|Norsk rikskringkasting AS|
|Type||Publicly funded Aksjeselskap|
|Predecessor||Kringkastningsselskapet A/S (1925)|
|Founded||1 July 1933|
|Vibeke Fürst Haugen|
|Owner||Government of Norway|
Number of employees
|3,419; 266 temporary staff (2017)|
NRK, also known as the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (Norwegian: Norsk rikskringkasting AS lit. 'Norwegian National Broadcasting AS'), is the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company, and the largest media organisation in Norway. All other TV channels, broadcast from Norway, were banned between 1960 and 1981. NRK broadcasts three national TV channels and thirteen national radio channels on digital terrestrial television, digital terrestrial radio and subscription television. All NRK radio stations are streamed online at NRK.no, which also offers an extensive TV service. NRK is a founding member of the European Broadcasting Union.
Until the start of 2020, about 94% of NRK's funding came from a mandatory annual licence fee payable by anyone who owns or uses a TV or device capable of receiving TV broadcasts. The remainder came from commercial activities such as programme and DVD sales, spin-off products, and certain types of sponsorships. NRK's license income in 2012 was more than 5 billion NOK. In the autumn of 2015, the government announced that it planned to change the way NRK is financed. This was in part a reaction to the decline of TV ownership in Norway. From the start of 2020, NRK funding is an item in the national budget and the costs are covered through taxation for each individual liable for income taxes in Norway.
Kringkastningsselskapet A/S, a privately owned company and the predecessor of NRK, started regular radio broadcasts in Norway in 1925. NRK itself was founded in 1933. Based on a model similar to that of the BBC and located in Oslo, it was a replacement for privately operated radio stations in larger cities. NRK initially set out to cover the entire country and had a monopoly on broadcasting in Norway. The monopoly came under intense pressure when Norwegian TV companies began broadcasting from abroad in addition to international cable TV. Cable TV started in 1982 and satellite TV in 1986 (the launch of TV3 in 1987 and TVNorge in 1988). It was not until the launch of TV 2 on 5 September 1992, that NRK's monopoly on television broadcasting in Norway ended.
During the Nazi German occupation, Norwegian transmitters were used to broadcast Nazi German war propaganda to Northern Europe (particularly Scotland and the northern half of Ireland, where the sea path ensured a good signal) and Scandinavia.
Prior to the Nazi German occupation, NRK had also been partly financed by radio commercials.
NRK was one of 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union, which was founded in 1950. In 1954, NRK started broadcasting television shows, on a trial basis. Regular broadcasts started in 1960.
In 1969, NRK adopted a new version of its corporate logo which consists of the lowercased "nrk" wordmark that has the letter "n" being made up of a rectangle and a reversed-italic rectangle, the letter "r" being made up of a rectangle and a circle, and the letter "k" being made up of a rectangle and reflecting-mirrored italic rectangles.
NRK was the last of the major European public broadcasters to introduce a second radio station, officially starting as late as 1984. In 1993, NRK launched a third radio station, the youth-oriented P3. A 24-hour station for classical music, Alltid Klassisk (now called "NRK Klassisk"), introduced in 1995, was the first of its kind to be broadcast digitally using digital audio broadcasting. The 24-hour news station Alltid Nyheter started in 1997, followed by a radio station for teenagers, mP3 in 2000, which mostly plays pop music.
On 1 September 1996, a second television channel called NRK2 was launched. The original television channel is now known as NRK1. On 3 September 2007, NRK launched its third channel: a youth channel called NRK3. Later that year, on 1 December, NRK launched its fourth television channel, NRK Super, which is aimed at children. NRK3 and NRK Super share the same channel, with NRK Super broadcasting from 06:00 to 19:30 and NRK3 from 19:30 to 06:00.
In 1999, following NRK Interaktiv's relaunch as NRK.no, NRK redesigned its corporate logo (that was introduced in 1969), so that it could be similar to its old version. This new version of NRK's corporate logo made its first appearance in an ident in 2000 by making its overhaul to NRK's radio and television channels.
A traditional music radio station, NRK Alltid folkemusikk (now known as "NRK Folkemusikk") was launched in 2004 on DAB and internet radio.
NRK's international radio transmissions, known as Utenlandssendingen, began shortwave transmission in 1948. Initially broadcasting in Norwegian, English-language programs were added later. The service was discontinued on 1 January 2002. All NRK broadcasting activities on shortwave ceased on 1 January 2004. NRK's mediumwave transmitter at Kvitsøy on 1314 kHz used to be widely heard internationally and was one of the most commonly heard trans-Atlantic DX signals in eastern North America. The frequency carried a mixture of NRK's radio channels P1 and P2, and was called Europakanalen (literally "The Europe Channel"). However, these mediumwave transmissions were discontinued on 1 July 2006.
All of NRK's radio stations are now available on the internet. Several of NRK's television programmes are also available on the internet.
On 16 April 2015, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture announced its intention to eventually switch off all FM transmitters in the country, with the first such transmitter expected to be switched off on 11 January 2017, therefore making Norway the first country in the world to completely transition to digital radio. According to the Ministry of Culture, the decision was justified because transmitting through the FM network was eight times more expensive than transmitting through digital audio broadcasting, and because only five national radio stations are transmitting on FM, compared to the 42 digital radio stations allocated in Norway, with 22 stations transmitting on the latter. NRK Radio is expected to transition from FM to digital radio before commercial radio stations do so.
NRK claimed to have the longest-running radio show, Lørdagsbarnetimen (The Saturday Children's Hour), which ran from 20 December 1924 until 11 September 2010.
In 2017, NRK asked five architectural firms to present sketches for possible development and use of NRK's area at Marienlyst, should NRK move rather than improve the property. In 2019, work began to find the best site for a new building, and in 2020 the property on Marienlyst was sold to Ferd Eiendom for NOK 3.75 billion.
Close to 100 different locations were considered for the new head office, but Gamle Oslo, Bryn, Storo Løren, Lillestrøm-Puls and Lilleaker were the most relevant options. Director of relocation Jon Espen Lohne in NRK, said in 2020 that they have ambitions to get the country to choose a site before the end of the year. In May 2021, it was announced that NRK had decided to move to Ensjø, and that the price for the property was NOK 800 million.
The CEO began major organisational changes in 2008, with the aim of creating a more agile NRK, while still adhering to the principles of the broadcaster-producer model introduced in January 2001. By January 2009, the number of programme-producing divisions had been reduced from five to three, separated more along geographical than functional lines, and at the same time simplifying trading in the internal market. The programme-producing divisions are:
Vibeke Fürst Haugen has been director-general of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation since 29 April 2022. The previous directors were Olav Midttun (1934–1947, except during the Nazi occupation), Kaare Fostervoll (1948–1962), Hans Jacob Ustvedt (1962–1971), Torolf Elster (1972–1981), Bjartmar Gjerde (1981–1988), Einar Førde (1989–2001), John G. Bernander (2001–2007), Hans-Tore Bjerkaas (2007–2012) and Thor Gjermund Eriksen (2012-2022). After WW2, all but Hans-Tore Bjerkaas and John G. Bernander had been active politically in socialist parties. The current director-general, Vibeke Fürst Haugen, came from the position of director of the Marienlyst-division of NRK in Oslo.
The chairman of the board is Birger Magnus, Marius Lillelien heads the broadcasting department, and the head of the news department is Marius Tetlie. In 2017, NRK employed 3419 and 266 temporary staff.
Main article: List of NRK regional services
NRK has 12 regional offices around Norway. Each office has its own broadcasts on both television (on NRK 1) and radio (on NRK P1), as well their own news sites on the internet. They also contribute news coverage to national news programmes. NRK's headquarters are at Marienlyst in Oslo and Tyholt in Trondheim.
Norway was the first country to announce a complete switch-off of national FM radio stations, including NRK P1 with regional services, NRK P2 and NRK P3, NRK mP3 and NRK Alltid Nyheter. Switch off started on 11 January 2017, and ended on 13 December 2017.
From 2018, all FM transmitters are replaced with broadcast via DAB +, internet and cable.
In July 2019, a cartoon produced and posted on NRK’s Facebook page was widely panned for antisemitism. It featured an orthodox Jew participating in a game of Scrabble, where his opponent is hesitant to lay down his point-scoring yet deeply offensive word "Jew swine". The network received over 300 complaint letters, . NRK denied accusations of antisemitism, but removed the description "tag a Jew" from the video. The network previously apologized for spoofing the Holocaust in a 2016 cartoon, which it has still not been removed.