This weekend we’ll be celebrating 90 years since the first regular radio broadcasts in Czechoslovakia, and we’ll be bringing you a special programme. David Vaughan has been working with a group of Prague journalism students, to discover some of the forgotten gems hidden in the radio archive. He tells us more about Saturday’s special programme.
A collection of interviews with the great Czech actor and writer Jan Werich is set for release later this month, a spokesperson for the label Supraphon said on Friday. The interviews were conducted by his daughter Jana in 1969, when Werich was in his mid 60s, and broadcast in a weekly series on Czechoslovak Radio entitled Táto, povídej! (Talk, Dad!). His colourful stories, which also take in a period he spent living in the United States in the early 1940s, will come out in an eight-CD box set.
The Czech Republic can expect a growing number of lawsuits following Thursday’s decision by the country’s top court in favour of gambling regulation, Czech Radio’s Radiožurnal reports. The court struck down legislation allowing sites to continue the operation of video lottery terminals until 2014. Ivo Valenta, the head of Synot Holding – one of the largest distributors of lottery terminals in the country – told Czech Radio the firm had had a 10-year license and would take steps to recoup its investment, filing in the Czech Republic and Brussels if need be. Under Thursday’s ruling individual towns can decide whether or not to completely ban gambling. SPELOS, the Czech association of lottery system operators, has warned that complete bans would lead to hundreds of millions of crowns in damages.
Czech Radio has unveiled its new logo, a stylised capital ‘R’, which will be used by the broadcaster’s various stations, from the flagship Radiožurnál to Vltava, Radio Wave and others. The change of logo is the first for Czech Radio in 17 years. The author of the logo, Pavel Zelenka, told journalists during the unveiling on Wednesday at the Czech Radio building in Prague, that Radiožurnal – as the broadcaster’s main news station – had been given the sharper background of red, while the other stations will have the white stylised ‘R’ framed by different colours. The new logo is aimed at unifying Czech Radio’s corporate identity, the head of Czech Radio, Peter Duhan, said. The logo will come into official use on March 1 and will be introduced gradually at the different stations.
The World Radio Day is being celebrated all over the worldthe for the second year on Wednesday. The day marks the occasion of the founding of the United Nations radio in 1946. Several Czech Radio stations prepared special programming for the occasion. Czech Radio, a public broadcaster, is also celebrating its 90th birthday this year.
With 9 days left before the second round of the Czech presidential elections, candidates Miloš Zeman and Karel Schwarzenberg took part in a debate hosted by Czech Radio. The presidential hopefuls discussed their views on a range of issues from central bank and Constitutional Court appointments to foreign policy and the country’s relation to the EU. Miloš Zeman, who came first in the election’s first round, dismissed concerns about his links to the Russian oil firm Lukoil; Karel Schwarzenberg said, among other things, he would prefer a majority vote for the lower house. Both candidates also expressed the view that the Czech Republic should only join the EU’s planned banking union after it adopts the euro.
A former general director of Czech Radio, Václav Kasík, has died at the age of 65. After first working at what was then Czechoslovak Radio as a freelancer in the 1980s, Mr. Kasík headed the station from 1999 to 2009, when he was dismissed, partly in connection with a renovation of its main building on Prague’s Vinohradská St that was over-budget. Originally a musician, he was named director of the Czech Philharmonic in 2010, a position he only held for three months.
There are more than two million Czechs and their Czech-speaking descendants living outside their homeland, or working abroad indefinitely, and Czech Radio and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertakes a number of activities – partly through Radio Prague – to support those communities, to keep their connections with this country strong and to help them spread knowledge about the Czech Republic.
For a few weeks just after the fall of communism, Radio Prague went silent. Its days as a tool in the Cold War were over. After huge staff cuts, and with the old communist managers gone, Radio Prague went back on air early in 1990. A new era began for the English Section, and with so many sweeping social and economic changes under way, there was plenty to report about.