Radio Newsbeat


mansell forts 4

Welcome to another radio related post.  There was something rather magical about the radio stations that came from the forts in the 1960s.  It is sad to see that they are left rusting in the North Sea and Thames area.  One good source of information about the forts is the Bob Le Roi site. This link will take you to the story of Radio City on 299!

The You Tube Video below tells the story of the forts including the unfortunate shooting of Reg Calvert, owner of Radio City and Pop Impressario.

A reminder also that Radio 1 from the BBC has a long history now as well

Finally Capital Radio on 539 metres launched in London in 1973. The first music and entertainment station in the country, other than Manx Radio on the Isle of Man. This video features Kenny Everett – well worth a look. The station is situated in the ground floors of the Euston Tower, and not in Leicester Square where it is now. Capital Radio now seems a bland radio station aimed at youngsters, such a pity. Capital Gold (Gold) continues but as a computer driven music jukebox.


News specially selected from the Radio Today Site

analogue automobile car car interior

Greg James and Nick Grimshaw swap Radio 1 shows
Beats Bakery Posts
Nick Grimshaw is coming off the Radio 1 breakfast show after six years to host drivetime in a direct swap with Greg James.

Greg joined Nick live on air this morning to share their news with listeners.

Nick began hosting The Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 2012 and this week, he became the second-longest running breakfast show presenter in the station’s history after Chris Moyles. Now he is passing the breakfast show baton over to Greg, who joined the BBC from student radio.

They will start their new shows on Radio 1 in the Autumn.

Nick said: “It was always my dream to do the breakfast show and I’m very grateful that I got to live my dream every day for what will be nearly 6 years. But 6 years is a long time and this isn’t a forever job. I had the time of my life. I’ve decided it’s time for a change and a new show. I love Radio 1 and can’t wait to get on with the new time slot and the removal of all alarms from my house. I’m so happy to be swapping shows with my friend and yours Greg James, and can’t wait to wake up to him each morning. Not literally. Just on the radio. Unless he’s up for it.”

Greg said, “I am completely beside myself that I’ve been given the chance to present the most famous radio show in the world. It really doesn’t get any bigger than this and I really want to build on the great work Grimmy has done. The listeners have become like mates during the ten years I’ve been on air, so to be there when they wake up is a real honour. They’re always front and centre and this will of course be the case on the new breakfast show. It’s going to be the most enjoyable challenge I’ve ever undertaken and I can’t wait to get started.”

Ben Cooper, Controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network said, “Greg gets his childhood dream, Grimmy gets a lie-in and the Radio 1 audience gets two exciting new shows with the biggest and most popular youth presenters in the country. I’m so proud that Radio 1 produces and nurtures the best talent in the industry – I gave Greg his first show when he joined us from student radio and now he’s getting the most famous radio gig in the world – it’s going to be fantastic.

“Grimmy’s done a brilliant job reinventing the feel and tone of the breakfast show by connecting with new audiences in new ways in the digital age.”

The announcement is part of reinventing Radio 1 and follows the recent news that Fridays are now officially part of the weekend. The new weekend schedule will include shows from Dev and Alice Levine, Maya Jama, Matt Edmondson and Mollie King plus Scott Mills and starts next month, ahead of Nick and Greg’s new shows starting in the Autumn

Scott Mills will be one of the first people to end a show on Radio 1 and start a show on Radio 2 at the same time.

He’s hosting his usual weekday afternoon programme from 1 till 4pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th May, then he’ll be on BBC Radio 2 from 4 till 7pm with a specialist “Remix” show.

Both programmes will be live – although we’re expecting the first link on Radio 2 to be pre-recorded just in case Scott doesn’t make it from Radio 1’s studio on the top floor of New Broadcasting House, to Radio 2’s studios in Wogan House just around the corner.

By our calculations though, it should take Scott less than 60 seconds to walk from one to the other, assuming the lift is waiting for him on the 8th floor.

The only time we are aware of this happened before is when Tony Blackburn broadcast live on Radio 2 then went to Radio 1 to celebrate 50 years of the two stations last September.

When asked about Scott broadcasting on both stations on the same day, a spokesperson told RadioToday: “Scott is the right talent to present a special Bank Holiday show for Radio 2 on songs that only became a hit after they were remixed.”

Scott’s Radio 2 show is described as “Scott Mills showcases the power of the remix – featuring tracks that needed that remix sheen to become a hit, alongside celebrated alternative takes on well-known classics.”

Bauer’s new national station Hits Radio has created a shortlist of 5 songs for listeners to choose which should be the first track played on 6am next Monday.

Key 103 in Manchester is rebranding, and becoming the first national commercial station to broadcast from outside London.

In an online poll via the Manchester Evening News, listeners can pick from Ed Sheeran & Pharrell’s Sing; You Got The Love by Florence and the Machine; Get The Party Started by Pink, Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling; and Greatest Day by Take That.

Voting closes at 10am on Friday, ahead of the station’s launch on Monday 4th June with the new breakfast show of Gemma Atkinson, Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty.

UKRD station Spirit FM in Chichester has hit its £50,000 target to raise money for a local man with disabilities after listeners donated more than £7,000 on Local Radio Day last week.

Audiences took a pound to work or school to support the station’s Together for Tyler appeal, with the money going towards building an extension to improve the living conditions for local 21 year old Tyler Murphy. He suffered a brain tumour and stroke during childhood. The fundraising total for the Spirit FM appeal now stands at £54,600.

Tyler’s mum Jan said: “The support from local people and Spirit FM has been overwhelming. This is going to make such a huge difference to his life. Tyler was robbed of his childhood, but now we can give him his twenties.”

Content Director of Spirit FM Stuart McGinley added “The whole idea of Local Radio Day is to show how proper local radio stations like Spirit FM can really engage with the local community they serve and change people’s lives. I’m so thrilled for Tyler and his mum, and immensely proud of my team for another unforgettable Local Radio Day!”

Spirit FM also took on a team from BBC Sussex in a general knowledge quiz, hosted by David Hamilton at the BBC studios in Brighton. The team from BBC Sussex was crowned winners over their commercial rivals. Assistant Managing Editor Mark Carter said: “Both BBC Sussex and Spirit FM have their roots firmly in the local community and share a passion for truly local radio. Local Radio Day shows how both stations can work happily side by side!”

AM and digital station Love Sport Radio has announced a partnership with the London Nocturne cycling event later this month.

The Nocturne – this year sponsored by Mr Porter – has been running since 2007 and will see riders racing on folding bikes, penny farthings and fixed gear bikes – with both amateur and elite professionals competing. Around 20,000 people are expected to attend on Saturday 9th June.

Love Sport Radio will be supporting the event through exclusive interviews, spot advertising, live reads, competitions, social media and live updates from the event itself.

Gold winning Olympian and Nocturne racer Ed Clancy will feature in the interviews along with Grant Young, from the founding family of Condor Cycles and members of various teams such as Rocket Expresso, one the world’s best fixed gear teams.

Kurt Edwards, Commercial Director of Love Sport Radio told us: “This is a great event in the heart of London and one that we are really proud to support. This is celebrating cycling in one of the greatest cities in the world so what’s not to like.”

Laurent Gauthier, CEO, Redwood Sports “We are excited to be working with Love Sport Radio Radio who will be supporting the event in many ways. MR PORTER NOCTURNE is growing every year and Love Sport Radio allows us to talk about the event in a unique way using interviews of riders and people that are at the heart of the MR PORTER NOCTURNE.”

Ofcom has handed out two new community radio licences – to Radio MAC in Bradford and Rush FM in Farnborough.

At the same time, the regulator has announced that it has considered but rejected five other applications from groups wanting an FM station in Bradford, plus another in Hampshire.

The winning applicants of 5-year licences are:

Radio MAC (Media Arts & Culture Limited), Bradford
Contact name: Humair Shahid
Radio MAC will broadcast a community radio service to the Muslim and wider ethnic communities of Bradford. The group has been running FM RSLs in Bradford since 2005.

Rush FM (Rush FM Limited), Farnborough, Hampshire
Contact name: Tim Newman
Rush FM will be a community radio service for young people aged 30 and under in Farnborough and its surrounding areas.

Applications from the following six stations were rejected.

All Islam Radio (All Islam Radio Limited), Bradford
Bradford Asian Radio (Bradford Asian Radio Limited Company), Bradford
Festival Radio (Bradford Asian Community Associates Ltd), Bradford
Radio VOB (Voice of Bradford Ltd), Bradford
Xpression FM (Xpression Media Limited), Bradford
Heath Radio (Heath Radio CIC), Fleet, Hartley Wintney, Yateley, Farnborough and Camberley
Absolute Radio 70s is coming off DAB in London and being removed from its slot on Sky TV too.

Bauer is advising listeners to tune in online instead, saying there is only limited amount of space available on DAB and they are making way for “some new stations”.

Kerrang! Radio has also been removed from London DAB – its last remaining terrestrial broadcast channel.

Absolute Radio 70s is the least popular of all the decades stations still in RAJAR, with 251,000 weekly listeners. Absolute Radio 60s and 00s are also only available online (apart from inclusion on the Inverness local DAB mux), whilst 80s is on D2, 90s is on D1 and Classic Rock is on a London DAB mux.

The station says: “As of 23rd May, we will be [no] longer be available on digital radio or digital TV. Don’t panic though, we’re not disappearing completely and you’ll still be able to listen to us in all of the following ways:

Online at
Our free mobile apps, available to download on iOS and Android phones and tablets
Smart speakers/voice activated devices (E.g Amazon Echo. Say “Alexa, play Absolute Radio 70s”)
WiFi enabled internet radios
Smart TV and Apple TV apps
“If you already listen to us in one of those ways, great – nothing is changing for you! We’re having to make this change because there’s only a limited amount of space available on digital radios and there are some new stations coming. We’re making way for some new people, but we’re still here bringing you loads of pop, rock, soul and disco in all of the ways listed above.

“If you’re a fan of Sarah Champion and Chris Martin (who isn’t, they’re brilliant) you’ll still be able to hear them elsewhere in the Absolute Radio family. Sarah will be on Absolute Radio 90s on weekday evenings from 7pm and on Absolute Radio on weekend mornings from 11am. If you’re a night owl, then Chris will be on before the new Dave Berry Breakfast show on Absolute Radio. He’ll also be hosting a new drivetime show on Absolute Classic Rock on weekday afternoons from 4pm.”

Arqiva has announced the Sound Digital Limited national DAB multiplex is to expand to an extra four million people.

SDL will add transmitters in the South West, East Anglia, Wales and North of Scotland to grow the number of people who can listen to the 19 radio stations, including Absolute 80s, Fun Kids, Kisstory, Jazz FM, talkRADIO and Union JACK.

19 new transmitters are being added to the existing network, increasing Sound Digital’s household coverage by over 1.6m new households in areas such as Devon, Cornwall, South Wales, North East Scotland, East Anglia and Kent.

News of the expansion was made by Steve Holebrook, Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva at the Radio Festival in London. He said: “This agreement to expand
the reach of Sound Digital is further evidence of the continued success of DAB radio in the UK, and the fact that more and more people are making it their digital radio platform of choice. This week’s RAJAR figures are widely expected to show that for the first time ever, the majority of radio listening is through digital means and within that, DAB is by far the largest contributor.

“We are delighted to be bringing Sound Digital’s diverse range of content to almost 4 million new listeners for the first time.”

Entries are now open for the third UK Community Radio Awards which will takes place in September.

Volunteers and stations are being urged to enter the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition.

Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “We had more than 350 entries from 70 stations last year, and I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of broadcasting from the UK’s community radio stations.

“The awards provide an opportunity for sharing of best practice, developing ideas, and most of all, recognising the great impact community radio has on its local communities.”

Philippa Sawyer, programme director at Wycombe Sound, last year’s station of the year, says the award has had a truly positive impact on the team.

“Being ‘Station of the Year’ is a fantastic accolade and I recommend all stations aim for it. It forces you to take a close look at all of your output and to think about everything the station does on-air and off. It’s great to focus on all the good work we do in our sector, and be proud of it.”

Submissions are open until 5pm, 18h June. Entries will be checked and sorted in July, when the judging process starts. A shortlist of 5 for each category will be produced and published prior to the ceremony.

The Awards ceremony will take place at Sheffield Hallam University during the evening of the Community Media Association’s conference, on 15th September 2018.

boy sitting near radio holding white catalog
Photo by Ba Phi on

Sardinia – the City of Cagliari

We visited Sardinia a few weeks ago a great place for a holiday.


Sardìgna/Sardìnnia [sarˈdiɲɲa]/[sarˈdinja], Sassarese: Sardhigna, Gallurese: Saldigna, Catalan: Sardenya, Tabarchino: Sardegna, French: Sardaigne) is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus) and an autonomous region of Italy. It is located in the Western Mediterranean, to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.The region’s official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna (Autonomous Region of Sardinia),[3] and its capital and largest city is Cagliari. It is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city. Its indigenous language and the other minority languages (Sassarese, Corsican Gallurese, AlghereseCatalan and Ligurian Tabarchino) spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy “equal dignity” with Italian.[4]

Cagliari is the capital and we stayed in the town, about 4 miles away from the centre.  Close to our apartment was a lovely patch of grass and wild flowers – see the slide show below

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I encountered a harmless snake on the pathway through the grass one morning



In the main town the Graffiti was basic and spoilt the views in some parts of the city.

I however did admire some of the more artistic offerings in town and would like to share these with you

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In an area that I passed through there seemed to be a mass of art work like this and in the middle of  this was a cute garden as a memorial to a saint


The first trip we went on was to The Nuragic Complex of Barumini  which is the most important archaeological site on the Island of Sardinia (in the Province of Cagliari).
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site“Su Nuraxi” di Barumini is the most complete and best-preserved exemplar of the Nuraghi (a type of prehistoric architecture); it is also evidence to the capacity for innovation and imagination of those that built it, in terms of the types of materials and techniques available at the time.

Below are pictures I took whilst there and also feature scenery on the way to this site which is up in the mountains, and you need a car or a guide to take you there from Cagliari Town.  The amazing thing is that the inside of the buildings survive to this day, and were only discovered in the 70s.  The outsides are no longer there but below the slide show below  is a picture of what the village would have looked like in the Bronze Age.

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This is how they think the village would have looked like – the video also shows a Palace and a museum we visited – all the artifacts in the Museum are genuine Bronze Age found on the site, the tools are from much later in history, and are in a separate museum.


Graphic reconstruction of nuragic village Su Nuraxi (Barumini) / Unesco Word Heritage

We also were able to see the Flamingos that occupy the Salt Plains in the city, there are several lakes as well.  We also viewed them near a canal and also from the hills in town.

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The town is large and so is the country – here are some roof top views from one of the hills there

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We also went into the Cathedral in Town

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We also saw a building that had a Spanish and British cannon ball stuck in the wall. The city never fell to enemy attack it was well protected.  Also a tower which was one of the gates to city, called the Elephant Tower, after the stone carving on the wall itself

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Our final trip was to the market. Downstairs Fish, and upstairs Vegetables and Fruit and Meat!

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The big yellow cheese in the slide show is made from Sheep’s Milk, they use their sheep to provide milk and meat.

Cagliari is the main city and nearly all the residents live there so it is very busy and sprawling.  Well worth a visit and taking time to take trips out.

We can recommend this courier to take you on the trips detailed above.  I get no commission for mentioning this.  We booked these trips whilst we were there, but probably an idea to book them before you go!


But first here is a reminder of one of their parody songs

Neil Innes and pals take to the road in May and June

Veteran Beatles parodists The Rutles have announced a rare UK tour for May and June.

Original members Neil Innes (AKA Ron Nasty) and John Halsey (AKA Barrington Womble) will be joined by ‘Rutling’ Ken Thornton, Phil Jackson and Jay Goodrich.

According to the press release, “They will be bringing their own unique brand of musical ‘Pork Pies’ to the beleaguered and bewildered British Isles. No other ‘Tribute’ band distributes joy or writes their own songs or tops the charts of ‘Make Believe’ quite like these jolly foot-tapping Economists of Truth. By ‘Popular Demand’, these Grandees of Delusion will be Taking Back Control of Bare-Faced Fibbing, saluting the Sovereignty of Silliness and ceremoniously reinstating the Obvious.”


Pirate Radio in the USA

From the Inside Radio Site:

This could mean bankruptcy for pirates, what happens in the USA eventually reaches the UK?  I wonder if it will extend to Internat Radio?


Pirates Would Face $2 Million Fines Under Congressional Proposal.

Pirate 2016

The cost of being a pirate radio operator could soon be significantly higher. After several months of gathering input from fellow lawmakers, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced and cosponsored the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act or “PIRATE” Act. The proposed bill would allow the Federal Communications Commission to fine someone who “willfully and knowingly” operates an unlicensed radio station up to $100,000 for each day they’re on the air –  up to a maximum $2 million per incident. The current maximum fine is $19,246 per day for each violation or each day up to a statutory maximum of $144,344.

Not only would the pirates themselves be subject to stiff fines, so would landlords and any business providing “physical goods or services” to the unlicensed station. That would include not just a place to house the station but also financial assistance, an indirect deterrent aimed at advertisers buying time on some of the more sophisticated pirate stations.

Under the proposal, the FCC would be required to conduct at least twice-a-year enforcement sweeps in the top five radio markets—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas—for the purpose of “identifying, locating, and terminating such operations and seizing related equipment.” And as for the rest of the year, Congress would direct the FCC that it wouldn’t be allowed to “diminish regular enforcement efforts.”

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee vice chair Leonard Lance (R-NJ) said the FCC has proven itself to be “able partners” in recent months as it has cracked down on pirates. “This bill will give the FCC even more tools to take down these illegal broadcasts,” said Lance, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY).  

Our communities are better served when broadcasting is governed by the rule of law,” said Tonko, the lead Democrat on the measure. The bill has so far also attracted a dozen co-sponsors.  The only change from a draft that was circulated in March among lawmakers is the final bill doesn’t require the Enforcement Bureau to dispose of any equipment it seizes from alleged pirates within 90 days.

A selling point among members of Congress has been how the unlicensed stations can interfere with legal stations, a critical problem when Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages need to reach the public. “We have to clean up the airwaves to make way for public safety announcements, Federal Aviation Administration conversations and other important information,” Lance said.  “Radio frequencies are not toys for unlicensed broadcasters.”

Florida and New Jersey have already made operating a pirate station a felony under state law, while it’s a criminal misdemeanor in New York. In hopes of encouraging other states to follow those states’ lead, the proposed legislation specifically empowers state and local governments to enact laws and ordinances that would impose additional civil or criminal penalties on pirate radio operators and their enablers. In New Jersey, for example, it is a fourth degree felony to operate a pirate radio station, with penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of 18 months in prison. That could be a powerful tool in cities like Miami, New York and Boston where unlicensed stations have proven especially difficult for the FCC to silence.

FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly has been lobbying for expanded legal authority in order to help field agents better tackle the pirate radio epidemic. The former congressional staffer said in a statement that he thinks the bill has a “great chance” of becoming law. “While prevalent today in only certain markets, pirate radio ‘stations’ are harmful for listeners as well as our nation’s licensed broadcasters,” O’Rielly said. “This bill rightfully increases the penalties, requires regular enforcement sweeps, and augments the tools available to the Commission, which are woefully inadequate and outdated, to deal with illegal pirate broadcasters.”

Broadcasters Support Proposal

The National Association of Broadcasters said it “strongly supports” the legislation. “Pirate radio is a real threat to public health and safety, causes interference to legal radio broadcasts and flouts the rule of law,” spokesman Dennis Wharton said.

The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has been pushing for fines to be raised for several years and NJBA president Paul Rotella applauded the introduction of a bill that recognizes the harm caused by pirate stations. “This is a significant national enhancement of penalty and enforcement for those who would violate our airwaves and should give such offenders pause,” he said.  Beyond acting as a deterrent, Rotella thinks it’ll give “real teeth” to the law and help put pirates out of business, rather than allow operators to simply pick up and move to a new location once FCC field agents pay them a visit.

The New York State Broadcasters Association, which has also been plagued with pirates in the New York City metro area, also “strongly supports” the bill. “For too long the citizens of New York have endured the harm caused by illegal pirate radio stations,” NYSBA president David Donovan said. “The PIRATE Act will give the FCC the tools to protect consumers and take illegal pirate operators off the air.”

The bill has been sent to the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, where several lawmakers expressed support for raising fines during a hearing earlier this year.


Radio Newsbeat


Lovely sunshine and so warm for the past few days in the UK.  I hope you have been out and about listening to your radio, or stations on your mobile phone on the Internet

In one of the  radio forums that I visit someone recommended an Internet Station called “The Ferry”‘ I have listened and it features instrumental music, very Middle of the Road.  It comes from Norway and this is a link to its audio  

I have found a link on the Frontier Silicon Portal and have it saved as a favourite on my Roberts iStream radio.

They have announcements by Emperor Rosko and other broadcasters in English as well. It seems to finance itself by broadasting religious programmes in Norwegian.  Someo said it reminds them of Radio 390, it reminds me of some of the tests for Local Commercial Radio by the IBA in the 70s.

It also appears that it is a short wave station, or was, hence the appeals for reception reports.  Read the article on the link below, it has a lot about the radio station there

Of course we have our own sweet music station in the UK.  Angel Radio 

If you didn’t know they also run a sixties radio station as well, with some PAMs jingles reminiscent of Swinging Radio England in the 60s.

When United DJs first started I had it on every morning and occasionally during the day.  I don’t listen much any more but it is definitely better than De-Lux Radio presenter and music-wise

If you do not know what Radio 390 sounded like here are a few clips on You Tube

Radio News selected from the Radio Today Site

Please accept my apologies, this page has been formatted incorrectly but now it should display properly

Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Radio has launched a new digital station called Eagle 80s.

The new UKRD service started at 11am Monday and operates from Eagle Radio’s Guildford studios, broadcasting online and on local DAB.

Commenting on Eagle Radio’s latest arrival, Content Director, Peter Gordon said “Eagle Radio is growing fast – as well as running our broadcast area’s most successful full service commercial local radio station, we’ve had a phenomenal reaction to our 70s brand which launched last year. With the music from the 1980s continuing to have such a following, we thought Surrey & Hampshire should have its own 80s station operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We envisage this addition to the Eagle family will further broaden choice for local listeners as well as give more opportunity for the many local, and national, businesses who will want to use this exciting new platform to promote and market their services.

“Whilst others in the media and press business locally continue to scale down or move on to other things, Eagle Radio – on all its platforms – continues to grow and serve the community it operates in which has always meant our business is the “go to” media marketing outlet in our part of the UK.”

Eagle 80s joins a number of ‘extra’ services from UKRD including Eagle 70s and 2BR 70s.

It is the first time BBC Radio 5 live’s Test Match Special programme has lost the rights for an England away tour to a commercial broadcaster since 2005.

The free to air rights cover England’s tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies including all the Test matches, ODIs and T20 internationals from each tour.

>Every ball will be broadcast across a mixture of talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 with a dedicated team of pundits at the ground to bring listeners all the drama as it unfolds.

talkSPORT last broadcast live England overseas cricket rights in 2005, with exclusive commentary for the past two years of the IPL plus every match of the World Twenty20 in 2016 and Champions Trophy last summer.
Wireless Group CEO Scott Taunton told RadioToday: “Winning these prestigious rights is a great victory for talkSPORT and its first-class coverage. England’s overseas tours are sure to lure large audiences of fans as we cement talkSPORT’s position as the fans’ favourite for sporting news, analysis and live coverage. I’m delighted that we will be with England fans for every ball of the day throughout these winter tours, with our own expert line-up of cricketing stars.”

talkSPORT Drive presenter Darren Gough, who also hosts Cricket Week on talkSPORT2, adds: “England’s supporters are the best in the world and loyally follow the team around the cricketing globe. Come day or night and rain or shine, we’ll be there with the fans as all the drama unfolds and with a full analysis of the day’s play.”

The first England game to be broadcast on talkSPORT will be England’s ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting on October 10, 2018

Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Radio has launched a new digital station called Eagle 80s.

The new UKRD service started at 11am Monday and operates from Eagle Radio’s Guildford studios, broadcasting online and on local DAB.

Commenting on Eagle Radio’s latest arrival, Content Director, Peter Gordon said “Eagle Radio is growing fast – as well as running our broadcast area’s most successful full service commercial local radio station, we’ve had a phenomenal reaction to our 70s brand which launched last year. With the music from the 1980s continuing to have such a following, we thought Surrey & Hampshire should have its own 80s station operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We envisage this addition to the Eagle family will further broaden choice for local listeners as well as give more opportunity for the many local, and national, businesses who will want to use this exciting new platform to promote and market their services.

“Whilst others in the media and press business locally continue to scale down or move on to other things, Eagle Radio – on all its platforms – continues to grow and serve the community it operates in which has always meant our business is the “go to” media marketing outlet in our part of the UK.”

Eagle 80s joins a number of ‘extra’ services from UKRD including Eagle 70s and 2BR 70s.

OJ Borg’s new overnight show on BBC Radio 2 will be broadcast live from MediaCityUK by Audio Always and produced by Jordan Hemingway and Dan Markham.

Jordan Hemingway is currently the Heart North West breakfast producer, who has been with Global/GMG for the last nine years, whilst Dan Markham produces the soon-to-end BBC Local Radio networked evening show with Georgey Spanswick.

The results of six new commissions were announced last week by the BBC, and show Salford-based indie Audio Always won the tender to produce the brand new midnight to 3am show when it starts on May 14th. The Radio 2 commissioning brief stated that this show was aimed at ‘those working in offices and factories through the night, those driving up and down the country or for insomniacs everywhere’.

Six shows were put up for tender under the BBC’s new Radio Commissioning Framework, part of the ‘Compete or Compare’ initiative to create more competition to make BBC content. Independent production companies Wisebuddah and Somethin’ Else both won two shows, with the former to produce Gary Davies’ Sounds of the 80s and Johnnie Walker’s Rock Show, and Somethin’ Else making Ana Matronix’s Dance Devotion show and the new Late Show presented by Sara Cox. Folded Wing also picked up a commission to make the Clare Teal Show.

Will Jackson, Managing Director of the Radio Independents Group, told RadioToday: “These latest results show that the new commissioning process is shaking up the schedules and bringing a wider range of ideas to the Licence Fee payer.

With commissioning outside London a key topic at the moment, we are particularly pleased that an out-of-London company gained a long-term show – these types of commissions can really help companies build their businesses, adding creative jobs in locations outside London, and we hope to see more in future commissioning rounds.”

Hosted each week by a Jazz FM presenter, Deezer’s Jazz Stories discusses the history of five iconic jazz labels, within different playlists of hand-picked jazz hits.

The first Jazz Stories playlist, available this week, kicks off with Jazz FM’s Helen Mayhew discussing Universal’s record label ‘Impulse!’. In between every track, Helen’s minute-long commentary includes facts on the label’s inception, the track’s history and the artist. Music includes pieces from legendary John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Michael Brecker.

In the coming weeks, each hour-long playlist focuses on the stories behind Colombia (Sony), Atlantic (Warner) and ECM (Universal) and is presented by a different Jazz FM presenter. The second episode will follow the history of Blue Note (Universal) and is hosted by Chris Philips, with more coming from Jez Nelson and David Freeman.

Chris Baughen, VP of Content & Formats at Deezer commented: “We’re delighted to partner with Jazz FM to take users on a journey of musical discovery. Every week, fans can learn about the labels behind some of the most renowned artists, while enjoying a hand-picked selection of huge jazz cuts. Combining Jazz FM audio commentary with music also means users can enjoy the discussion format of radio but with the ability to pause, pick up and listen whenever they want on Deezer.”

Nick Pitts, Content Director at Jazz FM commented: “As the world’s leading Jazz broadcaster, Jazz FM is home to many of the world’s most knowledgeable presenters. With a truly innovative blend of expert curation, fascinating commentary and outstanding music we are proud to be partnering with Deezer to produce and present exclusive playlists on the legendary jazz music labels.”

Jazz Stories with Jazz FM will be released each week on Deezer and available worldwide. Listen to this week’s Jazz Stories here.

Chris Evans left Wogan House moments before he was due to start his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show today as he learned that his mother just passed away at the age of 92.

Sports presenter Vassos Alexander stepped in at the last minute to host the show, lasting until 8.30 when Ken Bruce started his show an hour early.

In his first link, he explained the situation and read out a statement prepared by Chris. He said: “…But Chris isn’t here, this is Vassos. Chris has been here in fact but he had to go just before we came on air and he’s left me a little note to read out to you. Bear with me, this is a little bit difficult for me because we are talking about one of my best friends here.

He went on to read: “Good morning everyone. The reason I’m not with you today is because just before we came on air my mum passed away and I needed to go straight back home to be with the family. But it’s all OK, in fact, it’s very OK, mum needed to be at peace. Moreover, she deserved to be at peace, we’ve been ready for this for some time now and as she has throughout her life in death she’s brought us together.

“She was an incredible woman. Anyone who has ever met her will tell you that and ultimately there was no battle lost only a life won. Every single day. I’ll be back tomorrow. If mum had the first idea I might not have shown up today because of her she’d have been furious. I hope you have a lovely Thursday. See you tomorrow.”

London medium-wave and DAB station Love Sport has asked Ofcom for permission to change its format – and remove the requirement to specifically cover business, finance and entertainment news.

Ahead of its sale, the previous licensee of the 558 AM frequency – Spectrum Radio – got approval last October to change the character of service of the licence to remove focus on ethnic minority communities in London.

Now, the regulator has begun a consultation to seek views from interested parties as to whether Love Sport should be allowed to change its format. Ofcom says the change could substantially alter the character of the service.

Spectrum was required to be “A special speech, news and music station aimed at a minimum of six different, varied ethnic minority communities in London, whose family origins lie outside Britain.”

This was changed in October 2017 so that the station could be “A broad-based 24-hour speech service for Londoners of all backgrounds and origins, focussing on business and finance, sport, entertainment, current affairs and essential information.”

Now, Love Sport’s licence holder, A Spokesman Said Ltd, wants to change the character of service to say: “A 24-hour speech service for Londoners focussing on sports plus some topical content and local information.”

You can take part in the consultation, which runs to 1st June 2018, via the Ofcom website.

All of the BBC’s network radio stations are pulling out the stops to cover the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19th May, with special shows – including live OBs from Windsor.

Chris Evans will be in the town for a live Saturday morning show 8am-11.30am on Radio 2, followed by Alan Carr and Mel Sykes 11.30am-1pm from the studio. Paul Gambaccini has a special Pick of the Pops featuring hits from the birth years of Meghan and Harry – 1981 and 1984. Zoe Ball takes over at 3pm with Royal Wedding party tunes.

Radio 1 will have Scarlett Moffatt as its royal correspondent, reporting into the station live from Windsor Castle every hour of the day, while Radio 3has a wedding-theme to its Saturday breakfast show and Words and Music the following day.

Asian Network will feature updates throughout the day on Asian Network News as well as live reports from Anisa Kadri on the Raj and Pablo show.

On the speech networks, Radio 4‘s Today Programme will have Mishal Husain live in Windsor, while weekday 5 live Breakfast presenter Rachel Burden will be on air for Saturday’s breakfast programme on the station from the town too. There’s no Danny Baker on 5 live on 19th May – instead Nihal Arthanayake will be on from 10am.

From 11.30am across both Radio 4 and 5 live, Claire Balding will be anchoring live commentary of the wedding procession. Radio 4 opts out at 1pm, while 5 live continues to 2pm. The news and sport station will also have Eleanor Oldroyd and Gemma Cairney at the service at St George’s Castle. Other BBC presenters out reporting on the procession include Jane Garvey, Paddy O’Connell, Aasmah Mir, Rachel Burden, Alistair Bruce-Ball and Julian Worricker.

Radio 1’s Tina Daheley and Radio 2 Saturday breakfast presenter Dermot O’Leary are among the presenters hosting the TV coverage of the Royal Wedding on BBC One.

UKRD’s Local Radio Day has attracted the support of all 39 BBC Local Radio stations this year.

They’ll all be taking part in the initiative on May 25th, celebrating what local radio means to the communities it serves.

Now in its third year, Local Radio Day has established itself as a platform for local radio stations across the sector to come together and celebrate local radio itself and the engagement it has with the people, communities and areas it broadcasts to. Last year, more than 80 local radio stations took part and many more are expected to participate this year.

David Holdsworth, Controller of BBC English Regions, said: “We are proud to be working with industry colleagues at UKRD and beyond to celebrate local radio’s unique relationship with listeners and its valued place in the community. Last year, we marked the 50th anniversary of BBC Local Radio and set out some ambitious plans for the future.

“It makes complete sense for us to come together to promote what is so special about local radio and how its ability to connect with its local audience is unrivaled. I know how passionate and dedicated our teams working in BBC Local Radio are and I look forward to hearing what creative content will be broadcast on 25 May.”

William Rogers, UKRD’s Chief Executive, commented: “It’s fantastic to hear that all of BBC Local Radio is now supporting Local Radio Day. Together with stations from across local commercial radio, as well as those in the Community, Hospital and Charitable sectors, adding the BBC’s 39 local stations to the mix represents a huge endorsement of the importance of local radio, so effectively summed up by David Holdsworth in this announcement.

“Local Radio Day is now one of the most significant and important events in the radio industry’s calendar and this, its third year, is set to be the best yet by some considerable margin.”

Pictorial Musings

It occurs to me that the Cormorant is a very strange looking bird – here is one I took a picture of on the Thames with its wings spread out to dry. Below is a picture of one swimming, it looks quite strange.

Spring is here and wildfowl is beginning to nest – when we went on a cruise on the Thames at Oxford recently we saw this Goose sitting on its nest.

Below is a slide show of the things we saw during the cruise during a cloudy day last week. The University boat houses and views seen along the course of the University Boat Course there.

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Below is a lovely old, sadly non-working radio I saw on a recent holiday trip – thought that the Radio Anoraks would like to see this beauty!

When is a bird not a bird? – Answer – when it is a plant – this is a Bird of Paradise Plant I have seen growing in a warm climate.

The strange looking birds above are male Hoopoe Birds, seen abroad but apparently can be seen in the UK.  I got some close ups of these birds but am only sharing the first distant shot I got of these birds.

Wikipedia says:

Hoopoes are widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Most European and north Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter. In contrast, the African populations are sedentary all year. The species has been a vagrant in Alaska; U. e. saturata was recorded there in 1975 in the Yukon Delta. Hoopoes have been known to breed north of their European range, and in southern England during warm, dry summers that provide plenty of grasshoppers and similar insects,[ although as of the early 1980s northern European populations were reported to be in the decline, possibly due to changes in climate.

Finally I also got a picture of two, not one, Storks nesting on a platform on a mast recently

More next time………………………………

Radio Newsbeat


United DJs has been on the Internet for a while now.  The Mike Read breakfast show is excellent. Mike covers a wide range of topics in between music. He is a very intelligent broadcaster, and I have enjoyed his choice of music an chat.  Tony Prince follows him, and is excellent as well and also has some interesting comments to make. He seems to mention the Myriad broadcasting system a lot, it seems to be taking some getting used to..  So far I have not had much time to tune into other shows.  I did enjoy the Kenny Tosh Pirate show on Saturday.  I do miss news at the top of the hour, and tend to re-tune to my BBC Local Station – BBC Berkshire for that, as this was, and still is my main choice for breakfast listening.

Delux Radio seems to have a dreadful choice of music  when I tune in, and so far I have not really enjoyed one show that they have put out.

Overall, as nice as it is to hear these new stations. There are other Internet stations that either play back to back music, or have occasional DJ shows, that are as good if not better.  I wonder if these stations will last a year or more.  We will see.

I have been informed of a site which contains 78 specially re-recorded offshore and other free radio stations. More to come no doubt!  They have the original announcements, and then the man who runs the site makes these unique recordings and edits in the original disc. The levels are slightly different in some cases, as the voice tracks are lifted from archive recordings of the pirates in the 60s and 70s.  Visit the site.  You can listen to the tracks and stream them.  If you click the the download button on the menu on the left, for each page you visit, there are download  links from dropbox.  Enjoy

I went to a local sale recently, and spotted some valve and transistorised goodies.

My friend collects old radios, and reckons the valve set would be worth around £80 in good condition. He also fancied the Champion “suitcase” radio.  I like the look of all of them but do not have the space or cash to amass a collecton.  I prefer to photograph and share photos of radios and other curios.

A few offshore items from You Tube:

First a unique tape from Radio Caroline North, used to warm up the transmitters each early morning. Posted by Kenny Tosh on United DJs, he plays pirate radio music etc every Saturday.

I couldn’t resist including this one. The reel of of tape featured reminds me of the tapes I recorded on in 1965. Also the sort of professional tape machines I used when I worked in the BBC Archives.

The only offshore TV station in Europe was broadcast by the Dutch on the REM Island. The speech in this video is in Dutch, which I find an attractive language to listen to (only comprehend a few words!)

Below is a lot of news, including the incredible news that Radio Caroline is now on a London Mulitiplex!  No good to me though, but I can hear her loud and clear on the Internet and also in hissy 648 am.  The reason for so much selected news is the fact that I have not had a chance to post much recently.

News selected from the Radio Today Site

Radio 1
Weekends to start on a Friday at BBC Radio 1
Fridays will be part of the weekend schedule at BBC Radio 1, as Nick Grimshaw goes four days a week and Scott Mills takes over the Official Chart Show from June.

The weekday line-up will end on a Thursday, whilst “Weekend Breakfast” with Dev and Alice will run Friday to Sunday. Maya Jama will host Friday 10am till 1pm, Mollie King will be partnering up with Matt Edmondson on Friday afternoons 1-4pm and Scott Mills fulfils his life-long dream by presenting The Official Chart at 4pm on Friday afternoons 4-7pm.

Nick Grimshaw getting Fridays off is a significant move as former breakfast show host Chris Evans famously left the station after being refused to work a four-day week.

Talking about all the changes, Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, says: “The weekend will start here at Radio 1 on a Friday morning giving our young audience that feel good factor a day early. It’s our job at Radio 1 to reinvent the way young people listen to the radio, to disrupt traditional thinking and to look for new ways in which to grow audiences.”

Radio 1’s new Friday schedule

6.30am-10am – Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast with Dev and Alice
10am-1pm – Radio 1’s Greatest Hits with Maya Jama
1-4pm – Matt and Mollie
4-7pm – The Official Chart with Scott Mills

Dev & Alice say: “We cannot wait to get the weekend started for everyone – Fridays will never be the same again!”

Maya Jama says: “I’m so excited to continue the Greatest Hits on a Friday and get all our listeners ready for the weekend vibes! More bangers to come :)”

Mollie King says: “I’ve grown up listening to Radio 1 and I can’t wait to be one of the team. This is an absolute dream for me! The only person more excited than me is my mum – who is delighted I finally have a proper job! I’ve had so much fun working with Matt over the past few weeks, and I’m so glad I’m no longer just ‘Mollie From The Saturdays’ but Mollie from the ‘Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays’!”

Matt Edmondson says: “Radio 1 is known for its Big Weekends, but I never imagined the weekend would get THIS big. Mollie popped in to be a co-host a few weeks ago and was so bloody brilliant we couldn’t let her go! I can’t wait to get started, but I have warned Mollie that there’s only room for one fashion icon on the show, and it’s me.”

Scott Mills says: “I was sat with my Mum when I got this news, and she actually cried because I’ve been pretending to do the chart show on Radio 1 since I was 8 years old. I’ve filled in on the show so much over the years, and I can’t believe it’s actually mine. I’m beyond excited!”

BBC Radio 4 gets first BBC Ofcom code breach

Ofcom has issued its first Broadcasting Code breach warning to the BBC after taking over as regulator for the corporation.

The breach goes to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme after two complaints were received about aspects of the content broadcast in an edition of the programme on 10 August 2017.

Both complainants had previously raised their concerns with the BBC in accordance with Ofcom’s published procedures.

The BBC had partially upheld the complaints at the final stage of its own complaints process and published a finding. However, the complainants were not satisfied with the BBC’s response and took their complaints to Ofcom.

The complainants objected to the handling of an interview in the programme with Lord Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and head of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The complainants said Lord Lawson was not sufficiently challenged on his views about the science and economics of climate change.

One complainant disputed the BBC’s reasoning for inviting Lord Lawson onto the programme. They also objected to the BBC’s conclusion, in its response to the complaint, that some of the statements he made on the science of climate change were “at the least contestable”, when the complainant viewed them as “lies”.

The second complainant provided evidence to dispute four of the specific statements Lord Lawson made: two on the science of climate change and two on the economics of the government’s energy policy.

As a result, Ofcom said the content was in breach of Rule 5.1 of the Broadcasting Code.

BBC Somerset celebrates turning 30 years old

BBC Somerset is marking 30 years of broadcasting with extra programmes and all 80s music today, Wednesday 11 April.

The station launched after a temporary radio station called Radio Taunton was created in 1978 because of heavy snow in the county. A decade later when Somerset Sound (as it was then known) first started in 1988 the station acted as an opt-out service from its sister station BBC Radio Bristol. Today however, the radio station broadcasts local programmes most of the day from its new studios in Taunton.

And a bunch of Alfasound jingles have been resung to match the launch package in 1988.

Earlier this morning Claire Carter started the celebrations, presenting her Breakfast Show live from The Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Mid-Morning presenter Simon Parkin hosted an on-air birthday party from 9am – 12pm at the Palace where guests were treated to a birthday cake which celebrates life in Somerset, and there was live musical entertainment from Claire Carter. Plus special guest Eddie The Eagle stopped by to have a chat.

The day’s celebrations finish with Clinton Rogers, who presented the very first Breakfast Show and is now BBC Point West’s Somerset Correspondent, hosting a special evening show between 7pm-10pm – where he’s catching up with some of the voices heard on BBC Somerset over the years.

Editor of BBC Somerset, Nick Bull, said: “It’s been amazing being the eyes and ears of the county for 30 years – covering major news events and showcasing the great people who call Somerset their home. We hope our listeners enjoy celebrating BBC Somerset’s 30th birthday with us and we can’t wait to spend the next 30 years with them!”

And for radio lovers – the retro feel was topped off with re-sings done of the station’s original JAM package which was originally produced by Alfasound.

More speakers announced for Radio Festival 18
Gillian Reynolds and Cerys Matthews will join former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd on the line-up for the 2018 Radio Festival in London.

This year’s event, being held once again at the British Library, will he hosted by BBC 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne and will explore the theme of ‘Radio – What’s The Future?’

Gillian Reynolds MBE, former radio critic for The Sunday Times, will share with us what we can learn from radio’s past that might help inform its future.

Cerys Matthews MBE will talk about her love of record collecting, and the delights and differences of programming for radio and live shows such as her festival: The Good Life Experience.

Christian O’Connell is also on the line-up. He’ll be interviewed by fellow Absolute Radio presenter, Claire Sturgess.

Other sessions at #RADFEST18 will take a look at the future of voice-activated-listening with experts on the subject from Amazon, the BBC and research company, Sparkler, whilst Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30 initiative, now in its seventh year, will allow some of the industry’s future stars to take centre stage.

The Radio Academy has also secured the support of Arqiva for the event as headline sponsor. Arqiva will also sponsor the welcome reception and after party space at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards later this year.

Roger Cutsforth, CEO of The Radio Academy said: “We’re delighted to formalise our relationship with Arqiva into a holistic, strategic partnership. Arqiva has been committed supporters of the Academy for a number of years and in particular, since our re-birth in 2015. This partnership is a wonderful vote of confidence in everything we are doing.”

Steve Holebrook, Managing Director, Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva added: “Arqiva and The Radio Academy share common goals of supporting the development of the audio and radio sector and helping to connect audiences to the amazing talent that exists across the industry. This partnership therefore represents the perfect opportunity to deliver those shared goals and we look forward to celebrating the industry at #RADFEST18 and at this year’s ARIAS.”

Info and tickets at

Community Radio Awards return for third year

The Community Radio Awards are to return for a third year, celebrating the best of the community radio sector.

Volunteers and stations from around the country are being encouraged to begin collating the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition.

The certificates will be awarded at an evening event at Sheffield Hallam University, at a venue opposite the Community Media Association’s conference, on September 15.

Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “We had more than 350 entries from 70 stations last year, and I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of broadcasting from the UK’s community radio stations.

“The awards provide an opportunity for sharing of best practice, developing ideas, and most of all, recognising the great impact community radio has on its local communities.”

Philippa Sawyer, programme director at Wycombe Sound, last year’s station of the year, says the award has had a truly positive impact on the team. Six months on, I think the biggest impact has been on our own team. The award has made us realise what can be achieved by working together, rather than as individuals just coming in to do our own programmes.

“It has added value to our brand, both internally and out in the community. We are attracting high quality volunteers who really want to make a commitment – vital as anyone who runs a volunteer-led organisation knows. It also shows to stakeholders that we are serious about providing a quality

The submission process will take place online, and there is no limit to the number of entries a station or individual can submit.

Submissions will open in early May, and run until the end of June. The shortlist will be announced in mid-August.

2018 Categories:

 Community Development Project
 Station of the Year
 Digital or RSL Station Of The Year
 Male Presenter
 Female Presenter
 Community Show
 Live Event or Outside Broadcast
 Entertainment Show
 Speech & Journalism
 Arts & Creative Radio
 Specialist Music Show
 Sports Show
 Volunteer
 Young Person (Under 25)
 Sage Person (Over 60)
 Newcomer (new to radio in last 12 months)
 Innovation Award
 Podcast

JACKfm and Union JACK have spent two and a half days broadcasting live from Helen & Douglas House in a 31-hour Radiothon.

The aim was to tell the stories of the work that goes on inside as the team there support terminally ill children and their families, and to raise much-needed money to keep this work going.

The hospice is the first of its kind in the world and relies on donations to stay open; it costs £3 million a year to run, and 88% of this comes from charitable

JACKfm’s Trevor Marshall and Annabelle Buckland presented the Helen & Douglas House Radiothon 2018 from 7th – 9th March, bringing listeners the emotional stories of families who use the hospice for respite care, and those who’ve received end of life care for their children suffering from life-limiting conditions.

Union JACK’s Impressionist and Comedian Josh Berry also made regular appearances on air with Howard Taylor, bringing a whole host of celebrity guests who encouraged listeners to part with their cash for the charity.

The audience gave overwhelmingly, helping raise a massive £200,908.10.

Every penny of the money raised will be used solely to care for the terminally ill babies and children and their families who rely on Helen & Douglas House for a chance to spend time together a family, whilst the hospice staff take care of the children’s medical needs.

Tim Parker, JACKm Programming Director says: “What an amazing few days of broadcasting. So many people have put in so much time, effort and emotional energy into this year’s Radiothon. Those listening to JACKfm and Union JACK have responded to the stories we shared and have given an overwhelming amount of money. Thank you!”

Hazel Bedford, Helen & Douglas House Fundraising and Marketing Director: “We are thrilled that this year’s Radiothon raised over £200,000 which will pay for our Care Team to look after children and their families for 6 months at Helen House. A massive thank you to everyone who donated and to the JACK team for their compassion, hard work and dedication, broadcasting up to 12 hours a day. We were so pleased with the way they sensitively captured, edited and spoke about our charity and their insightful and poignant interviews with our families, volunteers and staff showing the listeners the realities of life for families with terminally ill children.”

Ceredigion FM radio licence to be advertised

Ofcom is to re-advertise the FM commercial radio licence for Ceredigion after the current owner decided not to utilise the fast track re-licensing process.

Nation Broadcasting, owner of Radio Ceredigion Limited, would need to comply with the current Format and DAB obligations if its licence was fast-tracked or renewed when it expires in May 2019.

By letting the licence expire, Nation can re-apply for the licence with a different Format. The current Format includes the requirement to broadcast “Regular and identifiable Welsh language programming”.

Some stations have previously reapplied for their own licence rather than apply for a major Format change.

The station currently broadcasts on 96.6, 97.4 and 103.3 MHz FM and Ofcom estimates that the licence could achieve coverage of an area with an adult (aged 15+) population of 72,088. It is based at Nation’s group headquarters near the St Hilary transmitter on the outskirts of Cowbridge.

Nation Broadcasting has confirmed to RadioToday that it will be reapplying for the licence once advertised.

Ofcom updates definition of new music for BBC

The regulator Ofcom has updated its definition of ‘new music’ as part of the operating licences which set out how much Radio 1 and Radio 2 have to play during daytime hours.

It follows a consultation on the subject over the last couple of months.

Previously, new music had been defined as “music which is either unreleased or it has been less than one month since release date (physical release, not download release)”.

Ofcom has now updated Radio 1 and Radio’2 operating licences to include the following definition:

“A music track is to be considered “New Music” for a period of either:
(a) 12 months from first release (whether by physical, radio, download or streaming means),
(b) 6 weeks from the date it first enters the Top 20 of the UK Official Singles Chart,
whichever is sooner.”

The regulator’s also changed the condition on Radio 1’s licence which said that at least 45% of music played in daytime should be New Music. That figure has been increased to 50% for Radio 1, while Radio 2’s figure remains at 25%.

The changes take effect from this weekend – on 1st April 2018.

As part of the consultation, Radiocentre and Global Radio had both argued that the proposed 12 month period from first release was too long, with Global saying its view was that a track couldn’t be considered ‘new’ for more than six months after initial release. The commercial radio trade body and the UK’s biggest radio group had also argued that tracks should be excluded from the definition of New Music four weeks after they’d entered the Top 40, rather than six weeks after entry to the Top 20.

You can see Ofcom’s full statement on the issue, and read the consultation responses on the Ofcom website here.     (This is big brother or are the Commercial Stations and Ofcom trying to “dampen” the BBC’s music output? – Waffler comment)

Jack 3 added to Sound Digital DAB multiplex

The new “Jack with a twist” national radio station promised by Oxis Media last year appears to be a new version of Jack 3.

The team in Oxfordshire said a new format, never heard before anywhere in the world, will launch before Easter at 32kbps using DAB+ on D2/SDL.

But today, an alternative version of the Oxford DAB station has appeared on the UK’s second national digital radio multiplex. Jack 3’s strapline is “Chilling when we want” and plays easy listening music similar to Smooth and Magic. The national output appears to be different from the Oxfordshire output at the moment.

Last year, Donnach O’Driscoll, CEO, of UNION JACK and Chairman of the JACK Group says: “A brand new national radio station for the UK set to launch in 2018, this will be our second national station broadcasting from Oxford and just like we did with Absolute Radio, we will be bringing something new, fresh, unique and sexy to the UK radio scene. We don’t ever play safe, it’s all about creating dynamic radio formats that attract new audiences. We will launch JACK (with a twist) before Easter 2018”.

Local DAB radio coverage expansion complete

The final two transmitters forming part of the historic local DAB coverage expansion programme have come into operation, with the launch of a new transmitter at Edinburgh Castle serving the Edinburgh multiplex and at Fishguard serving the Mid and West Wales multiplex.

The launch of the two new transmitters completes the transformative initiative to expand the UK’s local DAB transmission network towards FM equivalence, which was announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2015 and jointly funded by the DCMS, BBC and local DAB multiplex operators.

The programme of work, which was delivered by Arqiva, has doubled the local DAB network, with new transmitters or modifications to 221 local DAB sites, boosting local DAB coverage from 72% to more than 90% of UK households. Across the UK, an additional 10 million listeners have been brought into coverage, and over 4,000 miles of roads previously not served by local DAB services are now also covered.

Margot James MP, Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “The completion of the local DAB expansion programme is a tremendous milestone for the UK radio industry’s transition to digital. This, along with the unprecedented choice of stations available on DAB, both nationally and locally, will see listeners continue to embrace the benefits of digital radio.”

Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “The local DAB coverage expansion has been a hugely significant step in the UK’s digital transition, transforming the availability of local stations on DAB digital radio across the county. Great credit is due to the broadcasters, multiplex operators, DCMS, Ofcom and Arqiva for making it happen.”

Richard Johnston, Head of Commercial Radio, Arqiva, said: “Arqiva has been extremely busy building hundreds of additional local DAB transmitters across the UK to bring DAB digital radio into millions more homes and thousands of miles of the road network. We are proud of our role in delivering the infrastructure needed for a vibrant digital radio market and are delighted to now complete the expansion of local DAB coverage.”

Upload Radio removed from two multiplexes
Upload Radio has removed itself from two of the three DAB digital radio multiplexes is was broadcasting on.

The station will now only be available on the MuxCo Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex and no longer in North Yorkshire and Surrey.

Upload Radio works by registered users uploading hour-long programmes and choosing a slot and an area to broadcast to. The station says it is working on a way to get the right economic model for it all to work.

An Upload Radio spokesperson told RadioToday about the changes: “We’re sad to have taken Upload Radio off the Surrey and North Yorkshire multiplexes over the weekend. Upload Radio is a unique type of radio station, one where all the slots are purchased by the broadcasters themselves. This creates both unique marketing and rights issues.

“Having run the service for nearly a year we know that the people who use it, love it, with super easy to use technology and good distribution on DAB and online meaning that our users buy multiple slots over weeks and months. Our challenge is to get more people onto the platform and to get the right economic model for it all to work. One of the great things about DAB is flexibility to try new things and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far.

“For now though, we’re retreating back to our Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex to think more about the best ways to continue with the project.”

Upload Radio launched on April 24th 2017 will continue to be available online and via Radioplayer.

Chelmsford to get new digital radio station

Chelmer Radio is planning to bring local radio back to the area with an online stream and DAB service.The original “Chelmer Radio” launched in 1998 as part of Mid Essex Radio group and was taken over by Tindle radio in 2002 and renamed Dream 107.7 and later amalgamated with Southend Radio to become Chelmsford Radio and then became Radio Essex.

Behind the return is David Baker, a former presenter and programmer with the station. He told RadioToday: “Out of all the projects I’ve ever been involved with this is the one that I’m most excited about. This station will not be set up to be flogged off at a later date to any group who think they can come in and just take a station and rebrand it to a national brand. Local radio for local people is how it’s going to stay.

“I am working closely with businesses, community groups and organisations who share the same beliefs. I’m taking this station back to basics, no networking, no shows from out of area and presenters who can connect with the area.”

Berkshire leads the way with digital radio

Berkshire has the highest percentage of digital listening in the country, according to this year’s Ofcom report on Digital Radio.

The Royal County has 60.4% digital listening, and 17 other places have over 50% of people listening via digital devices. In contrast, three areas have digital listening under 40% with Northern Ireland being the lowest, with 31.2% digital listening. These areas are typically where DAB coverage was built out and new DAB services were introduced later than the rest of the UK.

DRUK has welcomed the report, which highlights that there are 337 services operating on DAB in the UK, and that the majority of listening in the home is to a digital platform (54.7%) whereas in cars digital listening still represents the minority at 30.9%. The report highlights that this is increasing as more new cars with digital radio come onto the road and includes CAP/SMMT data on digital radio in new cars which has increased to 87.5%.

Exploring the features of digital radio that listeners have experienced, the research highlights ‘clear high quality sound’ followed by ‘a wider choice of stations’ as the two most popular answers.

Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “We welcome the Ofcom Digital Radio Report which highlights the increasing popularity of digital radio across the UK. The report shows the growth of digital listening, the increases in the numbers of digital stations and the expansion of DAB coverage but it also shines a light on the key areas of development required, specifically digital listening in cars and in a number of local areas that are behind the national averages. Fundamentally the UK radio sector is stronger due to the expansion of station choice and the growth of digital listening to almost 50%.”

Of the 337 DAB services, 31 are UK-wide commercial services and 11 are BBC UK-wide stations. The total number of DAB stations ranges from 264 broadcasting in England, to 76 in Scotland, 62 in Wales and 53 in Northern Ireland.6 There are 595 radio stations broadcasting on analogue, including three UK-wide commercial stations and five UK-wide BBC stations.


Radio Caroline now available on London DAB

Radio Caroline has been added to the Small Scale DAB multiplex in London.

The station, which is now broadcasting via 648 AM in East Anglia, is available in the capital at 64 kbit/s in stereo using DAB+.

News of the extra coverage was tweeted over the weekend, saying “From Sunday 1st April (honestly) Radio Caroline can be heard on DAB+ throughout the London area. If you are located within the M25, the nearer to central London the better, simply give your DAB+ radio a full scan and then you may find us.”


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From Sunday 1st April (honestly) Radio Caroline can be heard on DAB+ throughout the London area. If you are located within the M25, the nearer to central London the better, simply give your DAB+ radio a full scan and then you may find us. Details on