Radio World International - July 2012 - (Page 8)
RadioWoRld | radioworld.com
Sackville SW Transmission Farm for Sale
By James Careless
the sackville main building, where the powerful transmitters are housed. SACKVILLE, NEw BRuNSwICK — Since
1944 Sackville has been home to the famed Sackville shortwave transmission farm of Radio Canada International, formerly the CBC International Service. Originally built to transmit programming to Canadian troops overseas, the facility played a pivotal role in the shortwave battles of the Cold War. The reason: Sackville’s arsenal of 250 kW and 100 kW shortwave trans-
mitters, switched between large curtain array antennas located on 220 acres close to the Atlantic Ocean, meant that RCI’s multi-language broadcasts could be heard clearly in Europe, Africa and much of the Americas. In addition, Sackville carried the domestic radio programming of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to the distant Canadian north. On Oct. 31, 2012, all this will come to an end. Due to drastic budget cuts at RCI — $10 million (Canadian) cut from its $12.3 million budget — Canada’s international broadcaster will be vacating shortwave. Lacking money to keep Sackville running, “Our initial hope is to ﬁnd a buyer for the site, so that we can be spared the expense of dismantling it,” said Martin Marcotte, director of CBC/RadioCanada Transmission. “If we can’t ﬁnd a buyer, we will try to sell the equipment in parts. And if these two approaches fail, then we will have to spend a considerable amount of money demolishing the antennas and clearing the site.”
The end of An erA
the transmitters at sackville are immaculately maintained.
If Sackville does close, RCI will not be the only broadcaster affected. “Sackville has served as a major relay site for several other stations, which will now have to ﬁnd another relay or lose a lot of their North American audience,” said Glenn Hauser, host of the long-running shortwave listener show “World of Radio.” According to Hauser, broadcasters affected include China Radio International, Voice of Vietnam, Radio República for Cuba, Radio Martí, Vatican Radio, Radio Japan and Korea’s KBS World Radio. The Sackville transmission site is a pristinely maintained, if somewhat antiquated, transmission facility. There are three buildings on site. The ﬁrst is the main master con(continued on page 13)
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