Radio Newsbeat

From the Radio Today Site

Classic FM celebrates 20 years on-air

June 28th, 2012 2:15 pm

The UK’s first national commercial radio station turns 20 this September and is celebrating with a special concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

The evening will be broadcast live with hosts John Suchet and Margherita Taylor.

Classic FM Live, on Monday 24th September, will feature performances from internationally-renowned musicians and artists.

Classic FM’s Orchestra in Scotland, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, will make their Classic FM Live debut. Joining them will be a host of classical stars, including the thrilling violinist Tasmin Little, the dynamic young pianist HJ Lim and tenor favourite Wynn Evans, as well as performances from the Crouch End Festival Chorus, plus other special guests still to be announced.

The repertoire on the night includes performances of Classic FM Hall of Fame favourites, such as Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, compete with a firework finale.

Classic FM’s Managing Director Darren Henley said: “When Classic FM launched in 1992, we changed the way that people listened to classical music. Two decades on, we’re the UK’s biggest classical music radio station and as part of our 20th birthday celebrations, Classic FM Live promises to be one of the most exciting musical nights of the year.”

Northeast radio stays local for floods

June 28th, 2012 9:06 pm

Local and regional radio stations in the North East of England dropped network programmes or provided extra local content this evening in reaction to the floods.

Metro Radio and Capital FM continued their drivetime shows, BBC Newcastle provided local rolling speech and Real Radio, whilst in network programmes, provided local information and travel bulletins.

At 7pm, Metro Radio’s drivetime presenter Stuart Elmore continued till 9pm and provided extra news bulletins, eye-in-the-sky travel reports and listeners on the phones.

Capital North East dropped James Barr’s evening show from London and provided extra local information as Rob Howard continued along with breakfast journalist Anna Harding, also till 9pm.

BBC Newcastle stayed in news-mode and provided an all-speech show with Anne Leuchars and Matthew Raisbeck into the evening instead of the scheduled “Evening Show” – where it’s normally all about the music.

Real Radio has regional programming till 8pm on weekdays in the form of the football phone-in, which included listeners experience in the severe weather, but continued with network programmes from Manchester after 8. Presenter David Heane provided local information and travel reports every 30 minutes via split links.

Several parts of the area experienced heavy rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon, leading to flooding, public transport suspension and major road closures. In such situations, Ofcom expects stations, which normally network off-peak programmes, to “give listeners a feeling of ownership and / or kinship, particularly at times of crisis (snow, floods etc).”

Planet Rock boss says “I’m no fat cat”

July 1st, 2012 2:47 pm | Leave a comment

An open letter from Planet Rock CEO Malcolm Bluemel says the station has been criticised for offering subscription-based content.

Malcolm says he is mortified by the abuse and comments – and that if he was a fat cat he would have not spent £3m of his own money keeping the station running.

“For the last four years I have worked my backside off to keep this station going,” he said. “It has, during that time, cost me personally £1,000 a day (yes, I have spent every penny I’ve worked all my life for), to get up at 5.45 in the morning and travel to London, to agonise over playlists and deal with all the compliance and contractual issues that go with running a small business these days.

“I’m told that we have a passionate audience who love the station but as soon as I try anything to ease the tremendous losses I get abused by a minority of that said audience.”

In his letter, posted on the Planet Rock website, he points out the station is still available free of charge 24 hours a day and the additional content is there for people to purchase or not as they choose.

“I am not a fat cat. If I was I would have kept my money in my pocket, stayed at home with my wife and children and been 3 million pounds better off. The team at Planet Rock remain dedicated to providing our listeners the highest quality service possible both on and off air and will continue to do so.”

The station announced on June 11th that is was planning to charge £5 a month for a VIP club, which will provide listeners with extra ad-free programmes and content online.

At the time, Malcolm was quite open about offering the service to help the station survive. He said: “The world is changing and Planet Rock has to change with it. We are asking our family of listeners to help us make that change and secure the future of their favourite radio station.”

From the Digital Spy website

BBC developing ‘3D radio’ technology

Published Tuesday, Jun 12 2012, 11:07 BST | By Tom Eames |
BBC logo


The BBC are reportedly developing a new ‘3D radio’ sound for its stations.

Researchers at BBC R&D have been looking into acoustics that can make the listener feel like they are actually at concerts by making the sound come from all directions, including above and below them.

The BBC’s sound effects department would be able to further increase the quality of their output, by making sounds seem like they are rising or falling around the listener.

Engineers say that the technology will allow listeners to receive the 3D effects from their existing equipment, without the need to buy new products.

Frank Melchior, lead technologist for audio with BBC R&D, told The Telegraph: “We want to deliver a new experience to the audience that gives them more immersion and involvement in the content.

“We also have to make sure we are flexible enough in the delivery of this content. It has to sound okay on headphones as well as on speakers.”

Concert audience

BBC Radio 4 had previously fooled listeners by asking them to hold their hands in front of their faces to hear the effect of 3D radio on April Fools’ Day last year.

However, a research paper from BBC R&D reveals that 3D audio could actually exist, by tricking a listener’s brain into hearing sounds from below and above them, as well as the usual stereo sounds.

Engineers have already tried out the new system with pre-records of the Last Night of the Proms, an Elbow concert and a radio play of the Wizard of Oz.

Anthony Churnside, co-author of the BBC R&D research paper, said: “There are a number of ways to create 3D sound. There are psychoacoustic tricks that can make you perceive sound from above and below.

“With the Wizard of Oz we concentrated on a couple of scenes including the tornado when it takes the house away. Suddenly we had mooing cows thrown up into the air, and the wind could be all around you. With 3D sound you have every direction to play with so you can be really quite creative.

“For an orchestra or a live event, the majority of the sounds come from the stage in front of you, but the sense of immersion comes from the sound bouncing off the roof and the walls.”

He added: “The final solution will probably be a hybrid of the technologies so that we can record, produce, broadcast and listen to the audio in the most flexible way.”

The new techniques could also help improve the sound quality of future 3D television broadcasting.



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