Friday, March 2, 2012

Cuts lead Greek Public Radio to a partial medium-wave switch-off

After a meeting on February 17, the Administrative Board of the Greek Public Broadcaster (ERT) ordered the switch-off of eleven medium wave transmitters (MW) whereas only nine medium wave transmitters with their respective programs of the Greek Public Radio will keep operating. As it can been seen in the tables and the map below, in fact it is the high-power transmitters that survive, most of which are located near the border and had been used previously for the "International Network of ERA". Additionally ERT retains the frequency of the “First Radio Service” (729) and “Filía” (666) from Attica, and also the one of ERA Sport (792) hosted by the former Voice of America transmitter that was re-installed in 2002 at Malgara. A relatively low power transmitter in Florina will also be retained, probably because of its location being nearby to the FYROM.
The switch-off includes many historical transmitters; most of them have gracefully served YENED [military radio] and [its successor] ERA since the '60s and hosted initially the tranmissions of all regional services of ERA, before FM emerged as a technology. Their FM network started being installed during the early '90s and will remain as the only broadcasting medium for the regional stations that loose their medium wave transmitters. Nevertheless, including the FM transmitters installed after 2000, it seems to cover most of the regional stations' areas of interest. Though, no survey suggesting statistics for the medium wave listenership has seen the light. Please note that due to the transmission mode, as opposed to that of FM, medium wave propagates over long distances and can "overcome" great obstacles, which is valuable in mountainous areas; but it is an old technology with poor sound quality and tends to being abandoned.
The decision of the ERT has already started being implemented. It has already been confirmed that the transmitter E.RA. Sports in Attica (erstwhile YENED historical frequency), the transmitter of 9.58 of ERT3 at Malgara (1179) and those of E.RA. Tripoli (1314) and Orestiada (1080) have been already switched off. With this decision, ERT revoked any previous decision concerning the closure of AM transmitters. The official document was posted online and archived under the topic "Culture and Leisure" (!)
In our future articles we plan to deal with any problems caused by the switch-off. As the main reason given was to save energy, we should mention that the switched off transmitters had a cumulative power of 500 KW, while the ones which remain in operation consume about 760KW.
The tables and the map indicate the stations that remain in operation according to the announcement made by ERT, and the ones which cease operation as estimated by subtraction. The last list contains probably two stations that seems to have been out of operation in recent years, due to decommissioning of obsolete equipment and lack of qualified personnel, without having been officially dismissed (probably in Larissa and Heraklion).
Greek radio mediumwave switchoff: Map representation of the public radio transmitters affected by the latest ERT decision 
Greek radio mediumwave switchoff:
Map representation of the public radio transmitters affected by the latest ERT decision

Remain open:

1 Boyáti Attica 729 100 EPA 1 (NET 105.8)
2 Mégara, Attica 666 100 FILÍA
3 Málgara Thessaloniki 792 100 ERA SPORT
4 Corfu 1008 100 Local Program and National Programs
5 Komotiní, Rodópi 1404 100 Local Program and National Programs
6 Chaniá 1512 100 Local Program and National Programs
7 Rhodes, Dodecanese 1494 100 Local Program and National Programs
8 Zante 927 50 Local Program and National Programs
9 Flórina 1278 10 Local Program and National Programs
Interrupt function:

1 Ioannina 765 10 1968 Local Program
2 Lárissa 945 5 1965 Local Program
3 Heraklion 954 10 1972 Local Program
4 Attica 981 200 1963 NRA Sports
5 Peréa 1044 150 1947 102FM ERT3
6 Orestiada 1080 10 1970 Local Program
7 Málgara 1179 100 1997 958FM ERT3
8 Tripolis 1314 10 1968 Local Program
9 Pyrgos 1350 3 1959 Local Program
10 Vólos 1485 1 1948 Local Program
11 Serres 1584 1 1959 Local Program
12 Kavála 1602 1 1967 Local Program
13 Kozani 1602 1 1967 Local Program

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