Super Station - A waste of a community radio licence

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In article <da49137e-e820-4383-abb8-a0bec9fbbdc8@tamarin>, (Address removed) (Christopher England) wrote:

*From:* Christopher England <(Address removed)>
*To:* Anorak Nation <(Address removed)>
*Date:* 13 Dec 2011 09:52:55 +0000

A local laments about the English radio station infesting the
Scottish Islands:

Isn't this a case of listeners voting with the dials :-)
If the people didn't want the music station and/or adverts weren't working then the station would run out of money - simple really.

K.R.

Eric

Eric Tesug <(Address removed)> said:

Isn't this a case of listeners voting with the dials :-)
If the people didn't want the music station and/or adverts weren't
working then the station would run out of money - simple really.

If it was a normal commercial radio station maybe, but this is the bastardised/hybrid version of community radio that is NOT supposed to get the majority of its running costs paid for by advertising, but instead paid through various hand-outs and grants. If I recall correctly, with this type of license the advertising revenue can represent only a restricted percentage of the income of such a station. Thusly, the station could quite happily function with adverts just being contras and no need to have a 'normal' revenue stream.



I think it's fair to say that a goodly number of "Community" stations are feeling the squeeze right now....
The proportion of advertising against other forms of funding is 50/50, so the station can't go out and bag 50k worth of advertising revenue
unless it can match it with the same amount of grants or other forms of funding.
It really is time that OFCOM scrapped this silly rule, and gave the Community types a level playing field....but there are too many Big Boy
Radio companies involved who are dead against anyone, however small and insignificant, eating into their profits!   
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: [Anorak Nation] Super Station - A waste of a community radio licence

Eric Tesug <(Address removed)> said:

Isn't this a case of listeners voting with the dials :-)
If the people didn't want the music station and/or adverts weren't
working then the station would run out of money - simple really.

If it was a normal commercial radio station maybe, but this is the bastardised/hybrid version of community radio that is NOT supposed to get the majority of its running costs paid for by advertising, but instead paid through various hand-outs and grants. If I recall correctly, with this type of license the advertising revenue can represent only a restricted percentage of the income of such a station. Thusly, the station could quite happily function with adverts just being contras and no need to have a 'normal' revenue stream.


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chris Day <(Address removed)> said:

It really is time that OFCOM scrapped this silly rule, and gave the Community types a level playing field....but there are too many Big Boy
Radio companies involved who are dead against anyone, however small and insignificant, eating into their profits!

Why should community radio be on the same playing field as commercial radio? If people want to run commercial radio stations, fine, buy a dying commercial radio station or apply for a licence. But don't apply for a community radio licence unless you are capable of running a community radio station. Certainly don't apply for a community radio licence if really you just want to play at being a commercial radio station!

In Liverpool, we have the madness of a licence for a talking radio station (City Talk) having been won by Bauer and it now being used to play oldies on, when it should have been non-stop talk.

Ofcom needs to stand up against people who do things like this. Community radio isn't just local ads spewing from a computer burbling the same pop songs as any other station. The ones that do that should be fined and closed down.

*From:* Christopher England <(Address removed)>

Eric Tesug <(Address removed)> said:

Isn't this a case of listeners voting with the dials :-)
If the people didn't want the music station and/or adverts weren't
working then the station would run out of money - simple really.

If it was a normal commercial radio station maybe, but this is the
bastardised/hybrid version of community radio that is NOT supposed
to get the majority of its running costs paid for by advertising,
but instead paid through various hand-outs and grants. If I recall
correctly, with this type of license the advertising revenue can
represent only a restricted percentage of the income of such a
station. Thusly, the station could quite happily function with
adverts just being contras and no need to have a 'normal' revenue
stream.

Point accepted and yet the principle still stands, if people vote with there dials then it has to be doing a good job surely.
Having a popular station that the 'community' wants must be better than having a station that only a handful listen to - be cheaper to send on MP3 files otherwise.

Regards
Eric



I can see where you are coming from Chris - I think it's scandalous how vast swathes of the Country are now supplied by stations all owned by a very few companies
And I totally agree that a station should stick by it's orginal remit - All I'm getting at is that the Community Radio fraternity are hemmed into a deal where they are fighting unfairly
for a chance to add to their revenue streams.
I think that most (not all) of the Community stations were set up with good intentions - OFCOM wouldn't have granted their licence if they were not convinced of the stations
aims for community enhancement - But with funding getting becoming more scarce, even the most diehard Community stations must be feeling that they have got a raw deal,
as they simply cannot go out and sell more airtime, because they can't find similar alternative funding.....
On the other hand, I have heard one or two so-called Community stations that might as well be broadcasting from the Moon, as they sound just like top 40 stations -
except not as professional, and thats not what true Community radio is about as we all know...
Perhaps OFCOM needs to step in if a Community stations isn't being "Community", but generally, these stations do need to be given a sporting chance of survival also.... 
   
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Anorak Nation] Super Station - A waste of a community radio licence

chris Day <(Address removed)> said:

It really is time that OFCOM scrapped this silly rule, and gave the Community types a level playing field....but there are too many Big Boy
Radio companies involved who are dead against anyone, however small and insignificant, eating into their profits!

Why should community radio be on the same playing field as commercial radio? If people want to run commercial radio stations, fine, buy a dying commercial radio station or apply for a licence. But don't apply for a community radio licence unless you are capable of running a community radio station. Certainly don't apply for a community radio licence if really you just want to play at being a commercial radio station!

In Liverpool, we have the madness of a licence for a talking radio station (City Talk) having been won by Bauer and it now being used to play oldies on, when it should have been non-stop talk.

Ofcom needs to stand up against people who do things like this. Community radio isn't just local ads spewing from a computer burbling the same pop songs as any other station. The ones that do that should be fined and closed down.


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Eric Tesug <(Address removed)> said:

Point accepted and yet the principle still stands, if people vote with
there dials then it has to be doing a good job surely.
Having a popular station that the 'community' wants must be better than
having a station that only a handful listen to - be cheaper to send on
MP3 files otherwise.

Since community radio isn't usually in RAJAR, there's no measurement of whether the stations are popular or not. Personally, I'd rather they were closed down than allowed to deviate so dramatically from their original licence applications. And the operators should be shot, executed in front of their families.

chris Day <(Address removed)> said:

I think it's scandalous how vast swathes of the Country are now supplied by
stations all owned by a very few companies

I don't think the issue is who owns them so much as what they are doing to/with them, to be honest.

I mean, here in Liverpool we have an excellent little station called Juice FM. It's all local, local voices dominate, local output, and absolutely no networking or coming from somewhere else. I don't particularly like the disjointed way of modern day bland back-to-back music, but it does it really well, and its RAJAR is constantly climbing, and yet it is owned by a company that owns many radio stations. They let it remain a local radio station.

In contrast, buying up stations, sacking all the local staff and networking to them from somewhere else does seem very wrong. Surely, if a radio station can't be run as a local service then the licence should be handed back and it should be re-advertised. If companies want to run quasi-national services, then they should ask Ofcom to advertise for applications for a new tier of quasi-national networks, not just buy up and convert stations with other remits.

From: "Christopher England" <(Address removed)>

In Liverpool, we have the madness of a licence for a talking radio
station (City Talk) having been won by Bauer and it now being used to
play oldies on, when it should have been non-stop talk.

Ofcom needs to stand up against people who do things like this.

I remember when the licence was advertised there were quite a few applicants. I seem to remember there were a few rock formats and a couple of other talk applicants.
I must admit I wanted a rock station, but that said, Ofcom went for speech, as CityTalk aren't supplying that format their licence should be revoked and given to one of the other speech applicants.

From: "Christopher England" <(Address removed)>

I mean, here in Liverpool we have an excellent little station called
Juice FM. It's all local, local voices dominate, local output, and
absolutely no networking or coming from somewhere else. I don't
particularly like the disjointed way of modern day bland back-to-back
music, but it does it really well, and its RAJAR is constantly climbing,
and yet it is owned by a company that owns many radio stations. They let
it remain a local radio station.

Yes a shining example of how local radio CAN work. I must admit it aint my thing but you have to pat them on the back for providing a service for the age group similar to Radio 1's target audience, it does seem popular with da yoof of Merseyside.

In contrast, buying up stations, sacking all the local staff and
networking to them from somewhere else does seem very wrong. Surely, if
a radio station can't be run as a local service then the licence should
be handed back and it should be re-advertised. If companies want to run
quasi-national services, then they should ask Ofcom to advertise for
applications for a new tier of quasi-national networks, not just buy up
and convert stations with other remits.

I couldn't agree more.
Also a big pat on the back for Southport's Dune FM 107.9 for soldiering on against some heavy competition from the big boys in the area, proper local radio with not a sign of networking.

Steve Martin <(Address removed)> said:

I must admit I wanted a rock station, but that said, Ofcom went for speech,
as CityTalk aren't supplying that format their licence should be revoked and
given to one of the other speech applicants.


Either that or it should be re-advertised in the way it was before, with bidders coming forth with rock formats or speech formats or whatever else it was that was allowable, and then Ofcom giving it to the one that fitted best. So, maybe this time it could be a rock format rather than speech, but at least it wouldn't just be a relay of Magic.

Cynics might suggest it's all just been an exercise in Bauer making sure nobody else gets the frequency and dilutes their audience, whilst also giving them access to two FM frequencies for separate commentary streams when LFC and EFC are both playing at exactly the same time. The rest of the time they don't really want it for anything, and they don't want anybody else to have it either!

From: "Christopher England" <(Address removed)>



Cynics might suggest it's all just been an exercise in Bauer making sure
nobody else gets the frequency and dilutes their audience, whilst also
giving them access to two FM frequencies for separate commentary streams
when LFC and EFC are both playing at exactly the same time. The rest of
the time they don't really want it for anything, and they don't want
anybody else to have it either!

I don't think you have to be a cynic to think that, as the evidence supports the exact scenario you describe.

Steve Martin <(Address removed)> said:

Also a big pat on the back for Southport's Dune FM 107.9 for soldiering on
against some heavy competition from the big boys in the area, proper local
radio with not a sign of networking.

I'd echo that. Not my cuppa tea of course, but it's nearly my local station, and whilst I can't be listening to it for fear of my head exploding, the fact that it's now as good as solely owned by locals is an excellent thing. Shame on other stations for not being like that.

I have not read , word for word , the licence conditions for a community station - there is a risk i would lose the will to live if i did , most likely , but i thought that such stations could not be top 40 stations as such. There is nothing to stop them having only newish pop music in their playlists , but they are supposed to provide minimum amounts of local interest spots and chat. Also , there are supposed to be strict rules on who can apply for , or buy up an existing community licence - big commercial players need not apply. Only groups from the local service area were supposed to be considered. Like just about everything to do with OFCOM , i expect that most of their own rules get broken regularly and they do nothing about it :-(

I see that XS Wales, one of the first licensed community radio stations, has gone belly-up and handed its licence back to Ofcom.

I think it was just playing pop records into Neath and Talbot so not really providing a proper community radio service, so no real problem there.

*From:* Christopher England <(Address removed)>
*To:* Anorak Nation <(Address removed)>
*Date:* 14 Dec 2011 11:20:17 +0000

I see that XS Wales, one of the first licensed community radio
stations, has gone belly-up and handed its licence back to Ofcom.
I think it was just playing pop records into Neath and Talbot so
not really providing a proper community radio service, so no real
problem there.

Are you pitching for a speech based community license?

:-)

Eric

Eric Tesug <(Address removed)> said:

Are you pitching for a speech based community license?

No money in community radio, but I'd buy CityTalk and rebrand it Liverpool's Biggest Conversation. They just won't sell it though!