Subscribe by email, free
James Cridland - radio futurologist
Switzerland to turn off FM - the campaign to save it

Switzerland to turn off FM - the campaign to save it

· 4.3 minutes to read

Above: Geneva, the closest city to an airport lounge in the world. Want expensive watches, expensive lingerie or expensive chocolate? You’re in luck! Still, the nice thing about Geneva is that you can literally walk from the aeroplane to the EBU’s offices.

Switzerland will be the next country to turn off FM, in favour of DAB+ and online. Unsurprisingly, there’s a campaign going on to save FM, by 76-year-old Roger Schawinski, who’s the CEO of Radio 1, a radio station based in Zürich.

Radio 1 is also on DAB+ in Switzerland: it highlights DAB+ first on its website, and has a considerably larger transmitter area on DAB+ than FM. Commercial stations are off FM in January 2023; public radio goes early in August 2022 - so this is a gift to commercial radio, which stands to gain from public radio switching early; and a gift to Radio 1, saving them money on FM transmission and gaining a larger potential audience.

Yet, to turn off FM is “an incomprehensible decision”, and would be a “fatal mistake”, says the campaign, which leans on data to make its point.

I’m all for 76 year-olds leading a campaign against change; I’m only 50, and there’s plenty of change that I don’t like much either in the world right now. But it strikes me that this campaign is rather too late: the Swiss listening public have already, by and large, made their minds up that the future’s digital.

Get the free James Cridland newsletter for more like this.
Our privacy policy keeps your data safe.
(Fill this in now; you won’t lose your place!)

Want to supercharge your radio show? Here’s a £1 week-long trial of Show Prep - from a world class radio consultant and the best show-prep writer in the UK. Great for UK stations, or for English-language stations everywhere, too. (ad)


Thanks to James Masterton, Hausa Dictionary, Richard Hilton, and Brun Audio Consulting for your ongoing support of this newsletter. I’m very grateful to you.

It’s absolutely not (that) necessary, but if anyone wants to support my work in any way, you can BuyMeACoffee - become a member to give regularly or just give a one-off coffee if you’d like to support me in some way.

I’m speaking at…

What’s the future of radio in the age of the internet? I spoke to the Tech Users Association of New Zealand alongside James 'Butch’ Butcher from NZME. You can watch the session here.

On Thursday 4th November, I’m speaking at the OAB, the Ontario Association of Broadcasters, on the future of radio.

By early next year, I hope to be able to do these from somewhere else other than my home office - and to that end, I recently gave my professional website a revamp. Quite pleased with it. Please send it to any conference organisers, if there are any left.

Keep an eye on radio trends from across the world

Subscribe to my newsletter by email, free