Contact 94

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Contact 94
City of license Lessay
Broadcast area Normandy and Channel Islands
Slogan The latest hits, the greatest memories
Frequency 94.4, 93.8, 94.6 and 97.7 MHz
Language(s) English and French
Webcast http://listen.radionomy.com/contact94.m3u
Website http://www.contact94.net

Contact 94 was the name of a radio station that broadcast from Lessay in Northern France to Normandy and the Channel Islands between September 1988 and November 1991. The station broadcast on various frequencies during its time on air, including 94.4 FM, 93.8 FM, 94.6 FM and 97.7 FM.[1]

Launch[edit]

Contact 94 launched at 6am GMT on 5 September 1988 by former Radio Caroline disc jockey,[2] Kevin Turner. The first song played was "Good Day Sunshine" by The Beatles.[3]

History[edit]

Whilst the station was to broadcast Radio Nova,[1] via satellite, overnight and the equipment had arrived in advance of the launch, the engineer who had been due to install the equipment was stuck in Jersey due to a heavy fog. On the opening night therefore Paul Easton broadcast between 11pm and 3am, with a sustaining music tape filling the remaining hours until resumption of live programming the following morning.[4]

On 3 February 1989 the station went off air on 97.7 MHz. Rumours surfaced that this was an enforced closure by the French police pending an investigation by the authorities regarding whether the station was a 'pirate'. It was decided by regional courts that the station was broadcasting illegally and transmission equipment was confiscated. An appeal was successful in overturning this ruling and the station returned to the air.[1]

The station used a 950 MHz link between the studios at Lessay and its transmitter and one humorous incident in the stations history was when this signal was overcome by the ETACS analogue mobile phone signals on the island operated by Jersey Telecom in collaboration with Cellnet, [5] the result being that some local mobile telephone calls were in fact broadcast on Contact 94's FM frequencies.[1]

Broadcast[edit]

The programming schedules of Contact 94 were published in both the CTV Times and the Jersey Evening Post.[6]

Studios[edit]

The station had a complex of two studios,[7][8] based above the La Campagnette restaurant in Lessay, Normandy. The building was owned by station backer Alain Tardiff.[9]

Frequencies[edit]

During its time on the air, Contact 94 broadcast on various frequencies. The original frequency was 94.4 MHz, but the station later changed frequencies and was at various points heard on 93.8, 94.6 and 97.7 MHz. The reason for these multiple changes was never given. The 94.6 MHz frequency was the most problematic, being very close to BBC Radio 3's Jersey frequency of 94.8 MHz.[1]

The station broadcast using an 80kW transmitter.[9]

Output[edit]

The station broadcast twenty four hours a day at at launch and this was a combination of twenty hours in English, with the remaining four hours broadcast in French.[10] English broadcasts were produced by the station between 6am and 8pm, French transmissions followed this and the overnight hours were provided via satellite by Radio Nova.

News Programming[edit]

News bulletins were provided hourly from launch[1] and were originally in conjunction with Independent Radio News.[9] From March 1990 news output was provided in conjunction with the short-lived Astra satellite service of ITN Radio News.[11]

Advertising[edit]

Local advertising sales for the station were originally handled by a company set up by a former director of the Guernsey-based marketing and advertising agency Wallace Barnaby; Malcolm Corrigan.[10] Corrigan also worked for Contact 94.[12] While national (UK) sales for the station were handled by Independent Radio Sales, a subsidiary of Crown Communications, who also dealt with advertising sales for other 'off-shore' stations; Manx Radio and Radio Gibraltar.[13] IRS even went as far as offering a special rate card for those wishing to advertise on the 'offshore' stations they represented.[9] In August 1991, the station switched its national sales representation to a new company The Satellite and Radio Sales Company which had been set up by Gary Miele, former Sales Director at Kiss FM.[14]

Jingle Packages[edit]

Package 1 (1988) – Alfasound[9]

The station’s jingle package was a resing of the ‘Latest Hits, Greatest Memories’ jingle package, originally created for Beacon Radio in England.[9]

Staff[edit]

Presenters[edit]

Included:

Station Staff[edit]

At launch, the station staff were led by Peter MacFarlane who had previously worked for the Portsmouth and Southampton Independent Local Radio station; Ocean Sound.[12]

By the time the station closed in 1991, the sales director was Chris Kirby.[1] Other station staff included Malcolm Corrigan and Colin Cawthaw.[25]

Ownership[edit]

Contact 94 was owner by an Anglo-French consortium,[10] whose original members included the Jersey-based businessman, travel agent,[9] tour operator[1] and hotelier[9] Stephen Clipp[1] and the French restaurateur Alain Tardiff.[9] Clipp withdrew from the consortium during 1990.[1]

Closure[edit]

In November 1991 the Radio Authority advertised an Independent Local Radio license for Jersey, with a proposed frequency of 101.3 MHz. Those running the station at the time decided to enter the bidding process for the license and as a result, the decision was made to close Contact 94.[26] Contact 94 ceased broadcasting on 29 November 1991.[1]

Contact 94 After Closure[edit]

After closure the equipment was removed from the La Campagnette studios, although apart from this they remained intact even some seventeen years later.[27]

Those running the station had decided to bid for the Independent Local Radio license for Jersey and in March 1992, along with three other competitors (one had already withdrawn) they submitted their bid under the name of Jersey Music Radio. Despite a petition being signed in support of the application by Contact 94 fans,[28] the license was awarded to rival bidder; Channel Radio Limited in May, and they began broadcasting on an amended frequency of 103.7 MHz in October 1992 as Channel 103.[26]

Internet streaming[edit]

On 12 August 2013 an Internet radio station 'Contact 94 Tribute' began broadcasting at http://contact94.playtheradio.com/ and established a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/contact94

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Contact 94, Jersey Wavelength.
  2. ^ Caroline and Kevin, Bob Le-Roi.
  3. ^ a b Station Launch. Contact 94. 5 September 1988. 6am. (Available from Aircheckdownloads.com).
  4. ^ a b Hans Knot's International Radio Report - August 2004 (Part 2) Hans Knot's International Radio Report, The Offshore Radio Guide
  5. ^ Our History, JT Global.
  6. ^ States of Jersey (1989). States Minutes. 28 February 1989, p.5. (Available Online from States of Jersey)
  7. ^ Contact 94 Reunion - September 2008, Paul Easton Flickr Page.
  8. ^ Contact 94 Reunion - September 2008, Paul Easton Flickr Page.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i It Was 20 Years Ago Today..., Paul Easton.
  10. ^ a b c Campaign (1988). French Radio Station to Begin Bilingual Broadcasts to Channel Islands. Campaign, 18 August 1988, p.23
  11. ^ Broadcast (1990). ITN Radio News Gets First Advert. Broadcast, 3 August 1990, p.15
  12. ^ a b Broadcast (1988). Contact 94 Threatens Radio Row in Jersey. Broadcast, 9 September 1988, p.6
  13. ^ Media Week (1989). Crown Communications Subsidiary to Sell Radio Gibraltar's Air Time. Media Week, 6 January 1989, p.4
  14. ^ Media Week (1991). Radio Station Contact 94 Switches National Sales to The Satellite and Radio Sales Company. Broadcast, 9 September 1988, p.6
  15. ^ The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame 80's Supplement - 80s Disc-Jockeys A The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame
  16. ^ 'The Belle of the 60s' Scrapbook - Page Five Radio London
  17. ^ Hopcyn Bird UK Screen
  18. ^ a b c d e f 100 Ans de Radio - Contact 94 (Original French Version), Translation available at [1]
  19. ^ a b Hans Knot's International Radio Report - August 2004 (Part 1) Hans Knot's International Radio Report, The Offshore Radio Guide
  20. ^ a b c Contact 94 - Channel Islands Digital Spy Forums
  21. ^ Radio Gledders.co.uk
  22. ^ Rob Harrison - Interview by Roland Beaney Woodley Net
  23. ^ Presenters - Chris Pearson BFBS Radio
  24. ^ Hall of Fame Wireless Waffle Web Site
  25. ^ Contact 94 Reunion - September 2008, Paul Easton Flickr Page.
  26. ^ a b History - Broadcasting Milestones - Island of Jersey, Jersey Wavelength.
  27. ^ It Was 20 Years Ago Today... Part Two, Paul Easton.
  28. ^ Channel Islands (UK) - Jersey, Aircheck UK.

Further reading[edit]