18 February, 2008

Radio Jordan Broadcasting Corp, revolutioned? But ....

Quite a lot of revolutionary changes went around lately in Radio Jordan Broadcasting Corp's radio stations, after the major managerial changes going around there.

The Revolution, if i may call it, started ever since last November 2007, and apparently, is still going on, as i wanted to discuss it after seeing more of a complete step, but apparently, things are going kind of slow around there.

One of the 1st steps around was deactivating the French service of Radio Jordan, which was known as RFJ (Radio Francofon de Jordanie) and used to broadcast on 90.0 FM in the Amman Greater Area.

As i mentioned in one of my posts earlier, and as many people with whom i discussed know my opinion regarding it, RFJ was one of the hyper and famous radio stations in Jordan once upon a time, either for their classical music collection, or for their French shows and music collections, which were hybrid-ly mixed with Ray Music and western hit music. But ever since some years back from now, it was playing arabic music all the time, and ones with pretty bad quality even!!! the station was absolutely theme-less, the shows had the same bunch of listeners and callers all the time, requesting the same music day by day. Maybe someone who would have lived in europe or the states would think this is a pirate radio station for some guys messing out on a Neighborhood radio! And not a state-owned public radio! The only time when French was used on its airwaves was during the news!

So, what changed now, is that the station was deactivated, and merged into Radio Jordan's English Service (Which is the international service arm of Radio Jordan Broadcasting, since it broadcasts for Western Europe on the shortwave SW signal). The result was having French programs broadcasted between the hours of 3-6 PM Jordan local time through the airwaves or Radio Jordan 96.3 FM.

This merge was a good step, and one that concentrated the French programs and music within this French period on Radio Jordan's "Foreign Service" as it should be called know (but it isn't actually! They are still called RFJ during the French period, and Radio Jordan English Service, or Radio Jordan 96.3 FM during the rest of the programs). The timing was also good in away or another, since Radio Jordan broadcasts on SW 11,690 for western Europe daily between the hours of 17-19:30 JLT (Jordan Local Time), taking into consideration that French is spread in most of western Europe.

This timing also had a bad effect among some famous high rated shows from Radio Jordan English Service, such as LC-Listener's Choice's Sunday edition, which was for 2nd half of last year, in my opinion, the only remaining decent show on Radio Jordan 96.3 FM to listen to!! and which was down graded because of the introduction of French programs in these hours to only the 3 hours Friday show. Recently, only about 3 weeks ago, the show got back on Sunday evening on a late edition 8-11 PM show. Which was a step in the right direction benefiting of the fact that no concurrent shows are available at that time from private radio stations, But, was a lost for a bunch of international listeners who used to listen to a Jordanian LC through their shortwave receiving instruments on their peaceful Sunday afternoon.

One interesting notice about how late the movement was made, is that the deactivation of the French service was made in November, but was actually applied once upon a night during the 1st week of December, 2007! and shows' times reprogramming on RJ 96.3 FM are appearing in January!

Meanwhile, 90.0 FM was NOT turned off! Instead, Radio Jordan Broadcasting's Main Arabic Service is now on 90.0 FM in Amman Greater Area, instead of 88.0 FM! On which Amman FM is now broadcasting side by side with 99.0 FM in the Amman Greater Area! Quite confusing!

So things were like this:
Amman FM on 99.0 FM in Amman Greater Area
Radio Jordan Broadcasting – Main Service on 88.0 FM in Amman Greater Area .. and this was ever since ... ever!

While now, after those changes we have it like this:
Amman FM on 99.0 FM + 88.0 FM in Amman Greater Area
Radio Jordan Broadcasting – Main Service on 90.0 FM + 106.7 FM in Amman Greater Area.

Yes, Radio Jordan Broadcasting – Main Service is on 106.7 FM after MBC Group withdrew its Panorama FM Amman from Jordan.

Now i cannot really understand why on earth they are broadcasting the exact same station on 2 frequencies! That is, when the antennas broadcasting on both frequencies, for each case of the mentioned above, are located beside each other, and cover almost the same areas! (unlike Fann FM for example which has 2 frequencies in Amman, one for its eastern parts and for its western parts. Now this is what I would like to call a waste of money, and a lot of waste of money even!!! Public Money!!
Beside, Radio Jordan Broadcasting – Main Service used to broadcast on 88.0 FM ever since Radio Jordan started broadcasting on the FM dial, as this was the 1st ever frequency to be broadcasting from Jordan on the FM dial, ever! What was the reason behind changing the frequency just like that! Without a reason, without even announcing it in the media, and maybe not even on the air but after changing the frequency!

Anyway, continuing with the list of changes, there were quite a good bunch of improvements in Radio Jordan Broadcasting – Main Service's programs. Actually, there have been quite a chain of improvements and changes during the last 3 years or so in the Main Service's programs and behavior, making it more of a state-radio as it should be. The new bunches of programs continued the previous wave of improvements by concentrating the public radio mission, with a drop in the level of listener's boredom & bureaucratic style shows and conversations, and some entertainment programs improvements as well. Those changes in the programs as well as in the voices had a bunch of good reviews in the media as well.

Getting back to Radio Jordan 96.3 FM, the English service faced quite a lot of improvements lately after the big drop of listeners ratings during the last months of 2007, especially after the Wednesday rock show was stopped, and after Dj Mike Derderian left the station, and with him left thousands of dedicated listeners to his almost daily shows. As well as the down grading of hours in the only lasting highly-rated radio show, LC-Listener's choice. All of this associated with the continuity of theme-less-ity in the station's music genres and shows, as well as the a lot of arabic music airplay and pirated-radio like shows where only the radio announcer and his bunch of family and friends are listening and interacting on the air!
And not to forget, the miserable and noisy sound quality with which the radio was broadcasting on the airwaves.

So, improvements started to happen notably ever since the beginning of this year, things got more arranged regarding the shows on RJ 96.3 FM, some tiny little useful shows started to appear on the airwaves as well, turning the station into more of a public radio service. Very notable was the massive reduction in arabic music as well (though you can have ones popping up each and every now and then, but they're a lot less during the last week or so according to my observations), and the shows of "DJs and their families" aren't so any more. Also, some old names are back on the airwaves, just like Cynthia latrash (and who doesn't know that voice, upon which we group up on the airwaves of Radio Jordan English Service). The sound quality was also improved, and it aint noisy any more, but its still not as it once was before.

So, the conclusion is that, things are moving in the right way, especially on the "Foreign Service" of Radio Jordan, which was alot of a mess-up lately. But very slowly... things the can be done within a week are being done within months, and some waste in resources is obvious in the case of 2 frequencies for the Main Arabic service and Amman FM.

Some would definitely be happy now with having Radio Jordan 96.3 FM more of a public radio, isn't it Ahmad :)

1 comment:

david russo said...

Do you have the phone or email of rfj please