1/04/2009

The death of local radio stations - Radio Broadland becomes Heart FM

Tomorrow a swathe of well liked and well listened to local radio stations will be abolished to become part of the Heart FM group. This move, which will see much local content gone, with only the breakfast shows retaining any real local link are part of Heart FM's attempt to pretend to be a national network (whilst not paying for a national radio license), but essentially is about saving money.

The question for me is will they retain listeners ? Our local station, Radio Broadland, has been going for 25 years and has a good listener base, but this is based firmly on the fact that they are local, the people who phone in are local, the DJs make reference to local events and people like this familiarity. My guess is that listeners will abandon Radio Broadland/Heart for other local stations which retain the local link. This is good news for Radio Norwich and North Norfolk Radio, who sound very much like Radio Broadland used to 10 years ago, but it really is bad news for local radio across the country.

There have been ongoing attempts by numerous radio stations to merge across the country for a number of years and become parts of national radio chains. The sad thing is that this removes from the listeners the very reason local radio stations exist. The whole point is that Radio Local, what ever its name in your area, is meant to be "a local radio station" for "local people". It's a bit like taking a packet of crisps and turning it in to a packet of nuts. They might both serve the same purpose, but they are totally different things.

10 comments:

Paul Pinfield said...

Glad to hear that North Norfolk Radio will survive Nick? I was listening to it this morning whilst driving around the Burnhams.

We look forward to the local elements as much as anything, particularly the dreadful country and western themed adds. You are blessed indeed...

Anonymous said...

i have tuned into broadland since day 1 its been a fantastic station but today isay good bye with sadness the djs have been like friends you know well i loved the broadland jingles my family and i would say did you hear ---- on broadland today they all listened as well my grandaughter has gone to radio 1 what a sad day for the people of norfolk maureen

Letters From A Tory said...

If there is a market for local radio stations, they would be perfectly viable commercial operations.

I can only assume that they feel a need to 'sell out' because their advertising revenues are too low due to low listener numbers.

Norfolk Blogger said...

My guess is that they can make 75% less in advertising revenue as Heart FM (due to lost listeners) but can cut their costs by 75%, so can therefore make more profits running a less good service.

Bill Quango MP said...

On our local station the afternoon dj plays Snow Patrol every single day.
Why? The song is 2 years old already.
I can only assume it is the perfect length to let him have a pee,or make a coffee or something.

Don't you still have Partridge on Norfolk Nights over there?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I thought his show was "Up with the Partridge"

Starls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Starls said...

I listened to it this evening and this morning and it still had the dreadfully unfunny Rob and Chrissie for breakfast and the dreadfully dull Chris Marsten on for 'drivetime'.

The rest is syndicated rubbish like its been for the past few years.

Sounds like all that's changed is the name!

Bill Quango MP said...

NB:
Depends which series you watch.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Norfolk in the 80s and loved Radio Broadland, it was a firm part of my childhood. I have just discovered that it is non-existent and I am so upset. When i come back to Norfolk for a visit I always put on Radio Broadland, like I never left. It is like an old friend. My holiday in the summer won't be the same - I was planning to have Broadland blaring as I was driving up to Cromer for a 99.

Goodbye Broadland and thanks for the soundtrack of my youth

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