The book 25 Anos Consigo. História duma Rádio de Proximidade (2010) indicates the date of 8 June 1985 as the beginning of Radio Clube de Monsanto's broadcasts. The soul of the project was and is Joaquim Manuel da Fonseca, secondary school teacher and former employee of Radio Altitude. The first transmitter was built by the amateur radio enthusiast CT1BJS, Reinaldo Pedro Ramos Serra.
In a letter addressed to the Mayor of Idanha-a-Nova, to which Monsanto belongs, Joaquim Fonseca informed about the experimental broadcasts on that day and on the following one, affirming the regularity of the broadcasts from the following August, with a transmitter working at 102.5 MHz, connected to Casa do Povo de Monsanto. As we can read in the voluminous book on the station's history, a letter from CTT (the Portuguese Post Office) (3 December 1985) stated that it could not authorise the setting up of the transmitter, given the absence of legislation on the subject (radio broadcasting), which was the subject of much discussion in that period. CTT sent the request to the Secretary of State for Media. At the beginning of 1986, the station was technically equipped, namely the modification of the transmitter from 2 to 20 watts and the installation of a 15 metre tower, for a total of more than 370 thousand escudos, a very large investment for the time.
In April 1987, Joaquim Fonseca and several friends founded a cooperative to consolidate the radio project and the ideal of social and cultural promotion of the region. A testimony published in the book mentions the value of eight million escudos as the total investment in the radio at that time. Another testimony points out the structure of the programming: recordings with short stories, verses, voices and instrumentalists from the region.
The correspondence included in the book shows that the radio station closed on 24 December 1988, like all free radios. Many local voices pleaded for the station’s reopening, invoking the public utility of the station as the main reason for its continuation. They included the mayor of Idanha-a-Nova and the actor and author Fernando Curado Ribeiro. Pages 87 and onwards of the book chronicle the most important acts of the station between 1985 and 1988.
On 24 May 1989, Joaquim Fonseca announced the opening of a new transmitter, on 98,7 MHz, to operate between 3:00pm and 00:00am, already perfectly legalised. This was followed by a campaign to attract new members, to financially support the initiative. The transmitter's power would be 26 Watts. The licence from the Directorate-General of Media approved the station, as long as it did not broadcast more than two hours of advertising.
Rogério Santos, 2010
Original text, with images, at https://radio.hypotheses.org/2967.
Author: Rogério Santos, 2022
Texto original, com imagens, em https://radio.hypotheses.org/2967.