I live in an area where the only main choice for me on FM seems to be a strong local radio station that does not fully cover the town I live in. It is however a very professional BBC Station, called BBC Radio Berkshire. They cover Festivals in town, but the weather is not always accurate because it is for another county! The other strong station is Heart but personally I do not find this a good listen. On AM we used to get a strong feed of I can also receive BBC 3 Counties on my tuner and the London stations with the aid of an amplified aerial. Dab from the BBC and the national network is very poor. I am going to experiment with an add on aerial (crocodile clip connector and long wire!) to see if this improves the signal on portable radios.
I wonder if the new National DAB network will give better reception in my part of Oxfordshire when it launches in 2016? Virgin Radio will be making a comeback, but not sure of the format yet, see a news story below.
Steve Penk’s Internet Radio station plays a good stream of music http://stevepenk.playoutone.com/ This will open the station up in Winamp and other players on your PC. You will also find the station listed on the Frontier Silicon Radio Portal and no doubt others if you have a wi fi radio. Here is a posting by Steve on the Radio Today site, explaining all about this station. He is also reported to be on a wind up radio station on DAB, cannot imagine that will be very good listening all day long! There is nothing new about this Internet station, but I have found it to be very good to listen to on and off for a month or two now, do try it.
Lots of people are asking why I have decided to launch an Internet radio station and I thought RadioToday was a good place to explain.
My love of radio goes back to my teenage years when I would spend all my spare time listening to the radio and spending all my pocket money buying vinyl records. I remain as enthusiastic and love the radio industry as much now, in 2015, as I did when I first started as an enthusiastic and eager 16 year old.
Since selling 96.2 The Revolution in January last year I have remained unemployed.
The one single thing that originally drove me into radio was my love of music, I didn’t get into radio because I wanted to be famous or rich, I got into radio because I love music, and that love of music remains to this day. What I hear on the radio these days saddens me, the same songs programmed over and over again, day after day, week after week, month after month, time and time again.
Radio listeners aren’t fools, yet they are consistently treated like one.
Perhaps everyone who listens to the radio these days suffers from short term memory loss and therefore can’t remember what they heard yesterday, or last week, if that is the case, maybe today’s music radio is perfect for them. For me it’s boring and certainly not the reason I got into radio. When I listen to the radio I want to be surprised.
I have always spent my professional life being creative, and just because I haven’t got a job on the radio, that process doesn’t stop, you can’t just turn off your creative brain, especially if that’s what you’ve done everyday for the past 30 odd years. I am not the sort of person who can sit at home everyday watching daytime television, I have to do something, and in recent months I’ve launched a weekly Podcast, YouTube channel, and now an Internet radio station.
I’m doing the Internet radio station purely as a hobby, there is no financial gain for me, just my pure love of radio, and an attempt to offer something musically different, plus it gives me something to do everyday.
There will be no Wind Ups on this station, just a non stop 24 hour music station offering a wealth of variety and surprises along the way.
I hope my radio friends in the industry will have a listen, and perhaps one or two of them may be kind enough to give it a little plug on their radio show to help me spread the word. My internet radio station offers no threat to anyone, it’s tiny.
I love my new hobby, it gives me back my creativity and let’s me enjoy my passion for radio. It’s nothing more. Please have a listen, and share the link with your family and friends if you can.
One creative idea I want to try – I would love everyone who works on the radio (anywhere in the world) and is reading this, to record one single generic link for me, so I can add it to the radio station for a bit of fun.
Please email your link to RadioToday, who will then email those links on to me so I can add them to the Internet radio station. I hope you can help me, and thank you if you do.
Thanks everyone, best wishes, Steve Penk.
News selected by me from the Radio Today site:
Former Magic 105.4 Content Controller Liam Thompson is joining UTV as Programme Director of the new Virgin Radio.
He joins Liam Fisher, Director of National Radio and Terry Underhill, ILR Group Programme Director and will lead all aspects of the programme output both pre and post launch.
Liam was most recently at Bauer where he was responsible for overseeing Magic’s national launch on DAB. Prior to that, Liam spent seven years as Group Programme Director at Communicorp in Ireland.
Liam said: “I’m very excited to be joining the talented team at UTV Media with a brief to launch Virgin Radio next year. It’s a huge opportunity to create an iconic national radio brand and I look forward to building a team of great talent in advance of our 2016 launch.”
Scott Taunton, UTV Media Chief Operating Officer, said: “The launch of Virgin Radio is hugely exciting for us and we’re really pleased to welcome Liam Thompson on board. He has extensive experience in launching radio stations, building solid audiences and understands the potential of the Virgin Radio brand in this market.”
Virgin Radio will launch along with a number of other services by UTV in 2016 on the new national commercial radio multiplex.
Orion Media is ending its heritage of live football commentary this season on its Free Radio brand.
Sport coverage will continue on AM and FM including a new Free Radio 80s Saturday afternoon Goalzone programme with scores and comment, but commentary will not be provided due to costs and the ‘ever more varied fixture times’.
A spokesperson for Free Radio told RadioToday: “Free Radio still plans to own local sport, bringing the latest football news daily on Free Radio FM stations. On our Free Radio 80s station in Birmingham, on AM and DAB, Tom Ross will be hosting a new Saturday afternoon Goalzone programme with scores and comment; and he’ll be hosting his famous Friday evening Goalzone phone-in.
The station is to offer more sport coverage online, and has posted a message on its website about the return of coverage for the 2015/16 season.
The station adds: “We are also developing an increased range of unique digital content, from interviews to analysis, which will be distributed through our websites and on social media to equip us to deliver real depth and insight even more promptly.
“Owing to the costs and the challenge of integrating the ever more varied fixture times within our programming, we shall not be carrying live commentary this season.”
Bauer Media’s Radio City in Liverpool has also stopped local football commentary after 40 years for the upcoming season.
BBC Radio 6 Music celebrates David Byrne
BBC Radio 6 Music is highlighting the work of David Byrne with a series of programmes featuring the musician and songwriter.
He’ll be co-presenting with Lauren Laverne, interviewed by Gilles Peterson and, making his debut as a 6 Music presenter, he will be presenting his own radio show, a two-hour special on Sunday 23 August.
On Friday 21 August, Lauren broadcasts her show live from the Southbank Centre during the festival. She’ll be speaking to some of the acts performing and will be joined by David Byrne. Lauren Laverne says: “What a privilege to have the great David Byrne co-present my 6 Music show at the Southbank Centre. As he is curating Meltdown, who better to convey to our audience the meaning behind the line-up of talent and performances this year?”
Paul Rodgers, Head of Programmes for 6 Music, says: “It’s terrific for 6 Music to be able to celebrate the legacy and impact of such an important musical force as David Byrne. We are delighted he is making a show for 6 Music as his Playlists are fascinating. I’m sure listeners will love his appearance on the Station, either live on Sunday 23 August or by downloading via the iPlayer Radio App.”
And, making his debut as a 6 Music presenter, on Sunday 23 August (4-6pm) he will be hosting his very own show – recorded recently in his home city of New York – in which he selects his personal music choices. In the programme, called David Byrne On 6 Music, he says: “I’m curating this show for 6 Music, I’m curating Meltdown. Curating is maybe an obnoxious word, it’s overused, or we think it’s overused. But there’s a certain truth to it and the question is am I better than an algorithm or am I not? My place is to maybe give you some things you like and then some things that may surprise you and you’ve never heard before.
“But it’s a lot of fun when you do these kind of things you can introduce music and people will give you the benefit of the doubt and give it a listen which is a little bit of what’s it’s about.”
Later on Sunday 23 August, Stuart Maconie presents a Freak Zone special (8-10pm) devoted to David Byrne’s album, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.
Premier Christian Radio has teamed up with Durham Cathedral to become the first ever media partner for the institution.
As part of the partnership, the station will cover the main events and stories from the Cathedral, while the Cathedral will help to promote the station, including its Lifeline counselling service.
The Dean of Durham, the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove said, “It is an exciting time for us here at Durham Cathedral. Our Open Treasure project will soon be coming to fruition: it will see our new spaces opening up in 2016 and the Treasures of St Cuthbert going back on public display. It is therefore excellent news that we have secured a radio media partner to help us promote this great project, alongside all the other wonderful work that is being done here at the Cathedral.
The Christian ethos of Premier Radio makes it a natural partner of this Cathedral as together we bear witness to the faith and hope that inspires all that we do in the name of Christ.”
Sylvia Walters, Regional Director at Premier Christian Radio said, “Premier is delighted to be working in partnership with Durham Cathedral sharing our passion to put faith at the heart of daily life and bring Christ to communities.
Both ministries have a history of innovation; spreading the timeless message of the Gospel in both traditional and new exciting ways. It is a joy to be working together.”
BBC Radio Northampton is launching a feel good fortnight aiming at keeping listeners smiling over the next two weeks.
From Monday, the station will be exploring what it means to be happy, asking listeners to share what makes them happy, and creating audio from the results.
BBC Radio Northampton’s Editor, Helen Grimes, explains: “Be Happy: Feel Good Fortnight is all about mental wellbeing: trying to encourage happiness, demonstrating happiness and discussing happiness.
“Throughout the fortnight we’ll be having round table discussions which will include key local people who aim to make Northamptonshire a ‘mentally-well place’, we’ll be playing some uplifting music specially chosen by our mid-morning presenter Bernie Keith, and we’ll be encouraging our followers on social media to do one thing a day to make their lives, and those around them, happier.”
Helen says they don’t want to focus on just the mental health aspect of happiness but they also want to do more to get communities together and people out and doing things they enjoy.
“We have challenged ourselves to encourage our listeners to create a Happy Café in the county. We got this idea from Action for Happiness.
“The idea is simple; a friendly and welcoming place to meet other people with a shared interest in promoting happiness and wellbeing. It’s a place where you can express yourself and be inspired by others.
“We’re hoping that our listeners will create one of these cafes in Northamptonshire, use it and more importantly,keep it going.”
BBC Essex presenter John Leech will be presenting seven hours of soul music on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August.
He’ll be on-air from 12pm till 7pm and will be joined by a number of soul guests including Alexander O’Neal and Howard Hewett from halamar.
Speaking of the random challenge John said: “I’ve been working out in the gym to get in shape for such a long show! It’s going to be quite a task but it’s a great chance to play the best soul songs to the people of Essex.”
John is usually on-air from 4pm till 7pm each Sunday with a soul music show.
Managing Editor of BBC Essex, Lou Birt, said she’s excited about the mammoth event: “I have no doubt that John will do a fantastic job. He is an icon in the local Soul music scene and I have complete faith that we’ll keep him going for seven whole hours.
“I’ll have the team on hand to provide him with energy drinks and plenty of carbs throughout the day so he makes it to 7pm!”
Nicky Horne is to be given a once a week slot instead of his current daily show in a schedule revamp at TeamRock Radio.
Nicky has been hosting the Classic Rock Evening Show since the station started two years ago, weekdays from 6pm but will be only heard each Thursday at the later start time of 9pm from September.
Last July, Nicky Horne signed for at least another two years at the station, which at the time was broadcasting nationally on DAB. Before TeamRock, Nicky was at Planet Rock for eight years and was previously at BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, Virgin, and Capital.
A new evening show with Sophie K will start next month, each weekday 7pm till 9pm.
Programme Controller JRock says: “We’ve taken the decision to streamline our evening and weekend schedule in order to provide enhanced, tailored, on-demand content for each of our core brands. Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Blues will each go down to one show a week – but don’t worry, we won’t be changing who presents them.
“Sophie K moves up to present a new evening show, with the biggest bands, hottest interviews and new music – from deathcore to pop punk, and everything in between.”
A 16 year old Dorset student presented early breakfast on Wessex FM last week, giving him his first break in radio.
Ben Parker, a member of Ridgeway Radio at Dorset County Hospital, got the show after impressing Programme Manager James O’Neill. He’s just completed his GCSEs at Wey Valley School in Weymouth.
Ben said, “It’s been brilliant to be on Wessex FM this week, I’ve listened to it ever since I was at primary school in Weymouth, and I can’t believe I’m now part of the team! I know it’s so hard to get into the industry so I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
James O’Neill added, “Thanks to the UKRD commitment of providing truly local radio instead of networking, we still have the chance to give a promising local youngster the opportunity of getting on the air.
“Ben’s been hassling me to give him a break, and his persistence has paid off. He’s been sounding excellent on Early Breakfast, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the future.”