd/23rd–Under African Skies. Jaldeep Katwala, RN reporter and Kenyan born, talks with Kenyan Asians about their pasts. 29th/30th–Violent Women. Mindy Ran looks at the alarming rise in violent crimes committed by women in northern Europe.


BIG CHANGES are coming to CBC Radio in July and that means RCI will have big changes then as well. Drastic budget cuts will end programs like Morningside and Sunday Morning, among others. If you enjoy the current CBC fare on RCI and the North Quebec Service, you have fair warning: get your fill nowNO ROOM this month for the international holiday list, but be aware that R. Bulgaria will cover the run-up to crucial national elections being held mid-month and that the BBC will cover UK voting to take place in early MayTHE BATTLE for R. Australia continues so far without resolution. If you haven’t enlisted, do so nowBILL BERGADANO on reported that DW announced on 3/21 that European Journal will soon be replaced by a program called NewslinkTHE RECIPE for Tomato and Beancurd Soup is featured on the Cooking Show (19th), the training of air stewardesses is the topic on Listeners’ Letterbox (27th/29th), ancient history books from Wu State during the Three Kingdom Period are detailed in Cultural Spectrum (19th), the old Chinese tale about The Cowherd and the Girl Weaver known in the West as the stars Altair and Vega is featured in Chinese Folktales (12th), Mongolian folk songs are featured on Music From China (26th), and the Song of the Week (13th) is “The Love” which celebrates the love between children and parents, all this month on China Radio International.JACQUES D’AVIGNON reports that he has heard from a very reliable source that RFI will end the use of shortwave to North America completely and that this could (have) happen(ed) as soon as March 30.

Squeezed in all I could this month. Our discussion about shortwave service downsizing is deferred to next month. Until then, good listening!

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