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Radio Dedal, a Big, Small Station

Humble approach proves key for Serbian family-run station.

A view of Radio Dedal’s facilities. – Credit Ivica Stojanovic LESTANE, Serbia — Radio Dedal, located in the village of Lestane near Belgrade, targets a vast audience but prides itself on its small-town, humble approach.

Part of a family business, Jovan Stojanovic and his son Ivica launched Radio Dedal — the Serbian name for Daedalus, the Greek mythological character known for his craftsmanship and invention — in August 2008 with the goal of reaching a local audience.

Thanks to its enthusiastic staff, however, the station quickly decided to move beyond its local area and reach a much broader region: greater Belgrade. Ivica is the station manager and editor-in-chief. He works with a small but carefully chosen team.


Thanks to the father-and-son team’s experience in the field of telecommunications, they built, with the help of a construction company, the broadcasting studios for Dedal in Lestane. They chose a rooftop location and constructed an acoustically treated radio studio, control room and additional facilities for journalists.

Technician and DJ Predrag Teomirovic is shown in the control room. – Credit Ivica Stojanovic Radio Dedal facilities comprise a D&R Airlab MK2 broadcast console with 10 triple inputs and two telco inputs, RØde Precision 1 condenser broadcast mics, Beyerdynamic TG-X 80 mics, Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro headphones, Alesis M1 active monitor speakers, a Stanton C 402 CD/MP3 player, a Marantz ST6001 FM RDS tuner, webcast audio streaming equipment, an RDS unit and an FM stereo transmitter.

When the station won an FM license and started transmitting on 88.1 MHz, it was not immune to skeptics. Radio Dedal rapidly proved the naysayers wrong though and began bearing fruit.

Morning Program Host Ivana Guzijan – Credit Ivica Stojanovic
“Our small team of journalists and hosts somehow managed to find a specific way into the listener’s hearts in the outskirts of a big city,” said Ivica Stojanovic. “Being a local radio station, from the very start the hosts wanted to sound friendly and non-pretentious, in order to be accepted as a ‘neighborhood’ radio, just like a new kid on the block, only instead of being just a block, we were dealing with the suburbs and villages near Belgrade.”

Listeners responded favorably, and soon much of the audience began calling in to the station to have their opinions broadcast on-air or to request a certain song or type of programming.

A control room view of Radio Dedal. Credit Blazo Guzina By striking a balance between big city and local neighborhood issues, the editor and program hosts managed to attract a huge percentage of local and — even — Belgrade listeners, offering them a fast and reliable source for news as well as reactions to the plethora of public affairs that occupy the minds of suburban citizens.

Community initiatives

Due to this unique approach, the station attracted many freelance reporters who volunteered to wander the streets for the station, using their cellphones to report on the various aspects of suburban and rural life. Some of the volunteers even report on topics such as traffic conditions, warning drivers, for example, about a suddenly changing situation on the roads heading toward Belgrade.

Serbian pop group Beso De Loco visits the Radio Dedal studio. Credit Ivica Stojanovic  The station, which also operates a webcast in parallel, transmits entertainment and music programs interspersed with news on a broad variety of themes, including social and cultural events, weather and sports. In this regard, the staff says that it decided from the start to not orient programming toward politics and politically influenced themes since there are regional and national broadcasters that cover those topics.

Radio Dedal supports new musical talent. Once a week the station organizes a live music program from its roomy speech studio, where it accommodates bands. A special educational project is another station initiative.

Also weekly, Radio Dedal opens its doors to students from the local technical high school. The station, with the help of experienced journalists and hosts, teaches the students how to create their own radio program segments. Subjects range from the basics of behavior in front of a microphone and the secrets of program editing, to ways to prepare talk and music shows.

Radio Dedal logo As the result of this hands-on training, Radio Dedal hired two of the students as part-time radio hosts, and even one young talented actor was discovered.

Technician and DJ Predrag Teomirovic and main program host Ivana Guzijan are among those who guide the students and help them become familiar with the two-fold challenge: the technical and editorials part of the complex programming process.

Looking ahead, the small and passionate Radio Dedal team is busy preparing to enlarge its production force by finding a few new promising DJs who can bring a fresh slant to its music programs.

In this regard, while eagerly waiting for the new call for license applications to be issued by the radio regulation authorities, editor-in-chief Stojanovic is busy preparing to apply for an additional frequency, which would allow the station to cover the entire territory of Belgrade.

Blazo Guzina, M.Sc., Dipl.-Ing., is an acoustics consultant and freelance technical writer, with more than 35 years of experience in radio and TV. He is the author of the Serbian-language books “Sound Recording Technique” and “Audio Techniques in Radio and Television.”