talkRADIO’s Launch Reviewed

Post length: 497 words, just over 2 minutes.

Note: this review was written before the Brussels attacks of 23rd March 2016.

There is no doubt that launching a radio station is a difficult thing to do, especially a poorly promoted talk station with no callers. That’s what Paul Ross was battling against yesterday morning on the launch day of Wireless Group’s talkRADIO. But the Paul Ross Full Set Breakfast really struggled to find its identity jumping from current affairs to gossip, staying with no topic long enough to do it justice. Backed by male-dominated, shouty idents, adverts clearly lifted from sister station talkSPORT and impeded by terrible sound quality from poorly tuned compression and the shoebox of a studio the station launched with a whimper rather than a bang.

The station’s lineup also leaves something to be desired: women. There is currently only one female presenter on the station’s weekday schedule, two on Saturday and one Sunday, although Katherine Boyle is not credited in the title of her “7 Days of talkRADIO” programme.* (Arguably this isn’t a problem unique to talkRADIO. The station’s closest competitor, LBC, also only has one female weekday presenter although they do have two on each of Saturday and Sunday.) [read more]

Posted on Tuesday 22nd March, 2016 at 7:48 am in Arts & Ents, Obiter dicta.
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The Love Tour: Radio in the Community

Post length: 1,111 words, almost 5 minutes.

I’ve long been a supporter of independent local radio and listened to it in one form or another for as long as I’ve had my own tuner. I remember waking up listening to Mark Page and I think back fondly to keeping the radio on quietly at night, hoping my parents wouldn’t hear, to listen to Alex Hall both on The Pulse (I honestly think that Alex was a big part of my love of talk radio). When I was at university I would dip in and out of The Bay and was of course involved with the student radio station 87.7 Bailrigg FM. These days while I mostly get my music from BBC Radio 2 when I’m at home, I usually pick up an hour or so of LBC each evening depending on who is presenting.

The recent trend towards networked programming and heavily branded groups of stations is something which really saddens me. While I appreciate that there are (relatively high) costs involved with putting out a radio station and that, as commercial entities, each station has to make a profit [read more]

Posted on Tuesday 15th July, 2014 at 9:29 am in Arts & Ents, Obiter dicta.
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My week off, part 2

Post length: 1,573 words, almost 7 minutes.

It’s about time I wrote this, given it was last year and all.

So I’d arrived in Lancaster.  The railway station is in the city centre and the university, and so my guest room, is a mile or so south of the city.  In the day there are plenty of busses running between town and campus (In fact there are at night now, too.  There is a night bus service which runs hourly through the night between the city and campus.  This wasn’t there while I was a student which is a shame – there would have been a few times I would have liked to use it!), and normally I would catch one of these, but I had both my camera bag and my large clothes bag with me so I opted to find myself a taxi.

[read more]

Posted on Monday 5th January, 2009 at 12:53 pm in Obiter dicta.
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Punch drunk

Post length: 1,247 words, about 5 and a half minutes.

It’s an unnerving experience when you are buried in your work, take a quick break, look out of the window and find yourself looking either at the ground or up into the air.  Still I’m not going to complain – it’s a good thing because it means the train is managing to reach it’s top speed.  On the way up north we were stuck in ‘non-tilt mode’, apparently.  This time we clearly are not.  I think I could make that say something about how the south views the north, but I’m sure it’s nothing to do with that. [read more]

Posted on Monday 10th March, 2008 at 3:10 pm in Obiter dicta, People.
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A few days in Lancaster

Post length: 802 words, about 3 and a half minutes.

Preston, Lancashire.  Home of the University of Central Lancashire.  They beat Lancaster University in the sports competition they have each year – Lancaster’s “Warmup to Roses”.  So that’s it – Lancaster’s fate at Roses is sealed I guess.  And that’s the next time I’ll see the group of people I came up here to see.  Roses, York, summer. [read more]

Posted on Sunday 4th March, 2007 at 2:36 pm in People.
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