Contact 94

Contact 94 started on the 5th September 1988, beaming a very powerful signal to Jersey (UK Channel Islands) from Lessay in Normandy, France. The frequency at first was 94.4 MHz, although that later to moved around between 93.8, 94.6 and 97.7 for unspecified reasons (there were reports that even if it did have a licence it's terms were not kept). Broadcasting was in English, with no French music, and a good jingle package (alphasound?JAMS?). It hardly needed the effective marketing to make the station rapidly become extremely popular.

The studios were above the 'pub/disco/restaurant' La Campagnette. A back up transmitter was located at Cambernon, just outside Coutances, connected via microwave to the studio in Lessay. They were using Supergold (from satellite) overnight from 11pm till 6am.

Who was who?
Colin Nixon, director
Stephen Wallace Clipp, director, Sales, station backer (Jubilee Holidays). (Later backers Messrs Voisin and Billington were on the licence application in 1991)
Chris Kirby, Sales & Marketing (Mediawise)
Alain Tardiff, French Director, owned the land it was built on.

Francois Head, DJ? Engineer?
Mark Mathews, DJ ex Caroline
Kevin Turner, DJ 6am-9am, ex Caroline, 558, Ocean Sound
Steve Ryan, DJ 9am-1pm & news, ex Capitol Radio Dublin
Jon Tyler, DJ 1pm-4pm, ex Caroline, later John Tyler, DJ, now BBC (later John Myres amongst other AKAs)
Neil McLeod, DJ 4pm-7pm
Liam Mayclem, DJ, news and Saturday show 2pm-6pm, "He started out as a trainee radio reporter at County Sound Radio, Guildford, outside London in 1987, and has since worked for the BBC and Capital Radio London, in addition to spending four years as a news announcer/reporter at Channel TV in Jersey. Liam moved to San Francisco in 1994, now at KRON 4, 'frisco
Danielle Berrou, French, female DJ, evenings 6pm-10pm
Tim Smith, DJ
Later joined by DJs Gavin Ford, Max Buchannon ( ), and Caroline Martin.

Other names found by Google internet searches :
Dave Asher "in France this time, he ran his own radio station Contact 94"
Rob Harrison, DJ 1990-91
Chris Pearson, DJ
Paul Gledhill "I used to work for a radio station just outside of Cherbourg called Contact 94" .. "In 1989"
Steve Satan "Contact 94 in France (before it closed down)"
Hopcyn Bird, "own programme Contact 94 FM - France presenter 1991"
Big Al (AKA Alex Dyke)
John Bennett
Alex Ritson, DJ

By December 1988 they were using 97.7, however on 3rd Feb 1989 the 97.7 signal disappeared - rumour has it 15 gendarmes entered the studios and switched off the equipment. The plug had been pulled by the French! A press cutting from 8th July stated they were raring to go once more, and they returned in August.

Advert dated 22nd Nov 1989 shows frequency 94.6

After a year or two, technical difficulties made reception quite difficult in Jersey. Transmitter and link problems meant that Contact 94 ended up in mono with very low power. (At one time Contact 94 was on 94.6 MHz, which was too close to BBC Radio 3 on 94.8 MHz and caused such interference that Radio 3 listeners were driven to complain.)

Even funnier was the occasion when their 950MHz studio-to-transmitter link was overcome by analogue cellphone signals from Jersey, and some local phone calls were relayed on FM!

UPDATE: "Contact 94 was found by the French authorities to be illegal" - States of Jersey minutes 1989-feb-28 -

RIP Contact 94, leaving the air on 29th November 1991.

In September 2008 there was a reunion at the studios, which looked just like they did when Contact 94 moved out, as they hadn't been used since! See the picture set here.

Contact 94 has also made an appearance on YouTube, TF1 footage from 1991 is well worth a look :

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