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Author Topic: BBC Stoke Love to hear from you  (Read 6339 times)

Northoftheborder

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BBC Stoke Love to hear from you
« on: May 09, 2014, 05:09:22 PM »
Well we so often hear that, across many of the BBC's local radio stations - don't we? But do they ever actually mean it? It's one thing to portray yourself as welcoming (and all-encompassing) on the radio - but the recent experiences of my sister-in-law paint a very different picture indeed.

Listening to James Watt recently (and some of what passes for "entertainment") you'd be forgiven for thinking he's run out of steam - if you'll pardon the obvious joke. Well it's streets ahead of what James Watt considers funny, although - for some one of that name - James Watt shows few signs of inventiveness, does he? 50 says you'll agree with me, if you can work out another obvious reference! Trying her best to assist him, my sister-in-law e-mailed our "friendly" afternoon show presenter recently, saying:

I've tried to join in - twice now - but no one's ever shown any serious interest in letting me be part of it. So much for you frequently saying: love to hear from you.

So I'm asking you again for a more believable answer please, why the audience hasn't been invited to join in properly with one of your programme features. I thought it was our radio station (as we all pay towards it, out of our licence fee) so why can't we have a bit more of a say, in the music please? Not too much to ask, is it? Or is it too hard a question for you? After what's happened so far, there's nothing much to make me think you love to hear from us.

When Paula White was still on in the afternoons, she always replied to my emails (or would read them out) and sometimes she'd do both! But you've done neither, never even bothering to send a brief reply (or give a quick mention) when I asked you a very simple question. It just looks like you're a bully to me, who doesn't like it when he's been stood up to - and by a woman, which must really hurt. But when I wrote to another BBC local radio station, they welcomed me (and my originally-themed music idea) with open arms. Also I got two replies promptly (that were both very pleasantly-worded) from the chap whose show it was - and the boss of the radio station. So they must actually mean it, when they say: you can be part of it.

That's so much different to how Radio Stoke have gone on - its probably a safe bet that you won't even bother to personally acknowledge this email, as you all seem so remarkably cowardly. Such a shame, especially when it's so very obvious to every one I know, how desperately short you are of decent material. Take care James, because it's becoming more and more apparent how limited your shows are - you really, really ought to listen to us more.

I so hope you can see things from the listeners' point of view, for a change?


Well, that was last week. To date, she's heard nothing. So much for "love to hear from you". Indeed, so much for "be part of it", as it goes.

Northoftheborder

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 05:30:40 PM »
Now then, back in the good old days - when my local BBC station genuinely did "love to hear from you" one of their most successful features was Six Songs In Six Seconds. It ran for eighteen months or so, when Stuart George was still doing his popular Saturday morning show.
 
After a while he started to allow his audience to contribute their own choices of music. Such behaviour would never be tolerated in 2014 - as we know only too well, as my sister-in-law tried several times to "Be Part Of It", but these were all to no avail. However, just to demonstrate how accommodating Radio Stoke used to be (and how inventive my sister-in-law can be) let's revisit her submission that actually made it onto air - around two years ago! I've copied her original text that she sent to Stuart, so here goes:
 
My first one is the Celine Dion song, Think Twice (I want to make everyone think twice!) Then one from ABBA - I picked Does Your Mother Know, as it has the boys singing on it for a change. Now I chose one from Lulu, but to make it a bit different its a later one, The Man Who Sold The World. Then something from Bucks Fizz. I'm not sure what to ask for, The Land of Make Believe perhaps? Next is a slightly harder one. It has to be by Katrina and the Waves but I wanted a less obvious song (to make it harder if thats OK?) So can you play Sun Street please?
 
In fact that's only five songs, as she left the choice of sixth song up to Stuart - back in 2012! But she stipulated which artist it had to be, so I've added an extra twist - especially for our lovely little forum!
 
Firstly, what links all the five songs above? Secondly, can you spot the sixth artist she asked for? The link between the five will make you think (twice!) but then it will give you a good idea who she requested.
 
Oh dear, did I mention the 'R' word? Just two years ago, Radio Stoke's Saturday mid-morning presenter actually managed to play all five of the songs that had been asked of him - plus something suitable from that elusive sixth artist! Not only that, but these all formed the basis of that week's Six Songs In Six Seconds montage. That meant the other listeners had something genuinely interesting to play along with - that had actually been submitted by "one of them" - not by someone behind the scenes, at Radio Stoke. Something the present management would do well to consider, in our humble opinion. That's if listeners' opinions count for anything, nowadays.

Northoftheborder

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2014, 08:44:32 AM »
Come on everyone, I'd love to hear from you! Unlike that particular local radio station, that's so big on "personality" these days (but remarkably short on original ideas).

Do you reckon they ought to let their audience "Be Part Of It" a little more often? All of you are so welcome to post your guesses - so come on guys, don't be shy!

My first one is the Celine Dion song, Think Twice (I want to make everyone think twice!) Then one from ABBA - I picked Does Your Mother Know, as it has the boys singing on it for a change. Now I chose one from Lulu, but to make it a bit different its a later one, The Man Who Sold The World. Then something from Bucks Fizz. I'm not sure what to ask for, The Land of Make Believe perhaps? Next is a slightly harder one. It has to be by Katrina and the Waves but I wanted a less obvious song (to make it harder if thats OK?) So can you play Sun Street please?
 
In fact that's only five songs, as she left the choice of sixth song up to Stuart - back in 2012! But she stipulated which artist it had to be, so I've added an extra twist - especially for our lovely little forum!
 
Firstly, what links all the five songs above? Secondly, can you spot the sixth artist she asked for? The link between the five will make you think (twice!) but then it will give you a good idea who she requested.

I'll post her solution in a day or two, so there's plenty of time to be part of my all-inclusive quiz. No intention of excluding anyone (but cakes aren't acceptable bribery)!

darcysarto

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 10:49:04 AM »
Well they're all Eurovision artists, apart from that, no idea, Cliff?

Northoftheborder

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2014, 12:25:19 PM »
Thanks Darcy, you're spot-on with that link! She actually asked Radio Stoke for something by Sandie Shaw (other than Puppet on a String, of course) back in May 2012! Unfortunately my little game has now had to be voided, as someone else has muscled in on the act and "borrowed" my work!
 
Along with me, Dennis has previously "recommended" Radio Stoke's James Watt to you all, so did anyone manage to catch his 9:00 Sunday Connection today, did you? It's such an inventive theme their production team came up with today, playing these records in this order: Think Twice by Celine Dion (yes, really!) then Physical by Olivia Newton-John, followed I think by Holding Out For a Hero by Bonnie Tyler then Take a Chance On Me by ABBA.
 
The linked theme (artists who have represented their country for Eurovision) seemed to get solved fairly quickly today. Unsurprising really given that (as you've undoubtedly gathered) the precise same connection appeared on a weekend Radio Stoke show, exactly two years ago courtesy of my sister-in-law!
 
Isn't it intriguing how they used the exact first suggestion as she did? Not the biggest Celine Dion fan you understand, so can't really think (twice) what else they could have played! What's the best way of looking at this, everyone? As some of those astonishingly-creative staff at Radio Stoke must surely take an interest in our lovely little forum, is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
 
Or is it perhaps something a little more sinister? Of course Radio Stoke have previous form for accepting a listener's idea, then fashioning it into something they pretend is their own work. Those aren't really my words though, just my interpretation of what another forum member - Rustey - posted a few weeks ago. I'm not too certain of the exact time-frame here, but if you can link to what Rustey posted (we asked them for a statement, but...) you might see another case of history repeating itself.

Not exactly sure what to make of this, as it wasn't my original idea - but that of my sister-in-law. But today's "9:00 Connection" bore an uncanny resemblance to what I wrote for you (just for a little fun) yesterday! If I'm honest, I got my inspiration from what Rustey posted last weekend, you know? What a strange turn of events though, especially when you consider how everyone at Radio Stoke (including their Regional Head) treated my sister-in-law's attempts to "Be Part Of It".

Most likely won't get chance to speak to her until much later on, so probably won't get back to anyone until tomorrow. Let's hope she's feeling more charitable than I am right now - towards radio that often claims to have personality, but has less and less in the way of morals, honesty and fair play.

Thank goodness for Radio Merseyside (about who Rita was SO right - but I never seriously doubted you honey). They welcome genuine audience participation, accepting listeners from around the corner (or around the world) and show the direction BBC local radio ought to be taking - if it wants to retain the trust and support of its stakeholders - that's us, whose licence fee funds their service.

darcysarto

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 01:44:53 PM »
Well of course, unless you are a creative guru and powerhouse like Alan Yentob, most people don't have time to put into such things.  I can only suggest coincidence and that it was Eurovision weekend North.  That said it does show that amongst the listening communities there is creativity which you would imagine any sensible person running a station may consider worthwhile harnessing for everyone's enjoyment.

Dennis Marshall

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 11:31:26 AM »
Such selfless devotion, coming to the aid of a (f)ailing radio station in its quarter hour of need. What's more, without even asking for any credit (as I believe James Watt may occasionally say, it's a talent you have). The 'Northoftheborder' production team deserves wider recognition - both for innate creativity - and sheer tenaciousness!

Nevertheless, a truly remarkable coincidence that the talented Mr. Watt should choose to commence proceedings with Celine Dion. I would imagine there was little need to think twice, having sought 'inspiration' from this splendid forum. It rather puts me in mind of another Eurovision entry, coming second for the UK some 42 years ago:


Northoftheborder

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 04:49:51 PM »
Anyone in the mood to review some local radio output this weekend? Last week, I mentioned some minimal improvement at Radio Stoke. Anything like this has to be a plus, so I didn't think it right to post under the "Listeners' concerns" thread. Hope that's OK?

If you've followed our trials and tribulations, you can't fail to have noticed how several listeners (as well as "Team Northoftheborder" noticed the total transformation of Radio Stoke's Saturday morning show. 18 months ago, this contained a vast array of different ways to select music, including an inventive little game, Six Songs In Six Seconds. But - four months later - they'd all vanished.

Fast forwarding to Spring 2014, and most of the replacement "features" - if you can call them that - had now disappeared too! Six Songs In Six Seconds was dusted off, and quietly brought back, a couple of months ago. It's a shadow of its former self now, but it's some kind of small improvement! A montage of six short clips, that have to be identified - along with the connecting theme.

A few weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. Listeners are now allowed to submit their own music suggestions! In that first week, it was announced that the best way to do this was via studio.stoke@bbc.co.uk. Sadly, this hasn't been promoted too much since then - but three separate listeners have had their names read out! So why don't you give this a try, tomorrow? See my link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p023xpq8

Tiger

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 06:48:03 PM »
Perhaps someone has listened to the listeners? Good news North!

Northoftheborder

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2014, 04:51:39 PM »
Didn't ever find time, to catch the whole show live last week! But something caught my ear just eight minutes in, as Den says:
Quote
If you want a go at doing it you know, just drop me a line - studio, er - what's the e-mail? studio.stoke@bbc.co.uk That's it - hardly ever use that, you know!

Really? Isn't it a whole twelve months, since this "special" e-mail address was brought in - to be used across all BBC Stoke output? As of last August, use of all the presenters' own personal BBC e-mail addresses was supposedly discontinued, although I think some longer-serving presenters were initially slow to do this. To be fair, Den reads it out faultlessly just over quarter of an hour later:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p023xpq8

Maybe Tiger's right, things are looking up! Didn't she eventually receive some kind of answer from Radio Stoke's Gary Andrews?


It is untrue to say we exclude email contributions, however - as with all contributions- we exercise editorial judgement and don't always use them on-air.

It's only fair I give praise where it's due! It has to be said, that's one small step for a Managing Editor, but there's a massively steep uphill journey for him to undertake, if he still has any realistic interest in regaining the confidence of all these disillusioned listeners.

Susie O

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2014, 12:50:15 PM »
It`s so right what North told us, about how much this show has picked up recently! This week the regular chap Den was on holiday, but fortunately that awful Perry Spiller wasn`t chosen to stand in for him. Instead we had the lady presenter from the weekday Breakfast Show (Charlotte Foster). She made a pretty good job of things, and she seemed to welcome anyone who wanted to send an e-mail. I think I managed to lose count of how many times she read out studio.stoke@bbc.co.uk!

But it was a totally different story after 12 o`clock. The usual Saturday lunchtime presenter Liz Ellis spent lots of her two-hour show talking about herself. Even when listeners were invited to contribute, there was no mention of any chances to e-mail. The very best she had to offer was such a boring topic - do you have any issues with your car? Is this the best Radio Stoke have got for us? All three recent recruits Liz Ellis, Perry Spiller and that total ego-maniac James Watt have got something in common (apart from never being very exciting to listen to). They`re all commercial radio has-beens, with hardly any BBC experience before now. Is it just me, or does this go a long way to explaining why Radio Stoke is still in the state it is? What a shambles, thank goodness Charlotte has risen steadily through the ranks of the BBC. She leaves these other no-hopers standing.

Rustey .

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2014, 06:43:46 PM »
Thats an understatement Susie! I heard Liz Ellis waste all that valuable Radio Stoke airtime as well today. Just after twenty past twelve she spent ages - telling us how she managed to push the drivers window of her car down (into the door) then it would not come back. So that must be what she meant by issues with your car. Is this what the BBC set their local radio stations up to do? What a good job someone came along and invented what they now sometimes call social media. After the next record Liz reads out a message thats just come in on Facebook.

Sharron from Chell tells us how her dad used gaffer tape to stop his sunroof from leaking. Afterwards Liz reminds us (for the second time in five minutes) how you can go to Facebook at BBC Radio Stoke. But she never gets round to telling listeners how they can email her show. When you listen on-line to Radio Stoke most of their programs have a small tab (Contact) that you can click on. If you do - they all send you to radio.stoke@bbc.co.uk (of course thats NOT the address you will ever hear given out on air). But theres never any Contact tab on the Saturday lunchtime show that Liz does. Although she must have been there almost six months - it does not look like Radio Stoke have sent her on a course to safely open emails yet!

Perhaps thats something else all their commercial radio has-beens have in common? Like Susie says - Charlotte Foster did a fantastic job of sitting in (on the show before). I think the other thing Susie told us is also true - Charlotte has worked in one or two other areas of BBC radio (and she might have already been a journalist or newsreader) the first time she worked at Radio Stoke. So all her BBC training must have come in handy - as there were no problems (at all) reading out the correct version of the email address. As well as all that she positively welcomed listeners to send her emails - she said she loved to read them! Is she the only new recruit that does?

What I cannot work out is how mixed-up this all is. After everything thats been posted here (and other things that people say they tried to ask) how come Radio Stoke have not worked out a consistent email policy (yet)? They will not even show any consistency - over which email address they give out! Its not only me thats told you that - is it? How hard can it be? Or is all this deliberately trying to confuse listeners? Although plenty of us have put this point across fairly well - no-one at Radio Stoke has ever seriously managed to deal with this issue yet - have they? So thats why its still in such a shambles Susie - no one can be bothered to sort this basic issue out.

Tiger

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2014, 07:51:42 PM »
It is just a guess, but I imagine that there is some sort of compliance in place, following Stoke becoming fairly high media after the Paula issues? That does not help the ordinary listener, of course who just wants to interact. But is maybe just a management check.

What happens then? ,when you email the stoke generic email? does it get read out?

Most BBC staff have fairly obvious emails, have you tried those?


radiolad

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2014, 09:55:36 PM »
Please don't forget that the 'Radio Stoke Listener Concerns' thread was set up for those with issues.

Northoftheborder

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Re: Love to hear from you
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2014, 12:48:51 PM »
Sorry everyone, it's most likely my fault if Susie and Rustey chose to post here! As I'm the one that re-activated this thread, for the reasons given just over a fortnight ago:


Anyone in the mood to review some local radio output this weekend? Last week, I mentioned some minimal improvement at Radio Stoke. Anything like this has to be a plus, so I didn't think it right to post under the "Listeners' concerns" thread. Hope that's OK?

Unlike Radio Stoke, I'm sure we wish to avoid any unnecessary confusion, so I'll try to reply in more depth on the correct "Listeners' concerns" thread, but one or two points are especially relevant to THIS one, aren't they?
 
The simple questions my sister-in-law e-mailed to James Watt (see opening post of THIS thread) weren't ever properly addressed, neither by "total ego-maniac James" (thanks so much, Susie!) nor by his managing editor, Gary Andrews. So that kind of demonstates just how much Radio Stoke "Love to hear from you", wouldn't you say?
 
Considering that actual title, deliberately posed as a thread starter - "Love to hear from you" - aren't most of us familiar with the general terms of the Service Licence for all BBC local radio? Among other aspirations, this specifies listeners should be encouraged to tell their own stories. Although I'm also sure most will agree that's best achieved by good old-fashioned telephone line, isn't it worth remembering how not every listener may be 100% happy with voicing their thoughts - even if it's not a "live" radio appearance?

So just what is so wrong with communicating with Radio Stoke via e-mail? As Rita (and my sister-in-law) have both indicated, Radio Merseyside positively encourage this means of communication! So much so, virtually every presenter will frequently remind us of their own personal BBC e-mail address - with none of Radio Stoke's stalling tactics, apparently routeing e-mail via production staff!

One simple fact remains true though. The last 12 months or so saw Radio Stoke demonstrate a rapidly growing over-reliance on Facebook, both in promoting its use AND in selecting it as the primary means of contacting the majority of programmes. I've not been the only listener to notice this, have I?


Its dead right what Dennis said - there must be loads of us waiting (in a very very long queue). Whether or not they exclude emails cannot really be proved - can it? But the on-air evidence does not show much sign of them encouraging any of us to email - especially when you listen to daytime presenters like Perry Spiller. Its impossible for him to get through half an hour without reading out a couple of Facebook comments - but he NEVER reminds us of the general email address (brought in last year) studio.stoke@bbc.co.uk - which of course is different from the one that they send you to (if you listen online) where the CONTACT section sends you to radio.stoke@bbc.co.uk

Our own listening would also seem to indicate a trend that - even if any lucky listeners do get their e-mail read out - the rest of the audience are seldom told that this was sent via e-mail, or which e-mail address is correct to use - so they're not exactly encouraging any other listeners to e-mail, are they??

I've no real problem if Radio Stoke wish to embrace Facebook. Although I can't put words into their mouths, neither do I think Susie, Rustey (or the others) will have any! But I think we must all have increasing amounts of concern, as to why the vast majority of this station's output has systematically marginalised any facilities to e-mail shows, over roughly the same period.

In doing so, they have effectively excluded a sizeable proportion of their audience from contributing, to a wide cross-section of programming. Just how can that ever truly equate to "Be Part Of It", if you don't mind us all asking..?


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