Radio France has decommissioned the first three of of its mediumwave transmitters. Last Wednesday, three high power AM stations of France Info, the news channel of the public broadcaster, were switched off.
France Info is currently available in France on more than 260 FM frequencies. Nevertheless there are still areas where the station is not well-received on FM. Therefore France Info also transmits through various high power mediumwave transmitters.
To save costs, it was decided to change this. The three mediumwave transmitters affected are:
In NE France, Nomeny 837 kHz 200 kW, located north of Nancy.
In Central France Nieul 792 kHz 300 kW, north of Limoges.
In the south, Muret 945 kHz 300 KW, SW of Toulouse.
The other high power mediumwave stations of France Info,as well as the mediumwave transmitters of the local network France Bleu, are still on the air.
For listeners in the affected areas, the elimination of AM stations means receiving France Info in some places over the air is difficult or even impossible, requiring manual switching between different AM frequencies. DAB+ is not an alternative, as Radio France has already decided not to invest in digital terrestrial radio.
After the summer station operator TDF will dismantle the mediumwave transmitters in Nomeny, Nieul and Muret. What will happen to the towers is still unclear.
Radio France is not the first public broadcaster in Europe to switch off mediumwave. Previously, public broadcasters in Norway, Denmark, Flanders, Switzerland, Hesse, SouthWest Germany, Central Germany and Bremen turned off their AM stations.
In the Netherlands it's planned to turn off the mediumwave transmitter of Radio 5 in 2015, but an official notice has not yet been released.
(Source: Radio.NL translated by Andy Sennitt)