2023 is a very significant and busy year for public service broadcaster Czech Radio! May 18th marks 100 years since the start of regular radio broadcasting in the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia). The centennial is setting the tone for all of Czech Radio’s events in 2023, including Radiodays Europe, and it is also serving as inspiration for the Czech Radio 100 Lounge at the conference venue of Radiodays Europe 2023.
Everyone knows that the oldest national broadcasting organization is the BBC, which began broadcasting on November 14th, 1922. Yet you may not know that it was only 6 short months later, on May 18th, 1923, that private company Radiojournal (today’s Czech Radio) began its own broadcasting, making it just the 2nd oldest radio broadcaster in all of Europe and the first in continental Europe.
The first Radiojournal broadcast boasted a certain lack of formality that echoed the sense of freedom following the end of WWI and accompanying the newly founded independent Czechoslovak state. The transmitter stood near the Kbely airport just outside Prague and the studio was close by in a tent borrowed from the Boy Scouts. Inside this makeshift atmospheric studio, a carpet was laid out on the grass and on it stood a piano, although its wheels sank into the soil.
The first historical broadcast was mostly music, with opera singer Růžena Topinková singing for the microphone during the early days. While these improvised conditions meant the studio was somewhat at the mercy of the weather, this sometimes led to unexpected delights. One broadcast was accompanied by a thunderstorm, in reaction to which an unhappily wet dog found shelter in the tent, thus producing the very first live broadcast of a dog barking in all of radio history.
Today, Czech Radio resides at number 12 Vinohradská Street in Prague, with an impressive adjoined studio house on Římská Street, 13 – the connected buildings together compose a lovely labyrinth with an unquestionable genius loci, even if the paternoster lift sadly no longer works. If you walk along the front façade on Vinohradská Street you can even see right into a studio and hear the live broadcast of Czech Radio’s youth station Radio Wave as you turn the corner.
The Czech Radio 100 Lounge, located at the Prague Congress Centre conference venue, will be situated on the 3rd floor, right at the crossroads between different session rooms and overlooking the exhibition area. Visit the lounge for great views of the city, as well as comfy seating, sweet treats and a handy chargebox, so that you can refill your phone battery whilst you recharge with a cup of coffee. Come for a chat with Czech Radio colleagues or network with another conference goer. The Czech Radio 100 Lounge will be a friendly and inviting place to connect with other conference guests, send an email or simply be.
Czech Radio looks forward to welcoming you in our unique 100 Lounge!