Featured Broadcaster – Radio Romania International (RRI)

I always enjoy listening to the RRI broadcasts, as each hour long program contains several segments. They cover news, history of Romania, culture including art and music, political interests and places to visit. Their signal here to the UK is usually very strong on their 9765 Khz channel during the summer months, between 22:00 and 23:00 UTC.

The history of Romanian broadcasting goes back to 1927, when an experimental station was set up on 280m, running 200 Watts. Languages used in the transmissions were Romanian, French, German and Italian. Transmissions included broadcasting music from the Romanian Opera House, and the concerts of the Romanian Athenaeum.

The first official transmission came on the 1st November 1928 using a 400 Watt transmitter in the 400 metre band. By 1932, the transmissions were being picked up in many parts of the world, as the number of radio receivers increased dramatically during the inter-war years. In the following years, with the establishment of the National Radio Corporation, foreign audiences were to become the subject of thorough research by the authorities. Romania, just like other countries had discovered an extraordinary way of making itself known worldwide. Special evenings dedicated to other countries were organized. Exchange programs were introduced and after 1930 pages of classical Romanian literature were periodically transmitted in French, Italian and German.

During the Cold War, Radio Romania was known as Radio Bucharest, and tended to transmit Soviet propaganda. I remember many times receiving their transmission on my homemade ‘regen’ set (an O-V-1 design). Most of the content was very much like Radio Moscow, but with a Romanian slant.

Following the anticommunist Romanian Revolution of December 1989, Radio Bucharest became Radio Romania International, the programmes acquired a whole new format, the staff welcomed young members, and the RRI services turned towards the future, towards once again building a bridge between Romania and the democratic world and re-establishing the link between Romanians living abroad and those back home.
During the 1990’s three radio channels gradually developed under the umbrella of Radio Romania International,  with programs in major international languages: Arabic, Chinese (a program set up in 1999), English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Greek, Turkish, Russian and Serbian.

For a much more detailed and fascinating article about the history of RRI, see http://www.rri.ro/en_gb/the_history_of_rri-624.

Today, RRI has a Listeners Club and is very prompt in issuing QSL cards. They have very interesting sets of these, with most featuring places of interest in Romania.

If you have never tuned in to them before, its well worth a listen. The A14 schedule is as follows:

               RECEPTION AREAS            UTC                         kHz
   WESTERN EUROPE      05.30 – 06.00           7,330 (DRM); 9,700
     11.00 – 12.00  15,130; 17,680
     17.00 – 18.00  9,540 ; 11,810 (DRM)
     20.30 – 21.00 9,800 (DRM); 11,975
     22.00 – 23.00  7,430; 9,765
   SOUTH-EAST AFRICA      11.00 – 12.00  15,400; 17,670
   NORTH AMERICA (East Coast)      20.30 – 21.00  15,170; 17,510
     00.00 – 01.00  9,700; 11,955
   NORTH AMERICA (West Coast)      03.00 – 04.00 7,350; 9,645
   JAPAN      22.00 – 23.00 9,790; 11,940
   INDIA + AUSTRALIA      05.30 – 06.00 17,760; 21,500
   INDIA      03.00 – 04.00 11,825; 15,220 (DRM)
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