Friday, May 18, 2012

Newly-Delivered, Innovative Equipment Gives Libyan Listeners Expanded FM Access to Radio Sawa

Washington, DC — The Broadcasting Board of Governors has launched an FM radio transmitter in Tripoli that covers the Libyan capital and its suburbs, home to about two million people.

The new transmitter broadcasts a 24/7 stream from Radio Sawa, with a signature mix of more than six hours of daily news combined with popular Arabic and Western music.

"This is a country in turmoil, seeking a foothold in democracy," said Brian Conniff, president of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc., home to Radio Sawa. "We offer a reliable source of news and information essential as the people of Libya strive to shape their future. We are proud to support free media in Libya, most especially during its political transition."

The BBG, which provides and maintains technology around the world to support its broadcasters, had been working non-stop since mid-2011 to get the new transmitter in place.
Compact enough to fit in a refrigerator box, the equipment enables programming on 106.6 FM, an easy-to-find frequency.

"It's crucial that we reach audiences via the media that they prefer," said André Mendes, the BBG's Chief information Officer and Chief Technology Officer. "In this region, at this time, that means FM radio. And we're delighted to be able to use a frequency with such a good signal, so people will hear our programs loud and clear."

Audiences in Benghazi have heard Radio Sawa programming around the clock on the locally well-known 88.1 since October 2011. A major Libyan city, Benghazi was the stronghold of Libyan rebel forces.

As the protests of the Arab Spring swept across the Middle East in 2011, correspondents for Radio Sawa and its sister station, Alhurra Television, reported on the wave of uprisings in Libya by traveling from Benghazi to Tripoli. Their on-air and online reporting tackled the news from the front lines as well as the challenges facing Libya during its transition to a new government.

Radio Sawa has a weekly reach of 14 million listeners, according to international research firms such as ACNielsen. In addition to Libya, Radio Sawa broadcasts on FM in Morocco, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan and Djibouti. Radio
Sawa also broadcasts on medium wave to Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Syria and online at

(BBG Press Release)

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