United DJs has been on the Internet for a while now. The Mike Read breakfast show is excellent. Mike covers a wide range of topics in between music. He is a very intelligent broadcaster, and I have enjoyed his choice of music an chat. Tony Prince follows him, and is excellent as well and also has some interesting comments to make. He seems to mention the Myriad broadcasting system a lot, it seems to be taking some getting used to.. So far I have not had much time to tune into other shows. I did enjoy the Kenny Tosh Pirate show on Saturday. I do miss news at the top of the hour, and tend to re-tune to my BBC Local Station – BBC Berkshire for that, as this was, and still is my main choice for breakfast listening.
Delux Radio seems to have a dreadful choice of music when I tune in, and so far I have not really enjoyed one show that they have put out.
Overall, as nice as it is to hear these new stations. There are other Internet stations that either play back to back music, or have occasional DJ shows, that are as good if not better. I wonder if these stations will last a year or more. We will see.
I have been informed of a site which contains 78 specially re-recorded offshore and other free radio stations. More to come no doubt! They have the original announcements, and then the man who runs the site makes these unique recordings and edits in the original disc. The levels are slightly different in some cases, as the voice tracks are lifted from archive recordings of the pirates in the 60s and 70s. Visit the site. You can listen to the tracks and stream them. If you click the the download button on the menu on the left, for each page you visit, there are download links from dropbox. Enjoy https://justcast.herokuapp.com/shows/richard-lockton-remastered-offshore-radio/audioposts#
I went to a local sale recently, and spotted some valve and transistorised goodies.
My friend collects old radios, and reckons the valve set would be worth around £80 in good condition. He also fancied the Champion “suitcase” radio. I like the look of all of them but do not have the space or cash to amass a collecton. I prefer to photograph and share photos of radios and other curios.
A few offshore items from You Tube:
First a unique tape from Radio Caroline North, used to warm up the transmitters each early morning. Posted by Kenny Tosh on United DJs, he plays pirate radio music etc every Saturday.
I couldn’t resist including this one. The reel of of tape featured reminds me of the tapes I recorded on in 1965. Also the sort of professional tape machines I used when I worked in the BBC Archives.
The only offshore TV station in Europe was broadcast by the Dutch on the REM Island. The speech in this video is in Dutch, which I find an attractive language to listen to (only comprehend a few words!)
Below is a lot of news, including the incredible news that Radio Caroline is now on a London Mulitiplex! No good to me though, but I can hear her loud and clear on the Internet and also in hissy 648 am. The reason for so much selected news is the fact that I have not had a chance to post much recently.
News selected from the Radio Today Site
Weekends to start on a Friday at BBC Radio 1
Fridays will be part of the weekend schedule at BBC Radio 1, as Nick Grimshaw goes four days a week and Scott Mills takes over the Official Chart Show from June.
The weekday line-up will end on a Thursday, whilst “Weekend Breakfast” with Dev and Alice will run Friday to Sunday. Maya Jama will host Friday 10am till 1pm, Mollie King will be partnering up with Matt Edmondson on Friday afternoons 1-4pm and Scott Mills fulfils his life-long dream by presenting The Official Chart at 4pm on Friday afternoons 4-7pm.
Nick Grimshaw getting Fridays off is a significant move as former breakfast show host Chris Evans famously left the station after being refused to work a four-day week.
Talking about all the changes, Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, says: “The weekend will start here at Radio 1 on a Friday morning giving our young audience that feel good factor a day early. It’s our job at Radio 1 to reinvent the way young people listen to the radio, to disrupt traditional thinking and to look for new ways in which to grow audiences.”
Radio 1’s new Friday schedule
6.30am-10am – Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast with Dev and Alice
10am-1pm – Radio 1’s Greatest Hits with Maya Jama
1-4pm – Matt and Mollie
4-7pm – The Official Chart with Scott Mills
Dev & Alice say: “We cannot wait to get the weekend started for everyone – Fridays will never be the same again!”
Maya Jama says: “I’m so excited to continue the Greatest Hits on a Friday and get all our listeners ready for the weekend vibes! More bangers to come :)”
Mollie King says: “I’ve grown up listening to Radio 1 and I can’t wait to be one of the team. This is an absolute dream for me! The only person more excited than me is my mum – who is delighted I finally have a proper job! I’ve had so much fun working with Matt over the past few weeks, and I’m so glad I’m no longer just ‘Mollie From The Saturdays’ but Mollie from the ‘Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays’!”
Matt Edmondson says: “Radio 1 is known for its Big Weekends, but I never imagined the weekend would get THIS big. Mollie popped in to be a co-host a few weeks ago and was so bloody brilliant we couldn’t let her go! I can’t wait to get started, but I have warned Mollie that there’s only room for one fashion icon on the show, and it’s me.”
Scott Mills says: “I was sat with my Mum when I got this news, and she actually cried because I’ve been pretending to do the chart show on Radio 1 since I was 8 years old. I’ve filled in on the show so much over the years, and I can’t believe it’s actually mine. I’m beyond excited!”
BBC Radio 4 gets first BBC Ofcom code breach
Ofcom has issued its first Broadcasting Code breach warning to the BBC after taking over as regulator for the corporation.
The breach goes to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme after two complaints were received about aspects of the content broadcast in an edition of the programme on 10 August 2017.
Both complainants had previously raised their concerns with the BBC in accordance with Ofcom’s published procedures.
The BBC had partially upheld the complaints at the final stage of its own complaints process and published a finding. However, the complainants were not satisfied with the BBC’s response and took their complaints to Ofcom.
The complainants objected to the handling of an interview in the programme with Lord Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and head of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The complainants said Lord Lawson was not sufficiently challenged on his views about the science and economics of climate change.
One complainant disputed the BBC’s reasoning for inviting Lord Lawson onto the programme. They also objected to the BBC’s conclusion, in its response to the complaint, that some of the statements he made on the science of climate change were “at the least contestable”, when the complainant viewed them as “lies”.
The second complainant provided evidence to dispute four of the specific statements Lord Lawson made: two on the science of climate change and two on the economics of the government’s energy policy.
As a result, Ofcom said the content was in breach of Rule 5.1 of the Broadcasting Code.
BBC Somerset celebrates turning 30 years old
BBC Somerset is marking 30 years of broadcasting with extra programmes and all 80s music today, Wednesday 11 April.
The station launched after a temporary radio station called Radio Taunton was created in 1978 because of heavy snow in the county. A decade later when Somerset Sound (as it was then known) first started in 1988 the station acted as an opt-out service from its sister station BBC Radio Bristol. Today however, the radio station broadcasts local programmes most of the day from its new studios in Taunton.
And a bunch of Alfasound jingles have been resung to match the launch package in 1988.
Earlier this morning Claire Carter started the celebrations, presenting her Breakfast Show live from The Bishop’s Palace in Wells.
Mid-Morning presenter Simon Parkin hosted an on-air birthday party from 9am – 12pm at the Palace where guests were treated to a birthday cake which celebrates life in Somerset, and there was live musical entertainment from Claire Carter. Plus special guest Eddie The Eagle stopped by to have a chat.
The day’s celebrations finish with Clinton Rogers, who presented the very first Breakfast Show and is now BBC Point West’s Somerset Correspondent, hosting a special evening show between 7pm-10pm – where he’s catching up with some of the voices heard on BBC Somerset over the years.
Editor of BBC Somerset, Nick Bull, said: “It’s been amazing being the eyes and ears of the county for 30 years – covering major news events and showcasing the great people who call Somerset their home. We hope our listeners enjoy celebrating BBC Somerset’s 30th birthday with us and we can’t wait to spend the next 30 years with them!”
And for radio lovers – the retro feel was topped off with re-sings done of the station’s original JAM package which was originally produced by Alfasound.
More speakers announced for Radio Festival 18
Gillian Reynolds and Cerys Matthews will join former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd on the line-up for the 2018 Radio Festival in London.
This year’s event, being held once again at the British Library, will he hosted by BBC 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne and will explore the theme of ‘Radio – What’s The Future?’
Gillian Reynolds MBE, former radio critic for The Sunday Times, will share with us what we can learn from radio’s past that might help inform its future.
Cerys Matthews MBE will talk about her love of record collecting, and the delights and differences of programming for radio and live shows such as her festival: The Good Life Experience.
Christian O’Connell is also on the line-up. He’ll be interviewed by fellow Absolute Radio presenter, Claire Sturgess.
Other sessions at #RADFEST18 will take a look at the future of voice-activated-listening with experts on the subject from Amazon, the BBC and research company, Sparkler, whilst Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30 initiative, now in its seventh year, will allow some of the industry’s future stars to take centre stage.
The Radio Academy has also secured the support of Arqiva for the event as headline sponsor. Arqiva will also sponsor the welcome reception and after party space at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards later this year.
Roger Cutsforth, CEO of The Radio Academy said: “We’re delighted to formalise our relationship with Arqiva into a holistic, strategic partnership. Arqiva has been committed supporters of the Academy for a number of years and in particular, since our re-birth in 2015. This partnership is a wonderful vote of confidence in everything we are doing.”
Steve Holebrook, Managing Director, Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva added: “Arqiva and The Radio Academy share common goals of supporting the development of the audio and radio sector and helping to connect audiences to the amazing talent that exists across the industry. This partnership therefore represents the perfect opportunity to deliver those shared goals and we look forward to celebrating the industry at #RADFEST18 and at this year’s ARIAS.”
Info and tickets at radioacademy.org/radio-festival.
Community Radio Awards return for third year
The Community Radio Awards are to return for a third year, celebrating the best of the community radio sector.
Volunteers and stations from around the country are being encouraged to begin collating the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition.
The certificates will be awarded at an evening event at Sheffield Hallam University, at a venue opposite the Community Media Association’s conference, on September 15.
Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “We had more than 350 entries from 70 stations last year, and I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of broadcasting from the UK’s community radio stations.
“The awards provide an opportunity for sharing of best practice, developing ideas, and most of all, recognising the great impact community radio has on its local communities.”
Philippa Sawyer, programme director at Wycombe Sound, last year’s station of the year, says the award has had a truly positive impact on the team. Six months on, I think the biggest impact has been on our own team. The award has made us realise what can be achieved by working together, rather than as individuals just coming in to do our own programmes.
“It has added value to our brand, both internally and out in the community. We are attracting high quality volunteers who really want to make a commitment – vital as anyone who runs a volunteer-led organisation knows. It also shows to stakeholders that we are serious about providing a quality
The submission process will take place online, and there is no limit to the number of entries a station or individual can submit.
Submissions will open in early May, and run until the end of June. The shortlist will be announced in mid-August.
Community Development Project
Station of the Year
Digital or RSL Station Of The Year
Live Event or Outside Broadcast
Speech & Journalism
Arts & Creative Radio
Specialist Music Show
Young Person (Under 25)
Sage Person (Over 60)
Newcomer (new to radio in last 12 months)
JACKfm and Union JACK have spent two and a half days broadcasting live from Helen & Douglas House in a 31-hour Radiothon.
The aim was to tell the stories of the work that goes on inside as the team there support terminally ill children and their families, and to raise much-needed money to keep this work going.
The hospice is the first of its kind in the world and relies on donations to stay open; it costs £3 million a year to run, and 88% of this comes from charitable
JACKfm’s Trevor Marshall and Annabelle Buckland presented the Helen & Douglas House Radiothon 2018 from 7th – 9th March, bringing listeners the emotional stories of families who use the hospice for respite care, and those who’ve received end of life care for their children suffering from life-limiting conditions.
Union JACK’s Impressionist and Comedian Josh Berry also made regular appearances on air with Howard Taylor, bringing a whole host of celebrity guests who encouraged listeners to part with their cash for the charity.
The audience gave overwhelmingly, helping raise a massive £200,908.10.
Every penny of the money raised will be used solely to care for the terminally ill babies and children and their families who rely on Helen & Douglas House for a chance to spend time together a family, whilst the hospice staff take care of the children’s medical needs.
Tim Parker, JACKm Programming Director says: “What an amazing few days of broadcasting. So many people have put in so much time, effort and emotional energy into this year’s Radiothon. Those listening to JACKfm and Union JACK have responded to the stories we shared and have given an overwhelming amount of money. Thank you!”
Hazel Bedford, Helen & Douglas House Fundraising and Marketing Director: “We are thrilled that this year’s Radiothon raised over £200,000 which will pay for our Care Team to look after children and their families for 6 months at Helen House. A massive thank you to everyone who donated and to the JACK team for their compassion, hard work and dedication, broadcasting up to 12 hours a day. We were so pleased with the way they sensitively captured, edited and spoke about our charity and their insightful and poignant interviews with our families, volunteers and staff showing the listeners the realities of life for families with terminally ill children.”
Ceredigion FM radio licence to be advertised
Ofcom is to re-advertise the FM commercial radio licence for Ceredigion after the current owner decided not to utilise the fast track re-licensing process.
Nation Broadcasting, owner of Radio Ceredigion Limited, would need to comply with the current Format and DAB obligations if its licence was fast-tracked or renewed when it expires in May 2019.
By letting the licence expire, Nation can re-apply for the licence with a different Format. The current Format includes the requirement to broadcast “Regular and identifiable Welsh language programming”.
Some stations have previously reapplied for their own licence rather than apply for a major Format change.
The station currently broadcasts on 96.6, 97.4 and 103.3 MHz FM and Ofcom estimates that the licence could achieve coverage of an area with an adult (aged 15+) population of 72,088. It is based at Nation’s group headquarters near the St Hilary transmitter on the outskirts of Cowbridge.
Nation Broadcasting has confirmed to RadioToday that it will be reapplying for the licence once advertised.
Ofcom updates definition of new music for BBC
The regulator Ofcom has updated its definition of ‘new music’ as part of the operating licences which set out how much Radio 1 and Radio 2 have to play during daytime hours.
It follows a consultation on the subject over the last couple of months.
Previously, new music had been defined as “music which is either unreleased or it has been less than one month since release date (physical release, not download release)”.
Ofcom has now updated Radio 1 and Radio’2 operating licences to include the following definition:
“A music track is to be considered “New Music” for a period of either:
(a) 12 months from first release (whether by physical, radio, download or streaming means),
(b) 6 weeks from the date it first enters the Top 20 of the UK Official Singles Chart,
whichever is sooner.”
The regulator’s also changed the condition on Radio 1’s licence which said that at least 45% of music played in daytime should be New Music. That figure has been increased to 50% for Radio 1, while Radio 2’s figure remains at 25%.
The changes take effect from this weekend – on 1st April 2018.
As part of the consultation, Radiocentre and Global Radio had both argued that the proposed 12 month period from first release was too long, with Global saying its view was that a track couldn’t be considered ‘new’ for more than six months after initial release. The commercial radio trade body and the UK’s biggest radio group had also argued that tracks should be excluded from the definition of New Music four weeks after they’d entered the Top 40, rather than six weeks after entry to the Top 20.
You can see Ofcom’s full statement on the issue, and read the consultation responses on the Ofcom website here. (This is big brother or are the Commercial Stations and Ofcom trying to “dampen” the BBC’s music output? – Waffler comment)
Jack 3 added to Sound Digital DAB multiplex
The new “Jack with a twist” national radio station promised by Oxis Media last year appears to be a new version of Jack 3.
The team in Oxfordshire said a new format, never heard before anywhere in the world, will launch before Easter at 32kbps using DAB+ on D2/SDL.
But today, an alternative version of the Oxford DAB station has appeared on the UK’s second national digital radio multiplex. Jack 3’s strapline is “Chilling when we want” and plays easy listening music similar to Smooth and Magic. The national output appears to be different from the Oxfordshire output at the moment.
Last year, Donnach O’Driscoll, CEO, of UNION JACK and Chairman of the JACK Group says: “A brand new national radio station for the UK set to launch in 2018, this will be our second national station broadcasting from Oxford and just like we did with Absolute Radio, we will be bringing something new, fresh, unique and sexy to the UK radio scene. We don’t ever play safe, it’s all about creating dynamic radio formats that attract new audiences. We will launch JACK (with a twist) before Easter 2018”.
Local DAB radio coverage expansion complete
The final two transmitters forming part of the historic local DAB coverage expansion programme have come into operation, with the launch of a new transmitter at Edinburgh Castle serving the Edinburgh multiplex and at Fishguard serving the Mid and West Wales multiplex.
The launch of the two new transmitters completes the transformative initiative to expand the UK’s local DAB transmission network towards FM equivalence, which was announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2015 and jointly funded by the DCMS, BBC and local DAB multiplex operators.
The programme of work, which was delivered by Arqiva, has doubled the local DAB network, with new transmitters or modifications to 221 local DAB sites, boosting local DAB coverage from 72% to more than 90% of UK households. Across the UK, an additional 10 million listeners have been brought into coverage, and over 4,000 miles of roads previously not served by local DAB services are now also covered.
Margot James MP, Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “The completion of the local DAB expansion programme is a tremendous milestone for the UK radio industry’s transition to digital. This, along with the unprecedented choice of stations available on DAB, both nationally and locally, will see listeners continue to embrace the benefits of digital radio.”
Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “The local DAB coverage expansion has been a hugely significant step in the UK’s digital transition, transforming the availability of local stations on DAB digital radio across the county. Great credit is due to the broadcasters, multiplex operators, DCMS, Ofcom and Arqiva for making it happen.”
Richard Johnston, Head of Commercial Radio, Arqiva, said: “Arqiva has been extremely busy building hundreds of additional local DAB transmitters across the UK to bring DAB digital radio into millions more homes and thousands of miles of the road network. We are proud of our role in delivering the infrastructure needed for a vibrant digital radio market and are delighted to now complete the expansion of local DAB coverage.”
Upload Radio removed from two multiplexes
Upload Radio has removed itself from two of the three DAB digital radio multiplexes is was broadcasting on.
The station will now only be available on the MuxCo Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex and no longer in North Yorkshire and Surrey.
Upload Radio works by registered users uploading hour-long programmes and choosing a slot and an area to broadcast to. The station says it is working on a way to get the right economic model for it all to work.
An Upload Radio spokesperson told RadioToday about the changes: “We’re sad to have taken Upload Radio off the Surrey and North Yorkshire multiplexes over the weekend. Upload Radio is a unique type of radio station, one where all the slots are purchased by the broadcasters themselves. This creates both unique marketing and rights issues.
“Having run the service for nearly a year we know that the people who use it, love it, with super easy to use technology and good distribution on DAB and online meaning that our users buy multiple slots over weeks and months. Our challenge is to get more people onto the platform and to get the right economic model for it all to work. One of the great things about DAB is flexibility to try new things and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far.
“For now though, we’re retreating back to our Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex to think more about the best ways to continue with the project.”
Upload Radio launched on April 24th 2017 will continue to be available online and via Radioplayer.
Chelmsford to get new digital radio station
Chelmer Radio is planning to bring local radio back to the area with an online stream and DAB service.The original “Chelmer Radio” launched in 1998 as part of Mid Essex Radio group and was taken over by Tindle radio in 2002 and renamed Dream 107.7 and later amalgamated with Southend Radio to become Chelmsford Radio and then became Radio Essex.
Behind the return is David Baker, a former presenter and programmer with the station. He told RadioToday: “Out of all the projects I’ve ever been involved with this is the one that I’m most excited about. This station will not be set up to be flogged off at a later date to any group who think they can come in and just take a station and rebrand it to a national brand. Local radio for local people is how it’s going to stay.
“I am working closely with businesses, community groups and organisations who share the same beliefs. I’m taking this station back to basics, no networking, no shows from out of area and presenters who can connect with the area.”
Berkshire leads the way with digital radio
Berkshire has the highest percentage of digital listening in the country, according to this year’s Ofcom report on Digital Radio.
The Royal County has 60.4% digital listening, and 17 other places have over 50% of people listening via digital devices. In contrast, three areas have digital listening under 40% with Northern Ireland being the lowest, with 31.2% digital listening. These areas are typically where DAB coverage was built out and new DAB services were introduced later than the rest of the UK.
DRUK has welcomed the report, which highlights that there are 337 services operating on DAB in the UK, and that the majority of listening in the home is to a digital platform (54.7%) whereas in cars digital listening still represents the minority at 30.9%. The report highlights that this is increasing as more new cars with digital radio come onto the road and includes CAP/SMMT data on digital radio in new cars which has increased to 87.5%.
Exploring the features of digital radio that listeners have experienced, the research highlights ‘clear high quality sound’ followed by ‘a wider choice of stations’ as the two most popular answers.
Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “We welcome the Ofcom Digital Radio Report which highlights the increasing popularity of digital radio across the UK. The report shows the growth of digital listening, the increases in the numbers of digital stations and the expansion of DAB coverage but it also shines a light on the key areas of development required, specifically digital listening in cars and in a number of local areas that are behind the national averages. Fundamentally the UK radio sector is stronger due to the expansion of station choice and the growth of digital listening to almost 50%.”
Of the 337 DAB services, 31 are UK-wide commercial services and 11 are BBC UK-wide stations. The total number of DAB stations ranges from 264 broadcasting in England, to 76 in Scotland, 62 in Wales and 53 in Northern Ireland.6 There are 595 radio stations broadcasting on analogue, including three UK-wide commercial stations and five UK-wide BBC stations.
Radio Caroline now available on London DAB
Radio Caroline has been added to the Small Scale DAB multiplex in London.
The station, which is now broadcasting via 648 AM in East Anglia, is available in the capital at 64 kbit/s in stereo using DAB+.
News of the extra coverage was tweeted over the weekend, saying “From Sunday 1st April (honestly) Radio Caroline can be heard on DAB+ throughout the London area. If you are located within the M25, the nearer to central London the better, simply give your DAB+ radio a full scan and then you may find us.”