Radio Newsbeat

The latest news picked from the Radio Today website. Sad news that BBC Local Radio is becoming regional radio at certain times of day and night. What a waste of air time, not that I want the BBC to overspend its budget. Is there any point in having radio stations that duplicate the same programme?

Here is an early christmas gift, a lady that loves listening to the radio on headphones !

Programmes serving Asian, African Caribbean and Chinese audiences on BBC local radio stations are to be broadcast in a new Sunday evening time slot.

The specialist shows will be broadcast between 6 and 10 pm, the BBC says, to reflect a growing demand for news and journalism in a regular and accessible time slot.

“The programmes will focus on journalism relating to these communities and each programme will contribute to peak time weekday output. As more of our audiences catch up with our content online, two new web pages showcasing stories and clips from the enhanced local radio Asian and African and Caribbean programmes will be available on the web from 14 January.”

These changes are in addition to the new weekday evening show, networked across all 39 stations Monday to Friday, and the new BBC Introducing show each Saturday – both from 7pm till 10pm.

David Holdsworth, Controller, English Regions, said: “These schedule changes reflect the ambition of BBC Local Radio to serve communities with the best local journalism, and reflecting the lives and interests of our listeners.”

Full schedules for all 39 BBC Local Radio stations will be published in the new year.

The Radio Academy has today informed us that the 2013 Sony Radio Academy Awards are now officially open for entries, till 5pm on February 6th 2013.

Upload, the full list of award categories and the conditions of entry can be viewed on the Awards Website at radioacademyawards.org.

Details of the 2013 Organising Committee, whose members will help steer this year’s Awards, have also been revealed.

Appointed by The Radio Academy’s Trustees in consultation with John Myers, the Chairman of the Sony Radio Academy Awards, the committee’s members have been drawn from across the UK radio industry and will meet to discuss and decide such issues as the appointment of the 2013 judging panels, the recipients of the year’s Special Awards and the shape of the 2013 event.

Joining John Myers on the Committee are: Ric Blaxill, Music & Content Director, Bauer Radio, Chris Burns, Group Manager, BBC Audio & Music, Moz Dee, Programme Director, talkSPORT, David Holdsworth, Controller, BBC English Regions, Richard Park, Co-Founder, Group Executive Director & Director of Broadcasting, Global Radio, Bob Shennan, Controller, BBC Radio 2, 6 Music & Asian Network and Mark Story, Consultant, RadioStory.

John Myers, Chairman of the Sony Radio Academy Awards said: “This is the second year The Radio Academy has organised these Awards and I’m delighted that, along with our Trustees who have worked to review and revise the 2012 Award Categories as announced last week, we have such a strong team from right across the industry whose expertise and commitment will ensure that this year’s Awards are even better than last year’s and that winning a Sony remains the most treasured accolade for UK radio practitioners.”

The 2013 Sony Radio Academy Awards will take place on Monday 13th May at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, and will be hosted by Chris Evans. Nominations will be released late March/early April via a live webcast.

The owner of Absolute Radio, Bennett, Coleman & Co, is reported to be back in discussion with potential buyers, after initial talks last year.

MediaWeek says that the company has now accepted the loss-making business is not worth what it had hoped, and Absolute Radio could be sold for around £10m to £15m.

Bennett, Coleman & Co, parent company of TIML, spent over £50m on the station in 2008 and had a review of the company last year. It is thought potential buyers include Global Radio and UTV Media but offers were under the £20m mark.

John Pearson, the former chief executive of the business when it was known as Virgin Radio is thought to have been favourite

Mark Forrest has hosted a two hour test show at 2am today on the BBC Local Radio network ahead of the upcoming networked evening show.

Listeners expecting the second hour of Up All Night with Rhod Sharp on the network’s sustaining service 5 Live heard a quick fade out before the sport update followed by the show’s new theme. Mark then announced “Welcome to our secret show… We’re not in Radio Times, we may not be on the iPlayer, in the morning we’ll probably deny we ever existed.

“This is a taster for a brand new programme starting right here on Monday evening the 7th of January,” Mark continued.

The team were in place at BBC Radio Leeds to test the sound and the connections, which all went well apart from a few small hitches in the South.

The pilot continues with another show tonight (or Wednesday morning).

Not up at 2am? Missed the show? Don’t worry, we got it.

BBC Local Radio stations in England and the Channel Islands will start a new show on January 5th 2013 known as BBC Introducing.

The show will share the same name but will be hosted in each area by a local presenter, each Saturday from 8pm and will support unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar musicians.

The country-wide initiative is in addition to the new networked evening show starting on January 7th 2013 with Mark Forrest on all stations.

Programmes previously occupying the Saturday evening time slot will be moved to other areas of the station’s output but precise details of this will vary from station to station.

A BBC spokesperson told RadioToday.co.uk: “In some cases, due to limited flexibility in the schedule, the programmes currently in these timeslots will cease transmission by the end of December 2012.”

David Holdsworth, Controller, BBC English Regions, says: “Our audiences value the showcase that BBC Introducing offers to local emerging talent. Having all the programmes on at the same time means that we will be able to give the Introducing programmes on each of our 39 stations a higher profile which in turn will benefit the local acts.”

Jason Carter, Head of Live Music & Events & BBC Introducing, believes this re-launch is a great time to celebrate all that BBC Introducing has achieved so far.

Jason says: This new dedicated Saturday night timeslot for all the BBC Introducing shows is great news and means that music fans, wherever they are, know when to tune into BBC Local Radio to discover the latest new music in their area with one single appointment to listen each week across networks. The change across the local Introducing shows underlines BBC Introducing’s continued commitment to supporting unsigned artists and under the radar talent.”

He continues: “It’s great to see these shows right at the heart of BBC Local Radio, continuing to build on the successful relationships with network radio, sharing new talent with Radio 1, Radio 2, 1Xtra, 6Music and the Asian Network, bringing them to a wider audience.”

Three community radio stations have been found in breach of their licence conditions to obtain no more than 50% of income from advertising.

Erewash Sound in Derbyshire, Felixstowe Radio in Suffolk and The Super Station Orkney were all found to be bringing in more than the allowed amount of income via on-air advertising and sponsorship.

In particularly, Ofcom said The Super Station provided a number of different, and in some cases directly contradictory, figures to explain the amount of on-air advertising income it had received over the reporting period.

As a result the regulator was unable to properly determine the true situation, and concluded that the information provided was insufficiently reliable to support the Licensee’s claim that it was not in breach of its licence.

Three more stations, Seaside FM in East Yorkshire, Ambur Radio in the West Midlands and Phoenix FM in Essex were all investigated for the same reason but their issues were resolved by Ofcom.

In addition, Voice of Africa Radio in East London failed to pay its licence fee on-time, and because, even after repeated requests where the payment was not made, Ofcom has put the licensee on notice that the contravention was being considered for the imposition of a statutory sanction, which could include licence revocation.

However, Ofcom has reported that the fee has been paid in the last few days and therefore the imposition of a statutory sanction is no longer being considered.

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