Radio  Finland  audience  services
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Sivuston ylläpito: Juhani Niinistö. Lainata voi lähde mainiten.

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YLE  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 North America.

Based 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.

When YLE  Radio Finland  started  creating a  local audience  service presence in North America   Mr Berky was  a rational choice.  The  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.

Teri Schultz

Broadcaster  Teri Schultz  in an event at Norfolk, VA, in September 1991. This was a general short wave listeners fair, attended by several European broadcasters.  The screen and VHS  kept repeating an eight minute  promotional video produced in 1988, with versions both in English and German. This photo was used for pr at the time. There was a version there were people in abundance  in front of the table. As permissions to appear in publicity was not asked,  that was not published.


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.


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.  Radio Finland appeared also in events in Australia.  From 1999  regional caucus meetings of the  Finnish Expatriate Parliament were  taped and broadcast later on Radio Finland in Finnish.

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.