BBG budget plan includes closure of Greenville transmitting station, last IBB shortwave facility in the US.

Posted: 02 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
In his DX Listening Digest Yahoo! discussion group, Glenn Hauser credits me with providing a link to the Broadcasting Board of Governors FY 2011 Budget Request. I credit Glenn for actually reading the budget document. See his analysis.
     Most remarkable in it is the plan to close the IBB Greenville, North Carolina, shortwave transmitting station. This would be the last IBB/VOA shortwave facility on US soil. Another site near Greenville recently closed, along with one at Delano California. The stations at Dixon, California, and Bethany, Ohio, station were shut down in the 1990s.
     Glenn and I wonder how this will affect Radio Martí transmissions on shortwave into Cuba, plus special needs such as the present VOA/Radio Martí "A Fondo" broadcast to Venezuela.
     Rates of shortwave listening are certainly low in the Americas. The present Greenville transmissions to Africa can probably be taken up by IBB and leased facilities in the eastern hemisphere. But I have misgivings about the complete absence of a shortwave facility on US soil. It will probably be needed in some future crisis.
     Another provision in the budget proposal:
"The BBG proposes restructuring operations at some of its overseas transmitting stations. The BBG will retain ownership of these facilities; however, it would turn over operations of these sites to a third party on a fee-for-service basis ($1.5 million)." BBC World Service took similar action in the 1990s. VT Communications operates the BBCWS transmitting stations. See previous post about the budget. See also previous post about the future of shortwave in international broadcasting.