Voice of Russia Radio launches in NYC, DC


Well, in DC we have 50-KW China Radio International on 1190 kHz and now Voice of Russia (VOR) Radio on 5-kW Way Broadcasting’s WZHF-AM 1390. While VOR announced 6/9 the launch the stations in New York (Multicultural Radio Broadcasting’s WNSW) and DC, the DC station has actually been on air since March and WNSW since January.

The new stations air live programming with the Russian perspective (in English) on international news, culture, arts and events.  The stations mark the first time VOR will produce programming directly from the United States rather than broadcasting news from the Moscow-based radio program. VOR has always reached the US via shortwave and for a time in the late 70s on 600 kHz from Cuba.

“This is a very significant move for Voice of Russia because it is the first time in the history of the station that material being broadcast to the North American market will actually originate and be produced locally,” said Andrei Bystritsky, Chairman of VOR.  VOR has been broadcasting since October 29, 1929, and was the first radio station to broadcast internationally to provide a Russian perspective on news and culture.  VOR currently broadcasts to 160 countries in 38 languages for a total of 151 hours per day, on short and medium waves, in the FM band, via satellite and through a global mobile communications network.  The Washington, D.C. station will employ over 15 correspondents throughout the U.S. who will cover stories on culture, sports, science and politics. 

To officially kick-off the DC station, Bystritsky hosted a panel discussion on 6/9 that focused on the changes of Russian and U.S. approaches to public diplomacy since the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago; the impact of an American broadcast on attitudes and perceptions toward U.S.-Russian relations; and, the value of international broadcast programs.

The panel was moderated by Angela Stent , the Director for the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and feature as panelists Andrei Bystritsky , VOR Chairman; Joseph Duffey, former Director of the United States Information Agency; Thomas Graham, former senior director at the National Security Council for Russia; Rudiger Lentz, former Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for Deutsche Welle; and, Dr. Elez Biberaj, Director of the Eurasia Division for Voice of America. The discussion was held from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the National Press Club.