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Podcast: DAB closures in Ireland and UK election tips

Sat, 2019-11-16 09:15

Kevin Branigan from Radio Nova in Dublin and Dusty Rhodes from DB Digital Broadcasting talk about the history and future of DAB in Ireland, following the news that RTE could close all its DAB services and multiplex.

Stuart Clarkson & Roy Martin meet up in London’s Leicester Square to talk about the industry stories of the week and there’s a chat with radio consultant Paul Chantler who shares his tips for covering the election and tells us about Podcast Radio.

Also includes David Lloyd’s Radio Moments.

Processing by Ian Deeley. Voiceover by Hannah Patterson. Original music by Mcasso.

This is just one of the weekly podcasts produced and published by RadioToday, sponsored by Broadcast Bionics. See our archive on the RadioToday Programme channel here.

If you’d like to suggest a topic for discussion, or join in one of our regular round-table shows, please email

Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the show.

New timeline for New York Radio Awards in 2020

Fri, 2019-11-15 13:02

The New York Festivals International Radio Awards are now accepting entries for next year’s competition.

For the first time, the NYF’s Radio Awards winners will share the stage and the spotlight with NYF’s TV & Film Awards medal and trophy winners at the inaugural Storytellers Gala.

Both competitions will be honored on Tuesday, April 21st at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas.

The timeline for the event is, therefore, starting two months earlier than usual, and the closing date for entries is 1st February 2020.

Previously, the awards gala dinner was held in New York in June.

“Stories give us a common language – that’s the way we communicate with each other – and today’s technology provides so many opportunities that weren’t possible or even imaginable in the past,” said Rose Anderson, VP & Executive Director, New York Festivals.

“This spring, we will celebrate the men and women from around the world whose innovative work impressed our grand jury panels.”

Last year, UK indie Almost Tangible earned the title of Production Company of the Year, whilst other winners from the UK included Magic Radio, BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4, Radio York, BBC WM, World Service, BBC NI, Metro / TFM’s Night Owls, TBC Audio, TBI Media, Forces Radio, Resonance FM, and Absolute Radio.

Click here for more details on entering.

CMA wants more support from prospective MPs

Fri, 2019-11-15 01:01

The Community Media Association is calling on its members, their friends and family, and the wider public to ask for more support and recognition for community radio from prospective MPs.

The announcement comes ahead of the deadline for all prospective candidates to submit their nomination for the upcoming General Election.

The CMA highlights three possible initiatives that will benefit current and aspiring community radio stations:

1. To call for a substantial increase in the Community Radio Fund to better meet the needs of current community radio stations and to support the new digital community radio stations to be licensed from next year.

2. To support a commitment from central and local Government to recognise that community radio is a low-cost and effective medium for reaching underserved communities and to direct a proportion of government advertising to community radio stations.

3. To commit to supporting a call to DCMS and Ofcom that community radio continues to be licensed on FM spectrum in parallel with the future rollout of licences on the new Small Scale DAB platform.

The Community Radio Fund, established by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and administered by Ofcom, has remained static at £400,000 for many years whilst the number of potential beneficiaries has grown significantly to nearly 300 stations.

Ofcom’s 2019 Communications Market Report shows that average income for community radio stations has fallen for another consecutive year to circa £49,000.

The CMA says Community Radio reaches underserved communities and should therefore be considered as a platform to carry local and national public service announcements.

Devaweb expands with Commercial Production Manager appointment

Thu, 2019-11-14 17:46

Production and audio branding company Devaweb has hired Zoë Vernon to head up its new commercial production department.

Zoë is an experienced copywriter and voiceover, and will be expanding Devaweb’s commercial production services, as well as working with existing client stations.

Devaweb Managing Director Chris Stevens told RadioToday; “While we’re well known for our station imaging services, we’ve been increasing our commercial work over the last few years. I’m delighted that Zoë has joined us to head up this side of the business, and to ensure that our clients are always getting the best service from us.”

Zoë added: “Having previously worked with Devaweb as a voiceover and copywriter, I’m excited to be part of the team as the company expands.

“With so many ways for clients to spend their advertising budgets, we’re determined to help stations prove why radio is still the most effective medium!”

Devaweb works with clients around the world, with audio heard on over 50 stations in the UK alone.

Ofcom approves format changes for Quidem stations

Thu, 2019-11-14 13:36

The go-ahead has been given to turn local radio services Banbury Sound, Rugby FM and four Touch FM stations into rhythmic-based, music-led services for 15-29 year-olds.

Quidem, which owns the six stations in question, has entered into an agreement with Global to broadcast one of its brands across all the frequencies it owns.

Neither party has confirmed to RadioToday which brand will appear, but from the new approved Formats, Capital is the most likely to be rolled out from Global’s station in Birmingham.

The format change request went to consultation, of which only two people responded, both against the move.

In approving the change, Ofcom said:: “We recognise that a broadly-based, locally-focused service in the market is being removed, it would be replaced by a service that would, in a different way, be distinctive from the other local analogue stations available in each licence area”.

RadioToday revealed in September that Quidem and Global had partnered for the move, which will result in at least 13 redundancies at Banbury Sound, Rugby FM and Touch.

Date set for IRN News Awards 2020 with Sky News

Thu, 2019-11-14 10:27

The IRN News Awards are returning in 2020 and the date for the event has been announced as Thursday 26th March.

Entries will open on Tuesday 3rd December and more details about the categories and closing date will be revealed soon.

The event is supported by RadioToday and last year saw half of the prizes won by reporters or teams from Scottish radio stations.

Six of the 12 awards are on their way back to Scotland following the ceremony at the Sky Cinema in west London, which was hosted by Sky News presenter Kay Burley.

Four of those six were won by Bauer – for Clyde, Forth, West FM and MFR/Northsound journalist Bryan Rutherford. The other two went to Global’s Newsroom Scotland.

Global’s Sam Jackson features at ‘Intern to CEO’ event

Wed, 2019-11-13 12:49

Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of Classic FM, Smooth and Gold at Global will be interviewed about his role and his career trajectory at an event in London next week.

It’s being organised by the Young People in the Arts volunteer-run organisation which puts on monthly events, at Arboretum, Charing Cross Road, London.

Sam will discuss his career journey, from his days as a music student to his role today where he is responsible for all three station’s entire on-air output.

Sam read Music at the University of York and worked for BBC Television before moving into radio, where he has held a variety of roles over the last fifteen years.

For five years, Sam also moonlighted as a presenter on FunKids.

He is also responsible for events such as the twice-yearly Classic FM Live concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. He is a governor of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and a trustee of YCAT.

Go here for more info.

Ofcom extends deadline for talkSPORT AM consultation

Wed, 2019-11-13 11:34

Ofcom is extending the deadline for responses to the consultation about talkSPORT requesting to turn off some AM transmitters.

The closing date was today – 13th November – but the regulator says due to a technical error, the consultation will now close on 20 November 2019.

It is thought that some data of talkSPORT’s coverage was not included in the original documents.

talkSPORT asked Ofcom to reduce the transmission coverage of its AM national commercial radio licence by 2.4%.

The changes have provisionally been agreed but Ofcom says it will carefully consider any comments from stakeholders before making a final decision because it will mean some listeners will lose their ability to receive talkSPORT on the AM band.

talkSPORT says that there has been a decline in analogue listening at a rate faster than it had predicted and the listening at the sites it wants to close, based on RAJAR data, is no longer at appreciable levels due to the evolution of audience behaviour.

The following seven transmitters are at risk of closure:

• Rosemarkie (Inverness);
• Redruth (Cornwall);
• Redmoss (Aberdeen);
• Londonderry;
• Occombe (Devon);
• Plummers Barracks (Plymouth);
• Pearce’s Hill (Devon)

Plans for a 24 hour podcast radio station in London revealed

Wed, 2019-11-13 10:43

A radio station playing nothing but podcasts will launch in London shortly on DAB+ via the London 2 multiplex.

Podcast Radio will showcase podcasts from all over the globe enabling content providers to market and promote their audio across broadcast radio.

CEO Gerry Edwards told RadioToday all about it: “Podcast Radio will allow listeners to discover, engage with and consume an ever-changing and diverse range of podcasts across all genres.”

The new station was announced to an international audience of podcast, digital and radio delegates at today’s 8th annual RAIN (Radio and Internet News) Summit at the Congress Centre in London.

Consultant Paul Chantler, who previously helped set up builder and tradespeople station Fix Radio in 2017, has been working with Gerry to develop and devise Podcast Radio since the spring. Paul says: “The popularity of podcasts and live radio is intoxicating. Radio is a natural way for people to sample different podcast content and find out what they like so they can download more episodes.”

Gerry, from Liverpool, started his radio career as a presenter and producer on radio in New Zealand. In the UK, he has worked for Global and for the last few years designed and managed Panda Radio for the European-based media company GB Times.

“I’m excited to combine my love of podcasts with radio. We already have a wide variety of podcast partners to provide content and this will be growing over the next few months as we bring on some big names. The aim is more effective discovery.” he says.

Gerry will be Podcast Radio’s first “podjock” – a cross between a DJ and a continuity announcer – who will link the podcasts throughout the day and also present podcast related features such as a top 40 of the most popular, reviews and recommendations as well as interviews with content creators.

The exact launch date for Podcast Radio and some of the people appearing on podcasts to be featured on the station will be revealed shortly.

Radio presenter Simon Jupp stands for parliament

Mon, 2019-11-11 14:08

Former BBC Radio Solent, Radio Plymouth and Radio Exe presenter Simon Jupp is standing for parliament in East Devon.

Until the election was called, the 34-year old was a special advisor to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, a job he took this summer which then prevented him hosting programmes on Radio Exe, where he’d been an occasional freelance presenter.

Mr Jupp has also been a reporter for ITV and BBC radio, and a full-time presenter on the commercial radio station in his home city, Radio Plymouth.

Wishing him luck on Twitter, outgoing MP Sir Hugo Swire said that he’s delighted with the choice: “Mr Jupp is a Devon man who has been at the heart of national politics already and is well qualified to represent the interests of my former constituents.”

Delighted that @simonjamesjupp has been selected as the Conservative PPC for East Devon….a Devon man who has been at the heart of national politics already and is well qualified to represent the interests of my former constituents. Good luck #election2019

— Hugo Swire (@HugoSwire) November 9, 2019

Absolutely thrilled to be selected as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for East Devon. I’ve been out on the doorsteps across the constituency in recent weeks and earlier today and people want to #GetBrexitDone, support the NHS, cut crime and improve our schools.

— Simon Jupp (@simonjamesjupp) November 9, 2019

Two executive appointments at PRS for Music

Mon, 2019-11-11 11:50

PRS for Music has appointed Roger James as Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel, and Mark Krajewski as Chief Information Officer.

A qualified lawyer, Senior Media Executive and board member, Roger started his career at City firm Richards Butler.

Previously International General Counsel at Viacom from 2009 to 2016 and more recently, Head of Business Affairs for Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment, he has over 23 years of international media deal-making experience.

The newly created role of Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel will manage the Legal and Public Affairs team, steer PRS for Music’s licensing negotiations with TV and radio broadcasters, digital services and recorded media providers, as well as managing the relationship with joint venture partners and customers.

Mark Krajewski began his career with property firm Hamptons International. He has technology and change leadership expertise built across a number of industries including retail, entertainment and legal services and has been working with PRS for Music on a consultancy basis over the last year, driving both IT and digital transformation.

As Chief Information Officer, Mark will lead the IT and Transformation team at PRS for Music with responsibility for technology, data management, business intelligence, digital strategy and the systems that underpin the royalty processing and distribution capability for its members and international partners.

PRS for Music Chief Executive Andrea C. Martin said of the appointments: “Roger is a perfect fit for our business and I know will have an immediate and positive impact. With responsibility for our legal, licensing and partnerships teams, he will play a central role in our future growth, transformation and success.

“Mark has done an exceptional job as interim CIO and will accelerate the digital change needed in our business. Technology and data management is central to the service we provide to our members and customers and Mark’s expertise will prove invaluable as we build capability and improve our offering.”

Roger James said: “I am extremely excited to be joining PRS at such a pivotal time in its evolution. We are in a golden age for content creation, with ever new business models and offerings coming to market. Music is – and always will be – the biggest emotional driver for content consumption and together with Andrea, I am looking forward to making our members music more accessible using the unique assets we have available to us in a truly compelling way.”

Mark Krajewski said: “I’m delighted to be joining the PRS for Music team at such an exciting time and look forward to leveraging our data assets to help deliver an exceptional member experience.”

Mark takes up the role with immediate effect with Roger joining PRS for Music today, 11 November 2019.

Podcast: Roundtable discussion on radio and audio outside London

Sat, 2019-11-09 21:49

On our Roundtable discussion for November, Trevor Dann meets Kate Cocker (Audio Content Fund), Chris Stevens (Devaweb), Stuart Morgan (Audio Always) and Ashley Byrne (Made in Manchester)

to discuss audio outside London, Donald from Washington and their recommendations for your listening delight.

Also includes David Lloyd’s Radio Moments.

Processing by Ian Deeley. Voiceover by Hannah Patterson. Original music by Mcasso.

This is just one of the weekly podcasts produced and published by RadioToday, sponsored by Broadcast Bionics. See our archive on the RadioToday Programme channel here.

If you’d like to suggest a topic for discussion, or join in one of our regular round-table shows, please email

Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the show.

Kemp, Garraway, Roberts and Wright rumoured for I’m A Celeb

Sat, 2019-11-09 10:10

Radio presenters Roman Kemp, Kate Garraway, Adele Roberts and Ian Wright are being tipped to appear on this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, which starts next weekend.

The Sun lists the four as part of it’s rumoured line-up for the ITV reality show.

Roman was on air on his Capital breakfast show with Vick Hope and Sonny Jay yesterday (Friday) as normal, but next week’s schedule lists Rob Howard and Lauren Layfield as covering breakfast across the UK.

Kate was also on her usual Smooth Radio mid-morning show yesterday, and the schedule for next week has her down as normal.

Adele – the host of Radio 1’s early breakfast show – did her normal run of Monday to Thursday 4am-6.30am this week. Next week’s schedule shows a mix of Kate Thistleton and Lindsey Russell covering the slot. The following week Jordan North is doing Adele’s show and then in week commencing 25th November it’s Arielle Free.

Former professional footballer Ian, who’s a co-host of 5 Live’s Monday Night Club, has also worked at talkSPORT and Absolute Radio. He’s a regular on BBC TV’s Match of the Day as well.

Other notable appearances by radio people on I’m A Celebrity over the years include Tony Blackburn, Pat Sharp, Noel Edmonds, Iain Lee, Danny Baker, Mike Read, Lisa Snowdon and Toby Anstis.

The Sun also reports that this year’s selection of celebs include Nadine Coyle and Caitlyn Jenner.

Nick Conrad quits BBC for election then steps down as candidate

Fri, 2019-11-08 11:00

BBC Radio Norfolk’s former breakfast presenter Nick Conrad has withdrawn from standing as a candidate in the general election, just days after leaving the BBC.

Nick did his last show on the Norwich-based station last Thursday (31st October). At the end he told listeners: “I’m back with you tomorrow at 6.30, have a cracking day” – but then Chris Goreham did the programme on Friday saying he was ‘sitting in’ for Nick.

Earlier this week he was announced as the Conservative party’s candidate for the Broadland constituency in Norfolk, where the retiring Tory MP had a majority of around 16,000. But there then followed a backlash to Nick’s appointment as the candidate, because of comments he made on air back in 2014. He had suggested, during a discussion about rape, that women should “keep their knickers on”. He apologised for the comments at the time and no further action was taken by the BBC Trust or Ofcom.

Last night Nick announced he was standing down as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Broadland. In a statement, he said: “Five years ago I made ill-judged comments during an on-air radio discussion for which I made a genuine and heartfelt apology. Last night I was honoured to be made the Conservative candidate for Broadland and had hoped to become the MP for a constituency which is close to my heart.

“However it has become clear to me that the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction. For me, the most important thing is for the Conservative Party to be successful in the forthcoming election – getting Brexit done and delivering on people’s priorities. This is why I have reluctantly concluded I must stand down to allow one of the other excellent candidates the opportunity to win this fantastic seat. I would like to thank the Broadland Conservative Association for their support and wish the party every success in the election on December 12.”

Nick, who’s 34, started in radio aged 14 as a sports reporter and joined the BBC 12 years ago. He has been on breakfast at Radio Norfolk for the last four years after moving from mid-mornings. His previous radio work includes three years presenting ‘Young London’ on LBC as well as covering other shows on the station. At the BBC as well as Radio Nofolk, he’s appeared on Radio 3, 5 Live, 6 Music and BBC WM.

Chris Goreham has been presenting Radio Norfolk’s breakfast show this week and is listed on the station’s online schedule as the host of the programme for the coming weeks.

All the winners from the Student Radio Awards 2019

Fri, 2019-11-08 09:34

Here are the winners of the Student Radio Awards 2019 supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global, as announced at indigo at the O2 in London on Thursday.

Best Event or Outside Broadcast supported by Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball

Gold: Notts Varsity 2019 – URN

Silver: Welsh Varsity 2019 – Xpress Radio

Bronze: 24 Hour Broadcast In Aid Of Movember – Smoke Radio

Best Student Radio Chart Show supported by BBC Radio 1

Gold: URY

Silver: Fly FM

Bronze: Leeds Student Radio

Best Technical Achievement supported by BBC Design and Engineering

Gold: Digiplay – RAW 1251AM

Silver: Building homebrew studio infrastructure, cutting the costs of GPIO hardware – URY

Bronze: Fly FM On Demand – Fly FM

Best Podcast supported BBC Sounds

Gold: Getting in the ring is the winning bit – Shock Radio

Silver: Feminottingham – URN

Bronze: The Passion Fruit Podcast – Smoke Radio

Best Interview supported by BBC Radio 6 Music

Gold: Gyal from Brum Interviews Cadet – Smoke Radio

Silver: Gyal from Brum Interviews Deno – Smoke Radio

Bronze: Jordan Edwards Interviews Ben Howlett – University Radio Bath

Best Multi-Platform Initiative supported by Global Player

Gold: Grace and Matt – URN

Silver: Nottingham Varsity 2019 – URN

Bronze: LSR Breakfast – Leeds Student Radio

Best Journalistic Programming supported by BBC Newsbeat

Gold: Housing Crisis Investigation – Purple Radio

Silver: Contracting To Cheat – The Cat Radio

Bronze: The Pulse – URN

Best Specialist Music Programming supported by PPL/PRS

Gold: Gyal From Brum – Smoke Radio

Silver: Desi Beats with Priya Matharu – Shock Radio

Bronze: UpNEXT – Shock Radio

Best Speech Programming supported by BBC Radio 4

Gold: Stuart Russell – individual membership

Silver: Love, Art & Radio Resistance – OMG

Bronze: Unwritten Letters – Spark Sunderland

Best Sports Programming

Gold: Cerys Beth O’Boyle Tribute – Forge Radio

Silver: Sportsfeed – Purple Radio

Bronze: The Thursday Sports Show – URN

Best Entertainment Programme supported by BBC Radio 2

Gold: Thursday Breakfast with Gabriel and Joe – Smoke Radio

Silver: The Joel Mitchell Show – URY

Bronze: The Cal & Ben Show – Nerve Radio

Best Station Branding supported by Capital

Gold: URN

Silver: XpressionFM

Bronze: Shock Radio

The ReelWorld Best Station Sound Award

Gold: Smoke Radio

Silver: URN

Bronze: Demon FM

Best Newcomer supported by Union JACK Radio

Gold: Joseph Morrall – URY

Silver: Elliot Morris – Surge Radio

Bronze: Will Hall – RAW 1251AM

Best Male supported by Global

Gold: Sam Macgregor – Xpress Radio

Silver: Tom Glenwright – Spark Sunderland

Bronze: Lewis Bowden – Spark Sunderland

Best Female supported by Global

Gold: Hannah Sackville-Bryant – URY

Silver: Emma Snow – Fly FM

Bronze: Zofia Hare – Fly FM

Best Student Radio Station supported by BBC Radio 1

Gold: Smoke Radio

Silver: URN

Bronze: Leeds Student Radio

The Kevin Greening Award for Creativity supported by North Media Talent

Gold: Christopher Steers with “Love Art & Radio Resistance” for his entry for Best Speech Programming

Silver: Beth Hemmings with “Beth Hemmings’ Investigates social media’s impact on mental health” for her entry for Best Journalistic Programming

Bronze: Emma Millen with “The Beach Boy” for her entry for Best Speech Programming

And the event has started! Good evening @StephanieHirst! Stephanie is Chair of the Awards and says Hello everyone! Hello! #SRAs

— RadioToday Live (@RadioTodayLive) November 7, 2019

Our hosts tonight @aimeevivian @charliehedges also saying hello students! Don’t forget all the winners will be announced live on @SRA #SRAs

— RadioToday Live (@RadioTodayLive) November 7, 2019

Special videos from @GregJames and @ZoeTheBall talking about the Kevin Greening award #SRAs

— RadioToday Live (@RadioTodayLive) November 7, 2019

Ireland broadcaster to close its DAB radio services

Thu, 2019-11-07 11:25

Irish state broadcaster RTÉ is to close all of its DAB digital radio services, including RTÉ Gold, RTÉjr Radio & RTÉ Radio 1 Extra.

The closures are part of major cuts across the organisation, including 200 jobs being lost and the closure of its studio facilities in Limerick, home of RTÉ lyric fm.

RTÉ says it will close RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse, RTÉ Gold, RTÉjr Radio & RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, along with the “Digital Audio Broadcast network”.

The multiplex, the only national one in Ireland, carries RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2FM, RTÉ lyric fm, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, RTÉ Choice, RTÉ Gold, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Junior, RTÉ Chill and RTÉ Pulse.

It says costs will need to be reduced by €60 million over three years (2020-2023), in addition to the reduction of 23% delivered by RTÉ between 2008 and 2018.

RTÉ says fees paid to its top contracted on-air presenters will also need to be cut by 15%, in addition to the 30+% cuts as agreed in previous years. Over 200 people will need to leave in 2020.

Director-General of RTÉ said: “Our intention was to brief staff in full this week. However, given the sad passing of our colleague Gay Byrne, a decision was taken to postpone until next week. With so much detail now in the public domain, our first priority was to contact all staff immediately with an update on the revised strategy, and plans. Below is the plan in summary.”

“We need to reduce staff costs—we will consult with staff and unions on a number of initiatives, to include pay freeze, tiered pay reductions, review of benefits, work practice reforms. The Executive Board will take a 10% reduction in pay; the Board of RTÉ will waive its fees.”

Radiocentre Clearance team makes digital advice service permanent

Wed, 2019-11-06 16:30

After a six month trial period, Radiocentre’s clearance team will be continuing to provide advice on digital audio ad scripts on a permanent basis going forward.

At the beginning of May 2019, the team began advising on the compliance of ads running on digital ad platforms provided by commercial radio operators, such as streamed pre-roll ads, Global’s DAX and Bauer’s InStream service.

During the six month trial, nearly 500 scripts were submitted to the team. This service will now be included in Radiocentre membership at no extra cost.

Unlike the existing clearance service, which offers the clearance of ad scripts against the broadcast-specific BCAP Code, the digital service trial – and now the permanent service – provides advice on compliance under the CAP Code, which is not a compulsory regulatory obligation.

Digital audio advertising is a growth area for commercial radio, with the latest figures from the Q2 2019 AA/WARC Expenditure Report showing that ad spend relating to online radio (which includes ads on radio station websites alongside digital audio ads) has grown 15.9% year-on-year.

Yvonne Kintoff, Head of Clearance at Radiocentre, said: “We’ve had a great response to the trial, with the service becoming a trusted source of advice for scriptwriters, production companies and advertisers. With that in mind, it just makes sense for our digital advice service to now become a permanent offering from the Radiocentre Clearance team.”

Ofcom reminds radio broadcasters of rules around Elections

Wed, 2019-11-06 13:47

Ofcom is reminding radio stations that they must comply with the rules for election-related programming ahead of the General Election on December 12th.

In particular, the regulator is highlighting Sections Five (Due Impartiality) and Six (Elections and Referendums) of the Code, as well as the prohibition on political advertising contained in section 321 of the Communications Act 2003 and reflected in Section 7 of the BCAP Code.

As in previous years, following the removal of the concept of larger parties from Ofcom rules and to help broadcasters to take editorial decisions during election campaigns, Ofcom has published an annual digest of past electoral and current support ahead of this General Election.

Ofcom says it will consider any breach arising from election-related programming to be potentially serious and will consider taking appropriate regulatory action, which could include the imposition of a statutory sanction.

To help, radio consultant Paul Chantler and Devaweb have teamed up to distribute an advice guide for radio stations. This short document explains everything a radio presenter needs to know to keep legal.

Download it here.

RADIO PEOPLE – My free guide to General Election coverage rules available here, in partnership with @WeAreDevaweb
. Especially useful for #communityradio

— Paul Chantler (@PaulChantler) November 5, 2019

For further information about this General Election, broadcasters should visit the Electoral Commission website at

If broadcasters would find it helpful to discuss the rules in Sections Five and Six of the Code, they can contact Ofcom

Jonathan Oxley appointed interim Chief Executive at Ofcom

Wed, 2019-11-06 11:15

Jonathan Oxley has been appointed as interim Chief Executive at Ofcom.

Jonathan is currently Group Director for Competition and Board member, but will step up as interim Chief Executive when Sharon White leaves at the end of November.

The process to appoint a permanent Chief Executive continues and the Ofcom Board says it expects to announce an appointment after the General Election.

Jonathan, who did not apply to become Chief Executive, will take on the full responsibilities of Chief Executive and become Ofcom’s Accountable Officer.

Lord Burns, Ofcom Chairman, said: “Jonathan is extremely well equipped to step up to provide important continuity for Ofcom and the sectors it regulates.”

Jonathan Oxley added: “I’m delighted the Board has asked me to become interim Chief Executive. I’m looking forward to delivering on our priorities for people and businesses.”

RAJAR’s reasons for sticking with the diary method

Tue, 2019-11-05 16:49

In response to an article in eRADIO, RAJAR’s Lyndsay Ferrigan takes the opportunity to update the radio industry with the way audience figures are gathered.

“With any methodology there are pros and cons and limitations. No two countries in the world measure their radio market in exactly the same way. That’s not because they don’t agree that there might be something better out there but it’s down to legacy, market needs and complexity, and funding.

In the UK, radio spends a higher proportion of its revenue on its currency research than any other medium, and all of that comes out of the pockets of the stations – there is no advertiser or agency contribution. Our ambition at RAJAR is to provide the UK radio industry with the finest research system that it can afford.

So firstly, let’s start with the fundamental reasons the diary remains, then I will explain what we have tried and test over the last 27 years and what’s in development for the future. The diary (which is completed more in an online or mobile fashion these days rather than on paper where boxes are ticked) allows us to reach a sample of 100,000 adults per year. The infrastructure allows local and national stations alike to be measured in the same way. It is based on pre-call rather than recall (pre-call is “tomorrow I want you to note every time you listen” rather than asking what happened yesterday or last week). We know from the online dashboard that most diary participants fill in the diary as they go.

Face to face recruitment allows geographic and demographic precision. Additionally, the diary is easy to complete regardless of age, device ownership or digital literacy. The substantial completion rate reflects this, and furthermore, the diary does not invade anyone’s privacy.

Of course, it may appear to be surprising that in this day and age, that diary, or even pen to paper can still determine weekly radio listening, archaic almost. However, the RAJAR stakeholders/Board (BBC, Global, Bauer, IPA, ISBA) still agree that it is the most suitable method for the UK. RAJAR constantly improves the current diary system to complement the survey; new incentive ideas, easier ways to complete the diary, more efficient and practical ways for RAJAR interviewers to work etc.

No country I the world has spent more time or money trialling and evaluating electronic measurement than RAJAR has. These are devices or software that detect an encoded signal or match an audio “fingerprint”. They come in all of the guises you suggest – on phones, in watches or other wearable tech – but to date they haven’t been successful methods to measure radio in the UK market due to 3 main factors:

1. Compliance – the panel member not wearing the device correctly, to pick up the listening, especially in the morning where many households are operating to a stressful schedule.

2. Accuracy – these kind of “listening” devices can be prone to error in some audio environments where they can struggle to identify all stations with equal precision.

3. Cost – the hardware it would require implementing is potentially very expensive. RAJAR constantly monitors all relevant developments without making a song and dance about it. For example, we are currently looking into the potential for a hybrid system (including Electronic Measurement) to provide additional information to broadcasters. We are also looking into the potential for streamed/online data to be incorporated into the service.

If you are a Radio Station or a Non-Broadcast subscriber, we run a few training sessions throughout the year should you want to learn more about RAJAR, or I am always available via email to answer questions. Additionally, we are always interested to hear anyone’s ideas on how to measure radio in a fully comprehensive, cost-effective way.”

Lyndsay Ferrigan

Click here to register for the weekly radio newsletter, eRADIO, delivered Wednesday mornings at 10am.