Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor
RIAS was a radio
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

 and television station
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

 in the American Sector of Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. It was founded by the US occupational authorities after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in 1946 to provide the German population in and around Berlin with news and political reporting and was initially only broadcast on cable radio
Cable radio
Cable radio or cable FM is a concept similar to that of cable television, bringing radio signals into homes and businesses via coaxial cable. It is generally used as cable TV was in its early days when it was "community antenna television", to enhance the quality of terrestrial radio signals that...

 in the American sector of Berlin. The station's importance was magnified during the 1948 Berlin blockade
Berlin Blockade
The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in casualties. During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied...

, when it carried the message of Allied determination to resist Soviet intimidation. After the Berlin blockade, RIAS (by now carried on terrestrial mediumwave
Medium wave is the part of the medium frequency radio band used mainly for AM radio broadcasting. For Europe the MW band ranges from 526.5 kHz to 1606.5 kHz...

 and later FM
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

 transmitters) evolved into a surrogate home service for East Germans, as it broadcast news, commentary, and cultural programs that were unavailable in the controlled media of the German Democratic Republic. Eventually RIAS was jointly funded and managed by the United States and West Germany. The station was staffed almost entirely with Germans, who worked under a small American management team. It maintained a large research component during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, and interviewed travellers from East Germany and compiled material from the East German Communist media, and broadcast programs for specific groups in East Germany, such as youths, women, farmers, even border guards. RIAS had a huge audience in East Germany and was the most popular foreign radio service. The audience began to shrink only when West German television became widely available to the East German audience.

Listening to it in Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

-controlled East Germany was discouraged. After the workers' riots in East Germany in 1953, which were the end result of the government's raising of food prices and factory production quotas, the Communist government blamed the incident on the RIAS and the CIA.

The orchestra also established by the US forces, called RIAS Symphonie Orchester, still exists under the name Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin is an orchestra based in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1946 by American occupation forces as the RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester . It was also known as the American Sector Symphony Orchestra...

, as well as the RIAS Kammerchor
RIAS Kammerchor
The RIAS Kammerchor is a professional chamber choir of the RIAS in Berlin, founded originally for contemporary music, with an international reputation.-History:...

, a professional chamber choir
Chamber choir
A chamber choir or group of chamber singers is the choral equivalent of a chamber ensemble, using voices instead of instruments. This prestigious choir will usually consist of 20-40 elite and dedicated singers. Several chamber choir formats exist, ranging from barbershop groups to exclusively...

 founded as the RIAS-Kammerchor.

Its most important transmitter was the transmitter Berlin-Britz
Transmitter Berlin-Britz
Transmitter Berlin-Britz is a broadcasting facility for medium wave, shortwave and FM on the site of a former tree nursery in Berlin-Britz. It was established in 1946 and until 1993 it was the most important transmitter of RIAS. It is now used by Deutschlandradio.The Berlin-Britz transmitter...

. Later a second transmitter in Hof
Hof, Germany
Hof is a city located on the banks of the Saale in the northeastern corner of the German state of Bavaria, in the Franconia region, at the Czech border and the forested Fichtelgebirge and Frankenwald upland regions....

, Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 was added to improve reception in the southern parts of East Germany,

While the transmitter in Berlin-Britz is still in use, now transmitting the program of RIAS successor DeutschlandRadio Berlin (now known as Deutschlandradio Kultur
Deutschlandradio Kultur
Deutschlandradio Kultur is the culture-oriented radio station of the German national Deutschlandradio service...

), the RIAS transmitter in Hof no longer exists.


RIAS-TV, began broadcasting (as a part time optout on the terrestrial frequency of SAT.1
Sat.1 is a privately owned German television broadcasting station. Sat.1 was the first privately owned television broadcasting station in Germany, having started one day before RTL Television....

) from West Berlin in August 1988. Prior to this there were no Western television broadcasts specifically targeted at East Germany although many of the domestic West German TV networks (particularly ARD
ARD (broadcaster)
ARD is a joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters...

) had high power transmitters along the border and could be received throughout most of East where many of their programmes attracted a larger audience than the official East German domestic broadcasters
Deutscher Fernsehfunk
Deutscher Fernsehfunk , known from 1972 to 1990 as Fernsehen der DDR , was the state television broadcaster in East Germany.-Foundation:...


The fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 in 1989 and German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 the following year meant that RIAS-TV was short lived. In 1992 Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle or DW, is Germany's international broadcaster. The service is aimed at the overseas market. It broadcasts news and information on shortwave, Internet and satellite radio on 98.7 DZFE in 30 languages . It has a satellite television service , that is available in four languages, and...

(Germany's International broadcaster) inherited the RIAS-TV broadcast facilities, using them to start a German and English language television channel broadcast via satellite.
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