Philippine DX News No.29
July 12, 2009
Hello everyone and welcome to the July edition of the Philippine DX News. This is report No.29 and I’m Henry Umadhay in Antique, Central Philippines.Glad to be back and thank you for tuning by.
For the first item this time.
Church acquires TV/Radio franchise in the Philippines
One of the latest feats in the history of the church in the Philippines was to acquire a license to operate television and radio stations in the country. For some years this had been the dream of church leaders to go on air by way of obtaining a franchise for nationwide broadcasts.
That historic event was sealed on May 21, after several months of negotiation, when the officers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern Philippines (SPUC) signed the memorandum of agreement with Conal and Digital Holdings. This legal document transfers the right of the former owner to the Adventist Church to operate a television and radio network in the Philippines. Henceforth, Hope Channel will operate its stations in the Philippines under this franchise.
The acquirement of the franchise started the process of applying for TV and radio frequencies in towns and cities all over the country, said Dr Jonathan C Catolico, communication director for the church in the southern Asia-Pacific region (SSD).
The representatives of the church have started working with the government’s national telecommunication commission to process applications for frequencies. An initial number of 20 ultra high frequency stations have been targeted to cover a wide geographical area of the country.
The Hope Channel studio facility in Cagayan de Oro City will serve as the headquarters of Hope Channel in the Philippines. Other production studios in northern and central Philippines will beef up production for national and international broadcasts.
Pastor Wendell Serrano, SPUC president,signed the transfer agreement on behalf of the Adventist Church in the Philippines.
Under special fund of the world church, the establishment of the Adventist broadcasting network in the Philippines, along with the setting up of Hope Channel production facilities in the three regions of the country, and program production for local and international broadcasts will hasten the completion of the Lord’s work in this part of the world,” remarked church leaders.
Broadcasting Pioneer DZRH Turns 70
70 years ago, at exactly 6 in the morning, announcer Hal Bowie took his seat before a microphone in a little studio at the top of the Heacock Building in Escolta, and bid his unseen audience good morning. Thus was born the fourth commercial radio station to operate in Manila. In just a few years, with the entire Philippine archipelago caught in the maelstrom of the Second World War, the fledgling station – which took the call sign KZRH – would buck the challenge of history and remain as the only surviving radio station in the country.
It’s a suspicious beginning as the mouthpiece of one of the largest department stores in the Pacific must have laid the groundwork for the station’s commercial viability all these years – a major factor in the survival of the so-called “stepchild of media arts.”
New as it was, KZRH management led by Bertrand Silen was not just armed with the technical know-how in radio operations, but likewise had fundamental marketing knowledge down pat. They knew what radio listeners liked and disliked.
Musical variety shows, comedy skits, and short newscasts were the order of the day. Jazz and ballads became standard fare. Together with American wit, the English language spread. KZRH found itself as an advertising medium. Apart from 15-minute block time sold to advertisers, commercial spots mixing announcements with music were also produced. KZRH found itself amidst lucrative times.
Then came the grim shadow of war. The Japanese Imperial Army took over the sophisticated equipment, which eventually got blown sky-high by the Americans. And while Silen’s staff – considered the best in the Far East – found themselves either in Bataan at the internment camps of Santo Tomas and Los Banos, within the guerilla movement, or simply felled by enemy bullets, plans for the rebirth of KZRH upon liberation were kept alive.
Upon being released, Silen sought help from the National Broadcasting Company in New York to secure new transmitters, and with the financing the new operations at the Insular Life Building on Plaza Cervantes, KZRH was back on the air under the auspices of Manila Broadcasting Company on July 1, 1946 – just in time to cover the inauguration of the new Republic.
Soon after, the International Telecommunications Union adjusted the call letters of Philippine radio, and all allusions to the western United States through the letter K were removed. Until today, all radio stations in the Philippines begin with the letter D.
Over a decade, the station embarked on a “One Nation, One Station” initiative, expanding its coverage to an unprecedented 97% of the Philippine archipelago. To date, DZRH is the only station in the country that is on the air nationwide 24/7 on stereo, simulcast via satellite to relay stations in key provincial cities.
Reception log for June 2009
June 1, Deutsche Welle Radio on 15340 from Singapore in English @0949 S-I-O 3-3-3
June 8, T8WH on 9930 from Medorn Palau in English @ 0817 S-I-O 3-3-3 with Religious programming
June 9, PBS Radyo Pilipinas on 15510 from Tinang in English @0206 S-I-O 5-5-5-5
June 10, KSA broadcasting on 11615 from Jeddah in Arabic S-I-O 4-4-4 // 21495
June 21, AWR on 11925 in Ilocano from Guam @1050 S-I-O 5-5-5
I would like to thank Koichi Saito in Japan for the reception report
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