Louis T. Economopoulos

Broadcasting

Athens International Radio
(AIR 104.4 FM)

Together with fellow journalist ​Paul Anastasi I created Athens International Radio (AIR 104.4 FM) in Athens, Greece in January 2003 and in July 2004 when Athens hosted the Olympic Games co-hosted for six months the Good Morning Athens program on the station.
Up until February 2011, I hosted two weekend shows on AIR-FM, Night Moves on Saturday nights (8-10) with the latest hits and the best oldies, and Top American Hits Countdown on Sunday afternoons (4-6) spotlighting the top 50 U.S. Billboard hits.
Here you can listen to one of the first Good Morning Athens programs aired on July 7, 2004 with hosts me and Alexia Amvrazi:
http://www.mixcloud.com/loueco/good-morning-athens-athens-international-radio-air-1044fm-on-july-7-2004/ .
A two-hour Christmas special show of Light Air was aired on December 24, 2006, which I hosted and featured the top 20 Christmas songs of all time as voted by websites and radio stations around the world. Listen to it here:
http://www.mixcloud.com/loueco/light-air-on-athens-international-radio-air-1044fm-christmas-special-24122006/ .
I recorded a special Top American Hits Countdown show marking the 40th Graduation Anniversary of New Brunswick, New Jersey High School Class of 1969, of which I graduated. The show features the top 10 Billboard pop hits of 1969 and news from the high school during that year. Listen to it here:
http://www.mixcloud.com/loueco/new-brunswick-high-school-class-of-1969-40th-anniversay-top-american-hits-countdown-on-air-1044fm/ .

OLYMPIC ACTION
The story of Athens International Radio goes back to 1988 when Anastasi, an Anglo-Cypriot journalist who at that time was the Athens correspondent of the New York Times and the London Daily Telegraph, set up an AM radio station called Olympic Action, it was the first English-language radio station ever in Greece. The BBC granted the owners of Olympic Action, Free Press Group, the authority to receive BBC World Service radio programs via satellite as of January 1, 1989.
The station engaged the coopration of foreign correspondents and private interests in Greece, as well as the BBC World Service and the American VOA-Europe broadcasting services.
"It was a near-perfect blend of quality news, musical entertainment, informative features, anecdotal material and free English-language lessons," Anastasi recalled.
The objectives of Olympic Action was to entertain with music, chat shows, news, special programs, etc., the large and influential foreign community in Greece as well as the millions of tourists who visit the country every year; to provide timely and objective news about Greek and international affairs, including informing its audience on the significance of '1992,' and Greece's position within the process of European unification; to promote Greece's interests, including the country's international image, its standing within the European Community, the tourism industry, and, in particular, its campaign to host the 1996 'Golden Olympics'; and to promote private and state business opportunities between Greece and the international community.
New, liberal laws governing radio broadcasting in Greece in the late 1980's encouraged a number of private interests to set up successful and highly popular radio stations. Olympic Action, became the country's first and only English language radio station, appealing to a large audience from among the growing foreign community. As 1992 approached, and as Greece's tourism industry continued to expand both in quantity and quality, there was a parallel growth in Olympic Action's audience and importance.
"With all its highs and lows, its joys and sorrows. The hard drive to get legal permit as one government after another failed to meet the massive demand for licenses; the semi-legal or even illegal broadcasting by stations; the campaign to find sponsors and advertisers; the 'jamming' by rival stations; and the opening, closing and re-opening of the station as money was sought to get larger and costlier transmitters and to pay for necessary electricity, the small number of staff, and the maintenance of the broadcasting facilities on the mountain tops of Athens (Mt. Hymettus and Parnis) were trully an adventure," Anastasi said.
The station never secured an FM license, but did broadcast on the AM circuit with some of the world's best radio stations cooperating via satellite providing the finest in rock, top 40, jazz, folk and country music; the best in international opera, classical music, comedy plays and serious theater; and news direct from the best newsrooms in the world, the BBC, CNN and VOA Europe, live coverage of breaking events and analyses of Greek and international political and business trends.
Greek news coverage was the responsbility of some of the country's most qualified foreign journalists and members of the Greek branch of the European Union of Journalists.
Chief consultants on entertainment for Olympic Action were three Greek artists with international acclaim: singer Demis Roussos, singer-actress Mariana Toli and composer George Kokkinos, Nana Mouskouri's former group maestro.
Cultural, educational and environmental issues was coordinated by Niki Goulandris, a former Cabinet minister  and one of the country's most prominent campaigners on environmental issues.
On August 9, 1989, Olympic Action informed the government authorities that in charge of the station was Paul Anastasi as director, and sub-directors were for news and information Victor Walker (foreign journalist born in Lincoln, England in 1930), Alexandros Velios (Greek journalist born in Athens in 1953) and myself; sub-director fo culture was Niki Goulandri (born in Athens, former minister, vice president of the Museum of Natural History, vice president of the Greek Tourism Organization); and sub-directors of entertainment were Artemios (Demis) Roussos (born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1946, singer and composer), Giorgios Kokkinos (born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1942, composer and director of orchestra) and Marianna Toli (singer, born in Athens in 1947).
"Using Lou's technical and programming knowledge and my good contacts, and with the cooperation of a local technician and a major Athens hotel which gave us some studio space, Olympic Action was launched over the city's turbulent airwaves. Apart from households, offices and commuting vehicles, its blend of news and entertainment could be heard in hotel rooms, the nearby islands and in yachts and ferries plowing the seas of Attica. Franchises were given for free to major islands such as Rhodes and Corfu, in the hope that eventually a nationwide network would be created - in a country where the tourist population exceeds that of the locals," Anastasi said.
However, the reality was harsher than the dream was sweet, Anastasi recalls.
"The lack of official permits, and the financial battle for larger and larger transmitters and electricity to overcome the interference, meant that in effect only half the city at best could receive a quality signal. Officials acknowledged the theoretical importance of an English-language station with BBC and VOA quality programming, especially since it blended local news with vital info on the country's vast tourism, cultural and entertainment scene. But they could do little to satisfy the more than 200 applications for no more than 40 frequencies," Anastasi said.
Then came a godsend, or so Anastasi thought. It was the bid for the 1996 Olympics and the near-certainty that Athens would win that bid.
"This led to a new burst of enthusiasm and effort to help the station stand on its feet, as the group of foreign correspondents convinced authorities that it was unthinkable for a city hosting the Olympics not to have an English-language station. Alas, in the final Olympic bid Athens came a very close second to Atlanta, and Greece went into a sort of mourning and another bout of anti-Americanism," Anastasi said.
In the years ahead, the question of a foreign language radio station went on-and-off again, in accordance with its financial fortunes.
"The parallel launching of a weekly newspaper and a monthly magazine by the same team of foreign journalists helped to keep the campaign alive, in the sense that the publications provided a platform for self-promotion and for details on the quality program. All the same, the battle for frequencies continued, and it was a losing one for anyone who was not part of some major publishing group or dependent on a wealthy media tycoon," Anastasi added.
Then came the Olympics opportunity again, and this time the Greek effort was victorious for the year 2004 and with AIR 104.4 FM appearing.
 
ATHINA 98.4
After a period without foreign language radio (except for the government-run ERT radio programs), I decided on August 6, 1995, to write to new general manager of Athens municipal radio station Athina 98.4 FM, Theofrastos Economidis, requesting that foreign language programming be included on the station.
"I read with interest in a magazine that Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos is interested in providing information through the radio station for foreigns living and visiting Athens. In this effort, please allow me to offer my services," I wrote to Economidis then.
Economidis invited me a short time later to prepare proposals for such an effort which I presented to him on October 24, 1995.
That was followed by proposals by me on March 11, 1996 for foreign language news/programs in English, French and German.
I also provided information on how to promote the radio programs and suggested the programs be centered on the theme, "Metropolitan Radio, Athens 98.4."
During May 1996, training was held for the foreign language programs, which included myself in English, Marie-Teresa Legof in French and Petra Lehmann in German.
The first broadcast was on Tuesday, June 4, 1996 with news in English at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; news in French at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and news in German at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Cultural happenings were read in all three languages at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
The foreign language news reports and listing of cultural events continued on Athina 98.4 FM for a second year, weekdays for one minute each language together at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The reports included the top international news stories of the hour from the Associated Press as well as significant Greek news from the Athens News Agency and the Athens 98.4 FM news team, sports and the weather from Athens 98.4 FM meteorologist Nikos Kantares. At 6:30 p.m. the metropolitcan radio station provided a listing of cultural events which were reach in all three languages, one-minute reports each.
"As you know there are scores of foreigners who live in Athens as well as thousands of tourists who visit the country and we want to serve them as best we can," said Avramopoulos.
The broadcasts continued in 1998, as well, with Thomas Muller replacing Lehmann on the German side.
On June 17, 1998, the final newscast was heard on Athina 98.4 FM. Here is the script of the news broadcast at 8:30 a.m. in English:
Good morning, it's 8:30 and this is Louis Economopoulos with news in a minute on Athens 98.4.
Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in Cardiff, Wales that he rejected a telephone plea from U.S. President Bill Clinton to improve relations between the European Union and Turkey.
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has accepted most of the international demands for seeking peace in Kosovo but he says there will be no immediate withdrawal of troops.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has upheld the freedom of British nanny Louise Woodward.
A woman in the U.S. has given birth to baby boy in the first ever live broadcast of a birth on the Internet.
In sports, the Detroit Red Wings became the first National Hockey League team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since 1992 as they completed a sweep of the Washington Capitals with a 4-1 victory behind two goals by Doug Brown.
World Cup soccer action in France last night saw Scotland and Norway play to a 1-1 draw and Brazil overpower Morocco 3-0.
Tonight China plays Austria and Italy faces Cameroon.
Athens weather, sunny with a high temperature of 33 degrees Celsius.
This is the last morning news report in English on Athens 98.4 until September as the station will be moving to new studios.
Tune in at 4:30 this afternoon for more news on Athens 98.4.
The station did move to new studios at Gazi, but we were never called back to continue the broadcasts.
On August 24, 2000 I faxed a letter to the new director of Athina 98.4 FM, Vasilis Talamangas, mentioning that in an interview with Athens News he said the station was considering bringing back foreign language programming.
A few days later I was invited to meet Talamangas at the station in Gazi and he mentioned to me that Athina 98.4 FM was considering foreign language programs for Greeks living abroad to be broadcast view satellite.
That project never got off the ground and I was never contacted again.

 
AIR 104.4 FM
In January 2003, Anastasi asked me to join the International Media Department of the Athens Municipality of which he was the director under Mayor Dora Bakoyanni and which was mainly set up for the Athens 2004 Olympics. One of the projects which Anastasi had planned for Athens was to create a radio station serving the foreign community and guests of the Greek capital. Due to my experience in radio programming, Anastasi asked me to come up with a proposal for the radio station.
First on my mind was to come up with a name for the station. I came up with Athens International Radio, with the initials AIR.
I set up a program guide which included the best from the BBC World Service, programs from Radio France Internationale (RFI), Radio France Internationale Music and local programming from the International Media Department, including a morning magazine program which I called Good Morning Athens which was to be live with news, features, traffic reports, weather reports, interviews, cultural events listing, financial news, Olympics news, City of Athens news, tourism news, etc. which would last 2.5 hours.
Also included in my first guide for AIR was news in English, musical programs in English, news in German, news in French, news in Spanish, The Voice of Albania, The Voice of Bulgaria, The Voice of Russia, The Voice of Poland, The Voice of Romania, The Voice of the Philippines (all featuring news and features in those languages), and musical programs in French from RFI.
Special weekend shows I lined up in my program guide was Greek Musical Delight to be hosted by International Media Department member Maria ParavantesTake It Easy hosted by me and featuring easy listening songs, Visiting Hellas hosted by International Media Department member Helen Iatrou consisting of a musical show with Greek tourism news and features and On The Way To The Olympics hosted by Anastasi featuring music and news about the Athens Olympics.
On Saturday, March 6, 2004, Bakoyanni held a reception for the international media and diplomatic representatives at Zappeion Congress Hall in Athens to present the projects of the International Media Department of the City of Athens, Mayor's Cabinet, headed by Anastasi.
"We are here today to assume you that I, as Mayor of Athens, along with our International Media Department, have plans to make Athens as user-friendly as possible for the thousands of visiting foreign journalists and their associates, for the hundreds of thousands of permanent foreign residents in Athens, and for the millions of tourists," Bakoyanni said.
"For the first time in the history of any city hosting Olympic Games, this week we launched a 24-hour international radio station on 104.4 FM, featuring news and entertainment from the world-renowned BBC World Service. It broadcasts mainly in English, but will also contain programs and valuable news and useful advice in French and German, as well as news in brief in six more languages. The Athens International Radio station, which we have launched in cooperation with the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, will become a valuable companion for foreigners and English-speaking Greeks in Athens and the surrounding regions, and especially for the foreign press," she added.
Bakoyanni also mentioned the launching of a weekly magazine and guide, a news agency for tourism and culture news, the setting up of an International Press Club and a website to explain all the different activities of the International Media Department.
As for the radio station, Bakoyanni turned over the responsibility to starting it to the municipal radio station Athina 98.4 FM and its director Giannis Politis and the new director of AIR 104.4 FM Thanos Economopoulos (no relation to me).
"AIR 104.4 FM obtained quality studios within the municipal broadcasting quarters and a very modest budget. But the original idea and programming soon fell victim to Greek realities. Dora Bakoyanni followed the usual practice of seeking first to satisfy political friends. So the radio station fell into the hands of Greek journalists with little understanding of the needs of tourists or local foreign communities," Anastasi said.
The protests by Anastasi and myself were answered with a quick execution.
"We were summoned to a meeting in the mayor's office where, to our total surprise, we were faced by Dora Bakoyanni, her 26-year-old son Costas, her son-in-law Dimitris, and one of her chief advisers, along with Politis. With only two months to go to the Olympics, I was removed altogether from the International Media Department that I founded and organized, and Lou was confined to non-radio work. Dora's young son Costas, with no media experience to his record, was put in charge of the international media as aide to his mother," Anastasi recalled.
Anastasi wrote a note to the mayor requesting that I be involved in the station on a more permanent basis, perhaps to help the situation from turning into a mess.
Thus I was asked to join the first meeting of the station which was held in May 2004 and included 20 persons who were invited by Politis from Athina 98.4 FM to join the new AIR 104.4 FM. He said he chose the staff because of their knowledge of foreign languages, but also because this would be a way to save their jobs at the station.
Thanos Economopoulos had told me in a meeting separately with him that the only job open to me was the Good Evening Athens program and that I would be the head of the program and should prepare its contents.
After the departure of Thanos Economopoulos, Politis assigned Ersie Vatou and Panos Polyzoidis as directors of AIR 104.4 FM with Vana Theoharatou as the station's secretary.
The first AIR 104.4 FM staff consisted of Alexia Amvrazi, Nickie Achimastos, Vanessa Alexakis, Tom Alexopoulos, Lou Economopoulos, Dimitris Dodis, Kalliopi Gonidaki, Lida Filippaki, Theodoris Zefkilis, Dionysis Iliadis, Teo Ioannou, Kerry Jacobs, Antonis Karayiannakis, Elena Karanatsi, Christos Karanatsis, Maria Katopodi, Vasiliki Kotzia, Vana Koutroulou, Ioulia Kostopoulou, Nickie Lymberaki, Elinda Lampropoulou, Takis Loukakis, Nick Malkoutzis, Tassos Mavris, Glyka Maglivera, Maria Nikolaidou, Eleftheria Pantziou, Barney Spender, Elen Skopi, Robert Stadler, Ioanna Stavropoulos, Lambrini Thoma, Magda Trichon, Thymis Tsiliopoulos, Apostolos Vaksevanelis, Constantine Venizelos, Alexandra Voudouri and Stavros Zorbas.
Others added to the staff later were Nasim Alatras, Iason Athanasiadis, Panagis Galiatsatos, Maria Kangelidou, Theoni Papas, George Petropoulos, Antonis Pothitos, Danny Vergou
and Georgia Voulieri.
A lot of people for a small radio station and way beyond what Anastasi and I had planned.
Nevertheless, AIR 104.4 FM's first locally-produced broadcast took place in English at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 5, 2004, the day after Greece won the Euro 2004 soccer championship in Lisbon. During the course of that week, the station also began broadcasting in 11 other languages.
I was asked by Vatou and Polyzoidis to host Good Morning Athens with Alexia Amvrazi, which I accepted without question and in July 2004 we were on the air providing a solid magazine program, featuring Athens 2004 Olympics news and results.
In November 2004 I began producing Light Air, an easy listening show on Sundays with plenty of light music together with news, entertainment, weather, etc.
One month later I stopped working on the Good Morning Athens program to spend more time on my other jobs.
"Now that you're leaving news and current affairs as far as AIR is concerned (and, if I am not mistaken, you're the first of the 'pioneers' to do so - you've been there from the very beginning of the project), I just want to tell you that it has been great working with you and learning from your talent and experience, which the station has drawn a lot on. Frankly, the whole thing (however high or low one rates it) would hardly have been possible without you and very few other people," wrote Polyzoidis in an e-mail message to me on December 30, 2004.
The same day I sent the following e-mail to my colleagues at AIR 104.4FM:
"Just a couple of words to show my appreciation for all of you in helping make my chore at Good Morning Athens an enjoyable one all these months.
AIR is a team project and in the mornings this could not be further from the truth.
I had a lot of help from my friends.
Thank you all.
And for all those who had wished that I would stumble on some words and make an ass of myself on AIR, for a number of times your wish came true.
Seriously though folks, thanks for the memories.
As for me, I will not vanish from thin AIR.
I will be floating away on Light Air on Sunday afternoons, and I do hope you all will join me there.
See you on the AIR waves."
On January 15, 2005, AIR co-director Ersie Vatou hosted a party at her home in Korydallos where we cut the traditional vasilopita cake.
In October 2006, Vatou and Polyzoidis left the station and the new director Giannis Synodinos took over and I was once again appointed to host Good Morning Athens on June 4, 2007.
I made many changes to the format of the show and here's what the program looked like then:
The Sunday program Light Air turned into Rock N'Roll Radio Reunion in 2007, featuring pop hits of the past.
One of the highlights of news coverage on AIR 104.4 FM was the fires in the Peloponnese which was covered by the station on August 24-26, 2007. As a show of appreciation, the co-directors of the station, Antonis Alafogiorgos and Giannis Synodinos, gave out the following announcement on August 26, 2007 thanking all the staff for their efforts:
On September 15 and 16, 2007, I hosted election special programs for the Greek parliamentary elections. On the program helping out was Asimina Tzatha, Eleftheria Pantziou, Vana Koutroulou, Christos Karanatsis, Stavros Zorbas, Maria Katopodi (music) and Dimitris Dodis (sound engineer).
Wanting to further expand my participation in the station, in October 2007 I sent a proposal to the co-directors of AIR 104.4 FM for new shows I could host.
On Monday afternoon I suggested Country Air, featuring the top 10 Hot Country Billboard songs of the week; on Tuesday afternoons I suggested Air Blast, featuring the top 10 R&B/Hip Hop Billboard songs of the week; on Wednesday afternoons I suggested Air Flow, featuring the top 10 Rock Billboard songs of the week; on Thursday afternoons I suggested Light Air, featuring the top 10 Adult Contemporary Billboard songs of the week; on Friday afternoons and repeated on Satuday afternoons I suggested Hot Air, featuring the top 10 Hot 100 Singles Billboard songs of the week; Monday to Friday evenings I suggested Night Moves featuring new song releases and features like Living WellBonehead of the Day AwardShowbiz SceneBillboard  In A Minute; and on Sunday afternoons I suggested Top American Hits Countdown, featuring the top 50 Hot 100 Billboard songs of the week.
What was accepted was Night Moves on Saturday nights and Top American Hits Countdown on Sunday afternoons.
For a short time in 2007 I also hosted with Asimina TzathaWeekend Blastoff, from 7-9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
In 2009 the AIR 104.4 FM English staff consisted of Athena Korlira (Editor in Chief, Financial Editor), Helen Skopis (Presenter/co-editor Good Evening Athens), Barney Spender (Presenter/ co-editor Good Evening Athens), Elinda Labropoulou (Journalist/co-presenter Good Evening Athens), Thymis Tsiliopoulos (Presenter/editor Good Morning Athens), Katerina Batzaki (Journalist/Presenter Good Morning Athens), Vaso Sklirou (Journalist/ producer Good Morning Athens), Eleftheria Pantziou (Tourism editor, City of Athens editor), Lefteris Yalouros (Journalist/Good Morning Athens), Alexandra Voudouri (Diplomatic correspondent), Jina Moscholiou (Journalist/Good Morning Athens), Maria Katopodi (Music producer), Antonis Karayiannakis (Journalist), Panos Polyzoidis (Journalist), Christos Karanatsis (Journalist), Riva Lavva (Journalist), Alexia Amvrazi (Journalist), Asimina Tzatha (Journalist), Kostis Nikiforakis (Music producer), Jo Borchelle (Music producer), Dimitris Triantafyllidis (Journalist), Konstantinos Nasiri (Journalist), Glyka Maglivera (Journalist), Elena Karanatsi (Journalist) and Lou Economopoulos (Journalist); the Russian staff consisted of Elena Contratova (Journalist) and Alexandros Souprounov (Music producer); the Spanish staff consisted of Elia Ramirez (Journalist); the French staff consisted of Magda Trishon (Journalist), Nefeli Tzannetakou (Journalist) and Natasa Digoni (Journalist); the Polish staff consisted of Beata Panagiotopoulou (Journalist); the Bulgarian staff consisted of Valeria Spyrova (Journalist); the German staff consisted of Elisa Hubel (Journalist); the Romanian staff consisted of Veronica Tontor (Journalist); the Albanian staff consisted of Barda Manche (Journalist); the Filipino staff consisted of Veronica Corpuz (Journalist); the Italian staff consisted of Tassos Mavris (Journalist); the Arabic staff consisted of Christina Pavlakis (Journalist); and in charge of the AIR 104.4 FM portal, Niki Lymperaki (Journalist).
Throughout my time with AIR 104.4 FM I helped the station create jingles for the various programs with the help of Ben Freedman, Bill Elder and Spencer Cork, and for my own programs, I also used the voices of Stephen Lawrence and Jeffrey Hutchens.
The problems for AIR 104.4 FM began on September 16, 2010, when an Athens prosecutor confiscated the station's transmitters on Mount Hymettus on the grounds that AIR 104.4 FM was operating without a valid license. This led to the station ceasing its broadcasts on the FM band, leaving it only with its 24-hour web livestream.
The National Radio Television Council reviewed the station's status on September 21, 2010 and refused to issue a temporary license for AIR 104.4 FM.
AIR 104.4 FM issued the following statement on September 17, 2010:
"The public prosecutor's office proceeded yesterday with the unacceptable action of shutting down the transmission equipment of Athens International Radio 104.4 FM, the foreign language radio program of Municipal station 'Athina 98.4 FM.' This comes shortly before the National Radio Television Council is due to opine on the station's status next Tuesday, September 21, 2010.
AIR-FM provides news and entertainment to the immigrants and all foreigners living and working in Athens, as well as the city's visitors, while at the same time it serves as a cohesive reference point for the capital's foreign communities.
AIR-FM is considered a unique global radio innovation as it has been broadcasting news and entertainment programs in 16 languages since 2004. It also broadcasts, as media partners, programs from the world's largest news networks (BBC World Service, Radio France Internationale, Deutsche Welle, China Radio International).
Furthermore, AIR-FM is the exclusive broadcasting vehicle in Greece for China Radio International, and has been forced to close its transmission on the FM frequency as Athens prepares to welcome the Prime Minister of China, Wen Jiabao.
Foreign embassies and news agencies have already been informed and we request that all relevant ministers, Giannis Ragousis (Minister of Interior, Decentralization and Electronic Government), Dimitris Reppas (Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks) and Giorgos Petalotis (Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister & Government Spokesperson), as well as all municipal representativbes state their position on the underlying motives behind the abrupt closure of a station that provides a public service for citizens without commercial objectives.
AIR-FM will continue its 24-hour broadcasting normally over the internet."
On September 20, 2010, the International Press Office of the City of Athens issued the following statement:
"Athens City Council examined the matter of the confiscation of a transmitter belonging to Athens International Radio (AIR) 104.4 FM, the foreign language program of Athina Municipal Radio 98.4 FM, during its September 20, 2010 meeting and passed a unanimous resolution stating that it:
- considers the method via which the public prosecutor chose to implement the law to be selective and, for the most part, unjustifiable, considering that AIR 104.4 FM provides a community service as well as the arbitrariness that presently reigns in terms of utilization of radio frequencies, which are public property.
- condemns the delay in the matter of issuing a license to AIR and calls for the immediate enforcement of a regulatory provision, as foreseen by the 'Roussopoulos law,' in order for the matter to be settled.
- authorizes Athina Municipal Radio 98.4 FM (DERA) to undertake all possible legal measures in order to revoke the confiscation of municipal property.
- will be represented by Athina Municipal Radio chairman Athanasios Kafezas and legal counsel Themis Sofos at tomorrow's meeting of the National Radio and Television Council, which will opine on the matter of AIR's license.
- supports the public right to qualitatively inform citizens on a non-profit basis.
- recognizes AIR's contribution to promoting the city and the integration of its migrants.
- and demands the immediate resumption of AIR 104.4 FM operations."
The employees of AIR 104.4 FM held a protest rally on October 27, 2010 outside the Dorian Inn Hotel in downtown Athens where a meeting of candidates for the municipality of Athens for the elections took place.
Here is the statement issued by the employees of AIR 104.4 FM then:
In February 2011, the new director of Athina 98.4 FM Takis Kambilis decided that 83 employees of both his station and AIR 104.4 FM had to be fired to save money as the two radio stations owned by the municipality were in debt.
I was one of those fired. What bothered me more about the firing was that I was not told by the station, but I found out about it from websites. Probably very unique to have the creator of the station being fired by the same station. Nevertheless, this ends my story with AIR-FM and a few years later the station closed.
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Mutual Broadcasting System

One of my first assignments as a foreign correspondent in Greece back in 1979 was with Mutual Broadasting System of the U.S. which later became Westwood One and included NBC Radio Network News.
I covered a number of important stories from 1979 to 2000 including Swissair plane crash at Athens Airport (October 8, 1979), Olympics in Greece (February 21, 1980), tanker sinking in Pylos (March 11, 1980), Weiberger's visit to Athens (March 30, 1980), Greece enters the European Union (January 1, 1981), Athens earthquake (February 24-25, 1981), earthquake (March 5, 1981), Syrian plane (March 14, 1981), voting (October 18, 1981), poll results (October 18, 1981), Papandreou wins election (October 21, 1981), Moscow reaction (October 24, 1981), hijacking (December 8, 1981), economics (December 14, 1981), Haig visit (May 15-16, 1982), Arafat visit (September 1, 1982), Tikhanon visit (February 21, 1983), assasination (November 15, 1983), Arafat visit (December 9, 1983), Greek president resigns (March 10, 1985), Greek general elections (May 2 and June 2, 1985), airport security (November 24, 1985), bombing of TWA flight (April 2-3, 1986), naval base (March 28, 1987), bomb blast (June 28, 1988), cruise ship (October 21, 1988), Onassis funeral (November 25, 1988), Greek elections (June 18, 1989), cruise bombing (June 29, 1989) and oil spill (May 3, 1992). My first boss at Mutual was Charles F. Eldridge, Director of News Operations and later Rachael Myers Lowe, Assignment Manager.
When Mutual became part of Westwood One, NBC Radio Networks was added meaning a network news programming to over 1,500 affiliated radio stations in the United States.

Various

In 1981 I began working as corrspondent in Greece for Independent Radio News (IRN) which supplied a service of national and international news to 34 independent radio stations in the United Kingdom, under license from the Independent Broadcasting Authority.
Among the stations were Macquarrie National News, USA Radio News, Commercial Radio News Hong Kong, Capital News, 702 Eyewitness News and Radio Howrackie News.
My first boss at IRN was Ron Onions, Editorial Director followed by Tony Cook, IRN International Editor and Charles Morrissey, Editor of ITN Radio.

I was the Athens correspondent for Global Radio News from January 2003 to October 2011.

I was the correspondent in Athens in 1991 for Blue Danube Radio owned by Osterreichischer Rundfunk, Austria's national radio network.
Blue Danube Radio was an English-speaking radio station based in Vienna and heard in Central Europe.

In 1982 I began working as the correspondent in Greece for IBS News Limited (International Broadcast Services), a London-based, indepedent radio/TV news agency owned by Macquarie Broadcasting Corporation of Australia (the biggest commercial broadcasting network in Australia with radio stations in every capitay city of the country) that specialized in providing news, voice reports, actuality and analysis for use by English and Spanish language radio and TV services throughout the world. IBS News clients ranged from the West Indies, North and South America, through Europe, Africa and the Middle East, to the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.
My first boss at IBS News was Colin Gray, IBS Editor followed by News Editor Alex Wynter.

I was the correspondent in Greece in 1991 for Central Broadcasting out of Nottingham, England with Central News East Editor Derek Braithwaite as my boss.

In 1990 I began working for 702 News, a radio station out of Johannesburg, South Africa.

In 1993 I provided assistance to the crew of Trans World International of London, England for its new weekly international football (soccer) program with news and features from all around the world with producer for Futbol Mundial Jamie Baker and his assistants Nicholas Etherton (Producer/Director) and Michelle Amato.
In Greece to do the filming were Baker, Etherton and cameraman James Saligari.
We attended the Greece vs. Russia World Cup qualifying match at the Athens Olympic Stadium on November 17, 1993 as well as the Panionios vs. Olympiakos basketball game on November 20.
On November 16 we attended a practice session of the Greek national team at the Athens Olympic Stadium, a reception for the Greek and Russian national soccer teams, an interview with Olympics gold medal winner Voula Patoulidou at the athletic village near the Athens Olympic Stadium and a Panathinaikos basketball practice session in Glyfada for interviews with top players including Nick Galis.

I was a news writer/translator for Galaxy 92 FM radio station in Athens from January 1990 to December 1994.