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Updated: 5 days 13 hours ago

Capital’s Roman Kemp in trouble for repeated swear words

Tue, 2019-08-06 05:24

Capital has been found in breach of two Ofcom rules for broadcasting a pre-recorded offensive item twice in the same breakfast show.

Content with the offensive language, (an F bomb), was broadcast in a segment at 6.10am, to which the breakfast presenter apologised for.

The exact same content, a prank call, was then broadcast again at 8.15 followed by a similar apology.

At approximately 6.30 Roman Kemp said: “Just a quick note just to apologise on our behalf if you heard any bad language during Don’t Hang Up this morning. Just so that’s an apology on our behalf for any bad language you may have heard this morning”.

Then at approximately 8.30, immediately after the second broadcast of Don’t Hang Up, Roman Kemp said: “Well I just want to say just really quickly, I’m so sorry for any bad language that you heard inside that Don’t Hang Up. It does get quite intense in there sometimes, it really does. But yes, apologies on our behalf for that one”.

Global said the item was repeated due to a technical issue.

The Licensee has since outlined new measures introduced to prevent a recurrence. It told Ofcom that two producers who had not been involved in recording each prank will now listen to the original audio to edit out any offensive language, and the Executive Producer and the Senior Executive Producer for the Capital Breakfast show will listen to the final edited version before the audio is uploaded to the system.

The station has been found in breach of Rule 1.14, which states that the most offensive language must not be broadcast on radio when children are particularly likely to be listening, and Rule 2.3 for generally accepted standards.

A Capital spokesperson told RadioToday: “It is apparent from reading the full Ofcom enquiry that the Capital Breakfast team were wholly apologetic about this incident from the moment it happened. Due measures have been taken to prevent such from happening again.”

Bauer to network drivetime across 11 licences in North and Midlands

Tue, 2019-08-06 00:38

Bauer Media has announced plans to network Wes Butters and Gemma Atkinson across most of its big city stations in England, meaning 7 presenters will lose their daily drivetime show.

From 2nd September, Wes will be on 4-7pm across Metro Radio, TFM, Rock FM, Radio City, Hallam FM, Radio Aire, Viking FM and the four Free Radio stations in the West Midlands – in addition to his current show on Hits Radio in Manchester and on DAB across the UK.

Gemma will join the show after her maternity leave.

CFM in Carlisle and Gem 106 in the East Midlands won’t take the networked drivetime show, with Chris Felton and Cat James respectively continuing to host these shows.

It means daily shows will end for Dan Moylan (Metro & TFM), Pete Otway (Rock), Scott Hughes (City), Simon Morykin (Hallam), Carl Spencer (Aire), Darren Spence (Viking) and Andy Goulding (Free). RadioToday understands Andy will remain with Bauer to host shows for Greatest Hits Radio and provide presenter cover.

The stations taking the show, which are already part of the Hits Radio Network, will keep their heritage brand identities.

Gary Stein, Group Programming Director, Hits Radio Network, told RadioToday: “Our ambition is first and foremost to provide programming best suited to the needs of our listeners in a rapidly evolving media landscape. Our research has identified an opportunity to create a new drive show that combines all the elements our listeners want – high-quality relatable presenters that connect with our audience alongside all the local news, traffic and travel and other local information important to them. We’re excited to launch Wes and Gemma in our major markets across the country on September 2nd.

“I’d like to personally thank our Drivetime broadcast teams for their professionalism and tremendous contribution. We wish them the very best for the future.”

Changes introduced in July saw the number of breakfast shows on Free Radio in the West Midlands cut from 4 to 2, while local drivetime shows on Free were also reduced to just one. Bauer also removed local shows from the Hits Radio Network weekend schedules of the stations last month, with the exception of Radio City which retains one local show on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Also last month, Bauer received the go-ahead from Ofcom to reduce the number of hours of local programming on the stations to 3 hours per day in keeping with the updated localness guidelines. The changes announced by Bauer today mean Metro & TFM, Rock, Radio City, Hallam, Aire, Viking and Free Radio will take 20 hours of networked programmes on weekdays, with a 4-hour local breakfast show. Free Radio has two breakfast shows – one covering Birmingham, Shropshire & The Black Country and another covering Coventry & Warwickshire and Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Podcast Live returns for second politics-themed event

Mon, 2019-08-05 15:10

Podcast Live has announced details of its third event, and the second focussing on political podcasts.

It will take place at The Light in central London on Saturday 5th October, ahead of the UK’s planned departure from the EU later the same month.

The first event was held in April, while the second – featuring podcasts about rugby – takes place on 7th September at Twickenham.

Podcasts that will be recorded live on stage at the event in October include Talking Politics, For The Many with Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith, Chopper’s Brexit Podcast from The Telegraph, The Week unwrapped, The New European and Delingpod.

Podcast Live was set up by radio execs Matt Deegan, Phil Riley, John Myers and Michael Connole.

The politics event runs from 10am-5pm on 5th October. Find out more at

Podcast: Ivan Brackenbury and Tom Binns talk to RadioToday

Sun, 2019-08-04 20:40

Ivan Brackenbury and his producer Tom Binns tell us about Brimlington Hospital Radio Online and Ivan’s 2020 UK tour – as well as about both of their radio careers.

Stuart Clarkson & Roy Martin also discuss this week’s radio industry news; James Cridland looks at what the data tells us about consumers’ use of headphones to listen to linear and on-demand content; and David Lloyd’s Radio Moments include Chris Moyles joining Radio 1, the death of Mike Smith and the arrival of the BBC Light Programme.

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.

2019 Community Radio Awards to be held in south Wales

Fri, 2019-08-02 17:03

The date and venue have been confirmed for this year’s Community Radio Awards, which will be presented in Barry.

The event takes place on Saturday 26th October at the Memo Arts Centre in the south Wales town, following the Community Radio Now and Next Conference.

Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “We are ecstatic that the awards have seen even more entries than in previous years. It’s great to be able to host them outside England for the first time, and we’re pleased to visit yet another new destination to celebrate the incredible work our sector does in its communities.”

The award ceremony, now in its fourth year, will see awards given in 18 categories across the sector. Entries closed in June and shortlists will be announced soon along with ticket prices for the event. Previous events have been held in Birmingham, Bristol and Sheffield.

Dom Chambers, part of the team behind the conference said: “On behalf of the organisers of Community Radio Now and Next I am very excited to be working with the Community Radio Awards
this year. These awards are incredibly important as recognition for the extraordinary work achieved by community broadcasters throughout the UK.”

Danny Lawrence, chair of the Community Media Association, added: “We are delighted that the awards, which are an important part of the recognition of our sector, will be travelling to Wales this year.”

The Offside Rule podcast to air on JACK Radio

Fri, 2019-08-02 16:52

Female-focussed digital station JACK Radio is to broadcast an award-winning football podcast each week during the 2019-20 football season.

The Offside Rule, presented by Lynsey Hooper, Kait Borsay and Hayley McQueen, has been running for the last 7 years and will now air on Friday nights and Saturday mornings on JACK from next Friday (9th August) as well as continuing as a podcast.

It is produced by Muddy Knees Media, and since 2012 Lynsey, Kait and Hayley have interviewed football figureheads including Sven Goran Eriksson, Phil Neville and Kelly Smith, and have broadcast live from Wembley Stadium, provided support for grassroots football, and travelled around the world to cover World Cups and European Championships, including covering the Women’s World Cup in both Canada (2015) and France (2019).

Lynsey Hooper, presenter of The Offside Rule, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that The Offside Rule will soon be heard on national radio through JACK Radio. There is great synergy between both brands and, as a result of this collaboration, it means that more football fans up and down the country will soon be able to listen to a quality football podcast that just happens to be presented by three women.”

Belinda Doyle, Programme Director at JACK Radio, said: “The Offside Rule is the perfect fit for JACK Radio and is perfectly pitched to complement our existing on-air content. Lynsey, Kait and Hayley are world-class presenters who are passionate, engaging and knowledgeable, and we know that our listeners are going to love them.”

JACK Radio also recently launched a women’s sports news bulletin, providing daily updates on women’s sporting events and achievements across the country. The Offside Rule will be broadcast weekly on Fridays 7-8pm and repeated on Saturdays 6-7am.

Pirate FM shows the power of radio with tins

Thu, 2019-08-01 21:22

Pirate FM has produced a film about how it raised more than 20 times its target collecting tins for foodbanks.

The station’s Managing Director Mark Peters came up with the idea after hearing a news bulletin about how desperate foodbanks had become and the types of people using them.

“When I was pitching it to the team, I wasn’t sure in my own head if we would hit a tonne, which was the target, let alone the 20 tonnes we raised in one month. But I knew something had to be done,” he said.

“I just imagined what it must be like to be at home and unable to feed yourself and your family, especially if you have children,” he said.

“It just struck a massive chord with me that the problem was as big as it was, the need was as dire as it was and as a radio and media brand in Cornwall that we should do something about it.”

The documentary, A Tonne of Tins, was shot over a month and features interviews with people who have needed and run food banks, as well as the station’s 20-tonne triumph.

RAJAR Q2 2019: Regional and local radio facts and figures

Thu, 2019-08-01 07:08

In our quarterly look at local and regional radio brands, we’ll start with some of the national brands with local service.

Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio increases from 556,000 weekly reach last quarter to 715,000 today. The Greatest Hits Network now has 1.1m listeners. Some individual stations have seen 50% drop in weekly reach, whilst others have seen an increase.

Greatest Hits Radio in Liverpool, previously known as Radio City 2 and broadcasting on 105.9 FM, has seen a quarterly drop from 160,000 to 116,000, and from 215,000 a year ago. In the West Midlands, 105.2 FM has increased from 181,000 to 204,000.

Global’s Heart continues its reign as the UK’s biggest commercial radio brand with 9.7m people tuning in every week, beating Radio 1 for reach, hours and share. Heart Scotland sees an increase this quarter from 371,000 to 404,000 but is down year on year.

Smooth, which is about to network its Drive show, is the UK’s third-largest commercial radio brand, adding 132,000 listeners year-on-year giving it 5.7 million weekly reach.

More than 1.3 million people tune in to Gold each week. The station has grown in reach, hours and share both in the past quarter and year, and will add more listeners with extra AM transmitters coming online soon.

Hits Radio Manchester, the station formerly known as Key 103, has once again reached a new low. Weekly Reach now stands at 258,000 compared with 302,000 last quarter and 374,000 a year ago. The Hits Radio Network is now claiming 6.5 million listeners nationally.

Capital stations remain largely untouched, with 7.2m across the network. The newest station in Lancashire has added 18,000 listeners albeit with a larger TSA.

BBC Local Radio in England has 5.5m listeners, compared with 5.8m last quarter, and 5.7m last year. Most stations haven’t seen a drastic change in weekly reach, with the exception of BBC Radio Merseyside (down 45,000 listeners), BBC Radio Sheffield (down 43,000) and Radio Leeds (down 26,000). BBC Radio Nottingham is up 25,000 and BBC Radio London has added an extra 19,000 listeners this quarter.

More observations

kmfm has recorded its highest ever weekly reach, with 233,000 listeners, up from 210,000 last quarter and 150,000 last year

XS Manchester as recorded its lowest ever weekly reach on 106.1 FM, with 67,000 weekly listeners, compared with 94,000 last quarter and 117,000 last year

Connect FM, about to become Smooth Radio, has 51,000 weekly listeners compared to 59,000 last quarter and 48,000 last year

Lincs FM, soon to be under the full control of Bauer Media, has 326,000 listeners, up from 280,000 last quarter and 298,000 a year ago

Clyde 1 has its biggest weekly reach in two years with 593,000 listeners, up from 541,000 last quarter. Forth 1 is also up from 274,000 to 327,000

Nation Radio Scotland now has 52,000 weekly listeners, up from 50,000 last quarter

The original JACK fm in Oxford has 57,000 weekly listeners, down from 68,000 last quarter and 85,000 a year ago

However, JACK Radio, which launched with 32,000 six months ago, now has 125,000 weekly listeners

Panjab Radio, which started broadcasting on its new 558AM frequency today, is down to 92,000 weekly reach compared with 163,000 last quarter and 213,000 last year

Wire FM has its highest weekly reach in four years, at 47,000 listeners compared with 27,000 a year ago

Nation Radio North Wales, which had a weekly reach of 1,000 listeners, is no longer reporting

Town 102, now broadcasting on DAB only, has lost 20,000 listeners in the last 12 months – it now has 18,000 weekly reach

Guernsey’s Island FM remains the most listened to radio station in the British Isles by percentage reach at 58% – or 31,000 listeners

Country Hits Radio debuts with 208,000 weekly listeners

Chris Country falls this quarter to 23,000 – from 26,000 last quarter and 30,000 a year ago

Love Sport Radio got its second set of figures this quarter, and now has 40,000 listeners, up from 38,000

More Radio in Sussex has lost 45% of its audience (22,000 listeners) in the last 12 months, now reaching 27,000 – from 37,000 last quarter and 49,000 a year ago.

The team at RadioToday manually look at every RAJAR result, every quarter, comparing quarterly and yearly differences in Weekly Reach. If we have missed a significant increase or decrease, let us know and we’ll add an observation here.

RAJAR Q2 2019: London and national brands round-up

Thu, 2019-08-01 07:06

Zoe Ball has lost more than three quarters of a million listeners to her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, according to the latest audience research from RAJAR.

The show’s reach is down 781,000 quarter-on-quarter to 8.266m for the three months survey period up to the 23rd June 2019. In Q1/19 she had 9.047m listeners; in Q2/2018 Chris Evans reached 9.038m. Radio 2’s audience at breakfast is now the lowest its been since Q3/2010, when Evans was fairly new in the job.

Chris, meanwhile, has added 63,000 more listeners to his Virgin Radio breakfast show – now reaching 1,111,000 across the UK via the brand’s three digital radio stations (compared with 1,048,000 in Q1/19 which included some weeks where he hadn’t yet started). That helped Virgin Radio UK increase its overall reach as a station from 1.3m to 1.545m – a jump of 18% quarter on quarter.

Two new stations from Bauer make their debut in this RAJAR book – Scala Radio has posted a reach of 258,000 while Country Hits Radio – which isn’t on a national DAB multiplex but on a series of local multiplexes – begins life with 208,000. Greatest Hits Radio‘s first full figures show a reach of 715,000 (rising to 1.1m when you include the network of stations in Scotland that have the same format but have heritage names), while Hits Radio posts a national reach of 781,000 – that’s down 23k from this time last year.

Bauer Media‘s combined weekly reach is 18.1m, with digital listening for the group reaching a record high of 72%.

Global is celebrating its highest ever weekly reach (25.6m), hours (238m) and share (23.4%) as a group, with the country’s biggest four commercial radio brands being Heart (9.7m), Capital (8.2m), Smooth (5.7m) and Classic FM (5.6m). Kiss is 5th with 5.3m listeners. Bauer’s ‘Hits Radio Brand’ posts a reach of nearly 6.5m, but this includes both the Hits and Greatest Hits Networks as well as stations using heritage brand names and the new Country Hits Radio.

The new Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp, Vick Hope & Sonny Jay reaches 3.796m – that’s an increase from Q1/19 but a drop of 164,000 from a year ago when the shows were presented regionally. The national show only launched on 8th April, a week into the RAJAR fieldwork for Q2/19. The new national Heart Breakfast with Jamie & Amanda launched towards the end of the research period, so figures for their new show will be in the Q3/19 data, published in October.

BBC Radio 2‘s drop in breakfast audience affects the reach of the rest of the station too, with the overall listening figure falling 763,000 this quarter – from 15.356m to 14.593m. Ken Bruce now has the biggest show on the station, with a weekly average of 8.489m to his 9.30-12noon programme. Ken says: “After 34 years as a part of the BBC Radio 2 family, I’m astounded that the allure of my daily grumpy musings, coupled with PopMaster, continue to entertain. Many thanks to the long-suffering listeners.”

Radio 4 remains fairly constant year on year, but there is good annual growth for Radio 1 (up 327k to 9.563m), Radio 3 (up 120k to 2.028m), Radio 4 Extra (up 258k to 2.223m), 5 Live (up 509k to 5.242m), 5 Live Sports Extra (up 311k to 1.484m – highest in nearly 2 years) and 1Xtra (up 69k to 1.102m – highest since 2015)

Greg James posts his highest figures since taking over Radio 1 breakfast last summer – his Monday to Thursday show has 5.69m listeners aged 10+, compared with 5.44m last year. Dotty on 1Xtra’s figures are the best ever for the station’s breakfast show too – up 131k year on year to 509k for listeners over 10 years old.

At One Golden Square, there’s good annual growth for both Absolute 80s (up 16% to a record reach of 1.779m) and Absolute Radio 90s (up 10% year on year to 907k), but the 70s station has lost audience and the main Absolute Radio service is down 393,000 (15.4%) year on year to a reach of 2.151m.

KISSTORY‘s move from the SDL multiplex to Digital One has brought extra listeners – reach is up from 2.024m a year ago to a record high of 2.323m in Q2/19. KISSTORY is the biggest digital-only station in the UK, just edging both Radio 4 Extra and 6 Music by a few thousand. There’s growth for Kiss Fresh too, but the overall Kiss network is down 250k year on year to 5.379m.

The Magic brand’s reach is up 6% compared with a year ago, to 4.12m. This is helped by strong growth for Mellow Magic in particular (up 105k to 593k), as well as Magic Chilled (up 51k to a best-ever 355k) and Magic Soul (up 28k to 355k). Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott’s Magic breakfast show has added over 100,000 listeners to reach 1.3m (up 8.7% YoY)

Planet Rock is doing well too, up 167k from last year (16% increase) to a reach of 1.213m.

Nick Ferrari on LBC has a record 1.4m listeners across the UK – up nearly a quarter of a million in the past year. In London he has the number one commercial breakfast show for both hours and share, with a reach up 40k year on year to 755,000. Chris Moyles posts a record 931,000 listeners to his Radio X breakfast show – up from 859k a year ago. In London he now has 258,000 weekly listeners – up from 174k in Q2/18. Smooth London‘s breakfast show with Gary King is doing well too – up 85k year on year to 380,000.

Capital Xtra has posted its highest ever national reach, at 1.931m – up almost 10% (172,000 listeners) year on year.

And Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast with Tim Lihoreau and Moira Stuart has added 249,000 listeners in the past year, posting a 1.909m reach across the UK in Q2/19.

At Wireless, they’re celebrating more best-ever figures with a record 4.9m listeners and total hours of 31.7m to its national stations. As mentioned above. Chris Evans’ hours are up 18.9% quarter on quarter – to 5.35m a week. That’s helped Virgin Radio UK’s total hours top 10 million this quarter (up from 7.7m in Q1/19). The Virgin network overall – including digital stations Anthems and Chilled – attracts 1.67m weekly listeners and 11.02m hours. Chris Evans says: “Six months in, and we couldn’t be happier. Amazing guests, the best bands and certifiably the greatest listeners around.”

talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 reach a combined 3.3m, that’s up 4% from last year. talkSPORT 2’s 439,000 reach is a record for the digital-only station.

talkRADIO‘s 386,000 weekly reach (up 31% from a year ago) is also the highest since its return as a digital station in 2016, with record listening hours of 1.9m – that’s up 40% year on year.

Of the smaller national digital services, JACK Radio receives its second set of RAJAR data, and reports a rise of 40,000 listeners compared with Q1/19 – that’s up 47% from 85k to 125k. Union Jack increases as well – from 150k to 155k. The Arrow‘s figures are up 50% quarter on quarter, to 84k. There’s growth at Sunrise Radio – up from 330k a year ago to 372k.

London market

Big winners in London in the Q2/19 RAJARs are LBC London News (up 32.9% year on year to 598,000), Classic FM (up 21.1% from last year to 1.352m in London); Premier Christian Radio (up 20% year on year to a reach of 131,000); Gold (up 18.5% to 327,000) and Radio 3 (up 14.4% in the capital to 587k).

London’s biggest commercial station is Capital (1.834m), followed by Kiss (1.583m), Magic (1.456m), Heart (1.428m) and LBC (1.228m). Both Capital and Kiss have a bigger reach in London than Radio 1 does.

On share, LBC remains number one in London (6.4%), followed by Heart (4.5%), Capital (4.4%), Magic (3.8%), Kiss (2.8%) and Smooth (2.2%).

Kiss has lost nearly a quarter of its audience in London over the course of the year – down from 2.087m to 1.583m. Absolute Radio London is down 16% year on year to 729k, and Magic 105.4‘s audience in London is also down 12.7% over the 12 months – that’s just over 200,000 listeners.


Ashley Tabor OBE, Founder & Executive President of Global, said: “This is our strongest set of RAJAR results ever for Global, our biggest ever in terms of reach, hours and share. It is a true testament to the hard work of every Globaler. To now reach over 25.6m weekly listeners and for Heart, Capital, Smooth and Classic FM to be the top 4 commercial radio brands in the UK again is very special indeed. Heart retains its lead as the biggest commercial radio brand in the UK, with 9.7 million weekly listeners, and Heart 80s achieves its highest ever set of numbers. ‘The All New Capital Breakfast’ with Roman Kemp opens with a massive 3.8 million becoming, one of the top two commercial breakfast shows in the UK, second only to Heart. LBC’s performance is equally phenomenal with the station delivering its highest ever weekly reach, now at 2.4m across the UK, and Nick Ferrari also delivering his personal highest ever reach at 1.4m listeners. It goes without saying that I’m immensely proud of the Global team – their drive, focus, dedication and sheer hard work has truly reaped dividends.”

Dee Ford CBE, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said: “Our growth in digital listening has been fuelled by the launches of two brilliant new radio stations which perfectly reflect the fastest growing music genres in the UK. Scala Radio and Country Hits Radio are truly ground-breaking and thoroughly engaging. It’s also fantastic that our much loved KISSTORY has become the number one digital radio station. Investment in the Hits Radio Brand has been stepped up with the newly launched breakfast show on Hits Radio hosted by Fleur East, Greg and James – we’ll see its first figures next quarter.”

Wireless CEO Scott Taunton said: “This is a superlative set of results for Wireless, with records smashed across our national brands and for Wireless. Virgin Radio has delivered a second quarter of record reach and listening hours for both the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky and the station itself, which shows reach up 266% year-on-year. Chris and the team – including our partners at Sky – are continuing to set the pace in the breakfast slot. With the talkSPORT network and talkRADIO posting their highest ever RAJAR reach, our speech stations continue to deliver on our investment in sports rights and the best on-air talent. With a new tenant in No.10 and new Premier League packages which give us more live games than ever, we’re well set for the months ahead.”

James Purnell, Director of BBC Radio and Education, said: “With 34 million people tuning in each week, our stations and programmes continue to make a difference in the daily lives of our audiences. Our biggest radio stations are the most listened to in the UK and yet again we’ve seen how loyal listeners are with many millions of people tuning in each week. I’m delighted Radio 1 and 1Xtra proves time and again just how popular they are with listeners. I want our brilliant stations, programmes and podcasts to remain as relevant in people’s lives as listening habits continue to evolve. Already people are enjoying listening to us in different ways with a record 75 million downloads of Radio 4 programmes and podcasts this quarter as well as a record 7 million people listening live to our stations online and through apps.”

Ben Cooper, Controller BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & Asian Network, said: “Record figures for Greg James’ Breakfast Show and fantastic results for Radio 1, as we continue to build our reach across all platforms and bring in new, younger audiences to the BBC.”

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3, said: “BBC Radio 3 encourages as many people as possible to explore experimental, boundary pushing programming, from classical, jazz, avant garde and world music to arts discussion , drama, poetry and slow radio through intelligent and adventurous content. It’s a compelling offer and that’s why we’ve seen audiences remain strong at over 2 million listeners, a 6% reach uplift to 2.03million year-on-year, a strong breakfast performance for our rivers focus this quarter with the highest figures since quarter 2, 2016 at 746k , and the highest overall Radio 3 station share since quarter 4, 2016 at 1.3%.”

JACK CEO Ian Walker said: “It’s in our DNA at JACK not to follow the traditional radio beliefs and formula, and to instead deliver something bold and new, that our listeners will love. This strategy has paid dividends again, with both national stations, Union JACK and JACK Radio, seeing an increase in both reach and hours, while the combined JACK network has doubled its reach in the last year, with an audience who are listening for longer than they ever have. This is only the starting point for us, with more and more exciting programming initiatives across our entire network set to follow.”

RAJAR Q2 2019: Digital radio listening up year-on-year

Thu, 2019-08-01 07:02

Share of listening to the radio via a digital device has gone down this quarter, whilst AM/FM listening has increased.

But the quarterly figures don’t represent the yearly trend though, with all digital listening going from 50.2% a year ago to 56% today, and AM/FM share going down to 44% from 49.8%.

Across all platforms digital listening grew by 58.9 million hours or 11.6% year on year. Listening via online and apps grew by 32.3 million hours (or by 34.2%) to now account for 12.5% of all listening and 22% of digital listening.

Listening via DAB grew by 23.9 million hours (or by 6.5%) year on year to now account for 38.6% of all listening and 69% of digital listening. Listening via DTV grew by 2.8 million hours (or by 5.9%) year on year to now account for 4.9% of all listening and 8.8% of digital listening.

26% of adults now claim to own a voice-activated speaker, and 94% of those use the device to listen to live radio. This has boosted online listening in home, which is now the fastest growing platform and location, increasing by 27.7 million hours (or by 44%) year on year to account for 15% of all in home listening.

In-car digital listening grew 17.1 million hours or by 20% year on year and reached a new record share of 41.8%.

There was strong growth year on year across digital-only stations with KISSTORY increasing by 14.8% to reach a new record of 2.323 million listeners and become the most popular digital-only station. BBC 6 Music is the leading BBC digital-only station reaching 2.285 million listeners, while BBC Radio 4 Extra grew by 13.1% to reach 2.223 million listeners and BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra grew by 26.5% to reach 1.484 million listeners.

Having increased its reach year on year threefold last quarter, Virgin Radio, in the second quarter since the return of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, grew by a further 18.8% compared to Q1 2019, to reach 1.545 million listeners.

Further commercial digital-only stations growing strongly year on year include Absolute 80s which grew by 15.8% to reach a new record of 1.779 million listeners; Heart 80s which increased by 27.7% to reach a new record of 1.495 million listeners; Planet Rock which grew by 16% to reach 1.213 million listeners; Mellow Magic which grew by 21.5% to reach 593,000 listeners; and talkRADIO which grew by 31.3% to reach 386,000. On their first RAJAR survey period new commercial digital-only stations Scala Radio and Country Hits Radio recorded 258,000 and 208,000 listeners respectively.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “This is a significant moment for digital radio with a 34% surge in online radio listening hours prompted by the growth of smart speakers. These speakers are now in over 26% of all homes and are good news for the radio sector with most people using them to listen to live radio.

“Smart speakers also make it easy for people to listen to the increasing range of digital stations and have helped propel the growth of new innovative digital stations such as the new number one digital-only station, KISSTORY.”

RAJAR Q2 2019: The quarterly radio Infographic is here

Thu, 2019-08-01 07:00

The quarterly RAJAR Infographic is here with all the data you need for Q2, 2019, including All Radio Listening, Average Hours Per Listener and Digital Platforms.

RAJAR Q2 2019: Results delivered to radio stations

Thu, 2019-08-01 03:03

The latest listening figures for quarter 2, 2019 have been delivered to radio stations ahead of a public release at midnight tonight.

Changes since last quarter include Scala Radio reporting for the first time, along with Bauer’s other new station Country Hits Radio.

There are new reporting groups for Capital North West, Capital Midlands and Capital South, plus Hits Radio Brand (West Midlands).

Minor changes to how radio stations are presented in RAJAR dairies this month include THE BEACH becoming The Beach, kmfm Group becoming KMFM and Sam FM becoming SAMfm.

There are also reporting period changes for the Scottish Sun stations, going from yearly to half-yearly, and Greatest Hits Radio going from quarterly to half-yearly.

Capital Lancashire, previously known as 2BR, has increased its TSA from 305,000 to 585,912 to represent all of its transmitter locations, whilst the Scottish Sun stations have almost doubled their TSA from 2.8m to 4.6m.

RadioToday will have reports on the figures from midnight on the home page, and updated listening graphs shortly afterwards at

Kate Lawler to replace Matt Richardson on Virgin Radio Drive

Wed, 2019-07-31 19:01

Virgin Radio is making a few changes to its weekday schedule as Matt Richardson leaves to focus on his comedy career.

Afternoon presenter Kate Lawler is replacing Matt on Drive, with Tim Cocker moving up from evenings to take over Kate’s slot.

Kate said: ”Virgin Radio has an amazing buzz about it. With the legend that is Chris Evans getting the nation to work from Monday to Friday, it’s an absolute privilege to be entrusted with getting them home again at the other end of the day. I’m soooo excited to be bringing more rock and roll to the radio at drivetime!”

Matt commented: “It’s been an absolute blast but comedy is and always has been my first love, and the Siren song of Edinburgh was just too strong. I’ve had a great ride doing Drive from the top of the News Tower and I’m delighted to hand the keys over to Kate.”

Changes happen on Monday 5th August with Steve Denyer covering evenings for the time being.

Mike Cass, Virgin Radio Content Director, said: “Chris Evans has introduced a huge new audience to Virgin Radio, and it’s clear they like what they hear. It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Kate to drive. She’s an extremely talented broadcaster whose infectious energy and fun will, I’m sure, build the audience in the slot.”

News provider celebrates three million bulletins delivered

Wed, 2019-07-31 18:27

The team at Radio News Hub are celebrating the delivery of three million bulletins since its launch in 2015.

The company, based in Leeds, delivers updates to 200 English speaking radio stations across the world every day, and provides the content for rolling news service News Radio UK.

Stations using the Radio News Hub service includes commercial groups in the UK as well as expat stations across Europe and further afield.

Using bespoke dispatch software, the team can track every single bulletin that is delivered. The 3,000,000th bulletin was sent at 0454 on Monday 29th July to community station Mighty Southport.

Director Jamie Fletcher told RadioToday: “We are thrilled to have dispatched our 3,000,000th bulletin. This project began as an idea in 2015 and to see how far we have grown in that time makes us extremely proud.

“The dispatch programme designed exclusively for Radio News Hub by Hydra Creative allows for delivery by FTP, SFTP, Dropbox & email.”

Managing Director of Hydra Creative, Ryan Daniels says: “When Radio News Hub came to us we were excited about this project. There was nothing else like it readily available on the market. The team sends thousands of bulletins each day. It’s a fantastic achievement and shows what can be achieved when two forward-thinking companies work together”.

Radio News Hub, which has recently installed a second studio while welcoming a host of new readers from across the industry, provide a number of packages to clients. They range from bespoke services to the one fits all national news. They also provide specialist services for expat stations in Spain, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Still room for improvement says latest UK radio diversity report

Wed, 2019-07-31 17:24

Ethnic minorities, disabled people and women in senior roles remain under-represented in the UK radio industry according to Ofcom’s latest annual report about diversity.

The report, Diversity and Equal Opportunities in Radio, covers nearly 9,000 staff across 16 companies, with particular focus on the three main radio broadcasters – BBC Radio, Bauer and Global.

It finds that the radio industry has made progress in the last 12 months, and Ofcom commends parts of the radio sector that have made ‘significant strides’ in the last year.

The report also acknowledges that initiatives and actions to tackle under-representation do not always have an instant, positive effect on the data, due to the time it takes to bring about culture change.

Bauer has the lowest proportion of minority-ethnic employees, but the company is rolling out a new process around recruitment to change the way it attracts and recruits new people. Since the 2017 report, Bauer has seen a marked increase in employees self-defined as disabled from 3% to 9%, matching the BBC.

An Ofcom podcast – Dialling up Diversity in Radio – accompanies today’s report. In it, senior leaders from the BBC, Bauer and Global speak frankly about diversity to Vikki Cook, Ofcom’s Director of Content and Media Policy.

Ofcom’s duty is to hold broadcasters to account on their arrangements, under their licences, to promote equal employment opportunities and training in relation to gender, racial group and disability.

The study finds that:

  • Women continue to be under-represented at senior levels; men still occupy 63% of senior management positions, and 54% of middle or junior management roles – compared to 44% of non-management roles. BBC Radio has the highest proportion of senior women (40%), followed by Bauer (36%) and Global (30%)
  • Six-per-cent of radio employees self-defined as disabled in 2018 – a marginal increase since 2017 (5%), and far below the UK working average of 18%. BBC Radio and Bauer (9%) have the highest proportion of disabled colleagues, with Bauer showing a marked increase from 3% in 2017. Global’s performance could not be reported meaningfully, as most employees chose not to disclose their disability status
  • Representation of employees from minority-ethnic backgrounds has not changed significantly since last year – 7% in 2018, versus 6% in 2017. This is well below the UK working average of 12%. BBC Radio (9%) and Global (8%) have the highest proportion of minority-ethnic employees, while Bauer (3%) has the lowest. Gaps in Global’s data make it impossible to meaningfully report its performance here

Nine major broadcasters provided data on all six characteristics in 2018, up from just two in 2017. Around twice as many are now measuring their employees’ age and religion or belief. And where just two major radio companies recorded data on sexual orientation in 2017, 10 did so in 2018.

But gaps remain. There is still no data for 10% of radio industry employees about their racial group; 13% about disability; 15% about sexual orientation; and 15% about religion or belief. The problem is more acute for industry freelancers; 25% of gender data remains missing; 44% for racial group and 58% for disability.

Dee Ford CBE, Group Managing Director, Bauer Radio tells RadioToday about the results: “The report appreciates and encourages the commitment we have demonstrated towards increasing our diversity. However, we still have much to do if we are to achieve our goal of achieving a workforce which is representative of the communities we serve.

“We are very aware of our challenges. We must increase the proportion of our workforce from a BAME background, a community which remains significantly under-represented at Bauer. We also have a continuing challenge around the number of women in our programming teams and in senior management.

“We are rolling out a new process around recruitment to change the way we attract and recruit new people into Bauer. This extends to the ways we develop and progress our people. We want to ensure Bauer is a great place to do great work for all.”

As the radio regulator for the whole UK, its nations and regions, Ofcom must also reflect the society it serves. Ofcom too has further to go in meeting internal targets, broadening the diversity of boards and advisory committees, and improving its own data.

Vikki Cook, Ofcom’s Director of Content and Media Policy said: “There’s still a long way to go before the radio industry reflects the communities it broadcasts to around the UK.

“But broadcasters are making progress, and recognising the cultural and commercial benefits of a diverse workforce. We’ll keep supporting their efforts to draw on the best talent across the UK, so they can make even better radio and stay relevant to the widest possible audience.”

Today’s report identifies tangible progress by broadcasters towards broadening their workforces and promoting equal opportunities. Ofcom is calling on the radio industry to build on this progress in the coming year, by:

  • Ensuring cultural change from the top. The diversity agenda and practical initiatives to improve representation must be led strategically by senior management
  • Tackling under-representation. There needs to be urgent focus on attracting disabled and minority-ethnic talents, and helping women to progress to senior roles
  • Understanding their workforce. Broadcasters should continue to improve their measurement of the make-up of their workforce, capturing all protected characteristics
  • Setting clear goals. Broadcasters should set defined diversity targets with clear delivery dates to assess progress. The BBC is currently the only major radio broadcaster to have done so
  • Tackling social mobility. Broadcasters must take an innovative approach to attract the widest pool of talent, regardless of people’s social backgrounds

To compile data for the report, broadcasters with 20 or more employees provided Ofcom with data on the make-up of their organisations. It was mandatory for stations to provide information about the gender, ethnicity and disability status of their employees, while data on age, sexual orientation and religion were voluntary.

Ofcom’s study follows the publication of Tuning In to Diversity, Radiocentre’s complementary report which details initiatives undertaken by the industry, as well as drawing on data from smaller specialist stations like Panjab Radio, Mi-Soul Radio, London Greek Radio, Sabras Radio and Sunrise Radio, and the work they do in their local communities.

Radiocentre produced the report in part to celebrate the diversity of these smaller broadcasters, who aren’t captured by Ofcom’s report due to its focus on larger organisations.

Published at the beginning of July and launched at a Parliamentary summer reception, some of the initiatives highlighted in Tuning In to Diversity include efforts to widen the talent pool coming into the radio and audio sector, including the Young Audio Awards for young people aged 8 to 18.

Tuning In to Diversity also showcased commercial radio’s success with diverse audiences, reaching 62% of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) listeners compared to a 44% by BBC services. The share of listening hours among BAME listeners is also significantly higher than average at 57% for commercial radio, compared to 37% for the BBC. (RAJAR Q1 2019).

Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre, said: “This second round of diversity data on the radio industry provides further helpful insight into the makeup of our sector. Ofcom’s survey dovetails with our own new diversity report, which highlighted that some of the smallest radio stations have the most powerful stories to tell on diversity.

“Over the past year we have also launched the Young Audio Awards, new awards for 8-18 year olds that aim to nurture and encourage the next generation of broadcasting talent, as well as hosting another joint industry radio masterclass. We are making progress but of course there is more work to do.”

Once Upon a Time… on Absolute Radio

Tue, 2019-07-30 21:47

Absolute Radio is to partner with Sony Pictures to celebrate the release of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The national Bauer station is the only paid media partner for the UK campaign.

The Dave Berry Breakfast Show will broadcast live from LA for a week with branded content using comedy at its core across a variety of platforms including radio, online and social.

Commenting on the partnership, Simon Kilby Chief Revenue Officer Bauer Media said: “This is branded content at its very best. Absolute Radio’s deep understanding of its audience of reluctant adults passionate about film coupled with our programming expertise has seen us meet Sony Entertainment’s brief with creativity, personality and flair.

“This partnership will deliver an innovative, multi-platform campaign immersing audiences in the glamour of the film, broadcasting live from Tinseltown itself!”

Ian George, Managing Director of Sony Pictures Releasing UK said: “Absolute Radio is the perfect partner for us to celebrate the release of the summer’s most anticipated movie – Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. The team at Absolute Radio have put together an exciting week of radio and listeners will be in for a treat when they listen in.”

The campaign supporting the film directed by Quentin Tarantino runs from 31st July to 20th August and was brokered by Manning Goetling. Activity will see hosts Dave Berry & Matt Dyson take part in themed challenges, audio trails, live reads and on-air promotions where listeners can win holidays.

Bauer to apply for Cumbria DAB multiplex licences

Tue, 2019-07-30 20:17

Bauer Digital Radio has announced its intention to apply for the DAB multiplex licences for the Morecambe Bay, North and West Cumbria and Southwest Scotland areas.

Grae Allan, Bauer Digital’s DAB Radio Director says: “Digital Radio listening has expanded significantly in recent years. DAB multiplexes provide the lion’s share of digital listening across the UK, so we’re excited that Ofcom has now advertised local DAB licences for the Cumbria area, and that BDR will be making an application”.

We’ve already heard that Nation Broadcasting is planning to submit an application to Ofcom ahead of the closing date on September 11th, but no other companies have revealed any plans to apply.

Bauer Digital operates DAB multiplexes across Scotland, the North of England and in Northern Ireland, as well as the only commercial FM radio station in North and Mid Cumbria, CFM.

Parent company Bauer Radio is also a joint venture DAB multiplex partner with Global in London, Birmingham and Manchester and also recently acquired interests in the MuxCo network of multiplexes.

Bauer wants to hear from anyone who might be interested in broadcasting to all or part of the area, via email –

Elizabeth Alker to host new BBC Radio 3 series

Tue, 2019-07-30 17:57

BBC Radio 3 and BBC Concert Orchestra in partnership with the Southbank Centre and Southbank Sinfonia are introducing a new series of concerts in Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Presented by BBC Radio 3’s Unclassified Live host and presenter Elizabeth Alker and conducted by André de Ridder, the series will feature new line-up additions including Daniel Avery and Tim Hecker.

It will be broadcast as part of BBC Radio 3’s eclectic late-night new music programme, which explores a generation of composers, producers and performers.

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio, says: “On Radio 3 we bring you new, live performances and adventures in contemporary sound every day, and we celebrate the role of new work and boundary-pushing musicians young and established in everything we do. With Unclassified and Unclassified Live, Elizabeth Alker perfectly captures the inquisitive spirit of Radio 3, by really getting beneath the skin of the music, and helping you discover musical insights that will change your perspective on the world in a way that is both exploratory and innovative.”

Following a six-part series earlier this year, Unclassified will return to BBC Radio 3 with a permanent Thursday night slot on October 3rd, and will broadcast the full inaugural Unclassified live concert on 17 October.

Elizabeth Alker says: “Being able to programme this series of live shows with Andre and see Unclassified come to life in front of an audience, with an orchestra, at the Southbank is a dream come true. It’s such a brilliant opportunity to showcase this music in this unique and special way.”

Radioplayer now available via BOSE SoundTouch

Tue, 2019-07-30 00:29

Radioplayer has partnered with BOSE to bring its radio streams to their home speakers.

The integration will make all stations available to listeners with BOSE SoundTouch and Soundbar speakers, across the 10 countries currently part of the Radioplayer platform.

Using the BOSE controller app, listeners can browse stations alphabetically, see recommendations, search for something to listen to, listen to catch-up programmes and podcasts, and set Radioplayer stations as presets, so that their favourite stations can be played at the touch of a button on the speaker.

The BOSE app already allows users to listen to radio stations via Tune In, and supports (where available) Pandora, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Amazon Music and QPlay.

Michael Hill, Radioplayer Managing Director said: “This new partnership between Radioplayer and BOSE will open up a world of excellent, high-quality audio for listeners – whether they like music, sport, podcasts, or any other kind of radio. We love working with people who understand about great sound quality.”

Mike Angelo, Director of Software Product Management at BOSE said. “We’re excited to add Radioplayer as partner on our SoundTouch products. This partnership unlocks high quality content for our customers globally, with a particular focus in regions, such as Belgium and Germany, and we are confident they will enjoy this new addition.”

The 10 countries Radioplayer operates in are UK, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Norway, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Peru and Denmark with more coming soon.

Lincoln radio station off-air until further notice

Mon, 2019-07-29 19:40

Community station Siren Radio is currently off-air due to a transmitter fault.

A message on the station’s website says: “Siren Radio is off-air until further notice due to a fault with our transmitter. We hope to have this resolved as soon as we can. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for further updates.”

It also appears that the online stream for the station, which is based at and funded by the University of Lincoln, is also offline.

Andrew M. Wilson David, Managing Editor, told RadioToday: “It’s disappointing, especially for our team of dedicated programme makers and presenters, to have transmitter issues. So we’re doing all we can to fix things as quickly as possible.

“It’s always a great help when you have immediate support from Ofcom, and I’m very lucky at Siren Radio to have an excellent team who always do everything they can to help. Also, being able to consult expert friends and colleagues in the supportive Community Radio sector means that we can have every confidence we’ll be back on air soon.”

Siren FM started broadcasting in July 2007 catering for a young audience, and rebranded as Siren Radio with a slogan of A Fresh Sound for Lincoln in 2017.

ATTENTION: Due to a fault with our transmitter Siren will be off-air until further notice. We'll keep you updated.

— Siren Radio (@SirenFM) July 28, 2019