Radio Newsbeat

As we head into another weekend I will do a review of the latest radio happenings.It is a pity that NME radio is to close.  I miss Mojo Radio which was one of the best back to back radio stations on air.

News from Radio Today

IPC, the owner of NME Radio is pulling the plug on the station, removing the service from Digital TV and radio platforms.

The station was operated by DX Media since 2008 as a spin off to the magazine of the same name.

The station was broadcast on Digital One, Sky, Virgin, Freesat and via its new iPhone app.

NME publishing director Paul Cheal told Media Guardian: “We have enjoyed a great working relationship with DX Media and we would like to thank them for all the excellent work that has gone into NME Radio.

“Meanwhile, we will continue to develop ways in which NME’s audience can engage with both audio and content utilising our in-house studio facilities whilst maintaining an online music service via our award-winning music website nme.com.”

Ofcom has approved the sale of five South West radio stations to One Gold Radio Ltd.

One Gold, owned by Total Star 107.5 Managing Director Brett Orchard, will now re-launch the recently closed Bath FM, Brunel FM, 3TR-FM and Quaywest as Total Star.

Previously, the stations have been through troubled times under former management, with former owners going into receivership.

The five stations now have new formats, which allow extra programme sharing and co-location. See the full details on the Ofcom website here.

Now news from the BBC Site

BBC Radio 5 Live launches a new look to its weekend schedule this week with new programmes in its evening slots and a new line up for 606.

And from August, the popular Sports Report returns to a full hour from 5pm till 6pm each Saturday.

The football phone-in 606 gets a new two-hour berth on Saturday presented by Mark Chapman and Robbie Savage, fresh from the pitch every week after playing for Derby County. The show will be produced by the indie Somethin’ Else.

A new Saturday night news and lifestyle programme will run from 8-10pm. The station will pilot new ideas in the next few weeks before deciding the final format.

On Sundays Alan Green will present the Sunday night edition of 606, starting at 6pm, also produced by Somethin’ Else, and John Pienaar will present Pienaar’s Politics – a new agenda-setting Sunday evening political programme from 7pm.

Declan Curry will present a new show from 8pm with key interviews and topical discussion from the business world. And at 9pm on Sundays, it’ll be 5 Live Investigates, a new weekly current affairs programme, with original stories and hard-hitting interviews.

Radio 5 Live Controller, Adrian Van Klaveren, said: “I think this really boosts our weekend schedule. It’s great to restore the much-loved Sports Report to its full hour and I’m very excited about what Robbie Savage can bring to presenting 606 straight from the pitch on a Saturday. Our new current affairs programme will break important stories. Declan Curry is a key voice in business journalism and John Pienaar really gets under the skin of politics in an accessible and interesting way.”

Radio 4 controller hunt ‘tops 14 names’Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporter

A shortlist of 14 candidates has reportedly been drawn up by the BBC to find a successor to the outgoing controller of Radio 4, Mark Damazer.

According to The Guardian, the BBC’s director of audio and music Tim Davie has pulled together a list of candidates to replace Damazer, who is leaving the corporation to become the new head of St. Peter’s College at Oxford University.

The list includes controller of BBC Knowledge George Entwistle, who is considered to be a good fit for the position as his current role covers a wide factual brief.

BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow is also thought to be in the running, along with Roly Keating, who is currently overseeing the BBC’s archives project.

Ceri Thomas, editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, is also believed to be on the list, while Newsnight editor Peter Rippon has been heavily linked to the position.

Google’s head of communications Peter Barron, who previously edited Newsnight, is among external candidates for the role.

However, Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt recently ruled himself out of the process and Radio 4’s head of specialist factual programmes Mohit Bakaya is not being considered at his own request.

The extensive list of candidates is thought to reflect the fact that there is no obvious front-runner at present to take over from Damazer.

A BBC executive close to the selection process said: “The field is wide open and it will take some time to decide.”

Pure DAB radio

The commercial radio sector has called for BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 to reduce their appeal to listeners aged between 25 and 44.

Radio Centre, the trade body representing the commercial radio industry, made the assertion in a two-part submission to the BBC Trust’s public consultation on the corporation’s strategy review.

The organisation believes Radio 1 should focus on attracting teenagers and the under-25s, while Radio 2 should move its lower age limit from the current level of 40 to anyone aged 45 and over, reports The Guardian.

In its report, Radio Centre also calls on the BBC to make a greater commitment to digital radio, along with reconsidering its cross promotions and tweaking the remit of its local stations.

The trade body also believes that the BBC Trust should be given more regulatory powers, which is contrary to the belief held by many other media organisations.

Commissioned by Radio Centre, a report conducted by Value Partners indicates that Radio 1 and Radio 2’s combined audience is strongest in the 31 to 34-year-old age group, which is outside both stations’ service remits.

Radio Centre supports the controversial closure of 6 Music, with the Value Partners report recommending that the digital-only station should be privatised.

However, the report advises against privatising Radio 1 and Radio 2 as that would have a major impact on competition for advertising airtime in the commercial market.

Value Partners said that it broadly supports the intentions of the BBC’s strategy review, but it also warns that the corporation’s radio services “have a record of failing to respect their remits”.

Radio Centre’s report said that the Trust should be given more power to dole out penalties for any BBC networks that breach their service licences, with possible punishments including a cut to their budgets.

Writing in the introduction to the Radio Centre submission, former Labour culture secretary Lord Smith said: “The balanced radio industry gets out of kilter when public and commercial services sound too similar, or when BBC stations are seen to prioritise popularity over quality, and delivery of public purposes.”
“>Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporterhttp://images.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/library/160x120_logo_radio_bbc_3.jpg” width=”160″ />BBC Radio 3 controller Roger Wright has said that radio stations should not expect to exist “unchallenged” in the age of digital.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the music industry organisation Public Performance Limited, Wright said that “standing still is not an option” for media organisations in the modern world.

Wright added that the BBC Trust, which is currently considering BBC proposals to shut down digital stations 6 Music and the Asian Network, has some “hard decisions” ahead.

However, he said that “nostalgic sympathies” should not get in the way of an objective judgement of the true value of radio stations to their listening communities, reports The Guardian.

“Simply because organisations, for example performing groups, music colleges, venues, festivals, funding bodies or radio stations, have existed for a number of years does not mean they have a right to continue as they have since they were founded, their work unchallenged,” said Wright.

“In a climate of cultural change we need to be flexible and ready to adapt to new environments and audiences tastes. And we need to be ready to take hard decisions about the importance of their work based on real value to the community. Not just on nostalgic sympathies.”

Wright claimed that Radio 3 is the “most significant commissioner of new music in the world”, including over £42 million being spent every year on five orchestras, the BBC Singers and the Proms.

However, he accepted that the station, which currently undergoing a review of its service licence by the Trust, is “still a long way off” from being a universally accessible media experience.

Wright said that it is easy for industry organisations to attack the BBC, but the corporation is still a “universally admired” institution.

“We live in a time when institutions are not particularly loved but what they offer is often still appreciated,” he said.

“The NHS and the BBC are just examples of two institutions which suffer from this current anti-institution outlook – but the principles behind the organisations and what they offer is still universally admired.”

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