Username:  Password: 
Login with Social Media Follow BBCRadioForum on Twitter

Author Topic:  What makes local radio tick? It's more than just a box-ticking exercise!  (Read 24040 times)

radiolad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • Email
This is an interesting thread.

But perhaps needs a bit of background information and detail, about exactly what is going wrong with BBC Stoke. I like creativity certainly with language, but I am struggling to see what the problem is? Without explanation. There are no specific complaints or evidence  that BBC local radio is tick boxing in Stoke?

Rita has,made some valid points. BBC local radio is charged with serving a senior demographic that is its public sevice duty. Therefore, the programs that she values at off peak hours hosted by Roger Lyons and Frankie are very important in that remit. I know that many will see that as holding back younger voices, but at the weekend it is right that the senior demographic is served. Also there is no getting away from the fact that the sports audience has to be served as well. Streaming is possibly an option or a splitting of the frequency.


There has been in the recent past a tick box exercise with BBC Local radio. There was Dave and Sue, and the playlist still represents Sue ,it is a commercially driven  repeated muzak and in my opinion damages the spoken content, because we will switch off after hearing the same flipping awful song time and time again.


Perhaps read this article about Dave and Sue.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1540151/Age-discrimination-is-rife-within-the-BBC-but-they-get-away-with-it.html


And DQF let us not forget was about cost cutting, nothing else.  BBC local radio was saved  from the cuts by those who actually value it and know that its essence is not in ticking boxes but representing local communities, you hear that every day on most stations on peak programs. The contributions that saved BBC local radio came from MPs, Farming communities, local business, charities, the music industry, etc etc and most importantly it came from the public who recognised that it was the way to have their say on national and local issues.


That is an important part of democracy.


I know that , against the odds, my BBC local radio station works very hard to cover the issues that are important in my area. They certainly want engagement and interaction for that to work. That engagement and interaction is up to us as listeners and we need to use that opportunity,


If something goes wrong with a program or feature, or there is a problem with interacting we should be clear and honest in our complaint. In that way we can see where the problem lies and not suggest that it reflects a wider problem with BBC local radio. Because there are real problems, such as funding and the Mark Forrest Show and the amount of pre recorded shows.


So , please, no more cooking metaphors and more detail.

I disagree, I think the original poster has made it perfectly clear what the problems are. A good BBC local radio station should be offering a wide range of music, discussing local topics, bringing an element of fun as well as the serious topics and interacting with listeners who have suggestions/issues. It is clear that the poster doesn't think this is happening.

I always turn off when presenters ask questions like 'What are you having for your tea?'. Who cares what another listener is having for their tea. There are others such as 'What are you doing whilst listening to the show?' and 'Which famous celebrity have you met in your supermarket?' Who cares. This suggests a lack of creativity and also makes you wonder how long the presenters/producers spend planning their shows.

The ban on quizzes/prizes has been a major blow because this used to add a fun element between the more serious news/discussion programmes.

A lot of stations do not have listener request shows now suggesting that the BBC just want to play a bland selection of music rather than what the listeners actually want.

We all know there is a lack of funds these days but this does not excuse some of the content.

JY

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
    • View Profile
I could not agree with your post more Radio Lad well said why the hell are quizzes banned still good points.

Inews/discussion programmes.

A lot of stations do not have listener request shows now suggesting that the BBC just want to play a bland selection of music rather than what the listeners actually want.



BBC 3CR have an excellent request show on Saturday Mornings.

Dennis Marshall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
It may be appropriate to consider the concept of a whole request show to be a somewhat dated one, maybe not suited to present day broadcasting - at least not at local level. However, individual request features (within a general programme) are very much alive and well. Or at least, they should be - the situation appears to vary wildly, from one area to another.

Whilst it may not be wholly reasonable to expect music requesting to be enshrined within the Service Licence, the present confused system is of use neither to man nor beast. Although the BBC will cite a shortage of funds ad nauseum, there can be no sound reasoning behind the complete and total removal of music requests, from one BBC local radio station in the Midlands.

Paradoxically, the greater majority of that station's listeners will be able to hear neighbouring BBC local radio stations, continuing to offer music requests, including one station that devotes vast segments of Sunday morning to a variety of music, clearly chosen by their audience. In the simplest possible terms - why do all BBC local radio stations still fail to sing from the same hymnsheet? Is it really any more expensive, to programme a mere handful of listeners' favourite music?

Can an accurate price be put upon the intrinsic value of effective interaction with your audience? Or is 'Be Part Of It' now all too much trouble, in the midst of 'Radio With Personality'?

With regard to the removal of prizes, that was another mess of the BBC's own making, so I would not hold out too much hope of these ever returning to BBC local radio. However, there is no earthly reason why an intelligent level of quizzes cannot still be offered. Regrettably, this is another area where certain local radio stations messed up, too. Until last year, my local radio station allowed listeners to contribute their own inventively-linked suggestions, each Saturday morning. This feature was abruptly stopped, last June - to be replaced by material compiled solely by the radio station's own staff. Without any hint of an explanation - or adequate replacement. So much for 'Be Part Of It'.



radiolad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • Email
It is possible for stations still to do quizzes with prizes but there is so much 'red tape' involved most stations do not bother. I have never understood how the BBC local stations ended up with a ban as the problems seemed to arise on BBC 6Music and Blue Peter!

Tiger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2829
    • View Profile
I will explain, that more detail was needed from Radio Stoke listeners. It is not really good  enough to critise BBC Local radio without providing a proper explanation and detail about why they are unhappy with BBC Stoke. Until that is done we cannot even see what the problem is or how to solve it ? And whether it is a general problem or possibly a very personal grievance, because their emails were not being read out?

In which case we need to understand what has gone wrong. Is it the case that BBC Stoke are no longer interacting with the audience and taking no requests? Which would be very concering.Or is framework of the programming wrong?

And please can Dennis and North just spell out what they would like to see. Then we can discuss it. And we can see the  programs that they want, quizzes and etcs


I know that my local station, certainly has a request show and that is also a part of the Drive Show, everyday and I am confident that all interaction is welcomed without hesitation.


Feedback on Radio 4 , coincidentally, this week looked at listener interaction and how emails from listeners are appreciated and managed. Roger B went to Broadcasting House, it is halfway through the broadcast.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03wsnwv


"And Roger Bolton visits the BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning programme Broadcasting House to find out whether your emails really get read and how much they influence the programme. He'll be interrogating their inbox and speaking to presenter Paddy O'Connell and the BH team"
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 11:35:57 PM by Tiger »

mel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • View Profile
What Makes Local Radio Tick ? Its More Than Just A Box-Ticking Exercise.

In my opinion a good local station must have the ability to bring its listeners together.

It must inform but at the same time entertain. Local news with local events should be at the top of its priorities at all times and world news should take second place. (local comes first)

It should also get behind local charities and help promote there work within the local community. The presenters should be warm-hearted and talk on the same level as its listener.

Here in London , Radio London does that job. It "does" have that community spirit only brought about by its presenters and those who work on that station. It works well for those who listen.

Dennis Marshall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
My belated thanks to Darcy, for selflessly trawling through the mass of informed comment that can so often be found, on the BBC Radio Stoke Be Part Of It Facebook page:





Before we go on, I should make it patently clear, that I have never (yet) requested that any local radio station play any piece of music - neither for myself, nor another.

But I do derive great pleasure, hearing the immense creativity that others - clearly more musically knowledgeable than myself - have frequently deployed, when requesting records. Sadly, that is now no longer permissible in my area, as enjoyment seems to have been banished. I will attempt to outline what has changed:

Until two years ago, there were six chances to request music, throughout each weekday on Radio Stoke. Additionally, there was a host of listener-driven features, throughout the weekend programming, that had originated in the city. Toward the end of May 2012 - just weeks after a change of management - two of the weekday opportunities were removed, as the withdrawal of the twice-daily 'Feel Good Favourites with Stuart George' was announced. Not too many eyebrows were raised though, as this presenter was shortly to take over the station's 'Breakfast Show', so this seemed merely to be a feature reaching the end of its natural lifespan.

However, no replacement was ever forthcoming. Just ten weeks later, another request feature was cancelled, with less than a week's notice.

As this item involved a greater degree of creativity, namely a daily chance to request something from a musical, I recall friends and family starting to sit up and take notice, at this point. I also remember a work colleague sending an email of concern to the feature's host, Tim "What's for tea tonight" Wedgwood. This was forwarded to management, whose response was broadly thus: I can confirm that Radio Stoke has no plans at present, to increase the amount of request opportunities in the near future.

But no explanation as to why three daily chances to request music had vanished in as many months - leaving listeners with one solitary opportunity, that was barely straightforward in its approach. This feature was quietly dropped five months later, with no warning - it was in place on the last Thursday of January 2013, but was never referred to, on the following Monday. An upset friend emailed our friendly presenter Tim, but neither of her emails were acknowledged - let alone answered.

Now listeners were left with no weekday chances to ask for any favourite music, whatsoever. Over the next five months, the popular Saturday morning music show saw its fine array of request features gradually whittled away, in a most deceptive, surreptitious manner. Although space precludes me from detailing all six of these items, I can confirm them all to have been inventive opportunities to break away from the tyranny of the nationally-enforced 'playlist', which was increasingly dominating matters.

My son's then-partner was so incensed at the underhand tactics deployed, that she made a formal approach, to BBC Complaints. Do not lose sight of the fact, that the station's Managing Editor had now been at the helm for over a year - but demonstrated little interest in meeting his public - few of whom knowing his name (or how best to approach his station). Around this time, a flurry of concerned letters started to appear in Stoke-on-Trent's Evening Sentinel, but no responses were ever forthcoming, from Radio Stoke.

Regrettably, I do not have the exact responses from BBC Complaints to hand, but it took her two separate attempts, to basically be told that:

As ths BBC have had the licence fee capped.. ..cuts have had to be made.. ..changes to this (and other BBC local radio programmes) are as a result ofthe BBC Trust's 'DQF' scheme.

mel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • View Profile
With the greatest respect Dennis , I really don't think the need for music requests.

In todays world we have instant music where ever we are, its the music we each know and love, so to ask for a request is now a bit redundant.

Its far better for a presenter to introduce you to new music , new bands and singers. I don't think its like days gone by when people found great pleasure hearing there names called out on air.

radiolad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • Email
No,no.no! It is acceptable to have one programme showcasing new local bands but BBC local radio is not the place for lots of this type of music.

darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile
Regrettably, I do not have the exact responses from BBC Complaints to hand, but it took her two separate attempts, to basically be told that:

As ths BBC have had the licence fee capped.. ..cuts have had to be made.. ..changes to this (and other BBC local radio programmes) are as a result ofthe BBC Trust's 'DQF' scheme.


Hi Dennis, I don't wish to be nitty picker but sometimes the minutiae of these things can be important, if BBC complaints are blaming the loss of these things on DQF then the only way to be able to challenge these things is with the evidence to hand.  Much as I don't have a lot of time for the inadequacies of the BBC Truss, even they I believe would be interested to hear of such bizarre effects.

darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile
With the greatest respect Dennis , I really don't think the need for music requests.

In todays world we have instant music where ever we are, its the music we each know and love, so to ask for a request is now a bit redundant.

Its far better for a presenter to introduce you to new music , new bands and singers. I don't think its like days gone by when people found great pleasure hearing there names called out on air.


Hi Mel.  I'd wager the popularity of request shows outside of London is probably directly proportional to the number of shows that use the playlist, the more who've had their ears bludgeoned into submission by endless repeats of our dear friend Eric Carmen, a request show is very small mercy!

Dennis Marshall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
Thank you Mel, but I must reiterate my earlier statement - I have never requested that any local radio station play me any piece of music! Although you have made a fair point, that of listeners who derive some strange pleasure from the mention of their name on air (you must recall Linda's bathtime?) that particular issue is - in all fairness - not solely related to music, is it?

Do not underestimate the far greater pleasure - that of hearing refreshing music, not the repetitious nonsense, routinely churned out day after day, week after week.

Previously, I made it reasonably clear that whole programmes of requests are a rather dated concept, not sitting well in most modern radio schedules, neither local nor national. But there is no earthly reason why three or four request slots cannot be accommodated within a two or three hour weekend programme, very much along the lines of Radio Merseyside's 'Sunday Brunch'. Sincere apologies to Rita for mentioning that particular show, but she really should be proud that her station continues to recognise the true value, of its listeners' input.

Despite BBC Complaints' claims, that last year's disastrous changes to a popular and successful Radio Stoke weekend programme were as a result of the BBC Trust's 'DQF' scheme, no credible evidence has ever been produced, to show that a handful of requests will cost significantly more to insert into a programme, than if that programme consists solely of bland, routine fare from the 'playlist'. It is somewhat doubtful whether such evidence actually exists.

Moreover, this particular station's reluctance to allow any meaningful form of listener interaction (with weekend music content) is highly questionable, especially given that more than one neighbouring radio station is more than willing to permit music requests.

At the risk of repeating myself - why are all stations not 'singing from the same hymnsheet'? Is this further evidence of a yawning gulf, between standards laid down by BBC North, and those set by BBC Midlands? Or is there a simpler explanation?

A new, inexperineced manager has come in, undoing all the previous manager's good work - by stealth, and in a dishonest fashion.

darcysarto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Viva Happiness
    • View Profile

Despite BBC Complaints' claims, that last year's disastrous changes to a popular and successful Radio Stoke weekend programme were as a result of the BBC Trust's 'DQF' scheme, no credible evidence has ever been produced, to show that a handful of requests will cost significantly more to insert into a programme, than if that programme consists solely of bland, routine fare from the 'playlist'. It is somewhat doubtful whether such evidence actually exists.

Moreover, this particular station's reluctance to allow any meaningful form of listener interaction (with weekend music content) is highly questionable, especially given that more than one neighbouring radio station is more than willing to permit music requests.

At the risk of repeating myself - why are all stations not 'singing from the same hymnsheet'? Is this further evidence of a yawning gulf, between standards laid down by BBC North, and those set by BBC Midlands? Or is there a simpler explanation?


Dennis, can you please post here the correspondence from BBC complaints that states this.  Thank you.

Dennis Marshall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
Thank you for your continued assistance with this topic Darcy. I realise the importance of first-hand evidence over anecdotal comments, but am still working upon accessing those - as the reply was not to me, but my son's ex-partner (and it was not the most pleasant separation, I am afraid to say).

In the interim, it may be timely to assess other salient issues. Although 'ticking the boxes' is somewhat of a cliched phrase, it can often be used as an easy reference point. Maybe we ought to be digging somewhat deeper, though! Are the correct boxes being ticked? Are they all being ticked? Has the 'box-ticker' received appropriate training?

Listening to (what passed for) a discussion this morning, it was most interesting to observe what appeared to be multiple ticks in the same box, as it were. The topic of poor results for retail chain Morrisons (and the related story of the supermarket's intent, to 'reposition' themselves toward the cheaper end of the retail spectrum) prompted Radio Stoke to ask their audience whether they had altered their shopping habits, in the face of continued recessionary times. I must confess that (on the face of it) this appeared to be a promising subject for discussion, with the prospect of ample scope for interesting listening.

Regrettably, the actual programme turned out rather a damp squib. The first caller spoke via a poor mobile phone line, prompting hapless presenter Perry Spiller to enquire whether the contributor was riding a horse. Instead this lady informed us (twice) she was in the passenger seat of a car. Had it proved impossible to find someone who could remain stationary for 5-10 minutes?

Although subsequent callers had more pertinent comments to make (and far better phone lines to speak upon) it was perhaps inevitable that a great many references were made to a range of 'discount' supermarket chains. Whilst one or two would have not been noteworthy, I was left with the distinct impression that too many callers had been invited onto air.

I should perhaps clarify that remark. Recently, moves seem to have been made to persuade more contributors to speak live on air - notably (should you listen closely) phoning back those who have 'texted' their remarks, inviting them to speak to the presenter. This is a general observation, not solely upon Radio Stoke. Whilst it should be broadly congratulated, I consider this approach ought to be used more sparingly, for more effective impact. In all fairness, why should anyone unwilling to speak on air be excluded?

Notably, the option of going to the station's 'Facebook' page does not seem to be being promoted so much. However, many comments were read out, attributed as having been sent via Facebook. It was very apparent - once more - that no emails were read out, and that the station's (or presenter's) email address was never read out. Is there any valid reasoning why the facility to email has been repeatedly marginalised by Radio Stoke, during the last two years? Have other local BBC stations followed a similar trend, may I please enquire?


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via furl Share via linkedin Share via myspace Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via technorati Share via twitter

Similar Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
York makes a powerful plea against BBC local radio cuts.

Started by Tiger

0 Replies
1048 Views
Last post December 22, 2011, 12:26:27 PM
by Tiger
xx
Mark Thompson makes a speech, again.

Started by Tiger

1 Replies
1043 Views
Last post March 14, 2012, 11:00:37 PM
by Tiger
xx
The true Agenda is emerging..BBC local radio pays the price for local TV.

Started by Tiger

2 Replies
2059 Views
Last post December 15, 2011, 09:53:12 PM
by darcysarto
xx
Review of BBC local radio, local news and current affairs in England

Started by BBC Trust

8 Replies
5395 Views
Last post September 27, 2015, 01:14:14 PM
by Rita
xx
BBC Local Radio Facebook Sites - What's your local one like?

Started by 3countiesfanbutnotattheweekend!!

0 Replies
1667 Views
Last post March 06, 2014, 11:41:30 PM
by 3countiesfanbutnotattheweekend!!