Radio Newsbeat

Waffler   IMAG0492

I have had a bad chesty coughing cold for a few days, and am beginning to feel better.  I feel even better noticing that the site visitor count has gone over 40,000 since I last looked at it.  I do hope that I am providing my readers with enough items of interest.

As many have said, it is a great pity Brian Matthew has been taken off Sounds of the Sixties, and even sillier that the BBC have move the show to 6am on a Saturday.  Tony Blackburn will take the show over, but how many will tune in at 6am?  I expect the BBC Radioplayer will have to be employed by some to listen to the show. Not the same as listening over breakfast or in bed.

There is much discussion on the Pirateboardhost run by Gary Stevens about a so-called “Radio Caroline” which is due to launch on Easter 2017!   It appears to be launching from Spain, and has so many “no name” presenters listed so far!  There will always be one Caroline for me, and that is the one connected with the Mi Amigo and Ross Revenge.

Easter 2017 Radio Caroline will be travelling back in time – Back to an era of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Simon &
Garfunkel, The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, The Beach Boys and many, many more great artists of the Sixties !

Commencing at 07:00 CET on Easter Monday 17th April 2017 –  join us for our LIVE programmes with the very best of the Sixties here on
Radio Caroline

Our daily 24/7 schedule :

07:00 to 19:00 (CET) – The Sixties

19:00 to 07:00 (CET) – Classic Global Hits

They are running tests here, make your mind up for yourself about this Caroline station   I am listening to the output at present and the music is at good stereo quality. They have stolen the bell sound?

Now for a selection of news chosen from the Radio Today site

Major weekend programme changes at Radio 2

Saturday mornings on BBC Radio 2 are changing, with Tony Blackburn from 6am and Dermot O’Leary from 8am.

Tony will take over Sounds of the 60s from Brian Matthew in its new time slot, whilst Dermot will front a new Saturday Breakfast show between 8am and 10am.

Other significant changes include a new Saturday afternoon show for Zoe Ball, 3-6pm, and Bob Harris coming off the Sunday schedule to work on other projects, including Bob Harris Country which continues on a Thursday evening.

Ana Matronic will host a new disco show on a Saturday night, and Anneka Rice, who currently hosts 6am – 8am Saturday, will front a new flagship show called The Happening with Anneka Rice, at midnight on Friday evening.

And Brian Matthew will return for an occasional series of programmes to begin on Easter Sunday called The Brian Matthew Years. Brian will reflect on his life and times in the world of music, to be will be scheduled around Bank Holidays. He’ll host a final Sounds of the 60s show on February 25th.

Tony Blackburn’s new 60s show will be live each Saturday at 6am, and will continue to be produced by Unique Broadcasting. The show will feature “music rarities and the biggest hits of the decade, as well as throwing in some of Tony’s favourite soul tunes from the era”. Tony will continue to present Tony Blackburn’s Golden Hour on Friday nights from 7pm-8pm.

Tony says: “It is an absolute honour to be following in Brian’s footsteps; he is a broadcasting legend and Sounds of the 60s is an iconic show. I started my radio career in ’64 and have amazing memories of playing so many of the great hits first time around. To take over this show, 50 years after joining the BBC, is a real privilege and I can’t wait to get started.”

Dermot’s new show will have live bands, pep talks and Pause for Thought, featuring different contributors from a variety of faiths. Pause For Thought will be produced by TBI Media. Dermot’s show will continue to be produced by Ora et Labora.

Dermot said: “It’s a huge honour to be asked to host the Saturday Breakfast show on Radio 2. I’m really looking forward to waking our loyal listeners up, after Tony and the iconic Sounds of the 60s, on which Brian Matthew did such an incredible job for so many years. We’ll be having sessions from some brilliant artists, plus special guests, listeners on air and hand-picked music. It’s a real privilege to be on Radio 2. I can’t wait.”

Zoe Ball gets a regular show, in which she’ll play “hits of today, great feel-good tunes from the past and some selections from Zoe’s own record collection.” It will also contain the 5 O’Clock Freak Out Kitchen Disco. The show will be produced by Ora et Labora.

Zoe says: “I’m absolutely cockahoop to start my own show on Saturdays on Radio 2. I’ve dusted off my vast record collection – chosen some classic hits from across the decades and have come up with some exciting and equally daft features for the listeners to get involved with. I’ve been listening to Radio 2 since I was a lass, growing up with legends…Terry Wogan, Desmond Carrington and Stewpot to name but three of so many. To follow such broadcasting gods and join the Radio 2 family regularly is an absolute privilege and joy and I can’t wait to get started.”

Bob Harris, talking about leaving the Sunday show, said: “I’ve put my heart and soul into the programme and have been given the freedom by Radio 2 to express my musical passions. I feel incredibly proud to have championed new music with BBC Introducing to bring breakthrough artists on to the show. I’d especially like to thank my listeners who have supported the programme for the past 20 years. But I have some very exciting new projects coming up and making this decision will allow me to dedicate a little more time to them. And I’m really looking forward to still bringing the Radio 2 audience more of the very best in all things country in my weekly show – Bob Harris Country.”

And there are new shows at midnight Friday & Saturday – Anneka Rice doing a disco show on Satuday at 00.00 and Scissor Sister Ana Matronic’s Disco Devotion airing on Sunday at 00.00.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 says: “The new Saturday Radio 2 schedule will give listeners a day of music entertainment from some of this country’s most popular and best loved presenters. Brian Matthew is irreplaceable at 8am on a Saturday morning with Sounds of the 60s so we’re moving to a new time of 6am, and I’m confident that Tony will delight listeners with his memories and favourite tunes from the decade. Dermot’s brand new Breakfast show from 8am will wake up the nation in style, and I’m delighted to welcome Zoe and Ana to regular shows on the network. I’d like to thank Anneka for hosting the Breakfast show and we’re looking forward to her new show The Happening with Anneka Rice.”

The Radio 2 Saturday schedule from Saturday 4th March is as follows:

06.00 – 08.00 Tony Blackburn to host Sounds of the Sixties
08.00 – 10.00 Dermot O’Leary to front new Saturday Breakfast show
10.00 – 13.00 Graham Norton
13.00 – 15.00 Pick of the Pops with Paul Gambaccini
15.00 – 18.00 Zoe Ball
18.00 – 20.00 Liza Tarbuck
20.00 – 22.00 Trevor Nelson
22.00 – 00.00 Craig Charles’ House Party

From midnight on Friday 31st March into Saturday 1st April the Radio 2 schedule will be as follows:

00.00 – 02.00 The Happening with Anneka Rice
05.00 – 06.00 Huey Morgan

From midnight on Saturday 1st April into Sunday 2nd April the Radio schedule will be as follows:

00.00 – 02.00 Ana Matronic
05.00 – 06.00 Huey Morgan

RAJAR Q4 2016: Digital listening almost 50%

Digital listening has increased year-on-year to 45.2% share, up from 41.7% in Q4 2015.

The figure was boosted by record levels of DAB digital listening, as hours grew by 12% or 51.3 million hours compared to Q4 2015, driven by record growth in DAB hours which increased by 23% and online hours which increased by 14%.

DAB digital radio now accounts for a third of all radio listening and 73% of all digital listening, with 31 million adults or 57% of the population owning a DAB radio – a year-on-year growth of 6%. Digital listening via online/apps now accounts for 7.4% of all radio listening and 16% of digital listening, while digital television accounts for 4.9% of radio listening and for 11% of digital listening.

The most popular digital-only station is BBC 6 Music which recorded a weekly reach of 2.33 million listeners, followed by BBC Radio 4 Extra with a weekly reach of 2.18million listeners. Absolute 80s re-established its position as the most popular commercial digital-only stations with 1.53 million listeners, with Kisstory taking the second spot with a weekly reach of 1.4m listeners.

National commercial digital listening hours continue to grow increasing by 21% year-on-year to account for almost three quarters (73%) of all national commercial listening, following the launch of the second national DAB commercial network broadcasting 19 national commercial stations in March 2016.

Q4 2016 saw the highest-ever recorded proportion of in-car radio listening, accounting for 23.3% of all radio listening, growth supported by the increase of in-car digital radio with 87% of new cars now fitted with DAB as standard. In this quarter, in-car digital listening hours grew by 40% year-on-year to 62.3 million hours from 44.5 million hours in Q4 2015.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “It is very encouraging to see record levels of DAB listening growth in-car and in the home with DAB now representing nearly three-quarters of all digital listening. Radio listening online and via apps on smartphones and digital devices such as Sonos and Amazon Echo also continues to grow and represents an important digital platform for the future alongside DAB.

“With digital listening broadly flat quarter on quarter in this book, as it often the case from Q3 to Q4, we would expect to see digital listening growth step up in the Q1 2017 listening data when the DAB radios and digital devices sold at Christmas come into use.”

BBC Radio Stoke breakfast presenter Pete Morgan has announced that he won’t be returning to the show, following two months off air.

His Morgan In The Morning show returned to the station in January 2016 when he re-joined Radio Stoke from BBC WM. He’d previously spent five years on breakfast in Stoke from 2007 to 2012.

Pete hasn’t been on the show since early December and today told listeners via his Facebook page that he has left the station.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that after meeting with management today, we agreed that I will not be returning to the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Stoke,” he wrote.

“I have worked in the radio industry for 25 years and believe that I have made many friends during that time. I want to thank them for helping me to make some incredible memories. I would also like to thank the listeners. Whether you have heard me on BBC Radio Stoke, WM, Coventry & Warwickshire or 5Live – I hope that I made your time a pleasurable one. Talking to you and sharing your highs and lows has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

“I can leave Stoke behind, knowing that in the short time I was back there, I won a national radio award and left the listenership with higher figures than when I joined. I hope to speak to you again soon. Pete x”

Before joining the BBC, Pete had spells as breakfast producer for both Heart and Galaxy in the West Midlands. Prior to that he’d been a presenter in the 90s on stations including Signal Radio, Marcher Sound and 2CR.

RAJAR Q4 2016: Regional and local round-up

Here we take an in-depth look around the commercial radio groups outside London, and the BBC Local Radio network across England to see how stations performed in the Q4 2016 RAJAR figures when compared the same period a year earlier.


The network of BBC Local Radio stations in England grew its audience over the 12 months by 122,000. The stations now reach 6.552m people (up from 6.43m in Q4 2015). There were good gains at BBC Three Counties Radio (up 32,000 year on year); BBC Radio Devon (up 39,000); BBC Radio Leicester (up 45,000) and BBC Radio Manchester. Radio Manchester’s audience has risen 59,000 during 2016, giving it a reach of 266k – its highest in more than a decade. The station’s Managing Editor, Kate Squire, said: “We are all delighted. New listeners are discovering us all the time and loving what they hear. They’re cheered up, they get involved and everything we talk about is relevant to people’s lives in Greater Manchester. We’re the home of Mike Sweeney, and a brilliant line up of presenters, plus we play some terrific tunes.”

Not as good news for BBC Radio London though, which has shed 166,000 listeners year on year. There were also falls in listening for BBC Radio Leeds (down 34,000 year on year); BBC Radio Norfolk (down 26,000) and BBC Coventry & Warwickshire (down 21,000).

There were mixed results for the BBC Nations radio stations serving Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. BBC Radio Scotland added 9,000 listeners in the year to give a reach of 952k. BBC Radio Ulster dropped 17k to 521k; and BBC Radio Wales lost 34,000 listeners year on year to give it a new reach of 375k. Welsh language service Radio Cymru added 6,000 new listeners, resulting in a weekly reach in Q4 2016 of 114k.

Bauer says its City Network now has a total reach of 6.9m listeners. Liverpool was a good market for Bauer in this RAJAR release, with Radio City up 27,000 year on year (7.6%). Radio City 2’s reach rose 89k during 2016 following the oldies service’s move from AM to FM, while City Talk lost nearly half its audience by moving off the FM frequency (down 29k year on year from 59,000 to 30,000 weekly listeners).

In South Yorkshire, 2016 was a good year for both Hallam FM and Hallam 2 which both saw increases in reach. Rock FM 2 had a good Q4 2016 seeing its audience rise 22k year on year, while TFM 2’s audience has almost doubled in a year from 33k to 63k. Not as good in Hull where both Viking FM and Viking 2 are down over the 12 months.

Notable audience changes in Scotland include Forth 1 losing 38,000 listeners year on year (now 320k reach); Clyde 1 adding 40,000 (now 624k), Clyde 2 losing 24k and both Northsound 1 and Northsound 2 losing audience. Northsound 2’s reach is down more than a third in the space of a year – from 33,000 to 21,000.

Not great results in Q4 2016 for the former Orion stations. Free Radio Birmingham lost 52,000 of its 401,000 from this time last year, giving a new reach of 349k per week. The other Free Radio FM services were all down too (Coventry down 33k year on year; Hereford & Worcester down 20k and Shropshire down 14k). Gem 106 also dropped 18,000 listeners to leave a new weekly reach of 478,000.

There’s some outstanding news for Wave 105 though on the South Coast, which is up 60,000 year on year – from 382k and 21% reach this time last year to now being at 442k (24%). That’s an increase of 15.7% year on year.

The year-on-year decline for Kiss in London was replicated in the two regions where it operates FM transmitters, with a fall in reach of 13k in East Anglia and 26k in the West of England. Absolute Radio’s London decline was offset by growth in West Midlands where it broadcasts on FM (former Kerrang/Planet Rock licence) and saw reach up 45,000 year on year.

Around Global‘s regional and local services, Q4 2016 saw good performances for Capital in the East Midlands (up 52k year on year), Liverpool (up 37k), Manchester (up 32k) and Yorkshire (up 105k over the year, giving a reach now of 1.092m). The audience decline in London (347k listeners a week have left in the last 12 months) also happened in the North East (down 23k) and Scotland (down 27k).

Heart did well in 2016 in the North West, adding 40,000 weekly listeners over the year. But audiences were down 50k in East Anglia, 35k in South Wales, 34k in the West Midlands and 41k in the Thames Valley. In London, Heart has lost 442,000 in the last 12 months.

Smooth‘s AM and DAB services in the West Country and Cambridgeshire were the pick of the bunch for best annual increases in audience, with the best regional performances for Smooth coming in the North East and North West (both run by CommunicorpUK under the brand licence agreement).

Among Communicorp‘s portfolio, there were strong performances for Capital South Wales, Heart Yorkshire, Smooth North East, Smooth North West and XS Manchester. XS is up 17k over the year to a reach of 128,000 following its rebrand from Real XS. Communicorp’s Capital Scotland, Heart North Wales and Smooth East Midlands each lost audience, but the group overall has added an impressive 118,000 listeners during 2016.

For News Corp there were mixed results in the local radio division, which a year ago was still called UTV. Signal Two added the most listeners of any of the group’s stations in the year – an extra 17,000 to give a reach of 71k. Pulse 1 in Bradford added 10k (now 120k reach). But there were drops at The Wave in Swansea (down 30k to 119k), Wish FM in Wigan (down 25k to 68k) and U105 in Belfast (down 27k).

At UKRD, the total group audience is down 48,000 year on year to 892k. Minster FM and Sun FM lost 13k and 11k respectively. Spire FM was the star performer for the group in 2016, adding 12k weekly listeners – it now has a 51,000 reach (43% of the TSA). Pirate at 159k remains the biggest station in the group, even though it lost 6,000 listeners in 2016. KL.FM recorded its highest reach at 36% and share at 17.7%.

The Anglian Radio Group ended its final year before the takeover by Celador with a drop of 15,000 listeners across the stations. 11,000 were lost from Town 102 in Ipswich. New owner Celador also saw a decline in audiences in 2016 of 49,000. The group now reaches 567,000 people weekly. Reach fell at Sam FM in both Bristol and on the South Coast, plus at The Breeze in Cheltenham and in South Devon (formerly Palm FM).

The Lincs FM Group‘s total audience across its portfolio is down 41,000 year on year to 575,000. Lincs FM 102.2 was the only station in the group to increase its audience in the 12 months – up 11k to 328,000. There were declines of 20k at KCFM and 10k at Ridings FM.

Quidem‘s total reach is now 111,000 a week, down 29k year on year. The only station to add listeners was 102 Touch FM Warwickshire which added a thousand.

Tindle‘s Channel 103 and Island FM are still flying high on percentage reach – Channel has 63% and Island 64%. Combined they have 89,000 listeners a week – up 11k year on year.

At Jack in Oxford, 106 Jack FM now reaches 89,000 listeners (up 7k year on year), while Jack 2 was up 5k to 64k. This gives Oxis Media a combined reach in Oxfordshire of 130,000 – its highest ever. The station says Jack now has 18,000 more listeners than Heart in the county. Tim Parker – JACK’s Programme Director told us: “Well, clearly it is no fluke! JACK number one again. Strong results from an incredible team here at the Dumpy Building. We have such a great time producing the programmes we broadcast. It’s so nice to have more and more listeners playing along with the JACK brand when all around us at other radio stations listener involvement is on the decline.”

Q4 2016 sees the first figures for YOUR Radio in Dunbartonshire. It reaches 24,000 listeners (11%). Managing Director Spencer Pryor told RadioToday: “This is a good solid start to our RAJAR adventure and we will build these figures over the coming years as listeners see that we offer something different to liner card led broadcasting. RAJAR is important to YOUR Radio in that it moves us from being perceived as a ‘community’ type station to a commercial station.”

And over the last 12 months, Radio Yorkshire‘s transmission area has shrunk due to changes in the DAB multiplex it operates on. It now reaches 39,000 people a week in an area with a population of 2.6m. A year ago it had 52,000 listeners in a 4.5m TSA.

RAJAR Q4 2016: London and national headlines

It’s a bad quarter for commercial radio, with Wireless Group’s new stations Virgin Radio and talkRADIO losing listeners nationally, and Capital, Heart, Gold and Absolute Radio dropping Reach in London.

At the BBC, Radio 1 is down from 9.8m to 9.5m this quarter, and down 768,000 listeners since 12 months ago, Radio 2 remains the biggest station in the UK with 15m, despite a drop of 414,000 listeners year-on-year, whilst Radio 3, 4 and 5 live have increased their Reach.

1Xtra is down below a million whilst 6 Music is pretty static. BBC Radio London’s Reach meanwhile is down 15% since last quarter to 359,000 listeners – a drop of 32% year on year.

Capital and Heart have experienced major drops in London listeners this quarter, as Kiss gains to become the station with the biggest commercial reach in London.

Capital drops from 2m listeners to 1.7m, whilst Heart goes loses 321,000 listeners going from 1.683m to 1.362m.

Magic has also lost Reach, going from 1.804m to 1.723m but remains in third place amongst commercial stations behind Capital.

Radio X is up this quarter, but down nationally in London, but the opposite is true on a national scale. Chris Moyles is up a small amount nationally from 703,000 to 717,000 Reach.

It means the Top 5 commercial stations in London looks like this:

5. LBC (1m listeners)
4. Heart (1.362m)
3. Magic (1.723m)
2. Capital (1.730m)
1. Kiss (1.860m)

The headlines:

  • Virgin Radio’s second book gives it 324,000 listeners, down from its debut 345,000
  • talkRADIO is now down to 252,000 listeners per week, from its first quarter of 304,000
  • talkSPORT2 is up from 250,000 to 294,000 on its second set of published figures
  • Magic Chilled lost 5,000 listeners (now at 235,000) whilst Mellow Magic up from 424,000 to 446,000
  • Nick Grimshaw is down half a million listeners year on year to 5.367m
  • Chris Evans remains around the 9m listeners mark, up on the quarter but down year on year
  • Planet Rock has dropped below a million listeners – now at 958,000 Reach
  • Capital Brand is down nationally but remains the biggest commercial radio brand with 8.5m listeners
  • Nick Ferrari has the biggest London share of breakfast listening with 5.5%
  • This quarter is a record reach for The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show with growth to 2m listeners across the network
  • Record increases for Absolute Radio 90s with 727,000 listeners and Classic Rock 703,000
  • Record reach and biggest national commercial breakfast show for KISS Breakfast with Rickie, Melvin and Charlie with 2.2m listeners
  • Kiss now has the number 1 commercial breakfast show in London with 983,000 listeners – overtaking Capital
  • BBC Radio 4 reached its second highest reach with 11.33 million listeners
  • Radio 4’s Today programme has recorded its highest ever audience figures with 7.45m weekly listeners – up from 7.1m last quarter
  • BBC Asian Network drew 632,000 listeners, compared to 662,000 listeners last quarter and 563,000 last year.
  • Fun Kids, now on D2, has almost doubled its London audience to 46,000 (adults 15+ at least)
  • Thames Radio has its first book and is now registering 15,000 weekly listeners
  • Chris Country, operating in London on DAB, has 23,000 weekly reach, down from 35,000


Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president of Global, said: “Global’s brands continue to lead the field, by some considerable distance, collectively reaching 24.4 million listeners across the UK every week.”

Richard Park, group executive director & director of broadcasting at Global, said: “Heart, Capital, Smooth and Classic FM are the nation’s four favourite commercial radio brands winning on all fronts.”

Scott Taunton, Wireless Group’s CEO, said: “This has been a busy period across the board and we’re extremely pleased to see the reach of our national stations growing by over 17% to 3.6 million, as well as strong performances at our local stations. Our sports programming continues to be the backbone of our offering and despite having had the European Football Championship in the previous quarter, talkSPORT recorded higher listening hours than in the third quarter. I’m equally thrilled to see talkSPORT 2 hit its highest ever audience”.

Ben Cooper (Controller Radio 1, 1Xtra & Asian Network) said: “Radio 1’s Listen, Watch, Share strategy means that RAJAR are only part of the story, and alongside the 10.5 million listeners, our YouTube videos have received over 1.4 billion views and we have 8.7 million followers across social media. I’m delighted that young people are listening for longer to our distinctive content and that alongside the 12 million Playground Insult views in this quarter, our young audiences donated over 1 million hours of volunteering to UK charities.”

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio and Music said: “With more competition for people’s time, it is heartening to see the increased relevance of live radio listening in their daily routines, and that the time they spend with us is growing again.

“In an era of fake news, echo chambers and significant shifts in global politics, the role of Radio 4’s Today as the trusted guide to the world around us is more important than ever. As Today celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, Radio 4 listeners continue to wake up to world class journalism which scrutinises the headlines, holds those in power to account and enlightens them with stories that shape our society.”

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said: “These are fantastic results in both our national and local markets; special recognition must go to Rickie, Melvin, Charlie and Christian O’Connell and their respective breakfast teams. Maintaining the #1 and #2 national commercial breakfast shows reflects our powerful music and personality mix which entertains millions of listeners week in, week out. We look forward to building on the record audiences achieved by Absolute Radio when we welcome Dave Berry later this year.”