By Mark Kelly
Posted 17 July 2015, 4.34pm edt

Radio in the u.k. has for a long time being ruled by the the big boys and not giving others a chance.Quite simply it's all about the money but then that's business and let's not forget radio is a business weather it be community commercial or the private sector with each offering what they think we want to listen to.The likes of the big corporations have had it they own way for too long some would say it's good and without doubt have provided the nation with some quality.With the goverment now sticking it's nose into the BBC and trying to change the way they are run is it a bad thing.Look at what they provide without doubt a quality service world renown for it but at the same time not everything they do is good and there are a lot of people in the beeb paid a lot money public money.Now whilst I think the beeb and some other big corporations in radio do what it says on the tin it is time to have a massive shake up in all radio and for offcom to stop being so far up their own ass.In Europe the goverments fund commercial and community radio and licences are distributed equally is this a good thing?I'll let u decide.
In the age of the Internet it's not hard to set up a radio station and stream it and competition is fierce with some of these stations doing better that there bigger counter parts.Radio for me needs to move with the times and for me there are too many old fuddy duddys 2nd guessing what they think people want.So let's see how the big corps handle the goverment sticky there nose in will they survive I think so but at what cost.Lets take a seat and watch.


4 years, 10 months ago

I think I spotted one apparent fact in the above:

In Europe the goverments fund commercial and community radio and licences are distributed equally

I'm unaware of any European country where governments fund commercial and community radio, and where licences are distributed equally between all three services.

In Denmark, just to take a random example, DR's most popular service has an over 85% market share - leaving the commercial stations to battle of out for their part of what's left. In Austria, Ö3 has massive audiences, and not only takes one of the highest licence fees in the EU, but also carries advertising as well. Much of Western Europe has public service broadcasters that are significantly stronger than the BBC in terms of audience level.

4 years, 10 months ago

Hi James I was in strasbourg a few years ago on a radio conference and most European countries as am aware ie France Italy and a few others are given money from the government in the form of grants to radio stations with some of the commercial stations giving a percentage of their profits to community stations.Here in the u.k unless you have a lot of money or some very good sponsors there is no help for some stations within the radio industry.The rules here are so different here compared to Europe hence the reason why the radio industry here needs to wake up and get its head out the sand and help rather than put barriers up with stupid offcom rules.

4 years, 10 months ago

Mark, My home county in Scotland have two 5 year term community stations on air, partly supported by local council, health service & local advertising. There was a 3rd station on air, licensed for one month only, with the same combination of support.

I have a couple of pals who still fondly talk about the UK's Independent Local Radio (ILR) stations from years ago with their old licquorice allsorts programme schedules. The trouble was, the big ILR stations made money while smaller stations struggled, even ''to wash their own face''. Bigger stations in turn started to merge with neighbouring (commercially) fragile stations and eventually gobbled up others. The point being ILR was just a stepping stone in the evolutionary process of radio!

The BBC radio domestic service still has real choice with drama, comedy, documentaries, current affairs, culture and arts, popular music and so on, all that including BBC television for less than the price of a pint of beer per week.

Although imperfect, UK radio choice is the best on offer in my book!

4 years, 10 months ago

Willie excellent point whilst i don't disagree with what you have said it would be nice for stations like yours and mine to have more say and a bit more power instead if the big boys ruling the roost all the time the beeb will always be the beeb and provide a great service I just feel that radio in general needs to wake up and not asume what people want.The beeb will evaluate itself and I have no doubt will come out on top after all its the public who pay for it.They is choice in radio which is a good thing it just needs to be supported from the bottom it's where we all started.In the u.k unless your a media organisation or a corporation you have little chance of survival.There is warning for the government though taking on the beeb could really back fire on them it's a very powerful organisation.Its going to be intresting to see how it unfolds as it could re structure radio and how it moves forward.

4 years, 10 months ago

The BBC has been forced to lose part of the licence fee to local television, so I don't see why the big radio companies, such as Global & Bauer, aren't forced to pay let's say no more than 1% of their total revenue (not profits, which can be tweaked to show no profit, but revenue), to community radio to support it.

4 years, 10 months ago

Yes Ian it happens in Europe it wouldn't hurt a small amount for them

4 years, 10 months ago

Going back to the old ILR standalone franchise holders in their respective local areas, the old Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) did work on a sort of Robin Hood principle of the big city stations indirectly supporting the smaller stations with transmitter and studio rental cost differentials. The smaller franchise holders in modest populated service areas generally required additional transmitter hardware to overcome hilly terrain and so on. The additional hardware was affordable to the smaller outfits with a modest increase on rentals paid to the old IBA (additional coverage normally added at franchise renewal, according to the old IBA handbooks).

Don't get me wrong, I like the sentiment of big fry supporting small fry radio outfits. I think in reality, big fry's nose could be put out of joint if small fry is nibbling away listeners and profit from big fry's primary protected service area! That is why your local council and other local services may be a better way of supporting a community radio project!

4 years, 10 months ago

To my mind, it would be more preferable to have community radio stations in this country be more like public radio stations in the US where donations from the public and organisations actually fund the station, but we don't have the kind of history of supporting broadcasters in this country, we haven't had to, because of the BBC.

That's why I think we do need the big guys to support community radio, for a while, maybe 10 years, before we get to a point where stations can garner enough support from the public.

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