European edition, Thursday, June 7, 2007

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — American Forces Network viewers and radio listeners here will see a slight change in service later this month when the local channels lose affiliation with AFN Hessen in favor of neighboring Kaiserslautern.

On June 25, the information television channel and 106.1 FM will be broadcast from K-town in a move to bring more relevant information to Baumholder residents.

The decision to switch from AFN Hessen to AFN Kaiserslautern has been in the works for about two months, and was largely based on the proximity between the two military communities, said Jerry Cormier, broadcast operations director for AFN Kaiserslautern.

“It’s a good thing for both communities. We have a lot of people who commute here to work and vice versa. We have a lot more in common with each other,” Cormier said.

From weather reports and winter road condition advisories to community events, Baumholder residents are more likely to benefit from a Kaiserslautern broadcast since the two towns are only about a half-hour drive apart, Cormier said.

The switch won’t mean any changes in the types of stateside programming viewers will have access to.

For some Baumholder soldiers, that’s the problem.

“Why doesn’t AFN play the BET music awards?” asked Spc. Sean Alexander, 23, on his lunch break Monday.

“That’s a big deal for people here,” added Pvt. Jimmy Rockett, 20.

AFN Hessen to AFN Kaiserslautern?

“It’s all the same,” said Pvt. Akeil Spence, 23. If there’s any important local information, “They (command) let us know.”

The soldiers say programmers need to get to work on getting Black Entertainment Television and The History Channel.

If there’s a benefit to receiving information from Kaiserslautern instead of Hessen, Alexander said he’s not sure what it is.

“You’d have to ask my wife that,” Alexander said.

Nonetheless, Baumholder residents living on base will see a seamless transition to AFN Kaiserslautern. For those with satellite service living off base, the new K-town station will be found on Channel 19, Cormier said. The Hessen channel can still be viewed on Channel 2 for those living off base.

Baumholder information will be incorporated into the K-town information channel just as it is now with AFN Hessen, Cormier said.

“I think this is something that will benefit people in Kaiserslautern, too,” he said.

author picture
John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now