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"Professionals" That Are Found Out To Be Amateurs

By Art Grainger
Posted 2 March 2015, 4.50am est
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It was the incident that had ordinary members of the public discussing it on social media.

I will happily own up that I have submitted my complaint about it to OfCom because I don't think it should go unchecked by the same broadcasting regulator who has penalised other (smaller) radio stations for slightly lesser offences of swear words going out on air at a time when deeply religious grannies and even young children might be listening.

So, apparently due a technical fault, Heart Scotland didn't quite switch over to a clean feed form the networked show from London and instead listeners across the east of Scotland heard Robin Galloway and his side-kick Adelle having a private conversation, whilst also doing some production work for their show.

Unfortunately, also heard during that time was some very strong swear words, including what is perhaps one of the worst and most offensive words than any gutter-mouthed chav would use. You wouldn't expect to hear a professional radio presenter with decades of radio experience (on some of the biggest stations in the UK) say them into a live microphone, even if he thought that the studio was off-air.

So I have come to my point. Even hobby presenters in hospital radio, student radio and community radio know NOT TO SWEAR within the walls of a radio studio and treat every microphone as being live, even if you know for sure that it's not and the studio is dead. As Robin has found out, through his amateur behaviour, things can go wrong.

Of course, there are other underlying causes for this, all of which have the Titanic effect that if any one of them was removed, the disaster probably wouldn't have happened. If Robin had been in on off-air production studio instead of the main studio, if Heart was live and LOCAL with another presenter in the main studio who would have been able to react very quickly, if Robin had left the microphone faders down when having the private conversations and so on, ten it wouldn't have happened However, just like the sinking of the Titanic was ultimately caused by the human error of going too fast on someone's decision, then the ultimate reason for this disaster is that Robin left his professionalism outside of the studio. If it had been a simple conversation without swear words, this post would not have been written and no complaints would have been made to OfCom.

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Comments

2 years, 8 months ago

I don't know about Heart, but I do know that in some radio stations, there is a separate mixing desk for production work, separate from the live desk. In theory, stuff done on the production desk shouldn't go live. Doesn't stop occasional mistakes from happening.

2 years, 8 months ago

Not a mistake.......! It was worse than that.

Much as I have made complaints about Robin in the past (I made one to the Radio Authority about his wind-up calls when he first started on Scot FM, the predecessor to Heart and Real Radio), I actually like him and think he is a great and very talented broadcaster - but he does have to be reigned in at times. Heck, I would have no problems or hesitation in giving him a job immediately after he lost one from another radio station.

On quite a few occasions in his career, despite his talents and abilities to create good broadcasting ideas and concepts, he has also jumped the shark a few times, epitomized with wind-up calls going out at 8.10AM because he didn't have better ideas for that slot.

If I had been managing the station, even though I like him, I would have suspended him for a week or more. I would also have used the opportunity to make the bad publicity into a public apology and hopefully gained good publicity as a result, which could have helped Heart's not-so-good audience figures in Scotland (they are lagging behind Real's audience figures by a very long way, not just in reach but especially in hours), whilst also being a big man and facing up to any consequences with the broadcasting regulator.

2 years, 8 months ago

It was an accident, Arthur. Everything you say in your posts about this I agree with, and, yes, anyone operating in radio should know the rule about not saying anything in front of a mic they don't want heard.

Frankly I'd further add to that the point that the topic of discussion was inappropriate for any workplace whatsoever, radio studio or not.

But at root Arthur this is just a terrible terrible accident.

2 years, 8 months ago

John - Ian used the word "mistake." It wasn't a mistake, it was downright disregard for basic studio etiquette and the one BIG rule that anyone who has done radio knows - or should know (and I would be extremely surprised if Robin doesn't know that).

As for being an accident, yes, absolutely. However, like all accidents, it could easily have been avoided. Like all accidents where's there's a cause, there's usually blame to an individual and/or an organisation.

In this case the blame lies with both the presenter and Heart. The presenter for swearing in a studio, which ended up being received (in a large broadcasting market of around 1 Million people) on people's radios in their own personal listening environment, long before the accepted watershed of children being in beds. Heart is also to blame because of the way that the transmission arrangement has been set-up and how it is monitored. This private conversation went out on air for a wee while before anyone within the station even noticed (or were alerted), when they probably should have had means of checking the output more effectively.

Other broadcasters have had to take a fall for other "accidents" of swear words going out on air during daytime. This has included guests (who have no understanding of OfCom's broadcasting guidelines) having loose tongues. It has also included unedited versions of songs creeping into the playout system and being played on just one occasion. One station was even penalised for playing a song that had a swear word, for which the word itself was of the type that it actually had to be explained to some people that it's a swear word and therefore offensive.

Again, I make the point that considering OfCom have (rightfully) disciplined other radio stations for such offences, then it should be the case that this incident also gets brought to their attention for them to decide to scrutinise. I hope they do uphold the complaint because it would be unfair on other broadcasters if they don't.

PRO2 years, 8 months ago

The station's in Glasgow, right? So none of the staff would have heard this going out, since it only went out in Edinburgh. I wonder whether that was one of the reasons for the apparently relaxed attitude towards this gaffe?

2 years, 8 months ago

Oh yes. It's in Glasgow - but the signal for Edinburgh can still be received at Bargeddie, especially on DAB. This gaffe was transmitted on 101.1 from the Craigkelly transmitter and 103.3 on the Penicuik relay. 101.1 has a spill over into eastern parts of Glasgow, before the signal is over-ridden by 101.1 from the Firth of Clyde. The DAB signal for the Edinburgh MUX can be heard even beyond Paisley.

2 years, 8 months ago

I can work out when or not is appropriate for strong language (I hate it when the media use the term 'bad language' as it's not bad.. using apostrophes in the wrong place is BAD, for example) and I wouldn't use in a workplace anyway, nor in a place where I'm surrounded by members of the public as it would feel out of place.

I've not heard the original faux-pas, but the offenders are obviously prats of the first order, but no-one's died. And as Michelle Pfeiffer said in the Fabulous Baker Boys: "I said it, I didn't do it(!)"

2 years, 8 months ago

Arthur, I must say I didn't know that going to network involved complicated automated switching. That evidently being so it beggars belief that no one spends the second it would take to check 101.1 to make sure this has happened.

2 years, 8 months ago

Here's another incident, this time on 5 Live.

http://radiotoday.co.uk/2015/03/john-inverdale-sorry-for-slip-of-the-tongue/

I am surprised there has been no outrage about this. Art, I would be interested in your views. Or has this one been let go because it is not Heart?

2 years, 8 months ago

Whilst also awful, that was a slip of the tongue, which is still quite different from someone being in a live studio (and it was live - let's not forget that) and freely using swear words with no regard for basic studio etiquette. Robin used a few swear words, in the context of everyday conversation from a guttermouth, in a short period of time and none of them could be interpreted in any way as slips of the tongue.

2 years, 8 months ago

I worked in big-league professional radio for years, and I've never been aware of any "basic studio etiquette" that says you don't swear in studios on the off-chance that they might unexpectedly be live. Everywhere I ever worked, people routinely swore in studios. In my experience, the biggest and most legendary names in radio swear like dockers when the mic's off. It was an absolutely unremarkable, everyday thing.

And of course, voicing sessions for ads, promos and idents are traditionally the sources of bloopers for Christmas tapes (does anybody make Christmas tapes any more?)

2 years, 8 months ago

Gareth, the key part of your post was "when the mic's off." In Robin's case, the mic was on and it was heard across Scotland's second largest radio market.

As for the beginning and the rest of your post, all I can say is .... oh dear.

2 years, 8 months ago

I can only reiterate that throughout in my radio career (initially BBC Essex and Essex Radio and then Capital FM, Virgin 1215 and BBC Radio 1, all during the 90s), there was NEVER any kind of standing policy or even vague intimation that it was "basic studio etiquette" that you never swear in a studio at any time. Everybody swore in studios, except when the mic was on. Some of the funniest moments were when very famous DJs expressed their personal opinion of the music in the most superbly gutter language, and then immediately opened the mic to gush about it in perfect DJ-speak.

In Robin's case, he was in a studio that he could quite reasonably have assumed to be off-air. If he's guilty of anything, it's failing to check that the studio was definitely off-air, but I suspect that the likelihood of it being on-air was so remote that he made the kind of assumption that any of us could have made.

Your implication that professional presenters would never swear in a studio under any circumstances is, frankly, nonsense. You may have imposed such a policy at any stations you may have run (I have to be honest and say I don't know what your background is), but it certainly wasn't policy anywhere I ever worked.

2 years, 8 months ago

I'd agree with that. I imagine the local/network switching at Heart is now a digital affair and consequently the switching unit is one ultimately controlled on Genesys. It does make it easy for accidents to happen though. Like cleaners unaware of the mechanics of touch screens...!

2 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm, looks like I can't edit my previous post, but the key point of your original post was "You wouldn't expect to hear a professional radio presenter with decades of radio experience (on some of the biggest stations in the UK) say them into a live microphone, even if he thought that the studio was off-air." My experience is that yes, you absolutely would. How many voicing sessions have you ever heard where the presenter didn't swear when they cocked up? They're talking into a live mic in an off-air studio. I could name very big names whose standard schtick, when asked for level, was to reel off a load of swear words. You can hear lots of similarly very big names swearing like dockers on the various Xmas tapes that BBC network radio used to put out in the 70s and 80s. And it's often very funny. Tommy Vance reacted to a cockup in a read with a line that I still use myself, using Tommy's exact inflection - "Fuck shit bollocks and arse".

2 years, 8 months ago

Sorry but I think the author is letting his hatred of Robin cloud his judgement I think that's plain to see, also to say John Inverdale's was "a slip of the tongue" is just indefensible he used one of THE biggest no no's for TV or radio.

As for the actual incident with Robin and Adele well all I can say is mistakes happen and as they both were under the impression that they were not broadcasting live then it should be treated as accidental that it went our live. As for there being some sort of "unwritten rule" about not swearing in a studio even when not live on air is a nonsense I know of no such thing.

2 years, 8 months ago

How about just not swearing in the workplace? Yes, there'll be times when I swear at home, but I find as I get older, I don't even swear casually when with friends. Compare that to a guy who I see regularly in the gym (thankfully he uses a different room than I do for most of the time) but when he's in the locker room, every other word is the f-word, and it makes him vulgar and crass. If that describes anyone reading this, then you really ought to drag yourself out of the stone age.

2 years, 8 months ago

I think the nail's been hit on the head there. Art has a general dislike of Heart and feels aggrieved at it replacing Real Radio, yet loves the BBC unconditionally and keeps going on about how wonderful Radio 2 is.

I'm just saying his argument may be more than a bit loaded.

2 years, 8 months ago

Art better not find out that R2 presenters swear in the studio, just like at every other radio station in the world.

2 years, 8 months ago

I'm surprised it's actually taken this thread such a long time before people start coming on with ridiculous suggestions that have nothing to with the debate whatsoever. I treat it as a sign of me winning the debate and them losing when they start saying things like "You only think that because you have a hatred or a dislike of X radio station or Y presenter, therefore you just want to moan about them......."

So Barry Dickson thinks that my "hatred of Robin" is "clouding" my judgement. he obviously hasn't read this thread terribly well because he failed to notice that I wrote this:

" I actually like him and think he is a great and very talented broadcaster - but he does have to be reigned in at times. Heck, I would have no problems or hesitation in giving him a job immediately after he lost one from another radio station."

Then James Martin rakes in his bag of comments and comes out with his extremely predictable line that I have a general dislike of Heart. Trust me James, Robin used to work on Radio Clyde and if he made the same mistake on Clyde, I would have complained about it - and I do no have a general dislike of Radio Clyde. As for feeling aggrieved that Heart replaced Real; Radio, I stopped listening to Real Radio many years ago, it's replacement with anything would make not a single bit of difference to my listening habits.

Then there's Gareth's points, which I find interesting and quite disappointing to learn that he has worked in places (and seemingly knows of others) where swearing in a studio is not banned, people do it often and it's even ridiculously side-splittingly funny. I should bear that in mind when I think of a young mother with a young child driving through the Lothians and Edinburgh, tuned to a local station and hearing the breakfast show presenter say the word "MOTHER*****S quite deliberately in a conversation on the radio in the morning.

2 years, 8 months ago

"A sign of me winning the debate" ??? Deary me I find that a pretty ridiculous thing to say, so basically if people don't agree with you then you just try and ridicule them and what they say?

I noticed you totally body swerved the John Inverdale but I put up?
And I think it's very very clear that you have a hatred for Robin and saying that you like him and would give him a job to me is just a smokescreen I really think it shines through big time that you dislike the guy, me I've met Robin several times and used to love listening to him I don't listen to Heart though so I don't listen to Robin, as for Adele I met her at Capital and she is a very lovely lady and very professional and I firmly believe your attack on them is unjustified especially when you skated over John Inverdale's "slip of the tongue" as you called it.

2 years, 8 months ago

Good grief. I've clearly said I like him - but you say I hate him. Who's right?

I love it when other people reckon they know more about me than I do about myself, it amuses me no end. Even James Martin reckons I spend mots of my time listening to Radio 2 - which is also wrong ....... it's Radio 5 (although I do switch off when sport comes on).

I can't help but ridicule comments that go along the lines of "You only think that because you have a hatred or a dislike of X radio station or Y presenter, therefore you just want to moan about them.......," which has been made by two people on this thread. One of them was you, the other one always says such things about me.

As for John Inverdale, far from body swerving something that was already put up on this thread, I don't have much more to say than what I already say on that matter. There is quite a difference between someone accidentally throwing out a swear word in mid-sentence (although it is still awful and shouldn't happen - and if he or Radio 5 get penalised for that, then it is only right) and someone deliberately using swear words (and Robin did say a few) in a conversation that was unfortunately broadcast, long before the watershed, on a high powered FM transmitter (and relay) that can be heard by over 1 Million people.

Again, I need to make this point because there are some people populating this thread that are obviously of heard of understanding, I DO NOT HATE ROBIN!!!!!! Hopefully that message gets through - but I know it won't. It wouldn't have mattered if it was Robin or anybody else, I would have made the same complaint for the same error, which was swearing in a radio studio, into a live microphone (which is never a good idea) and not checking that the studio is actually off-air.

As for you having met both Robin and Adelle, I have no doubt that they are really nice people and I won't contest that - but they did let their professionalism slip - and it was noticed by the public, causing excitement on social media.

Put it this way, broadcasters have a responsibility to ensure that good standards are met ON-AIR, OfCom enforces that. Other radio stations have been penalised for other offences regarding swearing (accidental or not), why should this one be any different? I didn't make a complaint about John Inverdale because I can't put that one in the same context as Robin's unfortunate incident - but I have no doubt that others may have. We'll just have to wait and see.

2 years, 8 months ago

Given the fact that (and you clearly state this yourself) that you have made "Complaints" about Robin in the past and also given the fact that you are willing to see him hung out to dry when at the same time you dismiss Inverdale's "slip of the tongue" leads me to believe that you do have a hatred for Robin I mean if you are going running to cry to Ofcom or whoever then you should be equal across the board no? I mean did you make a complaint about Jonathon Ross and the vile Russell Brand (yes I hate that guy and everything he stands for) for what they done to Andrew Sachs? It would be interesting to know how many radio presenters you have made "complaints" about?

And why you can't accept that what happened with Robin and Adele was an unfortunate accident is beyond me given that they were of the understanding that they were "off air" but yet accept Inverdale's use of the "C" word is an acceptable accident especially given that I have never heard that phrase "Rose tinted glasses" being said the way Inverdale's said it even when people have got the phrase wrong. Thus us my opinion on it and of course I don't know you I've never even heard of you until this column but felt I needed to say something about what you are saying.

2 years, 8 months ago

Come on Barry, grow a pair will you.

The complaints that I have made were not about Robin himself but about what he did and how I, as a listener, felt uncomfortable. I have also made complaints about other presenters - so it's not a personal tirade against Robin or anybody, just about some things that they have done, on-air. It's not personal against him, it's just coincidental and unfortunate that I have made a second complaint that has been made regarding him.

I actually didn't make complaints about Ross and Brand - I didn't need to because many other people did, although I wholeheartedly agree with those who did complain and that RADIO 2 (James, take note of this) deserved to be penalised for it. That really was one of the most appalling incidences of broadcasting in the UK ... ever, on RADIO 2 as well, who ought to have known better and they really did let their standards drop.

Again, John Inverdale's incident was a slip of the tongue (my interpretation) which he said mid-sentence and as part of a word that sounded fairly similar to the one he was supposed to have said. He immediately realised his mistake when he said it and even in the same breath as the word coming out, he apologised for it. It was awful. It was unfortunate but it is still miles away from someone going into a studio, having a conversation, opening up microphones, freely swearing into those microphones and including swear words in the convesation - whilst not ensuring that the studio was off air.

Of course, as I said earlier, if they had moved to an off-air production studio instead of using the main studio that was on-air a few moments previously and relying on switching technology to work in the background, this thread wouldn't have existed, nothing unfortunate would have happened, no vile swear words would have been heard by children at 10AM in the morning through their FM radio, no complaints would have been made to OfCom.

I tell you what, though (and this is something that James Cridland has touched upon earlier on this thread), this is probably an indication that Global have chosen to provide split output between the East and West of central Scotland, they're happy to take advertising revenue from businesses in the East but checking that the output is working or even that the transmitters over there are actually on-air may not not necessarily be a high priority.

2 years, 8 months ago

I'm actually a little surprised at Gareth Randall, (now there's a name from the past) and others who have said there was no written or indeed unwritten policy about swearing in studios, as it was one of the first things taught to me when I first did on-air programmes, and it's still something I teach people about at The Source FM, you don't even think a swear word, because if you think it, you will say it, so don't even think it. Difficult, yes, but it is actually a good way of teaching people to find new ways of expressing themselves.

However, I do accept that this was as a result of a technical fault, and not really down to the presenters themselves, but again, best practice says that anytime you are near a microphone or a camera, whether it's on air or not, you treat it as though it is live at all times and don't say or do anything that you wouldn't want to be broadcast.

2 years, 8 months ago

I've got a pair thanks and I have a thick enough skin not to get my knickers in a twist when someone swears on air sometimes things happen like that and lessons should be learnt but to get upset and complain when it would have been dealt with by Heart is a bit OTT in my opinion, yes Robin may have been a bit silly doing if however I'm sure it's a lesson learnt even for someone with as long a career as he has every days a school day after all.

2 years, 8 months ago

I'm actually a little surprised at Gareth Randall, (now there's a name from the past) and
others who have said there was no written or indeed unwritten policy about swearing in
studios, as it was one of the first things taught to me when I first did on-air programmes

Ian, you've never worked in professional broadcasting. I accept that things might be different in amateur organisations, which often tend to be rather more "maiden aunt-ish", but in professional broadcasting, people swear in front of microphones and cameras all the time. Because they're professionals, they know that it's fine to swear in an on-air studio when the mic's off, because when the mic's off anything you say doesn't get broadcast. They know when the mic's off because the red light is out and the speakers are on. It's not rocket science.

Similarly, they know that it's fine to swear when the mic's on when they're in an off-air studio. You think that voicing sessions for ads, promos or whatever are virtuously profanity-free? Of course they aren't.

Instances of studios actually being on-air by mistake are vanishingly rare, as the Heart Scotland one underlines.

Yes, it's unfortunate that swearing ended up being broadcast due to a genuine mistake. Obviously I have no issue with that, I don't think any of us do. My objection is to the assertion that professionals never swear in studios at all. Anybody who has spent any time in professional broadcasting would know how ridiculous such a notion is.

2 years, 8 months ago

Hmm, so BBC Essex & Essex Radio are professional broadcasting, but BBC Radio Cornwall & Radio Plymouth are not? Well, that's news to me. And funny enough it was at Radio Cornwall, where I was first told, by my line manager, don't swear in the studios. It was also at Radio Cornwall where I first learned that professionals did swear in studios. Not routinely, but they did.

So much swearing these days is casual, where they use a swear word instead of a verb, and to be honest, I think that's just laziness. That is something every broadcast organisation the world over should discourage. There are times when swearing is perfectly reasonable, but they are the exception, rather than the rule.

And whilst the exact instance is a rare one, it still doesn't change the fact that as presenters, we occasionally do silly things, like forgetting to close the mic channel, or not closing the channel properly. Again, it just reinforces to me, the need to treat every mic & camera as live at all times, even if you are the one operating the controls.

If you're in a facility or a situation where no broadcast signal can get out from, or no signal is being transmitted from, then you are probably safe from everything except the Christmas tape, and Alright On The Night, and that's minor embarrasment, compared to fines from Ofcom.

2 years, 8 months ago

Ian, I am also quite surprised that a so-called professional has come on and said that swaering goes on within studios all the time.

I can only put it down to complacency. These people have worked on radio for so long that they have taken all the technical workings within the studio for granted, safe in the knowledge that there is a microscopic chance of something going wrong and a little expletive slipping out that makes it to air. They only become concerned when the incident actually happens.

I suppose it's a bit like driving a car. Many people are or consider themselves to be safe drivers. Heck, they've probably been driving for 30-odd years and may never have had an accident at all in that time - but it's almost inevitable that they will have developed bad habits (such as not giving themselves enough braking distance between themselves and he car in front). Almost all of the time, their driving, along wigth the bad habits, still ensures that they get home safely every day ......... until an accident does actually happen and it turns out to be their fault because they were too complacent. Heck, I bet that if they sat their driving test today, even with 30-odd years of accident free motoring, they would fail.

By the way, I dug out my "On Air Protocol," which was a list of instructions that I wrote for wannabe volunteer presenters for the online community station that I was running. The very first rule was "No swearing. Ever. Not even in the studio when you think the microphone is off!" Even though we were an online station only and not subject to OfCom regulation, I still took the view that we had to be responsible broadcasters and treat it as if it was an FM station.

2 years, 8 months ago

Hmm, so BBC Essex & Essex Radio are professional broadcasting, but BBC Radio Cornwall &
Radio Plymouth are not?

I started out as a voluntary weekend helper at BBC Essex in 1986, but after I'd gained some experience I was able to get a paid gig as a TO at Essex Radio and was driving the desk for live and taped programmes at evenings and weekends while still at school, and then I moved on to be a full-time professional at Capital Radio, Virgin 1215 and BBC Radio 1. After that, I moved into television, where I still am now.

If I remember correctly, you did voluntary tape reclaim work at Radio Cornwall. A time-honoured foot-in-the-door route into radio, it's true, but I'm not aware of you being able to parlay that into a professional career. If I'm wrong, if you've been formally employed as broadcast staff at a professional station, then please explain where and I'll happily retract.

Ian, I am also quite surprised that a so-called professional has come on and said
that swaering goes on within studios all the time

Art, you can't have been around many professional radio stations if you're surprised at that.

2 years, 8 months ago

You remember slightly incorrectly, as it wasn't a voluntary gig, it was paid, and more recently, I've done paid work at Radio Plymouth as well. But that was sales, not on air.

2 years, 5 months ago

Regardless of the opposition on this thread to my stance, OfCom have made the decision and upheld my complaint.

From OfCom's broadcast bulletin:-

A complainant alerted Ofcom to offensive language broadcast in the “Heart
Breakfast” programme at about 10:00.

Ofcom noted that during a news bulletin that concluded the breakfast show, a
conversation between breakfast show presenter Robin Galloway and his co-presenter
could be heard in the background. In particular, Ofcom noted that once the
news bulletin ended, the conversation became clearly audible and included the
following comment by the co-presenter:

“… Oh it’s a shame that flat’s away. Shit. Motherfucker”.

After the broadcast of this breakfast show, the Licensee broadcast the following
apology at 11:15:

“Kelly Clarkson on Heart. Just want to apologise, due to some technical problems
that left the studio live on air earlier, some listeners in the east of Scotland may
have heard some content that shouldn’t have been broadcast and we sincerely
apologise for any offence caused”.

The offensive language was broadcast at approximately 10:00 on a Tuesday during
school term time. Ofcom therefore considered that this was not a time when children
would be particularly likely to be listening.

Nonetheless, Ofcom considered that the material raised issues warranting an
investigation under Rule 2.3 of the Code which states:

“In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material
which may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may
include, but is not limited to, offensive language. Appropriate information
should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.”
We therefore sought comments from Global Radio as to how the broadcast of the
offensive language complied with this rule.

Response

Global Radio explained that, due to a technical problem affecting one of its
transmitters, at the end of the breakfast show “a post-show, private conversation
between the two presenters was unintentionally broadcast” which “affected a
relatively small number of listeners in the east of Scotland”. The Licensee
acknowledged that the conversation contained “inappropriate language that clearly
was not suitable for broadcast in this context”.

Global Radio said that once it became aware of the problem “the programming team
aimed to issue an apology” as soon as possible to mitigate any offence. However, as
a result of another technical issue the apology was not broadcast at the first attempt,
but was aired “shortly after” (as detailed in the Introduction).

The Licensee stated that while it had not intended to broadcast the offensive
language it was “taking the incident very seriously”. It had “reminded the presenters
via formal letter of [its] station policy that all discussions in a studio should be suitable
for broadcast”.

Decision

Under the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom has a statutory duty to set standards for
broadcast content as appear to it best calculated to secure the standards objectives
including that “generally accepted standards” are applied so as to provide adequate
protection for members of the public from the inclusion of offensive and harmful
material. These objectives are reflected in Section Two of the Code.
Rule 2.3 of the Code provides that broadcasters must ensure that material which
may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may include offensive
language. Ofcom therefore considered first whether the language included in the
broadcast was potentially offensive; and if so, whether the offence was justified by
the context. Context includes, for example, the editorial content of the programme;
the service on which it was broadcast; the time of broadcast; the likely size and
composition of the potential audience; and the likely expectation of the audience.
Ofcom’s research on offensive language notes that the word “motherfucker” is
considered by audiences to be among the most offensive language. We therefore
considered that the inclusion of this offensive language clearly had the potential to
cause offence to the audience.

We went on to consider the context of the broadcast. Ofcom’s guidance on offensive
language in radio (regarding Rule 2.3) states: “Ofcom’s 2010 audience research
found that in general, listeners do not expect to hear strong language during the day
on radio during daytime, broadcasters should ensure that presenters and
contributors in all types of live radio programming are mindful of their language at all
times.”

In this case we noted that the most offensive language was used as part of a private
conversation between two presenters, unintentionally broadcast due to a technical
problem. However, this language was played out to the audience, and in Ofcom’s
view, listeners to this breakfast show would not have expected to hear the most
offensive language broadcast at this time of day. As a result, we concluded that the
broadcast of this language was not justified by the context.

So, I'm glad that Global took the matter "very seriously." It reinforces the point I made at the start of the thread about

Rule No. 1 - Do not swear in the studio, even when you think it's not on air.

I would imagine that this has now been a rule that Global have enforced across the entire company and portfolio of stations. I also hope that other radio stations and people across the radio industry on all kinds of radio stations have taken note of this and abide by it. It would be a dreadful shame if standards were allowed to drop because I do believe that the radio industry, as a whole, can be so much better than that.

I also hope that Global have considerably raised their own technical standards, which was another reason for my complaint - and not treat their satellite operations outside of London as secondary outputs to their product. The outputs of individual stations, even down to individual transmitters, need to be monitored more closely. In this case it has to be just like Real Radio did. The people of Edinburgh and the East should be just as important as those in Glasgow and the West - so make sure their transmitter is working properly.

How about this for an idea as well? Don't trim your operations down to being so close to the knuckle that there is nobody around to notice something having gone wrong. That private conversation went out for quite a while before anyone noticed. You could also try having more local presenters - which might arrest the decline in your RAJARs.

Sorry Robin and Adelle - but I felt that I had to do something about it.

2 years, 5 months ago

I hope that you now feel much better. Did you actually hear it go out on air?

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

I would imagine that this has now been a rule that Global have enforced across the entire company and portfolio of stations.

Just as a thought - do you seriously think this wasn't a rule? Do you think this wasn't enforced? Or do you accept this was a silly mistake, but nonetheless, a mistake?

Don't trim your operations down to being so close to the knuckle that there is nobody around to notice something having gone wrong.

And here's the thing - even the fattest operation wouldn't have spotted that one. That went out from transmitters that weren't audible in the station building. The same happens on BBC Radio 1, where split output in Scotland is inaudible in London (and certainly wouldn't be monitored live). There is nobody listening to Absolute Radio on 1215AM in Golden Square, I'll guarantee it. There's nobody also listening to talkSPORT's North-of-England output in Hatfields. In a world where technology is doing some very clever things, monitoring of that type simply isn't feasible - no matter how fat your staffing levels are.

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

It really did sound like a genuine mistake. Still one up for the Heart bashers.

2 years, 5 months ago

It certainly sounds like a genuine mistake. I have never read such a load if rubbish from so called pro's.
Those that say there is a lot if swearing that goes on in studios are 100% correct.
I started in radio in 1970, as a pro. I have worked on some of the biggest stations in the world and of course the odd swear word goes out. When I started you couldn't even say damn bloody or god.. Now goodness know what goes. In my time at TalkSport some of both mine and fellow presenters language got a bit ripe, more than once OFCOM responded to complaints without ever taking action. My well know catch phrase was 'bollocks' and this was never complained about. I worked for a short time for an internet station and they wanted me to swear, but I found that hard to do.
This whole thing is a mountain out of a molehill.. If anyone is to blame, it's the tec side who should have taken the studio off air..

2 years, 5 months ago

In 1976 I was presenting the breakfast show in Auckland NZ, I had to read a lot if live ads, one was 'for a great cut and tint go to' I said 'for a great cunt and tit' then stopped realising what I said, I fell on the floor and played back to back music. The only calls the station received were calls of support by listeners understanding that what I said was a mistake. The management took no action and there were no official complaints.
In the case we are talking about, it's typical Global knocking...

2 years, 5 months ago

It doesn't matter what you say ..... OfCom (and even Global) agreed with me.

James, it is possible to monitor the Craigkelly transmitter in the Glasgow studio. There is still overspill into Glasgow from there. If they chose to have split output (and even take separate adverts) between the East of Scotland and the West, then surely it should be important for them to monitor that even the local advertisers from each area are being aired on the relevant transmitters? They're taking the money, after all.

Again, this incident occurred in part due to the titanic effect that I referred to earlier in the thread. Too many coincidences that could have prevented it from happening if any one of those coincidences was removed, including having a local presenter in the main studio after 10 AM, with Robin and Adelle moved to an off-air production studio that never makes it to the transmission chain.

2 years, 5 months ago

Art, do you make a habit of reporting output that you do not like? I am not sure what you do, but I am thinking that you are involved in the business? In my opinion, it's pretty low to take fellow professionals to OFCOM. I think had my own complaints panel there, out of dozens of complaints only one was ever upheld...
Have you set yourself up as a one man Barbara Woodhouse?

2 years, 5 months ago

He's not. And if he was, he's incredibly bitter that he's not now.

Art, do YOU want to pay for 20+ regional mid-morning presenters, which you are convinced would have prevented the problem?

Since Mike Mendoza's already used the word, I have to say I've come away from all this quite frankly thinking that you're a bit of a cunt.

2 years, 5 months ago

Accidents happen, but while I sadly don't earn a living working in a commercial radio station (if you do, then yes, I appreciate the job is time-consuming to do but let's face it - it's a piece of cake compared to working in an office with customers shouting at you down the phone or face-to-face), I manage to go about my workplace NEVER swearing, not even casually.

Mike Mendoza - your catchphrase was "bollocks"? Isn't that a bit "'70s" to rely on casual swearing for comic effect? Strong language can be used to good comic effect depending on the joke, but your use sounds lazy and outdated.

And for anyone who casually swears in the workplace, wherther on mic, or in a place where there are no mics, you really need to have a word with yourselves.

2 years, 5 months ago

As someone who does that very job Dom for less than the living wage, I happen to agree with you!

If you really want to take a pot-shot, we could perhaps ask why not just Heart but nearly all radio stations in the land air George Michael's Fastlove with the line "all that bullshit conversation" inact. Same with Adele's Rolling In The Deep, which proudly proclaims "I'll lay your shit bare."

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

James, it is possible to monitor the Craigkelly transmitter in the Glasgow studio. There is still overspill into Glasgow from there. If they chose to have split output (and even take separate adverts) between the East of Scotland and the West, then surely it should be important for them to monitor that even the local advertisers from each area are being aired on the relevant transmitters? They're taking the money, after all.

The monitoring will be automatic, and thus will watch for periods of silence rather than anything else. Nobody working at that station will be listening to the "wrong" transmitter just for kicks. Nobody working at any radio station will be listening to random transmitter outputs on a regular basis. I don't look at media.info/ie every single hour. I just hope that Ireland's front page works.

What happened here is a technical glitch left the studio 'live' for one of the regions of the radio station. It's as simple as that. Probably the most important question is why they left the microphones live (i.e. on) while they were having that discussion. That is worthy of questioning. But there's little to bash Global about here - it's not a specific-to-Global issue.

2 years, 5 months ago

Yep. There'll be a silence detector, which will kick in a piece of audio after so many seconds of flatlining. This used to be on DAT, later MD or CD. Nowadays it'll be digital.

2 years, 5 months ago

with Robin and Adelle moved to an off-air production studio that never makes it to the transmission chain.

Would be interested to know what meets your definition of an "off air production studio", Art -- I can't think of many radio stations I've worked for that had the luxury of a studio that could not, under any circumstances, be switched to air. Certainly there was often a main on-air studio, but the second studio could always be switched to air if needed, normally if some sort of maintenance was required on the main studio.

At 5 live we have two main on-air studios (and a number of others) -- when one is on air, the other is used for pre-recs. Indeed, there's not a studio in the building, right down to the little self-op workshops, that can't be switched to air or picked up virtually anywhere in the BBC and faded up. They're all on the audio router. That said, it is possible to completely isolate a studio if necessary -- but this is a non-trivial process that takes some engineering work to achieve.

In terms of monitoring, we used to have 909 from Brookmans Park (I think) on the desks in London that so we could double-check what a phone line, or a bed, sounded like on air. There has never been any facility to monitor any of the other transmitters directly in the studio. Nowadays we have a feed of the Brookmans Park transmitter (I think) on the audio router which we can select on to a desk channel to listen to, but to be honest it's hardly ever used and you get odd looks in the studio when you do!

I had a brief period at Talksport -- I don't recall whether it was possible to monitor the London 1089 transmitter off air, but I certainly never did (and it would have been completely impractical for any length of time because of the delay). The split ads were triggered by a command on the main playout and came out of a machine that was visible in the control room: it was the tech op's responsibility to visually check that the break had been scheduled correctly (i.e. they were all the same length) and that the ads were playing out in each region (visually, by checking the progress bars).

2 years, 5 months ago

I have never known, in my 5 years at TalkSport for any of the producers of the on air shows monitoring outputs to other areas around the country, unless things have changed.
During my 11 years at LBC, unless a listener rang in, we didnt know if we were off air! (very rare).
There again i was never involved in the tec side..

2 years, 5 months ago

Dom, my language may have been 70's to you, but check out the RAJAR's for my period there! Please feel free to let loose with other attempted put downs.. at least i have a good track record with listeners.

2 years, 5 months ago

At LBC (several years ago) we used to monitor the "pre-delay" feed going to the transmitter. I think it was possible to listen to 97.3 FM off air if you really tried but, again, it would have been a bad idea because of the delay (you would have been hearing the output anything up to 12 seconds previously) -- certainly if the transmitter had gone bang, as Mike says, the first we would have known about it in the studio would have been a phone call, and I'm sure the same would be true at Talk -- as I say, I don't recall any way of listening to the regional feeds (I think we used to listen to the London pre-delay feed in the studio -- as the ads weren't coming from your desk, but from a split player, it was quite an odd feeling being able to shut all the faders whilst the ads continued to play!).

At 5 live the only indication we have in the studio of transmitter problems is from listeners or the engineers who let us know if something breaks or is being turned off for maintenance.

2 years, 5 months ago

So you're proud of potty mouth, Mike? Good for you.

And it wasn't a "put down", I was just showing how most of the rest of the world seems to have evolved over the years, whereas you're still stuck in the past.

2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Dom. I am very proud of my record.

2 years, 5 months ago

btw.. I am still working in the media and have been since 1970.
So potty mouth, living in the 70's etc, hasnt done me too much harm i guess. Whats your excuse?

2 years, 5 months ago

You're proud of being so unlikeable? Good for you.

And what's my excuse about what?

2 years, 5 months ago

Wow, so many responses in half a day. I shall try and address these as individual posts, starting with James C's.

Just as a thought - do you seriously think this wasn't a rule? Do you think this wasn't enforced? Or do you accept this was a silly mistake, but nonetheless, a mistake?

If this basic rule was enforced, it seems as though it hadn't quite got to at least two individuals within the company. So it probably needed to be enforced, in anger, again.

That went out from transmitters that weren't audible in the station building.

Heart in the East of Scotland can be audible in the building at Baillieston - and even in the city centre with some effort. I have been to the Baillieston complex, when it was Real radio - and the Edinburgh frequency was easily received in the car, so I would imagine that ghettoblasters or reasonably good quality portable radios sat on the window sill of the sales room or an office could pick it up as well. It doesn't have to be listened to all the time, though it probably needs closer attention during moments of switching from local to network, especially if the switching is being done with, seemingly, complex technology that separates the output of the transmitters and can make accidents happen, as we now know.

Where stations have the same audio output from one of the country to another, without fancy switching, then I wouldn't suggest that monitoring is necessary, since the worst that could happen is a transmitter falls silent for a wee while - but if you have separate audio, including adverts, then maybe its a bit more necessary. Is it complicated? Well, if Vinnie Lo can set up a whole website dedicated to individual station feeds, then surely it is not tricky for some people, dotted around the country, to have one or two dedicated streams of their local interest playing in the background. Again, if the station is taking money form local advertisers for individual micro areas, then surely it is important to have those same areas monitored to make sure that everything is tickety-boo and that the advertisers (their customers) are getting the service they pay for?

2 years, 5 months ago

Right Mike - onto you.

Art, do you make a habit of reporting output that you do not like? I am not sure what you do, but I am thinking that you are involved in the business? In my opinion, it's pretty low to take fellow professionals to OFCOM. I think had my own complaints panel there, out of dozens of complaints only one was ever upheld...
Have you set yourself up as a one man Barbara Woodhouse?

If you count 4 complaints to the Radio Authority and Ofcom over the past 27 years, then I guess it is a habit. Unfortunately two of them have ended up involving the same presenter but those complaints were more than two decades apart. One complaint was about E-Map doing an RSL in Glasgow, for which they left their transmitter on well beyond their last day of broadcast (almost 2 days). A few months earlier an RSL station in another part of the UK was penalised by the Radio Authority for continuing to transmit for just a few minutes past midnight on their last day of of their broadcast licence period. Fairness.

As for "what I do," I don't work in the radio industry as an employee. However I have been involved in quite a lot of radio projects over the years, mainly setting up radio stations and even being a licence owner for some RSL stations. I should point out that since 1997, all of the radio projects I have been involved with was because I was asked by the group who wanted to set up a station to get involved and assist them on getting on air (as well as other roles). Since 1997 I have never outwardly knocked on a door of a radio station wanting to get involved. They came to me - I didn't go to them. Discovery 102 in Dundee (now Wave 102) was the only exception in so far as I gave them a copy of a soft-AC playlist that I had created for an RSL I helped to program back in 1997 and things went from there. Needless to say I was quite well versed in the Radio Authority's red and blue books.

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

Art: you've just been told that few stations can monitor their output in this way. Why do you persist on insisting that it should be done, when this is a one-in-a-million accident? (And would someone notice this in the background? In my experience the only time anyone in a radio station notices anything going wrong is when it all goes quiet. I mistakenly said the phrase "what a load of bollocks that was" on drive time on a busy station once, and nobody noticed...

2 years, 5 months ago

Arthur, what surprises me is why you wish to be publicly known for having done this.

As you will recall my career was 'cut short' by my forum activities and after that I went and worked elsewhere and-like you- felt liberated to say as I jolly well pleased, not pursuing radio as a career.

However I will now freely tell you that it caused problems anyway. In a couple of job interviews, the person mentioned then knew someone who worked in radio-in one case at Q96 where I had been sacked from. Sufficed to say I never even got the courtesy of further reply!

In another instance it turned out that a trainer in a place I worked lived next door to a Clyde 1 presenter. A few nights later on a staff night out she drunkenly said to me 'see that radio thing.....I'd maybe keep that to yourself in future sweetie'.

I am telling to this Art, not to raise a smirk-though it may-but just to illustrate that sometimes things have unforseeable consequences.

2 years, 5 months ago

James Martin, it's your turn....

He's not. And if he was, he's incredibly bitter that he's not now.

This is amusing. I get to find out things that I never knew about myself. James, I am not bitter tat I have never been employed in the radio industry - more especially because I have never applied for a job in it. The wages, poor job security and (more especially) the quality of some people that were in it at the time was enough to put me off.

Art, do YOU want to pay for 20+ regional mid-morning presenters, which you are convinced would have prevented the problem?

Does it really need as many as that? In many parts of England you could get away with far fewer, though I would say there is a stronger case in the northern regions for local. In Scotland things are a bit different again, as I've pointed out on another thread, where having a disproportionately high number of non-Scottish presenters made not be doing much good for the station.

Since Mike Mendoza's already used the word, I have to say I've come away from all this quite frankly thinking that you're a bit of a cunt.

Ach - since it's coming from you I'll take that as a compliment.

2 years, 5 months ago

Simon Kelsey this time:-

Would be interested to know what meets your definition of an "off air production studio."

Simon, I didn't think I would need to have to explain that one - but since you insist, an "off air" production studio is a studio that spends almost all of its time being off air from the main output, until there is intervention to put it on air for whatever reason, such as a newsreader doing a news bulletin or a guest, band or whatever being in for a few moments. The rest of the time it would be isolated and prevented from getting into the transmission output, unless someone has been really, really stupid and switched its audio to the main studio when they shouldn't have and someone else has been in the production studio with microphone faders up, giving it laldy with the blue language.

Technically that's a piece of cake. I wired it up for an online community station that had two studios. The production studio had a desk with an audio output which was occasionally used as the main output, via the main studio. I only did this if I needed to do some maintenance in the main studio. Even so, the audio from the production studio had to go through a patch in the production studio (isolation layer No.1), then it was sent by wire to the main studio, for which another patch was switched to the audio from the production studio (isolation layer No. 2) and then for the audio to be heard by the listeners I still had to bring up the fader on the main desk (isolation layer No.3), whilst also ensuring that I am in the main studio during that time and the only fader that was up was the one assigned to the production studio.

2 years, 5 months ago

Simon, I didn't think I would need to have to explain that one - but since you insist, an "off air" production studio is a studio that spends almost all of its time being off air from the main output, until there is intervention to put it on air for whatever reason, such as a newsreader doing a news bulletin or a guest, band or whatever being in for a few moments.

Fair enough. I'll get in touch with the BBC and let them know that we need some new studios built at MediaCity (and, indeed, in NBH).

As I say, there is no such thing as an "off air production studio", by your definition, here. All of the studios are on air regularly throughout the day, and when they're not on air they're used for prep. The World Service even more so, as the switching is mostly automated there. It's no different to the way Heart Scotland use their studios!

2 years, 5 months ago

So, Art, it was not an "off air production studio", and was, in fact, an "on air production studio" which, as described in the example Simon gave, one that was mostly left switched off except for pre-records, but could easily be utilised for going to air if required, such as in an emergency.

Glad that's sorted then, Art!

2 years, 5 months ago

James C - back to you:

Art: you've just been told that few stations can monitor their output in this way. Why do you persist on insisting that it should be done, when this is a one-in-a-million accident?

I'm an engineer - and I work in an industry where one-in-a-million accidents are still too many. My career is to engineer ways of ensuring that such accidents don't even get close to one-in-a-trillion. Also, as an electrical engineer, I always treat every wire as live at all times, until I am absolutely sure that all power to it is dead (I killed it myself or had it confirmed and I tested it) - and I may even go as far as bomb-tailing the wires for extra isolation. Granted I mostly play with 50 volts, 110 volts and occasionally 650 volts but even so, it's not nice to get zapped by those. Stray voltages can also cause a lot of collateral damage. There's a parallel there between what I do in my daytime job - and the need to treat every microphone in every studio as live at all times.

(And would someone notice this in the background? In my experience the only time anyone in a radio station notices anything going wrong is when it all goes quiet. I mistakenly said the phrase "what a load of bollocks that was" on drive time on a busy station once, and nobody noticed...

For this "one-in-a-million incident," people were commenting on it via Twitter and Facebook. Not bad for something that people might not notice in the background.

2 years, 5 months ago

John Laurie, now you're getting it

Arthur, what surprises me is why you wish to be publicly known for having done this.

As you know, John, on forums like this I have always used my real name and have always been forthright in my comments. It did win me respect and even friends within the industry in the past, including people you know.

As you will recall my career was 'cut short' by my forum activities and after that I went and worked elsewhere and-like you- felt liberated to say as I jolly well pleased, not pursuing radio as a career. However I will now freely tell you that it caused problems anyway. In a couple of job interviews, the person mentioned then knew someone who worked in radio-in one case at Q96 where I had been sacked from. Sufficed to say I never even got the courtesy of further reply! In another instance it turned out that a trainer in a place I worked lived next door to a Clyde 1 presenter. A few nights later on a staff night out she drunkenly said to me 'see that radio thing.....I'd maybe keep that to yourself in future sweetie'.

Yes - but your behavior on (and even off) radio forums made you quite notorious, more especially on Media UK of the old days, even under your many cloaks of anonimity, which failed to be effective.

2 years, 5 months ago

Fine Arthur. Thought you'd say something like that and in actual fact have gone further....so I will do it for you to get the point out there..........a line of argument along the lines of me being a serious troublemaker back in the day whereas you are in fact a fine upstanding citizen holding wrongdoing to account. Therefore both examples are 'different'.

It doesn't, however, answer my question of why you want to be known for having done this. Why you did it you have spelled out many times. But why do you want to be KNOWN for having done it, given that the OFCOM decision would have played out the same either way?

2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Dom, glad to hear I am unlikeable. I guess that's why at one time I reached number one in the UK at night on commercial radio.
I am very happy and still working 4/5 days per week, at almost 70 years of age. Only difference now is I am working in TV instead of radio, despite several offers to return to radio..

2 years, 5 months ago

Wow. We're gonna need a BIG bag of popcorn.

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

Who needs Mike Mendoza on the radio when he's just as entertaining on here!

2 years, 5 months ago

John Laurie:

Fine Arthur. Thought you'd say something like that and in actual fact have gone further....so I will do it for you to get the point out there..........a line of argument along the lines of me being a serious troublemaker back in the day whereas you are in fact a fine upstanding citizen holding wrongdoing to account. Therefore both examples are 'different'.
It doesn't, however, answer my question of why you want to be known for having done this. Why you did it you have spelled out many times. But why do you want to be KNOWN for having done it, given that the OFCOM decision would have played out the same either way?

John, I am not a coward, although I may be other things beginning with the letter "C" (as suggested earlier on this thread).

I have never had a problem with people knowing who I am when it comes to my opinions and comments and I like to think that they hold more credibility as a result. As for worrying about what some radio people might think of me, my life is much bigger than that (I have had special recognition in the Scottish Parliament for other things I have done), so guess what? Look at my face! Am I bovvered?

Besides, after having been informed by the Met Police that my mobile phone was tapped by a journalist back in 2009, the opinions of one or two radio folk who might be annoyed or offended by me pales into insignificance. I had thick skin before 2009 - it's even thicker now.

However, in addition to what I've said so far, some people have hinted that I was "Heart bashing" or even Robin bashing. Well, if that is really what I wanted to do, I would have lodged the complaint with OfCom almost immediately after the event. Instead I took almost 2 weeks to decide whether to do it or not, after pondering over what the outcome could be, what could be gained from it and what would be my own reasons for doing it.

Enforcement of "Rule No.1" was one of them since it was one of the first things I learned. Also on the stance of fairness, since there seemed to be a bit of disproportion with complaints made against small radio operators for far lesser mistakes (re swearing on air), so it is only right that this one gets rapped as well, especially because of the seriousness of what went out on air. I also had niggles, from a technical perspective, about how it happened and I considered that the whole industry could learn or take heed.

I tell you what though, on that last point, some posters have wanted to point out that my suggestions of ways of trying to prevent it from happening again are "unrealistic." Well, I find it odd that when other broadcasters can issue an apology almost immediately after a swearing offence is committed, Heart's first attempt to make one failed and the apology didn't go out until over an hour later. By heck, there must be some complex technical wizardry going on in that place, designed to fail so badly. Unrealistic?

Oh - as for Heart bashing, may I remind you all of something else I said earlier in this thread:-

If I had been managing the station, even though I like him, I would have suspended him for a week or more. I would also have used the opportunity to make the bad publicity into a public apology and hopefully gained good publicity as a result, which could have helped Heart's not-so-good audience figures in Scotland (they are lagging behind Real's audience figures by a very long way, not just in reach but especially in hours), whilst also being a big man and facing up to any consequences with the broadcasting regulator.

Crikey. I've just realised that I wrote that before the last RAJAR figures came out, which, as we know showed that Heart's listenership was even lower than it was when I wrote that post.

Anyway, there has been another article in the Daily Rangers - sorry, Daily Record about this incident. It may have been bad news at first sight but in instances like this, there is no such thing as bad publicity - just publicity, which ties in with my own quoted comment. Who knows, Heart Scotland might actually GAIN listeners as a result of this.

2 years, 5 months ago

Anyway, are they getting fined for this or just a 'black mark'?

Also found my eyebrows raising at Global's 'relatively few people listening on 101.1' reply.

2 years, 5 months ago

Mike Mendoza - if you're as rude to others outside of here, as you are on here, then, I'm amazed you've got anywhere. Then again, perhaps you only wear your Keyboard Warrior hat when you're on this forum?

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

Dom - I'm not sure that anyone's being particularly rude here except you. Well, and Art.

2 years, 5 months ago

Bloomin 'eck Dom.. let it go... IF you call that rude... you havn't lived mate.
I have never been a keyboard warrior (until now!), I am happy to say what I think .. face to face as has been proven in the past!
Excuse my ignorance Dom.. But what have you ever done in the radio industry? Played a few songs maybe? Ever had to speak for 25 hours a week with no music? That is something I have done for years.. I now do 3 hrs per day live television.
But then, I just remembered I am very unpopular, rude and its amazing I have got anywhere!! As I said.. in the words of the song Dom.. Let it go, let it go...

2 years, 5 months ago

Art. Let me ask you a direct question.

Had this happened on Radio 2, the home of Sachsgate - an affair that was no accident - would you have done the same thing?

2 years, 5 months ago

I find people who complain to authorities, like OFCOM are like school sneaks.

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

I find people who complain to authorities, like OFCOM are like school sneaks.

It reminds me of the time when Heart replaced Atlantic FM in Cornwall and one person complained to Ofcom regarding the speech requirements left over from the Atlantic format.

(Global have a Cornwall drive show which meets these requirements)

It stinks of anorak bitterness to get 'one over' on Global.

2 years, 5 months ago

James Martin:

Art. Let me ask you a direct question.
Had this happened on Radio 2, the home of Sachsgate - an affair that was no accident - would you have done the same thing?

James, I thought I had made that point already in this thread. It seems as though time has made your memory a bit hazy so I'm now trawling through this thread to find what I said ..... oh, here it is:-

I actually didn't make complaints about Ross and Brand - I didn't need to because many other people did, although I wholeheartedly agree with those who did complain and that RADIO 2 (James, take note of this) deserved to be penalised for it. That really was one of the most appalling incidences of broadcasting in the UK ... ever, on RADIO 2 as well, who ought to have known better and they really did let their standards drop.

So there you go. I would have ..... but there was little point in doing so because very many people already had.

If Motherfucker had gone out on air at an inappropriate time, I would still have lodged a complaint with OfCom, regardless of the station.

2 years, 5 months ago

John Laurie:

Anyway, are they getting fined for this or just a 'black mark'?

Also found my eyebrows raising at Global's 'relatively few people listening on 101.1' reply.

I don't think OfCom disclose information about penalties these days, do they?

As for that comment that Global made, I too find that astonishing. It's almost like an admission along the lines of "Ach well, we don't have that many listeners (these days), anyway." It could also be interpreted that its only the Edinburgh and East market, so it's no great concern. The Glasgow and West market has twice the size of population and therefore Global are more interested in that?

Here's another thing. If Motherfucker had gone out on air after 10AM in London - would it have taken well over an hour for the apology to go out on air - or would it have gone out a few moments after the event? Again, I find that astounding - and a bit amateur - when other broadcasters can make on-air apologies at the very earliest moments. To blame that bit on technology, when someone in Glasgow could have lowered a fader and said something over dead air for a moments, seems ridiculous.

2 years, 5 months ago

That's a fair point. (Up late or up early, Art?)

It's well documented in John Myers' book why the studios moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow in the first place when GMG Media acquired Scot FM from Kelvin MacKenzie.

It's not really an admission. I'd say it's more an attempt to mitigate things.

2 years, 5 months ago

Also, can we get Mike Mendoza, James Whale, Jon Gaunt and Tommy Boyd all on a radio station together please (even Gaunty's new online one?)

2 years, 5 months ago

Mike Mendoza - I don't know that song.

And I would prefer to be working in radio and/or TV but haven't yet got a paid job in that industry. Not sure what that's got to do with your smug/rudeness, anyway. Hey ho.

I did spend 18 months working for nowt in community radio until the time came when I couldn't juggle that with a full-time job, but - to mention a different thing about professionals coming across as amateurs, I know how unprofessional it sounds when a DJ is talking over the end of a song which has a definitive ending. They know the listeners are engaged with the song and, more often than not - if it's a classic, will also be getting the adrenaline rush from it, but when the DJ crashes into the ending, they may as well have stopped it dead in its tracks, such is the effect.

It's not rocket science to wait until it's finished, but on both BBC and commercial radio, there is a proliferation of this, generally from DJs who love the sound of their own voice. One once told me the station boss doesn't like 'dead air'. Fine, but you don't have to have that - you just start talking after the song has finished.

It's akin to continuity announcers waffling over the end of film credits and those for intense dramas. The programme hasn't actually finished yet, and for the viewer, they like a period of time to reflect on what they've just seen.

2 years, 5 months ago

I maybe smug Dom, because I have actually been there and done it, in several major markets around the world, so yes if that's being smug I am guilty. I would never say I am rude, direct yes, but not rude. So you worked 18 months for nothing.. Great it shows you must have got paid exactly what you are worth.. Into smug mode.. Nah I won't, I was going to quote from one of my pay slips, but thought better of it... That would make me farrrr tooooo smug in your eyes.. Keep in sniping mate..

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

And here's where I wave a moderator-like finger. Enough, gentlemen.

2 years, 5 months ago

James Martin is obviously a man with great taste in radio. I can imagine if the group mentioned all worked together, poor old Dom and Art would have a full time job complaining to OFCOM.
Don't forget, Whale, Gaunt & myself all worked together at TalkSport.
I worked with Tommy on an on line station for a short time. Play Radio. Where we actually got paid Dom.. And we were paid more than we received at 'proper' stations..
I have now worked out that Art & Dom are frustrated rejects and this is their way of hitting back..

2 years, 5 months ago

Play Talk especially was a great little station. I think it was just a bit ahead of its time - it launched just before the Smartphone took off in a really big way

There's a big market out there for unregulated talk radio. Now Apple are doing streaming radio (ergo; people actually take notice) I wonder if the revolution is finally about to happen?

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

Play Radio was a good idea, but ahead of it's time before the technology to stream internet radio became more mainstream.

With LBC going national on DAB and talkRADIO relaunching next year, the future for the type of speech radio that Mike presented is looking a bit more brighter than it did a few years ago.

2 years, 5 months ago

I had 11 great years at LBC.

2 years, 5 months ago

Mike Mendoza said...

James Martin is obviously a man with great taste in radio.

I'm framing that!

2 years, 5 months ago

Mike Mendozza brings his maturity down a couple of pegs:-

Art & Dom are frustrated rejects and this is their way of hitting back..

Interesting to learn that I am a frustrated "reject." I can't recall being "rejected" from anything ...... more especially because I never applied in the first place.

2 years, 5 months ago

Art, i am now imagining that this is an on air conversation and I am hanging up on you..
Feel free to keep up the childish comments, I will not be responding as I move on now to try and talk to sane people.

2 years, 5 months ago

I wasn't sniping, Mike. You've managed to prove what a loser you are all by yourself.

"So you worked 18 months for nothing.. Great it shows you must have got paid exactly what you are worth.. "

I could respond in detail to that, but why bother when you've showed how sad and pathetic you are. For such sheer spite, karma will repay you ten fold.

James Martin - I must be allowed my right of reply, and there it is.

2 years, 5 months ago

Dom, many in here are reading your rather pathetic digs which I haven't heard since the playground.
I hope you are taking your medication?
Maybe you can explain how I am a looser?

2 years, 5 months ago

You're the only one making digs, yet you accuse me of being the one 'sniping' and school playground behaviour when everyone can see that it you doing that. That is very poor form from a supposed broadcaster.

PRO2 years, 5 months ago

Right, gentlemen, that's it. Enough now. Neither of you are covering yourselves with glory now. I'll delete further comments.

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