Radio Free Iraq broadcast its first program this week from the new Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The new broadcast center is a five-story, 236,000 square foot facility with multimedia recording studios, interlinking offices and a modern newsroom. RFE/RL stated, “It is also energy-efficient and one of the most secure buildings in Europe.” The building was constructed by French company Orco Property Group and designed by architectural firm Cigler Marani. RFE/RL had occupied the former Czechoslovak communist parliament building for 15 years; it is being turned over to a museum.
A six-minute news bulletin was part of 17 hours of daily RFE/RL programming to Iraq. The broadcast was the first step in relocating 500 Prague-based employees to the facility in Hagibor, 10 minutes from the city center.
An executive with the Broadcasting Board of Governors stated, “We could not have done this without the crucial support of the Czech government, the U.S. Congress and the U.S. embassy in Prague,” he said. “The BBG is delighted that RFE/RL employees, who broadcast in 28 languages to 20 countries via radio, TV, and the Internet, will now have a state-of-the-art headquarters to meet their needs.”