Let’s start this week with some positive reinforcement, shall we? Congratulations where they are due, and I see several instances where they most certainly are.

To begin with, there was a very special birthday this past weekend. Czech Radio turned 85 years old! Here is a little info from the Czech Radio website:

This weekend we celebrate what is for all of us here at Vinohradska 12 a rather important birthday. May 18 was the day back in 1923 when Czechoslovakia began its first regular radio broadcasts. To mark the event we shall be bringing you a special programme on Sunday, looking back to those pioneering days. Here is a quick foretaste of what we have in store.

It all started exactly 85 years ago at 8.30 pm on May 18 1923, and the opening announcement went like this: “This is the broadcasting station Radiojournal in Kbely near Prague. We are broadcasting on the frequency 1150 metres.”The announcer was Mila Kocova – who in those pioneering days also doubled as the radio company Radiojournal’s secretary! At the time it was a private company – the state didn’t acquire a majority stake until a couple of years later – and at the beginning radio was still very much a toy for the rich.

This was to change very fast indeed and by 1938 there were well over a million radio license holders in Czechoslovakia. As far as the content is concerned, in the pioneering days they would only broadcast in the evening – with music, sports news and weather forecasts from the Meteorological Office. There were no news bulletins and the nearest they came to news was a quick glance in the papers, which Míla Kočová would buy on the way to work.

So on this occasion celebrating 85 years of broadcast in Czechoslovakia, Radio2020 would like to say “Happy Birthday!”

Next on our hit list is a hearty congrats extended to the three new board members of the NAB (as reported by Radio World Online): Ed Atsinger, president/CEO, Salem Communications; Sally Brown, vice president of radio–Indiana, Schurz Communications; and Gary Stone, president and COO, Univision Radio. May their two-year term (staring in June) be productive and inspiring as they help lead radio into its next stage of evolution.

Lastly, I would like to give props to Hoyt Smith of KDFC 102.1FM for managing to defy popular wisdom and perception. Granted, I am a bit late with this one, but since it is being covered now and I think it is absolutely wonderful I am doing so anyway.

Ben Fong-Torres of The San Francisco Chronicle has the scoop:

The unassuming Mr. Smith was voted “favorite radio host” last year in a San Francisco magazine readers poll.

That is wild and wacky stuff, when you consider that Smith plays classical music and neither tells jokes nor oversees a wacky team of sidekicks. (His on-air partner is the veteran news reporter Betsy O’Connor, who is witty, but not particularly wacky.)

But this is not a matter of longhair music nuts swamping a magazine poll with votes for their morning maestro. In the Arbitron ratings, Smith ranked sixth in the San Francisco market, behind sister station KOIT and news giants like KGO and KCBS, but ahead of such rugged competition as Dave Morey on KFOG, Don Bleu on “Star 101,” Renel at “Kiss 98.1,” and Sarah and No-Name on Alice (KLLC).

Pretty amazing for a guy who’s been in the market forever, and could be called, with little argument, a journeyman, an announcer with pleasant pipes and a friendly lilt to his voice, but with no outsized personality or shtick.

I am sure there are many more congratulations to extend, but these were the ones that caught my eye. To anyone I have left left out, please keep in mind it is no for lack of appreciation of your works, but rather time and space constraints that prevent your mention (for now). I hereby raise a toast to all the people out there that make radio so very special to all of us!

Stay Tuned!

Photo courtesy of Omar G!, used under its Creative Commons license


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