RADIO, TELEVISION, AND NEWSPAPER
The American Forces Network Europe, commonly called AFN, provided television and radio services. There was one AM and one FM radio station. The FM station usually played classical type music. The AM station played a variety of popular music as well as some news shows such as Paul Harvey.
American Television was not available on Camp King until the early 70s. In the early 70s a tower was installed, near building 1047. This antenna would pick up the signal and retransmit it to the entire post. Before television, the only options were to go to the movies or watch German television. It was interesting to see American shows translated into German. There was one exception, Sesame Street that was broadcast in English.
The commercials that were broadcast on both radio and television were military or public service related. Due to the Status of Forces Agreement, no actual commercial ads could be aired. Some units to make their troops aware of an alert or recall used these commercials. Usually the same commercials were played repeatedly.
The programming was the same shows that were aired on Television in the United States. Since there was only one channel, the shows were selected from all three major networks. However, it lagged about 6 months to a year behind.
Both radio and television programming was obtained through American Forces Radio and Television Service, which was located in Washington D.C. and California. (Sandi Andrersen)
Here are a couple of E- mails from Sandi Andresen, whose husband was employed by AFN with more information:
".... The AFN building was located across the street from the gas station at the military PX/Commissary complex, and next door to Hessicher Rundfunk. It was built to match the Hessicher Rundfunk building in design so that they would be able to take over the building once AFN closed (which happened this summer). I remember there was a big, modern metal sculpture in the front lobby that AFN'ers nicknamed the 'Two-Volkswagen Crash.' Before that building was built, AFN was located in the von Bruning Schloss in Hoechst and I have a lot of stories about that place. I'll have to write them down to send you when I have more time. It was a really neat castle, which has since been turned into a museum, with a park down in the drained moat. Johan Wolfgang Goethe used to come to a little Apfelwein Stube just across the courtyard from the castle entrance to drink and write. I remember the place very fondly! We held some great Halloween parties down in the underground vaulted knight's dining room, and we always had a GI in a coffin in the old dungeon who would scare the jumping bejeepers out of all of the kids..."
"...My husband, Bob, was the Assistant News Director for AFN. Another note on something I noticed. AFN stood for "Armed Forces Network" during WWII, but then the name was changed to "American Forces Network." They played a lot of programs recorded in the States by AFRTS (American Forces Radio & Television Service) located in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and there were also a number of locally generated news and music programs on radio, and news on TV. One of the most popular of those local radio shows was "Music in the Air" which had a local G.I. disk jockey playing "easy listening" type music in the evening. It was so popular that Hessischer Rundfunk copied us and even called their program "Musik Liegt in der Luft." Some of the AFN people went on to become & quite big in stateside broadcasting after they left Germany. A former AFN'er named Trent Christman (who was a DOD civilian at the station) wrote a book called "Brass Button Broadcasters" that was about AFN and all of the other military radio and TV outlets around the world. I have the book and it's really interesting reading. It has photos of a number of AFN people I knew... " (Sandi Andresen)
The primary American newspaper was the Stars & Stripes. The paper is published by the United States government and was a lot smaller than most American newspapers. It was about the size of a section. It included many news stories that were carried in conventional American papers. There was no advertising. It could be likened to a condensed version.
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PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II1936-1939
WORLD WAR II "DULAG LUFT" 1939-1945
POST WORLD WAR II (1945-1953)
The Gehlen Organization
AMERICAN MILITARY UNITS (1953-1995)
THE FRANKFURT AMERICAN MILITARY COMMUNITY
EMPLOYMENT TELEVISION, RADIO AND THE STARS AND STRIPES NEWSPAPER
POST SECURITY, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND TERRORISM
THE PEOPLE AND CITY OF OBERURSEL
POST CLOSURE AND FUTURE