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Radio Free Monocle

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“It’s midnight in Auckland, 18:00 hours in Bangkok, midday in London, and 07:00 hours in Washington. You’re with Monocle 24,” began The Briefing, one of the programs on Monocle‘s new, online radio station, which launched from the globe-trotting, tastemaking magazine’s London HQ, Midori House.

“There’s so much shouting in the world going on at the moment and everyone is trying to get the message out—tweet it, Facebook it—and I just think it’s much nicer to have a conversation,” said Monocle‘s editor in chief, Tyler Brûle. “I think radio is a very beautiful conversation. It’s intimate and it’s elegant.” He noted that the move to radio is actually as modern as it is retro—the station will be Web-based, stream-able to a digital audience. Shows will be both pre-recorded—like The Globalist, The Urbanist, and The Monocle Weekly—and live. (Brazilian chanteuse Elza Soares is slated to perform.)

The guests at the debut dinner were the well-rounded sort you’d expect from the magazine: CNN anchorman Max Foster, The Gentlewoman‘s Penny Martin, Serpentine Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones, and a few ambassadors in the mix (Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish). That last may have especially enjoyed the evening’s entertainment, Sweden’s Quiet Nights Orchestra, flown over from Stockholm for the occasion. The band also recorded M24′s jingles.

The Swedish connection may not be accidental. Brûle admitted that his own radio diet consists of the BBC World Service, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and “this very commercial Top 40 Classics Swedish station.”

Photo: Courtesy of Monocle

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Dept. of Culture