Tuesday, May 21, 2024

“World Radio Television Handbook” Lives On – Radio World

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New publisher is out with the 78th edition

With its comprehensive listing of radio/television stations worldwide, including their frequencies and general program content, the “World Radio Television Handbook has been an essential companion for broadcasting listeners and radio professionals.

So when publisher Nicholas Hardyman announced that the 2022 edition of the WRTH would be the last, many reacted in horror — but not the folks at Germany’s Radio Data Center

Known for their own global database of radio stations, Radio Data Center was a natural for assuming the WRTH mantle. So when the time came for someone to step up to save the WRTH, it did.

“We had a gut feeling that the publisher wouldn’t keep the WRTH going,” said Radio Data Center CEO Günter Lorenz. “So we took it on and published the 2023 WRTH and now the 2024, which is the 78th edition. Anyone who has ever used the WRTH calls it the ‘bible of broadcasting’ for good reason: It has all the information that somebody who is interested in radio really needs.”

Mindful of the loyalty readers feel for the long-running WRTH, Radio Data Center hasn’t messed with its traditional format. 

“We tried to change as little as possible, although of course we did some experiments in the first year and some improvements in the second year,” Lorenz said. 

“Basically, the book consists of new radio reviews and related articles, followed by the international/national radio listings, and then the TV and reference sections at the back. All of the listings are generated from our database, which is constantly updated.”

The company worked to ensure the WRTH’s accuracy, aware that shortwave radio broadcasters change their frequencies to take advantage of changing RF propagation conditions.

“We have professional editors who take care that all these various sources come together and that our information is consistent,” he said. “So whatever information comes in is verified, it’s checked, and it’s published from there. We also have access to remote receivers on the internet that allow us to verify that the frequencies we’ve been given are in fact being used.”

Enter the WebApp

Radio Data Center CEO Günter Lorenz

Because books are hard to update, Radio Data Center also offers the WRTH WebApp. It is an online version of the WRTH’s content that is easy for Radio Data Center to update on a regular basis. 

“An electronic product like the WebApp doesn’t have the same problems as a book that has to be printed and shipped, because it’s available online anywhere,” said Gunter. 

“It is also less expensive to produce than a book, which allows us to offer the WebApp at a lower price and make it available to more people.”

Radio Data Center’s decision to continue the WRTH annual book and launch the WRTH WebApp has been welcomed. 

“In general, the response has been very, very positive,” Gunter said. “There was a delay between Nicholas announcing that he was stopping the WRTH and us taking it over, so some people lost hope and started looking for other sources. But when we came out with the announcement that the WRTH would keep going, a lot of people were really, really happy.”

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