Radio Newsbeat

 Waffler
I was wondering for some time why Robbie Vincent had disappeared from the airwaves, the solution to that problem is reproduced in full below.  I remember Robbie for his days in the 70s with BBC Radio London, his phone-in programmes and soul programmes were excellent.  As were his shows on Radio 1 and Jazz FM.  I extend a warm welcome back to Robbie and hope that he is feeling better
From the Media Guardian site

12 Jan 2011: Michael Berkeley: The BBC’s Mozart tribute ends today, after 12 days of broadcasting every note he wrote. How much have you listened to? And what has it done for your appreciation of the composer?

    Syndication is killing the radio star

    As more and more local radio stations go national, would-be DJs have to find other ways of making themselves heard
      • The Guardian, Monday 10 January 2011
    • DJ Greg James
      As local radios go national, syndication is reducing job opportunities for DJs, but student stars such as Greg James, above, can still find work. Video didn’t kill the radio star, despite the Buggles’ pessimistic prediction in 1979. More than 30 years later, DJs face a more fearsome threat – syndication. It might not make for such a catchy chorus, however. London’s Capital 95.8 last week became the latest local radio brand to go national, following its Global Radio sister station Heart and GMG Radio’s Smooth. The BBC’s local radio stations have also been sharing more content, and Bauer Media’s dance station Kiss is set to become a quasi-nationwide offering later this year. Not all local content has been axed – each of the nine Capital stations around the country retains its own breakfast and drivetime shows, for instance – but the big radio groups’ stampede to nationwide brands, in a bid to boost listener awareness and ad revenue, has left many local radio DJs trampled and blinking in the dust. “I have seen a marked increase in the last couple of years in the number of people getting in touch saying ‘you might have heard, I’m about to lose my job’,” says BBC Radio 1’s deputy controller, Ben Cooper. In the absence of a trade union for DJs, industry-wide numbers are hard to come by, but Cooper estimates the number of job losses in the drive to syndication over the past few years to be in the “hundreds”. Radio 1 traditionally turned to local commercial radio to find its stars of the future, including breakfast DJ Chris Moyles, who began his career at Radio Aire in Leeds and later worked at Capital; and Zane Lowe, who came from London’s Xfm. Radio 1’s drivetime DJ Scott Mills began his career at Power FM in south Hampshire and GWR Bristol. Power FM is now in the Capital stable of stations, after being part of the now-defunct Galaxy network, while GWR Bristol has been rebranded as Heart. “If you look at Moyles and Scott and Zane, that career path is all but dead,” says Cooper. “There is still talent out there, but with tighter formats and more syndication there are less opportunities for young presenters to try their craft out on early morning or overnight shows. It’s a very, very tough time if you want to do it the traditional way.” Andy Hipkiss, founder of the radio and TV talent agency Triple A Media (which represents Christian O’Connell and Shaun Keaveny among others), says the opportunities for DJs in local commercial radio are “few and far between”. “I’ve had 15 emails since Christmas from presenters who have been told they are going to lose their jobs. There are a lot of great radio presenters who aren’t working any longer; too many people going after too few jobs.” But is it such a big loss? For the DJs and producers involved, clearly yes. But how much will the presenters of overnight – and occasionally peaktime – slots on some local radio stations be missed by their listeners? Ashley Tabor, founder and executive president of Global Radio and Global Group, said of the decision to syndicate programmes across the newly national station: “I’m afraid to say there are not 33 good mid-morning presenters in this country and there are not another 33 good afternoon presenters. I wish there were, but there aren’t.” Former Radio Academy chief executive Trevor Dann agrees. “A lot of the so-called talent on commercial radio wasn’t very good. Often some of the worst programming ever made was in the wee small hours on tiny radio stations paying peanuts and getting monkeys.” A result, suggests Dann, of commercial radio failing to invest properly in its talent. With the traditional radio career ladder increasingly out of reach, aspiring DJs are showcasing their talents on community radio or the web. The problem is they tend to pay roughly the same – zilch. “If you really want to get into radio then you have to do it for the love of it, and that is quite hard,” says radio futurologist James Cridland, a former executive at the BBC and one-time DJ at Pulse FM in Bradford and Hallam FM in Sheffield. Both the slots – which he has long since departed – are now syndicated. “The upside is it is far easier to be heard. Instead of a programme director having to drive round the country sitting in a hotel room to have a listen to the radio, he can punch up a local radio station and have a listen [on the web].” Graphic artist Peta Waddington’s Hip Auntie website features six 30-minute shows, promising a playlist that will “capture children’s imaginations and not bore the pants off the grown-ups”. So less Bob the Builder – no offence, Neil Morrissey – more gospel and rockabilly. “I never envisaged it being online but I don’t think there is space for me on the radio anymore,” says Waddington, the wife of singer Nick Lowe. “I have days when I think the BBC is going to snap me up – I rather arrogantly thought they might be interested – but most of the time I think it’s dead in the water.” Despite discussions with a commercial digital radio operator, Waddington’s online venture for the moment remains just that. A series of homemade podcasts put up on Facebook and Twitter helped James Carpenter land the drivetime DJ’s gig on Orion Media’s Beacon Radio in the West Midlands. “Cutting my teeth for me was getting together with an old friend of mine and recording one or two podcasts a month talking about what we had read in the paper,” says Carpenter, a one-time PA to former BBC Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas (and who is represented by Hipkiss). “We got feedback from friends and family, who are the only people who are going to listen to it at the start. There are people who have lost their jobs and are obviously quite bitter about it, but there are equally a lot of people who still have the passion and the desire to want to be on air.” National stations are increasingly turning to student radio in the hunt for the next big thing. Radio 1 hired early afternoon presenter Greg James in 2007, the year he left the University of East Anglia, while Absolute Radio has recently hired a trio of student radio award winners – Max Dickins, Vicki Blight and Mark Crossley. “Student radio has become the new hunting ground for new talent,” says Clive Dickens (no relation to Max), chief operating officer of Absolute. “There are so few local radio stations that student radio is now where we go. The proof is in the pudding – we have employed three in the last 18 months alone, all under 30 and all in their first two years of professional radio.” But fewer people want to be a DJ than they did five or 10 years ago, says Dickens. “When I was younger it seemed to be much more appealing to be a radio DJ. In a digital economy people want to work on the internet, as a developer, a designer, or a multimedia journalist. We’ve got to create excitement among younger people that it’s a career that they want to do. That’s why we present ourselves as a digital media company.” Radio 1 hired Matt Edmondson after he impressed station bosses in a stint as the resident interviewer on gossip website Holy Moly, while Jen Long, the new host of its BBC Introducing in Wales strand, was spotted after running the Cardiff University radio station and “putting on bands in her kitchen” . “The traditional routes might have closed down or become incredibly difficult but it’s up to us to look in new and different areas to find new storytellers,” says Cooper. “There is still new and exciting talent out there, it’s just that you’ve got to find it in new ways.” • This article was amended on 10 January 2011 to change Ashley Tabor’s job title. It is founder and executive president of Global Radio and Global Group, not as previously stated

    From the Radio Today site in brief

    Radio 1 and 1Xtra have appointed their first ever Commissioning Editor to look after documentaries and features and work with independent producers.

    New and old faces for Solent

    11:39AM, 14 Jan 2011

    Old favourite Richard Cartridge is returning to the weekend line-up on BBC Radio Solent, and a new name – Sasha Twining – is joining the station.

    Carter to head up Radio 1 2012

    11:26AM, 14 Jan 2011

    Jason Carter has been given the job of Event Director for Radio 1 2012 and so will oversee the station’s major outdoor music event for the Olympic Games.

    Global appoints new Director

    01:02AM, 14 Jan 2011

    Former Head of Online Marketing at Woolworths.co.uk. Christopher Thorogood has been appointed as Director of Digital as Global Radio.

    Robbie returns to Jazz FM

    01:48PM, 13 Jan 2011

    Presenter Robbie Vincent is returning to Jazz FM after a long illness.

    Robbie returns to Jazz FM

    Presenter Robbie Vincent is returning to Jazz FM after a long illness.

    He’ll be back on-air on March 6th for Sunday Breakfast, after taking a break from radio.

    Programme Controller Mike Vitti, in an email to staff said: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Young who has been covering for Robbie on his programme since November and Greg Edwards who covered prior to Jeff. Both did a tremendous job and my heartfelt thanks go to them both.”

    Maldwyn replaced by Hafren

    08:46AM, 13 Jan 2011

    A new radio station has emerged from the ashes of Radio Maldwyn in Mid Wales.

    UK jocks join UAE stations

    03:33PM, 12 Jan 2011

    Three British radio names have joined two of Dubai’s biggest stations – Channel 4 FM and Coast 103.2.

    Barlow to co-host R2 breakfast

    03:21PM, 12 Jan 2011

    Gary Barlow is to co-host the Radio 2 breakfast show with Chris Evans next Wednesday, ahead of a concert to celebrate the Take That star’s 40th birthday.

    Phil Gayle moves to BBC Oxford

    02:50PM, 12 Jan 2011

    Phil Gayle is joining BBC Radio Oxford to present the station’s breakfast show from next week.

    Sharp keeps it Smooth

    02:25PM, 12 Jan 2011

    Former Capital and Heart presenter Pat Sharp is to stay on as weekend breakfast presenter at Smooth Radio after covering the show for the last couple of months.

     From the Digital Spy site

    BBC seeks to make £400m in savings

    Thursday, January 13 2011, 15:19 GMT

    By Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporter

    BBC director general Mark Thompson has said that the corporation will seek around £400 million of savings as it adjusts to the new licence fee settlement.

    The BBC aims to make cost savings of around 20% before the end of the license fee freeze in April 2017 as it copes with its new financial responsibilities, including World Service and Welsh-language channel S4C.

    Thompson told BBC staff today that he is imposing the tough savings target to meet the BBC’s new commitments, but also to free up funds for investments in new content or technologies.

    The corporation aims to reduce its overheads from 12% to 9% or less in order to meet its aim of spending 90% of the licence fee on making content and delivering it to the public.

    “The BBC is being realistic, taking prompt action to make sure it meets future funding limits, while continuing to aim to devote 90% of spending on content and getting it to the public,” Thompson said in a statement.

    “Rather than imposing these efficiency savings and reductions in a top-down manner, we are asking people who work at the front line to say how these can best be achieved.

    “The tough, but realistic, settlement we achieved gives us certainty of funding for six years. However, the BBC is not immune to the economic climate and it will require tough decisions to achieve these savings.”

    Under the new licence fee deal, hastily agreed with the government last October, the BBC licence fee will be frozen at £145.50 until April 2017, representing a 16% cut to the BBC’s income in real-terms.

    Thompson warned that efficiency and operational savings alone will not be enough to meet the cost of the BBC’s new financial obligations, which include World Service, BBC Monitoring and S4C.

    The BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons today urged the BBC to review its digital channels after the completion of the digital switchover in 2012, potentially putting in doubt the futures of BBC Three and BBC Four.

    Thompson said that the savings drive would have an impact on some programmes and services, but there are no plans for the closure of any specific channels or networks.

    A Trust spokeswoman also stressed that the BBC’s governing body “never suggested that the Executive should close any individual service”.

    She added: “This is the start of the process: we now await the DG’s suggestions for how to implement the new licence fee settlement and the principles of the new strategy set out by the Trust at the end of last year.”

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