Thank you for listening

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

These are the last words spoken live on air by Jonathan Groubert on 29 June 2012, marking the end to broadcasts in English from Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Listener Andreas Knedlik recorded the last goodbye as he heard it on shortwave in Europe.

-- 'THE END' --

22:52 [Dutch time - Music: A nice cup of tea - Eddy Startz. 1'00"].

This is Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Service. I’m Jonathan Groubert.
Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Service. There, I’ve said it for nearly the last time after 65 years on the air.

The truth is, our pedigree goes back to the dawn of radio. That’s why we’re playing Eddie Startz’s Nice Cup of Tea, his signature tune from Happy Station which itself started in 1927 as part of PCJ Radio.

[Music UP .10”]

We’re coming to you now live from Cel Vier or studio 4. This is the studio from which we broadcast everything, at least since I’ve been here, even since we automated our broadcasts. It’s all come right from here. 

So it’s fitting that we end here: live.

We’re just minutes from the very end of the very last broadcast of Radio Netherlands in English. Dutch has already closed and most other services are closing down as well today and there’s been a party atmosphere at the station. This will be in stark contrast with the silence of the near empty building come Monday.

And for this last broadcast, this is how we’re going to go out. Right now, we’re going to start the bells….

22.53 [Fade-under of the 3’00 RNW carillon]

I’m sure most of you recognize this: it’s Merck Toch Hoe Sterck, our interval signal that would announce Radio Netherlands’ arrival to the shortwaves….

We’ll play the bell to the end  and when they finish, we’ll do something different. We’ll play the Dutch national anthem, the Wilhelmus.  And then, there will be silence. You won’t hear from us again on shortwave.

But this isn’t the end.

Our new task, for the few of us who are left behind, will be to build something new and ambitious.

For 65 years we’ve been a broadcaster that had the tremendous good fortune to be totally editorially independent. We were never a government mouthpiece. This was a rare thing during the heydays of shortwave, and it is today.

So as of Monday, we are being asked to look at the world and search for places where the media is less than free and lend a hand. In some cases we’ll be going to them and where that’s not possible, we will help them come to us. It’s a worthy task and I, for one, am happy to do it because, frankly, that’s what we were doing anyway, right?

[BELLS UP for 10 secs]

Hundreds of you have written in over the last weeks. We’ve read all your comments and we feel good. So thank you for writing.

Above all, thank you for listening. Thank you for valuing what we did. Thank you for letting us know it was worthwhile. We are profoundly moved and we hope that sometimes, we moved you too.

As Dr. Seuss said, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

And so, on behalf of all of us here, for the last time, from Hilversum in Holland, this is Radio Netherlands, The Dutch International Service. Thank you for listening and goodbye.

22.55 [Words end, while the carillon plays out the last, nice musical minute.]

22.56 [Wilhelmus - national anthem]

22.57 [silence]

This last goodbye was preceded by a special one-hour commemorative programme: