Radio Finland appears to have been the first European
international broadcaster to open an 800-line (toll free) in the US,
and later in Canada. Done in the very early 80s
the move had an expensive look, though the
cost actually was not that high. The
calls never reached Finland, but an answering system
at the office of John Berky, the YLE Radio
Finland audience and distribution representative in
near Hartford, CT, Mr Berky pursued his main career in
US public radio. He had been recruited by YLE originally
in 1973 to handle distribution of YLE
classical music and transcription tapes. In the
transcription service YLE English
programmes were made available to local stations in the US.
Radio Finland started creating a local
audience service presence in North America Mr Berky was a
requests for schedules were serviced
on location in North America. Comments reached
Finland on cassettes.
From 1989 until 2002 Radio Finland appeared
in the annual FinnFest events arranged on
various locations in the US. Mr Berky usually
arranged the logistics for the displays Seen here (left)
during an event in Minot, North Danota, with journalist
Kimmo Wilska and secretary Pirjo Usenius.
The German language service (relaunched in 1985)
pioneered events arranged abroad,
connected often with activities
arranged by Finnish expatriates in Germany
or events such as the Berliner Funkaustellung.
This picture is from Hamburg, in late 1990.
Seen from the left broadcaster Christiane
Winkelman, broadcaster Rasso Knoller and
producer Dieter Krause.
Simon Spanswick from the UK started
arranging pr and publicity services for the
international broadcasting scene in the early
90s. The service later developed into
the Association of International Broadcasting. YLE
Radio Finland was never a member. We
attended some early joint publicity
ventures though, including this (below) in
Geneva during a Telecom Fair there. From
the right, Simon Spanswick, Caroline Gasmi
(YLE French), Kimmo Wilska (YLE English and German)
and Juhani Niinistö.
One of the last
events participated by Radio Finland in North
America was the Finnish Canadian
Convention of 2002 in Calgary (Alberta). The
background display reflected the campaign
directed towards Finnish tourists and
expatriates, about the world band radio as a cost
saving alternative to a mobile internet gadget. At the time
of the Calgar event word was already out
that the foreign language services would close
and Radio Finland focussed on Finnish and
Swedish. - Seen here talking to listeners
technical coordinator Janne Nieminen and
journalist Salme Unkuri.
More pictures featuring events abroad will
be added later.