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Author Topic:  BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.  (Read 25744 times)

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2014, 05:44:07 PM »
The devil may be in the detail, Dennis! It's "carefully worded", if you see what I mean? Of course, it was only because of diligent hard work - by this Forum - that you (or I) even managed to learn who's "in charge" at Radio Stoke, wasn't it? So thanks again!

As pointed out before, even when we had that info at our fingertips, management weren't exactly keen to respond positively, where they? But - if they send you one reply - then maybe our concerns can no longer be called "unanswered, or unaddressed", can they?

Our own experiences with BBC Audience Services haven't exactly been much more use than yours. But it's a sad fact of life that - if management were so conspicuous by their absence - where else do you go? In my personal opinion, it's purely a delaying tactic.

I'm not so keen to discuss BBC Complaints per se on this thread, as it's best to stay on topic. Of course, however long Radio Stoke keep us all waiting, that topic remains the many and varied concerns expressed about their output. However, let's get this clear:

The vast majority of what I've seen (and written!) are direct questions, regarding specific aspects of their programming. So why on earth do they insist on pointing everyone in the direction of BBC Complaints? What do THEY know about what goes on in Stoke?

I think it's called procrastination, basically just stalling for time. Only Radio Stoke can answer questions about Radio Stoke. If their station team show "no appetite" to answer any of our queries, then presumably the next tier of management is the only way forward. My sister-in-law did just that, but received short shrift from the Regional Head of BBC Waste Millions West Midlands.

So should we all be e-mailing david.holdsworth@bbc.co.uk? If the two of you have waited over 3 months now, I think I would...

Rustey .

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2014, 07:16:13 PM »
Of course its just delaying tactics! So I really hope Dennis (and the other person) and everyone else are all very patient - like we have had to be. If you remember what I wrote before Radio Stoke were anything but nice - when my friend directly emailed them a couple of polite (and to the point) questions. They never bothered to reply to him - but got BBC Audience Services to email him instead (telling him not to directly contact anyone at Radio Stoke - at all). So I put my own complaint in to BBC Audience Services (in the first week of June) and asked why listener involvement has gone the way it had. After a week they sent me something very like what Dennis got - saying it may take longer than 10 working days to reply.

They were right there - still nothing else has come from them (and its now nearly the end of August)! If you think back to what North told us the other day - only Radio Stoke can answer questions about Radio Stoke. So think even more carefully when you see replies like this:


Sorry for the delay in replying, I have been away on leave. I am not aware of any listener complaints to BBC Radio Stoke that remain unanswered or unaddressed.

An exception to this would be the occasional situation where we will have already responded on a number of occasions about the same issue and we then consider the matter resolved. If the individual continues to correspond on the same subject we would let them know that that we consider the matter closed.

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.
Sincerely,
Gary Andrews


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

So why is there all this confusion? Which one is correct for getting emails considered for reading out? And why do most presenters never manage to read out any email addresses (or come to think of it - many emails)?

While you wonder about that - have a think about this. Because BBC Audience Services will have had to contact Radio Stoke (if they want to find anything out - about Radio Stoke) then something does not quite ring true about what Gary Andrews told Tiger. Either BBC Audience Services failed to do that and it is them responsible - for us all having to wait so long! Or perhaps they did contact Radio Stoke (but then our comments all mysteriously got lost) while managers took amazingly long holidays! Who knows which is correct?

But (whichever version is the right one) it looks like there is something that is beyond question. It is untrue to tell everyone on this forum that:


I am not aware of any listener complaints to BBC Radio Stoke that remain unanswered or unaddressed.


Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2014, 01:00:04 PM »
It's a very long list Rustey! Of very, very disgruntled listeners!! Can I link us to another thread please, so all our comments will correctly appear here, as "Listeners' concerns":

http://www.bbclocalradioforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1127.msg7434;topicseen#msg7434

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2014, 03:13:51 PM »
...most BBC staff have fairly obvious emails, have you tried those?

Unfortunately Tiger, the newer recruits don't seem to conform to the standard "firstname.lastname@bbc.co.uk" format!

As you've already seen, Gary Andrews wasn't exactly receptive either, was he??

radiolad

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2014, 08:23:29 PM »
As there seems to be a problem with emails is it not possible to phone the station?

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2014, 05:26:22 PM »
Fair point, radiolad! But I'm sure I can't be the only listener, who can't get their head round a fairly simple point. Just what's the problem, with e-mailing? Perhaps I should reiterate something?

The Service Licences state that each local radio station should encourage listeners to contribute, and tell their own stories. If you interpret that literally, surely the very best way is via the phone? But what if you're not so keen on appearing live on-air, or aren't generally too confident on the phone? Texting isn't everyone's cup of tea, and "social media" is just that - open to everyone else to read, isn't it?

I'm not saying that new technology shouldn't be embraced, far from it! E-mailing was openly welcomed under Radio Stoke's previous management, so I really am struggling to grasp how anything's changed dramatically since then. Isn't it strange how e-mailing isn't exactly welcomed with open arms (or in-boxes) by the current Assistant Editor, as Susie related recently:

http://www.bbclocalradioforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1043.15

I've also raised the possibility myself, that other stations aren't exactly meeting the aspirations of their Service Licences too well! If you follow my second link (below) you can read more. I'm sorry it's such a long piece, but we were both so disappointed that an initial improvement in Radio Stoke's weekend output seems to have floundered.
 
http://www.bbclocalradioforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1127.15

Between us, we're both busy women who may struggle to find the time to phone Radio Stoke's Managing Editor. Sadly, given the lukewarm responses we've had so far, it looks like we'd most likely be on a hiding to nothing! That's not to say that either of us have ruled this out, but my sister-in-law has already tried putting some sensible and reasoned thoughts to him via e-mail.

Unfortunately, she was met with a reply which ended by Gary Andrews stating that he didn't have the time to enter into correspondence or explanations about his decisions. Such a shame he feels so unable to justify all his managerial actions, isn't it? 

Rustey .

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2014, 07:21:56 PM »
This whole Radio Stoke email situation is an absolute joke - their boss knows we will struggle to prove that our emails are being overlooked. When you ask why - guess what? Something like - I have already dealt with this matter and so I will not discuss it any further. So much for a fair and democratic BBC that treats all listeners equally and fairly.

Susie O

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2014, 02:54:20 PM »
It`s not only emails that get overlooked is it Rustey? What about all our comments, about all the change we`ve had to put up with? None of them have ever properly been addresssed, neither by Radio Stoke (who tell you to contact BBC Audience Services) nor by BBC Complaints (shorter, more accurate name for Audience Services).

Is it possible to find out just how many complaints they`ve received about Radio Stoke? A Freedom of Information Request, or something like that? They must have stacked up by now. Also click on the link below, as (although they always say how efficiently they use our license fee) you will get to see just how useless they are:-

http://www.bbclocalradioforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1033.15

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2014, 08:49:46 AM »

Is it possible to find out just how many complaints they`ve received about Radio Stoke? A Freedom of Information Request, or something like that? They must have stacked up by now...


Anyone have any thoughts on this, then? Seems a perfectly reasonable question to me, Susie! But don't hold your breath, waiting...

The whole BBC approach to the continuing Radio Stoke situation is such a cowardly one. Although he claimed to this forum that he'd welcome listeners (who approached him directly) our questions to their Managing Editor didn't meet with much more success than yours, Susie. When my sister-in-law tried contacting his superior, her concerns weren't ever properly addressed either.

Dennis Marshall

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »
'Breaking news' approximately 24 hours ago on Radio Stoke, with the revelation that an underperforming manager had reluctantly tendered his resignation.

In this case it was the manager of Port Vale FC Micky Adams, leading to extensive all-day coverage and consequent disruption of 'normal' programming. However it is somewhat difficult to comprehend how Radio Stoke's own management can exactly be seen to be performing adequately. With so many potential avenues to explore, where should one start?

This observer notes recent posts by another commentator, 'Northoftheborder'. These were reasoned and extremely fair, expressing her praise for the revival of a weekly item (now known as) 'Six in six'. She particularly welcomed the return of the opportunity for audience members to contribute their own musical suggestions.

Although I still possess no strong desire to actively participate in this feature, the audible improvement this change has brought about must not go unrecorded. I note especially a small but undeniably positive step towards indicating that any listeners (who may choose to do so) are once again welcome to contribute towards Radio Stoke's Saturday morning music output. In addition, it was so evident that a little blessed relief was offered from routine and dull 'playlist' fare, enforced upon weekday audiences.

Regrettably, this glimmer of hope has now faded into oblivion, after less than two months. This seems to have roughly coincided with the return of a key member of the management team, after a marathon five-week summer break. Therefore we have now returned to the situation of six months ago, with no chances to request music.

Should you feel that is a matter of little concern, then maybe it is worth considering the large volume of questions (about other aspects of Radio Stoke's output) that remain unanswered. In some cases, after many, many weeks. My own questions to BBC Audience Services have met with no meaningful reply, even after a three month wait. Another person, who had posed differing concerns, reports a similar lack of response. Thus it would appear that no-one at Radio Stoke can be bothered any more.

Rita

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2014, 03:37:48 PM »
That is very sad Dennis and quite worrying.  Audience participation is the life-blood of Radio Merseyside, that's why it is so successful.  I suggest that you should listen to said station on a Saturday, if for nothing else, just to see how many times presenters mention their email address, telephone number at the station etc., number to text etc. . etc. and how many requests they play.

Susie O

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2014, 06:54:54 PM »
Despite all our comments on here, the situation at Radio Stoke still hasn`t improved. If anything it`s got worse, with the other county they claim they serve (Cheshire) now getting nglected even more than ever. It`s got so bad that other listeners have started to take notice too. There was a lengthy comment piece in our local paper the other day, about how bad a deal the town of Congleton gets. It`s hidden behind a paywall unfortunately, but maybe I will try and type some of it out another day.

Dennis Marshall

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2014, 04:39:12 PM »
It would appear that there is insufficient local radio sports coverage across "Staffordshire & Cheshire" at present, with regard to the following comment posted toward the end of last week on the station's Facebook page:
Quote
BBC Radio Stoke launches a new weeknight sports programme on Monday 5th January. Sport at Six will have the latest Stoke City Football Club, Port Vale FC and Crewe Alexandra Football Club news, plus interviews with the managers, players and other big names in football and other local sports. There will also be a look behind the scenes at each club, and of course you can still Praise and Grumble on Fridays. Sport at Six will also reflect big national sports events and offer the chance to show off your trivia knowledge!

I would concede that there is a need to adequately reflect the area's sporting action, as that was one of the aspects of BBC local radio that 'DQF' sought to protect. Additionally, another aspect of 'DQF', Mark Forrest's national local radio programme, meant that 'sports news' had to be absorbed into 'drivetime' programming. However, do we not have enough coverage, as it is?

Susie O

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2014, 03:54:58 PM »
It looks like Radio Stoke have quietly buried another popular weekend feature, if this morning`s Den Siegertsz programme is anything to go by. Before his show starts, he always makes a big thing of his 6 in 6 feature, on their Weekend Breakfast Show. The montage of six short clips gets played out a couple of times, to give listeners a first chance to play along with what Radio Stoke have come up with.

But not today. No mention of the 6 in 6, at all. Something like this happened exactly a year ago, on the Saturday after Christmas. Back then, Den was still running his version of a quiz that Paula White had started, which had five questions that the audience had to help find the answers to. On this weekend, Den was away, and the best stand-in Radio Stoke could find was useless commercial radio reject Perry Spiller, who never ran the quiz. When Den came back, all he would tell us was that the quiz had been dropped. Nothing decent was ever found to replace it, until they brought back the old idea of 6 in 6.

Of course I could always try emailing Radio Stoke to ask what`s going on. But I did just that (about something else on Den`s show) earlier in the year. Even though I tried twice, Den never bothered to reply to my polite queries, so it`s perfectly clear how much he values the input of his listeners, isn`t it?

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2014, 01:37:06 PM »
Oh dear. It's not exactly been that good a year for Radio Stoke, has it? Just one year ago, they'd lost three female presenters in quick succession, along with a whole load of listener goodwill. That sort of thing had taken the station's Managing Editor Sue Owen some ten years to steadily build up, but her successor threw the vast majority of it all away, in an incredibly short space of time.

2014 began with another quiet cancellation, as Sunday morning's "Hymn Requests" show was surreptitiously removed, helping provide time to accommodate even more James Watt, on top of the fifteen hours we already had to endure each weekday.
Along the way there's been much more bad news than good, from the super county they frequently refer to as "Staffordshireandcheshire". Another contributor related how a friend had previously tried to "Be Part Of It" but had had their own creative ideas misappropriated - and passed off as the station's own work. When they enquired why, Radio Stoke's eventual response was to mobilise BBC Audience Services to effectively ban this particular individual from contacting the station. What a sorry state of affairs indeed.

A small glimmer of hope arose in the summer, when the weekend feature that Susie's mentioned began to accept contributions from the audience. Sadly, this halted abruptly after just over a month - with no explanation ever forthcoming. So much for allowing the listeners to help shape weekend programming.

Susie, you're not alone in coming up against a massive wall of indifference, when attempting to ask Radio Stoke why. I wouldn't mind betting that next weekend will see no "Six in Six" offered by Den, in which case you could always try e-mailing denholm.siegertsz@bbc.co.uk. He'll probably ignore your concerns, just like he ignored my sister-in-law when she enquired why changes had been made.

The other option is to go the "official route", via BBC Audience Services. The eventual outcome probably won't be much different, as they'll most likely only adopt delaying tactics, prior to proudly announcing that they've done nothing wrong, as no BBC guidelines were ever breached. Unfortunately, another listener's concern - voiced many months earlier - still holds true, as I seem to recall Dennis remarking that the BBC are judge, jury and executioner in these matters.

Sadly that's more than ever the case as this year draws to a close, and it really saddens me to write that Radio Stoke seems to be a lost cause, not interested one bit in what the audience thinks (or wants). It's not for lack of trying though, so don't be too downhearted Susie! Along with Dennis, Rustey and ourselves, we've all tried our utmost to improve the output (and content) of our local BBC radio station - the one we all have to contribute towards, out of a not-inconsiderable compulsory annual licence fee payment.

What a shame those tasked with managing that station couldn't bring themselves to listen to our collective concerns. Whilst I'm reluctant to end the year on a negative note, it looks as though "Team Northoftheborder" won't be listening nearly as much either, as 2015 dawns.

Despite that, best wishes to everyone who helps make this forum the continually enjoyable experience that it is! Thank goodness we have somewhere to at least air our grievances, as it's incredible that two anda half years have passed without Radio stoke listeners being offered a single public chance to voice their concerns.


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