It may appear strange to readers outside the Pays de Gex and Annemasse that I’m including a post about a Swiss radio station. World Radio Switzerland (WRS as it is known here) is a predominately English speaking station. It provides a huge service to the large expat community based in the Geneva area. Initially known as World Radio Geneva (WRG), it changed its name to service the other regions of Switzerland. It did this by using internet and DAB technologies. Around Geneva it still uses the traditional airwaves as well as the new technologies.
It runs English language programmes throughout the day with their own presenters and includes a variety of interesting regular spots. These include Dig It (for gardeners), Health Matters and Kids in Mind as well as the normal music and news programmes. The full list can be found on their website. WRS has links with radio stations from the USA and the BBC World Service.
World Radio Switzerland to Close
Unfortunately the service is closing or being strictly limited. It will be no longer a part of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and will be taken over by the Nyon-based AngloMedia. It will not have an FM license. This is a strange development as there has been increased audience and lot of positive feedback over quite large parts of Switzerland. For more details go to WRS is to close at the end of August. I am not sure how long this link will remain in place.
Is there a Need for English Speaking Radio?
Our opinion is yes. It provides a wonderful service for the expats, many of whom are on short term contracts and are not Francophones. While it is important that people make an effort to speak French there is a need to feel comfortable. Even for Francophiles like ourselves we like to occasionally switch off and touch base with our own roots. What about the people of Switzerland and neighbouring France who want to improve their level of English?
What do you think? We would value your opinions.
For those of you that have Facebook accounts you might want to check out Support World Radio Switzerland on Facebook