World Radio Switzerland
World Radio Switzerland (WRS) is the only 24 hour, English-language broadcast radio station in Switzerland.
|City||Geneva Zurich Basel Zug Lucerne|
|Broadcast area||Switzerland |
|Frequency||DAB+ (in Switzerland) |
|First air date||5 November 2007|
|Format||BBC News, local news, weather, traffic, chat, lifestyle, interviews, what's on and popular music|
|Affiliations||BBC World Service|
|Owner||Anglo Media SA|
Until October 2013, it broadcast on 101.7 MHz FM in the Lake Geneva region, and now continues on DAB+ digital radio across Switzerland. It can also be heard through live streaming on the WRS website, internet radio hubs and mobile apps.
WRS has been owned, since 1 September 2013, by Anglo Media SA. The radio station's broadcast operations are headquartered at 9, Rue de Veyrot, Meyrin, 1217 in Geneva, Switzerland.
In the late 1980s, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) decided that an English-language radio station in Geneva would enhance its international reputation and provide a useful service to the international organizations established in the city. To that end, the SBC applied to the Federal Office of Communications for an FM frequency. The first application, made in 1992, was rejected. The application was resubmitted in 1995 and then granted. However, by that time the Federal Office of Communications made it clear that all new radio stations had to be commercial.
World Radio Geneva began broadcasting on 25 June 1996 and officially ended on 12 October 2007 after a change in the law integrated the radio station into the Swiss public service. World Radio Switzerland launched on 5 November 2007 as a public service broadcaster, available on digital radio across Switzerland.
In 2013 the station was privatised and sold by the SBC to Anglo Media Group.
The name "WRS" and some features of the former public service broadcaster were retained by Anglo Media Group, which had previously operated an internet station: Radio Frontier. The broadcasting on FM 101.7 MHz covering the Western part of the lake Geneva area stopped on 1 October 2013 while the DAB+ signal covering the Swiss French Speaking region and the Swiss German Speaking region continues alongside internet, mobile and WRS app listening.
WRS currently produces live presented programmes across each day, additional lifestyle contributed programmes, together with hourly international news and thematic programmes from the BBC World Service.
The WRS website contains the station's programme offerings, local Swiss news, an events calendar, a local directory, property advertising and a classifieds section.
Types of listeners
Listeners of WRS live across Switzerland, and in over 100 additional countries, with core listening audiences in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud, neighbouring border areas of France, Zurich, Basel, Zug and Luzerne. Countries of origin include Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. According to a federal census, 739,000 Swiss speak English at work (16.9% of the working population).
In 2005, WRG - World Radio Geneva - was awarded 'Radio Station of the Year' as part of Swiss Radio Day.
In 2012, WRS was awarded 'Radio Station of the Year' as part of Swiss Radio Day. The award is given to one station in the German-speaking, and one in the French and Italian-speaking regions of the country for biggest net listener increase.
In 2013, while still part of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, WRS won five regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. The awards for broadcast journalism were presented for a small-market, international station. Award-winning stories included a series reported from revolutionary Egypt, a newscast after a tragic bus crash in Valais, and continuing coverage about Swiss banks, among others.
In 2014, WRS won three regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards for work completed before the station was privatised. The winning entries include a report on "The Gender Gap" produced at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos; a pair of reports about an Alpine river that died after a dam incident; and a report about Switzerland's first stand-alone Hindu temple.
- "SRG will World Radio Switzerland verkaufen," June 2012
- "World Radio Switzerland sale down to two bids," December 2012
- Federal Census 2010, Federal Office of Statistics
- "Radio 105 und WRS sind «Radios of the Year» 2012," August 2012
- 2013 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winners, April 2013
- A Week in Revolutionary Cairo
- Switzerland's Worst Bus Crash
- Continuing Coverage Swiss Banks
- Outgoing WRS wins radio of year award, GenevaLunch.com, August 2013
- 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winners, April 2014
- Davos: Gender Gap
- Destroyed Swiss River
- First stand-alone Hindu temple opens in Switzerland