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Voice of Russia to cut shortwave

Another government shortwave broadcaster calls it quits.  The Voice of Russia (Голос России, Golos Rossii) will cut its shortwave service as of January 1st, 2014. Originally known as Radio Moscow, it has been on the air continuously since 1922. It will be sad to see yet another shortwave station pull the plug.

Radio Moscow stamp, courtesy of Wikimedia

Radio Moscow stamp, courtesy of Wikimedia

I can remember Radio Moscow being one the first shortwave stations I tuned across on my Uncle’s Zenith Transoceanic shortwave radio.  It was fascinating to me to hear the news from the far away and all too scary Soviet Union.  After a short bit of interval music and a series of beeps counting down to the top of the hour, a man with a deep, sonorous voice came on and said “Zis is Moscow…” It was very dramatic.

The economics of HF broadcasting are daunting to say the least.  Minimum power levels in the US are 50,000 watts into a highly directional, high gain antenna.  Most stations use greater than 50 KW transmitters, which will very quickly use gobs of electricity, becoming an expensive operation.  Other expense include maintenance on transmitters, buildings, land and antennas.  With little or no opportunity to commercialize, it becomes difficult to justify a shortwave operation.  Sadly, those are the state of affairs in HF broadcasting today.

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3 comments to Voice of Russia to cut shortwave

  • Zyg

    With all these SW stations closing down it is good to see WBCQ still surviving. I guess that they are keeping their power costs down by running only one sideband (plus carrier) on three of their four transmitters.

  • Paul Thurst

    Yes, WBCQ is still hanging in there. I am not sure if single side band with carrier saves much on power or not. I thought perhaps he was doing it because of antenna bandwidth issues. Anyway, I wish Allan well and hope that his shortwave operation continues.

  • Jim Seaman

    Many know that the VOR received a last minute reprieve when the station was merged with RIA-Novosti news agency before the turn of the year. VOR continued on shortwave, but with a greatly reduced schedule. Unfortunately it was not to last. I’m reading today that VOR has set April 1, 2014 for the termination of all shortwave services. Thus ends a Russian shortwave presence that dates back to the dawn of radio broadcasting. They are encouraging their audience to continue listening via their Internet stream at http://voiceofrussia.com/play/

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