VOA and BBC World Service announce reductions to their shortwave schedules.

Posted: 30 Mar 2013   Print   Send a link
Voice of America press release, 26 Mar 2013: "Voice of America is reducing some of its radio transmissions this weekend and ending shortwave broadcasts to regions where audiences have alternative ways of receiving VOA news and information programs. The transmission reductions allow VOA to comply with budget cuts required by sequestration and to avoid furloughs of staff members. When the new broadcast schedule goes into effect on March 31st, cross-border shortwave and medium wave broadcasts to Albania, Georgia, Iran and Latin America will be curtailed, along with English language broadcasts to the Middle East and Afghanistan. VOA will continue to provide audiences in these regions with up-to-date news and information through a host of other platforms, including radio and TV affiliate stations, direct-to-home satellite, web streaming, mobile sites and social media. The new broadcast schedule calls for reductions in some shortwave and medium wave radio broadcasts in Cantonese, Dari/Pashto, English to Africa, Khmer, Kurdish, Mandarin, Portuguese, Urdu and Vietnamese. Direct radio broadcasts to all of these regions will continue. The transmission reductions are expected to have minimal impact on audience numbers since primary modes of delivery will remain. Shortwave and medium wave broadcasts will continue to regions where they draw substantial audiences, and to countries where other signal delivery is difficult or impossible."

See VOA transmission schedule, 31 March 2013 through 26 October 2013 (not available at voanews.com). This schedule is for transmissions through IBB-owned shortwave and medium wave transmitters and does not include broadcasts that are through partner stations in target countries.

BBC World Service press release, 25 Mar 2013: "The World Service English global schedule will be simplified with fewer regional variations from Sunday 31 March 2013 and shortwave Arabic broadcasts will cease. The reductions to shortwave services were announced in October 2012 as part of the UK government’s 2010 spending review. BBC World Service on FM and online and on television will not be affected and no language services are closing. Shortwave and medium wave transmissions in English will be reduced to a minimum of 6 hours in total each day. This will generally be two periods of between 2 and 4 hours each, usually at peak listening times in the morning and evening to help minimise disruption. ... The estimated loss of listeners to Global English on shortwave will be around 1.5m listeners, equivalent to 1.3% of the total Global News English audience on any platform. BBC Arabic audiences are estimated to reduce by 800,000 as a result of the closure of shortwave broadcasts. In the Arabic speaking world, the World Service broadcasts on a network of FM relays, a 24-hour television channel and the bbcarabic.com website. Shortwave services to Sudan are not affected as the shortwave service is currently the most viable method of broadcasting to this large region."