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PRESS RELEASE: World Radio Switzerland, the recently privatized English language radio station, will continue broadcasting in the Lake Geneva region from midnight on 31 August 2013. The station will be funded and run by members of the international community for the benefit of the region. 

Program Director, Mark Butcher, says, "It’s vital that the international community here retains its strong voice and we are making sure that high quality English language radio continues, despite the unpopular decision by the Swiss Federal Government to remove FM from the region. Digital listening - across DAB+, on-line and mobile is building quickly and Switzerland is following the new positive digital listening trends across Europe. Converting to DAB+ is a lot easier and cheaper than many people think - for both car and home listening - and we'll be helping our audience understand how to continue listening to English language radio."

The station - privately financed by members of the local Anglophone community - will broadcast on FM 101.7 through September, and then continue broadcasting on DAB+ digital radio, on-line and on mobile apps. WRS has recruited a new team of presenters and journalists and will be keeping some familiar WRS voices. The BBC and other external programming will continue to be broadcast daily on the new WRS and will be a mainstay of high-quality international journalism for Anglophones in Switzerland.

The extremely popular WRS website, www.worldradio.ch - which includes the highly successful 'Classifieds' section will remain. The website will continue to be the main information portal for the international community in the Lake Geneva region with up to date local news and information in English.

The WRS website has 45,000 unique monthly visitors and over 450,000 page views, which adds to the tens of thousands of loyal on-air listeners and the growing WRS social media community on facebook and twitter. Frontier Magazine, which complements the station as the only free English language magazine in the Lake Geneva region, will continue its success with its quarterly publication and distribution to over 200 points in the area.

Mark Butcher says, 'In many ways it's like starting again with English radio - as we are a new business and the digital media world is changing the way people interact with radio - but we also have an audience legacy of almost 20 years of successful broadcasting in the region - which we will be living up to. It's going to be a lot of fun. Frankly, we can't wait to get on with it!'

WRS continues to work with the relevant authorities to explore opportunities to win an FM licence back for the region, and plans to expand its coverage in Switzerland in 2014 with the launch of radio stations in the Zurich and Basel regions of the country.