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Read this: Gary Stein and Ric Blaxill from Bauer chat about GHR London

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Gary Stein and Ric Blaxill from Bauer ch…

The radiator day programme with broadcast bionics creators of The Bionic studio listening watching reacting to and learning from every spoken adcola sweet and SMS for a mix unlock and understand your content to the bionic studio transformed everything about radio except the way you make it a warm welcome to this week's edition of the radio Today programme.

I'm Debbie Mag and I'm your guest house for this week.

Usually your phone me on Greatest Hits radio from 1 till 4 p.m.

Every day in many areas of the UK including London and it is a girl's name exciting time for Aldi's news in the capital this week as Greatest Hits radio arrives on the 105.8 FM frequency to talk about just that I'm joined by Gary steens group program director for the Hits Radio branch, network and Ric Blaxill Talent director London for GHA hire boat.

So Gary this is obviously a big moment for Greatest Hits radio enjoying hearing and back on the official that they they love listen so much and by the time we will have lunch stone 105.8 FM across London so the chance for a mince pie called between 47 and drive time with his confessions and all request Friday so it's just Grey So So for you know another potential 12.2 million lessness selfie adjoining joining the Greatest Hits family on on Monday so my timing in Reading I've never remember a launch and a station that's grown as quickly as greatest hits has over the misty Mountains the schedule Italian lineup that you know this is really exciting and we're going such strong listener feedback which is Which is just great to see everyday and started off.

DAB and am but what does it mean to be on FM now in so many areas of the UK and particularly in London grew out of the original heritage audience that came to listen to Commercial radio on the 1780s so metro Piccadilly red Rose how long as it was then and to you know it was on am at the time in stations explain to to offer to services and the FM's so the more contemporary formats in the Hemsworth in the first time the golden oldies and then we more recently with added in FM in Liverpool and we saw some great audience numbers.

They are with this format and Liverpool and a couple of years ago.

I started DAB distribution of we had FM in the West Midlands on 105.2 down in the West Midlands and of course can a rebranded last year many of the local stations the

Acquired in England and Wales to Greatest Hits radio so adding yeah, he's a lot more coverage, so I think I think making Greatest Hits available on FM in London is a really significant to two alternative to build the reach for the station and the influencing win as we know is the biggest market in the UK maybe should do a test with you one day to see if you know the frequencies of every single station that too many I just know about three or four of them to be honest.

I think I feel 105.8 FM frequency decided station, then I think we're always looking for new ways to grow into it.

So so how we use our frequencies and dab carriage is becoming more and more importance of the switch to greatest hits on London on FM is a move that we feel will deliver a bigger bar audience in London when I think we on the audience behaviours changing you know.

Arduino the move to digital is is going really fast well Abbie DAB or IP or On Demand is growing and I think obviously so last week the launch of audio plus another really good abayo embracing that digital future which is see no no just coming down the tries, but it but it's here so so absolute was has been for a long time out a real Pioneer space saving and we can see that because you know absolute has 3 of the UK's top 10 digital only commercial stations and Absolute Radio is already commercial radios digital listening Market market Leader 70% of listening to absolute comes via digital platforms, so they have succeeded in converting more and more of their audience to listen digitally signing is salut Lee right but the next important step in absolute evolution is to go fully digital so with you know 105.8 I think there is an opportunity to add more choice in law.

I don't think I don't think there's a station like greatest hits in London and I think we know this formats is the number one for my many many many major cities around the world, so I'm I'm really busy for the next few years in terms of how we can start to build this brand in London into a really big player Greatest Hits along with Simon Mayo to launch.

The new drivetime show now you've been working with him for years and years haven't you? Can you tell us a little bit more about your relationship relationship goes back a long time we both joined radio pretty much the same time on radio one was reposition itself in a kind of late 80s and Mark Goodier joined.

Nicky Campbell joined Simon Mayo giant from a presenting point of view and then myself and the band who was the lead singer of stiff Little Fingers which are a great punk band join us producers and then I ended up working producing breakfast with Simon for about 5-years and we had a

We tried a lot of good ideas the show is really interact with audiences.

We were looking to build community we have lots of fun outside of the studio as well with road shows and events, but essentially the heart of everything we tried to just making the day-to-day show special and we've got a strong relationship with each other over that time we were both pretty young to get such a big big job Billy and each other and I learnt a lot from signing in that time and I still do he's incredible broadcaster truly nice person and they were very happy times and then went into TV introduced Top of the Pops invited Simon back as a host on that so good to work with him there again and then most recently when putting scala radio together.

Just having catch up with Simon and coffee and chat about life as we did and there was a time when I was able to introduce car concept 2 scholar interlagos conversations all about a new project and a different way of thinking and then we have many more conversations not-so-secret meetings around London leading up to Simon joining.

Which which was quite a moment for scala quite a moment for power and I think quite a moment for commercial radiator broadcaster Simon calibre joining commercial radio and then power organisation is really keen for its Talent to get other opportunities on other brands if the passion is there and Simon is a great fan of pop music and the opportunity to do the album chart on Greatest Hits so he fully appreciated that he's really enjoyed doing that and that has now gone to the opportunity of him presenting drive on which is he said he had unfinished business there, so you know the show starting on March 15th and it's so it's settling down rather nicely and it's just a joy to be working with him again every single day, but haven't listened to the show yet.

What sort of thing and they expect to hear on it with a big sign of favourite features in there would be Love by listener.

So confessions are back or

Plays back which is listening created great cause on are getting the feel good vibe Ready for the Weekend musically.

There's the Brucie bonus if you're a Springsteen fancy some fun stuff like Friday muppetry is back and that phone Simon Mayo jingles.

Been remixed for Greatest Hits matty's back doing the sports Nigel Barney's back in the kitchen doing some food, so there's some really comfortable Andrea elements first-timers listeners will follow his career too kind of enjoy with the new show on Greatest Hits radio and the new list as it's just fun and it's warm is engaging a game with trying to build a community any some music loving showing as noob new content like drivetime drama where we act out song titles between guess what the song title is that's just brilliant it can be a bit sore, but it's really good engagement and a lot of fun.

We got a big 45 which is celebrating the wonder of the 7th single we got a feature called 624 dance floor with a message.

There is stop.

You're doing and dance now.

We've also got a physical Three Steps to Heaven three big songs from a chart from a different year wonderful musical crescendo to end the show massive songs yesterday was just just amazing we paid Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt and then we play Janet Jackson rhythm nation so we getting some great songs away mix of Music and good for the music by Billie at the station as well as the music variety can hear from your voice just how much you're enjoying it in the excitement and then that jingle.

I'm just completely obsessed.

I find it hard to talk about the show on here without saying myself anyway, how would you say this show or drivetime has had to adapt to changes over the last year it I mean that's really interesting because drivetime for most people kind of disappeared in the last year over lock down.

There was a lot of driving going on there was a lot of commuting going on but that day part became a really important part of the day.

People to start bookending their day rather and gets sucked into a clock list working pattern, so I kind of become like a radio punctuation point in the day.

We try to highlight that even more how do you spell mention 624 dance for I mean there was a specific reason for that that featured a go in there and it was to tell listeners to stop working to start winding down to log off to stop to relax yourself.

Enjoy the evening started.

So that was really key to us and there was and that kind of heading to some really good research.

That has been doing just about new ways of working and how they're playing to radio strengths and how music and radio are helping many people break up their day not only keeping them company but helping them build routines, so I mean in the research as well as just interesting to find 6% of people find it hard to switch off after work 23% and it's hard to separate work and home life in lockdown, so we take that responsibility on by creating a feature.

Stop breathe reset log of go and cook some dinner go for a run go for a walk.

Have a good time.

That's it.

It's about making that break between special if you're working from home making between work and right ok.

I've switched off now and that's it.

I mean to my evening should we take a short break? I'll put the kettle on although neither of you here, so I can't make you a cup of tea.

Sorry play music for This podcast was composed by MiKasa bionic radio so Simon sits along the Lights of Paul Gambaccini Janice Long Mark Goodier Pat Sharp visas steam broadcasters have been on the radio for years and years Gary can you talk about how you shape the lineup for the station itself to be in there, too.

Listen to starting with the audience and I think I think we know the listeners tune into Greatest Hits radio first and foremost for the music and I think this audience delicious that like to be pigeonholed with a certain type of music so they grew up can have with each other's music and you know they love variety and and and they want the music to take them back to suppose the heyday in the 1790s and a lot of the time.

That's music that they might not have heard for ages, but still some home no some most of the words to we didn't listen inside last one person saying Greatest Hits radio sport it says it is it's not sure to be anything more than the music it says it in its name and that's why I listen and try not to forget that so you mentioned time in in Camborne janisson, and markings Pat Ross and Andy crane greatest schedule, but we built a schedule around presenters and this is really important because they've

Through this music they play this music on the radio when he sounds hurts and they're really knowledgeable about this music and you know they got the credibility and the trust of the audience that listen to the station and some really interesting things to say about about the music as well.

I think the strong kanomusic centre for Grace is also Borne out.

Some of this specialist gramming so if you listen across the the schedule you're here greatest superstar switch colour is an in-depth on an artist that has you know created Cena simsimsom iconic music over the years America's greatest hits with gamble.

I mean you listen to that show you hear songs that you know but you'll see your songs that you may be done and you know the some interesting Discovery same as Romans album show or deadpool's Rhythm of the Night on a Friday so I think I'm incredibly proud of how far we've come with the schedule and

Less than 2-years you know the the Greatest Hits radio audience that I suppose the original I think of them is the original radio generation.

I mean they grew up listening to the songs on the radio on and still give listening to Radio today, which I think I think there is why this format is growing as fast as it is the words songs so many songs which makes this format really exciting I mean we know how many iconic artists time with hits in 70s 80s 90s, but still sound amazing today when you lift them off.

Can you clean out in boy ELO Fleetwood Mac Stevie Wonder Woman and I think greatest hits of the songs they do still sound great today and all those artists.

The other thing is huge back catalogue songs you know for some radio stations, you know they may play for Now by Queen the unit 3 songs on rotation.

I think with greatest hits a little pride in going a lot deeper than that and and obviously the music proposition is about it's about good times and it's about how I suppose music-jobs the memory to those moments in a field first record for stands first concert best summer holiday first vaccine be there.

So so yes, that's that's supposed of of the music by the 89 the so many songs so what ways have you been working with labels and artists then? I think it's really important for us greatest sister build a really strong relationship with the music industry and because we're playing with his amazing cattle.

Music in the first place and we looking at how we can work with labels and artists a little bit closer and Maccabi simple things like invigorating back catalogue sales from the music with physical sales office streaming we can support new releases of best of albums from karate that we play a we celebrate a lot of artists music in series like Greatest Hits superstars, and it covers a lot of I mean artists featured in that recently range from Earth Wind and Fire To The Bee Gees Culture Club Fleetwood Mac and Bryan Adams so loads of great storytelling as well going on around the memories around the music so it's really good will be supporting albums on sun and mayo show with an album of the week which is another chance to reinvigorate some back catalogue looking for GoPro opportunities for Greater artists on tour and we're going to be looking to support retro music events through commercial opportunities are sponsorship and then ultimately working directly with artists and labels to create.

Greatest Hits radio events that it was just good to hear you say those two words b2bi.

Cos I know how desperate you are to go to a gig again Rick Stein is leaking bath so we are expanding in London I know we're celebrating the Landmark moment in a few ways.

So this week.

I'm playing London's Greatest Hits all the listeners in the capital of requesting.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what we've got planned London programming and you just mentioned you're going to be doing running across the whole day.

There's going to be a really exciting FM launched at 6 a.m.

On Monday also across that we can the day going to be playing out and lots of art is messages with heading to the station from and people we play welcoming Greatest Hits radio to London FM which is great time specifically will also be celebrating the London FM switch on with London theme content with actually managed to get a London themed confession which is really good free.

Going to be London themed, so big 45.

He's going to be London themed.

We can have a new listen a day where we going to be welcome in new listeners over trying to sort out for the first time on FM into the Greatest Hits family and then also in the week delighted to say that we don't have subs on the show who is a true Londoner unfortunately is a Chelsea fan, but he's a true Londoner and all the wonderful musical heritage that say I know you struggle with anybody who doesn't support Arsenal rig a problem with Simon actually the Spurs fan, but you know we've been to the council and worked out through the top 500 countdown which launched yesterday and this is our annual countdown generator generating huge listener interaction for us and we've just launched the voting phase on that is also going to be the 1 million-pound cash register across period and it's a huge promotion with massive amounts of money to be one every day in May and that started yesterday is a special edition of greatest hits.

A lunch break featuring Nile Rodgers which is a fantastic listen and also looking at a documentary series called cities of Sounds were commissioned a four-part series on land and it's influence on the greatest hits of the 70s 80s and 90s that's going to be called London Calling and we're hoping to get down here in the next few weeks and it's also some fun stuff going on as well.

There's something called I can imagine which is what we call in this is basically pop stars from the 80s dressing up as pop icons that have inspired them so we got Carol Decker doing something for us Sunita involved in that as well.

So keep that because it's a really fun way to celebrate our wonderful musical offer and that's all on top of all the great stuff that we doing on here to celebrate being in London on FM and Gary we're not just on the radio where on the telly as well in the form of a TV advert.

Such good fun for making a mess with with the agency that helped us in a we did it were in the middle of long time she was old could have done remotely but they used used in animation technique called rotoscoping basically everything is created frame-by-frame and the ad just looked amazing.

So if you haven't seen I'm sure you will be seen on the new TVs but it is really representative of the brand music from Elton John ABC in and she come there SO30 really iconic Greatest Hits so yeah, so the tv, marketing is an in full swing Debbie what's the saying it then you're gonna love this part guys in Honour of Simon Mayo confession feature.

I thought we finish up by getting you to fess up so we start with you Gary you got something to fit up.


I suppose.

Several pictures as a teenager on my bedroom wall in the 80s one was Madonna obviously around the time and Like a Virgin then a few years later and I have never confessed anyone.

It's somebody that no works on the greatest hits on greatest hits and is on the line up and do you have any idea Debbie who it might be would it be but any chance Jenny Powell well, if she doesn't hear This podcast I'm definitely telling so rich.

It's over to you.

Have good confessions.

There will mind one is a bit of a cheeky Monkeys is a big passion of mine which associate with me at all, but I'm absolutely passionate about bird watching and I'm still a singer in a

And yes, I love that.

What's the punk band called All Stars 2 and sadly world tour got cancelled like many other bands to have got cancelled as well, so we're looking for getting back in the studio and use a world where were you going well to be honest.

There are two venues in the same High Street and we were looking to play the one at the bottom of the road and one of the top of the road, so the world was really good to have a street.

So thank you very very much for coming onto the podcast today and it all sounds really really exciting I'm super proud to be part of it.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Debbie podcast was composed by MiKasa

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