“Birthday” station Wave expecting street level studio to boost visibility

Radio Wave studio, photo: archive of Czech Radio

The Czech Radio station Wave is today celebrating a major landmark; the youth and alternative station has now been delivering challenging music and all manner of arts and lifestyle reports for exactly a decade. To find out about Radio Wave’s big day and future plans, I spoke to its director of programming, Robert Candra. But I first asked him whether Wave’s removal from FM and conversion to an internet station two years after its 2006 launch had felt like a limitation.

Robert Candra,  photo: Khalil Baalbaki
“In a sense. But it’s not just internet of course, it’s digital. So you can listen to Radio Wave on your TV and on DAB as well as on the internet – on mobile phones and so on.

“And looking into the future, it will definitely become an advantage at one point.

“Because when radio services in general become digital we will have lots of years of experience up our sleeves. And we’ll use it, hopefully.”

Also I guess people are simply more online today than they were when you began in January 2006?

“Yes, of course. I wasn’t at Radio Wave from the very beginning. I came to the station in 2008, shortly after it became a digital only station.

“I remember that five years ago when we celebrated our fifth anniversary we had something like 5,000 Facebook fans.

“And just yesterday, the day before our 10th anniversary, we reached 25,000, which given the context of the Czech media scene is quite OK, I believe.”

Radio Wave studio,  photo: archive of Czech Radio
How are you celebrating the big birthday?

“In a big way! The programme today is birthday-themed. We have lots of guests coming in, congratulating us.

“We have lots of stuff that’s kind of behind the scenes, like bloopers, fails. We’re also playing what turned out to be the most popular piece broadcast on Radio Wave ever.

“We’re also celebrating the birthday, the anniversary, this coming Saturday at the Prague culture venue Meetfactory with Omar Souleyman, the Syrian music producer, and the Italian producer Clap, Clap.”

Tell us about this idea I’ve been hearing about that Radio Wave will, in a few months’ time, begin broadcasting on Vinohradská St., from the Radio here but at street level.

“This is one of the big birthday gifts to our station and from us to the audience.

“It’s going to be quite beautiful studio, newly built and modeled for us. It will have nice design inside.

“The whole point is to be seen, to allow people to contact us. You will be able when walking on Vinohradská St. to see what’s happening inside the studio.

Radio Wave team,  photo: archive of Czech Radio
“If there are musicians in the studio they can play live and it will have a very different feel.

“There will be a new and upgraded camera system so listeners from outside Prague can watch us in a quite decent way.

“It’s going to be far more like a party, like a contact thing.”