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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (August 4, 1999 - Pacific Media Watch- Islands national broadcaster, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC), will extend its services with the launching of a new FM Station this weekend.

The new station will be known as Wantok FM 96.3.

SIBC currently covers the Solomon Islands via medium wave and short wave frequencies.

SIBC's General Manager, Johnson Honimae, said the launching of the FM Service, with the call sign WAN FM, is a fulfillment of management plans to meet the needs of the entire Solomon Islands population.

"An audience survey conducted in (the capital) Honiara in 1997 showed that more than 90 percent of people surveyed listened to SIBC. But out of this percentage, SIBC was not getting to the youth population of Honiara," he said.

"Therefore, the Board and Management decided that to satisfy this need and to complete SIBC's coverage, there was a need to set up the new FM Service."

Honimae also said SIBC appreciates the assistance of the Solomon Islands Government and Taiwan for funding the equipment necessary to set up the new service.

WAN FM will broadcast the latest in music, news and sports. It also will be broadcasting internationally renowned music programs.

Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa‘alu will launch the new station on Saturday.

Title -- 2271 SOLOMON IS: SIBC to launch new FM station Date -- 5 August 1999 Byline -- None Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- Pacnews, 1700, 4/8/99 Copyright – Pacnews Status -- Unabridged

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