Radio Newsbeat

I am sad to have to carry news of Jimmy Saville’s accused sordid private life.  But here is the latest selection I have made from the radio today and digital spy sites.

Radio 1 DJs reject Liz Kershaw claims of sexualised culture at station
Published Monday, Oct 8 2012, 23:12 BST | By Beth Curtis
Former Radio 1 presenters Mike Smith and Jackie Brambles have disputed Liz Kershaw’s claims that the station had a reputation for sexual harassment.

This weekend, Radio 6 Music DJ Kershaw alleged that a well-known broadcaster had groped her on several occasions when she worked on the BBC’s flagship station in the 1980s.

The 54-year-old broadcaster said that it was a sexist and threatening environment to work in as a young woman. However, Brambles told BBC Radio 5 Live that she did not agree with Kershaw’s description.

“I was surrounded by a network of extremely supportive male broadcasters,” she said of her time at Radio 1.

Brambles added that there was a “hilarity and wildness” among staff, but that it was far from the “rugby club locker room” Kershaw remembered.

Mike Smith and Sarah Greene arrive for the Sony Radio Academy Awards at Grosvenor House in Park Lane, central London.

© PA Images / Yui Mok/PA Archive
Jackie Brambles at the 2009 BAFTA Scotland Awards at the Glasgow Science Centre. Picture date: Sunday, November 8, 2009.

© PA Images / Alan Simpson/PA Archive

Smith also questioned why Kershaw had declined to identify her alleged assailant, saying she should “stand up and name names”.

He added: “There’s a danger here that an awful lot of innocent, hard-working people are going to be smeared by the comments of Liz Kershaw and particularly Janet Street-Porter in her Daily Mail article.

Champion jockey AP McCoy OBE is to join talkSPORT as a contributor and presenter across the schedule from November.

McCoy, who was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, will also be a guest editor of talkSPORT’s sister publication Sport magazine.

McCoy will appear on Richard Keys and Andy Gray’s weekday show and weekend programming discussing horse-racing and wider sports news. He will also host special talkSPORT programmes around key racing events and will guest edit Sport to coincide with the Cheltenham Festival.

Moz Dee, Programme Director, talkSPORT said: “The addition of a talent like AP McCoy to talkSPORT’s presenting line up further emphasises our commitment to investing in top talent and rights. With a prolific knowledge of the racing industry, and as a huge sports fan himself, AP will be the perfect fit for talkSPORT adding to our stable of the best known sports voices.”

AP McCoy said: “As a massive Arsenal fan I’ve always been a keen listener of talkSPORT and am very much looking forward to working with the team there. Racing has been so good to me I would like to promote it in the best way possible and, with so many listeners, I think talkSPORT is by far the best place for this.”

Radio Book Review: Team, it’s only radio!
10/10/2012 – 18:27 | Leave a comment

Radio Today and eRADIO brings you the first ever review of the new radio book by John Myers – as published in eRADIO 10th October 2012.

In the film Radio Days, Woody Allen is portrayed as a young boy whose mother catches him listening to the wireless. She is furious. ‘STOP LISTENING TO THE RADIO!’ she shouts at him. ‘It’s going to ruin you.’ The lad responds, ‘But Ma, you listen to the radio all the time.’ ‘That’s different,’ she tells him. ‘My life is ruined already.’

We often think that radio has always been there — has always been the same. But that movie scene reminds us how, less than a century ago, commercial radio was new enough to scare your mother. Since then it has been through every kind of boom and bust. Survival was never guaranteed. While the BBC is fortified by a licence fee, commercial radio has had to fight like a tiger just to get its next meal.

At this point I would like to introduce you to the biggest tiger in the jungle. I met John Myers nearly a decade ago. At the time I did not know his first rule in business was: ‘Never employ anyone with a weak handshake’ but I think my grasp must have been just strong enough because we became friends. All I knew was that he had once been a breakfast presenter; now he ran stuff at the Guardian. Above and beyond all of that, this was a lovely guy who wanted to talk endlessly about radio. John was modest enough not to push his CV at me.

I was sufficiently incurious not to look it up. I now realise I should have done. Reading this book has been a revelation and a joy. You will think I am exaggerating if I say that John Myers is probably the most important figure in British commercial radio since Marconi, but who else comes close? He starts as a DJ in clubs. Then he gets on air, fuelled by sheer desperation, initially presenting a country music show for £25 a time; his hatred of the genre is not diluted when he is hilariously named Country Music Presenter of the Year.

Other shows follow, each slot bigger than the last, each new adventure wilder and wackier, a haze of deranged competitions, barking mad callers and crazy promotional stunts. Then, with a head for business, John begins buying radio stations.

The central character in this book is so much larger than most of the people around him that at times it is like watching Motorhead take the stage at the village fête. The tale is not all sweetness and light. When a film crew making the documentary Trouble At The Top walked into Nottingham’s Century 106 alongside John, the receptionist gulped at the camera, ‘Every time Mr Myers comes here, someone gets fired.’

He was later shown in a meeting with the presenter of the station’s religious programme. ‘Your audience figures are so low,’ he told her, ‘even God’s not listening.’

When I reached the paragraph where John calmly mentions that his combined purchases for the Guardian Media Group totalled over a hundred million pounds, I nearly dropped my Kindle in the bath.

Certainly, there is sage advice here for any radio person on the mike or on the make. But actually, this is primarily not a book about big business. It is about the intimate pleasure of working on the wireless. It’s a love letter to that uncomplicated box by your toaster, an uproarious but also deeply touching account of what I fear may well have been radio’s golden age. I adored reading John’s personal tally of disasters and triumphs: when his competitors at Metro Radio festooned the Tyne Bridge with a huge poster to catch the attention of TV viewers watching the Great North Run, he wrapped a double decker bus with the name and colours of his own radio station, Century, and successfully bribed the driver to break down ‘for a minimum of four hours’ in front of the poster.

What makes the whole story special? In broadcasting, precious few can host a show and run the show. The number who become both hugely successful presenters and then make millions as radio entrepreneurs — well, even Marconi didn’t do that. The firewall between the broadcaster and the management is the reason all presenters feel misunderstood. ‘They could never do this job,’ is the regular complaint you hear about the bosses. ‘They don’t know what it’s like.’ But John did do the job. And he tells us exactly what it’s like.

He is honest about the things that possibly should not have happened. The ‘live show from the Champs Elysées’ that actually came from Preston. The listener who complained and was sent a letter saying: ‘Fuck off. You are officially barred from tuning into this radio station in the future and if you continue to write or listen, a stronger letter will follow.’ The time he padlocked the gates at BBC Radio Cumbria, leaving a notice on them saying: FOR SALE due to lack of listeners or entertainment. Any reasonable offer considered. John’s contempt for regulators is subversively glorious. When Ofcom upbraid him about not playing proper jazz on Jazz FM, they ask him for his definition of the genre. ‘Anything with a trumpet’, he tells them. ‘What, anything with a trumpet?’ the regulator replies. ‘Are you joking?’ ‘You started it,’ he replies.

I mustn’t spoil the stories. They are all here for you to discover. This is a man who has struck deals worth millions and yet never forgets the value of the people around him. Suffice to say, I felt terribly nostalgic reading this book, and then glad. Nostalgic because I’m not sure anyone else will have an adventure like this again. Glad because John did, and he has written it all
down.

Jeremy Vine

Smile Sussex crooning on the South Coast
10/10/2012 – 10:52 | 3 Comments

Smile Sussex has just started broadcasting on DAB in Sussex playing nostalgic classics such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.

The station is a new service from the owners of Juice Brighton, which has been removed from DAB to make way for it. It’ll play songs by the likes of Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Julie London. Big Band, Pop Standards, Swing Style, Rat Pack attitude and a touch of Jazz.

Broadcasting legend David Hamilton is part of the new station: “This is the first time that a collection of nostalgic pop classics and traditional standards has been available back to back on the airwaves. Smile Sussex is unashamedly sentimental and the first feedback from our new listeners has been heart felt and positive.”

You can hear the thoughts of Juice 107.2 Brighton’s Daniel Nathan on the new service, in this week’s edition of eRADIO, out today.

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Media
Jimmy Savile allegations: BBC to hold independent inquiry
Published Wednesday, Oct 10 2012, 17:11 BST | By Andrew Laughlin |2 comments
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Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, has said that the BBC’s investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against Sir Jimmy Savile will be led by an outsider.

Speaking to journalists today, Lord Patten said that there is no point in having an investigation into the “serious issues” raised unless it is “wholly credible”.

But he also defended the BBC’s decision to air tribute programmes to Savile after he died last year, despite bosses at the corporation knowing about a Newsnight investigation into the alleged child abuse claims against him.

Lord Patten said that many newspapers were printing “hagiographies” to the TV star, despite also being aware of the “rumours”.

On Monday, the BBC director general George Entwistle apologised to the alleged abuse victims, and said that the BBC would launch a “comprehensive examination” of claims that some cases occurred while Savile was working for the corporation.

Discussing the BBC’s response to the allegations, which were aired in an ITV documentary last week, Lord Patten said: “The first thing we did, and I hope others would have behaved the same in the circumstances, is bring in the police.

“As soon as we get the greenlight from the police, who wanted us to stand back for a bit, we will launch our own inquiry.

“It will be independent and it will be thorough, and it will be chaired by somebody independent. The identity of that person… will be agreed between the director general and the BBC Trust.”

From the Radio Today site, and Digital Spy sites

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