First air date
|1 January 1947|
Former call signs
|Club d'Essai (1947)|
France I (1957-1963)
RTF Inter (1963)
France Inter (French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃s ɛ̃tɛʁ]) is a major French public radio channel and part of Radio France. It is a "generalist" station, aiming to provide a wide national audience with a full service of news and spoken-word programming, both serious and entertaining, liberally punctuated with an eclectic mix of music. It is broadcast on FM from a nationwide network of transmitters, as well as via the internet.
The channel announced during 2016 that it would discontinue transmissions from the Allouis longwave transmitter on 162 kHz with effect from 1 January 2017, thereby saving approximately €6 million per year. Transmission from Allouis of the atomic-clock-generated time signal would, however, continue after this date as the signal is critical for over 200,000 devices deployed within French enterprises and state entities, such as French Railways (SNCF), the electricity distributor ENEDIS, airports, hospitals, municipalities, etc.
France Inter was founded as part of the reorganization of state broadcasting which followed the end of World War II as "Paris-Inter" and charged with being French public radio's generalist (i.e. "full-service") service. The channel was renamed "France I" in 1958, although three years later one of France's most popular radio and television listings magazines was still showing the station's programmes under the heading "Paris-Inter" with "France I" as a subtitle. In October 1963 the France I and France II networks were merged to form "RTF Inter", renamed "France Inter" with effect from 8 December.
The major challenge faced by France Inter at the time of its reorganization in the 1960s was the private "peripheral stations" (in particular, RTL and Europe 1, broadcasting from powerful transmitters outside France) success in capturing the majority of the French radio audience since the war. They had done so by adopting a modern broadcasting style and earning a reputation for greater freedom from government influence.
As well as rapidly modernizing its style to match its competitors, France Inter stressed its freedom from commercial pressures – although it does carry a limited amount of paid-for advertising – and especially presented itself as intelligent radio accessible to a general audience under the slogan Écoutez la différence ("Listen to the difference").
France Inter programmes, a number of which have been important milestones in the history of French radio, include: