Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Radio Frontier is about to go live, at least on the web, offering English speakers in the Lake Geneva region a new music and information service with a voice that will be familiar to many: Mark Butcher, who for several years hosted The Breakfast Show on WRG and later WRS radio, will be providing one of the key shows on Radio Frontier.
The new station was founded by Butcher and Peter Sibley, formerly of World Television in Geneva, to provide commercial radio with a very local slant that focuses on the French-Swiss border area.
RadioFrontier will initially be available at www.radiofrontier.ch, operating from new studios in Meyrin, with plans to expand in 2012.
Radio in English is growing
WRS and RadioFrontier are the only English stations in the region, although there are others, mainly available online, in Switzerland. They include Mountain Radio Verbier, also started by an ex-WRS employee, Conor Lennon.
Main sources of Swiss news in English
The new radio station boosts the English-language information offer that is produced in the region, whose main providers include:
- GenevaLunch, the main producer of regional online news and events listings in English
- public radio station WRS, World Radio Switzerland, which has a Swiss nationwide broadcast mandate and operates online and via DAB and FM
- swissinfo, the online English information arm of Swiss broadcasting, whose main mission is to keep overseas Swiss informed about their country
- Glocals, a local social network now connected to BuyClub.ch, for “group-buying deals”.
International Link is a non-profit organization started by the Vaud Chamber of Commerce to provide a business-based network for the area that introduces foreigners and Swiss people.
Swisster, an online English language news service started by Swiss publisher Edipresse, closed in December 2010.
There are several small local groups based in or near Geneva and Lausanne that provide a variety of services and products for English-speakers, some mainly for expatriates who are relatively new to Switzerland (see list at end).
Switzerland’s international population also attracts outside companies
In addition, Switzerland’s English speakers, viewed as well-educated and well-paid, are wooed by a number of social network and information groups based outside the region. Some, like AngloInfo, a business directory and forum, have strong local ties: the franchise is operated by a Geneva area resident, although some of the information comes from the larger parent group, whose roots are in the south of France.
Others have no, or very little, Swiss presence: Expatica is based in The Netherlands (note: they carry news from swissinfo and GenevaLunch news feeds, with our permission); the English Forum, a social network used by many newcomers to Switzerland, actually based in and moderated from Sweden and Germany and linked to a new news site called local.ch, run from Sweden.
Geneva.com is another “local” news site, run from Argentina.
Local information providers who offer good quality; some offer networking and others sell products: