Oak FM Closes Down

By James Martin
Posted 28 July 2016, 4.08pm edt

Radiotoday currently have the story:

Really sad about this. It wasn't a massive station but not exactly Star Stroud either! The first station that got me into radio.

Good luck to all affected, let's hope something can rise from the ashes.


3 years, 3 months ago

Aircheck Downloads have the audio. It appears to have been a sudden decision as the presenter wasn't aware until he played the final track up to 1800.

3 years, 3 months ago

It's perhaps ironic that given the very "old-school ILR" approach the station took under ATR Media that it happened in a shockingly similar way to Centre Radio 33 years previously. Then, of course, the presenter too was given just seconds to prepare the announcement that the station was to be no longer.

Having spoken to staff at the station tonight, it does appear to have been a very sudden decision and little notice was given. The backup CD (not changed from the "We Never Grew Up" format) has run since 18:00.

The audio is now attached to the RT news story, by the way.

I'm not sure the almost "anything goes" format was right. I'm sure if a certain exiled duo were still here they'd be full of praise for it, but it just doesn't work on such a competitive dial. Quidem were going the right way with it between 2012-2014, but the first mistake was doing the rock format and that daft Queen stunt, and the second was abandoning it for something completely different but keeping the same imaging style associated with the rock format.

If a rescue comes, major changes will be needed not just commercially but in programming terms too.

The other concern is the Quidem-owned Touch FM Tamworth still operates out of the building, I wonder if this will be affected?

3 years, 3 months ago

The other concern is the Quidem-owned Touch FM Tamworth still operates out of the building, I wonder if this will be affected?

I'd speculate that ATR were renting space from Quidem as part of the deal to sell the station.

As you say, 'Absolute-Lite' didn't work for them, then going for the full service ILR style format was asking for trouble. If you're going to go to all the effort to target a male skewed audience to then change it back to the usual safe AC female skewed ground, then it's no wonder that they couldn't find an audience, when the latter has the likes of Bauer and Global/Communicorp in their TSA's.

3 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty sure Quidem rented the studio from ATR although I may be wrong. Either way, there's a Global/Communicorp type deal there.

Trying to recreate the ILRs of yesteryear was, frankly, a bonkers decision. Some of the music choices were, frankly, bizarre, as you can hear from the telescoped aircheck of the ending. Billie Myers, Nick Lowe and Coolio, followed by a closedown announcement I can only describe as Partridgean.

How three different owners managed to get it so wrong is just baffling. It was the station that got me into radio so I feel a kind of dual sense of sadness but anger too because this was very avoidable.

3 years, 3 months ago

Followed by a closedown announcement I can only describe as Partridgean.

It's still no rinky dinky do!

3 years, 3 months ago

That's very true. Still say that in my head if I hear that song, even though I wasn't even born when Centre died.

3 years, 3 months ago


I can officially announce that I have joined forces with the Cross Counties Radio organisation to attempt a rescue bid for the local commercial radio license for Hinckley & Nuneaton, held until last Thursday by Oak FM (Hinckley & Nuneaton) Ltd., trading as Oak 107.

Our vision is for a co-operative station owned by the local community. At this moment in time we are seeking local businesses and individuals who would wish to be involved with a new local radio station for the Hinckley & Nuneaton area.
Interested parties should email in the first instance.

James Martin is a former presenter for Fosseway Radio and Oak FM, and currently presents the breakfast show on MKFM in Milton Keynes. He was a volunteer for Cross Counties Radio during their RSL trial broadcasts in 1996. He currently runs James Martin Entertainment, supplying mobile disco services across the Midlands.

Cross Counties Radio were a bidder for the license alongside eventual winners Fosseway Radio in the 1990's. Since that time they have developed a network of online community stations across the East Midlands under the Cross Counties banner.

3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Martin.

Whilst I'm no angel on forums, it's sad that DigitalSpy have got the knives out for me, and the only real faults found were a rogue apostrophe or two and someone thinking that I am "a prick." Guessing they won't want to work for me then.

It's odd, isn't it? I'm always being told by that lot that "networking is bad, local is good" - and our proposal is for a more local service rather than a regional one. But now I'm a "prick" for wanting to do that.

Just a shame that we're the only two people left here Martin, pretty much, because Chuckle brothers notwithstanding, you used to be able to have a good chat here.

3 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't concern yourself with DS anoraks getting wound up by you re-joining with another DS account and concentrate offline on the actual serious side of acquiring Oak FM. Advertisers, backers and listeners on your side, none of which post on DS.

Personally a not-for profit station sounds a lot more realistic for the TSA than the discussion of a certain small-scale DAB Scottish radio station on DS that has had more posts than hot dinners.

3 years, 3 months ago

Must admit it was very odd not to see the Heart Scotland thread reappear this week!

3 years, 3 months ago

After Oak's demise, Touch Staffs is moving into the Quidem hub in Kenilworth.

3 years, 3 months ago

Puts rest to speculation Quidem would buy it back (without the debt, obviously.)

3 years, 3 months ago

Well, this is all very interesting.

To bring you all up to speed: our bid was, unfortunately, rejected.

It turns out that the liquidator will only sell both licenses and the associated assets and TX contracts, plus the lease on the Coalville studios, which is a massive millstone for anyone without seriously deep pockets.

It's all got very murky locally. I understand a contract went out to a buyer ten or so days ago. Apart from that, it's all gone extremely quiet indeed. However, both TXes are playing out their respective backup CDs nearly a month after shutdown.

However, both transmitters are still on-air, playing out their respective backup CDs. So not only are both licenses massively in breach of format, someone's paying the electricity bill to keep these transmitters on.

The real issue here is that a community has lost its' voice. My hometown has no credible local news source except for the local newspaper who managed to get the commercial station mixed up with the local hospital station when they reported the story: need more be said?

For me, the last month has been marked by cloaks, daggers, hidden agendas and in some cases, downright double-crossing. It has become impossible for me to separate fact from fiction and nobody seems to have a clue what is going on.

If no serious buyer is coming forward, maybe it is time for Ofcom to revoke the licenses and allow the three towns in the TSA into the next round of community licensing. I will be at the front of the queue for a CR for Hinckley.

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