97FM Radio Warms Listeners at Scott Base, Ross Dependency
"97FM keeps us entertained at work and in the bar in the evenings"
reports a winter staff member at the New Zealand Antarctic base
writing on a recent blog for the UK Natural History Museum.
The writer [Jane] says '97FM may have an audience of only 14, but we
think it's broken some world record for more plays of 'Stairway to
Heaven' than any other radio station in the world.'
DJ Johnny 5 at 97FM Scott Base
© UK Natural History Museum
We all create playlists, which are changed regularly, but not often
enough sometimes. Every now and then we'll ring up Johnny 5 with
requests to play or stop playing a particular song.
Every morning, he gives us the weather and a run down of daily events
on Ross Island in his usual witty way.
This often involves a prelude to what Lance has prepared for morning
tea and every now and then a secret recording of someone having a
rant about world politics or the proliferation of zombies in the area.
We even have promos recorded by past residents of the base, including
one by Sir Ed Hillary.
Scott Base is located in the Ross Dependency, an area of
Antarctica claimed by New Zealand and directly to the south of the
country. There are regular summer season flights to the nearby ice
runways of the American base at McMurdo from Christchurch, the center
for American, Italian and New Zealand Antarctic operations.
Scott Base listeners can also receive Ice FM 104.5 from McMurdo, a
volunteer radio station which also takes a satellite feed of Armed
Forces Network contemporary and rock music when local volunteers are
Other AFN stations heard at McMurdo/Scott Bases are 91.1 FM with
country and country rock music and 99.9 FM with news and talk
programs from major US networks and personalities.
On 93.9 FM, the AFN delivers a 24/7 relay of National Public Radio
news, current affairs, music and other cultural programs from US NPR
stations and program makers.
For a review of Antarctic radio services see here
and here for the story of WASA McMurdo, the original AFRS