Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Listeners lament end of BCC radio transmissions

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) name and logo are pictured on the station’s office building in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

After the Broadcasting Corp of China’s (BCC) Formosa Network and Music Network ended transmissions yesterday, listeners on Facebook lamented their discontinuation, saying that the radio programs were an inseparable part of their daily lives.

The two networks were shut down at midnight yesterday in line with the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) decision in August last year to reassign the two radio frequencies to the Hakka Affairs Council and the Council of Indigenous Peoples.

The BCC began broadcasting its Music Network programs in 1987, playing music from 8am until 11pm every day interrupted by occasional advertisements, station reports and news broadcasts from 7pm to 8pm. The network’s broadcasts largely played foreign music and were mostly automated by computer until 1992 when it hired its first program host, Lee Tieh-fei (李蝶菲).

In 1995 it started 24-hour programming, and it underwent a name change in 1999 to Wave Radio, at which time it took on more hosts and hired singer Elva Hsiao (蕭亞軒) to record the network’s jingle.

In 2007 it changed names again to iRadio when it replaced hosts and hired Taiwanese-American actor Wilber Pan (潘瑋柏) for promotional material.

“I must have the radio tuned to 96.3 whenever I am in the car — it is the sound I am most used to while driving,” one netizen said.

“[Music Network] is part of my everyday life,” another said.

Others criticized the government for the closure.

Formosa Network originally began operations as BCC Agriculture FM, but was later renamed BCC Hoklo FM. In 1999 it underwent a final transformation to become Formosa Network, broadcasting largely in Hoklo with some Mandarin programming, with a targed demographic of at least 30 years old.

Program content focused on health and work issues, travel, financial investment, new technology and drama programs.

The BCC said that despite the loss of its FM radio frequencies it would continue to broadcast over the Internet.

BCC chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) in 2007 agreed to unconditionally return the frequencies to the government, the NCC said.

The NCC sent a notice to the BCC in 2015 requesting the frequencies’ return stating it would reassign them to the Hakka Affairs Council and the Council of Indigenous Peoples.

In December last year the BCC was granted an extension of three months to prepare its listeners for the reassignment.

The BCC appealed the order to relinquish the frequencies with the Taipei High Court and won, but the appeal was overturned when the NCC took the case to the Supreme Court on March 16.

NCC Department of Broadcasting and Contents Director Huang Ching-yi (黃金益) said the BCC should have stopped broadcasting as soon as their appeal was overturned, adding that the frequencies cannot be used by others until the BCC ends its broadcasts to prevent interference.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday criticized the reclamation of the frequencies as a government attempt to clamp down on the media.

Hung said it was a “repulsive attempt to distract from the incompetence of the administration.”

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