NPR testing out European broadcast

AIRCHECK

August 06, 1993|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Staff writer

National Public Radio's regular news programs, "Morning Edition," "Weekend Edition" and "All Things Considered," began testing satellite broadcasts to Europe this month in preparation for a regular European schedule in early September.

And NPR hopes these overseas broadcasts will help increase audiences back home.

"By extending access to our programming to the 1.5 million Americans living in Europe, along with the 8 million or more Americans who travel there annually, we believe we will increase the audience for NPR and other radio programming in the U.S.," said Joseph T. Dembo, acting president of NPR, in announcing the experiment last week.

When these Americans return home, "we hope they will look for and listen to their local NPR member stations," he said.

The news programs would be distributed through the World Radio Network via the ASTRA broadcast satellite system.

Mr. Dembo said the plans would mark "the first American domestic radio news programming ever to be available throughout Europe."

However, the Baltimore-based radio documentary series "Soundprint" actually got to Britain first, with a number of editions of the program carried there by the British Broadcasting Corp. over the last couple years. ("Soundprint," which affiliated earlier this year with NPR after previously being carried by American Public Radio, is heard locally at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on WJHU-FM [88.1] and repeated at 7:30 a.m. Sundays.)

Further, "Soundprint's" Joyce Ritchie says, "we're moving ahead several fronts" in the program's own international linkage efforts, titled "Crossing Boundaries."

The first programs of a five-nation collaboration are scheduled to be heard on "Soundprint" in September. Also involved are the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Radio Telefis Eireann of Ireland.

Each party is producing in its own nation a program on the central theme of generational issues, and each broadcast outlet has agreed to carry all the programs.

"Soundprint" is also planning the first international public radio conference, to be held in Baltimore in November, with up to 15 nations expected to be represented, says Ms. Ritchie.

WPOC-FM (93.1) is once again among the five finalists in the running for the Country Music Association's award as large market station of the year. The station won the honor last year and two of the last three years.

In addition, WPOC morning personality Laurie DeYoung is a finalist as personality of the year, for the second year in a row.

The awards will be announced as part of the CMA Awards program to be broadcast on TV on CBS Sept. 29.

WJHU-FM (88.1) has received a $10,613 grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, recognizing the station's support of local arts institutions.

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