A Most Unusual Broadcaster
News of the Times from Cuba
Radio Reloj is a Cuban news station – very unusual because the station does not broadcast music, the only background noise is the ticking of a clock that can be heard during broadcasts. In its beginnings, Radio Reloj did not have journalists and it was an announcer who read copies of the CMQ television newscasts.
CMQ was a Cuban radio and television network. CMQ began on March 12, 1933, as a radio station in Havana and later became a national radio and television network. Pre-revolutionary Cuba was advanced in new technologies, and Cuba was the first Latin American country to have Television.
In December 1946, station CM-21P made an experimental live broadcast from different locations. Regular commercial broadcasts began on October 24, 1950, with Unión Radio TV. CMQ-TV was officially launched on March 11, 1951, and it became an affiliate of NBC. By 1954, CMQ-TV had expanded into a network made up of seven stations.
With the CMQ network, Cuba became the second country in the world to have a national television network. After the ‘Cuban Revolution’ of 1959 and the subsequent elimination of advertising in 1960, CMQ-TV was transferred into State control and became what is now Cubavisión. Going back to Radio Reloj, his studio was installed in a small barracks transformed into a studio, installed on the roof of the headquarters of the CMQ network, in the centre of Havana. The furniture was limited to a table, a microphone, two chairs, and the metronome.
Over the years, the station grew and new broadcasting and journalism professionals joined its staff. On March 13, 1957, his studies were taken over by young people from the ‘Revolutionary Directorate’, who took over the antenna to transmit their messages and fired shots from their weapons. From the first hours of the Cuban Revolution, the radio followed all the news.
75 years later, Radio Reloj has remained true to tradition and remains the only Cuban station that broadcasts the news, and the time, minute-by-minute, 24 hours a day, completely live. Radio Reloj strives to transmit, as quickly as possible, national and foreign information with brevity, clarity and truthfulness – under the ticking of the alarm clock. The radio also has two websites, one in Spanish and one in English. Transmission is ensured by Radiocuba - Señal Radio y TV on 22 medium wave transmitters and an FM network. The station also transmits online on the web.
(Source: Martín Butera | Radio Reloj)