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Old February 28th 05, 03:24 AM
Mike Terry
 
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Default Radio Baltika To Expand RFE/RL Russian Broadcasts

Washington, DC
February 26, 2005

Russian-language programs of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) will
be broadcast 18 hours daily on Radio Baltika, a local UKV ("Eastern-Band
FM," 66 to 74 MHz) station in St. Petersburg, Russia, beginning March 1,
2005.

The unprecedented availability of U.S.-sponsored radio programming in
Russia's second-largest media market comes as the result of an agreement
signed today in St. Petersburg by D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, a member of the
U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, and by Oleg Rudnov, founder and
general director of Radio Baltika. The agreement is part of RFE/RL's effort
to expand audiences in Russia through a revamped national schedule that
includes new live and interactive programming and improved local
distribution.

The programs will be available from 0600 to 2359 local time throughout the
greater St. Petersburg region, with a population of 14 million, on 71.24 MHz
UKV. Until now, just two hours of RFE/RL programs were broadcast daily by
Radio Baltika, and programs also were available on a St. Petersburg AM
station. Research shows that Russians prefer FM and UKV radio for news and
information; AM is less popular. RFE/RL broadcasts on AM in Moscow and for a
limited number of hours daily on AM, FM and UKV in 22 other Russian cities.

"We are pleased that Russian authorities permitted Radio Baltika to amend
its license so that Radio Liberty programs will be heard on UKV in Russia's
second-largest city," said Hirschberg. "We hope that this is a first step by
the authorities to allow Radio Liberty to enhance its local broadcasting
throughout Russia, including access to an FM frequency in Moscow."

Radio Baltika has carried some RFE/RL programming since 1992, longer than
any domestic radio station in Russia.

RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine added that "I am especially pleased that
these programs are being carried by Radio Baltika, RFE/RL's oldest
broadcasting partner in Russia. We are gratified to have the opportunity to
expand this valuable relationship."

RFE/RL's Russian Service broadcasts are on the air 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, with programs produced in Prague and the service's Moscow, St.
Petersburg and Ekaterinburg Bureaus and transmitted to listeners via
shortwave, satellite and AM, FM and UKV signals provided by local affiliate
stations in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and
Ukraine. Russian Service programming is also available via the Internet, at
the service's website www.svoboda.org and at www.rferl.org.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is a nine-member, presidentially
appointed body which supervises all U.S. government-supported international
broadcasting, including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA, Radio Free
Asia, Radio and TV Mart?the Middle East Television Network (Al Hurra), Radio
Sawa, and Radio Farda. The services broadcast in 55 languages to over 100
million people around the world. Current governors include Kenneth Y.
Tomlinson, Chairman; Joaquin F. Blaya; Blanquita Walsh Cullum; D. Jeffrey
Hirschberg; Edward E. Kaufman; Norman J. Pattiz; Steven J. Simmons; and
Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, who serves as an ex officio member.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, international communications
service to Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, Central
Asia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, funded by the U.S. Congress
through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

http://www.rferl.org/releases/2005/02/308-260205.asp




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