This is a page in the 'From the Archive' section of my website. This pages is not being actively updated. These pages remain on-line to provide an interesting insight into the past and to provide a reference source. All content below is as originally published on this site.

North East Manchester License: Page One

Page One

 

Article

Date Added

1

Radio Authority Pocket Guide June 1996

29/4/97

2

Oldham Evening Chronicle 9/4/97: Chronicle and Oldham FM on same wavelength.

29/4/97

3

alt.radio.uk usenet group dissucussions: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?

29/4/97

4

Article from Radio Magazine: Merseyside licences issued.

29/4/97

5

alt.radio.uk continuing disscussions: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?

29/4/97

6

The Community Radio Association's (CRA) 10 point code of practice.

21/05/97

7

'The Community Radio Charter for Europe'

21/05/97

Go Back to Main Index


I will start with a section from The Radio Authority Pocket Guide (June 1996)

"Small-scale (maximum coverage size to be specified at the time of advertisement).

The Authority has adopted a new policy of advertising the availability of one or more small-scale local license that may be awarded for a service (or services) for any locality (or in different localities) within a wider area but without specifying which locality at the time of advertisement. Those area included on the list are:

...Greater Manchester North/east (e.g. Oldham, Bury and Bolton.) "

Read through it a couple of times to get your head round the idea!

The 'Voice of Oldham's' parent organisation 'Oldham Community Broadcasting' will be applying for the license, as will 'Oldham Fm' plus countless other applicants.

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Here is an article from The Oldham Evening Chronicle 9th April 1997

CHRONICLE AND FM ON SAME WAVELENGTH
Liam is back to entertain.

The Oldham Evening Chronicle is backing the latest month-long return to the airwaves by Oldham FM.
The radio station will start broadcasting from Monday on 107.4FM, and the Chronicle is funding the 28 days of popular programming, as well as selling the stations advertising.
Editor of the Chronicle, Mr Philip Hirst, said: "Oldham FM has been a popular addition to the media in the borough, and eventually we want to play a part in it being here to say."
The temporary license granted by the Radio Authority will be Oldham FM's last before it bids for the full eight-year license for the area, due to be advertised in September and awarded by the end of the year.
Exactly how many license will be granted by the Radio Authority for the area covering Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside, Bury and Bolton has not been decided. In the end, it could be more than one, but Oldham FM will be competing against other applicants.
Community
Liam Forestall (28), who pioneered commercial radio in Oldham with Oldham FM's last four temporary licenses, will be in charge again next week.
"Liam has made a great success of Oldham FM. The listening figures for previous broadcasting show that. The station's mix of music for the 25-45 age bracket, plus a healthy slice of community radio, including outside broadcasts from all over Oldham, has proved a hit, and we believe it should be available for Oldham people permanently," said Mr Hirst.
"We need the support of everyone in Oldham - businesses and listeners - if Oldham FM is going to win the license.
"From an advertising point of view, Oldham FM and the Chronicle go well together. Radio is good at getting a brand name across, but it is not so good at communicating the detail. Newspapers are excellent at giving people detailed information about advertisers
"If an advertiser is looking for a perfect fit, an advert on the radio pointing people in the direction of the full message in the newspaper is the way to do it," said Mr Hirst.

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Following is a post from the alt.radio.uk usenet group:

From: ----(P.Edmonds)
Newsgroups: alt.radio.uk
Subject: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 97 15:35:51 GMT
Organization: University of Salford

Living in North East Manchester I can't help but notice the mass of activity leading up to the Radio Authority's advertisement of the small scale license for North and East Manchester.

Many a group are running RSL's - 28 day licenses to try and prove that in their area there is a need for community Radio (Radio Bolton, Variety Gold, Oldham Fm, Voice of Oldham......) The big question which can be expaned to any area is there really a need for full time community radio? Do people and will people listen in preference to established stations such as Piccidilly?

Is such a small scale station viable? This being a key issue the Radio Authority will consider when handing out the license(s) - there could be more than one!

There is a feeling amost those I have talked to that this license will be issued on a smaller scale than the Wigan license - won by Wish Fm who serve Wigan, St Helens, Leigh and Ashton in Makefield! (check your map not exactly a small area) is owned by an established radio grouping (The Independent Radio Group) and plays "classic hits and todays best music" (sounds familiar?) Does this prove community radio hasn't got a chance? I feel that it is likly that the same story could happen in NE Manchester.

Phil

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Thanks to Liam who sent be this back which gives a interesting insight into events surrounding license applications.

Date sent: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 20:05:25 -0700
From: "Liam R O'Toole" ----
Organization: Witzend Communications & Media Limited
To: "P.Edmonds" ----
Copies to: ---
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?

P.Edmonds wrote:
>
> Living in North East Manchester I can't help but notice the mass of
> activity leading up to the Radio Authority's advertisement of the small
> scale license for North and East Manchester.
>
In reply to Phil's comments, it is interesting to read the details of the recent Alternative Location Licence's awarded in Merseyside.
Details taken courtesy of The Radio Magazine .. check out the full story on website
http://www.sms.co.uk/radmag/
=====================================

Two licences awarded in Merseyside
, Maker marks return to industry with licence win
, Former Radio 1 deejay Long wins
The RADIO AUTHORITY has selected two out of the ten applicant groups for small-scale licences within Merseyside to operate stations which will compete with the established services provided by EMAP RADIO and the BBC in the city.
DUNE FM, headed by STEVE DICKSON and DAVID MAKER, is to provide a service for those in the Southport, Ormskirk and North Sefton metropolitan borough. It promises a "highly localised station with presenters bringing into sharp focus all kinds of grassroot news, information and issues, within a relaxed, friendly and entertaining format of soft adult contemporary music..."
CRASH FM will operate in Liverpool and some surrounding parts of Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral which fall within the catchment area of the city.
This is the second time that the RADIO AUTHORITY has awarded a number of local licences simultaneously on an 'alternative location' basis.
The previous occasion was in East Kent where three licences were awarded. The approach is designed, says the Authority, "to increase the opportunities for prospective operators of small-scale radio services to put forward proposals for consideration, and thereby to develop this tier of local radio more quickly and efficiently."
Managing Director and Co-founder of DUNE FM, STEVE DICKSON, said on hearing the news: "We are all absolutely thrilled by the RADIO AUTHORITY's endorsement of our plans, as it confirms that the years of professional groundwork utilising RSL licences, marketing programmes, public meetings and local money have been recognised." The company said that following the announcement, and the press conference organised to follow, the phone lines were "jammed for twenty-four hours".
Dickson said: "The warmth of response from local people has been fantastic!" DUNE FM will be managed and funded by local people. "The area is an immature commercial radio market in terms of local revenues by comparison to other conurbation's of similar TSA so we will pay particular attention to high standards of customer care and advertising advice in bringing small-to-medium sized businesses into the commercial radio market, as we did with the previous four RSL broadcasts. DUNE FM will prove to be a dynamic force in our community."
Local broadcaster and another co-founder, PHIL HILTON will take responsibility for programming DUNE FM. He told The RADIO Magazine: "The RADIO AUTHORITY's decision clearly reflects the importance of local radio within the locality of Sefton and Ormskirk. This will allow us to implement the programming experience gained during our test broadcasts and so provide a comprehensive and specific range of local news, information and features."
Chairman of DUNE FM is DAVID MAKER, for whom the news was welcomed as his return to commercial radio.
David, who has lived in the DUNE FM area for the last twenty-five years, was Chairman and Chief Executive of GOLDEN ROSE COMMUNICATIONS, operator of JAZZ FM stations in London and the North West. It also won a London-wide AM licence for VIVA! 963AM, which was sold to MOHAMED AL-FAYED for £3m. His career also includes programming RADIO CITY in Liverpool and RED ROSE RADIO. He was in the team that brought about the acquisition of RADIO AIRE (Leeds) by TRANS WORLD COMMUNICATIONS.
CRASH FM says it will provide an "alternative rock and dance station" aimed at the 15-34-year-old market in Liverpool. Originally CLT UK RADIO were to have a 26% shareholding in the station, but with their much-publicised withdrawal from investment in British radio, the shares have been taken up in the main by MALCOLM HALL's company, CHANNEL RADIO, which has recently been involved in a successful licence award - to CTFM - for Canterbury in the East Kent licence awards.
Others involved include DAVID COUSINS of ST DAVIDS RESEARCH, JONATHAN ARENDT and CHRIS PARRY, Managing Director of FICTION RECORDS and Chairman of Xfm.
The station was the brainchild of JANICE LONG, who was the first female to host a daily show on BBC RADIO 1, a position she attained after a stint at BBC RADIO MERSEYSIDE.
She moved on to BBC GLR where she presented the breakfast show. Later she became involved with RSL station XFM, as well as appearing as a presenter for Top of The Pops, and on RADIO 4 and RADIO 5.
Following her return to Liverpool she began the process of sowing the seeds of the station which was not to be rooted either in the "nostalgia of the Merseybeat era, nor the Top 40 formula broadcasting."
RSL station CRASH FM followed. The station plans a playlist which will feature alternative and dance music and which estimates it will attain a 12% weekly reach (81,000) tuned in for 7.9 average hours per week in year one.

--
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Returning to the usenet posts in alt.radio.uk on the subject of Wish Fm:

Newsgroups: alt.radio.uk
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 16:22:40 -0700

P.Edmonds wrote:
> There is a feeling amost those I have talked to that this license will
> be issued on a smaller scale than the Wigan license - won by Wish Fm.
> is owned by an established radio grouping (The Independent Radio Group) and plays "classic hits and todays best music" (sounds familiar?) Does this prove community radio hasn't got a
> chance? I feel that it is likly that the same story could happen in NE > Manchester.
>
>
PhilTake a listen to WISH FM. It is community radio at its best. OK they play "classic hits and todays best music", the big difference is that the presenters are allowed to talk and the station doesn't sound like COMPUTER FM.

What are peoples opinion on the Independant Radio Group?

Andy Gill Wigan


Following up:

From: ---(Gavin Robertson)
Newsgroups: alt.radio.uk
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: 15 Apr 1997 21:32:21 GMT
Organization: BBC

In article <33540DC0.28BA@dial.pipex.com>, Andrew Gill says:
> PhilTake a listen to WISH FM.
>It is community radio at its best. OK they play "classic hits and todays >best music", the big difference is that the presenters are allowed to >talk and the station doesn't sound like COMPUTER FM.

No, it sounds like a 70s ILR (and Fox FM, but then it does use the same jingle package). I like it.

>What are peoples opinion on the Independant Radio Group?

Whilst it's laudable to see small groups like this setting out on the road of independently programmed stations within a group, how long before one of the big boys swallows them up?

Gavin

*** My views, not the BBCs ***


This from Paul Osbourne a old member of Radio Bolton:

From: "Paul Osbourne" ---
Newsgroups: alt.radio.uk
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: 18 Apr 1997 19:37:41 GMT
> Do people and will people listen in preference to
> established stations such as Piccidilly?
>
> Is such a small scale station viable?
>
>
I was involved in one of the N.E. Manchester RSLs (Radio Bolton) in 1995/6, and I'm afraid it convinced me groups of inexperienced, albeit well meaning amateurs can't succeed in the prevailing commercial atmosphere. Resources at many RSLs are either scarce or non-existent, and I am doubtful the Radio Authority would seriously consider giving many community groups a full licence. The 70s plan for commercial radio - to prove a genuinely entertaining community service could be provided on a commercial basis - has been replaced by groups which view radio as nothing more than a money-making opportunity. Harsh, depressing, but probably true.

Paul Osbourne


A Cambridge persons view on the Radio Authorities issuing of licenses:

From: ---(BernLeckie)
Newsgroups: alt.radio.uk
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: 20 Apr 1997 16:10:07 GMT
Organization: AOL, http://www.aol.co.uk

Paul Osbourne wrote:

"I was involved in one of the N.E. Manchester RSLs (Radio Bolton) in 1995/6, and I'm afraid it convinced me groups of inexperienced, albeit well meaning amateurs can't succeed in the prevailing commercial atmosphere. Resources at many RSLs are either scarce or non-existent, and I am doubtful the Radio Authority would seriously consider giving many community groups a full licence. The 70s plan for commercial radio - to prove a genuinely entertaining community service could be provided on a commercial basis - has been replaced by groups which view radio as nothing more than a money-making opportunity. Harsh, depressing, but probably true."

Thankfully not always true. The RA is backing small scale radio as a concept - look at the roll out of new licences. These are always for stations which have to be commercially viable (unlike some community radio which relies on grants and other donations), but community groups are winning some of these licences.

In Cambridge, for example - Cambridge Community Radio has always involved - and was always run by - radio newcomers and amateurs. It worked for support from the community, individuals and groups, and is committed to support its listeners and the whole community as well as its own members. It then went on to apply for the new Cambridge small scale licence on this basis and won - even though GWR's bid may have been more profitable. My impression from the process was that the RA wants to support community bids where possible - they add to listener choice in a way that GWR doesn't, so much - but needs them to be commercially competent and viable.

The lesson for community groups (who often get into arguments over whether they should do anything that even MIGHT JUST turn a profit) is to think commercially, remember they set out to serve the community, and learn learn learn how to do so.

- Bern (CCR member and volunteer worker)



Looking back to Paul Osborne's comments, here is an abridged post from alt.radio.uk

From: ---(Paul Gledhill)
Newsgroups: alt.radio.uk
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 21:43:54 GMT
Organization: U-NET Ltd

Whilst meandering aimlessly through the group, "Paul Osbourne" thought it wise to state that.....

>Resources at many RSLs are either scarce or non-existent, and I am >doubtful the Radio Authority would seriously consider giving many >community groups a full licence.
>The 70s plan for commercial radio - to prove a genuinely entertaining >community service could be provided on a commercial basis - has been >replaced by groups which view radio as nothing more than a money-making >opportunity.
>Harsh, depressing, but probably true.
>
>Paul Osbourne
Yes but Paul, these local groups have to send in a finance plan. If they fail then it is due to the fact that they are cack and not for the want of trying. The prevailing market forces will soon replace them, but give the small fish a chance eh?
---------------
Paul Gledhill The Original Man In Black

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Too further our consideration of exactly what community radio is, here is The Community Radio Association's (CRA) 10 point code of practice. Taken from their web site.

Code of Practice

The CRA adopted and has since developed a ten point Code of Practice which states that Community Radio Stations:

1. Serve geographically recognisable communities or communities of interest.
2. Enable the development, well-being and enjoyment of their listeners through meeting their information, communication or cultural needs; encourage their participation in these processes through providing them with access to training, production and transmission facilities; stimulate innovation in radio programming and technology; and seek out and involve those sections of the community under-represented in existing broadcast services.
3. Take positive action to ensure that management, programming and employment practises encourage non-sexist, non-racist attitudes and representations; for example by including such pledges in their constitutions or secondary rules and by instituting relevant training and awareness programmes.
4. Reflect the plurality and diversity of their listening community and provide a right of reply to any person or organisation subject to serious misrepresentation.
5. Draw their programming from mostly regional/local sources rather than national sources.
6. Have their general management and programming policy made by a broadly based Council of Management including the producers.
7. Are legally constituted as non profit-making trusts, co-operatives or non profit-maximising limited companies.
8. Are financed from more than one source, such as public and private loans, shares, advertising, listener subscriptions and public grants.
9. Have ownership solely representative of their locality or community of interest.
10. Recognise the right of paid workers to be unionised and encourage the use of volunteers.


Further more the 'The Community Radio Charter for Europe' gives us some food for thought, again this information taken from the CRA web site http://www.pobox.com/~cra

BRIEFING PAPER (revised January 1996)
What is Community Radio?
The rapid expansion of community radio initiatives throughout Europe is itself a demonstration of the diversity of communities of interest that consider themselves poorly represented in the mainstream broadcast media. Each project has its own distinctive identity, but the similarity of their aims and structures provide the defining features of the third sector. These are encapsulated in the Community Radio Charter for Europe which was adopted on 18 September 1994 in Ljubljana, Slovenia by the first Pan-European Conference of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters.

The Community Radio Charter for Europe

Recognising that community radio is an ideal means of fostering freedom of expression and information, the development of culture, the freedom to form and confront opinions and active participation in local life; noting that different cultures and traditions lead to a diversity of forms of community radio; this Charter identifies objectives which community radio stations share and should strive to achieve.

Community radio stations:

1. promote the right to communicate, assist the free flow of information and opinions, encourage creative expression and contribute to the democratic process and a pluralist society;

2. provide access to training, production and distribution facilities; encourage local creative talent and foster local traditions; and provide programmes for the benefit, entertainment, education and development of their listeners;

3. seek to have their ownership representative of local geographically recognisable communities or of communities of common interest;

4. are editorially independent of government, commercial and religious institutions and political parties in determining their programme policy;

5. provide a right of access to minority and marginalised groups and promote and protect cultural and linguistic diversity;

6. seek to honestly inform their listeners on the basis of information drawn from a diversity of sources and provide a right of reply to any person or organisation subject to serious misrepresentation;
7. are established as organisations which are not run with a view to profit and ensure their independence by being financed from a variety of sources;

8. recognise and respect the contribution of volunteers, recognise the right of paid workers to join trade unions and provide satisfactory working conditions for both;

9. operate management, programming and employment practices which oppose discrimination and which are open and accountable to all supporters, staff and volunteers;

10. foster exchange between community radio broadcasters using communications to develop greater understanding in support of peace, tolerance, democracy and development.
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