From the Gay & Lesbian Radio Show 2000 – 2005 to Mindradio 2007 – 2016

Vangelis Giannelos had secured a radio show for the Greek Homosexual Community and proposed that we host it together (along with Paul Sofianos) and I accepted. However, they both quickly lost interest and left the show to me. So I established the Gay & Lesbian Radio Show on the 94 Epikinonia sta FM (Communication on FM) radio station, airing every Thursday evening from 11.00 pm to 1.00 am.

I advertised it as much as I could, made and distributed flyers, placed ads in Paul’s gay magazine, put banners on websites and got it to a high rating for the station, the type of show and the time. I hosted it for 5 years until the National Broadcasting Council sued the station simply because I said the word gay during a broadcast that also featured a condom advertisement. So the show was shut down. (I still meet people who tell me they used to lie in bed at night, tuning the radio to a low volume to prevent their parents or neighbors from hearing, just so they could listen to the show. I’ve kept a few tapes of those broadcasts.)

After a year or so I began to miss it and one day, while at a friend’s house, I started crying and saying how much I missed doing radio. The next day I was in that house again (I visited those friends very often) and the quiet German partner of my friend asked me to open up my huge laptop (at that time I used to lug this enormous laptop all around Athens, along with flyers for, Cyberdykes parties, and anything else I was involved in).

I opened the laptop, and he made some adjustments, then asked me to play a song. Next, he pulled out a small silly microphone and asked me to say something. I did and he invited me into his room, which couldn’t be more sparse —his laptop sat on a crate and the bed was just a mattress on the floor. There, I heard the song and my voice. I couldn’t believe it!

Gerhard Hansmair had built my personal radio station and the very first web radio in Greece. I was thrilled, I was jumping for joy! I called my brother Tassos and shared the news. He asked if others could broadcast from home just as I would. I confirmed, and he exclaimed, “You’ve created a user centric radio!” He then introduced me to Conn-X.

In 2008 Mind Radio won the Golden Hermes award in the Internet Media category on behalf of Leo Burnett and was sponsored by Conn-X of Cosmote.

Due to its online presence, it surpassed any traditional radio station in terms of listenership. I had it integrated into numerous websites and chat rooms, playing automatically.

With the funding from Conn-X’s we ran an intense online campaign and the shows featured numerous individual guests and groups. Every Tuesday from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am was dedicated to the celebrity zone, which was broadcasted from the Mind Radio room within a condo where I stayed upstairs, while downstairs housed the office.

I can proudly tell you that very few singers hadn’t dropped by the condo house for the radio show.

Every Tuesday night there was a parade of big names and names that became big names over time.

There’s a lot of archival material somewhere on hard drives. I did a quick crawl on the internet and found these photos!

Mind radio became the largest web radio in Greece. We did live broadcasts from protest marches and events, we participated with booths in music exhibitions and international days, we sponsored communication in almost all events, mainly in Athens, and gave out thousands of free invitations to theaters and concerts!

Karen Solomon Signing for the Mind Radio