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DX Newsletters

In the pre-internet days, the monthly club bulletin was the principal means for disseminating DX information throughout the listening community. DX newsletters were a second vehicle. Shorter in length, and often issued more often than monthly, they served up DX information more promptly, and usually to a smaller audience. Here is a sample of some of the DX newsletters of days gone by.


FBIS "Short Wave Schedule and Reception Notes" - During World War II, the FCC's Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service gathered its information mainly through the various FBIS monitoring posts. However, the agency also benefited from the work of DXers and clubs, especially the International DXers Alliance, a major shortwave club of that time. When the IDA closed in the summer of 1943, FBIS formalized its connections with a small group of DXers, mostly former IDA members. Starting in October 1943, it produced a twice-monthly DX news compilation, "Short Wave Schedule and Reception Notes," in exchange for the DXers' monitoring reports on new stations, changes in times and frequencies, etc. The bulletin was produced by Roger Legge, a well-known DXer who was then an FBIS employee. Here is a file containing some issues of this FBIS bulletin. It is believed that the last issue was published in September 1946. Among the contributors are many familiar names of the era: August Balbi, Ken Boord, Arthur Cushen, Paul Dilg, Grady Ferguson, Jimmy Hart, Charles Sutton, Earl Roberts. Thanks to David Hochfelder, Asst. Professor at Univ. at Albany-SUNY, for alerting us to this material, and to the National Archives for providing the copies.


"DX Bulletin Board" - In the past we posted a 1949 copy of Ken Boord's "Flash Sheet" newsletter. It morphed into the "World At A Twirl Flash Sheet" circa 1955, and the "DXing Horizons Flash Sheet" in 1960 when Boord was affiliated with DXing Horizons magazine. Boord became ill in 1962, whereupon one of the Flash Sheet members, George Cox of New Castle, Delaware, stepped in to continue the Flash Sheet, whose name he changed to "DX Bulletin Board." Here are a few copies of the newsletter which closed down by the end of 1962.


"QTH Africa" - This was a SWBC newsletter published in South Africa every ten days or so during the years 1979-1982. The editor was Mike Vcelar, whose location in Pretoria gave him a good window on aspects of the African SWBC scene that might escape the attention of DXers elsewhere. "QTH Africa" also issued special surveys from time to time, and Vcelar's African news was also heard on several DX programs. Here are a few "QTH Africa" newsletters from 1980-81, together with a "QTH Africa" list of African clandestine stations and a "QTH Africa" list of African external services.


NASWA "Flash Sheet" - The NASWA "Flash Sheet" started out in September 1966 as a two-page column of "hot" information from both NASWA members and others. Prepared by club executive editor and publisher William P. Eddings of Altoona, PA, it was originally part of the monthly bulletin, but with a late "at publication" deadline. In November 1967 it was assigned its own editor, Al Niblack of Vincennes, IN. In January 1973 a separately mailed, mid-month FS was introduced to supplement the monthly in-bulletin FS. It was available to those who kept a supply of stamped, self-addressed envelopes on hand at headquarters. In October 1974 the in-bulletin FS went to separate mailing, but it returned to in-bulletin status in May 1975, where it remained a monthly feature through October 1986. The FS, both in-bulletin and mid-month, was called "DX Hotline" from October 1975, "Update" from November 1977, and "DXtra" from January 1987 to July 1989, when it ceased publication. It was restored as an electronic weekly in December 2001, and is still published electronically. The editors of the hardcopy FS over the years were: Bill Eddings (1966-67); Al Niblack (1967-1975); Ralph W. Perry, Libertyville, IL (1975-1976); John J. Moritz, Jr., Youngstown, OH (1976-1977); Thomas B. Alleman, Kansas City, MO (1977-1986); and Robert J. Hill, Sharon, MA (1987-July 1989).

  • Flash Sheet - Sept. through Dec. 1966, Bill Eddings, editor
  • Flash Sheet - Jan. through Mar. 1967, Bill Eddings, editor
  • Flash Sheet - Dec. 1973, Al Niblack, editor
  • Flash Sheet - July 1975, Al Niblack, editor
  • DX Hotline - Feb. 1975, Ralph Perry, editor
  • DX Hotline - Oct. 1975, Ralph Perry, editor
  • DX Hotline - Aug. 1976, John Moritz, editor
  • DX Hotline - Dec. 1976, John Moritz, editor
  • Update - Dec. 1981, Tom Alleman, editor
  • Update - Oct. 1978, Tom Alleman, editor
  • DXtra - Feb. 1988, Bob Hill, editor
  • DXtra - Nov. 1988, Bob Hill, editor

International Broadcasting Journal - Many DXers know of Roger Legge's USSR High Frequency Broadcast Newsletter (UHN), a few copies of which are already posted below. For a brief time, Roger also published another newsletter, the four-page International Broadcasting Journal. Its purpose was to correct mistakes in the ITU's periodic Tentative High Frequency Broadcasting Schedule, especially the domestic section. Roger explains this in more detail in issue No. 1, published in July 1979, posted here. A second issue of IBJ, focusing on domestic stations, was published in August 1979, and that is posted here as well. It is unclear if any further issues were published. In any event, IBJ's life was short.


"Stop Press Sheet" - The "Stop Press Sheet" accompanied the Globe Circler, the monthly bulletin of the International DXers Alliance. The Globe Circler covered both the broadcast band and shortwave until mid-1940, when it went all shortwave (some BCB material survived for a time in the "Stop Press Sheet"). This file contains a sampling of these bulletin addenda that appeared between 1938 and 1942.


World Radio Handbook Newsletters - The World Radio TV Handbook has been the standard reference for SWBC listeners since the first edition was published in 1947. For those who wanted the most current information, the World Radio Handbook Bulletin (later called the World Radio Bulletin) was published every two weeks from 1952 to 1976. In 1976 it became the thrice-yearly WRTH Newsletter. It was renamed WRTH Downlink in 1988 and published several times a year until the final issue in 1991. Here are four copies of the World Radio Bulletin (1965, 1968, 1973, 1974), plus a copy of World Radio TV Handbook Newsletter (1984) and WRTH Downlink (1988). Thanks to the WRTH for permission to post these copies.


International Broadcast Memo (Stanbury-IV) - Although it was a column in the "Messenger," the bulletin of the Canadian International DX Club, and not a newsletter, we include it for the sake of completeness. It appears that Stanbury began writing this column in the late 60s or early 70s. And while his period of greatest hobby activity was in the 1970s, the International Broadcast Memo continued until March 1985, as did, apparently, some of his other publications (to which he refers in his final column). The issues of International Broadcast Memo that we have posted are from January 1973, February 1980, November 1980, November 1981, and March 1985 (the final column). Stanbury passed away in 1986. Thanks to Mickey Delmage for supplying us with this material.


Clandestine Confidential - Here are four issues of the Clandestine Confidential newsletter, edited and published by Gerry L. Dexter. A spin off of his 1984 book of the same name, the four-page newsletter contained clandestine station news arranged by country. It was issued six times a year from 1984 to 1993. The issues presented are February 1984 (the first issue), February 1987, June 1990, and December 1993 (last issue). Thanks to Gerry Dexter for permission to post these.


Short Wave News Service (Stanbury-III) - Here are three issues of the Short Wave News Service, which C. M. Stanbury began in 1968. These issues are from May, June and December 1969. The Short Wave News Service was intended as a service to new clubs and smaller clubs which found it difficult to compete with larger clubs in the area of comprehensive shortwave news. It was a monthly carbon-paper newsletter, and was sent free to clubs that published at least nine times a year and had at least 20 members. In exchange, recipient clubs sent their bulletins to Stanbury. The Short Wave News Service consisted mainly of DX items from the Short Wave Newsletter, plus commentary by Stanbury on various shortwave-related topics. This material is from Bob LaRose.


Short Wave Newsletter (Stanbury-II) - Here is another C. M. Stanbury publication which replaced the Short Wave Review Flash Sheet (see below) in 1968. These issues are from 1969-70. Monthly at first, soon it was being published every two weeks. As with Short Wave Review, the Short Wave Newsletter was a carbon paper "flash sheet" issued for the benefit of regular supporters of Stanbury's ASWLC column. Thanks again to Bob LaRose for this material.


Short Wave Review Flash Sheet (Stanbury-I) - Here is an informal publication issued by C. M. Stanbury II when he was editor of the "Short Wave Review" column in SWL, the bulletin of the American Shortwave Listeners Club. These issues are from 1963-64, which was a tumultuous period in the life of the then-four year old club. Stanbury issued this monthly "round robin" carbon paper flash sheet for the use of a small number of his regular contributors. He also used some of the material in his column in Electronics Illustrated. Thanks to Bob LaRose for these copies.


Tropical DX Newsletter - Tropical DX Newsletter began publication in August 1974 and was edited by Fred Heutte, Jr. of Washington, DC. The bi-weekly newsletter focused primarily on reception of the tropical regions of the world on 60 meters and below although other shortwave news was covered as well. TDXN ceased publication in February 1979. Here are two issues from December 20, 1977 (No. 79) and November 15, 1978 (No. 100).


USSR High Frequency Broadcast Newsletter - The USSR High Frequency Broadcast Newsletter was published by Roger Legge of McLean, VA beginning in November 1976. UHN dealt mainly with Foreign Service transmissions from the former Soviet Union and its constituent Republics. The newsletter was useful because of the frequent changes in Soviet frequencies and the Soviet policy of showing transmitter sites on QSLs when requested. Here are two issues from March 1977 (No. 4) and November 1980 (No. 30).


Shortwave Messenger - The bi-weekly Shortwave Messenger was published by J. Art Russell of San Diego, California from September 1960 until Russell's death in February 1963. Here are issues from April 7, 1961 and March 21, 1962.


Ken Boord's Flash Sheet - While serving as shortwave editor of Radio & Television News from 1944 to 1955, Ken Boord's Flash Sheet served as an information exchange among some of his most faithful contributors, and a source of information for his column. Here is an issue of the Flash Sheet from June 1949.