As you are likely to know, Radio Nord was a Swedish offshore commercial station that operated briefly from 8 March 1961 to 30 June 1962 from a ship anchored in international waters of the Baltic Sea off Stockholm, Sweden. Behind the station was Gordon McLendon who is credited by most broadcast historians with having established the first mobile news units in American radio, the first traffic reports, the first jingles, the first all-news radio station, and the first "easy-listening" programming. He also helped develop Top Forty radio into a successful and popular business model. The McLendon family built a communications empire that included radio stations across the United States. In addition to KLIF, McLendon owned KNUS–FM in Dallas, KOST in Los Angeles, WYSL–AM and FM in Chicago, WWWW–FM in Detroit, WAKY in Louisville, KABL in Oakland, KABL–FM in San Francisco, KILT in Houston, KTSA in San Antonio, and KELP in El Paso. He owned television station KCND in Pembina, North Dakota, which broadcast into Canada.
So with all that was happening in the USA at that time why bother with Radio Nord? McLendon's Radio Nord venture was funded by Clint Murchison Jr who was a businessman and founder of the Dallas Cowboys football team. A son of Clint Murchison Sr., who made his first fortune in oil exploration and became notorious for exploiting the sale of "hot oil", Clint and his surviving brother inherited their father's wealth and business interests to which Clint Jr. added ventures of his own. Again he was busy with so many ventures why would Radio Nord with all the financial risks and legal unknowns be worth putting money into?
Two other US people involved were Bob Thomson and Jim Foster. Jim was a schoolmate with financiers Gordon McLendon and Bob Thompson and was named "marine expert" in the company, though without any major expertise in the field. It was Jim who decided that German m / s Olga (later Bon Jour) would be used. The focal person for Radio Nord was Swede Jack S Kotschack (1915-1988) who acted as radio manager. He was head of Radio Reklam Produktions AB, which had the task of producing radio programs as well as producing and selling advertising. The whole operation was professional however had so many personnel (seventy plus involved with Radio Nord) it's hard to see where any profit would come from. The station even ceased broadcast a month before the Swedish Governments legislation came into effect.
It has been suggested elsewhere that Radio Nord had a secondary target audience namely the Baltic States, Certainly from an anchorage off Stockholm the signal had a clear water path to Estonia and Latvia. Interestingly from that location the signal would also have a similar path across the Gulf of Finland all the way to St Petersburg in Russia. Sometimes the conspiracy theories are hiding in plain site.
Radio Now & Then
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