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The concept behind FIP has scarcely changed since its founding: music interrupted by traffic updates and cultural information with a short news broadcast at 10 before the hour, with no advertising. The broadcasts are presented by live announcers from 7 am to 11 pm, after which a robot replays parts of the music broadcast the previous day.
FIP’s programming is an eclectic mix of musical genres: chanson, rock, world music, classical music, film music, jazz and more, but connected with a theme. FIP is one of the few stations with this type of programming in the world.
The station was founded in 1971 by Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou, both week-end presenters at France Inter. It broadcast from Paris at 514 m (585 kHz) on mediumwave, which gave it its original name: France Inter Paris 514. It was noted for its particular programming and its hosts’ sugary tone of voice as they described traffic problems with humour and irony.
After Paris, the station was emulated in other cities (Lyon, Marseille, and so forth), which broadcast the same music and news with local traffic conditions and events. The P in FIP changed according to the location: FIM, FIL, FIB, FIS, and so on.
As with Radio France generally, FIP moved to FM and stereo.
Given its role as a niche player in French public broadcasting, FIP was largely untouched by the changes in the French radio landscape starting in 1981. In 1999 Jean-Marie Cavada, the president of Radio France launched a restructuring called “Plan Bleu”, which re-assigned frequencies among local stations, Radio Bleue, Urgences, Le Mouv’ and FIP.
FIP lost its stations with small audiences: the stations at Metz and Nice were moved to the France Bleu network.
Despite listener protests, the plan was adopted on May 24, 2000.
Fip has enthousiastic audiences abroad: in Italy, England(Brighton), Belgium and The Netherlands ( where there has been e fierce battle to keep it on radio-distribution!)