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Goodbye, VOA Greek

BBG ends this language service after 72 years

Goodbye, VOA Greek.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is noting the end: “After 72 years on air, the Voice of America Greek Service — one of its longest-running language services — is signing off today for the last time, bidding adieu to loyal listeners in Greece, Cyprus, and beyond.” It tweeted the attached photo of VOA and BBG staff on Monday as part of the last day of programming (from left: Julie Parabaniuk, Rebecca McMenamin, Dimitris Manis, Elez Biberaj, Anna Morris, Vivian Chakarian, Matt Armstrong, Mark Prahl, Zoe Leoudaki, Alen Mlatisuma, Barbara Brady and Kelu Chao).

It quoted VOA Director David Ensor calling the service “a small but mighty group of talented, dedicated journalists, who for over seven decades served as an unbiased, objective news source.”

A BBG spokeswoman told Radio World the service employs three staff who will be reassigned within VOA. She said the end of the service was among cuts laid out in the fiscal 2014 budget.

According to a BBG summary, the Greek Service was established in 1942 “and went on to cover historic turning points of modern Greece, from the civil war in the late 1940s to the accession to the European Union, and most recently the country’s struggles to remain an integral part of the E.U.” BBG said it was among the first VOA services to move to a system of affiliate-based broadcasting in the 1990s.

It quoted Ioannis Spanolios, general manager of one of VOA’s first affiliates, SKAI Radio and TV in Greece, saying, “We are saddened because our collaboration that lasted close to a quarter century has come to a close…because we are losing a valuable news source from the other side of the Atlantic.”

This article includes a brief but interesting history of the transmission infrastructure there:

End of an Era (The Greek Radio)