France

History of radio starts in 1899 when Italian Gugliermo Marconi establishes a radio connection between England and France.


On 20 January 1923, Radio PTT starts in Paris and will broadcast until 17 June 1940.

News is broadcast for the very first time by Radio Tour Eiffel on 3 November 1925.

On 4 June 1939 Radio Normandie starts broadcasting. Other private stations start broadcasting in English and on 22 July the long wave transmitter in Allouis is inaugurated and broadcasts on 182 kHz (1648 m) with a power of 450 kW. Shortly before the start of the war it will go into regular programming. 
In October the Austrian "Freiheitssender" starts broadcasting via the French stations in Fécamp (Radio International and Radio Normandie), Lyon, Marseille and Tour Eiffel, and in November Polskie Radio resumes broadcasting via medium wave transmitters in Toulouse and Paris.

In January 1940 commercial Radio Normandy (Fécamp - 1095 kHz, 274 m, 20 kW) ceases broadcasting due to financial problems. The transmitter is now used for unofficial foreign broadcasts of the Austrian freedom station. From February Fécamp broadcasts a programme for British troops.
In May the Belgian national radio starts broadcasting via Radio Lille. One week after the German invasion in Belgium, all Belgian stations were silenced. The studio was dismantled and transported to France. On 18 May the Belgian broadcaster also broadcasts via Radio Paris II. They will cease there on 13 June 1940. One day later Radio Vrij Nederland (Radio Free Netherlands) starts broadcasting via Paris-Mondial (1145-1200) and via Paris PTT (2100-2120). The announcement was: "Hier is Vrij Nederland, de officiële Nederlandse radio-omroep te Parijs". After 23 days Radio Vrij Nederlands ceases broadcasting via France as the German troops are just outside Paris.
In June the radio stations Thourie and Alma in Rennes are seized by the German occupying force.
As the German troops move further southwards, stations in the north start relaying German stations while stations in the south use the same frequencies with the home programme.

On 1 November 1942 the French government in Vichy starts Radio Révolution via three shortwave and one medium wave transmitter. The programmes consist of propaganda and try to ridiculise the enemy and its allies.

On 17 July 1943 Radio Monte Carlo starts broadcasting on 242m with 30 kW. In November Soldatensender Calais, an anti-nazi station, starts broadcasting in Calais with 600 kW and a small 0.5 kW transmitter near Dover. On 31 December the transmitter in Toulouse ceases relaying the national French programmes from Germany and is used as underground transmitter.

On 3 March 1944, after the liberation of Corsica, Radio Corsica starts broadcasting on 355 meters (and 29 meter shortwave). In September the BBC starts broadcasting the Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme on 583 kHz (514.6 mtr) via Grenoble.
On 10 July Radio Cherbourg, the first allied station in France, resumes broadcasting. A weak mobile transmitter is used on 937 kHz but can only be heard in a radius of 40 km. Shortly after a 2 kW Marconi transmitter is installed, the French authorities request the station's closure.
On 20 August the station of the French resistance mouvement starts broadcasting from Paris on 1456 kHz (206 mtr) with 0.5 kW. The station calls itself Radiodiffusion de la Nation Française. Four days later the station starts broadcasting on 959 kHz (312.8 mtr) with 12 kW.
On 1 September Soldatensender Calais is renamed to Soldatensender West. On 2 September Radiodiffusion de la Nation Française starts broadcasting via Villebon on 776 kHz (386.6 mtr). Of all 6 medium wave transmitters in Paris, this is the only one that could be repaired.
On 29 October, via the 100 kW transmitter in Mühlacker, the French government station "Ici la France" is broadcasted via the frequency of Bordeaux-Néac (1077 kHz).

On 11 January 1945 French radio resumes broadcasts in German towards Germany and Austria via the Lyon medium wave transmitter on 463 mtr (648 kHz). On 15 January the Rennes-Alma transmitter raises its power to 10 kW (ex 1 and 2 kW). On 26 January Strasbourg II starts broadcasting on 1429 kHz with 2 kW. On 30 January Radio Bir Hakeim starts broadcasting on 205 mtr (1465 kHz) via Toulouse and Agen for the German troops in La Rochelle and Royan. The station leaves the air on 8 May of the same year.

The Allouis longwave transmitter, which was destroyed by German troops in 1944, returns to the air in October 1952.

AFN starts broadcasting in France in 1958 via Orléans and Poitiers and in 1959 via Verdun.

On 15 September 1974 Radio Monte Carlo installs two transmitters in Roumoules of 1400 and 2000 kW.

On 1 January 1996 France Inter needs to cease transmissions on 1071 kHz due to financial problems. On 16 November Radio France International takes over the Middle East department of Radio Monte Carlo.

As of 1 January 1997 France Inter drops all medium wave frequencies and only retains 162 kHz long wave.

On 22 January 2001 Radio Monte Carlo becomes a News-Talk station.

On 1 March 2004 Radio Nouveaux Talents (RNT) starts broadcasting on 1575 kHz in Meudon with 5 kW. On 24 March Superloustic, a station for toddlers, starts broadcasting on 999 kHz. On 8 August the station starts broadcasting on 675 kHz via Marseille.

On 14 February 2005 Radio de la Mer starts broadcasting at 1445utc on 1080 kHz via Romaineville with 5 kW. On 15 November Ciel AM leaves 981 kHz.


Other sound clips and images

Geluidsfragment Extract from France Radio Lille in 1976 on 1376 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:34, 32 kbps, 133 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from SudRadio in January 1977 on 710 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:54, 32 kbps, 211 kB (MP3)
  QSL from ORTF Nancy from 1969 (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   121 kB (jpg)