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Author Topic:  BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.  (Read 26840 times)

Susie O

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2015, 03:40:24 PM »
I`m not 100% sure where you can find those stats Rita, but I think North told us in one of her earlier posts that the last quarter of 2014 showed the lowest percentage reach ever (over the last six years) so perhaps that goes a long way to explaining Radio Stoke`s recent massive format changes for Saturday mornings.
 
If I was to have my own go at predicting the next RAJAR figures, I reckon they`d improve! By all accounts we`ve read so far, they dipped so low that surely the only way forward ought to be upwards? Let`s face it, the consistent downward trend of the last few years can only mean it`s high time something positive was done! I`ve caught both of the new format shows now, quite honestly it`s all so very predictable (and dated). Quite a lot has been written already about how much a mess got made of Saturday mornings, so there`s no need to go over that again but I think most of us (who`ve posted comments about Radio Stoke) have agreed that those changes only succeeded in doing one thing. Driving listeners away.
 
For anyone who never got to hear how great a listen this show often was, before Paula White was forced into this time slot (with an untried new format forced upon her) it might be difficult to understand how creative the audience often turned out to be! There were several different ways for listeners to join in with the music played on a Saturday morning, but these had all vanished by June 2013. Of course North (and me) both told you earlier, how there was a small improvement last summer when Den Siegertsz starting letting his audience send in their own ideas, for his Six in Six game. Unfortunately it was only an extremely lucky half-dozen or so listeners, by the time I tried being part of things Den couldn`t even bother to answer either of my emails. Who knows, maybe his own idea of "Be Part Of It" got thrown out by his boss?

So much for genuine audience participation, I guess. In 2015, getting your name read out (because you`ve contacted Radio Stoke with what year you think it is) isn`t even in the same league, is it? It`ll most likely convince anyone still listening, that they are participating in the making of Den`s program but it doesn`t fool me one bit.

When today`s first year turned out to be 1968, it was quite interesting which music got played. Does anyone remember a one-hit wonder called Cinderella Rockefeller? Den seemed to struggle to read out the artistes`s name, and I`m struggling to remember when I last heard Ester & Abi Ofarim on the radio! So are Radio Stoke pulling out all the stops, to try and liven up the dull music output that we all told you about? If you ask me so much more needs doing, to restore the audience`s confidence.

What a downright shame they can`t bring themselves to allow listeners to suggest half a dozen or so pieces of music each weekend. That`s something that BBC local radio always used to excel at, so whatever went so wrong with this station? As listeners are such a precious asset, please can we be treated much more fairly in future?

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2015, 05:49:59 PM »

If you ask me so much more needs doing, to restore the audience`s confidence.

What a downright shame they can`t bring themselves to allow listeners to suggest half a dozen or so pieces of music each weekend. That`s something that BBC local radio always used to excel at, so whatever went so wrong with this station? As listeners are such a precious asset, please can we be treated much more fairly in future?

That's such a quotable closing paragraph, Susie - particularly the last line, which I've highlighted. I only wish I'd been able to reply sooner but other, more pressing matters got in the way! Fortunately, I've still had time to listen to some of their weekend shows.

So it's fair to say that a month's worth of these is a fairly representative sample of what Radio Stoke has to offer, don't you think?

Quite frankly, the "new" Saturday morning show fails to entertain, but succeeds in making me retune! While I've nothing especially against Den Siegertsz you understand, this uninspired, shallow imitation of BBC Radio One's Golden Hour is just so last century.

Am I the only listener struggling to see what actual relevance "guess our mystery year" programmes can ever have to local radio?

A boring succession of listeners' names, complete with predictable "loving all these oldies, Den" comments, seems light years away from all the creativity Radio Stoke's listeners used to be allowed to demonstrate, each and every Saturday morning, not so long ago.

Not sure about you, but I'm always highly suspicious of any broadcasters who insist so often on telling us how "great" the music is.

None of my confidence has been restored yet, not in this BBC local station anyhow. In another thread, I was keen to praise a weekly programme which can be heard on Radio Stoke, but actually originates from BBC Hereford & Worcester. That show's commendable listener request policy - roughly equating to over 30% of the music played - ensures that it still has an original "weekend" feel to it.

Whereas the "new" sound of Saturday mornings sounds like just another uninteresting weekday show, consisting for the most part of music that's anything but great. Because we've heard these same few mouldy oldies, over and over. What a turn-off, literally...

Northoftheborder

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Re: BBC Stoke, Listeners concerns.
« Reply #62 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??


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