BBC News reports Pope Benedict has given his blessing to taking ads on Vatican Radio, the voice of the Roman Catholic church. The broadcast goes commercial in July to meet rising costs. It is one of the world’s oldest broadcasters, first going on the air as long ago as 1931. But the station now costs about $30m a year to run and the Vatican has been looking for ways of raising new funding.
An agency is to vet the radio ads to make sure they are in keeping with moral standards. Vatican Radio’s first transmitter was designed by the Italian who carried out the world’s first long distance voice transmission – Guglielmo Marconi.
The station, known as the Voice of the Pope, broadcasts worldwide by short, medium and long wave, by FM in Rome, and also on the internet.
On 7/6 it will transmit its first commercial–the Italian electricity multinational ENEL as its first commercial radio sponsor. An agency will filter all radio ads to make sure they are in keeping with the high moral standards of the Catholic Church, according to the official Vatican spokesman.