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Read this: Bauer’s plans for former Wireless, UKRD, Celador and Lincs stations

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Bauer’s plans for former Wireless, UKR…

The radiated a program with broadcast bionics created of the bionic studio the smarter way to make radio hello, I'm Stuart Clarkson coming up this week breaking news as we record the podcast Bauer has just announced plans for the stations it bought from wireless celador Lincs FM group and you at the start of 2019 Greatest Hits radio will go on most of them a few become part of the hits network, but keep their brand names and 3 will remain as stand-alone stations.

We Delve into older and hopefully hear from the man leading the change is about as well, Graham Bryce and David Lloyd will be long as usual later with more audio memories from the archives in radio moments.

Will it get straight into the big news of the week rhyme Martin is here and all that speculation over what 15 months now.

Why since it doesn't have stations.

All the radio groups finally we have some answers.

Yes, do it is an interesting day probably the biggest Day In Radio 4 this year we all know about Lincs FM groove salad or radio local stations in England and Wales from wireless and UK R&D last February March time and we've all been wondering ever since you going to do they went into whole set of course the same I gave the final ruling in March this year 12th of March about a month later the 15th of April hold separate formally ended and controls of the stations and here we are six weeks later.

We've had news from power.

I'm a little bit surprised what they've announced.

I don't know what I was expecting exactly but it's Priestwood it's kind of simple in that most of the stations.

They bought a going to be the same things to tell us all about it.

Yeah, so out of the

55ich FM licences that they ended up buying 49 of those are going to turn into Greatest Hits radio.

They take network programs most the time just an update showing each region drivetime days at cross Greatest Hits radio already has an update for Birmingham on FM and Liverpool FM station for the rest of it is currently medium wave as well as DAB and four stations are not going to be Greatest Hits radio there going to be Hits radio except the keeping their name so they're not going to hit radio.

It's going to be pulse 1 in Bradford single one in Stoke in Swansea and Fire radio in Bournemouth savelle, still be called the same thing but the run the Hits Radio playlist will do their own Breakfast Show and then take the hits network from 10 every day and all day every day on a Saturday and Sunday but it doesn't end there are three stations that are not changing and not taking any network programs, so about was already got a few of these like wave and gem.

Once I get out of jail alives Lincs FM in Lincolnshire pirate FM Cornwall and Sam FM in the in Sam's case at this is because it only actually was really ordered.

It's licensed by Ofcom less than 2-years ago today December 2018 at celador you might remember to take it to a re-advertise moment so they could change the former and tweak it a little bit so they went up against nation.

I think it was one of the licence back that as a result it's not a rolling licence.

It's a fairly new it's the only exist in less than two years.

It's a bit tricky for power to change anything with the former of that Sam is one of them at the other 2 Links and pirate and we'll find out soon.

Hopefully, why did to keep those I mean? I thought that was a rule back in the 90s and note is that once you get an FM licence from Ofcom you can't really apply for a format change for a couple of years before that went out the

Clearly if that's what they saying then there must be some element of that still exists yeah quite possibly and the other thing to mention is that the same time and this is all going to happen in September the going to become Greatest Hits radio as well and these stations that are not owned by power but by nation broadcasting and they bought them.

I think they banned from barrel departing from the Crypt stem cells anyway whatever happened.

This was back in February March last year when was mind these they thought we can't have all of these in certain areas because we've all the radio stations with what's happened with the same as crepes actually have kept them but Sam FM on the south coast the breeze on the south coast and kcfm in Hull these are going to have brands licence agreements Sam FM on the Solent and kcfm in Hull above the Greatest Hits radio and the breeze on the

Ghost that's Portsmouth Southampton Winchester they'll become Hits radio the first station since key 103 to actually change their name to Hits radio fleur East and go on breakfast and then finding a local Drive temperature the radio station Manchester to rebrand Hits radio is going to be on the south coast by nation.

It's valid even taken the trouble to rebrand its own stations Hits radio does this mean? They're more hesitant to do the rebranding of hits on the heritage network or it's just the first time is it don't know will ask the man in charge in a couple of minutes is coming he's coming here in just a minute.

I can a couple of other things announced just this morning by Bauer Wednesday morning as we record this as well going to shut all the digital only stations.

They got when they bought the four groups alright.

So this is only the decade stations.

I'm guessing that what do they have these days? I think signal pulse 8.

Play 80s those three were operated by wireless and uk-id had a few like pirate date is eagle 80s pirate 70s.

Maybe as well, but anything that exist like that closing including Suffolk first, which was quite strange station for Farmers and that was on by Lincs FM and the musical stations which had a bit of a troubled existence is encore as well as run by uk-id.

We may have missed one or two they are basically it was digital and it overlaps with whatever bar or operate them.

It's probably going to close and first radio sales a sticking point perhaps in that big long drawn out process to the CMA that's what made it drag on a barren land at the start of me bought the audio from wireless and now from next week.

That's the 1st of June it says it's going to be selling national and regional advertising for all those FRS member stations amazing.

There's a lot to digest.

Hotels are on radio but I think it's high time we heard from the horses mouth not calling him a horse that shall we should bring on the guests with this week yeah right side with this.

We'll talk more to you bringing Graham Bryce group managing director of the Hits Radio network brand smile more about all these changes and the reasons behind them.

Hi Graham welcome to the podcast a busy day for you, then.

Thank you for sparing a few minutes to chat to us.

You've been telling staff this morning about your plans and I guess you'd much rather be able to do that face to face rather than a video call.

Yeah, of course.

I mean we would you must implement these changes face-to-face as you'd expect but the 19th and has really given us no option the economic shocked the industry and our businesses significant and we really feel like we have to act now in order to secure the long-term future of the stations probably as you know we spent.

12 months and a considerable amount of time looking at all the options and combine these businesses and coming to the conclusion that we half and these are these are not easy decisions are tough decisions and we haven't taken them lately you and coming to these conclusions I suppose there's no way that this diminishes the excellent performance of a great number of the stations and the people involved and we greatly appreciate your commitment and passion in the efforts of those people doing old separate titles about half term for those involved but despite the difficulty of the process and despite having to do this remotely will do whatever we can to make it as if it's a live and in person as we can and you know we want to commit to do most people you was fairly is kilometres much unity and respect no whatever possible you were going to try and minimise job lot season and throughout will provide support for people affected by this consultation.

The difficulty with all these decisions as we know these decisions affect people's lives and we want everyone to feel like they've been treated well it despite the circumstances that we find ourselves in and and of course the same true for for presenters and contractors as well and obviously you mention hold separate you've had a bit of time to think about what you might do with the stations even been able to get into them or talked to the teams there.

What is overall your strategy behind the decisions you pronounce today? Why you choosing to rebrand most of them as greatest hits for example in order to understand the strategy.

I think it's probably important to to outline some of the key trends that we see in the industry.

That's really changing the radio market and I think requiring us to think a little bit different about the future.

So you know as we see this or three big trains are happening in the marketplace at the moment first of all.

There's a real significant shift to digital listening as you know.

What's the tool radio listening out around 60% across the UK and we are at 74% and we only see this trend increasing as we go forward to see digital has been the future, so what this means is that every station that we have acquired never station within their own portfolio needs a really clear path to digital future and if they don't have a party digital future.

I think really the future those patients really I think sexually this rise and digital listening is really resulting in a fragmentation of audience as competition increases on digital as listeners as well.

No one more time with a huge range of new stations and offer what happens is that listeners you dial around and spend time with a lot of the new spin-offs that there will be launched in the UK unfortunate what that means is that that consumer habits are changing the spending more time with more stations and what this is resulting in the debts are cleared downward trend in.

Due to local radio and the mirror image rise in listening to National digital services and we only see this trend continuing so what is happening here is that this is putting pressure on heritage local radio audiences at the point of which if they're not Anakin about today.

I think in the future.

They will become economically unviable and then the third friend.

I think is that like many businesses around the world will fitting into margin pressure as competition increases and our national advertising agency partners.

No longer really have the time to plan and buy complicated radio campaigns and the Increasingly demanding of Us much simpler clearer national skills networks within what they would call a premium brand environment.

They don't have the time these days to spend too much time playing video campaigns.

There's a lot of options out there and if we can't make it simple for numbers.

Just simply go somewhere else and an overly old.

The covid-19 and Emma can I think that's all the accelerated these trends and unfortunately we don't see any return to the past anytime soon so I think I think we've needed to envisage a new model for the future and I think what will try to do is create something that retains the best of what local radio can offer cos we really believe in a lot of valuable but within a national network and importantly with an oldest is that all the stations have a clear path to the future and another see the plan is to collect the increase the reach of Greatest Hits radio by putting nearly 50 more licences into it clearly there are some stations.

Who do very well on radio and have done historic Lee I'm thinking of the likes of Yorkshire Coast Radio on the east coast and Spire FM in a fairly quiet market if they lose audience which is quite likely buy some change after a period of 25 + years.

Heritage brand are you saying you don't mind that because over all the rich will increase the network.

I think we see significant growth opportunities for the network as a whole are many cases were extending the distribution for somebody small-scale FM licences on TV and in a format that we think is a huge potential across the whole the UK I think for some of the stations that perform exceptionally well at the moment and the likes of ycr and many others and our plan is to retain as much as the audience is at all possible, but we believe that the upside opportunity for the audiences across the network is any potential Chinese high-performance stations, do we think the aggregate growth opportunities is significant and that's what we're focusing on and obviously if you were going to the hits playlist under the style that you're there to take at the moment with the three stations that you decided to keep as it is for now so Sam FM Bristol pirate and links.

is a new licence format changes and easily possible there but in the cases of pirate and links why you not touching them and what will they sound like as a result well as you know what I think we don't need you lots of one-size-fits-all strategies for Aspergers concerned and have a look to these markets closely, you know we believe that Cornwall and Lincolnshire in particular at have different characteristics and communities that we think her up extinct from from the rest of England and as a result is slightly different approach, so as a result we've decided these stations stand-alone return the Brand and retain local programming into them assess whether these patients would benefit from any you know of content sharing that we do with other stations, but this is you know technology to deliver within a single brand network and so I think we have to work with the program is locally and work it was best but we don't see any opportunity for content during the short-term and you talked about the

Local radio and delivering that local content obviously part of the Ofcom rules that allow you to share programs mean that you have to provide what they call an enhanced local news information service in many cases listeners to some of these local radio stations that have been run by groups that can put their heart and soul into the community of the small area.

They served as getting a really good local news and information service, so it is what your offering to be better than that.

I think I think it will enhance it then I think as you know we are really local news in the business and believe is a hugely important part of our products and also something that we know that listeners value really highly and we do think that our plans for local news with acquire business will really enhance the local news across the network with them quite a lot of time thinking about this and will be putting more reporters on the ground every region in which we operate something that isn't.

Never area today and with these local news, please be able to access the wider resources available through our means that we can support those local news breaking news stories in the area.

Such that I think you'll be able to cover the story is better than better than ever so I think overall I think we can actually enhance the local news service and offer great service is going at the moment, but I think a lot and stretched a lot of my reading multiple built-ins and at times are so stretched.

They're not through no fault of their own.

They have to put out our and daughters instead of I think the strength and size and Resources of our will to support those local museums in the way that they've not had before and I think that's going to be really compelling and the kind of really kind of all nature of some of the TSA is actually meant in the past that these stations have been a big part of life in the town of the County that they serve so I'm thinking about kind of getting involved in community awards.

Christmas lights switch-on road, shows that kind of stuff presumably that's not your model so you won't do that or will you because you'll have these licences that cover much smaller markets than some of the Big Bang that you previously I think it's too early.

I think it's decision on on the huge amount of local activity that goes on across a number of the station and we haven't got a crossover activities that very two tickets and the honest truth.

I think there's no doubt it's going to be harder to deliver some of these events sort of like-for-like is at work, so we may have to have a look at them and prioritise certain events or brothers whether the fit within the network and whether he actually work for local partners as well, but I think overall what we can see is there are going would be remain active in all the Communities to retain a presence there and more important than anything is to reflect on air the many important events that happened in each of these.

Up and down the country and I make sure that listeners and and Partners have have access to that information and tools events fabric from me to be cynical, but in silicalite say it looks from the outside that you're happy rebrand stations that you've bought that weren't yours in the first place, but you're not doing it with some of your existing stations and I guess the reason for that is you got heritage names, but somebody that an eagle and Minster Swansea sounded.

Just as important heritage brand names in their locality as hallowmoor Clyde or Radio City are in there that argument but I think what we've always said is that we will only rebrand stations were we see an opportunity to increase audience and also have looked at her own stations and unbalance so far.

We think that retaining our kind of Heritage and there was more audience than rebranding now what I was already said earlier of courses with qualifications.

We do believe there's a significant audience outside to the network.

Navigate by rebranding the station, so we think that that's the reason why we decided to rebrand their qualifications and another own, but you know should we see it upside opportunity going forward within our own brand of course look at that but again you know these acquired stations.

We think the network opportunity for audience growth is insignificant and then that's the rationale for rebranding on about the digital listening and that our house which is obviously higher than many of the groups in the industry average at the same time these groups that you bought had some did portfolio and you decided to shut all that down.

What's the thinking? They're all the required and obviously we had a close.

Look at the digital report along with one with everything else and with mapped against our own digital offering and unfortunately the end of that that serve assessment it was pretty clear that the digital stations that work.

Prettymuch duplicated stations that we already had in our portfolio such as absolute ease up or magic at the musicals and so tough decisions to close them to concentrate our efforts as you'll be aware that you were digital innovation is at the heart of what borough is all about and we have a pretty well developed a portfolio of digital stations in we're always looking for opportunities to innovate and to launch new services as we have recently with 40 stations around VE Day or a scholar or country Hits radio and it was just unfortunate the innovation that happened in these groups were matched from a format point of view the same things that we've already been doing but but there's other opportunities that are we would love to have a look at it.

It's ok and finally as a vast number of Staff of vast number of new buildings that you've only can I have your hands on for the 6-weeks plus you've got all day technical.

Putting play assistance in making a network happen by September as I think you hoping to do all this rebranding.

I count that as probably the biggest single integration of stations into work that we've ever seen in the UK are you confident you can do all that within just a few months.

Yeah, I think it's it's a major technical undertakings you say but we have a very large team on this week and our and really confident that seemed quite a bit of time planning this and we believe that there are combined of course with the put the broadcasting 80 teams in the car business, which which I work with on this project.

I've got every confidence that would be will be delivering on time and and really robust and efficient and obviously those staff and freelance affected being communicated with today through the day what kind of your message for them.

Pull in terms of their fears and worries about what might happen going forward.

I think I think it's for the people affected by this clearly order a result of the number of roles within the core business being impacted and as I said at the start.

I think you are job is to treat people fairly with as much variety of respect as you can to minimise the job losses throughout this process and to provide the right support through it and and it's going to be at off time for everyone involved, but we believe that the right decisions for the business and for continued the business long-term so I really want to see in infinality is order.

Thank you have been running in some cases best-in-class local radio Services across the UK and they've done a brilliant job in maintaining market leadership in.

Over the years you know some of the successful marketers for 20-years and the conclusions that we've come to as I said earlier in Norway disrespect or diminishes performance.

I think you'll leave delivered an excellent vs.

Model of last 20-years.

We have filled all the markets changing around us and if we don't change that and innovate and and forward there's a fear that these patients would last the next 20 years so we have to make some tough decisions in order to make sure that the combination of these businesses are ready to compete effectively possibly can be within the digital future the PC and at the heart of all this is the rise in digital listening and our ability to create a network that has growth opportunity for both audiences for revenues and suits the needs of our

Changing listen to habits of other of our listeners and also the changing requirements of an advertisers, so that's the heart of of why we've announced his plans today the radio Today programme with broadcast bionics creators of The Bionic studio listening watching reacting to and learning from every spoken word Kolo sweet and SMS to unlock the bionic studio transforms everything about radio except the way you make it on the radio Today programme Martin is still here as well.

So what do you make these plans then Roy good ideas is what we are expecting all along really something like this was going to happen as well.

We're expecting it.

That's at the Beginning then I was a bit surprised.

I don't know what else I think I was expecting more of a 50/50 split between stations becoming Hits radio and stations becoming great.

What we've got in power saying rights.

It's time for Greatest Hits to go on pretty much everything we're not going to change anything to hit radio will let nation do that and see what happens in in Southampton so yeah, it's Tricky and your question there about why they've rebranded all of the station.

They just bought instead of their own political answer.

I think he gave to to exactly why I still don't quite understand it.

Why one rule doesn't apply to talk to all of them but an interesting move.

I'm looking forward to to see what happens.

It's it's obviously a big day for a people working in Radeon people working in those groups because there's a lot of an listen to now and we'll have to see what happens like people I mean we've put some numbers numbers on radio about the number of honour shift and we must rest kind of the way we were.

On a very basic level looking at the present as listed on websites for all the stations in these groups currently operating as stand-alone stations that are open then worked out.

How many presents is there needs to run the the network operation on these stations and it's a big drop about 160.

We reckon presenter roles lost their also be Junction rolls Rolls in terms of management and programming an admin and receptionist and all sorts of things and obviously engineering many of these roles in various parts of the country, but will need people because obviously they don't have existing operations in some parts of the country where they bought station, so I'm sure there will be a significant number of new opportunities for people to stay on and take out as another big shift and it's 12 months on from when it happened the last time with all the staff at global as well as we saw in the weeks and months after global did there.

What shall we say a lot of presenters and producers and staff went on to work for a feel for the rival stations that went on to the podcast I went on to the other things that help the majority of them continue to do what we all love and that's that's radio and hopefully this will happen with the people who are affected today at dower.

It's just strange how I mean this happened months ago, and it was in my mind, but there's got to be entitled radio building with the operating today full of staff that I just been closed down and that's such a big thing in radio when an entire radio station, just basically becomes a real it's very sad obviously progress and it's business and it has to happen because you already have to survive so we want to do whatever we can to help as we did when global we had a page radio / available, so if you find out you want me today, but if you find out in the coming weeks and months that you are suddenly available and you don't.

Obviously, I'll get your demos together.

You'll get your CV sorted out but if we can help if we can lift you on our website as somebody who is looking for work because of this then just drop us an email and we will give you a shout out on Radio 2 the afternoon.

That's the least we can next very kind of you very kind of you of course.

It's weird times at the moment.

You meant you you said there's radio stations today full of people because they're not for the people because many of them fighting with people working from home by the broadcasting from home or you are all the office that people home.

Sorry take me to weird time anyway.

It's uncertain time for a lot of people financially and the news like doesn't help and then obviously don't get it in person either you get it for her video like yeah.

That's another one more about today's that it's not even a staff meeting or you're all together in a room watching a a person to Euro just basically still at home wondering what's going on watching a video of somebody tell you you might have a job in the coming months.

It's it's not good so I'll do.

Do you get in touch if we can help yeah, and there are lots of stories out there as you say as well of people have been through this go out the other end are the retrain find something else to do obviously that wasn't in a global pandemic situation from a couple years ago might be a little bit different but do ask for help.

You share your story share your circumstances on on your socials and your friends and your colleague groups that will be other people who've three similar and will be able to tell you that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's worth sticking at it and a few other things going on this week.

Not a lot but some changes at classic FM that's right John Suchet who feels like he's been on Classic FM in the mornings for a decade he's moving to evenings Alexander Armstrong is taking over the mid-morning show with Sue tonight on the BBC annual plan as well.

What does it say about radio David Lloyd was blogging about it? You can do letters RIBA

For him, that's quite a good read quite a long read but worth it and off comes been on the phone there.

They want to remind you all about your obligations during covid-19 that and more on Radio today dot that's making sure you logging and you know doing things properly I guess it's just a bit of a helping hand if you're having trouble paying your broadcast then get in touch and we may be able to work out a bit of a deal.

That's what they say x x right have a lovely couple of weeks right because it's round table week next week.

So you won't be on you can have the week off that yeah, hopefully next week.

We'll have more time to digest all this power news from today and the roundtable Trevor hopefully that'll be a big point of discussion on the podcast absolutely is coming up to take us back in time shortly first reminder about cleanfeed which is great in these lockdown days for doing your show from home or giving a

To your podcast from their home at checkout cleanfeed dotnet to find out all about it is designed for ready people in for podcasters.

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We had an unprecedented announcement on and that's where we leave and as it was before coronavirus until they are able to return something a bit different from the average archive over the last 20-years better way to start the foundations without serious began 70 years ago this week with a pilot series are just in the Midlands on the BBC Home Service I wasn't very happy about that.

Turn on Farming I was the producer I feel to you and if you could understand why people who knew anyway and the people who want to be going well this could understand technical the wind in my love and he's would be a good idea if you call her a conference in Birmingham of all family facts from all over the region and she did very hyper and conference in the end of it infected the conference with the last hour telling with this fan of Lincolnshire and then go Henry bird said what we need is a farming Barton what he had in mind of course was that the Dangerous and the risks in farming.

Where are just as great as a pilot was well received and the Archers propaganda six months later across the UK country.

Got commercial radio this week 40 years ago it began with Ian Rufus borrowing the phrase Dickie Attenborough used in motion capital.

Used before for the very first time good morning from Murcia sound for the very first time in Coventry and Warwickshire absolutely right at the time and we got lot of feedback and then we came to the first chicken or the first one and the results came in this is Mike Enfield mining plan music this is going to be bad news and he said have a guess what we he reaches.

I said I know 25% 30% have been great.

He said 54% weekly reach.

This is it this is Dan Hartman kicking off in London ready to become smooth smooth prepared to take the place of jazz in London this week in 2005 but of course that jazz brand to return and it's recently celebrated its 30th anniversary remains one of the top officers of states in UK radio and this week in 1988, Simon

Installed and this is me taking me 5 weeks to get used to waking up early.

That's what I've been doing all this time 8 minutes past 7 you may well have read that there is going to be a team.

Look after you getting up for breakfast every morning.

I'll introduce you to the various members of the team as they crop up the first one is here her name is Carol Dooley good morning taking care of the Travelling weather.

Where do you come from? I come from the Emerald Isle Kilkenny actually and your life Is Dream 10 seconds back on it now.

I think that it was the most under produced under the breakfast show radio one can ever of launched.

I think because they've been a management split over there's when I went on there that be no promotion at all.

So the only thing is there any problems with the ones that I'd made myself.

It was it was alright with Johnny decided that he wanted to do format and I was happy to go with that.

I was happy to do beginning.

Started the show so was Rodney in Carol and it was the Carol wasn't exactly what they wanted and so they started making changes and Sybil ruscoe and then Dianne oxberry the rest in peace and Jackie brambles part of that kind of breakfast vibe, but it was head spinning times because the Radio 1 Breakfast Show was still the biggest in Europe Simon Mayo reflecting on Radio 1 breakfast which he began 32 years ago programs credit to their creator decades later.

Desert Island Discs does he was Roy Plumley that he died this week 35 years ago.

It was a cold November night in 1941.

I was living in digs and a Hertfordshire village bike over I was already in my pyjamas.

I need it was an idea strong enough for a series of six programs.

I was just about to get into bed and then I have the inspiration normally.

I would have been inclined to leave it to the Morning by which time I probably forgotten about it, but I felt compelled to go straight to my typewriter Roy plomley the great opening to show only then to play out the wrong version charger right now in superstore.

Turn on the lights for the start of the program.

It's classed as leaving LBC 3 years ago launched in Macclesfield 22 years ago Celtic and we'll start a full program service from Bank Holiday Monday the 25th of allegations of the 6th of July 17 years ago Downing Street house, or says ordered a week before publication ordered it to be set up to be made more exciting screen.

Old such setting up his own pirate radio station 56 years ago 36 years ago.

Play this week and next week on the radio Today programme probably more reaction to this week's big news as well as the wider look at the industry issues and some listening recommendations for your ears as well Trevor down Returns for our virtual roundtable discussion for June to understand that next time.

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