Radio Veronica Studios : 1970

Radio Veronica was probably the longest running of all European offshore radio stations, broadcasting primarily to listeners in Holland from 21st April 1960 until 31st August 1974 when Dutch government legislation came into force.

Broadcasting on 192 meters (later 538 metres) Medium Wave from the m/v Borkum Riff, later m/v Nordeney, Radio Veronica in its heyday became the most popular of all radio stations in the Netherlands.

During its 14 year existence, Radio Veronica encountered several other pirate competitors including Radio/TV Noordzee broadcasting from the REM island, as well as ship-borne Radio Dolfijn and Radio 227 (ex Radio England & Britain Radio), Radio Nordsee International (RNI), Radio Caroline, Radio Atlantis and Radio Mi Amigo.

In contrast to most other European offshore stations in the 1960s, which originated their programmes from ship-borne studios, nearly all Radio Veronica’s output was pre-recorded on land at studios located in Hilversum, Holland.

The photos below were made when CIB’s Fred Bunzl visited Veronica’s studios in Hilversum’s Utrechtseweg in July 1970. Fred well remembers his visit: “The thing I remember most was the almost total lack of security. Nobody knew in advance that I was going to visit — I simply walked in the front door and asked the girl at reception if I could take a few photographs. She just smiled and told me to go upstairs where the studios were located. I took a few photos and I remember meeting Lex Harding who happened to be recording one of his programmes at the time. I also made a recording of interviews with some of the technicians and with Lex Harding… The sad part is that very recently, when I tried to transfer the recording to .mp3, the old cassette refused to cooperate and turned to spaghetti – lost for ever 🙁

After closure some ex Veronica staff set up a new organisation (VOO) and were granted a broadcasting license in December 1975.

The picture above of Radio Veronica’s studio building is provided thanks to Jelle Boonstra of More info about Radio Veronica here and here.




Click here for:
Radio Veronica Trip Souvenir Pictures.
Radio Veronica Recordings.

UK Commercial Radio DAB MUX Winner – Good For Operator – Bad For Listeners

The UK’s 2nd national commercial radio DAB multiplex was recently awarded to “Sound Digital”, a consortium including the likes of Arqiva, Bauer Media and UTV Media. The result is that within a few months from now, we’ll have available new radio stations such as talkRADIO, Virgin Radio and Magic Mellow, while existing stations like Heat, Jazz FM and Kisstory may be broadcasting across the whole UK.

I suspect this new MUX (multiplax) will still be using DAB at the lowest possible cost for the operators. That means lowest possible bit rates Kbps. providing the lowest possible audio quality for listeners and using Mono instead of Stereo wherever they can get away with it.

So this is where the evolution of terrestrial broadcasting ends: an evolution which was to always – over the years – increase audio quality. e.g from MF/AM to VHF/FM, first in Mono and then in Stereo, then to provide Station-Labelling enabling car radio listeners to follow a programme by its label throughout the country.

But most of all it reverses the move to higher audio quality pioneered over the years by the Beeb, to one of quantity squeezed in. Never mind the quality – feel the quantity! Feel the number of channels over the quality. Future generations will never know real audio quality if/when they still listen in.

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