World Radio Switzerland

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City of license Geneva
Broadcast area Switzerland
Branding WRS
Frequency DAB+ (in Switzerland)
Internet radio
Cable networks
First air date 5 November 2007
Format News, talk & popular music
Affiliations BBC World Service
Owner Anglo Media SA
Webcast [1]

World Radio Switzerland (WRS) is the only English-language radio station in the Lake Geneva region, Switzerland.

Until October 2013, it broadcast on 101.7 MHz FM in the Lake Geneva region, and now continues on DAB+ digital radio in Western Switzerland. It can also be heard through live streaming on the WRS website and mobile apps.


WRS is 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 2012, WRS' parent corporation announced its intention to privatise the station.[1] As of December 2012, there were two bidders for the broadcaster.[2]

In 2013 the station was privatised and sold by the SBC to Anglo Media Group.

On 1 September 2013, WRS programmes were replaced by Anglo Media's previous web-only station, Radio Frontier. The name "WRS" has been kept by Anglo Media Group for the station's current iteration. The broadcasting on FM 101.7 MHz covering the Western part of the lake Geneva area stopped on 1 October 2013. The DAB+ signal covering the Swiss French Speaking region continues.

WRS currently produces three live presented programmes per day, additional contributed programmes, and a mixture of content from partners, like the BBC World Service.

The WRS website contains the station's programme offerings, local news for the Lake Geneva region, an events calendar, a local directory and a classifieds section.

Types of listeners[edit]

Most listeners of WRS live in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud and neighbouring border areas of France. Countries of origin include Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia, and others. According to a federal census, 739,000 Swiss speak English at work (16.9% of the working population).[3]

Station Awards[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5] The awards for broadcast journalism were presented for a small-market, international station. Award-winning stories included a series reported from revolutionary Egypt,[6] a newscast after a tragic bus crash in Valais,[7] and continuing coverage about Swiss banks,[8] among others. [5]

In the summer of 2013, WRS was awarded 'Radio Station of the Year' for the third time and the second year in succession for its percentage increase in listener audience.[9]

In 2014, WRS won three regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards for work completed before the station was privatised.[10] The winning entries include a report on "The Gender Gap" produced at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos;[11] a pair of reports about an Alpine river that died after a dam incident;[12] and a report about Switzerland's first stand-alone Hindu temple.[13]


External links[edit]