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Launch details and schedule for Country Hits Radio

Fri, 2019-04-05 11:05

Bauer’s newest radio station, Country Hits Radio, has launched this morning at 10 with Chris Young’s Raised on Country.

Well known country music radio host Baylen Leonard kicked off proceedings and was joined by fellow station host Una Healy from The Saturdays.

The full schedule is below, and includes Jennie longdon on Breakfast and Lou Nash in the afternoons. Later today, Ty Bentli will be broadcasting his 5pm show from The Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.

Former Signal 1 Breakfast Show co-host Emma Jones is also hosting a weekly show, after quitting early mornings last week.

Film studio Entertainment One is sponsoring the station to promote upcoming movie Wild Rose: an uplifting story following one young woman’s dream to make it as a country singer from Glasgow to Nashville with Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo.

Simon Kilby, Chief Revenue Officer Bauer Media said: “Our insight has uncovered a clearly defined and valuable audience of contemporary country music lovers within the previously untapped Hits Radio Network. This launch partnership with Entertainment One’s Wild Rose is a brilliant fit for the modern demographic of 25-44 year olds immersing themselves in this exciting genre.”

“This bespoke creative campaign will capture our audience’s imagination celebrating this uplifting film with a soundtrack of the very best pop country music, and the artists bringing the UK’s fastest growing music genre into the mainstream.

The bespoke Country Hits Radio and Entertainment One campaign, which is brokered by Zenith, runs from 5th-14th April and encompasses branded content across radio and digital platforms with credits, live reads and spotlights.


@countryhitsuk @UnaHealy @HeyBaylen sounding brilliant! Some studio pics right now from One Golden Square.

— Gary Stein (@garystein) April 5, 2019


Country Hits Radio schedule:


0700-0900 – Country Hits At Breakfast weekdays with Jennie Longdon

0900-1000 – Country Hits Throwback weekdays with Jennie Longdon and with Una Healy on Saturdays

1000-1300 – Baylen Leonard including Could Have Been Country and Country Champion

1300-1700 – Lou Nash

1700 – 2000 – The Ty Bentli Show from Nashville

2000-0000 – Country Hits Evenings

Weekends highlights:

Fri 2000-0000 Emma Jones


09:00 -13:00 – Una Healy
13:00 -17:00 – Naomi Kent
17:00 – 21:00 – Scarlett Howard
21:00 – 00:00 – Emma Jones

13:00 -16:00 – The Front Porch with Baylen Leonard
16:00 – 20:00 – Emma Jones – Country Hits Weekend
20:00 – 23:00 – Matt Spracklen

Global starts selling its radio buildings ahead of networking

Thu, 2019-04-04 22:08

Global has put its headquarters in Portslade near Brighton on the market after announcing the closure of this and another 10 other sites.

The commercial property, at Radio House, Franklin Road, Portslade, East Sussex, is on the market for £1.1million.

It is described as radio studios and former offices over ground and first floors with extensive surface car parking, 18 car spaces and a modern internal specification.

The building is home to Heart Sussex, which was previously known as Southern FM. It started life as a radio station when it was converted from a cinema to house Southern Sound.

Capital Brighton has also been broadcasting from this building since it replaced Juice 107.2 in September last year.

Both Heart Sussex and Capital Brighton will be merged with stations based near Southampton – starting with Capital this coming Monday, 8th April.

RadioToday’s take

This is a highly expected move but it does highlight the reality of what deregulation means beyond the cutting of staff and locally-made programmes.

After a quick search, none of the other buildings currently in use by Global earmarked for closure are on the market yet. Some buildings are leased and will just be handed back, others are owned outright so we can expect to see a few more hit the commercial section of Zoopla before long.

The other sites closing this year are Accrington, Histon (Cambridge), Chelmsford, Exeter, Gloucester, Kendal, Whitstable, Lancaster, Norwich and Swindon.

Communicorp buys Bob FM to rebrand as Heart

Thu, 2019-04-04 18:51

Bob FM has been bought by Communicorp and will be rebranded as Heart Hertfordshire, merging with its existing station covering Watford.

Bob – which covers the north of Hertfordshire including Stevenage, Hertford, Knebworth, Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City – first launched in 2001 as Hertbeat FM. It rebranded as Jack FM in May 2010, before becoming Bob FM nearly 4 years later due to licensing issues which would have prevented the station using the Jack brand on DAB.

It has been based in studios at the Old Pump House in Knebworth Park since launch.

The purchase follows the sale of Connect FM and Heart Watford by Adventure Radio to Communicorp in February. It’s expected that the new enlarged Heart Hertfordshire will take 21 hours a day of programmes from Global’s Heart network, with Communicorp providing a 3-hour drivetime show.

In an email sent to staff, Communicorp UK CEO Mark Lee said: “Further to our recent acquisition of Heart Hertfordshire, I’m pleased to confirm that we have just acquired Bob FM which broadcasts to the north of Hertfordshire.

“Subject to Ofcom approval, our intention is to extend the Heart Hertfordshire brand licence to cover the full county, a population of approximately 600,000 adults. The transition will take a few months. Please welcome the Bob FM team to the Communicorp UK family.”

Photos: BBC Wiltshire celebrates 30 years of radio broadcasting

Thu, 2019-04-04 13:27

BBC Wiltshire celebrated 30 years on-air with a live Outside Broadcast at Swindon College, with presenter Ben Prater & the Breakfast team remembering the 80s.

On the anniversary, Station Editor Mary Sanders said: “It’s been wonderful for BBC Wiltshire to spend the last 30 years at the heart of the community in Swindon and Wiltshire – covering major news events and celebrating the incredible achievements of people living in the county.

“As well as the big stand out moments, listeners talk to us every day and have a wonderful connection with our presenters. They share stories they haven’t told anyone else, they laugh with us, they cry with us and they inspire us to make great radio for them. We hope our listeners enjoy celebrating this 30th year with us, and we look forward to the next 30!”

The station started life as BBC Wiltshire Sound on 4th April 1989, and not the usual BBC local radio format of “Radio Countyname” due to GWR owning the copyright of Wiltshire and Radio in any combination.

The first presenter heard on air was Paul Chantler, whilst original presenter Graham Seaman remains on-air to this day, hosting weekday lunchtimes.

Here’s a history of the station from the BBC archives.

Speaking to the guests at the breakfast, station editor Mary Sanders said: “The most important people at BBC Wiltshire are, of course, our listeners – the people who send us their amazing stories, they celebrate with us, they cry with us, they tell us things they’ve never told anyone else, we work with them to make change happen, to improve things for people living here.

“So as we celebrate 30 years on air the biggest thank you of all has to go to our brilliant and inspiring listeners.”

Swindon College students helped out at the event, doing hair and make up for guests, serving food and creating ‘80s themed art for the walls.

Guests included Wiltshire Police chief constable Kier Pritchard, Swindon Council leader David Renard and Swindon Advertiser editor Pete Gavan.

This week has seen four Wiltshire celebrities guest editing the station – picking their own guests, songs and stories.

Taking charge on Monday was Time Team favourite Phil Harding, on Tuesday it was Apprentice star Nick Hewer and on Wednesday it was Olympian Sharron Davies.

On Thursday Ben Prater took his Breakfast Show to Swindon College and on Friday Salisbury’s own Christopher Biggins takes on the editor role.

Steph Marshall, head of the BBC in the West, celebrated “30 fantastic years” during her speech.

She added: “I believe being a voice and a companion to Wiltshire people is more important than ever today – especially with the sad news that our colleagues in Capital, Heart and Smooth will be closing their local breakfast shows.

“Since Mary became editor of BBC Wiltshire last year I’ve been really pleased by how far she’s taken the station, bringing in many more women presenters, reaching out to younger audiences and trying out new and exciting things.

“Bringing together the amazing all-Wiltshire choir to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and putting on a series of fascinating conversations with expert panellists at Salisbury Cathedral are just two examples.

“So a huge congratulations to BBC Wiltshire for 30 fantastic years. I hope to see you all here again in another 30 years – just imagine how big the lardy cake will be then!”

As BBC Wiltshire turns 30 @create_studios have made this celebratory film.#bbcwilts30

— BBC Wiltshire (@BBCWiltshire) April 4, 2019

Paul Keenan appointed President of Audio at Bauer Media Group

Thu, 2019-04-04 11:55

Paul Keenan has been appointed President of Audio at Bauer Media Group with the task of developing radio, webcasting and podcasts.

Currently, Paul is CEO of Bauer and will aim to develop audio with a focus on digital transformation worldwide. He will continue to report to Veit Dengler who has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Bauer Media Group.

“Radio and audio are in great health, enjoying the power of a sound boom and this is an exciting time to be leading a new wave of further transformation,” Paul says.

There are also changes at Bauer’s publishing division, with a new leadership team of Rob Munro-Hall, Sven Dams, Stefanie Hauer and a Chief Financial Officer, who will be appointed in due course.

Rob Munro-Hall has also been appointed as CEO of the UK Publishing Business.

Commenting on the appointments, Veit Dengler, Chief Operating Officer said, “Paul and Rob bring a wealth of experience to these newly created roles. These appointments reflect Bauer’s commitment to both new and established formats and our aims in audio for maximum growth in this sector throughout the Group’s markets and beyond.”

BBC Radio Oxford pays tribute to broadcaster Bill Heine

Thu, 2019-04-04 11:10

Former colleagues and current staff at BBC Radio Oxford have paid tribute to broadcaster Bill Heine, whose death was announced on Wednesday morning.

Editor of BBC Radio Oxford, Tim Boswell told RadioToday: “Bill was an integral part of BBC Radio Oxford for over 30 years. He was an outstanding broadcaster with the ability to connect with his listeners through his intelligence, razor-sharp wit, and above all, his passion for the city and the people who live, work and study here.

“We are paying tribute to Bill throughout the coming days and there was a special programme on BBC Radio Oxford on Wednesday from 6:00pm-7:00pm.”

Bill hit the headlines himself locally in 1986 when he put a giant shark on the roof of his terraced house in Oxford.

He wrote this article just last week with the headline “I’m ready to die in my own bed” after being unable to test a possible cure for cancer drug. He was 74.

RIP Bill Heine. An Oxford legend, a beautiful person, and owner of one of the most mellifluous voices to have ever graced BBC radio.

— Will Gompertz (@WillGompertzBBC) April 3, 2019

Will Banks, Assistant Editor of BBC Radio Oxford, who worked with Bill for many years, said: “There was a fearless quality to Bill, which allowed him to explore the areas and ask the questions that others simply wouldn’t. He could incite genuine fear in those who were due a grilling, and in his producers who never knew where he was going to go next.

“But it was that unpredictability that defined Bill – a true one-off who refused to abide by convention and whose broadcasts were all the better for it.”

Bill Heine was a unique broadcaster who knew his home city inside out and held politicians to account for decades. He’ll be missed.

— Jason Horton (@JasonHorton_uk) April 3, 2019

Some sad news this morning, it’s being reported that former BBC Oxford presenter and much-loved local figure Bill Heine has died. More details to follow.

— BBC Oxford (@BBCOxford) April 3, 2019

Bill Heine, the man who in 1986 stuck a giant shark on the roof of his terraced house in Oxford, has died. He fought planning officers all the way to the top for the right to keep it. The government's final ruling is thing of beauty.

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) April 3, 2019

RIP Bill Heine, the first presenter I produced @BBCOxford A man I respect for his journalism, passion and always standing up for the little guy. And a man I will remember fondly for his humour and mischievous grin. Bill, you truly were "fascinating"

— Serena Martin (@Serenaismusing) April 3, 2019

Sad to hear that ‘Mr Oxford’ the journalist and broadcaster Bill Heine has died. Such a brilliant and knowledgeable man; so mischievous – a twinkle in his eye and razor-sharp wit. A glass of red in his entertaining company was a joy. Sleep well Bill; a pleasure to have known you

— Dan Chisholm (@blokeontheradio) April 3, 2019

An Oxfordshire legend. RIP Bill Heine.

— JACKfm Oxfordshire (@JACKfmOxford) April 3, 2019

One-off Lego 'shark house' set inspired by Bill Heine

— Oxford Mail (@TheOxfordMail) April 3, 2019

Today's front page is a tribute to the broadcaster, writer, icon, maverick and mischief-maker himself Bill Heine

— Oxford Mail (@TheOxfordMail) April 4, 2019

Always wanted to appear on the radio alongside one of my all time favourites @blokeontheradio Dan Chisholm, and what better way to do it than by paying tribute to our mate, the legendary Bill Heine on Radio Oxford, the station he made his own. RIP Bill, you will be greatly missed

— Michael O'Connor (@MikeOConnorNews) April 3, 2019

As a boy I was once lucky enough to be on Bill Heine's radio show. He was a lovely guy and extremely patient with such a nervous guest! Really sad at the news of his death.

— Howard Ferguson (@whferguson) April 3, 2019

Audioboom records quarterly revenue of US$4.6 million

Thu, 2019-04-04 10:09

Audioboom is on course to deliver ‘significant shareholder value’ this year after announcing a record quarterly revenue of US$4.6million, up 180% on Q1 2018 which was US$1.6 million.

Highlights of the trading update for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 include a brand advertiser count of 178 as at 31 March 2019, up 11% on last quarter and up 55% on the same period last year, and revenue per 1,000 listens in the US at US$23.77, up 67% on same quarter last year.

Key contract renewals include podcast network SBI Audio, true crime podcast “Undisclosed”, and “True Crime Obsessed”. Renewals of Audioboom Original Network shows include “F1: Beyond The Grid”, “Covert” (season 2) and “Mafia” (season 3).

The first episode of the new season of “F1: Beyond the Grid” already has approximately 400,00 listens, up over 200% on the final episode of the 2018 season.

Rob Proctor, CEO of Audioboom, commented: “We are delighted with our start to 2019. We have signed great new podcasts during Q1, are making compelling new content, F1: Beyond the Grid is performing exceptionally well, and we have industry leading sell-through rates. Podcasting is now the growth sector in digital media for brands and broadcasters looking to consolidate or add podcast creation and content to their platforms and we are involved in more content negotiations and commercial opportunities than ever before. We are ideally positioned to benefit from this; and the continued corporate activity within the sector demonstrates Audioboom’s potential to deliver significant shareholder value this year”.

The RadioToday Programme is also been hosted on Audioboom since the podcast started over six years ago, along with other audio highlights from the radio industry.

New Premier League contracts for Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT

Wed, 2019-04-03 17:56

BBC Radio 5 Live has secured four of the seven Premier League live commentary contracts for the next three years, whilst talkSPORT picks up the other three.

talkSPORT and talkSPORT2 have rights to broadcast Premier League games across three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – a first for commercial radio.

However, 5 Live will have first pick of the Saturday 3pm games.

Jonathan Wall, controller of BBC Radio 5 Live told RadioToday: “This is great news for our listeners and my brilliant creative team at 5 Live Sport. We got exactly the outcome we were looking for – the majority of the Premier League games available. Today’s news cements our position as the biggest sports audio provider in the UK until 2022.”

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “This is excellent news for the BBC, in an increasingly competitive radio marketplace. Live radio coverage of the Premier League is a key element of the BBC’s audience offer for football fans. The quality of our production, commentary, analysis and presentation is unrivalled and it’s something we are immensely proud of.”

Wireless CEO Scott Taunton told RadioToday: “talkSPORT is now the game day destination for live Premier League action. We’ve consolidated our position as the Premier League’s only national commercial radio partner, winning more games and a key new slot on Saturday lunchtime, meaning we’re the only radio network delivering live coverage from the first kick to the final whistle on Saturday.

“talkSPORT and talkSPORT2 are providing best-in-class live commentary and coverage to millions of football fans across the UK. Our hugely talented teams now have an unrivalled opportunity to deliver Premier League football to more listeners than ever.”

The talkSPORT network continues its exclusive global rights partnership with the Premier League until 2022 to provide official live and on-demand audio coverage of all 380 Premier League matches to listeners around the world outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland. The network is also the exclusive home of the EFL – including the play-off finals – as well as holding rights across the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup in the UK.

Simon Mayo to speak at 2019 Radio Festival

Wed, 2019-04-03 11:26

The first speaker for this year’s Radio Festival, taking place in London next month, has been announced as Simon Mayo.

The event on Monday 13th May at the British Library is organised by the Radio Academy and is part of a cross-industry ‘Radio Audio Week’. This year’s festival theme is ‘The New Age of Audio’.

Mayo launched Scala Radio last month, after leaving Radio 2 at the end of 2018 following a 37-year career with the BBC. His session at the Radio Festival will look at how Bauer’s new classical music station demonstrates the radio industry’s ability to continue to innovate, delivering a new age of audio. He’ll also share his thoughts on his own move from public service radio to the commercial sector.

Nick Pitts, Radio Festival Director, told RadioToday: “Here we are, only starting April and 2019 has already seen more radio and audio action that most years see in total. Top talent has shaken up the market by moving, the next stage of consolidation in UK commercial radio is underway and the podcast business has exploded… and that’s not even mentioning tech advancements and BBC Local Radio! I’m very excited to announce Simon Mayo as our first great speaker, with many more to be announced, as part of our New Age of Audio Festival.”

The Radio Academy says more speakers and guests will be unveiled in the coming weeks for the Festival. It’s running an early bird ticket offer with prices for the event £99 plus VAT for members and £149 plus VAT for non-members if booked before 14th April.

Find out more about the other events taking place in Radio Audio Week – including RadioCentre’s Tuning In conference and the British Podcast Awards – on the Radio Audio Week website.

Pandora replaces Toby Anstis on Heart mid-morning show

Tue, 2019-04-02 14:36

Former Capital and Kiss presenter Pandora Christie is joining Heart to host the weekday mid-morning show and Saturday night Club Classics.

She takes over the UK’s biggest commercial radio show from Toby Anstis next week (8th April), three months after her departure from Kiss.

Pandora started out at Global on the promo team, before beginning her presenting work with Choice FM on overnights then daytimes. She moved to Capital in 2012 to host the 10am-1pm show across the network, before leaving for Kiss mid-mornings in June 2016.

She also hosted the ARIAs in Leeds last October and is a regular presenter on News UK’s QLive app quiz game.

Pandora’s show will air 9am-1pm on Heart London and 10am-1pm across the Heart Network, and she’ll also host Saturday night Club Classics from 7pm. Toby Anstis will present on Friday nights. The 10am-1pm network show is currently commercial radio’s biggest, with 3.8m weekly listeners across the UK (RAJAR Q4/18)

Pandora told RadioToday: “I’m so thrilled to be coming home to the biggest commercial radio station in the country. I can’t wait to get started – playing the very best feel good music to help get Heart listeners through their working day is literally the best job in the world. I hope listeners around the country will be turning up the radio and dancing along, just like I’ll be doing in the studio.”

Managing Editor of Heart, James Rea said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Pandora back in the Global family. Her warm style and easy manner match perfectly with the feel-good nature of the brand. Pandora brings with her a wealth of experience and a vibrant personality. We welcome her back with open arms and look forward to her joining the team.”

I’m so excited to announce I start @thisisheart Monday!
It’s an honour to take over from the legendary @tobyanstis who I’ve looked up to & been friends with for over a decade
10 years ago I started my radio career handing out flyers & now I’m presenting my very own show there

— Pandora (@pandoratweets) April 2, 2019

Here’s what happened at Radiodays Europe on day 1

Tue, 2019-04-02 14:35

Here’s what’s been happening at Radiodays Europe in Lausanne – where hundreds of radio professionals from around the world are sharing ideas and experiences.

Radio industry keynote: Radio and audio – Where we are and where are we going

The Head’s of SRG, EBU, Bauer, an investigative journalist into Russian disinformation and a the Brexicast News Editor opens Radiodays Europe!

Greg James – Your listeners are everything

“Why would I have funnier stories than the 6 million people listening? So we focus on them”, Greg James, BBC, Radio 1, UK

Checking the pulse on America’s largest radio group

iHeartMedia Networks Group is the biggest radio network in the world. Darren Davis has a unique perspective on how the company has grown.

Why Chris Evans left the biggest radio show in Europe

Francis Currie from Wireless addressed the auditorium about bringing Chris Evans back to the Virgin brand.

Audio Content is the Listeners’ Content

WNYC discussed how they engage with listeners beyond audio and allow listeners to become an even greater part of the show.

The future of listening is…

How listeners will consume radio content in the future.

Imaging: the goal of emotional connection

“Listeners come for the music, but they stay for the connection”, Kelly Doherty spoke about the emotional connection through imaging.

Google’s Thoughts On The Future of Audio

Brenda Salinas, from Google News, eased delegates into her thoughts on the future of bringing audio to audiences with a hilarious and informative presentation.

Will humans be needed in the future!

The “coming storm” of Artificial Intelligence.

The State of Radio in 2019

The Radio Summit: a collection of radio directors and CEOs from all over Europe gathered together to discuss the state of radio.

Will Artificial Intelligence Marginalise Us?

Journalists are now competing with a new force. “It is clear that on the technological level, radio is not competing”.

Smart apps, smart speaker and smart cars

How radio is handling changing technology in the eco system of connected devices and where we are now with the smart speaker market.

Sound is your brand

Jo McCrostie and Dirk Soetens think that sound is becoming more important than images for brands.

Reinventing Radio in a SMART way

Dave Watson from DAVID Systems introduced the panel tackling the challenges and opportunities for the reinvention of radio.

Creative Radio Advertising

How can producers create great audio? Ralph Van Dijk, Eardrum and Paul Wauters, Babel discussed what we can learn from the most interesting audio they’ve worked with.

The future of personalised ‘radio’ news

After years of dependence on the social news feed, audiences are at a tipping point.

Measuring true audio listening on all platforms

Jeroen Verspeek kicked off by introducing the BBC’s Cross Media Measurement study, a large nationally representative study across the BBC and all its services.

Audio in the year 2025…

Audio, money and the future. “Radio offers much more audience per-pound than any other type of advertising and should therefore take precedence”.

Two Innovative Projects To Make Radio More Interactive

Floris Daelemans, VRT introduced two innovative research projects at the Belgium broadcaster: Marconi and HRadio.

Go Local, Grow Deeper

Across Europe radio stations are innovating in different ways, but adjusting to audience trends is crucial.

Expanding Radio Advertising

Views on broadcasting from around the world. Siobhan Kenny, Radiocentre, Rob Timony, XI, Ger Gilroy, Off The Ball, Menno de Boer, Radio 538 and Michael Dujardin, Tomorrowland Festival.

The Future of Smart Speakers

“I don’t know where this is going, it’s a new space. We try and build on what we’re good at and then extend it into this new space.” Tamar Charney, MD, NPR in the USA.

Ask what AI car do for radio

Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and deep learning may seem complicated terms, “You don’t have to be a software engineer but you need to be literate in AI”.

Stay On Top Of Your Rating

Boost ratings with a unique sound. There are benefits to mixing things up, even when the sun is shining!

Save time scheduling Ads

Boost ratings with a unique sound. There are benefits to mixing things up, even when the sun is shining!

Using Smart Speaker

Tips for using smart speakers effectively. Smart speakers are in their infancy – and innovators like these are the ones who will help radio industries around the world develop best practice.

Audio Metrics around the world

How can we better understand listening trends? It all starts with using the right measuring tools.

Radio Is Facing A Form Of Darwinism

Radio sales is dead, long live radio sales. Radio stations which can adapt to a digital audience will survive, but others may not.

AI in radio and audio – monetisation

Making Better Campaigns With Audio-Specific Data.

Watch out for Day 2 sessions posting tomorrow – and listen to this week’s RadioToday Programme podcast from the event itself.

Meanwhile, check out some PodSnips from the organisers;

Elis James and John Robins join 5 Live for Friday afternoons

Tue, 2019-04-02 11:12

Former Radio X and Xfm duo Elis James and John Robins are joining BBC Radio 5 Live for a new Friday 1-3pm show.

The pair left Global this weekend after 5 years together on Radio X. Their new show will start on the BBC from Friday 31st May.

Elis already appears on 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and also presents the Feast of Football podcast for BBC Radio Wales.

Friday afternoon schedules on 5 Live will change to accommodate the show, which will be made by independent production company Audio Always and produced by former Radio X and Absolute producer Dave Masterman. The station’s film show with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode will move to the later time of 3-5pm, with Drive starting at 5pm on Fridays from the end of May.

The BBC says Elis and John’s show will ‘help kick-start the weekend with a mix of comedy, fun features, guests and callers’. It will be put out as a podcast too, and the pair are also working on a separate weekly podcast which will launch later in the summer.

Elis James said: “I can’t wait to get started with John. I’ve been a 5 Live listener for 20 years and it’s thrilling to think I’ll be working in a place where water-cooler chats about Mark Hughes’ playing career at Bayern Munich are actively encouraged rather than frowned upon.”

John Robins added: “For too long the BBC has displayed anti-Queen bias. I, OFCOM and two Parliamentary Select committees feel this has gone unchecked for too long. Due to the unique way the BBC is funded, it’s only right licence fee-payers (who, let’s remember, were responsible for making Queen’s Greatest Hits the UK’s best-selling album of all time) receive a balanced approach to all matters Mercury, May, Taylor and/or Deacon. I’m delighted to be given this platform with Elis James, Friday 1-3pm, and I’m also excited about our separate podcast where we will tackle other issues and there will be slightly less Queen.”

Jonathan Wall, controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “Elis and John are one of the most talented pairings in radio and will bring a new audience for 5 Live. It’s a real coup they are joining us for their first BBC Radio show. They will bring a new sound and direction to Friday afternoons and add to an already really strong line-up that includes Adrian Chiles, Kermode and Mayo, Anna Foster and Tony Livesey. Elis and John fans will hear more of them than ever before with both a live show and two podcasts. They are a fantastic addition to the 5 Live family, and I can’t wait for them to get started.”

Fridays. 1-3pm. From May 31. Got plans? Cancel them!

Elis James and John Robins are joining 5 Live!@nomadicrevery and @elisjames will present an entertainment show (also released as a podcast). In summer, they will launch an additional podcast.


— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) April 2, 2019

£3m Audio Content Fund opens for applications

Mon, 2019-04-01 16:05

A £3 million government fund has begun accepting applications from programme makers wishing to make public service audio content for commercial and community radio.

The Audio Content Fund is part of a total of £60m being offered across radio and TV, with the larger £57m chunk available for television programmes that target young audiences.

Both funds aim to invest 5-percent of their totals in UK language programming such as Welsh and Gaelic. The audio fund is available for ‘public service radio programming that is traditionally more difficult to support on a commercial basis’ – including documentaries, comedy, drama and light entertainment.

The first application round of the Audio Content Fund is open for four weeks – until 12noon on 29th April.

Producers interested in bidding can find out more on the Audio Content Fund website, where they can download the Bidding Guidelines setting out eligibility and how bids will be assessed. An independent panel, chaired by Helen Boaden, will make decisions on the first allocations of funding in June.

Further application rounds will open in July and October this year.

Sam Bailey, Managing Director of the Audio Content Fund, said: “We’re really excited to start receiving bids for the Audio Content Fund. It’s going to be fascinating to see the great ideas the audio production sector has to offer, and where the fund can make a difference on the UK’s commercial and community radio stations.

“It’s clear that the ACF is going to develop creative collaboration between sections of our community that may not otherwise have the opportunity to work together, and we’re looking forward to hearing innovative radio that gives a platform to new and diverse voices around the UK.”

The minister for Digital and Creative Industries Margot James said: “Young people in the UK deserve high quality content that entertains, informs and reflects their experiences growing up across the country today. The UK’s broadcast sectors reach hundreds of millions of people of all ages around the globe and are a tremendous success story that we are justifiably proud of. This innovative project is an integral part of our ongoing support for the UK’s vibrant media sector which we want to see go from strength to strength.”

Bidding is now open for our very first round of funding. All you have to do is visit and then it's as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1) Download the Bidding Guidelines
2) Register for an account
3) Login and submit your bid

We can't wait to read your incredible ideas.

— Audio Content Fund (@AudioFund) April 1, 2019

Stuart Linnell leaves full-time radio at BBC Northampton

Mon, 2019-04-01 14:30

BBC Radio Northampton’s afternoon show presenter Stuart Linnell has left the station, bringing an end to 10 years of daily broadcasting in the county.

Stuart did his final programme on Friday afternoon, with colleagues joining him in the studio to say farewell.

We've gone from Brexit to Strexit!

After nearly 50 years in broadcasting, it's a fond farewell @Stuart_Linnell from our @BernieKeith100.

Don't worry, we're not changing the locks just yet!

— BBC Northampton (@BBCNorthampton) March 29, 2019

After the show, Stuart tweeted: “So many people to thank & acknowledge after what turned into a rather emotional day for me. Family & friends – & the @BBCNorthampton team TWICE! – were lovely in their surprises. I will try to thank those that I haven’t yet caught up with, but thank you Northamptonshire.”

So many people to thank & acknowledge after what turned into a rather emotional day for me. Family & friends – & the @BBCNorthampton team TWICE! – were lovely in their surprises. I will try to thank those that I haven’t yet caught up with, but thank you Northamptonshire.

— Stuart Linnell MBE (@Stuart_Linnell) March 29, 2019

Stuart started out on hospital radio in Birmingham before joining BBC Radio Birmingham in 1970. He was part of the launch team at Radio Hallam in 1974, including six years as Sports Editor. He then spent 15 years at Mercia Sound – starting as Sports Editor in 1980, presenting the weekday afternoon show and then going on to be Programme Controller and Managing Director. In 1995, he returned to the BBC, presenting shows across the Midlands including the BBC WM breakfast show. After a freelance spell, including working with Laser Broadcasting, he was back on air at BBC Local Radio from 2009 with stations such as Radio Derby, Radio Oxford, Hereford & Worcester and Coventry & Warwickshire.

Before the move to afternoons in 2018, Stuart was the weekday breakfast show presenter on BBC Radio Northampton for seven years and prior to that hosted the station’s lunchtime show. He was given the MBE for services to broadcasting in 1995.

A BBC Spokesperson told RadioToday: “Having just completed fifty years behind a mic, Stuart is taking a break from regular daily presenting. We want to thank him for his service to Northampton and wish him well.”

Conor Philips is presenting the 3-7pm slot on BBC Radio Northampton this week – we’ve asked the BBC who Stuart’s replacement will be.

The team @BBCNorthampton enjoy a party, and proved it a lunchtime, with a buffet at Restaurant Nuovo, where they presented me with a lovely glass microphone ornament, & laughed at some of my attempts at humour. Hugs all round, including with my good friend @BernieKeith100.

— Stuart Linnell MBE (@Stuart_Linnell) March 29, 2019

Podcast: Rhod Sharp’s 25 years Up All Night on 5 Live

Sun, 2019-03-31 16:56

Stuart Clarkson chats to 5 Live presenter Rhod Sharp, who’s marking a quarter of a century presenting Up All Night as the station turns 25 years old this week.

Find out about the launch of 5 Live, memorable moments on the show including 9/11 and the Obama Inauguration – and how Rhod gets on air from the attic of his home in the US.

Roy Martin is here with our weekly look at what’s going on in the industry; James Cridland shares some thoughts on why you shouldn’t make assumptions about the tech used by listeners; and David Lloyd has more brilliant archive audio in Radio Moments.

Audio processing on the RadioToday Programme by Ian Deeley.

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.

Dotun Adebayo reinstated to BBC Radio London Sunday show

Fri, 2019-03-29 22:42

In a surprise u-turn, BBC Radio London has decided not to cancel Dotun on Sunday.

In an email to staff on Thursday, BBC Head of Local Radio Chris Burns announced Dotun Adebayo will continue to present his Sunday evening show.

It said: “I just wanted to update you re Dotun’s show on Radio London. Dotun has had a meeting this afternoon with the management team at Radio London and will continue to present his Sunday evening show.”

Dotun announced last weekend that the BBC was removing him from the Sunday evening show after 20 years, against his wishes. The programme covers London’s diverse communities and the issues affecting them.

In a tweet today, Dotun said the leaked email was correct, simply writing: “I can confirm this. Thank you for all your support.”

A BBC Radio London spokesperson said: “Dotun is an outstanding presenter and a valued member of our team. We have a responsibility to look after our staff and were concerned about his schedule presenting eight shows a week, including an overnight show seven nights a week. We discussed this with Dotun and a decision was made to ease his workload. We appreciate his desire to continue with his Sunday show so can confirm he will now do that while reducing his overnight shows to six a week.”

Victory! @dotunadebayo can you confirm please #dotunonsunday will remain #BBCbanblackcomment

— BARAC (@BARACUK) March 28, 2019

BBC fails to attract commercial radio to BBC Sounds app

Fri, 2019-03-29 13:38

The BBC’s aim to bring outside services to its Sounds app has so far been met with rejection from the commercial sector.

In its Annual Plan this year, published yesterday, the BBC says it is interested in opening up BBC Sounds to other podcasts and commercial radio.

The invite was first offered in 2018 but no content from Bauer, Global, Wireless has appeared so far despite talks going on since 2018.

The commercial radio groups are not happy with the terms being offered, which would include the need for brands such as Magic, Heart, Capital and Kiss having to promote BBC Sounds on-air.

A question over how much prominence the commercial radio stations would get over BBC content was also raised.

The BBC and Commercial Radio already work together on the Radioplayer project – which brings together all sectors of the industry. Having commercial broadcasters on BBC Sounds would mean the content and branding is controlled by the BBC rather than a joint partnership.

In a blog yesterday, James Purnell Director, Radio & Education says: “For the last few months we have also been talking to colleagues in British radio to see if Sounds could help them.

“That’s why in the BBC’s Annual Plan we have confirmed we are in discussions with key UK stakeholders on how listeners could enjoy live linear radio and podcasts from third-party providers in BBC Sounds. Our aim is to support the British creative industries, as well as champion new, niche, innovative UK podcasts that may struggle to achieve prominence on global platforms. We would like to make Sounds a platform that serves British audiences and British creativity.

“It’s early days yet with the discussions and nothing is confirmed, but as we have to mention our ambition in today’s plan, it felt like a good time to explain our thinking a little bit more. We’ll talk about what we hope to do in the months to come.”

But RadioToday understands both Global and Bauer have already rejected the offer, although both decline to comment on the record. Wireless tells us they are still engaged in ongoing discussions which may or may not lead to content being made available on BBC Sounds.

Meanwhile, the BBC has taken its podcasts off Google, because it wasn’t happy with the search giant favouring their own app from search instead of BBC Sounds.

Since launch, there have been 1.8 million downloads of the app, and an average of more than a million listeners a week. The BBC says its aim is firmly to establish Sounds as the best place to listen to all BBC audio – music, podcasts, and radio.

JACK says goodbye to the Dumpy Building for a new Oasis

Fri, 2019-03-29 10:44

It’s time to pack at Jack, as the company moves from its home in ‘the Dumpy Building’ to a new studio complex just outside Oxford.

The graffiti-covered commode on the Woodstock Road has been home to the Jack family of stations since 2007, but from April 1st they will broadcast from the Oasis Business Park in Eynsham.

In the run-up to the move, listeners have received guided tours of the building, been given the chance to be the ‘last voice from the
Dumpy Building’ and signed a book of condolence.

On JACKfm before the move, listeners can hear the best bits from the Dumpy Building since 2007: including when Oxford United FC got promoted to Wembley, when the radio station married two strangers who met for the first time at the altar, and when JACKfm’s Breakfast Show followed RAF Benson to Afghanistan to broadcast messages from Oxfordshire’s troops through the Woodstock Road and out the county.

Trevor Marshall, who has hosted JACK’s Morning Glory since day one, said: “I love the Dumpy Building but, honestly, getting a window and studios that work after 11 years will be like heaven. The place looks ugly on the outside, is falling down inside and feels like a prison at times – but I’ve loved every second here.

“The new studios in Eynsham are nicer than JACK deserves. You’ll be sadly missed, Dumpy Building – you absolute eyesore.”

Tim Parker, Programme Director of JACKfm, JACK 2 Hits and JACK 3 & Chill, said: “The Dumpy Building fits JACK really well – it’s full of character, totally un-corporate and falling apart. We’ll be genuinely sad to leave the dumpiest and best building in Oxford, but Eynsham’s a lovely place and we’ll have a lot of fun there. See you there for a pint.”

Elis James and John Robins are leaving Radio X

Wed, 2019-03-27 17:56

The Elis James and John Robins show is coming to an end of Radio X after five years on-air.

The two comedians host a weekly show, each Saturday from 1pm till 4pm, with highlights available as a podcast.

They’ve also covered drive-time a few times as well, mostly in 2017, but their last show will be this Saturday, 30th March 2019.

Posting on social media, John wrote:

“Elis and I have some news and we wanted you to hear it from us. We are stepping down from our Radio X show. Whilst this feels very strange and in some ways very sad, we’re also excited about what the future holds. This Saturday 30th March will be our last show on Radio X.

First and foremost we want to thank every single one of you for the contribution you’ve all made to turning a commercial digital indie radio show into something truly special. We’ve received well in excess of 15,000 emails since we started five years ago, not only does this prove that our listeners are at the cutting edge of communication, but also how immeasurably they have shaped the show and helped create the wonderful community around it. We want to reassure you that the podcasts will stay up and this group will remain.

We would also like to say, that we leave behind the most passionate, dedicated and lovely group of people at Radio X. Their passion and dedication and loveliness will continue to make the things they produce very special indeed. We have not left under a cloud of unproduceability, we didn’t swear on air or slag off a Southampton-based singer/songwriter, we just felt the time was right for a new challenge, and are so proud of the work we have done, and the friends we have made.

And so to the really hard part. We will be saying goodbye to Producers Vin, Joe and Trav. Though I’m sure our professional paths will cross again someday, it is incredibly sad to be leaving such good friends. We owe them absolutely everything, and could not have hoped to learn and be guided by such wonderful people. If the tone of the show has been welcoming, sensitive and kind, it is because the people who produced it all embodied those qualities. We will miss you guys.

We will be taking some time off now, but panic not! We will be back working together very soon. See you in a few weeks!

John and Elis”

Tommy Jardine to retire from West Sound Breakfast

Wed, 2019-03-27 15:33

West Sound Breakfast Show presenter Tommy Jardine has announced he is to retire after 10 years in the slot.

Kenny Campbell, currently presenting the Home Run from 3pm to 7pm on weekdays, takes over the breakfast show and Michael Smith takes the reins of Kenny’s show from the 1st of April.

Tommy, originally a professional auctioneer to trade, having been a co-director with Jardine (Auctioneers) Ltd. started his radio career in 1996 with West Sound on an evening show called “The Back Shift”, broadcasting from Campbell House at the Crichton.

After experiencing all aspects of the radio business including sales and sponsorship, he took on the role of Charity Manager for the station’s charity – Cash for Kids.

From the first event at the Cairndale Hotel in 1999 which raised £6,000 he guided the fundraising total to a massive one million pounds in 2015. He then stood down as Charity Manager and was honoured to be the first Charity Ambassador for the charity in Dumfries & Galloway.

Tommy said: “They say a second is a long time in radio, but the past 20 years have passed so quickly. I have met and worked with some wonderful, talented people and I can now look forward to some long lies and spending more time with my wife Margaret and our two Westies Hamish and Bonnie.”

Graham Bryce, Group MD, Greatest Hits Radio Network said: “I would like to hugely thank Tommy for his incredible contribution to West Sound over the years. From raising huge amounts of money for our charity Cash for Kids to waking up Dumfries and Galloway for the past ten years, his enthusiasm, passion and connection to the community will be sorely missed.

“However I do know he is looking forward to putting his feet up and having a long lie in. We wish Tommy and his wife Margaret all the very best for their retirement.”