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Messages - Northoftheborder

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1
It's been a good three months, so I reckon it's time I got back in touch and updated you on how this bizarre issue has progressed...
 
September's nearly over, but there's been nothing from Mr Jennings. Not one email. Clearly the concerns of licence-fee paying listeners in his region are of the utmost importance to him, aren't they? Northoftheborder was correct!

I told you so, Ali! In my book, Jennings displays the depths of his arrogance. Cannot bother acknowledging a concerned e-mail. Mind you, perhaps the reality of his staff's behaviour has rendered the ultimate boss of BBC West Midlands speechless; they say that the truth hurts, don't they David? Another question which you cannot answer??

Maybe you ought to e-mail David Jennings, reiterating your concerns Ali? After all, you've related how events have now taken a distinct turn for the worse:

Quote

In actual fact, a further two listeners have now had their ability to email this show blocked. Last Sunday, my friend's niece politely pointed out that it was "time this was all sorted out". This weekend (when she tried to request, I'm sorry suggest, a well-known song) her email bounced back, with a standard "Sender Denied" message. The presenter never bothered to address her concerns, nor did he ever warn her of the possibility of this action taking place.

Back in June (when we'd both become aware that this presenter had blocked our emails) a former work colleague volunteered to help us out. He'd had to stand down from his job a while ago owing to poor health, in fact he's not at all well. But as he'd kindly offered to assist us both, he emailed the show explaining simply that it was his first ever request - on behalf of two friends. But his message was completely ignored, as were the following two emails.

Having waited a while, he recently tried to email the show once again. This time, his email generated a response. Yes you've guessed it, a message stating "Sender Denied". For goodness sake, what has BBC Midlands come to?

I'll tell you what. Bullying listeners into submission, that's all it is. Abhorrent, inexcusable behaviour, that wouldn't be tolerated in the 21st century workplace. Somehow though, BBC West Midlands reckon it's acceptable to exclude (seemingly permanently) any listeners who dare to fight their own corner, conveniently forgetting who pays.

But you're wrong, claiming that only four listeners have been blocked from e-mailing this particular presenter. I know of at least one other listener who's had this treatment meted out to them, after trying to extract the reasoning behind his discriminatory treatment of her politely-worded e-mail suggestions. This began at the end of last year.

I'll refrain from giving any more details as I intend to fully support this listener, in her campaign to unearth a credible answer from the management of BBC West Midlands.

Sounds like fighting talk, but I'm not expecting any more progress than you've had, Ali! However, the more of us that stand up for ourselves the better, wouldn't you say?

Quote
You may contend that the BBC are only reacting to my posting on this public forum. Giving them a bad name, you might say. But I was only forced into doing that, after they blocked my friend - who'd previously sent a variety of successful requests to this presenter. Then they blocked me, after I'd sent my first ever request to this show. Now they've blocked my friend's niece, plus our friend who's very poorly indeed. How many more of us will be blocked?

Where will this all end? Every one of us was only trying to stand up for ourselves, or for friends that we cared deeply about. Well you would, wouldn't you? What on earth ever happened to "Be Part Of It"?



Please don't despair, Ali. Now is not the time to give up. I've only just heard someone play Bob Marley's song Get Up, Stand Up. As Bob sang: "don't give up the fight"...

2

Hello everyone, this is my first ever post. Why I felt I had to do so is rather upsetting, so I will try my best to explain things to you all...

...she tried to email this programme, but her email bounced directly back, with a clear "Sender Denied" message.

During the week I stepped in on my friend's behalf, enquiring why she had had her email blocked. Their Editor was of very little help.

Subsequently I learned that the presenter had also blocked my email. As a "new contributor" I find this turn of events extraordinary.

With some help I then found the email address of David Jennings, the Head of BBC West Midlands. Yesterday I emailed him, asking him to explain this astounding treatment of a loyal listener. I am still waiting for an acknowledgement, never mind any kind of reply.

Each of our emails remain blocked by this presenter, with very little likelihood of any progress. What did we ever do to deserve this?

Ahh, David Jennings. We e-mailed him, exactly one year ago this week (see reply #4) and are still waiting to get any response from him. So don't hold your breath, girls...

In all seriousness though, welcome to the forum Alison (and friend) and I'd really love to wish you both the very best. It's a bizarre story, that borders on the unbelievable, but what you have to remember - above everything else - is that (when it comes to music) BBC Radio knows best. That's why so few genuine request opportunities remain.

I wonder if maybe this "experienced" music presenter resented receiving consistently good requests, many perhaps outshining music he put into the first couple of hours? You've given enough clues to help give me a good idea who this is, so I reckon I know whose show you mean. If I'm right, it's declined massively over the last six months.

One crucial fact (that we might never get to the bottom of) is this: Is this decline management-led (I believe it most likely is) or is it down to lax presentation/production?

Having read that a listener has had her e-mail blocked was enough of a shock to me. But when I then read, if I've got this correct, that her friend [Alison] then went to her aid - and got her own e-mail inexplicably blocked too - is incredible, quite beyond belief. Suppressing e-mail contributors? Just how low can BBC radio management stoop??

3
The News Where You Are / Re: Can you guess our mystery year?
« on: May 01, 2016, 03:29:38 PM »
Six consecutive days, where we're given opportunities to guess "what year it is" simply isn't enough. That seems to be the case at Radio Stoke, as this afternoon sees two whole hours of what stand-in presenter Kate Justice has dubbed her "Top Ten From When".

Call it what you will: Top Ten From When, The Time Of Our Lives - or even, as Radio Manchester (with commendable honesty) name it - The Golden Hour, there's no avoiding the fact that this uninspired substitute for genuinely inventive, local radio is spreading like an unpleasant, irritating rash, across the BBC. Is there no end to it?

Just one other thought. The regular Sunday afternoon show that Radio Stoke normally broadcast isn't blighted with two hours of this nonsense, so why has a substitute presenter thought fit to subject us to this second-hand, third-rate waste of airtime??

4
The News Where You Are / An audience of one
« on: February 06, 2016, 03:21:03 PM »
It's often remarked how the best - or at least the most natural - radio presenters present their shows as if broadcasting to a single person. Mind you, the opposite is actually the truth, with this being the technique most likely to bring them the biggest, most loyal audiences!

But it's surely beyond doubt that there's an innate skill in crafting a programme that sounds like it's designed solely with you in mind - or at least that's how you imagine it! The late Terry Wogan had honed that art almost to perfection, as I'm sure many of us will agree. Attempting to sum up his career in broadcasting (in just a few words) is nigh on impossible, so just try and envisage how difficult it must have been for Radio Two's on-duty newsreader to break the news of Sir Terry's passing, just under a week ago.

Wisely, Radio Two devoted a great deal of last Sunday morning to paying tribute to someone who served them tirelessly, over many years. But perhaps the best tribute was paid during the following morning's breakfast show. If you didn't catch last Monday's Chris Evans show, then I've no hesitation in recommending it to you, via this iPlayer link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06yscwr

5
Happy New Year Rita, and a warm welcome back to our Forum - it's much like The Eagles' Hotel California, as you can check out any time you like - but you can never leave! Whilst I realise this particular thread is devoted to local radio I hope none of you will mind, if I signpost you to something broadcast on national BBC institution Radio Two.

Another national BBC institution was long-running children's radio request show Junior Choice. Originally broadcast on Radio One, it was hosted throughout the Seventies by Ed Stewart, then instantly recognisable to youngsters as the presenter of television's Crackerjack. Whilst eventually dropped by Radio One, 2007 saw a one-off revival.

Intended to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Radios One, Two, Three and Four, the revived Junior Choice was so well received that autumn, that Radio Two commissioned a further show for Christmas 2007, again with Ed Stewart. Subsequently, each Christmas Ed made a further return to the national BBC airwaves.

Sadly, Ed Stewart passed away earlier this month, at the age of 74. For anyone who grew up in the Seventies, it almost feels like part of your childhood has vanished, too.

Fortunately, this year's Christmas Junior Choice is still available to enjoy - for a few days yet - courtesy of BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06rf35q

A worthy tribute, I hope you'll agree, to an earlier age of BBC radio, when listeners' musical choices were still actively welcomed. Thanks Ed, we'll be with you whenever...

6
BBC Local Radio Board / BBC 3CR Re: Hello You, it's Iain Lee on BBC3CR Breakfast
« on: November 16, 2015, 02:55:00 PM »
Further to that radiolad, here's a couple of contrasting media reports that cover Iain's departure from another BBC local radio station. Remember that BBC WM let him go a while back now, didn't they? Firstly, the Guardian reported recent events like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/nov/16/bbcs-iain-lee-leaves-show-after-condemning-guests-anti-gay-views

Whereas this was Radio Today's take. Also included is a clip of the show in question, plus an "interesting" set of comments...

http://radiotoday.co.uk/2015/11/iain-lee-departs-bbc-three-counties-radio/

Whatever your opinion is upon Iain Lee, it's probably safer to say that 3CR's mid-mornings won't be anywhere near as interesting now! Maybe he should've tried to harder to emulate Radio Stoke's Perry Spiller, who somehow recently managed to win a Gillard award for best mid-morning show...

7
BBC Local Radio Board / Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« on: September 03, 2015, 04:49:57 PM »
Since I last posted on this thread, there's been a couple more rounds of RAJAR audience figures for us all to study. Quite frankly, they really aren't anything to write home about, at least as far as this beleaguered outpost of BBC local radio is concerned.

In brief, audience share is the lowest it ever has been, now standing at a measly 8.8%. That's almost half the figure reported for the second quarter of 2012. "Weekly reach" has hovered around 21% for the last year, whereas figures of 30-35% were being recorded during 2011-2012. Of course, it has to be appreciated that those high figures were achieved under the previous Managing Editor Sue Owen, who joined Radio Merseyside - in mid-2012. Since then, listenership across Staffordshireandcheshire has plummeted.

Over three years in, hardly a ringing endorsement of her successor, the elusive (or maybe that ought to be evasive) Gary Andrews.

Mind you, something else that's occurred (since the last time I posted another of my listener's concerns here) was something we'd all waited an eternity for - a BBC manager participated in a live Radio Stoke phone-in, fielding the concerns of other listeners. Ever so strangely, it wasn't Mr Andrews but his superior - David Jennings, Head of Regional & Local Programmes for BBC West Midlands.

We've already discussed what a non-event that phone-in was, but I wonder how many listeners' concerns were investigated, after this programme. Certainly not ours; we e-mailed Mr Jennings directly, well before the show. Three months later, but still no reply.

Maybe this is all part of the new BBC "take it or leave it" policy, that foists unwanted programming onto unsuspecting licence fee-payers. Much like the unwarranted "Hungry Eyes", it's whether we like it or not. News has just broken that next week sees the start of a daily opportunity to have "The Time Of Our Lives". Their words, not mine - as Radio Stoke offers even more chances to guess a mystery year from their hits and headlines. Has it been claimed that the BBC is dumbing down? Honestly, who'd have thought it??

8
BBC Local Radio Board / BBC Solent Re: Alex Dyke programme
« on: August 14, 2015, 04:30:08 PM »
Oops! Radio Today reports that BBC Radio Solent’s mid-morning presenter Alex Dyke has been suspended following “unacceptable comments” made on-air on Wednesday. They continue: "Alex was discussing breastfeeding in public and said it was unnatural and must be stopped". A petition has since been launched to remove him from the radio and the BBC has issued a statement saying:

“Following unacceptable comments made on air yesterday, Alex Dyke has been suspended pending an investigation, so he will not be on air tomorrow.” Further details here: http://radiotoday.co.uk/2015/08/alex-dyke-suspended-from-bbc-radio-solent/

Is it some kind of prerequisite that mid-morning BBC local radio shows feel the urge to court controversy (or seek cheap publicity) like this? This isn't the first time a misguided middle-aged male has made a right boob of himself when discussing breast-feeding, exposing himself to far greater ridicule than any woman who's innocently caring for her new-born. But it seems like the BBC doesn't consider us adult enough to make up our own minds though, as the "offending" show has curiously disappeared from i-player.

9
BBC Local Radio Board / Re: Are we really this short of ideas??
« on: August 08, 2015, 10:55:47 AM »
We're well into the summer "silly season" now, when regular hosts start taking holidays, only to be replaced by inferior presenters.

I feared the worst last Saturday, when Radio Stoke's Den Siegertsz told us he'd be taking a fortnight's break. These suspicions were confirmed by a quick glance at the on-line guide: "Perry Spiller sits in. Time for fun. Great music..." Really? Are you sure about that?

With some trepidation, I tuned in to this morning's Saturday Breakfast show. Sure enough, Perry joined Stuart Ellis and Jodie Looker in the final ten minutes, to tell us which unmissable era "Time Of Our Lives" would be visiting after nine. To assist any listeners who derive pleasure from guessing mystery years, Perry played a little of The Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Women. So it must be 1969...

With only four minutes left, just time for one more record from Stuart & Jodie. As a dreary, plodding drum beat kicked in, it became apparent that Radio Stoke were - yet again - bringing us Hungry Eyes. So much for the "great music" the schedule had promised us.

As Eric Carmen began to fade into the distance, Perry Spoiler took over the reins: "How many famous Erics have made pop songs? I can think of three, there's this guy, er - you've got Eric Clapton of course, who's made a few and, er - there was Eric Prydz, who did, er - Prydz, weird name, er - he did some disco music..." Excuse me Perry, haven't you taken us down this cul-de-sac once before?


It can often prove disappointing, when regular and much-loved presenters are replaced by an unfamiliar voice. Such was very much the case last Saturday, on Radio Stoke's mid-morning show.

The last twelve months have seen a succession of five regular presenters grace this timeslot - quite possibly some kind of smokescreen, a vain attempt maybe to disguise the surreptitious removal of half a dozen different ways for listeners to request favourite records. In all fairness, this week's guest host Perry Spiller did make it clear, that he was only "in for" Den Siegertsz.

It soon became evident regular quiz feature "Den's Dilemmas" would not be running, for a second week. This had started life back in June, as "White's All Right", on the day Paula White took over. Not to worry though, as Perry had now generated even more time to talk at length - all about himself - to an unsuspecting weekend audience. But barely half an hour into proceedings, even this flimsy aspect of "radio with personality" looked to have run distinctly out of inspiration. Having treated us once more to non-hit Hungry Eyes, Mr. Spiller proceeded to remind us we'd just heard Eric Carmen, continuing with:

"See, I think he's done very well. Y'know I don't wanna sound patronising, but anybody who gets into the charts has done very well in my book. But he's done exceptionally well - gedding into the charts, with the name Eric. It's, it's nodda chart topping name, you wouldn't think traditionally. But no, well done Eric - well done you. It's BBC Radio Stoke, at nineteen minutes to ten."

Er, which chart would that be, then Perry? Not the UK Top Ten, for sure. Not even our Top Forty. In actual fact, Hungry Eyes has never even troubled the UK Top 75! Like me, are you left bewildered? Has this chap, supposedly with twenty years' music radio experience to draw upon, much of a clue about Eric Carmen's British chart performance? Moreover, did he somehow forget Eric Clapton, who has enjoyed much more UK chart success, in a solo career spanning some forty years. Crucially, Mr. Clapton is undeniably British - so surely warrants considerably more attention than a small-time American performer??

In the grand scheme of things, maybe this isn't that important, after all (you may even consider I've had a sense of humour bypass). Conversely you may well wonder, what justification there can be for such crass, ill-advised remarks to have ever been made? Not only were they completely uncalled-for - they fell some way short, of the accuracy that the BBC used to pride itself upon. Over to you...

As Susie told us just a week ago, Eric's massive no. 82 hit seems to be on (at least) a weekly rotation on Radio Joke Stoke. And as she also wrote, what on earth can be the justification for this? Do you want to keep listeners - or would you rather drive us away?


Can`t wait for the new footy season to kick off, you know? I don`t know much about the game, but at least it`ll stop local radio from forcing their unwanted music on us on a Saturday afternoon. Ten minutes ago I flipped my kitchen radio on, and Radio Stoke were playing Hungry Eyes. I`ve hardly heard any of their shows during the past week (quite frankly, so many of them bore me rigid) but I did turn Radio Stoke on last Sunday morning, as I wanted to hear their 11 o`clock news.

Straight after the news, Stuart Ellis (or it might have been Jodie Looker) started playing that same horrible song by Eric Carmen! How can a non-charting song (by a relatively obscure American singer) ever deserve so many plays? Perhaps they got an extremely cheap bulk airplay deal - on the song that no one else wants?

Despite saying that, I`m not 100% sure whether I can totally agree with what Mel wrote last weekend...

...I`ve listened to all kinds of radio, ever since I was little. I`d be the first to admit that quite a lot of it has been music radio. Am I the only one who still gets some kind of buzz, out of wondering what my radio will play next? There`s a certain surprise element there, isn`t there? You`ll never get that from your own electronic device!

But I`m not trying to undermine your point Mel! All I`m saying is that there ought to be more chances to request what WE like (not what the BBC likes)! Especially at the weekend! BBC Midlands do a great job each Sunday, with Mike Wyer`s show. It includes nearly an hour of our "Jukebox" requests. Do you know what? No one has EVER requested Hungry Eyes. Doesn`t that tell you something?

10
The News Where You Are / Re: The Other Side
« on: July 18, 2015, 10:42:54 AM »
It looks like Stephanie truly has made it to the other side now - the first Saturday in July saw her present her first ever BBC show:
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02vdkkc will link to this show (for a couple more weeks) plus give a list of music she played!

"Stephanie Hirst's Nothing But The 90s" does pretty much what it says on the tin, showcasing a decade which previously seems to have eluded the majority of BBC local radio's dreary playlist. Perhaps she will get round to playing one of those many number ones The Spice Girls racked up during this decade? Who knows, maybe she'll take listeners' requests, too? Remember "Be Part of It??

I'd hoped to post details of this show before the event, but it's been a busy couple of weeks for me! But I did manage to catch her first show - the way live radio is best enjoyed - as it went out! Often calling herself Steph, text details were frequently given out...

...along with a handful of callers being given the chance to talk to Stephanie live on air. Unfortunately, no mention of any e-mail address ever surfaced during the first programme, although we were told that she'd love to hear our recollections from the decade!

If you like what you hear of the first show, then I recommend you check out 11 July's show (follow the link on Stephanie's Radio Manchester webpage). Unfortunately, the list of music played is incomplete, which will only add to the mystique of what's in store!

Later on, she gives stephanie.hirst@bbc.co.uk as her e-mail address and encourages listeners to contact her with music suggestions for future editions, so maybe things are looking up after all! I'd love to read what others think - good or bad - of this show so far...

11
BBC Local Radio Board / Re: BBC Radio Manchester Keeping The Faith
« on: July 18, 2015, 09:45:02 AM »
Yesterday Radio Stoke announced a "new" programme, during their Breakfast Show: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02xbv53

As far as I can see, it's set to go out weekly at 6:00pm, from the second Saturday of August. As this slot is currently occupied by West Midlands regional programme "Marie Crichton's Country Show" then it looks (to me) as though fans of another musical genre are in for a disappointment. With Richard's new show entitled "Soul on Trent", I'd hazard a guess only Radio Stoke will broadcast it.

What looks like the replacement of a couple of hours of regional programming by - what I'm assuming is - a two hour local show can only be seen as a positive! Looks like they've scraped some extra funds together - but it's tough luck, if country music is your bag...

Also interesting to read these slightly misguided comments, from regular contributor to Radio Stoke's Facebook page Phil Cooke:

Quote

Brilliant news, brilliant presenter. I can't wait and hope that, in the time-honoured tradition of Northern Soul, there will be some All Nighters. It would be good if the show could go regional or even national as well as on-line availability to maximise the audience potential. It's encouraging when we hear how many of today's younger generation love the music. There has been an abyss since Mary Fox's show was axed.


Clearly Phil hasn't yet discovered Radio Manchester's "Northern Soul" show, broadcast each Friday evening since April! Like virtually all BBC local radio programmes, it's available on-line nationally - not only at time of broadcast but also for a further 30 days after!!

12
BBC Local Radio Board / BBC Local Radio to reduce news programming
« on: July 15, 2015, 01:54:10 PM »
A bold headline, but it's how Radio Today wrote it! For the full story of what David Holdsworth's told his staff, please click this link:

http://radiotoday.co.uk/2015/07/bbc-local-radio-to-reduce-news-programming/

This raises a few conundrums, doesn't it? Which news programming are you going to reduce, then? The current service licence specifies levels of speech content within daytime "peak" local radio programming, which explains why your BBC LR station of choice will most likely offer all-speech content between 0700 and 0900, and similarly between 1700-1800. Henceforth it's mostly news...

But take a closer listen - if you dare - and analyse which news they report on your local radio station. Often these segments can be top-heavy with national (or even international) news. Whilst I'd like an understanding of what's going in the wider world, what is it that I actually tune into my local BBC station for? So often, local stations in these parts manage to get the mix so hopelessly wrong!

The same is often true of local radio sports coverage. Whilst I'm not the biggest sports fan it's all-too glaringly obvious, on so many occasions, how "national" the football sports news stories are, on my local radio. High time the balance was re-adjusted here, too.

Whilst I've no problem with all-speech formats in the peak, can we go back to basics, please? Local radio should be just that - local.

Maybe we ought to take a closer look at some of the words David Holdsworth, Controller of English Regions, wrote to staff today:

Quote


...We will be offering training with more emphasis on production and presentation skills. We want to be craftier about the way we trail and cross promote and make it easier for you to run intelligent competitions. We are reviewing our music and the way we schedule it on the air. And of course all the time we are looking to make digital platforms complement what we do on the radio – with Local Live scheduled to launch in all areas by next summer...


  • I'm sure we can cite our own examples of poor presentational & production skills, can't we? That'll be a long, thankless task.

  • BBC local radio ought to trail and cross-promote Radio Two (and to a certain extent Radio Four), but it never does. Why not?

  • Intelligent competitions? Radio Stoke had them, but jettisoned them in favour of "Guess Den's mystery year". Enough said.

A review of BBC local radio's dire music policy can't come soon enough. As regards music scheduling, why are you so reluctant to allow listeners to request one or two of their favourites? Especially at the weekends?? Why can they no longer submit quiz ideas???

Again, let's go back to basics here. A return to the "Be Part Of It" era is so long overdue, in the opinion of those listeners I've asked.

It's quite a wide cross-section, made even more representative by including several ex-listeners, who deserted our BBC local radio station after it stopped allowing them to contribute their music ideas, to what was previously highly-creative weekend programming.

13
An interesting contrast with recent events, in what our BBC local station insists is Staffordshireandcheshire. Well I say recent, but no-one round here can recall when the boss of Radio Stoke deigned to field any comments from his concerned listeners live on air.

There's a simple reason for that, as - despite him occupying this role for well over three years - it hasn't happened yet. Strange...

Of course, there was a phone-in a couple of weeks ago, featuring the BBC's Head of West Midlands David Jennings. Curiously, listeners were invited to contact Mr Jennings not only about Radio Stoke, but about regional BBC tv news show Midlands Today.

Maybe this was a cunning ploy by Radio Stoke to dilute the discussion, having forced disillusioned listeners to wait what feels like an eternity, before giving them any opportunity to question someone in authority about the multitude of changes enforced upon them.

However it's fair to say this tactic failed, as I don't remember hearing much mention of Midlands Today. Fairly early on though, a handful of comments - about Radio Stoke's coverage of Cheshire - broke through. Dennis explained it quite well, on another thread:


It was of particular interest to hear 'the Cheshire Question' receive significant coverage during this morning's debate. I believe several other contributors to this forum to have agreed with my previous observations, that Staffordshire receives far greater coverage from Radio Stoke than neighbouring county Cheshire. Although several differing opinions were aired, it was noteworthy that Mr Jennings found himself unable to comment specifically upon why Cheshire fares so badly against Staffordshire.

Like it or not, it must be accepted that insufficient funding exists for the BBC to provide a stand-alone local radio service for Cheshire. This situation is unlikely to change in the near future, so it may be prudent for Mr Jennings to pay closer attention to Radio Stoke's overall programming, as their bias against Cheshire is overwhelming.

I also noted that Mr Jennings found himself somewhat out of his depth on occasions, when contributors cited a range of area-specific grievances. Would it not have been expedient for him to have invited Radio Stoke's Managing Editor Gary Andrews to co-host this long-overdue debate? Naturally, I would assume Mr Andrews to possess a greater knowledge of the two counties he is charged with providing local radio to. He was certainly conspicuous by his absence this morning. Such a missed opportunity.

That last paragraph is especially interesting - I couldn't have put it any better myself. Not sure about you Dennis, but I can actually remember the last time Radio Stoke had any similar kind of phone-in. It's so long ago, that it was a different Head of Region in the "Hot Seat", namely Jennings' predecessor Catherine Hearne, who's since departed the BBC in less than glowing circumstances.

More importantly, she was accompanied by the station's then Managing Editor! Of course, Sue Owen is now at Radio Merseyside.

How hard was that then? The Head of Region was able to deal with any comments relating to the West Midlands as a whole, whilst the station's Managing Editor was well-placed to respond to any questions regarding her own area of expertise - BBC Radio Stoke.

Isn't this the model of "In The Hot Seat" that all BBC local stations ought to be striving for? With all due respect, the Head of BBC West Midlands can't be expected to know every last detail about BBC radio's coverage of Stoke-on-Trent, never mind Cheshire!

As Dennis has observed, Gary Andrews was so conspicuous by his absence, once again. Some could view it as a guilty conscience. But others may not choose to be as charitable, instead squarely accusing him of cowardly avoiding his managerial responsibility.

Sadly, Gary Andrews is such an evasive man to track down, that it took the intervention of this forum before he could even bother to make himself known - to those of us that are aware of its existence. But we are still waiting to hear you on air, aren't we Gary?

Finally - but most importantly - thanks again to Tiger for her sterling work in contacting Gary Andrews. Hope things are as good as they can be with you Tiger. Get well soon.

14
It may be worth you following this link to another thread, Dennis:

http://www.bbclocalradioforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1358.msg8089#msg8089


There's a sizeable event taking place in South Cheshire across this weekend. For the past 25 years Middlewich has hosted an annual Folk & Boat Festival, celebrating the town's rich industrial heritage and drawing upon the long-standing links between the production of salt, and the canal network developed to transport it. After so many years, this is of course a well-established and popular fixture.

Without any football sport to fill Saturday afternoons, Radio Stoke run "Summer Saturdays", promising to "visit your events across Staffordshireandcheshire". No apparent sign of any mention whatsoever, of Middlewich's event today.



15
BBC Local Radio Board / Re: BBC WM boss on Radio Stoke
« on: June 20, 2015, 01:58:59 PM »
...we all know nothing is going to change.  If nothing else it was an excellent demonstration of a lot of the things wrong with BBC local radio...

There's a sizeable event taking place in South Cheshire across this weekend. For the past 25 years Middlewich has hosted an annual Folk & Boat Festival, celebrating the town's rich industrial heritage and drawing upon the long-standing links between the production of salt, and the canal network developed to transport it. After so many years, this is of course a well-established and popular fixture.

Without any football sport to fill Saturday afternoons, Radio Stoke run "Summer Saturdays", promising to "visit your events across Staffordshireandcheshire". No apparent sign of any mention whatsoever, of Middlewich's event today. I reckon Darcy was spot on:

Good luck Staffordshire.  Sod you Cheshire.

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