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Radio Pâté

today19 March 2024 152 43

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The beginning…

In 1985, while I was working at NRJ Montpellier, I decided to set up my own radio station. A friend, Michel, had a micro-transmitter, everything I needed to start up a temporary station. With 2 cassette recorders and the goodwill of 2 or 3 friends, we broadcast during the school holidays over a distance of less than a mile.

We looked for a name and a ridiculous slogan, but in the end we settled on “Radio Pâté, La plus jambon des radios”, a reference to “NRJ, La plus belle radio”.

Radio Pâté Montpellier went on the air twice as a pirate station throughout the Hérault region…

Radio Pâté Montpellier reached its peak in 1989, when “RPM” broadcast sketches and comedy shows live on FM to bring a little comfort to patients in Montpellier hospitals. For this noble cause, our team used NRJ Montpellier’s emergency transmitter. As we didn’t want to give out our telephone number to avoid being spotted by the authorities, we used the public phone booth down the road to keep in touch with our listeners. A number of national radio presenters joined us, including Sam Z, Bruno Roblès and Éric Angioletti. There was also Nicolas and Richard Ripollés, Michel Poso, Frederic Barrandon, Bernard Chatel, Tammy Gale, Jean-Michel Meschin, Daniel Stern, Super Oliver, Laurent and many others. Theywere all part of the “36 heures chrono sans se faire pécho” operation. I’d like to say a special thank you to our technician, “Philippe”, without whom we couldn’t have pulled off this miracle. He is the most humble and important person in the whole team… The operation was dedicated to my brother Bruno, who was at the Propara Neurological Rehabilitation Centre in Montpellier at the time., all over the world

In January 2000, with a computer-savvy friend, Basile Dubon, we decided to resurrect “Pâté”, but this time on the Internet. Initially, we created a computer system that managed our tracks in automatic rotation, enabling us to distribute our musical programming around the world in a very simple way. At first, Basile took care of the technical side, while I directed the programming, co-directed the station and chaired the association. Over time, and thanks to the studio that Basile set up in his Paris flat, a number of volunteer presenters joined in this adventure, and so discovered radio, as I had done myself almost twenty years earlier at l’Écho des Garrigues. Some of them have since gone on to become DJs, producers and presenters who exercise their talent in all four corners of the French audiovisual landscape. Between 2000 and 2008, Radiopaté.com attracted over a million visitors to its website. Listeners tuned in from Moscow to Paris, Los Angeles to London, Djibouti to Beijing. It’s incredible, when you remember that at the start we didn’t broadcast more than a mile away.

Written by: Jean-Michel Venden

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