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1990 Polish-English VOA Newscast

Cold War Radio Museum Cold War Radio Museum

1990 VOA Polish Service Bilingual Polish-English Newscast


The Cold War was almost over in 1989-1990. The Voice of America was looking for new ways to deliver news to Eastern Europe.

The bilingual VOA Polish-English newscast was one of several projects initiated in the VOA Polish Service.

The ten-minute bilingual newscast was eventually rebroadcast daily on Program One of Polish Radio under an agreement negotiated between VOA Polish Service chief Ted Lipien and Solidarity backed Chairman of the State Committee for Radio and Television Dr. Andrzej Drawicz and the head of Polish Radio Program One Marek Lipiński. Nationwide Program One also carried a five-minute bilingual VOA Special English-VOA Polish Service program five days a week and a 50-minute music program produced by VOA Polish Service DJ Wojciech Zorniak once a week. Another nationwide network of Polish public radio, Program Three, carried a 30-minute VOA Polish Service music program once a week.

The Service also initiated joint programs with Polish Television. One of the participants in some of the television programs was former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski who was a fluent Polish speaker.

These projects, however, were soon abandoned as VOA management could not assure consistent quality and reliable program delivery. In December 1989, VOA Director Richard W. Carlson opened a VOA office in Warsaw, but it did not become a full news bureau and was never permanently staffed.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Poland joined NATO in 1999.

The last VOA Polish Service on-air radio program to Poland was heard on July 20, 2000 after 58 years from the first VOA Polish radio broadcast in 1942. Some internet broadcasting and feed service continued until the VOA Polish Service was completely shut down in May 2004.

The bilingual VOA Polish-English newscast heard in this video was aired on January 24, 1990. It was read by VOA Polish Service broadcaster Jerzy Rudzki and VOA English broadcaster Philip G. Murray.

Mr. Murray, who was the husband of VOA Polish Service chief of production Roma Starczewska-Murray, often volunteered to read in his free time as the management failed to provide full funding for the project.

Philip G. Murray Sr. was born on Aug. 3, 1920, in Boston, Mass. He served in the U.S. Army as a Staff Sgt. during WW II and was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. During these years he was also on the Army-Navy All-Stars Swim Team. After the war he continued to serve in the Massachusetts National Guard.

He graduated (dean’s list) from Leland Powers School of Radio, Television & Theater and had an extensive career in radio and television in New England and New York, and as a broadcaster, producer and director for 15 years for the Voice of America before retiring in 1994.

He appeared in the movie “Jaws” and in several PBS specials as well as television and print commercials.

In his retirement years he was a volunteer reader for Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic). He died in Alexandria, Virginia on July 16, 2011 at the age of 90. His widow, Roma Starczewska Murray (April 22, 1935-November 3, 2017), was born in Warsaw, Poland and moved to the U.S. in the mid 1960s. She was a talented artist, creating traditional Polish paper cut-outs, and worked for many years as a producer and later as the chief producer of Voice of America Polish programs. She also did volunteer reading for the Blind and Dyslexic.

The photographs from the promotional 1990 VOA Calendar were taken in 1989. The VOA Polish Service promotional brochure was produced in the early 1990s.


Ted Lipien is the online Cold War Radio Museum's principal volunteer editor. He is an independent journalist, writer, and media freedom advocate. He was Voice of America’s Polish Service chief during Poland’s struggle for democracy and VOA’s acting associate director. He also served briefly in 2020-2021 as RFE/RL president in a non-political and non-partisan role. His book “Wojtyła’s Women” was published in 2008 by O-Books, UK. E-mail him at:

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