Can you tell us a bit more about Radio Alpe d’HuZes?
Radio Alpe d’HuZes is a collaboration between local, regional and national broadcasting staff and a number of technicians. A very diverse company that unites the useful and the pleasant by making special radio around the event Alpe d’HuZes. We will broadcast 24 hours a day from the kick-off on May 15 at Papendal until the last day of the race week in France, Friday, June 3. During the race week, thanks in part to Broadcast Partners, we can also be heard on FM in the Alpe area on 107.6. All programs are centered on the participants, researchers, homeowners, supporters, sponsors and volunteers of Alpe d’HuZes. So we broadcast on behalf of the organization through the FM, through the website and through the app.
Why and how did you start Radio Alpe d’HuZes?
In daily life I work for the NOS and I knew that colleague Robbert Meeder had made event radio around a few E.K.’s and W.K.’s and that really appealed to me. Together with brother Maurice, at the time also involved in Alpe d’HuZes, and Bert Kranenbarg of the NCRV, we then thought in the middle of the Alpe d’HuZes race week that we would like to do the same, and so we rushed to have a BP broadcaster come over from the Netherlands and it turned out to be a hit.
Initially, we only broadcast Bert’s special Radio 2 Alpe d’HuZes broadcasts through the FM and a year later we built programming around that. It is a nice addition to the other communication channels of Alpe d’HuZes, radio is fast (also in case of any calamities) and it provides entertainment for the participants. We present ourselves in an approachable way and people know how to find us, both locally and in the Netherlands.
What are the highlights of Radio Alpe d’HuZes for you?
It is always difficult to speak of highlights at this event, although it is really not a dismal event. The stories of (ex) patients or next of kin grab you every time ‘by the throat’. Everyone knows that feeling, you never have to put your feelings into words because unfortunately almost everyone knows what it is like to lose family or acquaintances to cancer and some are even in the middle of a treatment process. We do not want to show entire disease processes on the radio, but rather the stories of how people have remained positive despite everything, how the relatives have picked up the thread and what research has been made possible with Alpe money. And of course we describe what we see for those who are not there, especially on course days.
Unfortunately, we have also already experienced a calamity in the form of severe storms on the mountain, during which the participants had to be evacuated. Then, as an in-house radio station, you have an important additional task as a source of information on behalf of the organization. Of course, we also want to do our part to raise as much money as possible for KWF Cancer Relief, after all, that’s what it’s all about.
Radio technology is a candy store for radio makers. We have coverage all over the mountain with reporter connections, so we can report from anywhere or from the bike, and we also have the cooperation of very experienced technicians in this field who also worked on the Radio Tour de France broadcasts from France, for example. Working with so many different people on our team and collaborating with TV are ideal and that is, purely professionally, enjoyable.
How did you end up with Broadcast Partners? And what exactly are we serving you with?
I would almost say, Broadcast Partners, who hasn’t grown up with it. Every serious radio producer in the Netherlands knows what Broadcast Partners is and what they do. As early as my 19th birthday I drove from South Limburg to Terneuzen to pick up reporter transmitters or other equipment and at the broadcasters I worked for, mostly in the border area with Belgium, there were transmitters from what was then still CBT everywhere. I bought my first 30-watt FM transmitter from Broadcast Partners, so it was an obvious choice to approach them for this great project as well. We have been using an RVR FM transmitter with an Orban Optimod 5500 from Broadcast Partners for many years and apply to the French authorities for a license for the FM frequency and the equipment, which is granted every time without any problems.
How do you like working with Broadcast Partners and the products?
The cooperation is fine, but we knew that from years of experience. Our Radio and Television team leader makes 1 phone call to Broadcast Partners for this project and they are immediately ready to assist us again to deliver the transmitter with processor at the agreed place and time. Anyway, every year we are amazed by the cooperation we get from suppliers and facility management companies regarding this project. In doing so, Broadcast Partners has also proved to be a valuable and reliable partner when it comes to Radio Alpe d’HuZes. A cooperation that as far as we are concerned will last for years to come !