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BBC to close Director of Radio and Music role

Tue, 2021-01-26 11:52

James Purnell, former Director of Radio and Music, will not be replaced at the BBC cutting out a layer of management from the organisation.

In an email to staff this morning seen by RadioToday, Chief Content Officer for Content, Charlotte Moore, says the post will be closed and she is instead looking forward to working directly with the Controllers of each network/service.

The roles of the Radio Controllers remain unchanged and they will continue to work with their teams as currently, with BBC Radio & Music remaining a part of the wider BBC Content division as it is now, alongside the other parts.

The radio Controller team includes Lorna Clarke (Pop), Alan Davey (Radio 3 & Classical), Mohit Bakaya (Radio 4 & 4 Extra), Heidi Dawson (Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra), Jonathan Wall (BBC Sounds), and Graham Ellis (BBC Audio).

Rhona Burns, who has been the Acting Director of Radio & Music since James’ departure, will continue to oversee business and group operations for Radio & Music, alongside her responsibilities as the COO for the Managing Director Group.

In future she will report to Bob Shennan, and lead on post-Covid future ways of working pan-BBC.

Last month a similar structure was announced for Television.

Charlotte said: “We all know that Radio & Music is a hugely important and distinctive part of the BBC’s content portfolio, and the more we can work together to collaborate on creative opportunities the better. It’s been great to see our radio networks and production teams working together over the past few months to increase BBC Sounds’ reach – I’m delighted that just last week we reached a record 3.7m listeners to Sounds.

“As well as delivering more value to audiences, this simpler, more streamlined system will encourage even greater collaboration and faster decision-making. This mirrors the approach in other parts of the division where I directly manage the genre and service leads.

“Also from 1 February, I’m pleased to confirm that David Pembrey will be Chief Operating Officer for BBC Content, and Sarb Nijjer’s Finance Director responsibilities will also expand across the whole division, ensuring that we take a pan-Content approach to operations and finances.”

James Purnell announced last year he was leaving the BBC to take up a new role for the University of Arts London.

He was at the BBC for the last seven and a half years, initially in charge of strategy before taking over in charge of radio four years ago.

Nation Radio hires Dave Brown for weekday lates

Mon, 2021-01-25 16:02

Former Smooth Radio presenter Dave Brown is back on-air to host the weekday late show on Nation Radio UK.

Dave was at Smooth, and Jazz before it, in London for 15 years where he was worked as a presenter and Head of Presentation.

He started in radio at Radio Tees before moving to Radio Broadland when it launched in 1984, and has also worked at BBC Radio Suffolk, Radio Norfolk, KLFM and Real Radio Wales.

Nation Radio UK launched earlier this month and is home to Mike Read, Russ Williams, Neil Francis, Neil Fox, Dean Martin and now Dave Brown.

Ofcom resolves complaint over Bauer competition winner

Mon, 2021-01-25 13:56

Ofcom has cleared a complaint against Bauer for broadcasting three versions of a call with a competition winner.

One person complained about the execution of the announcement run on Absolute Radio, Absolute Classic Rock, Absolute Radio 60s, Absolute Radio 70s, Absolute 80s, Absolute Radio 90s, Absolute Radio 00s, Absolute Radio 10s, KISS Network, KISSTORY, KISS Fresh and Planet Rock.

During the competition to win £100,000, Bauer constantly told listeners it was run across “Planet Rock, KISS and Absolute Radio” but did not mention the networked nature of the promotion when announcing the winner.

Bauer recorded three different versions of the person winning the cash, with three different presenters to better represent each brand.

A listener said that, as all three announcements had failed to clarify that the competition could have been won by a listener to a different station, each had misrepresented the chance of winning.

In response, Bauer said that it had made it very clear to listeners throughout the competition, on-air and in the online terms.

The broadcaster said it was “surprised and concerned to receive the first complaint since launching Win £100,000 in June 2020 and [took] any suggestion that listeners may have been confused about the mechanic of a network competition very seriously”, as it worked closely with its legal and compliance colleagues to ensure all its broadcast competitions were conducted in full compliance with the Code.

Bauer acknowledged that, had a listener heard the broadcast of any version of the phone call with the competition winner, but not previously heard the frequent broadcast of the competition itself, they could have misunderstood it to have been a competition run by the individual station to which they were listening.

It added that, if this had been the case, however, no harm would have been caused, as the listener would not have been able to enter the competition, which had already closed.

The broadcaster concluded by saying it had nevertheless decided to amend its procedures for the broadcast of competition winner announcements, “having considered the fact that a misunderstanding [appeared] to have taken place … on this occasion”.

Ofcom said it believed Bauer may have lost trust in listeners who heard the winning announcement without hearing the rest of the competition, then later found out it was a networked promotion.

But the regulator welcomed the prompt action taken by Bauer to ensure that all listeners would be kept fully aware of the possible size of any future networked competition’s entry pool at every stage of the competition, including the announcement of its winner and therefore considered the matter resolved.

Bauer Media runs first radio campaign for thortful

Mon, 2021-01-25 11:39

Bauer Media has secured thortful’s first ever radio campaign with promos running on KISS, Magic and Absolute Radio.

They are introducing a card design competition which will see teams of presenters from each station – including Ronan Keating, Jordan Banjo, Perri Kiely and Dave Berry – compete against each other to create their own Valentine’s Day cards.

As part of the radio campaign, thortful designers will share what inspires their designs, give advice on creating the perfect greetings card and mentor the presenters through the design stage of the challenge.

All cards will be unveiled online on Monday 1st February, where listeners will be able to vote for their favourite design. All voters will be in with a chance of winning a prize worth £2,000 courtesy of thortful, plus a personal card from the winning show.

Listeners will then also be able to purchase the Valentine’s Day cards from thortful’s website, with a portion of all sales donated to Cash for Kids.

Simon Kilby, Managing Director Bauer Media Advertising said “We’re delighted that thortful has chosen to work with Bauer Media for its first ever radio campaign and can’t wait to see all the different cards that the stations and thortful designers will create.

“Our presenters’ competitive streaks are already out in full force and we know listeners will enjoy the station rivalries. Listeners have turned to radio for comfort and entertainment over the past year, so we think this campaign will be perfect to inject some joy into our listeners’ lives this third lockdown.”

Andy Peace, CEO, thortful said: “We are really excited to join forces with Bauer, we love their radio stations and because we’re all about championing amazing creative talent we are really delighted that their presenters will be getting involved and designing unique cards for us. I can’t wait to see what they produce; may the best man or woman win!”

The campaign was brokered by Mostly Media and will launch on 25th January, running till Valentine’s Day on 14th February.

Stuart Smith, Managing Director, Mostly Media added: “The opportunity for thortful to align themselves so closely with such distinct and well-respected brands was exactly what we’d hope we’d achieve. The ability to showcase the brand and its values in this way is hugely exciting and we can’t wait to hear and see the end product, and of course the winning cards.”

Jeff Brazier releases new podcast with Absolute Radio

Mon, 2021-01-25 11:01

Absolute Radio has teamed up with Jeff Brazier to launch a new straight-talking podcast, Jeff Brazier – Only Human.

In the first edition, out on 26th January, trained life coach, presenter, and author of the ‘The Grief Survival Guide’ Jeff will guide listeners through their dilemmas while looking at ways to make real lasting change.

Speaking about the new podcast, produced by TBI Media for Bauer Media, Jeff said: “This podcast is a real culmination of my training, life experience, desire to help and my ability to articulate the harder subjects in what I believe is a more accessible and compassionate way.

“There are a lot of great podcasts aimed at those that want to become ‘high achievers’ but what about people that want help to simply cope or just know how to be ok?

“We should all feel heard and validated, and for our difficulties to be recognised without judgement. This podcast caters for all, and I’m really excited to provide a place where people can ask their questions without fear of being sneered at or belittled. We’ve always needed this but maybe now more than ever.”

Jeff is on jeff@onlyhumanpod.com if you want to get involved.

New weekend schedule at Cool FM as Andy Baird leaves

Sun, 2021-01-24 00:01

Presenter Andy Baird, who was suspended from Cool FM earlier this month has left the station.

In his place, a range of new presenters and programmes as the Bauer service introduces a new ‘Spring schedule’. There are new slots for Melissa Riddell, Katharine Walker, DJ Hix, and Owen Beers.

Fashion blogger Melissa Riddell will take over the weekend breakfast slot (6-10am).

Melissa started her time at Cool FM in 2017 through the ‘Cool Choices’ programme – a scheme designed to offer work experience in the media industry to young people aged 16 to 24.

Former Miss Northern Ireland, Katharine Walker starts her own show, having been part of the Cool Saturday Show with Stuart Robinson and Deputy Dave.

Katharine, from Hillsborough, combines her broadcasting work with her full-time job as a nurse, and will now be presenting during weekend late nights – including the station’s love song hour ‘Cool Goes Quiet’ after 11pm.

The new line-up includes the first show to be simulcast between Cool FM and Downtown Radio, with the Top 40 Sunday chart show – specifically tailored to Northern Ireland. NI Hit 40 will be presented by DJ Hix and counts down NI’s biggest 40 songs of the week based on downloads, streams and tags, making sure listeners are hearing their favourite tunes.

Completing Cool FM’s new spring schedule is Owen Beers who is taking over the extended classics show ‘The Cool Years’ on Sunday mornings from 10am-1pm, which celebrates music from the 90s and 00s.

Bauer Media Group – Northern Ireland Managing Director David Tighe commented: “We’re thrilled to unveil this stellar line-up of presenters for our exciting new Spring schedule on Cool FM.

“As Northern Ireland’s biggest commercial radio station, Cool FM is constantly looking for new ways to reinvigorate our schedules, as part of our commitment to deliver the freshest in new music and programming for our listeners across the country. It’s great to see more young women like Melissa and Katharine taking over the airwaves and becoming established voices on our radios, and on the NI media scene.”

Melissa added: :“Radio has been so important over the past 12 months, as a source of both companionship and much-needed relief to so many. Katharine and I are so proud to be fronting these popular shows and extremely grateful to Bauer for the opportunity – we can’t wait to be part of new-look weekends at Cool FM!”

Andy Baird, who has already hosted his last show, adds: “I have really enjoyed working for Cool FM and making the Sunday breakfast show a massive success.”

New imaging FX package slows down the pace

Fri, 2021-01-22 16:19

AudioSweets ASX has released a new package of station sound elements and FX with a lighter feel.

The new audio noises are more Magic than KISS, more Smooth than Capital, and available for buyout.

Softees Vol. 4 has 230 elements can be heard in the demo below.

The complete ASX collection is also available for instant download at audiosweets.com/asx.

Leo Green to launch new online radio platform

Fri, 2021-01-22 14:48

Broadcaster and saxophonist Leo Green, whose career has included presenting on both Jazz FM and BBC Radio 2, is set to launch his own brand-new online radio platform.

Leo says LGRADIO.ONLINE will be aimed at listeners who feel they are not being served by the music policies of popular mainstream stations, and will be available via monthly subscription.

He’ll be presenting shows every day, celebrating the music from the 1950s, 1960s, the Motown catalogue, classic soul, rock and pop, jazz and the Great American Songbook, as well as in-depth interviews with artists.

Alongside curated playlists and the assortment of daily themed and presented shows, Green will be ‘In Conversation’ with various artists as well as using the archive of interviews recorded by his late father Benny Green.

Leo and Benny’s ‘In Conversation’ series will feature in-depth conversations with artists including Sir Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Tony Bennett and others.

In addition, LGRADIO.ONLINE will be broadcasting content from Benny Green’s audio archive. ‘In The Benny Green Archives’ features Benny’s musings on the songwriters, singers and musicians from the golden age of Hollywood & Broadway, many of whom he knew and worked with.

Leo Green comments: “LGRADIO.ONLINE is all about the passion I have for music and conversation. I really believe that there is an audience for a subscription platform, which broadcasts a variety of superb music and conversation, that people of any age will want to hear and will enjoy. I don’t believe music should be categorised by the age of the listener.”

New Book: This is the BBC Holmes Service

Fri, 2021-01-22 11:22

John Holmes appears to be throwing down a challenge in his recently published autobiography, ‘This Is the BBC Holmes Service’.

“No one could possibly have enjoyed a more varied career in the BBC than me,” he boasts.

Just his production work at BBC Radio 4 shows considerable depth, having worked on such cornerstones of the output as, Any Questions?, Any Answers?, The Natural History Programme and Down Your Way.

Highlights here include visiting 10, Downing Street with Nigel Hawthorne to interview Margaret Thatcher and visiting the birthplace of The Goons, Bexhill, with Spike Milligan.

John joined the Corporation in 1969 as a Programmes Operations Assistant [SM] in Broadcasting House, London, working in the Music and Light Entertainment Department. He spent a short time in Birmingham on Broad Street. His work here included spot effects on ‘The Archers’. This was before the days of Pebble Mill.

His next stop was with the local radio network, at BBC Radio Nottingham. It was perfect timing, working on sport in those halcyon days when Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest were winning the European Cup, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club were on top with Clive Rice and Richard Hadlee and Torvill and Dean were dominating ice dance.

At Radio Nottingham he also regularly presented and produced a children’s request show called Bran Tub, and Extravaganza, the station’s progressive music programme.

His work on the latter lead to him being asked to co-present a highly successful series of youth shows for BBC Midlands TV in Birmingham. Look! Hear! with Toyah Wilcox and Chris Phipps was so successful that at its height it was attracting over 600 letters a week.

This in turn resulted in being asked to front many opt-outs for Pebble Mill, including his own hobbies based shows called Sparetime.

His next stop was the BBC TV’s first half hour consumer series, Inside Information, broadcast on BBC 2, co-presenting alongside Nigel Farrell.

After his eight years at Radio 4 in Bristol, he returned to his roots in Local Radio, but also presented Holmes & Away, a historic walks feature for East Midlands Today. It ran for eight series – a total of 33 walks.

He was also asked to regularly present items on Inside Out East Midlands. For him the highlight was a full half documentary in one of the country’s top security hospitals, Rampton.

Covid 19 has interrupted his broadcasting in Nottingham, because at his age he’s considered ‘vulnerable’, but he hopes to be back soon presenting every Sunday morning, 9 until noon. Special guests on that show have included Dame Stella Rimington of MI5, Sir Paul Smith, Nobel Prize Winner for creating the MRI scanner, Sir Peter Mansfield, Dr Stewart Adams pioneer of Ibruprofen, Lord Falconer and Sir Peter Bazalgette.

So the gauntlet has been thrown down. Have you enjoyed a more varied broadcasting career than John?

‘This Is the BBC Holmes Service’ is now published but, unfortunately, not yet available online or in shops. but is available direct from John. It’s 340 pages long in hardback.

If you are interested in a copy, contact John by email kjholmes@ntlworld.com

BBC Radio Manchester stays local for storm Christoph

Thu, 2021-01-21 22:15

As the northwest of England received severe weather conditions on Wednesday night, BBC Radio Manchester stayed local instead of opt-ing into the usual overnight service from 5 Live.

Residents of areas surrounding the city were facing an uncertain night as the River Mersey threatened to burst its banks in the early hours of the morning and evacuation warnings were issued.

Like several local BBC radio stations across the county, BBC Radio Manchester continued local deploying staff to the most hard-hit areas and ensuring the studio was fully prepared to maintain a stream of up-to-date information for each area.

BBC Radio Manchester was on air live and local all night, and provided a service which was also broadcast by Radio Merseyside and Radio Lancashire.

Allan Beswick’s late show stayed on-air until 2am, when reporter Emma Goswell took over the reins with a flooding special from 2-6am. Becky Want then presented the Breakfast Show, bringing stories of people who had left their homes during the night and the continued rising river levels.

Meanwhile, reporter Anna Jameson was working throughout the night and into Thursday morning. Anna reported into the overnight programme from Wythenshawe Forum and Didsbury Mosque where people were being offered shelter, before continuing during the Breakfast programme from Little Bollington where there was also a severe flood warning in place for the River Bollin.

Commenting on the coverage, BBC Radio Manchester editor, Kate Squire said: “I am incredibly proud of the team effort of our dedicated presenters, reporters and producers last night, which meant our listeners had the information they needed, when they needed it. Serving our communities is at the heart of what we do and moments like this demonstrate just how important a lifeline local radio is for many people.”

talkSPORT team announced for cricket coverage

Thu, 2021-01-21 14:02

talkSPORT is covering England’s tour of India, starting next month, with every ball of every game live on talkSPORT 2.

Ashes winner Kevin Pietersen will join the team for its free-to-air coverage of the four Tests, five T20s and three ODIs, which start on February 5th and conclude on March 28th.

The broadcast team includes talkSPORT cricket regulars, Darren Gough, Mark Nicholas, Mark Butcher, Matt Prior, Steve Harmison, Gareth Batty, Alex Tudor, Neil Manthorp, Jarrod Kimber, Jon Norman, Guy Swindells and Andrew McKenna.

Kate Cross also joins the team when she returns from representing England in New Zealand alongside former India batsman and commentator Aakash Chopra.

Former England paceman Steve Harmison will also host a regular show, live-streamed on talkSPORT’s YouTube channel at the end of play each day, as part of 500 hours of cricket programming across the series.

Complementing the live commentaries will be a daily Following On podcast, there will also be a two-hour highlights package for those who miss the action, plus the Cricket Collective will deliver regular preview and review shows.

talkSPORT’s Darren Gough said: “After the Indians took to the Aussies in their backyard I cannot wait for them to take on England. It will be a tough series but Joe Root’s Test side stand a great chance as do the ODI and T20 teams.

“The series will capture the imagination of cricket fans all around the world and we’ll be across all the live action, build up, news and analysis throughout the tour.”

Head of talkSPORT Lee Clayton said: “The India tour is always a big one in England’s calendar and will spark a lot of interest across the country. We’re delighted to welcome KP back to our award-winning team along with Kate Cross and Aakash Chopra. The talkSPORT network will be the place for comprehensive coverage of an unmissable tour.”

Three new Radio Academy Trustees announced

Thu, 2021-01-21 12:31

Adele Cross, Kathryn Anastasi and Will Jackson have all been appointed as Trustees of the Radio Academy for the next three years.

They replace Dennie Morris, Aradhna Tayal and Steve Taylor, who served their three-year terms from 2017.

Adele, Kathryn and Will take up their voluntary positions straight away and are expected to play an active role and attend a minimum of six board meetings per year, by video conference or in-person in London.

A total of 31 people applied for the positions.

Find out more about the three winners in their own words below:

Adele Cross

I’m proud to say that this year marks my 20 year anniversary at the BBC. With 2 decades as a programme maker under my belt from music radio to long form speech content, BBC TV to BBC Learning I’ve been given the chance to express my creativity, follow my passion, develop my leadership skills and contribute to this medium we love called radio. After coming through a tough year the audience has rediscovered a trusted friend in the radio but there’s more work to be done. As a founding member of the black women in production group I have been championing diversity and inclusion in all its forms across ethnicity, gender, disability, class and regionality; and have been doing so for years. As someone who is very much “on the ground” I enjoy offering support to many young and gifted hopefuls. The talent is out there. This year there is a spotlight on change and I am keen to be at the heart of any initiatives to see it through. It would be an honour to play my part as a Radio Academy trustee.

Kathryn Anastasi

I’ve worked in sports radio for thirteen years, gaining experience across talkSPORT’s output. I never could have predicted when starting in student radio that I’d end up as Head of Live Sport at talkSPORT but I am so proud that I did. Along the way I’ve produced shows such as Keys and Gray and Colin Murray. In my role now I oversee all of talkSPORT’s outside broadcasts and have led on international tournaments including the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Lions Tours and talkSPORT’s award-winning cricket commentary in Sri Lanka, West Indies and South Africa. I am passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion and have used my influence at Wireless to break down barriers. In 2020 I launched talkSPORT’s first apprenticeship scheme which has been a hugely rewarding experience. I am a 30 under 30 alumni and I would like to contribute my time and expertise to the Radio Academy to encourage debate, share best practice and celebrate excellence across the audio industry.

Will Jackson

I’ve always loved radio in all its forms, from growing up listening to London’s pirate stations and LBC, through great experiences at hospital and student radio, to a career that’s taken in BBC and commercial radio production and most recently the trade body AudioUK. There, my work has included the creation of the Audio Content Fund for content on commercial and community radio; growing the Audio Production Awards; and ensuring the organisation better reflects the diversity of the whole of the UK. Last year, I also partnered with the Radio Academy to create the Audio & Radio Emergency Fund, supporting freelancers during the pandemic. As a long-standing member of the Academy, I’d now love to play a formal part in steering its vital role as a force for good in radio and audio. I’d help the new leadership ensure the Academy continues to develop its important work to promote and celebrate excellence, and that everyone – in all parts of our sector, right across the UK – feels they belong.

Arts to get prime exposure on radio in Winchester

Thu, 2021-01-21 11:34

Radio station Winchester Today is about to launch a new programme to support the arts in Hampshire.

The online service has just announced a new show for Sunday evenings at 5pm, Winchester Today ArtsPlus, beginning on the 24th of January.

Winchester Today ArtsPlus will feature news, interviews, features and reviews on theatre, film, music, literature, art and photography.

Kevin Gover is the Managing Editor and presenter of the new feature: He told RadioToday: “We took the decision to let our radio station focus on the arts just as we were about to go into the third lockdown.

“All arts organisations in the South have been informed of this, and now they have something else to look forward to.

“There are so many people in our area who worked in the creative arts sector and who have quite simply lost their jobs and careers… it didn’t take us long to put into place a project that would help them get awareness once the pandemic is over.

“This programme is our icing on the cake. It will be an opportunity to talk about the present and hopes for the future.

“Winchester is right in the middle of a huge resource of talent. Play To The Crowd, Hat Fair, Theatre Royal, Mayflower, Anvil.

“But there are no boundaries as our editorial area will stretch across Hampshire and beyond.

“Many people who live here drive to Salisbury Playhouse, for example. Many also went to the West End. The entire country can take part!

“We have defined arts as being a huge source of stories. Film, television, stage, schools, books, photography – they will all get a look in.

“We will have at least five people working on this programme. For an internet commercial radio station, that is quite an investment of manpower. I can’t wait!”

Howell James CBE reappointed Radiocentre Chair

Thu, 2021-01-21 10:19

Radiocentre has renewed Howell James CBE’s position as Chair for another three years.

The former head of government communications and Political Secretary to the Prime Minister joined Radiocentre in 2018, after stepping down from his role as Chief Executive of the regulatory and corporate affairs consultancy Quiller.

Commercial radio featured early in Howell’s career, when he was Head of Promotions at Capital Radio in the late 1970s.

He was also later Director of Corporate Affairs at the BBC between 1987 and 1992.

Howell will be overseeing the appointment of a new CEO, alongside departing CEO Siobhan Kenny and the Radiocentre Board.

New online radio station offers an uplift in lockdown

Wed, 2021-01-20 22:22

A new radio service has launched online designed to play ‘uplifting music during lockdown’.

Jubilant FM was started by Rob Lee not only to keep himself active and motivated but to also get other people involved. It now has a group of volunteers helping to keep it going.

Rob told RadioToday: “I got together music licenses for the station and decided, once I wracked my brain for a name, to call it Jubilant FM in terms of happy and joyful and to provide uplifting music. This has helped with some people suffering mental health issues and it’s been a massive achievement so far.

“I host the drive time show from Norfolk, Lucy from Kent hosts mornings weekdays, Nikki from Ireland who is also the assistant manager of the station hosts weekday afternoon shows.

“Ray from Kent hosts a national evening show from 7pm on weeknights and there are many more shows with hosts from all over the UK and new presenters coming on board all the time.”

Rob says he has always been interested in radio and set up the station as a voluntary run radio station for something to do and to help get others involved and meet people with similar interests.

He added: “I offer shows and free virtual training to help as many as I can to have something to feel proud about and do and keep motivated during these tough times. I get them set up and onboard with the station.”

History of the human body explored by BBC Radio 4

Wed, 2021-01-20 12:51

Independent radio production company Made in Manchester has made a ten part series for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds about the history of the human body.

Written and presented by anatomist, anthropologist and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts, Bodies also includes drama from voice actor Jonathan Kydd.

Alice’s time travelling tour of anatomical knowledge traces the history from cave men to DNA.

Executive producer and MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne says: “This is a brilliant and most enlightening series authored expertly by Alice and peppered with great drama from Jonathan. The shows are equally informative and entertaining.”

Bodies started on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 18th January and airs every weekday from 1.45pm with omnibus repeats on Friday evenings. It will also be available on BBC Sounds after broadcast.

Black Country Radio celebrates Santa Appeal success

Wed, 2021-01-20 11:11

Black Country Radio has helped bring in over 39,000 donations for the Operation Santa Appeal with Dudley Borough.

The amount is tripe the donations received last year, with over 6,200 children receiving gifts.

Food donations were passed to local foodbanks, books were passed on to schools for Covid support activities and in support of free school meals, pre-loved donations were passed on to groups who work with children with disabilities, toiletries passed on to community organisations who deal with families in crisis and children’s clothing was passed on to children’s clothes community projects.

Co-ordinator and “Chief Elf” Eileen Fielding said: “We are blown away with the support this year from so many businesses, organisations and individuals who have made this a reality this year.

“The generosity of everyone in such a time of need has been immensely humbling – and we have received so many letters of thanks and support from end users – and the real difference it has made to so many people’s lives.

“Even though many businesses and people are struggling – the community spirit has never been stronger – and it’s incredible to see true community spirit come to the fore, making people are more connected that ever and have more empathy for others who are in need.”

Zyllah Moranne-Brown, Head of Marketing and Communications at Black Country Radio added: “We have supported Operation Santa for a number of years now – but to see the amazing and incredible response from people across the Black Country was truly humbling.

“I know that everyone involved with Black Country Radio is incredibly proud to support such an initiative that has made a real and tangible different to people’s lives.

And I will also add, that the huge effort made by Eileen, plus the core team of Rose and Trevor, with support from the community collection points, local business and communities is truly inspiration – especially when times can look bleak.

It certainly put a smile on our faces to see the “grotto” and donations coming in and out – and it is a privilege to be part of something that makes such a difference to people’s lives.”

Pictured: The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor David Stanley alongside “Chief Elf” and Operation Santa Co-Ordinator Eileen Fielding at this year’s “grotto” distribution hub.

SoundCloud AdsWizz agree European sales deal

Wed, 2021-01-20 10:27

SoundCloud has signed an agreement with AdsWizz for exclusive ad sales representation in 14 European Markets.

The new agreement expands SoundCloud’s existing global relationship with AdsWizz taking it to Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

AdsWizz and its regional sellers are the exclusive sales representative for advertisers seeking to reach SoundCloud’s audience in these European markets.

“Through AdsWizz, we’re making it easier for European brands to reach our audience of music fans across local markets,” said Vanessa Baria, Vice President of Partner Management, SoundCloud.

“The agreement leverages AdsWizz’s advanced audio ad technology, giving us access to their deep sales capabilities and global reach to support the continued growth of our ad supported service across Europe.”

“During the global pandemic, the growth of audio listening has accelerated worldwide,” said Pierre Naggar, Senior Vice President of Global Demand, AdsWizz.

“As digital audio becomes ubiquitous, advertisers are looking for ways to reach listening audiences at scale with precise targeting and measurable results. Additionally, premium publishers like SoundCloud are looking to integrate an ad solution that can support their free services while maintaining a positive listening experience.

“This agreement between AdsWizz and SoundCloud delivers both of those needs through an advanced, yet accessible platform.”

Advertisers now have the option of targeting SoundCloud’s inventory specifically or, in certain markets, through the AdsWizz Marketplace. Access to SoundCloud’s inventory can be made via the AdsWizz Audio Buying Platform, an audio-centric DSP, or through any major omnichannel DSP.

The new agreement expands SoundCloud’s existing global relationship with AdsWizz, a subsidiary of SiriusXM. Pandora, also owned by SiriusXM, is the exclusive ad sales representative for SoundCloud in the U.S.

Free DAB radio sets for the over 50s from BCfm

Tue, 2021-01-19 19:37

Bristol community radio station BCfm is offering free DAB radios to vulnerable older people living in the city.

The station wants to ensure as many people as possible have access to it so has teamed up with local groups and charities to distribute the radio sets.

Patrick Hart, Station Manager at BCfm told RadioToday: “Our service is a lifeline to so many, we offer a mix of talk and music shows for under-represented audiences, such as the over 50s, with some our older listeners having no internet access or English not as their first language.

“BCfm is working with the police, local councils, charities and other agencies to pass out hyper-local Coronavirus and mental health information as well as other health-related content.

“We would like to hear from other groups and charities in Bristol who support over the 50s to get in touch and let us know where radios are needed, via marcus.smith@bcfm.org.uk.”

BCfm is also part of a consortium with Ujima FM and Bradley Stoke Radio applying for the Bristol East small scale digital multiplex licence from Ofcom.

Volunteers plan to save Wrexham station Calon FM

Tue, 2021-01-19 18:35

Volunteer presenters at Wrexham’s Calon FM are hoping to save the Ofcom licence used by the station which is due to close this week.

A statement issued by the volunteers said they are in negotiation with a number of interested parties and hoped to make an announcement soon on the station’s new direction.

The statement said: “We are disappointed that the board in charge of Calon Communications Ltd in conjunction with the station’s landlord Glyndwr University took the decision to close the station down with very little notice.

“In the four weeks since the bombshell announcement, we have come together as the remaining Stakeholders to discuss and formulate an alternative plan that will ensure the OFCOM licence is preserved here in Wrexham, that volunteers will continue to present their much-loved shows and that listeners can continue to hear the output as they have over 13 years.

“We are confident that, despite numerous hurdles, we can work with interested parties to continue and develop CalonFM as a strong community resource that offers students and other volunteers the chance to work in the media.”

The volunteers, who have launched a Save CalonFM campaign, will make a further announcement once they have assurances regarding a new location for the station.

They thanked listeners and backers for their messages of support and say they are encouraged to see how the community has rallied to support their local radio station.

To contact the team, email savecalonfm@gmail.com.

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