The history of private radio in Romania after 1990 (the part experienced by me), E0



1990, summer.

I come from Brasov by train. I was in black prewashed jeans thick as hell, in which I was sweating all over, which I was very proud of, because I hadn’t really had jeans. They were loose on me and had attached flap pockets. But by far the coolest product I brought from Brașov was a black double cassette player with CD (!), I don’t remember the brand, which my brother had bought in the shop. Shop then meant a currency store, where during the years of socialism you could find goods imported from the West, where as a Romanian you could only buy currency, which you had to justify, which was almost impossible. Someone in your family must have worked abroad or something like that. In 1990 there were still shops that started selling to Romanians without restrictions, now that capitalist freedom had invaded us. Back then I didn’t know the word “capitalism”, I barely used the term “communism” out loud…
I had batteries in the tape recorder but I didn’t have cassettes with me, let alone CDs, I don’t think I had seen one yet, so I played the radio. The bank began to vibrate. I probably caught radio Contact or Nova, because they broadcast in the west band (from 88 MHz upwards), I don’t know anymore. But then I heard for the first time a radio announcer (or DJ, or host) who seemed to be speaking to people, not to a supposed bunch of abstract beings made up mostly of ears.

Nevermind, I had listened to Andrei Voiculescu on Europa Libera and Radu Teodoru on Voice of America and I knew how a radio speech should sound, at least in terms of atmosphere.
But they were not with us.
Writing this, after referring to both radio stations paid for by the US State Department, I realize how much we have been propagandized by both sides. From the inside we were told that only we were good, from the outside that only they were good. How many of us have realized, or at least scratch our heads to find out, where the truth was or is?… So far from what I have seen, the communists only tried to hide the reality from us, while the others lied about both realities.
The others won.
The radio was tearing the park in front of the Ministry of Transport in two. The dust rose every time I moved my feet. Since I was about 13 years old, I would have liked to be a foreign news announcer, like George Marinescu. To present all the things about Nelson Mandela and Nicaragua… But I think that then, in front of the North Station, I decided that if the opportunity arises, when I come to Bucharest – I had entered the University – I will try to enter -a radio from that one.
By FM.
I didn’t know how to call it like that.
I wouldn’t have admitted for anything in the world that I was thinking about doing that thing because it looked super cool. I think Midnight Caller was already broadcast on TVR. “A former SFPD detective who resigned for accidentally shooting his partner”. Psychological drama, brother, a troubled ex-cop, a mixer and the night live. Everything that sounds so stereotypical now seemed so desirable to a 22-year-old guy with a 16-year-old mind…