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Remembering Bob Thomann, the original Swiss Merry-Go-Round SW radio program producer

Our hearts are saddened by the loss of our old friend, Bob Thomann (HB9GX), who passed away on Saturday evening, August 3, 2019, at the age of 90.

Bob Thomann was the founder of the Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round radio program, started on SBC/Swiss Radio International in the ’50s. Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti (an American radio journalist from the New York area) later produced the program together in 1970 when Zanotti joined SRI from Canada. They co-presented what became a mailbag and DX technical program, which ended up known as “The Two Bobs” until the show was cut off by SRI management in June 1994.

Bob Thomann in Schwarzenburg

Bob Thoman (the other one of the Two Bobs) standing at the side of a vintage transmitter at Schwarzenburg

Although Bob Thomann never visited our station, in the late 80s’ he was Bob Zanotti’s technical expert and one of our silent and very “helpful hands” at IRRS-Shortwave and NEXUS-IBA. That was at the time (1988) when we set up our first Shortwave station and antennas in the outskirts of Milan, Italy. NEXUS-IBA’s first two Siemens transmitters were previously used by Radio Bern (Bernradio) aeronautical station located in Schwarzenburg, and very well known by the two Bobs.

You can read more about Bob Thomann and Bob Zanotti, the now-defunct Schwarzenburg station, and hear samples of the Two Bobs broadcasts on our blog.

Bob Thomann was a good friend of ours and a strong supporter of Shortwave broadcasting. We have lost a great supporter of International broadcasting, a wonderful person, and a dear friend. Rest in peace, Bob. We will miss you.