Radio Reloj – every Minute the time and in between News

Radio Reloj is an unusual Cuban radio station that announces the time every minute. Between the time there are news, but of course very short ­čśë

Radio Reloj has been broadcasting since 1947 and is the first 24-hour information radio station in the world.

The structure: the tick, tick, tick of seconds

The radio station can be recognized quite easily by its ticking: every second you hear the sound of a clock pointer, while in the foreground the messages are read: tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…..

Every full minute the name of the station is read out, followed with a beep, the time is announced and”RR” is sent in Morse code. Afterwards, they continue with the news.

The station transmits up to 300 different news snippets, which are read by one or two speakers throughout the day. There is no music and no ready-made recordings, everything is read live.

But that also means: almost all messages are brought to a 1-minute format, just like the son who asks his father: “Daddy, why does just as much happen in the world every day as fits in a newspaper?” ­čśë

But not quite, because a message that is too long can – as an exception – be divided into two or more news blocks. And if the message is too short – this can also happen, then the space will be filled with event announcements or interesting facts.

In “Havana Black” Leonardo Padura has set a monument to Radio Reloj describing how Hurricane Lilly is heading for the island:

“A tropical cyclone is not a rebellion of the forces of nature against man, nor is it a curse of heaven or the revenge of the atmosphere for the plundering of the planet. It’s simply an atmospheric phenomenon over the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that always occurs at this time of year, caused by low pressure systems with high speed winds forming around their centers as they develop in the northern hemisphere, counterclockwise,” the radio announcer said, closing the announcement: “Radio Reloy, eight o’clock and six minutes.”

At midnight and at noon the complete times of 20 different cities are read out, as Manu Chao also immortalized in his song “Me gustas tu” with sound samples: “Doce de la noche en La Habana, Cuba. Once de la noche en San Salvador, El Salvador. Once de la noche in Managua, Nicaragua…”

Where you can listen to Radio Reloj

Radio Reloj used to be heard only in Cuba and the surrounding countries, as far as south Florida. Nowadays, you can listen to Radio Reloj via satellite, but much more conveniently, via the Internet:

Radio Reloj live on the Internet

A little story on the reception of Radio Reloj: when in 1999 the radio station WMCA from New York went offline for a few days for maintenance work, the weather was so good that Radio Reloj, which broadcasts on the same frequency, could be heard instead – the radio waves carried from Santa Clara to New York!

By the way, there is now also an official branch of Radio Reloj in Miami!

Have fun listening to Radio Reloj,
Saludos desde Berlin,
Dietmar

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