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Xfm becomes Radio X

By Ian Beaumont
Posted 28 August 2015, 5.39pm edt

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Comments

1 year, 11 months ago

I have to say that having read the story about Global rebranding Xfm as Radio X, I can't help but think that they haven't realised they have a huge problem with that branding.

Because of a certain station in Exeter, called...

...Radio Exe.

I think Radio Exe could sue Global, and win, quite easily.

They just didn't think this through properly, did they?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Unless Radio Exe are bought out by Celador who are finally rebranding Palm as The Breeze.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip, there are only two mentions of The Breeze during the whole day, and they are the required mentions for the daytime show's "All Or Nothing" competition which airs across the network. Otherwise, every link starts Palm 105.5, even during Daytime. Which means Robert Kenny, and those who cover his show, record two separate versions of every link.

As I said before, if you rebrand Radio Plymouth, Palm 105.5 and Radio Exe to The Breeze, you are immediately putting those stations in a no-win situation. Two sets of networked stations across Devon, will not fly. Heart will crush The Breeze, every time. By keeping them as local as possible, it makes it possible for both Heart and Plymouth/Palm/Exe, to survive, because they are going after different audiences with different requirements. Hell, Palm still has a separate evening show, hosted by Kerry Randall, who's husband is Jon White, the PC of Palm. If they were rebranding, they'd have already have removed Kerry's show.

Pirate FM are moving back into Plymouth with Pirate Oldies on DAB, and I suspect it won't be long before Pirate 2 appears on the Plymouth DAB mux as well. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Pirate FM re-establishing a sales office in Plymouth, especially if Radio Plymouth gets Breezed.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

You may have missed that Palm are already starting to promote the fact that The Breeze is replacing Palm in Torbay with sweepers. I suspect it'll fully rebrand by September 10th at the earliest.

Plymouth is now 51% owned by Celador according to Companies House, despite Radio Plymouth's claim that it's 100% owned locally on it's website.

As for Exe. I'm sure both can co-exist considering one is a local FM station for Exeter and Exmouth, the other a national digital station with different audiences and demographics.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ha. Global will not care about Radio Exe - a radio station that has 22k listeners in a TSA of 199k.

As Palm FM is in the process of becoming Breeze, I'm sure the point at which Celador have control of Exe and Plymouth then they'll become The Breeze too.

1 year, 11 months ago

Matt, I didn't say Global would care. I said that Global would lose if Radio Exe actually wanted to pursue a claim. Let's be frank here. All Global care about is their bottom line. They don't even really care about providing a decent service, to listeners, or indeed to advertisers. They're just big bullies who use the fact they have more listeners than a lot of other stations to get advertisers to pay their exorbitant prices.

Also, I still maintain that Breezing Palm, Plymouth and Exe is and will be a huge mistake, as a good portion of the audience of those stations are there, BECAUSE they are local. These are people who left Heart behind when it stopped being local, and they will leave The Breeze behind for the very same reason.

Plymouth would suffer worst as you have Pirate FM receivable right across the city. Those listeners would migrate to Pirate, much as what happened back in 1999, when Plymouth Sound AM was replaced by Classic Gold and Pirate FM gained new listeners and new advertisers. History will repeat itself.

It's not so easy to see where listeners around Exeter, Torbay and South Devon would go. The community radio stations in Totnes and Exeter aren't really designed to appeal to the kind of audience that these local stations appeal to, so it's hard to see them gaining many listeners as a result. The Voice from North Devon airs on DAB across the area, and does have a more mainstream feel, but again, that's not a local station to those areas, so probably won't gain massively as a result. Maybe Radio Devon will gain a bit.

1 year, 11 months ago

History.

Before Real Radio was able to expand as a brand, the Guardian Media Group station (now owned by GLOBAL) had to pay a small fortune to a HOSPITAL radio station in Livingston, Scotland, who used that very name before they did.

Baeur would not allow a an RSL group in Carlisle to use the name Vibe FM - because they already owned and operated it in Norfolk and Bristol. They did allow them to use the name City Vibes.

Discovery 102 in Dundee had to rename themselves as Wave 102 (even though they are in the city of Discovery) simply because a TV station with the same name wanted to sue them for use of "their" brand name - even though the context was quite different.

Heartland FM was warned by Heart back in 2001 (who only broadcast in Birmingham and London at the time) that they could not drop the "land" part of their name when they were about to relaunch as a 24 hour service.

So battles over brands can happen.

1 year, 11 months ago

Let's be frank here. All Global care about is their bottom line. They don't even really care about providing a decent service, to listeners, or indeed to advertisers.

That's a pretty dumb thing to say when Global are about to invest a huge amount in content, carriage and marketing for their new national brand.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook;

That's a pretty dumb thing to say when Global are about to invest a huge amount in content, carriage and marketing for their new national brand.

LMAO!!!

This is comedy gold, better than most sitcoms these days.

First of all, Global are consolidating 3 stations, and a multitude of rebroadcasts on local DAB muxes into one national station on a national multiplex. They will save a bundle on that, which they're redeploying into new presenters, a new branding and a big marketing push.

Whilst it looks like a big investment, they'll probably save money over the next 5 years by doing this now.

Now tell me they aren't all about the bottom line.

1 year, 11 months ago

We don't know what's happening to Glasgow and Manchester yet, do we? Currently both are running the minimum possible permitted local hours. How are they consolidating further??

And cutting duplicated transmission costs and investing the savings in programming is better for everyone, surely.

1 year, 11 months ago

We don't know what's happening to Glasgow and Manchester yet, do we? Currently both are running the minimum possible permitted local hours. How are they consolidating further??

And cutting duplicated transmission costs and investing the savings in programming is better for everyone, surely.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Whatever happens, Scotland won't be able to fully simulcast the Radio X output from London.

Global can apply for Manchester to fully network with London as both licences are specialist formats within a nation.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook;

We don't know what's happening to Glasgow and Manchester yet, do we?

Oh come on. They will shut down as local operations, that much is obvious. I'm not expecting Global to break the habit of a lifetime.

And cutting duplicated transmission costs and investing the savings in programming is better for everyone, surely.

I won't disagree. In fact I find it still weird that Kiss still broadcast on the Cornwall & Plymouth muxes, despite being available on D1 nationwide.

But to present as new investment is in my view somewhat disingenuous, because it's not really, it's just really moving money from one area to another.

1 year, 11 months ago

I have to say, I'm with Ian and Art here: it's not really a question of whether Global care about Radio Exe, as whether Radio Exe care about... Radio X. If that turns out to be the name of the new station, which we don't actually know for certain yet.

Having said that, if everything I'm hearing about XFM/Radio X/Capital Rocks is true, it could be one of the most exciting station (re)launches for a long time.

Global can apply for Manchester to fully network with London as both licences are specialist formats within a nation.

Thanks, Martin, I'd forgotten that.

Whatever happens, Scotland won't be able to fully simulcast the Radio X output from London.

All I can say is roll on proper deregulation: isn't that a ridiculous situation when you think about it?

What I would say is forget the 'local' output: it's frankly irrelevant in the case of XFM Manchester, which has never been a full-service ILR like many of the stations that have been Heartified. It's not some paragon of local broadcasting, and nor do I (or, I suspect anybody who listens to it) expect it to be: it's just not that sort of station. If it were to simulcast the London output when the new station launches, to be brutally honest (and I have nothing against any of the local presenters) I can't see too many people here in t'North shedding tears over the loss of Tim Cocker et al. I'm sure they're nice people, but I wouldn't describe any of them as unique or irreplaceable.

Global are consolidating 3 stations, and a multitude of rebroadcasts on local DAB muxes into one national station on a national multiplex. They will save a bundle on that, which they're redeploying into new presenters, a new branding and a big marketing push.
Whilst it looks like a big investment, they'll probably save money over the next 5 years by doing this now.
Now tell me they aren't all about the bottom line.

Of course it's about the bottom line. It's a business: they're not doing it for fun.

But it's also about turning XFM from a loss-making group of stations with hardly any listeners and little potential for ad revenue in to a national brand. To do that, despite what people might want to believe, I think Global do actually understand that you need a product.

If what we're hearing is true then the new station is very much going to be personality-led -- almost the anti-Heart, if you like. You don't put Chris Moyles on breakfast and tell him to play twelve songs an hour, and whatever you say about Ashley Tabor and Richard Park, they ain't stupid.

Personally, I think it's an exciting development and I look forward to seeing what happens with it.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

All I can say is roll on proper deregulation: isn't that a ridiculous situation when you think about it?

There are means and ways of getting Moyles on X Scotland.

Smooth Glasgow managed to get an hour of Simon Bates between 9-10am by having a three hour local breakfast show, then a four hour local afternoon show to meet the seven hour local requirements.

1 year, 11 months ago

Simon Kelsey;

But it's also about turning XFM from a loss-making group of stations with hardly any listeners and little potential for ad revenue in to a national brand. To do that, despite what people might want to believe, I think Global do actually understand that you need a product.

But their idea of radio products for various audiences is so stereotypical, as to be lazy. Of all the people in my circle of friends who share their thoughts with me, nobody, who is in Heart's target audience, think of the station in anything that resembles positive terms. Gold and Smooth aren't exactly imaginative in their music programming either.

So what I'm expecting from this new Radio X, would be the radio version of a lads mag.

If what we're hearing is true then the new station is very much going to be personality-led -- almost the anti-Heart, if you like. You don't put Chris Moyles on breakfast and tell him to play twelve songs an hour, and whatever you say about Ashley Tabor and Richard Park, they ain't stupid.

Back when Richard was making Capital into a very successful station, I would have agreed. But with Charles Allen as part of Global's senior management, we've been seeing ideas that just don't make sense.

To give you an example of what I mean, Global just recently hired James Dundon away from Pirate FM. A more shocking turn of events you couldn't have imagined. As Drivetime Host, James did really heavy personality radio, something that I would never have expected Global to buy into for Heart Cornwall. And he's now moving into Heart Cornwall Drivetime, and they've dumped Victoria Leigh, who I liked from her days at Atlantic FM.

I wouldn't mind, but James ain't a 30 second minimalist link kinda guy, and all it suggests to me is that they're desperate to get out of 3rd place in Cornwall, behind Pirate and Radio Cornwall. I just don't think they can hire talent away from the competition to make their shows better. COUGHSusannaReidAdrianChilesCOUGH

I'm afraid it's the Charles Allen influence showing through there.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

So what I'm expecting from this new Radio X, would be the radio version of a lads mag.

It wouldn't be the first time Xfm has had a laddish format. After Richard Park's first attempt of putting on 'Virgin' on Xfm in 1998, they attempted a lads format with the likes of Tom Binns, Tim Lovejoy and Robin Banks as part of the line-up.

My main concern is with this new station is they'll once again turn Xfm into a clone of Absolute which will provide less choice. However when I dipped into the station recently it did sound very bland.

1 year, 11 months ago

I'm sure Charles Allen has a lot of input into who's doing drivetime in Cornwall...

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook, where did I say that Charles Allen headhunted James Dundon personally? Mind you, I think it's pretty clear that Dundon was headhunted. He had a lot of creative freedom at Pirate, and was Deputy Programme Controller, so had responsibility too. It's not as though he was only a Presenter.

Perhaps if you read the actual words that were written, not the ones you think I wrote, you might actually start to understand what I'm saying.

1 year, 11 months ago

So what I'm expecting from this new Radio X, would be the radio version of a lads mag.

I suspect you're probably not too far off the mark: with Heart established as the female-leaning brand and Capital targeting the youngsters, my guess is that the new-look XFM will be aimed at a thirtysomething predominantly male audience who are too young for R2, too old for R1 and find don't like Heart.

If the whispers I've been hearing are true, the deal required to persuade Moyles to join includes giving him an almost unprecedented level of control over the breakfast show. If that is true, in the long run, that may or may not turn out be a good thing -- but it does suggest that this is going to be a very different sort of station to that which we've become accustomed to from Global.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

my guess is that the new-look XFM will be aimed at a thirtysomething predominantly male audience who are too young for R2, too old for R1 and find don't like Heart.

That would be a significant shift from the current Xfm which targets males under 30.

Presumably Global want a slice of Bauer's thirty something male audience from Absolute and their spin-off stations.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I said that Global would lose if Radio Exe actually wanted to pursue a claim.

Global have successfully trademarked "Radio X", so I would doubt that. It'll probably benefit Radio Exe in any case, thanks to RAJAR misattribution. Assuming Radio Exe is in RAJAR. I'm actually too disinterested to look.

I also would expect that, while the station has a logo saying "Radio X", it will be branded on-air as simply "X". I'm recommending to clients that you do exactly that - use the 'radio' word on your logo even if you never use it on the air. Larry Gifford has posted something quite nice about radio station logos, which is even more relevant in Europe where we don't, generally, add a frequency to a station name.

Today I drove - well, okay, was driven - past a big fancy billboard for Magic. The ad said "Make every day Magic", and had a big piece of letter-art saying "Magic". Only at the bottom-right did the tell-tale "105.4 FM and DAB Digital Radio" small print reveal that it was a radio station. At least the TV ad leaves you in no doubt.

My view, not that it matters in the slightest, is that this is an attempt by Global to be recognised for radio talent and creativity: two elements that (sorry) Heart and Capital don't have.

Listening to LBC often, as I do, I suspect they're running ad-loads of about 4 minutes an hour, no more: and I can't believe that's deliberate. I suspect LBC is there as a loss-making station to deliver a political job for Global - both sucking up to Westminster politics, but also setting out to prove that commercial radio can do great speech programming if it wants to. I suspect that LBC's success is to attract new advertisers who get interested in radio advertising because of LBC, but are then actually sold Capital and Heart.

Xfm was always used by Capital and GCap as the "young cool station" that was promoted heavily in and around Tottenham Court Road to the ad planners: and that was the trojan horse into getting all of those stations onto an advertiser's planning schedule. Similarly, I suspect that "Radio X" will do a similar job - appealing to ad planners who don't listen to the too-childish Capital or the too-mumsy Heart.

I'm suspecting that "X" is a clever strategic move for ad revenue; a crafty way of ensuring that commercial radio attracts new audiences who might be disaffected with Radio 1 or 6 Music; and a political move to attract the music industry. It's also a big shot across the bows of Bauer (Absolute) and UTV (Virgin Radio).

We probably shouldn't forget that Xfm, for a while, ran as a jukebox during daytime - that's how disinterested station management were in it; and that under its current guise will never be a major player in radio, given a narrow music policy that lacks mass appeal, and (for all that Jon Holmes is excellent) lacking well-known personalities. I'd liken the launch of "Radio X" to Chris Evans joining Virgin Radio - a big personality joining a new station with a very different music policy. I hope it proves that personalities drive audience.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook, where did I say that Charles Allen headhunted James Dundon personally?

Nowhere.

Where did I say that you said that??

The point is, there's a long way beyond strategy at board level and day-to-day operations of local variants of individual brands. How does Charles Allen's presence on the board affect Cornwall drivetime, exactly??

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I'd liken the launch of "Radio X" to Chris Evans joining Virgin Radio - a big personality joining a new station with a very different music policy.

Just how different and how much freedom will Chris Moyles have? He's probably the most important talent Global have had since Chris Tarrant joined Capital in the 80s.

Even in the early noughties, CT had the freedom to play jarring 1980s soft rock tracks on a CHR station as he was still delivering great Rajar and revenue for the whole Capital Radio Group.

Question is will the cult of Moyles be enough to keep the existing audience, while introducing ex Radio 1 listeners who are already used to Moyles's freeform?

1 year, 11 months ago

Charles Allen has very little creative input I imagine. That's what Ashley Tabor and Richard Park are there to do. I've no doubt Dundon was headhunted but I thought it was a great appointment by Global at a time when they're a bit over-keen on TV presenters. They hired someone with a track record in commercial radio in Cornwall, for a show which requires someone who can talk lots and have a personality at the same time. (Two very different things.)

If Global didn't care about listeners they wouldn't have re-introduced local shows to Smooth when they didn't have to. Likewise, the former Reals in England, plus Heart West Midlands, could take London output. They chose not to do that.

As for Radio X, well it sounds brilliant on paper if all this is true. Chris Moyles has lived with Tabor and worked for Park previously, and in any case they're not stupid. They're not going to hire Moyles to play 6 in a row. They're hiring him because he's one of the finest broadcasters of my (I'm 30) generation.

What I do want to know is if Dave Vitty will be involved? Does Dominic Byrne still work for Global?

1 year, 11 months ago

If Global didn't care about listeners they wouldn't have re-introduced local shows to Smooth when they didn't have to. Likewise, the former Reals in England, plus Heart West Midlands, could take London output. They chose not to do that.

I'm sure the Communicorp deals, and the fuller speech requirements of the ex-Real stations, mean full networking would only be possible for a couple of stations. And that's contingent on a single Heart or Smooth service being available nationally on DAB, which they're not.

Anyway, I'd love to know how the regional Smooth breakfast and drive shows demonstrate Global's 'care for the listeners.' They've got some great experienced broadcasters relegated to broadcasting almost no content with as little local or personality input as possible.

Dragging the subject back to Radio X, it'll be interesting to hear how much individual personality the presenters on the station will be able to show. Will it be closer to LBC than Heart??

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

If Global didn't care about listeners they wouldn't have re-introduced local shows to Smooth when they didn't have to.

In fact, for local stations, promotions are a large part of the income. These are considerably easier if you have local shows to do promotions on. It's a pragmatic choice to increase revenue.

1 year, 11 months ago

If Global didn't care about listeners they wouldn't have re-introduced local shows to Smooth when they didn't have to.

Ofcom says they do.

1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if Juice is going to also take on this new brand? It's all gone very quiet on that front, compared to the speed at which Heart arrived on Atlantic.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if Juice is going to also take on this new brand? It's all gone very quiet on that front, compared to the speed at which Heart arrived on Atlantic.

Juice is just like the old Beat 106 licence in Scotland, which could either go Capital or X depending on which is more viable for the TSA.

I suspect it'll rebrand as Capital as it'll pose more of a threat to Bauer's Radio City than X which would compete with the soon to relaunch male skewed CityTalk when it moves to AM.

1 year, 11 months ago

How long before XFM Manchester becomes X and ends up in the sewer if it's only filled with the rants of Moyles and the tedium of Nick Grimshaw and Vernon Kay?

I listen to a fair bit of XFM Manchester, but while there's some DJs I'd like them to keep, there are also others that could easily be done away with, such as those who routinely bellow all over the end of songs which have a definitive ending. I got into a dicsussion with one woman there on Twitter. Well, she started banging on about why she was right and I countered all her arguments. I still have a record of all the tweets but she deleted almost all of the ones she'd sent about an hour later, and blocked me from her Twitter (fine, I couldn't care less. I never tweeted her in the first place. She brought it into the conversation part-way through) and also from @xfm and @xfmmanchester. I tried emailing XFM about this via their website, a couple of days later, but no-one ever bothered replying.

One of her last tweets was along the lines of "Well, I've been doing this 12 years, matey!" I replied: "Well, you've still got at least one thing left to learn, then."

Other stations have their offenders, of course, but several of the XFM DJs waffle over songs all too often. In this case, the song ending ruined was Radiohead's Paranoid Android. Another woman ruined The Doors' Break On Through. Both are cracking songs where any talking, before they end, is an instant mood killer. It's on a par with making sexytime with your girlfriend and then, right before she has an orgasm, telling her she's not as good as her sister.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Going through Dom's diatribe, basically he doesn't like Moyles and Kay which is fair enough, there are other stations he can listen to in Manchester targeting him such as Real XS where they don't have celebrity presenters and older rock music.

Now I'm assuming that Dom got into a squabble with a Xfm presenter who quite rightly has the 12 years of professional radio experience. If I was in the job to have a listener telling me how to do my job, I'd feel exactly the same!

Returning to Radio X/Xfm. Original Xfm owner Sammy Jacob has yet again created another radio station playing alternative music. CDNX will be on the small scale DAB trial in London and unlike the Global station doesn't have DJ banter.

1 year, 11 months ago

"diatribe". Oh dear....

XS is pretty good. However, when they go to ads or, at breakfast, have presenters waffling away ad infinitum, I have to change over. XFM is an alternative, but not if Moyles will be on there. He's just a rude clown.

As for the "squabble", do you think it's okay for presenters to waffle over the ends of songs, then? How is destroying the atmosphere, created by the song, in any way professional?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

As for the "squabble", do you think it's okay for presenters to waffle over the ends of songs, then? How is destroying the atmosphere, created by the song, in any way professional?

You clearly don't listen to enough radio to hear professional presenters do a great job of talking at the end of tracks without annoying the average listener of which you're clearly not.

In this era of multiplatform entertainment, there are means and ways of listening to music uninterrupted by presenter chatter without the need to complain to a presenter who's just doing their job as requested to fit in with the format of the radio station.

1 year, 11 months ago

How can any presenter do a "great job" at talking over the end of a song? It's an insult to the musicians who created it.

1 year, 11 months ago

Off topic but Celador have confirmed the conversion of Palm to the Breeze.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

As reported by Radio Today, Global are handing back the Xfm Scotland licence to Ofcom, presumably as they can't network fully with London, while Eddy Temple-Morris is leaving the station.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

This presumably also means that Clint Boon and Tim Cocker will no longer be doing local programming in Manchester.

And, wow, that's bad news for the folk in Glasgow. It is, however, a tiny and almost irrelevant licence.

1 year, 11 months ago

I'll miss Clint Boon and Tim Cocker's shows. If they're replaced by Moyles, Grimshaw, Kay et al, I'll simply de-tune XFM from my car as there'll be no reason to listen.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

And, wow, that's bad news for the folk in Glasgow. It is, however, a tiny and almost irrelevant licence.

The Paisley licence is similar to some of the small scale commercial licences in London which were handed back in 2009. Those licences were a mistake in the first place and I suspect that licence in particular would have been handed in years ago if it wasn't for GMG acquiring Q96 in the first place.

This presumably also means that Clint Boon and Tim Cocker will no longer be doing local programming in Manchester.

And Gareth Brooks who has been with Xfm since the Capital days in London and moved to Manchester when it launched.

1 year, 11 months ago

Will anyone miss it?

XFM has been a very poor performer in Scotland and it keeps heading downwards. Even when it was a regional service it never did well. Now with a flea powered transmitter in a corner of Glasgow's conurbation, it stood even less chance.

Whilst I liked the music it played, I found better satisfaction from other radio stations that played it, such as 6 Music, Original 106, plus Spotify.

It's sad to see it become worthless like that. It's also bloody annoying that Global want to hand back the licence when we know that there are potential local operators (such as Go Radio or even Rocksport) who would snap up the opportunity to broadcast on FM to their intended service area, with local content.

I tell you what, though - considering how badly XFM Scotland has performed and also considering how badly Heart is doing in Central Scotland - could there be a similar fate for Heart?

1 year, 11 months ago

...could there be a similar fate for Heart?

No. Xfm Scotland has 60,000 listeners and is at odds with the national strategy for the brand. Heart has 420,000 and complements the network.

1 year, 11 months ago

420K just now - but that has gone down quite considerably from what it was before the re-brand to Heart - and we still don't know if it's hit the bottom yet. Could it get much lower than that?

Also bear in mind that the set-up with XFM Scotland is similar to Heart. Both of them occupy the same building. They each have two shows to make. They have to pay the leccy bill for the transmission chain.

Now we can do the comparisons. They have local presenters to pay. Heart Scotland has three presenters, XFM Scotland has two. Robin Galloway and his co-presenter wouldn't be cheap. XFM Scotland has 60K with one low powered FM transmitter and DAB on the regional multiplex and a bolt-on on the Ayrshire multiplex. Heart has two high powered FM transmitters, three low powered ones, plus two local DAB MUX's to occupy space on.

The size of listenership between X and Heart might be 7 times greater - but is the advertising revenue reflecting that, with Heart's greater costs to operate?

Almost all businesses will eventually shed loss-making arms to keep their profitable arms going. Global made that decision with XFM because they did not want to pay for two local presenters and a local transmitter (due to OfCom's regulations) when they simply could not get enough advertising revenue to pay for the expense of it all.

So where does that leave Heart? If those audiences keep going down (as they have been doing) and the audiences who are tuned in are doing so for less than half of the time that they used to, the local and regional advertisers will soon be considering if it's worth their while advertising with Heart - or advertising elsewhere for better yield. Could Heart Scotland survive on national advertisers alone? Will it soon get into such considerable losses (as was the case with XFM) that it becomes the loss making arm that is dragging the rest of the business down?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Heart isn't going anywhere Art.

1 year, 11 months ago

So you don't think that Global will try to persuade OfCom to reduce local content on their two remaining Scottish stations (one of which is a regional licence) to make them profitable and you don't think they'll hand the licences back if OfCom say no?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Art - no. The point here is that X in Manchester can be entirely networked but it can't be in Glasgow, and it doesn't suit the X brand to not have Moyles or Vaughan. Heart has local presenters at breakfast and drive everywhere, and that is a part of the brand and revenue model. While I appreciate your hatred for Heart, it is a successful station (in terms of numbers if not trend) in significant profit.

1 year, 11 months ago

Check the figures as well, Art. Heart Scotland is still in the Top 5 Heart stations.

1 year, 11 months ago

Firstly, go and read John Myers' book and find out just what a commercial catastrophe Scot FM was, the station whose return you long for.

Secondly, Heart Scotland is doing just fine. Yes, it's down on Real Radio but it's a hell of a lot cheaper to run, and so consequently that hit on audience is worth it. Sometimes, you have to lose a little to win a lot.

In the case of XFM, I can perfectly understand why Global are handing this back. If I were a betting man - which I am - I'd put a lot of money on this Chris Moyles thing being true. There's no way he is going to be restricted to London only especially if, as predicted, the station is going on D1.

1 year, 11 months ago

"Firstly, go and read John Myers' book and find out just what a commercial catastrophe Scot FM was, the station whose return you long for."

Stop making up stuff that you don't actually know, Mr Martin. I didn't like Scot FM and I certainly don't hanker for its return. Interesting that you should mention Scot FM being a commercial catastrophe - because Heart's listening figures could end up being lower than there's was. Scot FM had a 50% speech ratio to satisfy as well - which meant heavily produced hour long news bulletins at drivetime, phone-ins and so on.

Also, some of you are contesting my theories on what could happen to Heart in Scotland, which is fine. I'm sure you could have said he same for XFM in Scotland six months ago. Not many groups have handed back licences (I'm sure this is the first time that Global has) - and on a few occasions that groups have done so, it has been due to restrictions placed by OfCom.

Also James, I'm not sure about your theory regarding Chris Moyles and how important he is to the brand. Heart London had Emma Bunting on it (a former Spice Girl, for goodness sake) but they still have local presenters all around the country when she's on air.

"Check the figures as well, Art. Heart Scotland is still in the Top 5 Heart stations."

Check the figures Michael. After XFM Scotland, Heart is the poorest performing FM commercial radio station in Scotland. Try selling that to advertisers.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Also James, I'm not sure about your theory regarding Chris Moyles and how important he is to the brand. Heart London had Emma Bunting on it (a former Spice Girl, for goodness sake) but they still have local presenters all around the country when she's on air.

Radio X is (planned to be) a national radio station, with big-name radio personalities. It'll sell national advertising on Digital One. It makes no sense to sell separate advertising on two little FM's in Manchester and Glasgow. It makes even less sense to take away the headline star, who presumably won't have come cheap.

Heart is a collection of local radio stations, which earns its revenue from many local advertisers, including local breakfast and drive shows which enables local promotional revenue. "Scotland's top town" is a sponsorable feature that rather underlines that point. Heart is an entirely different business model.

And she's called Bunton.

1 year, 11 months ago

Can someone please explain the draw in recruiting a boorish oaf who's long past it, returning him to a breakfast slot? I didn't care for Moyles when he was the self-proclaimed "saviour of Radio 1", and any bits I heard of it either featured him shouting or slagging off his sycophantic staff, once calling a female co-presenter a "dog".

X haven't got the first idea. Try promoting NEW talent, not yesterday's men (and women).

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

One thing I've learnt, Dom, is that it's much better saying nice things about people, and just biting your tongue if "a boorish oaf who's long past it" doesn't rock your boat.

But "the draw" is that Moyles is a brilliant and accomplished broadcaster, a creative and talented presenter, and a jolly nice man. If he's not your cup of tea, then that's absolutely fine, because it shows that he has a personality you have an opinion about. Other people who are 'Marmite' presenters include Chris Evans, Steve Penk, and - to a point - Christian O'Connell or Jon Holmes. People who are lovely and inoffensive are absolutely fine, and you're welcome to them. The brilliant thing about the radio is there's lots of choice, and you don't have to listen if you don't want to.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Also James, I'm not sure about your theory regarding Chris Moyles and how important he is to the brand. Heart London had Emma Bunting on it (a former Spice Girl, for goodness sake) but they still have local presenters all around the country when she's on air.

Heart London is a quasi-national station to be fair with national coverage on Sky, Freeview, Virgin etc.

For the target audience that Global are looking for, Moyles is the right presenter for this station and with his high profile, much needed publicity for the new station. And unlike other high profile presenters, he's a jock through and through who understands the industry.

1 year, 11 months ago

Global have handed back a couple of Gold licenses but that's about it until now.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Global have handed back a couple of Gold licenses but that's about it until now.

The one in Crawley was due to an overlapping TSA with Gold London, the other in Devon I believe was due to competition issues at the time?

1 year, 11 months ago

I think you might be right there.

The thing about any personality broadcaster is they will not suit everyone's taste. Chris Moyles will be a huge draw and might - just might - be the real serious game changer when it comes to DAB in this country. I won't be getting one for the car - a) because I'm changing it in the next 18 months and b) my Galaxy Note gives me a connected dash anyway - including RadioPlayer. But you can be sure as hell I'll be having it on for my commute. And he'll be a great excuse for people who don't currently have DAB to go out and get one.

1 year, 11 months ago

One thing I've learnt, Dom, is that it's much better saying nice things about people, and just biting your tongue if "a boorish oaf who's long past it" doesn't rock your boat.

Well, I speak as I find, and the last person on this planet who has any sensitivity is Moyles. I've had enough in this life from Penk and Evans, too.

Still, Moyles can't live off the revenue from A Week In The Life Of Chris Moyles, and Vernon Kay's resurrection of Family Fortunes has gone, and I'd be surprised if 1000 Heartbeats is coming back. (cue joke about lack of heartbeats and dead programme, etc), so only Tess is earning with that junk of a dancing programme on BBC1.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Chris Moyles will be a huge draw and might - just might - be the real serious game changer when it comes to DAB in this country. I won't be getting one for the car - a) because I'm changing it in the next 18 months and b) my Galaxy Note gives me a connected dash anyway - including RadioPlayer. But you can be sure as hell I'll be having it on for my commute. And he'll be a great excuse for people who don't currently have DAB to go out and get one.

The saviour of digital radio should be his new tagline!

There's a big thirty something audience that Radio 1 dumped under Ben Cooper who find 6 Music too anal and Absolute a bit too solid and generic during the workday. All it needs is for Scott Mills to join Global and there's a line-up that ex R1 listeners will find a viable alternative to R2 who don't feel they're 'old' yet.

Can I just add that CDNX, of which Sammy Jacob is involved in, is the baby of Iain Baker, a former member of Jesus Jones and ex Xfm presenter.

1 year, 11 months ago

Scott Mills? Oh God, no!!

With Grimshaw and Kay, it'll be the bland, leading the bland, leading the bland!!

1 year, 11 months ago

I don't think Grimmy is jumping ship!

Good point Martin. When the original Bannister revolution happened, the commercial sector flourished. There hasn't really been a major beneficiary of "Bannister 2" because in my opinion neither the BBC or Commercial Radio have had a product for the "displaced" audience like it did 20 years ago, and I feel that may be about to change.

1 year, 11 months ago

Check the figures Michael. After XFM Scotland, Heart is the poorest performing FM commercial radio station in Scotland. Try selling that to advertisers.

Lies, damn lies and statistics...

Out of 20+ Scottish stations in Rajar, Heart has the third highest number of listeners. If a sales professional can't sell 400,000 central belt listeners, maybe they should be looking for another job.

1 year, 11 months ago

Mmm! If I was an advertiser based in Glasgow and had a choice between Clyde 1's 583,000 listeners in my business catchment area, who are tuned in for 8 hours, as opposed to 420,000 across the whole of Central Scotland, who are tuned in for 5 hours, I know which one I'd go for. I'd go for the station where my advert is likely to be heard more often and by more people.

It's like the difference between Thomson Local and Yellow Pages.

1 year, 11 months ago

In reality, you'd advertise on both.

1 year, 11 months ago

Yep. Different audiences, different listeners.

Heart is still not the "poorest performing" station...

1 year, 11 months ago

By your logic, Arthur, every station that's not the market leader is doomed.

1 year, 11 months ago

James Cridland;

Global have successfully trademarked "Radio X", so I would doubt that. It'll probably benefit Radio Exe in any case, thanks to RAJAR misattribution. Assuming Radio Exe is in RAJAR. I'm actually too disinterested to look.

They are in RAJAR but to be honest, the misattribution I would expect to go the other way. Away from Radio Exe and to Radio X. Not that it will make a lot of difference to Radio X, the Radio Exe audience is a mere 22,000, with a share in their area of 4.0%. It's not a high performer.

Michael Cook;

The point is, there's a long way beyond strategy at board level and day-to-day operations of local variants of individual brands. How does Charles Allen's presence on the board affect Cornwall drivetime, exactly??

The men at the top, the Chairman and the CEO, set the culture of an organisation, which includes things like hiring strategies for their subsidiaries.

And really, there isn't that far between the board and the local stations in Global. Between them really is only the regional MD for Heart, and that's it. Unlike the BBC where you have about 3 or 4 layers of middle management between the DG and the local radio stations.

Michael Cook again...

Heart Scotland is still in the Top 5 Heart stations.

By what metric are you basing that on?

By reach, they're the 4th worst, only beating three other ex Real stations.

By total hours, they're the 5th worst, although I'd counter there that Heart Cornwall is so much smaller, I probably shouldn't include that, but Heart Cornwall outperforms Heart Scotland in terms of reach, by 24% to 15%, so I really have to include them.

By listening share in TSA, they are the second worst, only beating Heart North West.

At the moment, your 'stat' comes off as "FALSE" according to the Politifact scale.

Now, to the point that was made between Art Grainger and Dom Robinson. First, Art said...

Mmm! If I was an advertiser based in Glasgow and had a choice between Clyde 1's 583,000 listeners in my business catchment area, who are tuned in for 8 hours, as opposed to 420,000 across the whole of Central Scotland, who are tuned in for 5 hours, I know which one I'd go for. I'd go for the station where my advert is likely to be heard more often and by more people.

To which Dom countered...

In reality, you'd advertise on both.

Not necessarily. If you could afford the advertising budget to advertise on both, then yes, you would, but not every business that advertises on the radio, can afford to advertise on all the local stations in their area.

I've spoken to various local businesses, and they tend to go with the station that has the most listeners in their area. There are exceptions, as some advertisers know that their clientele listen primarily to other stations and so they choose on those and not on the main one, but generally, in a choice between Clyde 1 and Heart Scotland, if I could only afford to advertise on one station, I'd choose Clyde 1, more listeners, more hours per listeners means more chances for my advert to be heard by my prospective clients.

1 year, 11 months ago

And really, there isn't that far between the board and the local stations in Global. Between them really is only the regional MD for Heart, and that's it.

Chairman (Charles Allen) -> Group CEO (Stephen Miron) -> Director of Programmes (Richard Park) -> Regional PD (Luis Clark) -> Local PD -> Drivetime Presenter.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook again...
Heart Scotland is still in the Top 5 Heart stations.
By what metric are you basing that on?

Number of listeners.

1 year, 11 months ago

And once again, on that count, you're busted, Michael Cook

From the biggest to Heart Scotland, in order...

  1. Heart London - 1985k
  2. Heart West Midlands - 700k
  3. Heart West Country - 651k
  4. Heart North West - 558k
  5. Heart Four Counties - 498k
  6. Heart South Wales - 458k
  7. Heart Scotland - 424k

So they're 7th, not 5th.

Still False.

1 year, 11 months ago

Matt Deegan, thank you for proving my point.

Your first three that you mention are all on the board of directors.

The local PD is where the local station starts.

Who's between them? Only the regional PD, (not MD, my goof on that count)

There aren't the layers between the top people and local stations in Global that there is in the BBC.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian - you've clearly never worked at Global...

1 year, 11 months ago

Sorry if I miscounted. 7th then. The point - Global aren't about to hand back the Heart Scotland licence - remains exactly the same

("Busted"? Really?)

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

How did we get from discussing an important rebrand of a Global station to even more Heart bashing?

1 year, 11 months ago

Matt Deegan, and that matters? No, not in the slightest.

Michael Cook,

Yes, you were "Busted", your facts did not add up, by all the metrics, your statement about Heart Scotland was "False", you were "Busted", it was as simple as that.

The point - Global aren't about to hand back the Heart Scotland licence - remains exactly the same.

They may not hand it back in the next few months, but at the moment, prospects there don't look good.

No growth in Reach%, stuck at 15%. Share over the last 12 months is down 20%. By share performance, that makes Heart Scotland the worst performing station in the whole Heart Network, a network that by the way is down 3.1% in terms of share over the past 12 months.

It might not be anywhere near handed back territory yet, but it isn't even remotely a good performer in terms of ratings for Heart.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

How did we get from discussing an important rebrand of a Global station to even more Heart bashing?

Love the spin here!

Acknowledging that Heart Scotland is a poor performer, in a network that's slightly down year on year, suddenly becomes Heart bashing.

How about just calling it what it is. Telling it straight, no spin.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin - we let The Chuckle Brothers hijack the thread, that's why!

1 year, 11 months ago

James Martin;

Chuckle Brothers?

If you're just trying to insult someone, it might actually be better to just actually say nothing. If not, well, I don't know what point you're making, cos you're not making any sense.

1 year, 11 months ago

no spin.

Heart Scotland is the 7th biggest Heart station out of 21 in the network and operates in an important marketplace so even though it is steadily losing audience there is no way Global will be closing it down, even after the next few months.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

How about just calling it what it is.

Inane, pointless and off-topic discussion of a station which is part of a wider quasi-national network which suits a couple of old anoraks who still can't believe it's no longer 1987.

Last time I checked this thread which you started Ian, it's about a rebrand of Xfm and it's implications, not Heart.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook;

7th biggest number of listeners in the Heart Network, but the station is in the 4th biggest TSA in the network. That suggests the station is performing below par. And by reach%, it is the 4th worst. By total hours, 5th worst. By listening share, second worst. By listening share year on year, the worst performer.

You'd expect a station with a TSA over 2.7 million to do a bit better than 15% reach.

1 year, 11 months ago

Hey Martin, a discussion goes where it goes. And, I introduced Heart into this, by referencing Heart Cornwall, but I also have referenced Pirate FM, Radio Plymouth and Radio Exe in this thread too.

Arthur referenced Heart Scotland after the announcement of Xfm closing their Glasgow station.

If you don't like where a discussion goes, then here's a suggestion for you. Instead of complaining about it, how about trying to change it back? It'll either work, or it won't.

1 year, 11 months ago

Well, no, you'd expect stations with big TSAs to be in the most competitive markets and so to have smaller reaches.... (Look at all the London stations, for example)

But the point remains that HEART SCOTLAND HAS OVER 400,000 LISTENERS, IS THE 7TH BIGGEST HEART STATION AND WON'T BE HANDED BACK LIKE XFM WAS!!!!!!!!

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

But the point remains that HEART SCOTLAND HAS OVER 400,000 LISTENERS, IS THE 7TH BIGGEST HEART STATION AND WON'T BE HANDED BACK LIKE XFM WAS!!!!!!!!

  • Awaits Ian to be always right again *

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook;

HEART SCOTLAND HAS OVER 400,000 LISTENERS, IS THE 7TH BIGGEST HEART STATION AND WON'T BE HANDED BACK LIKE XFM WAS!!!!!!!!

You are just defending, because you can't bear the truth. Heck, Heart Scotland, has almost as many listeners as the total size of Heart Cornwall's TSA. But Heart Scotland's TSA is about 6 times bigger.

Capital Scotland, by the way, in the same TSA, has 531,000 listeners and a 6.5% share, compared to 424,000 and 4.8%. It's getting more listeners and a better share of listening. It's performing better for Global, than Heart Scotland is. Heart Scotland is way down, and is not looking great. Capital Scotland is increasing listeners, and increasing share on the last quarter, though not year on year. I look at the figures and think that Heart Scotland needs a big kick up the rear end, in order to compete well.

1 year, 11 months ago

You are just defending, because you can't bear the truth

Everything you 've just written is true. But can you not see that it's not 'defending' anything to restate that the follwing is still true??

HEART SCOTLAND HAS OVER 400,000 LISTENERS

It IS THE 7TH BIGGEST HEART STATION

IT WON'T BE HANDED BACK LIKE XFM WAS.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael, if it keeps going down the way it has been over the past year, it's not impossible to see it happening, maybe 5 years down the road. It's unlikely, but I can't call it impossible.

Heart Cornwall definitely won't get handed back, they're up over 31% year on year, which is the second best performance year on year, behind Heart North Wales.

But none of this matters, because you're at Bill O'Reilly stage 3 "We'll do it live!" spinning out of control, and all you can do is keep repeating the best spin that you can about Heart Scotland. The rest of the data, doesn't look as good. Just accept it, and let it go.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

The only spin I'm seeing in this thread is from James Bond superfan Mr Beaumont and his sidekick Mr Grainger.

Captain Peacock, are you free to discuss Xfm?

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

A Heart superfan accusing someone else of spin, is about on the same par, with the liberal media myth that constantly spread by Fox News and conservative talk radio, it's a big myth that's been busted so many times, it makes it laughable now every time it comes up.

Now if you have something to say about Xfm, don't ask permission, just say it.

1 year, 11 months ago

A point of order Ian. Capital Scotland is not owned by Global.

"In reality, you'd advertise on both." Dom 'Domsez' Robinson

Not necessarily. By the way, I speak with qualification on that because I have been an advertiser and I have made assessments on who I should advertise with. I chose Yellow Pages because I just knew that hardly anyone bothered to look at Thomson Local, yet the YP was in almost every living room. I had also been contacted by a radio station (based in Essex) who I just laughed at for trying, although I did seriously consider one local station, only to not bother because I knew that with the amount of listeners they were actually getting, I wouldn't get a return for my money.

Besides Dom, as you know, many businesses based in the West of Scotland do not consider getting much custom from the East of Scotland. Those hills in the middle that separate the West from the East and put time on people's journeys ensure that. So the reality is that whilst Clyde 1 has 583K, Heart Scotland's reach in the West is closer to 280K (based on the rule of thumb that nearly two-thirds of the population of Central Scotland lives in the West) - so it's not even half as many potential listeners/customers in the primary catchment area of businesses in the West.

"By your logic, Arthur, every station that's not the market leader is doomed." Michael Cook.

With the history of local radio in Central Scotland, including the very licence that we speak of (XFM , formerly Q96/QFM/Rock Radio/Real XS), that is correct. It is because they weren't market leaders and in some instances were so far behind the market leader, that their fate had been decided and some of them closed down, whilst others limped on, never making a profit but they had different owners paying the bills whilst being in debt. Q96/QFM lost a lot of potential advertisers simply because Radio Clyde had far more listeners.

So, the point I keep making, far from being "Heart bashing," since we are talking about the sister station of Heart, who occupy the same building as Heart, had the same sales staff as Heart, had a similar program commitment to Heart, with a close number of presenters to Heart and so on, is that XFM's licence has been returned by Global because the BUSINESS REALITY (never mind the spin about wanting to have Chris Moyles broadcast at breakfast to the good folks of Glasgow) is that it didn't have enough listeners and advertising revenue to sustain it. If XFM had a reach of, say, 50% and was pulling in 5 trillion pounds a year in advertising, XFM Scotland would be broadcasting in parallel to a national XFM, as Smooth does just now.

So, if the fate of X was (really) decided on that basis, then Heart could be on a shoogley peg as well - especially if (as I have tried to make the point) the audience levels keep going down, the number of hours per listener keeps going down and advertisers find it more worthwhile to advertise on other stations (as they did for decades prior to this one when other radio stations tried to provide a service).

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

A Heart superfan accusing someone else of spin, is about on the same par, with the liberal media myth that constantly spread by Fox News and conservative talk radio, it's a big myth that's been busted so many times, it makes it laughable now every time it comes up.

How the hell am I a Heart superfan? I hardly listen to the station, but can see the commercial reality of why it and other branded stations are there.

And Ian, please stop using the same points about American political broadcasters that you continue to use on here and TV Forum. It's too niche a subject for a British broadcasting forum and for your radio show in the South West.

1 year, 11 months ago

"HEART SCOTLAND HAS OVER 400,000 LISTENERS."

Michael, as I pointed out in my post above, Central Scotland is divided between East and West. Businesses in the West of Scotland would not consider that number. They would consider that due to the rule-of-thumb of two-thirds of the population living in the West, then Heart's reach in that area is closer to 280K. Therefore in the primary catchment area of those businesses (Glasgow and the West of Scotland), Clyde 1 has more than twice the number of listeners and Clyde 1's audience are listening for three hours longer, which means that their adverts are likely to be heard by more people, more often, on Clyde 1.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin Philip;

please stop using the same points about American political broadcasters that you continue to use on here and TV Forum. It's too niche a subject for a British broadcasting forum and for your radio show in the South West.

You are aware that Fox News is viewable in this country, via Sky Digital?

Yeah, you can watch that crap.

You think that's too niche, considering we have CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox News, all American-originated services here in the UK , and tons of American news websites available for anyone to view. Look at the podcasts in the iTunes chart, lots of them are American.

We are part of a global village and there is increasing signs that American material is being viewed and listened to on a greater scale than ever before.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

You are aware that Fox News is viewable in this country, via Sky Digital?

Indeed, but the share is minute. It's a minority interest American news channel which has even more of a niche than Xfm in the UK or other international news channels, such as RT.

Your average UK viewer is more interested in American drama such as The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones than Bill O'Reilly spouting off right-wing rhetoric.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin, it might only have a couple of hundred thousand viewers, but many more are aware of it and aware of what it really is, than you seem to think, and awareness is growing.

Heck, US politics still gets plenty of time in UK news, radio and TV. Plenty of people out there choose to get their US political news from the broadcasters on the scene, not from BBC News or ITN or Sky.

I'm just aware of it happening, and it's not a small thing either. Heck, more people watch Fox News in the UK than listened to Xfm Scotland.

1 year, 11 months ago

I expect Heart Scotland will last longer than I will, although that may be because as I read this thread I am rapidly losing the will to live.

1 year, 11 months ago

I'm just aware of it happening, and it's not a small thing either. Heck, more people watch Fox News in the UK than listened to Xfm Scotland

But Xfm Scotland was a very small thing. That's the point of the thread.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook, I'm feeling the same feeling, rapidly losing the will to live, because people will never accept fact, and will only stick to their own spin, at all costs, even if they end up spinning so fast they create their own mini-tornado.

Perhaps if people could actually learn to say, 'you're right, I'm wrong, my goof.' like I did with the correction of regional PD, I might actually end up finding some actual humanity in the human race, rather than the current state of affairs which leaves me despairing for the future of the human race.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Michael Cook, I'm feeling the same feeling, rapidly losing the will to live, because people will never accept fact, and will only stick to their own spin, at all costs, even if they end up spinning so fast they create their own mini-tornado.

Pot, kettle.

1 year, 11 months ago

Rubbish, Martin.

I admitted my mistake in this thread. I just wish others would.

1 year, 11 months ago

If that's aimed at me, You should reread the thread to see I've already apologised for stating Heart Scotland is the 5th biggest Heart when it was actually the 7th biggest Heart. It was a grievous error. Mea fucking culpa and all that.

To be honest, I think it's more than a bit rude to have my miscounting labelled as Fox News spin, let alone being responsible for a cry of despair for the human race, but maybe I should take this stuff more seriously...

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael, your attempt to constantly spin this to make Heart Scotland look good, doesn't fly with me.

Using a raw number to spin that it's the 7th biggest, when really by the size of the TSA, it's the 4th, which suggests that it's performance is below par, and when checking the rest of the metrics, they back that idea up, is exactly the same kind of spin that we see in the Daily Fail, the rest of the conservative press in this country, Fox News and many other conservative news "sources", it is intellectual dishonesty, to my mind.

It's like trying to claim you won a football match, when in fact you lost. Nothing angers me more than seeing this constant use of spin, in just about every form of communication. There's so much spin going on, and nearly all of it, is useless and pointless. The savvy media consumer these days sees through it instantly, and it just makes the person or organisation doing the spinning look stupid and immature.

And that's the bottom line on this.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin, have you got anything to contribute really, or are you just trolling?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Martin, have you got anything to contribute really, or are you just trolling?

The only person here who's taken this thread off topic is you sir.

1 year, 11 months ago

Err, no, because it takes two people to take a thread off topic, one replying to the other.

And since you obviously have nothing more to say on this, may I suggest that James Cridland shut this thread down? The spin going on here is making me physically sick.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

How old are you Ian? I suspect over 40 and yet you're posting like a petulant child who doesn't like it when people disagree with your opinion.

The thread was perfectly fine until you started with your usual dose of anti Global and American political crap.

1 year, 11 months ago

If you don't like where a discussion goes, you are under no obligation to continue posting in it. Yet that's all you seem to do is post in threads, here and on TV Forum, and not a lot else.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ian, your mistake is assuming that I'm trying to make Heart Scotland look good (which I'm not).

Instead, I'm trying to show you that Heart Scotland is big (which it is).

No, not as big as Clyde.

Not as big as Capital.

Not as big as it would be if it had the average hours or share of the Heart network.

Not as big as it used to be.

Not as big as arguably it should be.

But Global just need it to be big. And right now it's clearly plenty big enough for Global not to hand back its licence.

1 year, 11 months ago

Michael, stop repeating yourself, you sound like a cracked record.

Yes, we know what you think, you've tried to hammer it into our brains so many times now, my head hurts.

Yes, it's big, but it's losing share, at a fairly alarming rate, 20% in the past year, and if that kind of trend were to continue, then Global could hand it back, say 5 years down the road.

Times change, things can happen. Never say never.

1 year, 11 months ago

. If XFM had a reach of, say, 50% and was pulling in 5 trillion pounds a year in advertising, XFM Scotland would be broadcasting in parallel to a national XFM, as Smooth does just now.

No, two different models.

There is no national Smooth. There are a series of regional stations, just like Heart and Capital, with 7 hours of local content a day. The Scottish Smooth follows this model.

The new Radio X will be one national station. In England, Ofcom have agreed that the specialist local Manchester licence can rebroadcast the London regional, as the rules allow. In Scotland, they've insisted that there must be 7 local hours, which doesn't fit Global's plans with Moyles. (Of course Global would act differently if Xfm Scotland wax a roaring success, but it 's not, so they are not.)

Right. I'm out.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Regarding Heart, while it's 'only' 7th place overall on share. It's as important that the station has analogue coverage in all the major cities, which the Heart Scotland licence does.

As Global are selling to national advertisers as well as local, the portfolio looks a lot more impressive with Glasgow and Edinburgh in than without. Regardless if the share is slightly reduced compared to Real's figures, which were largely inflated due to heavily funded promotions. If anything, Heart now reflects the real worth of the licence.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Finally, some news about Radio X for which the station WILL relaunch as.

Chris Moyles has tweeted that the station will launch on the 21st September at 6.30am.

1 year, 11 months ago

Dragging this back on topic, Chris himself has effectively confirmed the worst kept secret in radio. He starts on "Radio X" on September 21 at 6.30an.

1 year, 11 months ago

"No, two different models. There is no national Smooth. "

Actually there is. It's called Smooth Extra - unless you're trying to tell me that there's a considerable difference between it and the lesser Smooth's.

"There are a series of regional stations, just like Heart and Capital, with 7 hours of local content a day. The Scottish Smooth follows this model."

As did XFM.

"The new Radio X will be one national station. In England, Ofcom have agreed that the specialist local Manchester licence can rebroadcast the London regional, as the rules allow. In Scotland, they've insisted that there must be 7 local hours, which doesn't fit Global's plans with Moyles. (Of course Global would act differently if Xfm Scotland wax a roaring success, but it 's not, so they are not.)"

So my point has finally got through then? So surely Heart Scotland is also vulnerable, despite being "BIG" in your words (although in reality it's only got around 280K listeners in the West of Scotland - barely 4 times bigger than XFM Scotland, even though XFM Scotland had a much poorer signal). Heart's licence might not get handed back soon - but I wouldn't be surprised if it got sold off if it's current downward trend continues.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Interview with Moyles in The Sun which is paywall free.

1 year, 11 months ago

It's not going to happen. In the context of being in a network it's holding its' own in a very competitive market. If the reach was under 10% I'd be worried. You've also got to bear in mind that Heart is a hugely more targeted product than Real or Scot. 400,000 Heart listeners are probably easier to sell than 500,000 Real listeners.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Dominic Byrne and R1 producer Pippa Taylor will be part of the breakfast team.

1 year, 11 months ago

Dave Vitty is unlikely, but what about Aled?

(Global have also confirmed the news to staff in an internal email this evening.)

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Dave Vitty is unlikely, but what about Aled?

Aled has an editorial role at Radio 1 as well as co-presenting The Surgery.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ah, that's a shame. It'll be interesting to see how he works without Dave, who I understand wrote a lot of the material for the Radio 1 shows. But he was successful enough during his last time in commercial radio without him, so let's see.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Jon Holmes (London breakfast presenter) has tweeted that all details will be announced in the morning.

1 year, 11 months ago

The lineup, including Kay and Vaughan as rumoured, sounds great.

Sadly Global have confirmed it'll be 80k mono, which is really disappointing. This is going to be a real test of whether people will be prepared to put up with such low audio quality in order to hear Moylesy.

There will be many on here that believe mono doesn't matter - but as the main poster-boy for DAB, you'd think they'd whack this one on 128k Stereo?

1 year, 11 months ago

Sadly Global have confirmed it'll be 80k mono

I was all ready to spend £170 on a DAB unit for my car stereo until I read 80k mono. That's abysmal.

I guess I'll just stream it from from their new app on my phone via Bluetooth instead.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Not surprisingly, the announcement has gone down like a lead balloon with Xfm's current target audience, who will presumably retune to BBC 6 Music or small scale services such as CDNX which will launch in London later this month.

The main thing is the change in X's demo, it will be 25-44 rather than under 30. This change in demo puts it straight against Bauer's Absolute Radio with more of a new music focus, although I suspect with Moyles having a free reign and Kay and Vaughan being both over 40, more older 'dad rock' will feature.

1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, it is pretty abysmal and has completely put me off getting DAB fitted in my next car, which I'd have been prepared to do simply to hear Chris Moyles.

It's not a hassle as I'll just keep listening to him via the RadioPlayer instead, but that's probably not what Global would like me to do.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I've been told by someone at Global that Xfm's current demo is already 25-44 with the average age being 36. Baffles me to why they'd take the station older when it's already 36!

1 year, 11 months ago

I just find it weird that people who were eager to listen to Moyles and prepared to get DAB to do that, suddenly change their mind as soon as it's revealed that the DAB stream is 80kbps mono.

Yes, stereo would be nice, but for most music these days, there is little difference between hearing it in stereo and hearing it in mono, and some of the early stereo tracks of the 1960s are actually painful to listen to on earbuds or headphones. Okay in a perfectly set up audio environment on a hi-fi with the chair in the right place, but otherwise, just painful.

I guess that's why I don't get the fuss over stereo music.

1 year, 11 months ago

The answer to that is because I already have the technology in my car to listen to Moylesy in 128k stereo (or equivalent/comparable.)

Why would I spend upwards of a ton to fit DAB to my car, when the sound quality will be worse than what I can already get via my phone?

1 year, 11 months ago

I don't claim to be an "audiophile" but in a car I can quite easily tell the difference between a 128kbps MP3 and a 320kbps file.

I won't stop listening, but I certainly won't be investing in a new DAB module for my headunit.

Edit:

Why would I spend upwards of a ton to fit DAB to my car, when the sound quality will be worse than what I can already get via my phone?

My thoughts exactly.

1 year, 11 months ago

If there's one thing Global have really changed the game on, it's marketing. Needless to say I'm looking very forward to seeing the TV commercial.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Some good news out of this. John Kennedy is staying to present Xposure in the same time slot and Clint Boon from Xfm Manchester gets a weekend show.

1 year, 11 months ago

In another piece of related news, the old Xfm local DAB slots are mostly being replaced by Gold from next Monday, which I'm very happy about. I'm especially happy that that includes the Cornwall multiplex, because that will be the first time most of Cornwall has heard Gold on air. Gold is perhaps Global's best programmed service and yet it had been cut back significantly.

I can't help but wonder whether Pirate Oldies will respond to this, by changing their plans at all. The station is in "coming soon" mode, and is due to launch on 1st October. I wonder what they might do.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Gold is perhaps Global's best programmed service

Is it? It appears to be a jukebox at all hours of the day apart from breakfast.

Is Pirate Oldies going to be a jukebox at all hours of the day including breakfast? I suspect it will be.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Tony Dibbin has done a great job at programming and presenting Breakfast on Gold, but it's basicaly a sustaining service since the Smooth relaunch where they took most of the AM network.

Pirate Oldies could diversify by programming a wider playlist than Gold, which is more of a popular classic hits station.

1 year, 11 months ago

I took it to mean he liked the mix of music, suggesting that it was broader than the amount of "live" songs on Global's other music networks.

1 year, 11 months ago

James Martin is right, in the sense that I do really like the music mix. I also like the Number 1s at 1, and the specialist 50s, 60s and 70s programming. It feels like Tony Dibbin did a really good job on programming Gold.

I don't know whether it's broader, but to my ears, it sounds better than anything else Global does. Heck, even the imaging is bold and powerful and really sells the station well, compared to Heart's imaging which is minimalist and weak, and instantly forgettable.

That said, Pirate Oldies is looking very interesting. Already on the test transmissions, we've heard The Bear Necessities from The Jungle Book, Frank Sinatra, and the BBC's Cricket theme Soul Limbo, which was a hit back in 1968, but is far better known by its association with the BBC's Cricket coverage. And all these and others like them are mixed in with more well known oldies such as The Hollies, Rose Royce, Dion & The Belmonts and many others. So yeah it definitely seems to be broader, and it seems that they're keeping ad breaks to just 1 minute in length, but there seems to be about 6 breaks an hour or so.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

The irony is that since Gold axed presenters last year, the station sound has improved and allowed to be more adventurous.

Gold Breakfast has even been able to still do competitions. Not bad for what is considered to be a 'one-man band' operation.

1 year, 11 months ago

Art:

"In reality, you'd advertise on both." Dom 'Domsez' Robinson

Besides Dom, as you know, many businesses based in the West of Scotland do not consider getting much custom from the East of Scotland. Those hills in the middle that separate the West from the East and put time on people's journeys ensure that.

I did not know that. I'm in Manchester. I've never been to Scotland.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Art said:

many businesses based in the West of Scotland do not consider getting much custom from the East of Scotland. Those hills in the middle that separate the West from the East and put time on people's journeys ensure that.

...and that is why Heart and Capital broadcast split commercials to each area to avoid just that.

Raw numbers don't actually matter here for advertisers, since you buy radio on a cost-per-thousand basis. So, if the station has a £1.50 cost-per-thousand, and the 8.15am slot has 100,000 people listening to it, you'll pay £150 for that one slot. If the 4.29pm slot has 10,000 you'll pay £15. That's how it works. If you're selling family cars, you're likely to want as many people in your target demographic (roughly 25-45) to hear it a minimum of three times; but you'll pay for cost-per-thousand overall. The trick is to avoid wastage by buying those media that have a good spread in the target market, but not much spread outside.

So, if Heart West Scotland has only 100,000 people listening, but they're all aged between 25-45, it's a better buy than Clyde 1, who might have 200,000 people listening but mostly aged between 15-25. Raw numbers don't matter. The demographic coverage does.

Where it's relevant to the above - steers conversation desperately back on track - is that Radio X would earn tiddly squat if it sold split ads for Glasgow. The cost in balancing those ad breaks is already quite high; and to have additional costs of having to provide local programming makes the entire thing uneconomical.

The difference between Radio X and Xfm is that local advertisers can no longer use the DAB coverage for Radio X, since you can't split national DAB ads on a single frequency network. So it makes it so uneconomical it's not worth bothering any more. Hence the handing back of a frequency that has been made unusable thanks to Ofcom's rules.

[Pedants corner: Digital One is not, actually, a single frequency network, but has a separate frequency for Scotland for historical reasons. That notwithstanding, it has one multiplex feed, delivered via satellite, and even though the Scotland network is on a separate frequency from the English and Northern Irish, the actual audio can't be split in its present configuration, and it might even be against its licence to do so.]

1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone know what sort of wage an XFM presenter would be on, and how much Moyles/Vaughn/Kay will be on, please?

1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone?

Also, if all the main shows are finishing this week, with the dinosaurs starting up on Sept 21st, what will they be broadcasting next week - white noise?

And why have a week's break anyway?

1 year, 11 months ago

  1. No idea. I'm not paying for it, so why should I care? It's not pubic money like the BBC, so as far as I'm concerned Global can pay whatever they want.

  2. Jon Holmes finishes on Friday but a swing jock is covering the interim period.

  3. I doubt there will be a week's break. There will, however, I imagine, be some sort of transition based on the conversions to Heart and Capital.

1 year, 11 months ago

  1. I was curious what that sort of job paid, and also how much Moyles will be paid compared to whatever he was paid at the BBC. Presumably, he's being paid more to host a nationwide show in London than for a DJ who will only broadcast to London, Manchester or Scotland.

2/3. Yes, I was just wondering how they'd handle these transitions. How did it work on Heart and Capital?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

During the Choice to Capital Xtra handover, which was for three days, I think they went automated bar news and commercials.

How did it work on Heart and Capital?

During the last part of the transition, they were automated except for local hours branded as "Heart/Capital is coming"

1 year, 11 months ago

Ta. So, just setting a defining break in that case. And presumably to stop one lot of staff saying in this case, "And next Monday you'll be able to hear that *** Moyles on at breakfast".

1 year, 11 months ago

I put solely asterisks there on purpose but it's shortened them.

1 year, 11 months ago

I seriously doubt any professional would do that, Dom.

Whilst I find your attitude a bit OTT, I do concede that personality presenters are divisive. That's probably why Global don't - generally - go in for them. If everybody liked all the presenters on Radio X, then Global haven't done their job properly.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

If Radio X was yet another wallpaper station, I doubt they'd go for Moyles and Vaughan at least.

There are still some solid jocks in the schedule, Dan O'Connell is moving to afternoons sandwiched between Vernon Kay and Johnny Vaughan and I'm sure weekends will still be mainly the art of solid jockery.

Incidentally, I've been listening to Xfm and it's gradually getting older. There are times I wonder if I'm listening to Absolute Radio 90s or X.

1 year, 11 months ago

James:

I seriously doubt any professional would do that, Dom.

I wasn't being entirely serious.

Whilst I find your attitude a bit OTT,

Perhaps some find me divisive? Hey, Radio X! Give me a job! :)

I do concede that personality presenters are divisive. That's probably why Global don't - generally - go in for them. If everybody liked all the presenters on Radio X, then Global haven't done their job properly.

Really? Surely they want people to listen to the whole of the output? (eg. with the radio on at work) If they don't like a presenter then they'll switch off.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Really? Surely they want people to listen to the whole of the output? (eg. with the radio on at work) If they don't like a presenter then they'll switch off.

Most people at work don't have the time to concentrate on presenter links, crashing into tracks etc. It's background noise which can help employees. Radio X will have Vernon Kay and Dan O'Connell during the workday where it's likely to be more music intensive.

1 year, 11 months ago

So Kay and O'Connell (who I wouldn't know if I fell over him) could easily be replaced by automation, in that case.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

So Kay and O'Connell (who I wouldn't know if I fell over him) could easily be replaced by automation, in that case.

Dan O'Connell was the London drive presenter.

Xfm already tried a form of semi-automation in the form of XU between 10-4 which did the station no favours. It was an attempt to attract people who listen to music on smartphones and iPods, but was poorly executed.

1 year, 11 months ago

I know Global won't care, but any station that has Chris Moyles and/or Johnny Vaughn presenting on it will not have me as a listener.

1 year, 11 months ago

I posted my thoughts about Radio X here. You can probably guess them anyway...

here’s a link

1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks Dom. Very interesting.
Plus another DAB station in glorious mono too.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Dan O'Connell is claiming on-air this evening that the rebrand is simply a change of name with the music format staying exactly the same.

This is probably in reply to the negative comments from existing Xfm listeners fearful of the higher profile presenters taking over.

1 year, 11 months ago

Simon:

Thanks Dom. Very interesting.
Plus another DAB station in glorious mono too.

Cheers, Simon. And yes, indeed. As the world gets DAB+ and the like, we get stuff with aged DAB. I haven't got a DAB radio although when I eventually change the radio in my car, chances are it'll have DAB.

Martin:

Dan O'Connell is claiming on-air this evening that the rebrand is simply a change of name with the music format staying exactly the same.
This is probably in reply to the negative comments from existing Xfm listeners fearful of the higher profile presenters taking over.

Even still, I can't abide Moyles and Kay, and I'll be in work when most of the others are on, possibly catching a bit of Dan if he's on before 4pm. However, this morning I heard some of Frank Skinner's show on Absolute Radio and most of it was waffle with the occasional song. It made me think that that's how Moyles' show will be, and I can't be doing with that. When I'm in the car for around half-an-hour and I want some good music to gee me along for the day, I don't want endless babble.

1 year, 11 months ago

You can't win if you're Global, can you?

Put on an inoffensive station playing an inoffensive mix of music with presenters that don't offend anybody and people complain you're killing radio.

Put personalities on who might offend some people and who have a remit to talk for more than twenty seconds between twenty-minute long music sweeps and people complain they want a safe, inoffensive station that plays lots of music.

I have just two predictions for Radio X:

1) It will make lots of money
2) It will have a heck of a lot more listeners than XFM London, Manchester and Scotland have now combined. Even if it is in mono.

1 year, 11 months ago

Well, the answer is to leave it as it was, but stop presenters waffling over songs that have definitive endings. It's not rocket science.

I predict, and hope, Radio X falls flat on its arse. Sadly, someone like Moyles waffles on and on like Steve Wright, who has been around on mainstream radio for at least 35 years and will no doubt still be waffling on air long after he's dead!

1 year, 11 months ago

Well, the answer is to leave it as it was, but stop presenters waffling over songs that have definitive endings. It's not rocket science.

Yes, because that bold move would definitely get everybody talking about the station, grow the audience and increase the ad revenue.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

When I'm in the car for around half-an-hour and I want some good music to gee me along for the day, I don't want endless babble.

You'll love this new invention - the cassette player. With it, you can have your good music to 'gee you along for the day' with no babble at all. You should try it!

I predict, and hope, Radio X falls flat on its arse

It's one thing to predict. Another thing to hope that a new venture fails just because you, personally, don't like the idea. Undoubtedly, there will be many for whom it is a welcome breath of fresh air, and a great new listen. The great thing about radio is that there's plenty of choice. Let's not be selfish and deny that choice, eh?

1 year, 11 months ago

It's one thing to get people talking about a station. But it's quite another to get people to listen in. Everything we've heard so far, does not persuade me to tune in for 1 second.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I predict, and hope, Radio X falls flat on its arse.

I seriously doubt it. Global have a proven track record of rescuing flagging brands. LBC and Smooth are now performing better than they used to under previous owners.

Sadly, someone like Moyles waffles on and on like Steve Wright, who has been around on mainstream radio for at least 35 years and will no doubt still be waffling on air long after he's dead!

Steve Wright also commands a massive audience. Moyles won't have the share he had on Radio 1 purely thanks to the lack of coverage. But he'll increase Xfm's share in London and Manchester, even if they're not traditional Xfm listeners.

1 year, 11 months ago

James:

You'll love this new invention - the cassette player. With it, you can have your good music to 'gee you along for the day' with no babble at all. You should try it!

But I like to be introduced to new music along with being educated about it. Pre-recorded music doesn't give me that. And like I like live TV, live radio also has that buzz that everyone else is hearing something new (or a great track) simultaneously.

It's one thing to predict. Another thing to hope that a new venture fails just because you, personally, don't like the idea. Undoubtedly, there will be many for whom it is a welcome breath of fresh air, and a great new listen. The great thing about radio is that there's plenty of choice. Let's not be selfish and deny that choice, eh?

I'm sure the redundant XFM DJs share your enthusiasm, eh?

Martin:

I seriously doubt it. Global have a proven track record of rescuing flagging brands. LBC and Smooth are now performing better than they used to under previous owners.

XFM Manchester was flagging? It seemed to be doing alright.

What does seem odd is that some of the DJs have made it sound like they have no work to go to. Surely they'd have known about this well in advance and would've sorted out a new job?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

XFM Manchester was flagging? It seemed to be doing alright.

The listening figures would suggest otherwise.

Xfm London is also struggling.

It's one thing to get people talking about a station. But it's quite another to get people to listen in. Everything we've heard so far, does not persuade me to tune in for 1 second.

They're not after anoraks.

1 year, 11 months ago

I hadn't seen the figures for either before, but both seem to be on a par with what they were before, or at least an increase.

1 year, 11 months ago

If I were a betting man, which I am when I can use my knowledge (I make good money out of betting on the X Factor and Eurovision), then I would confidently bet that X will not fall "flat on its' arse."

Global do, as Martin has pointed out, have a great track record in rebooting flagging brands. The reboots of Capital London and Smooth Radio in particular have been masterful, and have reversed perceptions without actually having to change the names. This one will be harder as it's not on FM outside of London and Manchester. It'll grow alright, but it'll be a very slow grower compared to the more immediate successes Heart, Capital and Smooth had.

However, Gold has grown impressively since losing a huge number of AM and DAB outlets. Time will tell.

1 year, 11 months ago

I don't see how XFM was flagging, though, as per my previous reply.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

In London, the FM RDS display has changed to "Radio_X" "XFM" continues on the London 1 multiplex.

1 year, 11 months ago

@xfm is now renamed @radiox, which was previously registered as a placeholder to someone called 'bob' with 34 followers and no tweets, last time I saw it. There is no @xfm, so the old Twitter account has gone and it's been renamed, so as to carry over the followers. I wonder what'll be broadcasting in the intervening week?

1 year, 11 months ago

Radio X has appeared on Digital One. We have a non-stop music mix with "Radio X is coming" in between. XFM on the Cornwall multiplex has been replaced by Gold, but the Plymouth multiplex still has the old XFM label, playing out the "Radio X is coming" mix. I expect that to disappear any second and to be replaced by Gold too.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Xfm has vanished from London 1.

As Ian mentions, Radio X is now on D1 and under 'R' rather than X.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Radio X has three separate feeds for advertising and sweepers, such as the "You can listen on 104.9 FM in London" etc.

UK - on D1 and online. (I suspect Sky/Freesat and Virgin will change to this feed)
London - on 104.9 FM and online.
Manchester on 97.7 FM and online.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Do we know they're selling advertising separately? Seems like a mistake, given that Digital One can't be split.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Do we know they're selling advertising separately? Seems like a mistake, given that Digital One can't be split.

London and D1 appear to have the same order of ads, except when London then plays an advert for a local bar or a TfL advert. D1 has had public information ads as filler also.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Hmm. Well, here's hoping people don't tune into Radio X on DAB in London then.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

(Incidentally, this is a very long page now. Probably time to break out the pagination code)

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Hmm. Well, here's hoping people don't tune into Radio X on DAB in London then.

A similar issue with LBC as well when D1 has national travel news with local travel on FM.

I was hoping Global would keep a local version of Radio X on DAB, yet they clearly feel that the national DAB service will be enough to satisfy advertisers in the two analogue areas as well as listeners.

On the last week of Xfm, listening to the London version, I'd say one advert each break was directed at London listeners. This is likely to be more in Manchester.

1 year, 11 months ago

One plus with Radio X, so far. Haven't heard a single DJ babbling over the music and ruining it...

And on Monday on the way to work, they played the album version of The Who's Who Are You? :)

1 year, 11 months ago

Suppose the "confusion" is offset by the extra revenue stream from regional ads.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Suppose the "confusion" is offset by the extra revenue stream from regional ads.

It's the one part of local/regional radio where Global don't want to lose.

Even LBC, which I listened to during PMQ's on FM had the majority of local London advertisers.

1 year, 11 months ago

What is all this fuss about Radio X being in ‘mono’ at 80 when that could all change when Digital 2 starts. That is all the capacity that was left by Team Rock when they moved off Digital 1.

However it was intimated when Heart Extra was proposed to replace Premier Christian Radio that Global had done a deal with Arqiva about capacity on Digital 1. Premier's subsequent deal, after the parliamentary debate on the subject, was to stay on national DAB until 2028 and move to Digital 2 when it opened.

Could it be that as Absolute 80s, Planet Rock and Premier Christian Radio move from Digital 1 to Digital 2 next Spring that Global might use the opportunity to ‘stereo’ Radio X to 112 or even 128?

What are your thoughts?

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

What is all this fuss about Radio X being in ‘mono’ at 80 when that could all change when Digital 2 starts. That is all the capacity that was left by Team Rock when they moved off Digital 1.

However, the underperforming Capital Xtra has 112kbps. And a male 25-44 audience listens to radio in-car 25% more than the general population, where stereo really matters; and millions of pounds are being spent on this service only for it to be in relatively poor quality where it matters most.

Could it be that as Absolute 80s, Planet Rock and Premier Christian Radio move from Digital 1 to Digital 2 next Spring that Global might use the opportunity to ‘stereo’ Radio X to 112 or even 128?

I'd love to think so; but unless there's good evidence that it's worth 33% more carriage costs, I doubt that'll happen.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

I listen on a personal DAB radio and I'm used to listening to 80kbps MP2 streams with the Absolute 80s/90s stations and Radio X is no different.

I tried listening on my mobile phone, which has a FM receiver and found the audio compression was a bit too much. Maybe I'm just used to it?

Indoors I use the internet to listen to radio, where the stereo streams are fine.

Ironically the automated week is a lot better than the GCap XU format a few years ago. I'd be happy for this format to return instead of hearing presenters during 10-4 next week.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

The new Radio X is still using a split TOTH for London, Manchester and UK.

1 year, 11 months ago

So, what we thinking? Personally, good to have him back - as other commentators have said, he's completely ripped up Global's rule book as we know it and doesn't give a four-X.

And crashing Smooth Radio this morning, brilliant. Nearly crashed the car. Although the stream keeps buggering up - stop breaking the Internet, Chris!

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Chris Moyles is a creative genius and at long last, there's a breakfast presenter on 104.9 who is giving some real serious competition not just to Absolute, but more established acts.

However the other celebrity presenters jar with the format, Vernon is terrible with his waffly links and Johnny Vaughan is playing the middle aged man act on a station where it's likely to be full of people young enough to be his son or daughter. Discussing who should be on a bank note and Geoff Capes is hardly on-target.

Radio X is now a two-tier station, the 'banter' of Moyles, Vaughan and Kay and the old Xfm with the solid jocks where you can 'get into the music.'

On the other hand, I was finally able to listen to new overnight presenter Hattie Pearson, who seems to be criminally on at the wrong time. She should be on evenings at least.

1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if we'll see a "penis on the page" effect with the RAJARs - with breakfast performing extremely strong but things tailing off after 10am.

The fact it's breaking the streaming is encouraging, though.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

The fact it's breaking the streaming is encouraging, though.

I'd recommend changing to the Manchester stream on the app. It appears to be the most stable during Breakfast.

1 year, 11 months ago

Ahhh I never thought of that! Cheers.

1 year, 11 months ago

James Cridland

The new TV ad looks nice, by the way.

I saw this last night. Doing a pastiche of a video which came out EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO? Very topical(!) Just goes to consolidate what a dinosaur Chris Moyles is.

Can someone please tell me why he's creative genius and how he 'rips up the rule book'? I switched on, heard his voice and felt physically sick and had to turn off.

stop breaking the Internet, Chris!

And he didn't 'break the internet', the system was clearly purposely not designed to cope with the numbers registering for an app or the streaming amount, leading to the site crashing and then they had something to sell to the press. Am I the only one who can see this?

Bring back XFM. These are dark days for radio.

1 year, 11 months ago

A company like global really have no excuse for streaming to break on launch day. Are there really that many more people streaming Radio X + Heart + Capital + Classic + others than were streaming xfm + Heart + Capital + Classic + others?

1 year, 11 months ago

Indeed. I meant to add that Global will have done this before, so they'll be well aware what capacity they need, but like I said, this gives them something to trumpet about that the media think people will believe.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Tip for Dom: there are lots of other radio stations for you to go and listen to. If you don't like Radio X, nobody's forcing you. You are more than welcome to listen to something else.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Tip for Dom: there are lots of other radio stations for you to go and listen to. If you don't like Radio X, nobody's forcing you. You are more than welcome to listen to something else.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

These are dark days for radio.

No they're not. There has been some changes and some presenters have been let go, but we now have a leaner, more brand focused commercial radio industry than we had a few years ago.

I doubt Global would get the calibre of Chris Moyles if they offered him London breakfast only, but a national DAB slot and FM in London and Manchester becomes more attractive for those celeb presenters and for advertisers and sponsors.

What I would also say to Dom is that your comments aren't objective. I'm not the biggest Moyles fan, yet I can see why he's one of the most talented presenters in the industry.

Basing comments on bigotry is never going to work.

1 year, 11 months ago

Martin: Does Moyles really have 'calibre' any more? Someone will need to explain to me why he's a draw as I'm not getting it. And since no-one watched his 'week in the life of' videos while he was sat doing nothing, that shows his star has long since waned.

As for Radio X, I heard a bit of Dan O'Connell and wasn't wowed (given the hype of the new station) and some of Johnny Vaughan but he just opened the Sun and started reading out one of the articles inside, at which point I switched over.

James: Thanks for the facetious tip. I'm allowed an opinion, thankyou.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

Does Moyles really have 'calibre' any more? Someone will need to explain to me why he's a draw as I'm not getting it. And since no-one watched his 'week in the life of' videos while he was sat doing nothing, that shows his star has long since waned.

Global clearly think so. They want Radio 1's disgruntled 30+ male audience that Ben Cooper doesn't want and left when Nick Grimshaw took over. Listeners = ad and sponsorship revenue.

You don't relaunch an ailing indie music station around Brand Moyles, unless Richard Park and to a lesser extent Ashley Tabor believe they can monetise from giving Chris Moyles editorial freedom to do his old show in basically the same format.

Breakfast is where it matters and finally Global are giving Bauer some serious competition for the thirty something male audience and makes UTV's relaunch of Virgin Radio seem even more irrelevant.

1 year, 11 months ago

But what are Moyles' apparent talents? I just hear him shouting and insulting his entourage.

Plus, I've never been a fan of "DJ plus entourage" either. I had enough of it with Steve Wright in the 80s, and I really don't understand his enduring appeal.

PRO1 year, 11 months ago

But what are Moyles' apparent talents?

He brings out the best out of his co-hosts and guests. Noel Gallagher's interview on Monday was excellent radio, bringing out his funny side.

There's clear chemistry between Moyles and Dominic Byrne and Producer Pippa who worked with him on Radio 1. His other producer Dave, who worked with Jon Holmes on Xfm London breakfast is taking time, but there's potential.

The most inane of features also gels well. Compare Moyles with Vernon Kay and Johnny Vaughan and it's obvious why Chris is in a league of his own.

1 year, 11 months ago

Dom - it's clear you don't like Moyles/The new Radio X and I don't think anything is going to change your mind. Perhaps you should check out CDNX, a new station from the founder of the original XFM, I think it's going to be more your thing.

As for the stream crashing - I don't believe that was intentional. I think that's a massive cockup that shouldn't have happened. The RadioX app was one of the top trending apps in the App Store on Monday - and I think we should celebrate that radio can be that popular in 2015.

And I know Facebook numbers 'don't matter' - but Chris's breakfast show is already beating Nick Grimshaw by quite a bit on Facebook.

1 year, 10 months ago

I don't believe the crash was intentional either. One thing I've noticed on Facebook amongst non-radio friends is that people are actively seeking him out, either via the app or on DAB. I've never, ever had a Global stream go down on me unless I lost signal - and I often stream radio on my commute where it's always rock solid along my route. (Unless I get stuck outside the Hungry Horse for too long and haven't turned WiFi off!) I genuinely believe the amount of streaming listeners exceeded expectations.

Not everybody likes Chris Moyles, but the reaction has been really positive and people seem genuinely glad to have him back. Global have spent a lot of money on DAB as did GCap before them and it's very much in their interests to have more people using the medium. The big issue is, until now, nothing's really changed the game. Yes, it's growing, but I don't think it's anywhere near the rate the industry would like it to be. Chris Moyles back at breakfast is a major reason for many to get a digital radio, fit one into their car, or alternatively stream the content on their phone. One of my best mates never listens to commercial radio because they can't stand adverts. For the first time, he's now broken that rule.

Maybe I'm even coming round to realising that people don't give a shit if it's in mono if it's worth listening too, but does anyone listen to Chris Moyles for the music?! ;-)

Personally, the show is very much a breath of fresh air despite the obvious continuity. It's like your local getting refurbished after a bit too long - it's still your local boozer but fresh new life has been breathed into it. But this is a totally unique product. He's breaking all the things commercial radio consider the golden rules... and he's making it work!

My big concern was would the show work without Dave and Aled? And the answer is, yes, it does. Dom's playing a much bigger role now than he did on Radio 1, and in many ways has taken on Vitty's old role alongside his own traditional one. "Madame" Dave doesn't quite fit in yet, but you have to remember he's come into a really established team. He's probably overwhelmed by it to be honest but I think with time he'll make his mark. Chris mentions in his book that he and Vitty were very good at body language and were able to "read" each other on-air if one or the other wanted to chip in to a discussion. I hope TPTB give him time to blend in to the team.

PRO1 year, 10 months ago

For the last four days, I've listened to Moyles on catch-up and I've largely enjoyed it, although I think there are things Global can do online that can make it better.

  1. Do a daily podcast, this will ensure those listeners who can't listen to the catch-up show due to rights issues (presumably with songs?) can hear the best bits on mobiles and tablets. Christian O'Connell has this daily on Absolute.

  2. Have a steady bitrate for the catch up service. Monday's was 48k MP3 stereo, Tues/Weds were 64k MP3 stereo and today was 48k MP4. The latter works the best.

The only negative if you can call it that was the Kelly Jones interview which was boring, however Noel Gallagher and Patrick Kielty (hardly Xfm fodder) were entertaining.

Tomorrow is my first morning commute since Moyles returned. It's very likely I won't be listening to the OC tomorrow.

PRO1 year, 10 months ago

Do a daily podcast, this will ensure those listeners who can't listen to the catch-up show due to rights issues (presumably with songs?) can hear the best bits on mobiles and tablets.

To answer my own post, Chris has tweeted that a weekly podcast will be released on Friday.

1 year, 10 months ago

"No they're not (dark times). There has been some changes and some presenters have been let go, but we now have a leaner, more brand focused commercial radio industry than we had a few years ago."

Well that's super. However, I prefer to listen to radio that's focused on program content rather than brand. If I want my attention to be persistently drawn to the brand, I could stare at an image of the station's logo. Good job we have a BBC and still some commercial radio stations who make programs their priority over branding - and yet I can still remember (with ease) what they're called, not least because their station name appears on a display of just about any gadget I listen to them on.

However, it would appear that the new XFM/Radio X is putting a little more emphasis on content. So far I have only heard a specialist music show at nights whilst driving home from a gig I was presenting (Chris Moyles absolutely will NOT make me tune away from Radio 5 or Radio 2) and I've been impressed.

I have noticed cover page ads on Shortlist magazine ... but not on Stylist, yet this is NOT a bloke station, apparently!

1 year, 10 months ago

The marketing will be targeted. It'd make more commercial sense to sell Heart to Stylist.

1 year, 10 months ago

No-one's ever explained how he "breaks the rules". Invading another studio? No, Hitler invaded Poland. Bush and Blair invaded Iraq. They didn't just open a door and walk into a radio station and talk a lot, aka a "visit". Or, in one case, get locked out anyway.

The best comment about this comes from "Person" on the Radio Today website: "This is like an inside joke that no one except the folks at Global care about"

I'm not going to apologise for not joining in the Moyles 'love in'. I find such stunts infantile and very much 'all been done before'. Yes, I'd rather have more music in the car, so that's another reason to avoid his show. In fact, with many stations going to adverts at the same time, and with Chris Evans wittering away to himself as usual, today, I put a CD on instead for the remainder of the journey.

CDNX - Can I get this on FM? I don't have DAB in my car at this point. I do need a new radio as I want one with a USB slot, though.

PRO1 year, 10 months ago

Using Godwin's law in a Moyles thread? Whatever next!

PRO1 year, 10 months ago

Ofcom are re-advertising the 96.3 FM licence for West Central Scotland.

1 year, 10 months ago

How unusual. I can only guess that Ofcom are less than satisfied as to the reasons why the licence was handed back.

So there will be a few groups getting excited over that. Go Radio of course and possibly Rocksport. I would also wager that Your Radio might put in a bid. However, I still think that the most deserving station is Awaz FM, if they are prepared to give up their community radio status but still keep their staffing model of volunteers.

1 year, 8 months ago

Well, I can't say I'm totally surprised to find out that the Radio X trademark has been challenged, I practically predicted it would be. Whilst we don't officially know who's filed the challenge, there's only one logical suspect in this scenario.

I think Xfm is going to make a comeback in short order.

PRO1 year, 8 months ago

Well, I can't say I'm totally surprised to find out that the Radio X trademark has been challenged, I practically predicted it would be. Whilst we don't officially know who's filed the challenge, there's only one logical suspect in this scenario.

It's certainly going to be a David v Goliath battle of the brands, although I won't be surprised if Global heavily compensate the competitor which will allow both brands to co-exist.

PRO1 year, 8 months ago

It's interesting: though that story could have done with a specialist commentator. A trademark isn't necessary, for example, for you to function as a business; "media.info" isn't trademarked, for example (it's too generic to get).

If it is Radio Exe that has opposed it, it would seem that the most sensible course of action would be for Global to financially assist them with a rebrand to "Radio Exeter". That said, they're not the only Radio X in town.

1 year, 8 months ago

All Radio Exe have done is challenge Global's registration of a trademark. Even if they're successful it'll just mean that Global can't stop other people using X related radio brand names. They won't need to change their own Radio X's name.

1 year, 8 months ago

Why does this amuse me slightly?

I make no secret that I was one of two people responsible for the name and concept of Your Radio, which was originally suggested as a name to re-launch Heartland FM in Pitlochry as a 24 hour service. The idea was later adopted for the re-branding of Castle Rock FM in Dumbarton, shortly before its expansion into Helensburgh and the Firth Of Clyde. The second person who owns the idea worked at Castle Rock FM/Your Radio to carry the idea forward.

After Your Radio came into being and was proudly transmitting across much of West-central Scotland, I was aware of an RSL group in Devon who were contending for several small-scale licences throughout Devon, including Exeter if I remember correctly. They called themselves Your Radio and had operated several RSL's throughout Devon. So I contacted them.

I wanted to make sure that everything was perfectly amicable between me and them and instead of telling them off for "copying" the name, I basically said that I was quite proud that there was someone else in another part of the country who had the same idea as me and it would be a good idea to keep in touch with each other so that if they ever win the licence(s), we could discuss how the name and brand could be used. In my mind there did not need to be any animosity nor any kind of court proceedings to determine who came up with the name first and so on - because that is just unproductive.

Alas Your Radio (the RSL group) did not win any of the licences in Devon and today we have Radio Exe, ensuring that we have this moment in history for which we have a local station whose name sounds exactly like a national radio station - and they both broadcast in the same area.

One came before the other - the wee guy is making a stand against big guys who probably didn't do their homework (yet they were extremely protective of their own brands - as I pointed out earlier in this thread).

Of course, we do have two Bridge stations and several Pulse stations in the UK - but they transmit in very separate areas so there would be no confusion.

As for me, I had another one of my business concepts blatantly copied (including a slight modification of the brand I used). To be copied is a form of flattery.

1 year, 8 months ago

Art Grainger,

After Your Radio came into being and was proudly transmitting across much of West-central Scotland, I was aware of an RSL group in Devon who were contending for several small-scale licences throughout Devon, including Exeter if I remember correctly. They called themselves Your Radio and had operated several RSL's throughout Devon.

Yeah, I don't think you should have been flattered. The MD of the company was Graham Gilbert, who was either in his final days as or had just left from the regional MD role at GWR Group for Plymouth Sound and South Hams Radio, and possibly as well the ex-Orchard Media stations including Lantern FM, Orchard FM & Gemini FM. My thought at the time was that this was GWR Group basically trying to win the licences by subterfuge, via a new company.

I don't think any flattery was intended. They weren't borrowing your concept, only the name, and it would have been just another GWR style clone, if not another GWR station.

Yeah, they went for all 4 of the "ILR2"s as I christened them, Cornwall (Atlantic FM, now Heart); Plymouth (Radio Plymouth); Torbay (Palm FM, now The Breeze) and Exeter (Exeter FM, later rebranded to Radio Exe after local buyout).

1 year, 8 months ago

I would laugh like a drain if Radio X had to change its name after getting rid of a number of decent DJs and shows, and then Real Radio XS followed suit. I've gone back to listening to CDs in the car!

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