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A new digital radio transmitter has been switched on in Wales to give listeners in Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool DAB radio for the first time. The switch on was held at Wrexham Football Ground with local politicians and Digital Radio UK in attendance.
Editor of MediaWeek Arif Durrani takes a look at the 40-year history of commercial radio as it gets ready to celebrate its birthday in October, plus how digital technology will impact the radio sector moving forward.
40 years of Commercial Radio is to be celebrated with a Roll of Honour. This summer, The RadioCentre will unveil a series of special awards to be presented at the 2013 Arqiva Awards.
Jack Allen from RadioWorks says: “It’s going to be a big year for the Arqiva Awards.”
Ben Cooper of BBC Radio1 and 1Xtra is the new Chairman of The Radio Academy, replacing Global Radio’s Executive President and Founder Ashley Tabor, who steps down after serving the maximum two year term. Along with John Myers, Tabor will be co-opted as a Trustee from May.
In what is being described as a first, talkSPORT will now be able to tailor instream adverts to listeners from around the world. The new technology forms part of a partnership with digital advertising company AdsWizz.
Former Eastenders actor Larry Lamb has joined LBC 97.3 and will host his own Sunday show starting this weekend (12th May). Global Radio’s Director of Broadcasting Richard Park said that Larry’s “passion for radio” will make him a “hit with our listeners.”
Vina Jesani from RadioWorks says: “His cockney charm will fit well with LBC listeners!”
Recent Bauer purchase Planet Rock is set to replace Kerrang! in the West Midlands with Kerrang! continuing as a digital-only station. The change means that Planet Rock will be on an analogue signal for the first time.
Eklipse Sports Radio, a new DAB station which will aim to combine rock, talk and sport, will transmit to Central Scotland with a provisional launch date of 22nd July. The station will be run by Spencer Pryor and will take part in RAJAR to measure its listening figures and hours.
Simon Pearce from RadioWorks says: “It’s great to see a new station coming into the marketplace. Especially one which has a focus on sport, as arguably there are only two other commercial stations that do this (Yorkshire Radio and talkSPORT).”
Iron Maiden hit ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’ became the opening track for new national DAB station TeamRock Radio. The station, which is headed by radio mogul John Myers, also aired an inspirational message and poem from metal front-man Corey Taylor.
An artist from each decade of commercial radio’s 40 year lifespan will perform live at this year’s Arqiva Awards. Bucks Fizz, Level 42, Atomic Kitten and The Feeling will all take to the stage at the event organised by the RadioCentre.
UK communications regulator Ofcom has invited new community radio station applications for West and South Yorkshire, Humberside and North West England. All applicants are being asked to submit their proposals by October 15th.
talkSPORT have signed BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Colin Murray to host a daily 10am to 1pm show where he will discuss daily sporting issues along with special guests and interviews from the world of sport. The move ends the presenter’s time at the BBC station since joining in 2006.
12 stations have received a share of just over £175,000 as part of Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund which has been provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Over 50 applications were submitted and the largest award totalled £24,000.
Community Media Association
Throughout the summer and to accompany Liverpool’s Pride Festival, Gaydio will extend its DAB coverage to the Merseyside area. The station, which broadcasts from its Manchester base, will also air in North Wales and Chesire for six weeks.
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has released the results of two surveys which indicate that radio’s “enduring strength” remains strong despite challenges from other mediums such as digital and mobile. Ofcom summarised the results by saying “Listeners’ relationship with radio remains in good health.”
Global Radio hosted Prime Minister David Cameron at their Xfm and Capital FM studios. He spent over half an hour in Salford Quays doing a Q&A for listeners and staff on topics which included cyber-bullying and music.
To promote Absolute Radio’s commentary coverage of the new Premier League season, Digital Radio mascot D Love has been “hired” as a football reporter in a series of bespoke station advertisements. You can listen to the campaign by clicking the Radio Today link below.