GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – English-language World Radio Switzerland (WRS, at 101.7FM)) this week won the annual Swiss Radio Day award for the greatest audience increase in French- and Italian-speaking regions, up 40 percent. Swiss-German region radio winner was Radio 105.
WRS had the following listener figures for second semester 2011 and first semester 2012 for French-speaking Switzerland, according to the semi-annual media numbers published by Publica Data:
PN-% = net penetration, in percent 1.2 (1.2 for SS11 and 1.4 for FS12)
PN-M = net penetration in thousands (18.7 and 21.7)
UminA = number of minutes tuned in, per listener (4.6 and 14.3)
PDM = market share (0.1 and 0.2)
Off-Piste bids for WRS
WRS may be sold by SSR, its public broadcasting parent company, which announced in June that the station will either be privatized or closed down. Bids under review by the federal communications office include a recent one from Off-Piste Radio Network, which runs local radio station Mountain Radio in Verbier, on TV and cable. The founder of Off-Piste is Conor Lennon, former WRS presenter, and earlier, a BBC journalist. Lennon said in early July that company’s proposal includes “a marked increase in local content for the main metropolitan areas where English speakers and Anglo-professionals live.”
Radio Zones is back on air (93.8FM and via cable at Naxoo- canal 431) after a hiatus due to a legal tussle over the location of its emitters. It is a non-profit public service community radio station in neighbouring France, a serious provider of news in French for the border area and much of the Lake Geneva region
The station began to have problems transmitting in 2010 after a Russian couple, Svetlana Kapusta and her husband, Rafael Gimalov, bought the property where the station’s antennas were located, next door to the then-future Dalai Lama centre, for their own use. Some of the radio equipment was on rooftops on the property the couple bought.