Georgia Patte – Karagiannioti

Interview: Pavlos Methenitis | Photo: Nikos Zappas

Radio is culture in its own right…

For 18 years, Georgia Patte-Karagiannioti has been in the team of ECHO FM, one of the most long-lived private radio stations in Greece that has kept Parians and Antiparians informed and entertained for 26 years now.

Today, Christos Karagianniotis, the passionate radio man who set up ECHO FM, would have been proud of the station’s dogged plodder, his most loyal, capable and persistent apprentice, Mytilene-born teacher and mother of three, Georgia Patte, who has been running the station for the past few years.

Go ahead and let us know all about ECHO FM – how everything kicked off and where it’s headed today, its main focus.
ECHO FM began transmitting as a full-fledged radio station in 1989. From its outset, it has been informative- musical. Since its first steps, founder Christos Karagianniotis has focused on both informing and entertaining listeners. Radio is culture in its own right.
Karagianniotis passed the torch to me, his most stubborn, curious and loyal apprentice, a dogged plodder (“black dog”), as he used to call me because of my stubbornness and perseverance. I’m exacting and demanding with myself in handling what he passed down to me, his history, his style. I set the bar as high as I can.
She mainly focuses, as she has always done, on local issues, ranging from citizens’ mobilizations and protests about local matters, to cultural events, and the promotion of people, talents and endeavours spotted in Paros and Antiparos, and the broader Cyclades region.

What was Christos Karagiannioti’s contribution to the station?
Christos was still very young when he decided to turn his hobby into a full-time job. He had a profound knowledge of his subject and an incredible technical savvy.
He was honest, a strict but very good teacher, and a very sensitive person who liked to share his immense knowledge with his listeners. He was the enduring old rocker of ECHO FM, as well as an observer and chronicler of the modern history of Paros and Antiparos, always at the forefront of news coverage. He was the one who made the station big. It was a bet he made and won.

You are one of the veterans of Paros radio. What does it mean to be a woman and run a small-town radio station?
My career spans eighteen years now. I’ve held just about every position in the station: administrative support, marketing, production of promotional spots, news and music programmes. I also do interviews, profiles etc. In recent years, thanks to the invaluable help of friends and colleagues, I’ve been learning all about transmitters and antennas – the technical part of the job.
Being a female and running a small-town radio station means, first of all, forgetting that you’re a woman every once in a while, as there comes a time when you have to fight in adverse terrain… Let me just say that I once had to crawl on rocks, knocked down by a 12 Beaufort wind gust…
A woman doing such a tough job must have a soldier’s discipline. On top of that, she must strike a balance when it comes to various local issues and interests. Nothing is easy, nothing is conquered without sacrifice. I keep getting positive feedback from many, politicians and otherwise. Everybody has passed from ECHO FM: ministers, MPs, local officials, citizens, young people who want to know their local radio station.
I’ve never felt, nor will I ever feel, arrogant – all of our listeners know that. To them I’ve always been the Georgia who offers both Paros and Antiparos the best she can, for as long as she can. I loathe lying and pretension. I have a deep respect for everything bold and authentic.

What are your future plans?
Stay tuned to 102.1 and you’ll see…

Summer 2015