Europe 1, formerly known as Europe n° 1, is a privately owned radio network created in 1955. It is one of the leading French radio broadcasters and heard throughout France. The network is owned and operated by Lagardère Active, a subsidiary of the Lagardère Group.
In 1955, to circumvent the prohibition of commercial broadcasting in France after the Second World War, Europe n° 1 was established in the Saarland, a German state that borders France and Luxembourg. Transmissions were not legally authorised, however, until France's post-war administration of the Saarland ceased and sovereignty returned to West Germany in 1957; so, during its first two years (1955–1957), under the direction of Louis Merlin, who had defected from Radio Luxembourg, Europe n° 1 was a pirate radio station. In 1959 the French government bought part of the broadcasting corporation, and this interest is administered today by the Lagardère Group. Network programming has always been produced in Paris. The network feed is transferred over ISDN lines to the broadcast station that is situated on common ground of the villages of Berus and Felsberg in the Saarland.
From its beginning, Europe n°1's priorities were two-fold: first, news and cultural information with an emphasis on eyewitness accounts rather than an announcer with a script; second, shows aimed at establishing bonds with listeners, including plays, contests, informal talk, popular music, and street-level politics. In both respects, it was a departure from radio formats of the day.
In the 1960s, Europe 1 achieved success in capturing a young audience, due to Patrick Topaloff, the comedian, singer and actor. It pioneered a new tone in French radio. Salut les copains became an icon of popular culture and the baby boom generation. Europe 1 played a role in the May 68 political crisis by being the principal source of information untainted by government sanction; it was nicknamed "barricade radio". In the 1970s, President Giscard d'Estaing criticized its "mocking" tone. When the industrialist Jean-Luc Lagardère became president of Europe 1 group, some feared the network might lose its independent point of view.
Since the 1980s, Europe 1 has experienced decreases in audience, and average age of listeners has steadily increased. Both can be traced to the proliferation of commercial radio. During the late 1980s a network of FM transmitters were established within France, but these transmitters are used for Europe 2, now Virgin Radio. In the 1990s, Europe 1 became a news and talk network. Jean-Pierre Elkabbach became president in 2005. He was dismissed by the CSA (Comité de Surveillance de l'Audiovisuel) after announcing the death of Pascal Sevran prematurely in June 2008 and was replaced by Alexandre Bompard, former Director of the Sports at Canal+.
Today, Europe 1 is France's fifth most popular network, with the other four being RTL, France Inter, NRJ and France Info. They also broadcast radio drama series.
Europe 1 also became a supplementary active member of the European Broadcasting Union in 1978 and in 1982, an active member.
Over the last fifty years, the best-known programs on Europe 1 have included: 'Pour ceux qui aiment le jazz' ("For those who love jazz") hosted by Daniel Filipacchi and Franck Ténot, 'Signé Furax' ("Signed, Furax", a comic adventure serial), 'Salut les copains' ("Hi, friends", a pop music programme), 'Campus' (book reviews, interviews with literary personalities, and chat about current events and culture), 'Vous êtes formidables' (a programme devoted to "demonstrations of solidarity"), 'Bonjour, monsieur le maire' (aimed at rural France), 'L'horoscope de Madame Soleil' (astrology), 'Top 50' (a reprise of the musical charts), and 'Le club de la presse' ("Press Club", political conversation). BBC Radio 5 had a translated version of Top 50 called Le Top (with Marc et La Mèche) from 1990 to 1994.
Noted journalists, presenters, and performers have included: Patrick Topaloff, Maurice Siegel, Jean Gorini, André Arnaud, Pierre Bouteiller, Pierre Bellemare, Francis Blanche, Daniel Filipacchi, Frank Ténot, Lucien Morisse, Robert Willar, Albert Simon, Laurent Ferrari and Madame Soleil. Former is Wendy Bouchard. She was succeeded by Laurence Ferrari in 2014. The eec forced r Europe #1to move downing frequences to a9khtz multiple but this ment the carrier beat with a station in Berlin but after 3 months they went back to their old slot this was about 7 years ago.
Europe 1 is transmitted by Europäische Rundfunk- und Fernseh-AG (in English, European Radio and Television Company), broadcasting on longwave at 183 kHz from Felsberg in the Saarland and on FM frequencies throughout France.
The Felsberg antenna system beams Europe 1's signal southwestward towards France. In the easterly direction, transmissions are attenuated, so, in Eastern Europe, only a weak signal can be heard. However, because of a defect in the antenna system, only the carrier frequency is properly screened to the east; the sidebands suffer less attenuation, so that, in the east, sideband reception is adequate (especially if using an SSB receiver) but distorted. Following the collapse of one mast in the four-mast phased array on October 8, 2012, the two-mast reserve antenna has been in use, resulting in a reduced signal in parts of France but a stronger and undistorted signal in northern Europe and the British Isles.
Carrier frequencies on the longwave band are assigned as integer multiples of nine kHz ranging from 153 to 279 kHz. However, the Europe 1 transmitter's frequency, 183 kHz, is offset from the usual nine kHz multiples established under the Geneva Plan.
In Felsberg, the four guyed antenna masts which were erected in 1954 and 1955 average 277 metres in height. The building where the transmitters are housed is an architecturally unusual, prestressed-concrete construction that needs no internal supporting columns. It has been designated an architectural monument by the European Union and is a protected structure.