WRS – Update on World Radio Switzerland (English Speaking Service)


WRS – Logo
By kind permission

WRS is dead. Long live WRS.

“WRS is dead.  Long live WRS.”
(“Frontier” a free English magazine published for the Geneva, Lausanne and neighbouring France areas.)

As from our earlier post “World Radio Switzerland“, WRS, the English speaking station in Switzerland, was indeed taken over by Anglo Media SA run by founder and radio presenter Mark Butcher.  Mark was the voice of breakfast radio at the station to which we awoke each morning when we first arrived in the area.  It gave us a great deal of light relief to start each day.  The station at that time (2004) was WRG (World Radio Geneva) which later became WRS.  In both guises the station provided much needed help, advice and of course entertainment to the expat community in our part of Switzerland and the surrounding area of France, not to mention to anyone wishing to improve their English.  By the time of the closure Mark had left WRS and had set up Anglo Media and Radio Frontier along with Peter Sibley.

We were initially saddened by the announcement of the station’s closure earlier this year, to what we perceived as an excellent service to our community.  While everything is done and dusted in the main I thought it time to add our update to the blog.  WRS has ceased to exist in terms of an FM radio station.  It was the only one of the SBC stations to be axed from the service, as reported in “Le News (Swiss news in English)*”.  We now access WRS either from an internet connection or by DAB+ radio.

The Swiss authorities seem to think that DAB+ is the way to go for the future.  I believe this is different from the DAB radio system in the UK.  It seems many countries are waiting to see what will happen with other technologies such as internet and satellite broadcasting as in the U.S.  The French look as if they have tried yet another system which may or may not have folded.  From looking around the internet I couldn’t really get a clear picture at all.  I would be grateful if someone out there could give me a ‘Dummies’ Guide to Digital Audio Broadcasting’!

WRS was granted an extra month of FM service last August to allow its listeners to purchase new radios and adapters.  The station suggests some possible makes and models to install in your cars.  However it will take time to build up its radio audience to the level of the FM version although sales of DAB+ radios have increased over the last few months. In fact there seems to have been queues to have adapters fitted into cars at the last moment!

The new station has a brand new studio as can be seen on their Facebook page.  Many of the old team have moved over to the new station or is it remained in place?  So the overall outstanding service, that we have all come to appreciate and look forward to,  is very much the same.  A breakdown of what is on offer can be found at the WRS website.

According to Le News, Mark Butcher agrees with the decision to cut public funding and believes a commercial WRS is ‘completely viable’.  I certainly hope so!  Even though I enjoy most things French I need a fix in English from time to time!

All the best WRS!  Here’s hoping we have many years of continued listening.

* Le News is a free Swiss newspaper in English and more information can be found here

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