2019 News Archive

  • December 2019

Caroline Flashback - I was pleased to hear a relay of this station on 927 kHz at my locale near Gatwick from 1.30 to 2pm on 31st December where I got the ID.This was the first time I have heard the Suffolk pirate which relays this station. It must have been on hi-power and we were on a day with short daylight hours. Nice to have got this catch.

Publications - Tune Into Yesterday - the winter edition dropped through the letterbox as did the latest Offshore Echos Magazine Edition 198 (news, book reviews, Radio Caroline 1972 return Part 4, Radio Syd Story Part 11- Radio Syd Television,the Government Files, Raiders of the Ross Revenge Part 2 etc) and Hans Knot International Radio Report are all available

  • November 2019

BBC Radio - reports have appeared in the national press that they intend to launch 60s, 70, 80s and 90s offshoots of Radio 2 to compete with stations such as Absolute Radio. This is very controversial as the BBC say they don't have to money to pay for free TV licenses for the over 75s and are withdrawing the text info on the red button.

CAROLINE IN HOT WATER WITH OFCOM - Jeremy reported on 5th November that this was apparently for playing a track with offensive lyric on a Top 15 show. On

page 28 here;https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/176402/Issue-390-broadcast-and-on-demand-bulletin.pdf. As with many of the complaints you will notice that there was only one complainant!

sasradiogroup -Main news was Radio Caroline - Ray stated that the station had shut down for maintanence. When it returned power was up to previous levels. In fact sasradiogroup members found it a bit better that when it first came on-air. The other vast improvement is the audio. Now sounding very punchy!

MEETINGS: there was a discussion about our current locale as last orders was now at 10pm and this meant that people coming from further away had less time to chat. The Home Cottage (our first home) was considered and, after that nights meet, it was decided to switch back from the December 2019 meet! Also the fact that there was no pump beer anymore helped too!

  • October 2019

Radio Luxembourg - SB emailed us with an article in the Daily Mail dated 26th October re the unveiling of a Blue Plaque outside the stations original London Headquarters in Mayfair.

Various DJs including Howard Pearce, Pete Murray 94, David Jensen 69, Mike Read 72, Tony Prince 75 and Mark Wesley 71 were their for the unveiling. A nice article except the article as SB says states they had a 100 watt transmitter! "Great typical Mail accuracy!" he writes.

Radio Jackie 107.8 - 19th October was incredibly 16 years since the re-launch. I remember driving back from JET on the Sunday and listening in. The following day visiting the station on its open day.

RTE - 252 kHz long wave is back on the air albeit perhaps not at 300kW. Thanks to Ray for the info.

Radio Caroline - Ray advised today (9th) that the station is up in power. Near Gatwick reception is up by 4-5 dB and as Ray advises audiio is much beefier.

sasradigroup -the October meet was a bit of a washout. Only a very small number made it through the severe weather with several roads flooded. This meant that a special guest from Essex was unable to make it.

  • September 2019

Publications - Tune Into Yesterday, Offshore Echos Issue 197 and the latest Hans Knot International Radio Report Late Summer 2019 are all available .

Crawley Hospital Radio - this station closed on 8th September. They were the first such station to be licensed in the south (on 1287 kHz AM) having had a couple of RSLs beforehand on FM. With the hospital now mainly a day care facility they 'lost' their audience and decided to close down.

Blue Mink - Gold has banned 'Melting Pot' over alleged racist lyrics after just ONE complaint to Ofcom. Madeline Bell lead singer and former session singer (including the original Caroline The Sound of the Nation jingle package) says the regulator had misheard the words in a song about racial harmony and integration. Ofcom took exception to the word Chinkies' claiming it was a slur on the Chinese population,

sasradigroup - A very similar turnout to last month and it was great to see Jeremy and Graham who haven't been around for a little while.

News: The Arrow on DAB had shut down about three days before our meeting and Chill had gone too. Having had Atlantis Gold on the South London / Surrey multiplex during daytime and Cyber Rock at night, the latter had just become Atlantis Rock. Cyber Rock oddly continuing on the small scale DAB+ multiplex in London.

Quasar turning five years old this month and a reminder that Southern Radio / South East Sounds would have turned 40!

  • August 2019

sasradigroup - Not a bad turnout. Radio news on Susy Radio, RAJAR listings for Radio2. It is odd that Ken Bruce's show appears to have more listeners than Zoe Ball on Breakfast. You wouldn't normally expect this so is there a flaw in the way RAJAR works? The next quarters will be interesting.

Ray reports that Cyber Rock is on a small scale DAB+ in London.

sasradiogroup 2018 News on the website and Newsletters (or lack of!!) - those who attend the meeting know that I am dealing with some major issues this year and sadly, this means that it has not been possible to spend the time on updates or writing newsletters. I do hope that this will change.

  • July 2019

sasradigroup - a holiday and work affected meet but still a good turnout. Discussions resolved around developments at Susy Radio and Radio Jackie and SW private / pirate radio amongst others

OEM Offshore Echos Magazine Issue 196 is now available with news, book reviews Denis O'Callahan's Personal History of Radio Hauraki Part 2, Radio Caroline 1972 return Part 4, Man of Action (releases of this piece of music), Radio Syd Story Part 9 - the Rolling Stones visit the ship! Government Files and Mi Amigo - the escape to Spain To subscribe offshoreechos.com

  • June 2019

SUSY Radio 103.4 FM - The 26th June saw the much awaited power increase from 50 to 100 watts after OFCOM’s engineers completed various tests for compliance and authorised the turning up of the transmitted power at the Reigate Hill site

International Radio Report - The Early Summer edition of the famous International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available. Link Hans Knot.

sasradigroup - a good summer meeting on 5th June discussions included:

Radio Atlantis Gold - we all thought this sounds exactly like Cyber Gold except they have new jingles (the same package that Cyber used) and ex Caroline DJs Dave Asher, Kevin Turner, etc.

AM pirates in the south-east.

Memories of Caroline in the 70s and 80

Also currently three of our members continue to pay monthly subs to SUSY radio.

Radio Atlantis Gold - On 1st June Ray reported this has replaced Cyber Gold on the south London DAB+ multiplex. Cyber Rock has gone too and now is on-line only.

David Gapes - one of the four founders of Radio Hauraki has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting.

  • May 2019

SUSY Radio - at sasradiogroup we are sometimes subject to embargoes on what we can report. Today we can offically announce that Susy Radio's application to Ofcom for an increase in power has been provisionally agreed. This will raise power from 50 to 100 watts. A 3db increase. We have been aware of this for some time including one suggestion for a much higher power increase and change of frequency. Although this wasn't official SUSY policy. Our point of view was to double the power as it was realistic, shouldn't involve a change of frequency and shouldn't upset the French. If you pitch it too high Ofcom would just reject it so being realistic is essential.

  • April 2019

Happy Birthday Radio Caroline - the 55th birthday being celebrated over the Easter weekend on a special Caroline North Broadcast

sasradiogroup - a well attended April meet! Major news re SUSY with a new major advertiser (listen into the station to pick this up) thrtee of us currently still paying our subs to the station, Radio Jackie's 50th Birthday, Colin Pearse told the story of how Jackie's founders found Radio Helen and decided that that was what they wanted to do and how jackie ended upon 227 metres 1322 kHz. At the previous meet we actually had part of the original t/x on display,

  • March 2019

The Secret Science of Pop (BBC 4 Friday 22nd March 2019) - this was a repeat but a FASCINATING programme never-the-less. Scientists and researchers analysed 50 years of UK chart music. of particular interest to us is the vast changes they picked up in 1964! With groups like The Stones and the Kinks coming to the fore. The root cause pirate radio - Radio Caroline The Secret Science of Pop

urrey Mirror & Past Times - The paper carried a whole page entitled Sweet Caroline mainly looked at the 1960s and Radio Caroline. Good photos even if the text is at times inaccurate.something which is quite common with articles relating to offshore radio. Also carried in many other regional papers.

Radio Jackie - today 19th March is the stations "50th birthday / anniversary". Many old jingles and stories have been aired throughout the day. If you want a dip into the past (and their website certainly is!) visit RJ Radio Jackie

Tune Into Yesterday - the Spring 2019 Edition 86 hit the doormats! with the Supplement on ' The Pages of radio history' 1940-44.

OEM - Issue 195 will soon be available to celebrate 45 years of Offshore Echos Magazine - with 20th October 1978 - The end of Radio Mi Amigo, Radio Mi Amigo 1979

Denis O’Callahan’s Personal History Of Radio Hauraki - Part 1 Radio Caroline 1972 return part 4, Radio Syd Story Part 9, Government files, The political tolerance of Spain with the Offshore stations in the 60s and 70. To subscribe offshoreechos.com

The new Hans Knot International Radio Report is out now the March / Arpil Edition!

UKRD Group - another smaller group has been absorbed / fallen this month to Bauer Media. Currently it is run as a subsidiary. Ed: it is not in the public's interest (nor advertisers) that a huge portion of the nation's commercial radio stations are now vested in two media behemoths Bauer and Global. These groups consider that they are too big to fail. I can assure you that they are not. With an increasing proportion of younger listeners avoiding traditional media altogether they may well live to regret these aquisitions. As for Ofcom they seem to have abdicated their responsibilities on what may seem to be a false premise.

sasradiogroup - a well attended March meet with a decent amount of news. Top story (handed to us by Hans Knot and Paul Rusling) is the refurbishment and the return to see of the MV Norderney. The vessel to be anchored off Schevingenen all of this August. Plus last December's Tune Into Yesterday.

  • February 2019

Independent Radio - for many this February has been a disaster for this sector as Ofcom allowed further deregulation and larger ' approved areas'. Bauer Media bought Lincs FM, Celador's and The Wireless Group's local stations. Now as reported by Radio Today and The Times Global are to broadcast national breakfast shows on the Capital, Heart and Smooth networks by the end 2019.This is due to deregulation by Ofcom allowing larger ‘approved areas;

Capital to replace 14 breakfast programmes with 9 on the network in England, Scotland and Wales on April 8th. Heart will kill-off 22 breakfast shows down to one across England, Scotland and Wales. This is for both Global and Communicorp owned stations. Drivetime will go down from 22 to just 10. Smooth, again they also get a new national breakfast show. Drivetime programmes will be reduced to seven. All local and regional weekend programmes on all brands will end with national programmes provided on all frequencies. 24 broadcast centres will be cut down to 14.

Ed's comments: a rather sad month as the major groups wake up to the threat of internet radio and continue to strip out costs and jobs. Community radio is unlikely to benefit, Audience research shows that internet radio stations and the big media groups will be thew only players to gain from this shake-up.

Quasar - the Album Station - I forgot to report last year that this excellent station is carrying blocks of adverts (yes blocks with major advertisers) every hour on the hour and the half hour

Transatlantic AM DXing - it is still a useful time to do so. Try from 23.00 hrs CYCQ New Brunswick I've heard the past couple of weekends with automated country music programming. Power is 25kW from Newfoundland . I was also hearing two weeks ago stations on 590 and 1010 kHz. 590 is VOCM power 20kW with a soft rock type format and clearly heard by me on Saturday 9th February from 23.00 hrs. Also from Newfoundland. 1010 kHz was hard to define as there were two stations interacting with each other. From 23.00 hrs on Sunday 10th WINS from New York with 50kW and a News / talk format. However at 0200 hours the following morning the predominant station had adverts for Toronto and local news. This is CFRB another 50kW sender and my best catch. My receivers a Grundig Satellit 800 and Tescun PL880. Stations are clearly audible on the Grundig and using a loop frame antennae to pull them in better to identify.

Last Train to Hilversum- A Journey In Search of the Magic of Radio by Charlie Connelly - this is an informal history of mainly British radio in the style of Bill Bryson with many a true anecdote. Bloomsbury 336pp £20

sasradiogroup February meet - Another small meeting but one with different people. I managed to attend and some like Jeremy had the lurgi.

  • January 2019

Caroline North - via Manx Radio on 1368. On Sunday night the station announced it was on Full power after remedial mast work and re-guying. With a reception report from Iceland.

sasradiogroup January meet - A small meeting not unexpected after the Christmas / New Year break. Not helped by the fact that I couldn't attend and one of our number had the audacity to be presenting a radio programme at the time! Reminiscing of early Radio Free London broadcasts in South London.from Palace View - where one of our number was on-site. This was near Ronnie Corbett's house.