[HCDX]: G Hauser's Shortwave/DX Report 99-61
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[HCDX]: G Hauser's Shortwave/DX Report 99-61


{Items from this and all our reports may be reproduced and re-
reproduced only providing full credit be maintained at all stages}

WORLD OF RADIO ON RFPI: See new frequency schedule below, including
new 25930-USB!

WORLD OF RADIO ON WWCR: Additional WoR Sats outlet, WWCR 12160 at
2030 had a tremendous signal in EUR. (Wolfgang Bueschel, Germany,
BCDX, Nov 20)

** CANADA. November 25, 1999

Following up the information regarding the tape loops appearing on
690 kHz. for Info 690 and on 940 kHz. For 940 News, both in Montreal,
just as quickly as they appeared, the tape loops have disappeared.

I have been checking various sources to find out what happened.
Apparently MetroMedia CMR, the company which owns the two AM radio
outlets, may have run afoul of Industry Canada.

According to information obtained, first regarding 940 News, the
station was quoting new call letters in their tape loop of CKNN.
According to CRTC and Industry Canada, there was no authorization for
this call change from CIQC.

In the case of Info 690, their tape loop included no call letters, at
any time, illegal by CRTC and Industry Canada guidelines.

And, in the case of both stations, according to Industry Canada, a
message should have been included in both 690 and 940 tape loops,
giving addresses, telephone numbers, etc. where the stations could be
reached in the event that listeners were experiencing reception
problems, or interference problems. This was not done.

Although not yet confirmed officially by either the CRTC or Industry
Canada, it seems that the tape loops were put on the air without
proper approval.

There is now also speculation that the two stations were not, in
fact, operating from the old CBC transmitter site in the Brossard/
Laprairie region. It is possible that the transmissions were coming
from the existing 600 and 850 sites, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Whether or not this is true, it is possible that the test were being
conducted without the knowledge of the CRTC and Industry Canada, and
as a result the operations were shut down.

I am awaiting further detailled information on the situation. For
now, both 690 and 940 kHz. in Montreal are once again silent. I will
forward more information as it becomes available. (Sheldon Harvey,
Greenfield Park, Quebec) LATER:

The tape loop has returned on 940 kHz. as of now, 7:30 PM EST. (Don't
know when it started). It is the same tape loop, except for one major
change. The new call letters, CKNN (unofficial) have been dropped,
and a special announcement has been inserted, IDing the station as
MetroMedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. broadcasting from Montreal on 940
kHz. They are asking you to report any reception problems, such as
interference or noise, to telephone number 450-677-0850, Extension
286. Nothing heard again yet from 690 kHz.

November 26, 1999: After checking moments ago, at 1 PM EST, the tape
loop, in French, is back on 690 kHz. here in Montreal. There is a
change to the loop from what we heard before, similar to the change
on the English tape on 940 kHz. They have inserted an identification,
like the ID on the 940 signal, identifying as MetroMedia CMR Montreal
Inc. 690 kHz. AM in Montreal, and offering a telephone number for
reports of reception problems, noise or interference. The number is
the same as on 940 kHz, but the extension number is different. The
number is 450-677-0850, extension 290. As with the English tape loop,
there are no call letters being mentioned. (Sheldon Harvey,
Greenfield Park, Quebec)

** CANADA. C'EST LA VIE: Tonight on C'est la Vie...all about You.
"You" in French can be either "tu" or "vous." And which word you use
says something about your relationship with the person you're
addressing. Even Francophones have a hard time deciding which is
appropriate. Get the lowdown on C'est La Vie, with host Bernard St-
Laurent, UT Sat Nov 27 at 0030-0100 on RCI 5960, 9755 (CBC Hotsheet
via Hauser)

** COSTA RICA. I heard RFPI announce that Global Community Forum,
which has been on hiatus since James Latham has been busy with
antenna work, will probably be back next week, i.e. UT Fri Dec 3 at
0200. On Fri Nov 26, 6975 was on all night until 1300* sharp, and
15049 which usually fades up by 1230, was not to be heard. Then I
heard from Joe Bernard that RFPI is considering using 25930 on USB
from next week in the 1200-2400 UT period, and apparently RFPI would
be silent 1300-2100 for the time being... (Glenn Hauser, OK)

A frequency update: 15050: 2100 - 0600 UTC; 6975: 2300 - 1300 UTC
effective immediately. (Joe Bernard, RFPI, Nov 25)

Immediately tuned in 25930 and found the frequency clear until at
1624 check Nov 26 RFPI was already there! Good strength, enough to
require backing off the RF gain for USB, still going at 1900 for COM
and WOR, and Mailbag coming up at 2000. Welcome back to 11 meters.
Still one of very few SW broadcasters daring to use it!

RFPI announces that it will have special week-long coverage from
Seattle of the World Trade Organization nightly at 0000-0100 UT
starting UT Nov 30. That is the meeting which Fidel Castro may be
attending (Glenn Hauser, OK)

** GREECE [non]. The ERT5 relays via VOA/USA at 1800-2200 on 17565
and 17705 continue synchronized for the time being, Nov 25 at 1825 in
Spanish, so both are still Delano. Huge pounding signals here at the
first bounce corroborate this: so huge one cannot be sure whether the
associated hash actually be within legal limits. Reception here is
like being in the frontyard of Delano. Viz.: I checked again for
likely mixing products at plus/minus 140 kHz, the separation between
the two frequencies, heard nothing on 17425 but something almost on
17845, quite weak compared to BBC 17840. But it measured to 17848.8
instead (survived modem disconnect test, so presumed actually
transmitted; heard on both YB and ATS with two different antennas),
indeed VOG audio spur from 17705 if not 17565. Then I checked to see
how widely the signals were splashing, even during talk. 17705
splatter could be heard from 17675 to 17735, and was a severe problem
to Belgium/DTK in English at 1830 on 17695, so that is plus/minus 30
kHz. 17565 was a bit better, plus/minus 20 kHz from 17545 to 17585,
bothering Israel on 17545. Same situation prevailed 24 hours later.
Months ago we had a discussion with VOA about this, but the problem
recurs: the lousy quality of the satellite feed from Greece, which
apparently brings these unwanted audio spikes far beyond the
necessary bandwidth. If ERT5 cannot get their act together, it seems
to me that VOA could and should filter out this audio before putting
it on the air (Glenn Hauser, OK)

** KOREA NORTH. Not much luck finding R. Pyongyang on former English
times and frequencies, but rechecked 17735 Nov 26 at 0053; weak
carrier had a continuous ``Ommmmmm'' on it, but nothing recognizable
besides RP IS at 0100. If it were a bit stronger, this could be an aid
to meditation. Perhaps some of their jamming noises are getting into
RP broadcasts? Same situation past 0200 (Glenn Hauser, OK)

** NEW ZEALAND. One of the guests on this week's Media Network from
NZ, I think it was Bryan Clark, explained that in today's elexions,
the Labour Party is more favorably disposed to RNZI than the National
Party. For us international SWLs all other issues pale by comparison,
so we know whom to root for (Glenn Hauser, USA)

Sat. 0604 on 17675 - SATURDAY NIGHT with Election Coverage,
Commentary and Results - Join National Radio for the up-to-the-minute
election results. [Ed. Note: RNZI will stay on the air today until
1215 with updates every half-hour on the day's general election
results. Frequency shifts to 6105 at 1015.] (John Figliozzi,

** SA?UDI ARABIA / U A E. Fri Nov 26 I monitored 21605 again in the
1400-1500 hour just to enjoy the clash between these two stations
which is yet to be resolved. Time signals 5 seconds apart previously
reported were nothing compared to the one-minute-early time signal at
1459, I have no idea from which station (Glenn Hauser, OK)

** U S A. Oops! I apparently gave you a false idea of the WMIB-1660
test date! It will be 11/28, THIS Sunday! Sorry about that! (Phil
Beckman, WMIB, NRC-AM)

A rescheduled DX test from WMIB-1660 in Marco Island, Florida USA is
scheduled for Sunday morning, November 28 at 0500-0900 UT. The test
will be conducted with 10,000 watts and will feature 60's pop and r&b.
Reports may be sent to: Phil Beckman, Engineer WMIB-WODX, 1112 North
Collier Boulevard, Marco Island, Florida 34145 USA 73, (Steve Francis)

** U S A. Tnx to a tip from Glenn Hauser, in 99-56 I checked VOA
Creole Fri Nov 26 for the mentioned News in Verse, but nothing
recognizable as such was to be heard. The M-F broadcast at 1230-1300
is best by far on Delano 9670, under Indonesia on Greenville 9525 - a
conflict that has been going on for years - and nothing audible on
15305, which we later found has been replaced by 13715 from
Greenville (Glenn Hauser, OK)


We had previously reported that VOA was facing a shortfall of about 8
million dollars if it was to avoid sharp cuts that would almost
certainly result in layoffs (known as RIFs -- Reductions in Force).
The latest developments -- in a November 18 Town Hall meeting with
VOA/IBB staff members, showed how fragile VOA is. The President had
vetoed, as hoped, a spending bill that threatened to truly gut VOA.
However, there remained a 4.5 million dollar shortfall. VOA has to
absorb cost of living increases approved by the White House. But even
if it gets that 4.5 million dollars, the picture appears dire indeed.

According to Ungar, it became clear that neither the House nor Senate
was "inclined to give us much of an increase, if any."

Finally, said Ungar, there came a time at one of the negotiating
sessions that, as he put it: "the people opposed to restoring much
of our budget prevailed over those who were in favor of restoring
money to our budget -- for complicated reasons." While VOA did not
receive any direct appropriation, VOA did receive authority to have
money from the State Department re-programmed or transferred into VOA
to ease the problems at VOA. In short, 4.5 million dollars is the
thread upon which the jobs of many at VOA now hangs.

Ungar was quick to emphasize that while VOA has permission to apply
for this money, there is no guarantee it will come to VOA. A bill
would have to be passed and signed by the President for this to
happen. Further, Congress could still approve a smaller across-the-
board cut for all federal agencies (which it did in mid-November).
Negotiations would still have to take place with the State Department
(from which VOA, the BBG, and IBB proudly severed links on October 1)
for the transfer of the 4.5 million dollars. Ungar was quick to point
out that this would not mean VOA is being "controlled" by the
State Department. Finally, various committees in House and Senate
would have to approve the transfer of the cash.

Ungar told employees in the November 18 Town Meeting: "I had hoped
very much to be able to come here today and say there will no RIFS ?
I can't say that. I cannot say absolutely there will be no
reductions. I can certainly hope that if there are RIFS's they will
be a lot less serious than they would have been had we just gotten
this flat-line budget. . ." He described as a "complex process" the
way decisions would have to be made on layoffs. He said they would
not start at top or bottom.

Language services at VOA, he said, are being reviewed.  VOA now
broadcasts in 53 languages. This does not mean, Ungar said, that VOA
will continue to broadcast indefinitely in these languages.

Ungar claimed credit for obtaining the additional authority to
transfer the 4.5 million dollars from the State Department. "I
stepped in and did this and I am very proud to have done it," he

Despite Ungar's optimism about VOA's future as a combined radio,
television, and internet power, he could not prevent a wave of alarm
from sweeping across the room. As one member of the VOA News Now
(VNN) staff pointed out, the possibility of RIFS is what everyone is
talking about in the VOA newsroom. As he had done in past meetings,
Ungar pointed out that even if VOA gets the 4.5 million dollars, this
would deal only with the 2000 fiscal year. What happens in 2001 and
after remains to be seen. In the words of one veteran VOA broadcaster
speaking after the November 18 Town Meeting: "what we are seeing here
is certainly the beginning of the end of VOA -- despite all the high
hopes for the new technology."

Some of Ungar's final words -- in addition to comments he has made to
senior staff and certain other VOA employees in recent weeks --
reveal how tenuous things really are for the once proud VOA -- now
reduced to merely one of the acronyms in a structure that probably no
American even knows exists:  "There are a lot of people who need to
be convinced, and without the sort of Communist threat, without the
Cold war, and the way things have evolved, a lot of people don't
understand the need for international broadcasting ... there is a
several year struggle ahead to secure the kind of budget this
organization needs to continue to do its work as well as it does
now." (excerpts from a report on the upcoming December CONTINENT OF
MEDIA)                      ###

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