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
This page contains all the articles on one page - designed to be saved to disk so you can read it off-line at your lesuire. Select 'Save As...' in your file menu to do this.
This section covers a selection of material gathered together in the lead up to the announcement of the successful winners in the North East Manchester Radio Licence, I have decided to no longer update this section due as any further coverage will be merely duplicating the two stations publicity material.
The Small Scale Alternative Location Licence in NE Manchester
Awarded to both OLDHAM FM (launched as The Revolution) & TOWER FM September 3rd 1998.
Particularly of interest to me is the 'Small Scale Alternative Location Licence', originally planned for advertisement in October 1997, but postponed by the Radio Authority and advertised in January 1998. The deadline for applications was May 12th 1998, and the successful applicants were announced on September 3rd 1998. Since April 1997 I have brought together a collection of information on this subject.
Follow the links in the table of contents below to take you straight to the relevent article, also listed is the dates each article was added to the site.
Radio Authority Pocket Guide June 1996
Oldham Evening Chronicle 9/4/97: Chronicle and Oldham FM on same wavelength.
alt.radio.uk usenet group dissucussions: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Article from Radio Magazine: Merseyside licences issued.
alt.radio.uk continuing disscussions: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
The Community Radio Association's (CRA) 10 point code of practice.
'The Community Radio Charter for Europe'
Oldham Evening Chronicle 30/5/97: The Voice of Oldham returns to airwaves
Oldham Advertiser on 29/5/97: Oldham's 'voice' returns!
The Manchester Evening News 4/6/97: Oldham's Voice has accent on community
Oldham Evening Chronicle 10/6/97: Brass is given its own slot on radio
alt.radio.uk. usenet group disscussions: North East Manchester SALLIE
Oldham Evening Chronicle 15/1/98: It's Battle Stations
The Radio Magazine 16/1/98: Advertsiment of licence
Oldham Evening Chronicle 19/1/98: Back Bid For Radio Station
Oldham Evening Chronicle 21/1/98 : 'Oldham FM Supplement'
Bury Times 16/1/98: Radio Bury by the end of the Year?
Manchester Evening News 28/1/98: Latest FM license on offer for north and east
Oldham Evening Chronicle 13/5/98: Radio License Bid Wrecked by Gremlins in Computer
Oldham Evening Chronicle 14/5/98: Back Bid For Oldham Fm - Boss
alt.radio.uk usenet group disscussions: North East Manchester SALLIE
Radio Authority News Release 12/5/98
Bolton Evening News 4/6/98: Radio Station Bidders Call for Public's Backing
Radio Authority News Release: Licence Awards 3/9/98
Oldham Evening Chronicle 4/9/98: It's Ours!
Bolton Evening News 3/9/98: Local radio verdict due today
Bury Times 5/9/98: Tower FM is taking to the air
UK Radio Group Press Release: 3/9/98: UKRD Major shareholder in Greater Manchester Winner
Oldham Advertiser: 10/9/97: Radio Dream About to Become Reaity!
Oldham Evening Chronicle 15/9/98: Chosen Radio Station Has Good Resources
Radio Authority Appraisal of NE Greater Manchester Award: 15/9/98
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.
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.
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.
Following is a post from the alt.radio.uk usenet group:
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.
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?
> 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.
Returning to the usenet posts in alt.radio.uk on the subject of Wish Fm:
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 16:22:40 -0700
> 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
From: ---(Gavin Robertson)
Subject: Re: Do people want community Radio in NE Manchester?
Date: 15 Apr 1997 21:32:21 GMT
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?
*** My views, not the BBCs ***
This from Paul Osbourne a old member of Radio Bolton:
From: "Paul Osbourne" ---
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.
A Cambridge persons view on the Radio Authorities issuing of licenses:
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)
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.
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
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.
One group who will be biding for the full time license is 'The Voice Of Oldham.' First an article from The Oldham Evening Chronicle Friday May 30th 1997:
The Voice of Oldham returns to airwaves
OLDHAM's part time radio station comes back on the airwaves for another four weeks, starting on Sunday.
Previous successes have led to The Voice of Oldham to experiment with several distinct types of broadcasting.
Co-ordinator David McGealy claims the mix is unique and widens the stations appeal.
But, this time, there will be more guests and more interviews, as the station widens its net to cover more of Oldham and its people.
Weekdays on The Voice of Oldham 1566AM, start with music designed to appeal to a wide range of listeners.
Monday features the station's "Oldham Asian Network"
Local music, from brass to country, features heavily on Wednesday.
And, on Friday and Saturday, there is news of what's on in and around the town.
Mr McGealy said: "The Voice of Oldham is about a great deal more than just music.
"And, for the first time, we will have a town-centre studio in Albion Street in the market and we expect people to drop in."
The Voice of Oldham operates under a series of monthly community licenses, which means it can only broadcast at certain times
Further the Advertiser on 29th May featured this:
Oldham's 'voice' returns!
OLDHAM'S own radio station hits the airwaves again on Sunday.
The Voice of Oldham station will run to the end of June on 1566AM, 24 hours a day.
The station, which sprang from the Royal Oldham Hospital's Radio Cavell service, has already had one successful run-out last December.
This time around, there'll be special 'niche' broadcasts for different sections of the community - so organisers hope to please all of the people some of the time.
On Fridays and Saturdays most of the day will be devoted to news about and from local events, such as the Creepy Crawley Show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Oldham's police open day, both on June 8.
Monday afternoons and evenings will be dedicated to the Asian community, with some shows in Urdu and Bengali.
The over 60s get their own special shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays while popular local DJ Fred Fielder will cover the morning shift (9am till noon) during the week.
Music is the keynote of Wednesday's Voice of Oldham - including a chance for local musicians to shine.
Alan Ashton and Ian Wolestenholme will be hosting an organ and keyboards programme between 6pm and 8pm each Wednesday and are looking for local musicians to takes part.
Send a cassette featuring two short musical items (no more than 10 minutes) to them at The Studios, Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Road, Oldham, OL1 2JH with a few details about yourself and a daytime phone number.
And students at local schools and the Sixth Form College will assist the programmes during the teenage shows on Sundays.
Here is an article from The Manchester Evening News June 4th 1997:
Oldham's Voice has accent on community
RADIO listeners in Oldham are enjoying a summer boost to their broadcasting choice.
The Voice, described as "music for the discerning listener" is transmitting on 1566AM until the end of the month.
Heading the team of presenters is larger-than-life DJ Fred Fielder, who sparked a public outcry when he was sacked by GMR a couple of years ago.
He says "We're trying to offer something for everyone, big band music, stuff from the '60s, a Where Are They Now? slot. And people seem to love it."
Joining Fred on the afternoon show is local history enthusiast Cliff Hayes, who will organise heritage walks.
The station, which is community orientated, is the brainchild of former teacher Dave McGealy.
This latest run follows a trial outing before Christmas. Dave's long term hope is a full-time license from the Radio Authority.
More on 'The Voice Of Oldham' from an article in The Oldham Evening Chronicle Tuesday 10th June:
Brass is given its own slot on radio
IN the eyes of the irrepressible Ian Gibson, Saddleworth and Oldham has long been the brass-band centre of the world
Now he has a new opportunity to put that message across, as a presenter with Voice Of Oldham radio, broadcasting on 1566AM at the moment.
Ian, the landlord of the Navigation Inn, at Dobcross, is presenting a two-hour show from 4pm each Wednesday, during which, in addition to playing records, he chats with guests and dishes out local band news.
Tomorrow, David Morris, of Greenfiled, the musical director of Milnrow Band, will be his guest.
"I do firmly believe that we are the world's brass-band centre, and it is only right we should have our own radio programme," says Ian.
"If people have special requests, or bands want to pass on news about their needs or activities, they can contact me through Voice Of Oldham or at the Navigation."
News from the Radio Authority point of view came to light in October came to light in this post from alt.radio.uk.
From: --- (Liam R O'Toole)
Subject: North East Manchester SALLIE
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 12:27:52 GMT
Organization: Virgin Net Usenet Service
Has anyone else noticed that the Radio Authority has moved the date for the advertising of the North East Manchester Sallie from October to January next year ??
Apparently unless you are 'in the know', you don't get to know these things !
I wonder what the potential applicants will be thinking now ? Maybe could have had another stab at an RSL over the Summer if they had known ?
Following on in alt.radio.uk:
From: Ray Woodward ---
Subject: Re: North East Manchester SALLIE
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 17:01:00 +0100
Organization: Ray's Uplink ...
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Liam R O'Toole <Liam@RadioLink.net> comments :
>Apparently unless you are 'in the know', you don't get to know these
As I understand it they did/do issue press releases ...
>I wonder what the potential applicants will be thinking now ? Maybe
>could have had another stab at an RSL over the Summer if they had
Well to quote from the previous release :
The timetable lists the *earliest possible dates* on which particular licences will be advertised. Licences may well in practice be advertised later if, for example, those early in the sequence attract a large number of applicants than currently anticipated.
Hmm, I wonder if they expected 21 applications for the second N.W. regional ..?
Anyway, the Radio Magazine list of dates/areas is usually updated quickly when such changes are made - I see the N.E. regional licence has been moved from October to November for example.
Near to the advertisement of the license The Oldham Evening Chronicle 15th January 1998 ran this story:
IT'S BATTLE STATIONS!
CONTENDERS VIE TO PUT OLDHAM ON THE AIRWAVES
THE battle for a radio station in Oldham officially starts tomorrow.
The Radio Authority, which has responsibility for allocating licenses, is advertising for applications to operate two radio stations in north-east Greater Manchester.
This covers an area from Bolton to Tameside, including Bury, Rochdale and Oldham.
After the closing date for applications on May 12, the Radio Authority will grant a maximum of two small scale commercial radio licenses to run for eight years.
Applications are expect from all the main towns in the area.
In Oldham, the contenders are expected to be Oldham Fm, which last broadcast for a month on a temporary license in April, and Voice Of Oldham, which last broadcast in October (N.B. in fact last broadcast in June)
Oldham Fm, originally set up by Liam Forristal, is backed by the Oldham Evening Chronicle, Oldham Chamber and UKRG Group Ltd.
Voice of Oldham is run by Dave McGealy, company secretary of the Royal Oldham Hospital's Radio Cavell.
Oldham FM was born in 1994 when Failsworth born Liam Forestal returned from two years in the USA.
He already had a background in radio, having worked for Signal Radio, Stockport, and Signal Radio, Stoke, as well as Piccadilly Radio. In the US he furthered his broadcasting career as Los Angeles based station KEZY.
When he returned, he was determined to prove the need for a full eight-year radio license for Oldham. The key to getting the proof was running Oldham Fm using temporary 28-day licenses granted by the Radio Authority.
So far Liam has run five successful month-long broadcasts on temporary licenses.
The Oldham Evening Chronicle decided to back Oldham FM's bid for a permanent license last year, and in October, Oldham Chamber decided that it would add its financial weight to the application too.
The license was originally due to be advertised in October, but the Radio Authority decided to delay the announcement until this year.
The Radio Authority advert, due to appear in tomorrow's Evening Chronicle says that it welcomes "views from the public about the local radio needs of listeners in the area, and the type of programme service required".
"We are asking everyone to back Oldham FM," said Liam. "The station has had a fantastic record of entertaining and helping people in Oldham, and we want to make sure that the license comes here instead of going to one of the other towns in the area.
"It will be an asset to the borough. We are planning public meetings so that we can hear people's view of radio in Oldham, and we also have an advisory panel in place to point us in the right direction."
"People who have heard Oldham FM already know that we can make a great job of running a radio station in Oldham, so they should let the Radio Authority know that they want us permanently in Oldham."
Dave McGealy has has a wealth of radio experience, and has been with Radio Cavell for 24 years.
During that time there is not a job he hasn't done - from manager to treasurer and secretary and, of course, broadcaster.
Dave believes a community radio station should appeal to all members of the community, and be run for the benefit of that community.
And to that end, if The Voice of Oldham wins the license it will plough all its profits back into community projects and facilities.
"Our vision for The Voice of Oldham is of a station owned by, run by and meetings the needs of the people of Oldham," he said.
"Based on our unique programming policy of broadcasting to different audiences every day, we offer a station that can reach the parts that other radio cannot reach.
"Our experience of VJ Day Radio, Heartbeat Radio (for the over-55s), Radio Latics, Oldham Music Radio, The voice (under-18's), Oldham Events, The Oldham Asian Network and Radio Cavell have given us an insight into what is possible, and The voice of Oldham will build on this," said Dave.
"We want the new station to not only be in Oldham but to be at the heart of Oldham, and that means it must be a great deal more than just another music station.
"The Voice of Oldham would have a high speech content, with listener involvement being seen as essential to the success of the station," he added.
"We believe that if you are going to build an audience for a brand new radio station, you have to offer something that isn't available from the 30 or so other stations transmitting to Oldham."
And with the experience of seven occasional licenses under their belts, the people who run The Voice of Oldham say they have learned valuable lessons from each one.
"Now we feel we are ready to bring real community radio to the people of Oldham," he said.
"We aim to appeal to different sections of the population at different times.
Some days' programmes would be aimed at the over 55s, while on other days they would aim to attract teenagers.
Dave explained that The Voice of Oldham had some financial backing commitment, but was unable to give details, which could be commercially sensitive.
But, he admitted, it was still looking for more backing.
"Once the station was set up, we would aim for it to be self-financing, with any income being spent on community projects in Oldham.
"This is very unusual for a radio station, but we believe in public-service broadcasting and that community life is important," he added.
"As we enter the new millennium we are supposed to be entering a caring age, and we believe caring and raising awareness is essential to improving peoples life style."
* If you want to support one of the bids, write either to Oldham FM, PO Box 877, Oldham, or The Voice of Oldham, PO Box 1566, Oldham.
Support for either bid can also be made to The Radio Authority, Holbrook House, 14 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DG.
Friday January 16th 1998 saw the advertisement for the license in the local press and The Radio Magazine:
INDEPENDENT LOCAL RADIO
ADVERTISEMENT OF LICENCES
Within North/East Greater Manchester
The Radio Authority invites applications for licenses to provide small-scale Independent Local Radio (ILR) services within northern and/or eastern parts of the former metropolitan county of Greater Manchester. A maximum of two frequencies on the FM (VHF) waveband are being made available for services designed to provide small-scale coverage of locations within the metropolitan boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and/or Tameside. An applicant may apply for one license or for two licenses, but should indicate which part(s) of this wider area it is intended to cover. Each license will be granted for a maximum of eight years from the commencement of broadcasting.
Further details, including notes of guidance for applicants, an application form, and coverage brief, giving full details of the basis on which these licenses are being offered, may be obtained, on written request, from the Head of Department, The Radio Authority, Holbroook House, 14 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5DG.
The closing date of the submission of completed applications will be Tuesday May 12, 1998. A non-refundable application fee of £750 for each application submitted will be payable.
The Radio Authority welcomes views from the public about the local radio needs of listeners in this area, and the type of programme service required. These should be sent to the address given above.
On Monday 19th January 1998 The Oldham Evening Chronicle ran this in their editorial:
BACK BID FOR RADIO STATION
The Radio Authority advertised for applications to start small-scale radio station in north-east Greater Manchester on Friday.
In Oldham, so far, we know of two groups likely to bid - Oldham FM, run by Liam Forristal and backed by Oldham Chamber, and Voice of Oldham, run by Dave McGealy, of Radio Cavell, the hospital radio service.
The offer of small-scale licenses should not be confused with the bigger regional Northwest license advertised last year. That is for the likes of Key 103 and Jazz FM. The small-scale licenses will cover an area of about the size of Oldham, and it does not take a genius to work out that there are several towns of this size in the advertised area.
In fact, it stretches from Bolton to Tameside, and includes Rochdale and Bury as well as Oldham. The Radio Authority says that it will grant a maximum of two licenses, so a radio station in Oldham is by no means a foregone conclusion.
There is no doubt, however, that there is sufficient demand for a station to enhance the media available to Oldhamers. Both Oldham FM and Voice of Oldham have run several successful month-long temporary licenses that have been received well.
Weather you enjoyed the style of Oldham FM or Voice of Oldham, if Oldham is to have a radio station at all, it is important to let the Radio Authority know that the borough is enthusiastic about getting one of the licenses. As the most vibrant of the Greater Manchester districts to the North of the conurbation, we should be able to get that message across.
If we don't, then we should not whinge if the license goes elsewhere - to Rochdale, Tameside or even Bury. Get out your pens and tell the Radio Authority that Oldham deserves its own radio station.
*The Radio Authority's address is Holbrook house, 14 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DG.
On Wednesday 21st January The Oldham Evening Chronicle produced an 'Oldham FM Supplement', here is some extracts from it, it covers much ground from the above sources.
BATTLE TO WIN NEW OLDHAM RADIO STATION
This week marks the start of Oldham's big chance to get it's own radio station. The Radio Authority, the official organisation with responsibility for allocating licenses, has advertised for applications to operate two radio stations in north-east greater Manchester.
If the Radio Authority thinks that there isn't enough support for an Oldham station, the licenses might be given to other stations in the area.
Oldham FM, backed by the Oldham Evening Chronicle and Oldham Chamber, wants to make sure that the license comes here. We believe that Oldham can be a winner.
Oldham FM has a fantastic record of entertaining and helping people in Oldham. The radio station was born in 1994 when Failsworth born Liam Forestal returned from two years in the USA...determined to prove the need for a full eight-year radio license for Oldham.
The key to getting the proof was running Oldham FM using temporary 28 day licenses granted by the Radio Authority. But Oldham FM was never intended to be temporary. Liam's sights were set on a permanent station for Oldham - however long it took to set up. Liam started broadcasting in summer, 1994, when Oldham FM arrived on the scene like a welcome breeze. It soon captured the hearts of Oldhamers with its mixture of classic hits and community broadcasting ventures.
The community Noticeboard, Oldham Cares, the Live Lunch Hour outside broadcast from a different venue each weekday, and the popular local history walks, as well as local news from the Chronicle and traffic information, soon gained the station a seizable audience. Sometimes community radio can be pretty awful to listen to, but Oldham FM' always aimed at professional polish, and its presenters and DJs have almost all made their way in the radio industry since appearing with Oldham FM. Since its ground braking days, Oldham FM has completed five successful trials, with the last one including General Election coverage from the Queen Elizabeth Hall count in May last year.
Now Oldham FM faces its most important challenge - to beat off the competition and give Oldham the radio station it deserves.
The Bury Times on Friday 16th January ran this story:
Radio Bury by the end of the Year?
Bury could have its own local radio station by the end of this year.
The Radio communications Agency have today have today advertised for companies to put in bids for a radio license to provide a small-scale local service in North and East Greater Manchester.
Firms have until may to put their bids for one of the two frequencies available to cover Bury, Bolton, Rochdale, Oldham and/or Tameside.
Leading the field are Bury Tower FM, who carried out a number of one month trial broadcasts in the area since 1993.
Their managing director, Julian Hotchkiss said: "Getting our area on the map was the first stage of the battle.
"It is only by virtue of the fact that Tower FM has carried out so many successful trail broadcasts that the radio authority has finally acknowledged that this area needs its own radio station."
The successful applicant should be announced this summer, and it is up to them when the station starts
The Manchester Evening News Wednesday 28th Jan 1998 carried this:
Latest FM license on offer for north and east
THE Radio Authority is inviting applications for the new local license for north and east Manchester.
Applicants have until May to tender, with the winner to be announced in the summer.
Contenders include Bury-based Tower FM, which has been involved in trial broadcasts since 1993.
Julian Hotchkiss, MD, says:"It is paramount we show the Radio Authority that there is a need for a radio service.
"All too often, the Manchester based radio stations forget about us, with just token mentions of our area."
The Oldham Evening Chronicle Wednesday 13th May 1998, ran this story following the closing date for applications for the North East Manchester Small Scale license:
RADIO-LICENSE BID WRECKED BY GREMLINS IN COMPUTER
Promoter devastated as Voice is silenced.
PROMOTER Dave McGealy told of his devastation today after a computer glitch destroyed his bid to win a radio license for Oldham.
The gremlins meant the man behind The Voice of Oldham station could not meet the deadline to hand over his application to the Radio Authority, in London.
With only hours to spare, he discovered that he had lost crucial computer files, which left the application uncompleted.
Mr McGealy contacted the Radio Authority, but officials stuck by the rules which say that they cannot accept any incomplete form.
With his dreams ruined, Mr McGealy said today: "It was a major disaster. It means five years work down the drain. I am total devastated.
"It seems that, at some stage, a file was saved incorrectly on the computer. We only noticed when it was too late.
"We worked through the night to try to rescue the situation, but there were detailed answers missing with information that couldn't just be cobbled together.
"By 9.30 am, yesterday when I had to catch my train to London at 10.30am to make it for the 2 pm deadline, I realised that it was too late."
It is the end of Mr McGealy's "healthy radio" dream for a station rasing £100,000 a year to pay for local community and health projects.
He added: "We have no problem with the Radio Authority. It is a serious business and rules are rules. I fully understand its point of view.
"But I want to apologise to all the people who wrote in support of The Voice of Oldham. I really am sorry that we let them down.
"Obviously, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if we had started our final preparations two days earlier, we would have had time to recover."
The disaster leaves Oldham FM, backed by the Evening Chronicle and Oldham Chamber, as the only local bid for one of the two licenses up for grabs in north-east Greater Manchester.
Oldham FM's promoter, Liam Forristal, made the deadline in London without hitches, then proclaimed: "We are going to win."
But he had sympathy for The Voice of Oldham. He said: "It is terrible news. The more applications there were from Oldham the better.
"I feel for Dave because I know how much work is involved, and it all hinges on handing your application over in London.
"I found it a terrifying experience. After five years of work, you think of everything that can go wrong until you actually leave those files with the officials."
As well as Oldham FM, six other bids for licenses were received by the Radio Authority - three based in Bolton and Bury, two in Tameside and one in Rochdale.
Radio Authority officials will now sour every line of each of the applications, before announcing their decisions in September.
The Oldham Evening Chronicle on Thursday May 14th 1998 run a sunstantial article about Oldham FM and also listed the other bidders for the license.
BACK BID FOR OLDHAM FM - BOSS
Public is urged to write in support.
THE voice behind Oldham FM has called on people to rally round the borough's only chance for a permanent radio license.
Station director Liam Forristal says it is not too late to put pen to paper to try to influence the decision of the Radio Authority.
"If people want a truly local radio station in Oldham, they should get writing," said Liam, who has already run Oldham FM on several 28-day temporary licenses.
"Our application was handed over on Monday, but people can still write in support of our bid, either to me or straight to the Radio Authority."
Local competition for a license ended this week when Dave McGealy's Voice of Oldham station missed the deadline for applications.
But Oldham FM - backed by the Evening Chronicle, Oldham Chamber and UKRD Group - still faces competition from six bidders for two full-time licenses up for grabs.
Three of them a re based in Bolton and plan to broadcast to the Bolton and Bury areas.
* 107.1 BFM promises a local, relevant stimulating and entertaining service, combining news, conversation and familiar, adult, contemporary music aimed at listeners aged 25-54 throughout the Bolton and Bury area.
* Tower FM offers a fresh and full-service local radio station, providing 24-hour entertainment and information aimed at listeners throughout the Bolton and Bury area.
* Variety 107 FM wants a lively and attractive radio service for Bolton and Bury residents of all ages and backgrounds, featuring substantial amounts of news, sport, local information, colourful features and specialist programmes, as well as high-quality popular music from the 1950's to the present.
* Tame 107 FM promises a truly local station 24 hours a day, with great songs from the 1960s-1990s, local news, and community information for Tameside, Glossop and the surrounding area.
* Knight FM offers a broad, music led station playing a melodic blend of classic adult hits from the 1960s to the present, blended with quality local news, information and entertainment, which will reflect the tastes and wishes of the adult population of Tameside and the surrounding area.
* In Rochdale, Pioneer FM wants to provide a lively and attractive radio service for Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood, featuring news, sport, local information, colourful features and specialist programming, with high quality popular music from the 1960's to the present.
But Liam hopes that Oldham FM can secure one of the "sallies" (small-scale alternative location local licenses) being offered by the Radio Authority.
Oldham FM's bid promises "a truly local, full service radio station" - with a broad mix of adult, contemporary and soft rock hits from the last four decades and emphasis on meaningful local news and sport.
It is the formula which Liam has used for the five temporary, month-long broadcasts which Oldham FM have made since 1994, and they have proved popular and successful.
Liam said: "I would like to think we will win a license and I am confident that we will win a license, but we can't be complacent.
"Obviously , there is some competition from the other bidders, but we have a track record of running a successful operation.
"People who have heard Oldham FM already know that we can make a great job of a radio station in Oldham, so they should let the Radio Authority know.
"Oldham FM can only win if we can convince the Radio Authority that Oldham is a better place for a radio station than Rochdale or Tameside."
After the closing date for application these posts appeared in the news group alt.radio.uk
From: Liam R O'Toole <--->
Subject: North East Manchester SALLIE
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 22:42:51 +0100
Organization: Witzend Communications & Media Limited
So the closing date has now passed for applications to be in for the North East Manchester SALLIE
From what I can gather there were 7 applications for up to two FM licenses :
Tower FM [Bury/Bolton]
Variety FM [Bolton/Bury]
Tameside FM [Ashton]
Oldham FM [Oldham]
and AN Other
The applications are now in the local libraries in the area, for those who wish to read thru the hundreds of pages !
The RA hopefully makes its decision early September.
Good Luck to everyone !
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 08:17:57 +0100
From: Ray Woodward <--->
Subject: Re: North East Manchester SALLIE
In article <KKn2sBAb50Y1EwMu@--->, Liam R O'Toole
<---> comments ...
>From what I can gather there were 7 applications for up to two FM
>Tower FM [Bury/Bolton]
>Variety FM [Bolton/Bury]
>Tameside FM [Ashton]
>Oldham FM [Oldham]
>and AN Other
According to this weeks Radio Magazine there were indeed seven
107.1 [BFM Ltd] - Bolton/Bury
Knight FM [ETR Ltd] - Borough of Tameside and surroundings
Oldham FM Ltd - Oldham Metropolitan Borough and surroundings
Pioneer FM [MRH Ltd] - Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood
Tame 107 [Hits Radio Ltd] - Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, the town
of Glossop and surrounding area
Tower FM Ltd - Bolton/Bury
Variety 107 FM Ltd - Bolton/Bury
My sympathies to all at The Voice of Oldham, who failed to get their
application in on time due to a major computer crash loosing large
chunks of required data for the application :-(
For the full rundown of license applicants this is the Radio Authortiy's Press Release following the closing date for applications on May 12th:
RADIO AUTHORITY RECIEVES SEVEN APPLICATIONS FOR NEW SMALL-SCALE LICENCES
WITHIN NORTH/EAST GREATER MANCHESTER.
The Radio Authority's closing date for receipt of applications for the new small-scale 'alternative location' Independent Local Radio (ILR) licenses with north/east Greater Manchester was today (12 May). Each license is being offered for small-scale coverage of a location (or contiguous locations) within northern and/or eastern parts of the former metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, comprising the metropolitan boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and/or Tameside. The Authority anticipates utilising a maximum total of two frequencies for these new small-scale licenses.
Seven applications have been submitted. The details of those applying are listed below, together with a brief outline of each applicant's target coverage area and proposed programme format:
107.1 BFM LTD. - Newspaper House, Churchgate, Bolton BL1 1DE (contact: Tony Dewhurst or Kris Burford, 01942 777666): a local, relevant, stimulating and entertaining service combining news, conversation and familiar adult contemporary music aimed particularly at 25-54 year-olds, in Bolton and Bury;
KNIGHT FM (ETR FM LTD.) - Rose Hill Cottage, Edleston Hall Lane, Ravensmoor, Nantwitch,Cheshire CW5 8PJ (contact: Doug Cresswell, 0161 428 1970; or Geraldine Kayes, 0161 339 7611); a broad music-led station playing a melodic blend of classic adult hits from the 60s through to today, blended with quality local news, information, and entertainment which will reflect the tastes and wishes of the adult population of the Borough of Tameside and its nearby environs;
OLDHAM FM LTD. - P.O. Box 877, Oldham OL8 1US (contact: Liam Forristal, 0161 628 8787; or John Gracie, 0161 620 0006); a truly local 'full service' radio station playing a mix of adult contemporary and soft-rock hits from the past four decades together with the best ballads, soul and love songs, with an emphasis on meaning local news, exciting sports, local views and local entertainment, for Oldham Metropolitan Borough and the surrounding area;
PIONEER FM (MRH LTD.) - drake Street, Rochdale. OL16 1PH (contact: Liz Lynne, 01706 521153, or John Groves, 01706 378700); a lively and attractive radio service for Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood - the three parts of the Rochdale Metropolitan Borough - featuring news, sport, local information, colourful features and specialist programming and high quality popular music from the 60s to the present day;
TAME 107 FM (HITS RADIO LTD.) - Consort Suite, Northern Assurance Buildings, Albert Square, Manchester M2 4DN (contact: Sir David Trippier, R.D., J.P., D.L., 0161 288 2884); a truly local station with great songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, local news a community information for the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, the town of Glossop, and the surrounding area, 24 hours a day;
TOWER FM LTD. - The Globe Centre, Bridgeman Place, Bolton BL2 1AX (contact: Julian Hotchkiss or Peter Weidenbaum, 0161 764 9992): a fresh and lively, full service local radio station, providing 24-hour entertainment and information aimed primarily at listeners aged 25-54 throughout the Bolton and Bury area;
VARIETY 107 FM LTD. P.O. Box 56, Bury BL8 1FW (contact: Frank White, 01204 308547; or Mark Dodson, 0161 832 7200); a lively and attractive radio service for Bolton and Bury residents of all ages and backgrounds, featuring substantial amounts of news, sport, local information, colourful features and specialist programmes and high quality popular music from the 50s to the present day.
This 'alternative location' (or 'sally') approach has been adopted by the Authority in several areas previously (see Note 1 for a fuller explanation of the 'sally' licensing procedure).
Copies of these applications will be available for public scrutiny in the main public libraries in Bolton (Central Library), Bury (Central Library), Rochdale, Oldham (Reference Library) and Ashton-under-Lyne (Hurst Library), and at the Radio Authority offices in London. The Authority welcomes public comments on the proposals put forward by the applicants, and upon the tastes and requirements of listeners within particular parts of the north/east Greater Manchester area. These should be sent to the Head of Development, Radio Authority, Holbrook House, 14 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5DG, top arrive by 24 August 1998.
The Authority hopes to announce its decision about the award of the licenses in the early autumn.
Notes to Editors:
1. Small-scale 'alternative location' local licenses, often know by the acronym 'sallies', reflect an Authority policy introduced in 1996, whereby the availability of one or more frequencies for a service (or services) for any locality (or in different localities, where more than one frequency is available) within a wider area will be advertised, without specifying which particular locality at the time of the advertisement. It is up to the applicants to decide which locality they wish to serve. This approach is designed to increase the opportunities for prospective operators of small-scale radio services to submit licence applications.
2. The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with statutory requirements of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licenses, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formalisation of polices which affect the Independent Radio industry and its listeners.
The Bolton Evening News on 4th June 1998 ran this story:
RADIO STATION BIDDERS CALL FOR PUBLIC'S BACKING
BIDDERS to be Bolton and Bury's newest radio station want public backing to make sure they hit airwaves. The group, 107.1 BFM is one of seven bidding for a licence to broadcast in Bolton and Bury, but their owners, Independent Radio Group Ltd, already run two radio stations in the region. The bid is also being backed by Newsquest plc, owners of the Bolton Evening News.
Now The Radio Authority, who award the broadcast licences, are inviting comment from the people of the area on whether they think BFM's bid could operate against the public interest. IRG run two other local stations, Lite AM in Greater Manchester and Wire FM in Warrington. Under the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 1996, a company cannot own three overlapping radio services unless the Authority can determine that the proposed station would not operate against public interest.
The radio authority want you to write in with your comments considering these following questions:
IF the licence were awarded to 107.1 BFM Ltd, would it lead to a reduction in plurality of ownership in independent local radio services in the area?;
WOULD there be an effect on the range of programme available on independent radio in the area?;
WOULD there be less diversity in the sources of information available in the area; or
LESS diversity in the sources of opinions expressed on the radio in the area?
Please send your comments in writing to the Licensing Officer, The Radio Authority, Holbrook House, 14 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DG, to arrive no later than Thursday, July 2.
TheRadio Authortiy issued this Press Release on September 3rd 1998, annoucing the succesful bids:
Radio Authority News Release 3 September 1998
RADIO AUTHORITY AWARDS TWO NEW SMALL-SCALE LOCAL LICENCES WITHIN NORTH/EAST GREATER MANCHESTER.
The Radio Authority has decided that, after considering the proposals submitted by the seven applicants, it is offering a new small-scale Independent Local radio (ILR) licence on the FM (VHF) waveband for a service within north/east Greater Manchester to:
TOWER FM LTD. - 10 Harvey Street, Bury BL8 1NJ (contact: Julian Hotchkiss or Peter Weidbaum, 0161 705 2049); a fresh and lively, full service local radio station, providing 24-hour entertainment and information aimed primarily at listeners aged 25-54 throughout the Bolton and Bury area.
This licence will come into effect as soon as the successful applicant is ready to begin broadcasting.
The Authority has also conditionally awarded a small-scale FM licence within north/east Greater Manchester to:
OLDHAM FM LTD - P.O.Box 877, Oldham OL8 1US (contact: Liam Forristal, 0161 628 8787; or John Gracie, 0161 620 0006); a truly local 'full service' radio station playing a broad mix of adult contemporary and soft-rock hits from the past four decades together with the best ballads, soul and love songs, with an emphasis on meaningful local news, exciting sports, local views and local entertainment, for Oldham Metropolitan Borough and the surrounding area.
The ratification of the award is subject to Oldham FM's agreement to a minor change in its proposed equity holdings. This change is necessary because the Authority has determined that Oldham Chamber of Commerce, Training and Enterprise Ltd is a publicly funded body within the terms of the broadcasting legislation.
In June 1998, in order to enhance transparency and openness in the Authority's proceedings, Members of the authority decided in principle that they wished to make information public on why they have chosen successful applicants for licences. Members subsequently decided that they would do so from Autumn this year. The Authority will therefore be publishing its appraisal of Tower FM's licence award shortly. If Oldham FM meet the Authority's conditions, the Authority will also publish its appraisal of this licence award.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Broadcasting Act 1990 (Schedule 2 Part II paragraph 3), disqualifies publicly funded bodies from being a participant with more than a 5% interest in a Radio Authority licence other than a restricted service licensee.
2. Following the award of two local radio licences today for services within north/east Greater Manchester, there is now a total of 776.33 points in the radio ownership system (subject to review once transmission proposals have been finalised).
3. The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with the statutory requirements of the broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licences, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formulation of policies which effect the Independent Radio Industry and its listeners.
Contact: Tracey Mullins 0171 405 7058
Press and Information Office 0171 430 2724
Out of Hours 0370 375283
The Oldham Evening Chronicle ran this front page story on 4th September 1998:
OLDHAM will have its own radio station soon.
The Radio Authority decided yesterday to grant one of the two licences for the north-east Greater Manchester area to Oldham FM.
A second licence was awarded to Tower FM, which will broadcast in Bolton.
The Oldham FM bid beat off rivals from across the area, stretching from Bolton to Tameside, including one bid in Rochdale and two bids in Tameside.
Station director Liam Forristal, from Failsworth,w as ecstatic about the bid's success - the realism of a lifelong dream - and so were the bid's backers, Hirst Kidd and Rennie Ltd, proprietors of the Oldham Evening Chronicle, Oldham Chamber and UK Radio developments Group Ltd.
FULL STORY - PAGE 12
[Photograph: "Broadcast Bonanza...Oldham FM directors Mr Philip Hurst, Mr Liam Forristal and Mr Bernard Stone celebrate their bid news" With Oldham Fm car and logo in front of NTL's Oldham Edge transmitter site.]
CHRONICLE-BACKED STATION SET TO BE BROADCASTING BY EASTER
SWITCHED-ON TOWN TUNES INTO RADIO HISTORY
OLDHAM was gearing up to tune into radio history today - after Oldham FM won permanent permission to take to the airwaves.
The partners behind the successful bid were celebrating a Radio Authority decision to grant them an eight-year licence.
And station director Mr Liam Forristal said work had already begun to ensure that Oldham's first radio station was broadcasting full-time by Easter.
For the 29-year -old, the news is the reward of five years' work in which Oldham FM broadcast on five temporary, one-month licences.
He said: "It's marvellous. I don't have children, but I imaging this is what a new father feels like after his first child is born.
"I know life is going to get very, very much busier from here on in. We are already looking very much towards the future."
Setting up the new 24-hour station will cost Oldham FM around £300,000 for an office, studios, transport and transmitter equipment on Oldham Edge.
In addition to freelancers, the station plans to employ 12 full-time staff - including three journalists providing up-to-the minute news reports.
Mr Forristal added: "While we are backed by the Evening Chronicle, the station will be totally independent. It will not be Radio Oldham Chronicle.
"Listeners can expect the same mix of music and local news, travel and community information as before on Oldham FM - hopefully with the same presenters.
"We have won the permanent licence on what we achieved with the one-month specials. It's a winning formula, why change it?
"It will be absolutely fabulous for community groups and businesses in Oldham. We will be able to focus on all their events - live and instantly."
Mr Forristal will have a 5 per cent financial stake in the station, with a similar size holding taken up by Oldham Chamber.
Its main backers - with 45 per cent each - are Evening Chronicle publishers Hirst, Kidd and Rennie Ltd and the media group UK Radio Developments Ltd.
Evening Chronicle editor MR Philip Hurst said: "It's an exciting development for a family owned company like the Oldham Evening Chronicle.
"It will be our first step into another area of the media, and we are looking forward to being part of it immensely.
"Oldham FM will add another vital layer to life in Oldham - the greatest of all the Greater Manchester districts."
Mr John Gracie, chief executive of Oldham Chamber - who is chairman of Oldham FM - heard the news first hand: he was contacted by the Radio Authority on his mobile phone while in a meeting.
He then phoned the news back to Oldham.
He said: "We knew after the five occasions when Oldham FM operated for a month that there was a strong case and strong support for the station.
"But it was still a very competitive arena, and we have won. I am absolutely delighted. It will be great for Oldham's communities and businesses.
"I am especially pleased for Liam. He has done all the work, and it was his drive and passion which has made this all come about."
[Photograph: "Celebrating...Liam Forristal is finally wired for sound." Liam in Oldham FM's(RSL)Studios]
FANATIC LIAM SEES DREAM COME ALIVE
LIAM FORESTAL is the man behind Oldham FM, and the station director who will have the job of making it successful.
It will be the culmination of a lifelong dream for the 29-year-old Failsworth radio fanatic.
When other 12-year-old boys were out playing football, Liam invented Failsworth Bedroom Radio which broadcast by wire across the garden to his neighbour's kitchen.
He became a member of North Manchester Hospital Radio at 16, and later studied on the performing arts course at Oldham College.
After a short spell as an editor, scriptwriter and location manager at an independent television production company, he returned to radio, becoming the breakfast travel presenter for the AA Roadwatch service.
He joined Piccadilly Radio, moved on to Signal Radio, but then expanded his experience with a spell as a presenter with KEZY radio station in Los Angeles.
Back home in Oldham, he started working to make Oldham FM a reality. While holding down a job as programme Leader of Media at The Oldham College, he ran the five commercially successful, temporary, month-long broadcasts of Oldham FM from 1994-7.
The Bolton Evening News on the 3rd September ran this story:
Local radio verdict due today
THE Radio Authority was expected to announce today which company had won the licence to broadcast on the airwaves in Bolton and Bury. As reported in the BEN, a number of prospective stations have tabled bids.
Bfm Limited submitted one of the applications.
Bfm is part of the Independent Radio Group (IRG) and also includes Reach FM and Radio Bolton.
Other bids were lodged by Tower FM and Variety FM. Bfm's bid proposed broadcasting 24 hours a day to an audience aged 25-55, with contemporary soft adult music and 20-25 per cent of airtime speech.
The board of Bfm is made up of John Waters, managing director of Newsquest (Lancashire) Limited, publishers of the Bolton Evening News and Bury Times group; Laura Nuttall of Hargreaves Hamilton Group; Gerry Fitzhenry of Bolton City Challenge, Andrew Dickson of St Andrew's Travel, Radio Bolton's Simon Young, BBTEC's Mirza Hamie and Bolton JP Jim Shaw.
Friday 4th September Bury Times contained this article:
Tower FM is taking to the air
STAFF at Bury-based Tower FM popped the champagne corks yesterday (Thurs Sept 3) to celebrate the awarding of a radio broadcast licence.
The station, which has been involved in trial broadcasts since 1993, will begin a full-time service throughout the Bury and Bolton areas from next March.
They beat off challenges from six other bidders to clinch the Radio Authority licence.
Jubilant Tower FM managing director Mr Julian Hotchkiss said: "We hope to begin on March 1 and will be broacasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We have a potential audience of 270,000 throughout Bury and Bolton and we'll be recruiting 20 local people."
Commercial-funded Tower FM will broadcast what Julian describes as "classic hit music" aimed at the 25-54 age group as well as regular news bulletins and local information. The station is receiving minority backing from the Radio Partnership and has a nine-strong board of directors headed by well-known Radcliffe businessman Mr Peter Weidenbaum.
Mr Hotchkiss added: "The fact we have a wholly local board was a key to our success. Our first main task will be to determine where our premises will be. Ideally, we'd like to build studios somewhere in the middle between Bury and Bolton."
The 32-year-old managing director, a senior radio engineer who has worked for Piccadilly Radio, has been involved in the industry since the early 1980s.
Tower FM is well-known to music fans throughout Bury, having been involved in numerous trial broadcasts during the last five years.
The UKRD Group issued this press release on September 3rd:
UKRD MAJOR SHAREHOLDER IN GREATER MANCHESTER WINNER - OLDHAM FM
For the third time this year UKRD Group Ltd, has been part of a consortium awarded another licence by the Radio Authority - this time for a radio station which will broadcast to over a quarter of a million adults in Oldham and the surrounding area north-east of Manchester.
The radio station will be jointly owned by UKRD Group and the Oldham Evening Chronicle which will each own 42.1% of the company. The Oldham Chamber of Commerce will own 15.8%. The application for the licence was masterminded by UKRD Group's radio consultancy arm, Infinity Radio Ltd - both companies are based at Dolphin House in North Street, Guildford.
The win in Oldham follows earlier radio licence wins this year in Gloucestershire and South East London. In November last year the group also won a licence to broadcast to East London - that radio station went on air in May. UKRD Group already owns three radio stations Surrey, two in Hampshire, one in the Westcountry, and one in Berkshire. It also has investments in other radio-related companies. Last year in sold minority interests in radio stations in Manchester and Yorkshire, netting £5.3 million which it promised it would be earmarking to invest in other radio licences.
Chief Executive of UKRD Group and the County Sound Radio Network, Mike Powell, said: 'This is yet more excellent news for our company and its talented team. We have built a terrific portfolio of radio stations over the last six years and we have many more projects in the pipeline.'
(Further information from Mike Powell on 01483 306156)
The Oldham Advertiser of Thursday 10th September included this story:
RADIO DREAM ABOUT TO BECOME REALITY!
OLDHAM's new radio station bosses say now they've got a license they're here to stay.
Bosses of Oldham FM say they've done their homework and there's a niche for a radio station dedicated to Oldham.
They were given the go-ahead to broadcast by the Radio Authority this week. For station chiefs it's the culmination of five years' work to get the station off the ground.
Board Chairman, Oldham Chamber chief, John Gracie said he was "trilled to bits" to get the license.
"All the pilots have been successful and profitable and we're confident it can be a commercial success," he said
Station director Liam Forristal said Oldham FM hopes to be on air 24-hours a day, 365 days a year from Easter. Liam said that local content would be their winning formula.
Liam said that the station hope to hang onto their Spindles [shopping centre] base, but will defiantly stay in the town centre. They will have a 12-strong full-time staff plus freelance workers.
As well as news. Oldham FM promises a broad mix of music, sport and entertainment.
[Photograph: "Celebrating: Station director Liam Forristal of Oldham FM"]
The Oldham Evening Chronicle 15th September 1998:
CHOSEN RADIO STATION HAS GOOD RESOURCES
THE Radio Authority revealed today why it has chosen to let the Chronicle-backed Oldham FM hit the local air-waves.
The body is published details of its broadcast license decisions for the first time, in a bid to boost the transparency and openness of the process.
In its report, the RA said it had been impressed by the board of Oldham FM - one of the two stations to win small scale licenses in north-east Greater Manchester.
It said the directors "combine strong local knowledge, business experience and a solid understanding of the media generally, and radio in particular."
The RA felt the bid had a sound business plan, supported by research and documentary evidence of the local demand and support for the new station.
And it considered the station had a good understanding of the local population, with a "sensible and popular music format with a strong community focus".
The RA said it was also impressed by Oldham FM's plans for local news - with three full-time journalists supported by access to resources at the Chronicle.
But the RA revealed that, before agreeing to grant a license, it had asked for changes to the financial stakes held in Oldham FM.
It said, as a publicly - funded body, Oldham Chamber must not own more than 5 per cent of the station, despite original plans for it to have 15 per cent.
The Radio Authority on September 15th published their appraisal of the license awards, first from their press release:
RADIO AUTHORITY PUBLISHES APPRAISAL OF NORTH/EAST GREATER MANCHESTER
The Radio Authority has announced today (14 September) the details of its appraisal of the North/East Greater Manchester license award made to Tower FM and conditionally awarded to Oldham FM.
This is the first time the Authority has published such an appraisal. In June 1998, in order to enhance transparency and openness in the Authority's proceedings, Members of the Authority decided in principle that they wished to make information public on why they have chosen successful applicants for licences.
The full appraisal is as follows:
LOCAL LICENCE AWARDS:
NORTH/EAST GREATER MANCHESTER
APPRAISAL OF WINNING APPLICANTS
Applications were invited on 16 January 1998. By the closing date of 12 May 1998, seven applications were received, as follows:
For Bolton and Bury
Small-scale licences ("sallies") were awarded to each of Tower FM and Oldham FM, to run for eight years from the date the services commence broadcasting.
When licensing independent radio services, it is the duty of the Authority under the Broadcasting Act 1990 ("the Act") to do all that it can to secure the provision within the UK of a range and diversity of local services (section 85(2)(b) of the Act). Furthermore, the Authority must discharge its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to :
a: facilitate the provision of licensed services which (taken as
a whole) are of high quality and offer a wide range of programmes
calculated to appeal to a variety of tastes and interests; and
b: ensure fair and effective competition in the provision of such
services and services connected with them (section 85(3) of the
Under section 105 of the Act, the matters to which the Authority shall have regard when determining whether, or to whom, to grant a local license are :
a: the ability of each applicant to maintain the proposed service
throughout the license period;
b: the extent to which the proposed service would cater for the
tastes and interests of persons living in the area or locality
for which the service would be provided, and, where it is
proposed to cater for any particular tastes and interests of
such persons, the extent to which the service would so cater;
c: the extent to which the proposed service would broaden the range
of programmes available by way of local services to persons
living in the relevant area or locality, and, in particular,
the extent to which the service would cater for tastes and
interests which are different from those already catered for
by existing local services in the area or locality; and
d: the extent to which any application is supported by persons
living in that area or locality.
While the requirements of sections 85 and 105 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 will invariably form the basis of all awards, each license award will be made on an individual basis, with regard to the factors which, in the view of the Authority, are particularly relevant to that case.
Small-scale 'alternative location' local licences ("sallies") were introduced in 1996. The availability of one or more frequencies for a service (or services) for any locality within a wider area is advertised, without specifying which particular locality the license must serve. It is up to applicants to decide which locality they wish to serve. The Authority will award the licences to what are, in its view, the strongest individual applications put forward. This approach was designed to increase the opportunities for prospective operators of small-scale services to submit license applications.
When it advertised the availability of one or more small-scale service licences within North/East Greater Manchester, the Authority invited public comment on the local radio needs of listeners in this area, and the type of programme service required. Copies of the non-confidential sections of the license applications received were made available for public inspection at the Authority's office in London and at public libraries in Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne. A notice was issued on 16 January 1998 inviting public comments on the applications. All replies were taken into account by the Authority when reaching its determinations.
All seven applications have been considered carefully by the Authority in accordance with the Act, and as against the advertised criteria set out in the Authority's Notes of Guidance for Local Licence Applicants (most recently amended in May 1997) and the coverage brief for these licences, issued at the date of the license advertisement. The applicants were invited to respond to written questions on programming, finance, audience and support. Telephone interviews were conducted on the composition and history of the applicant groups.
EXISTING COMMERCIAL RADIO PROVISION
There are four existing ILR services which broadcast to Greater Manchester: Key 103, Galaxy 102, Piccadilly Radio 1152 AM and 1458 Lite AM. Key 103 offers current and recent chart music, Piccadilly 1152 AM offers "golden oldies", Lite AM is an easy listening service and Galaxy 102 plays dance music. In addition there are two North West regional services, namely Jazz FM 100.4 and the newly licensed Century 105 which will offer a mix of adult contemporary music with a high speech content. The East Lancashire ILR service, Asian Sound Radio, is also available in North East Manchester
CONSIDERATION OF WINNING APPLICATIONS
The Authority considered that the applicant consists of a solid, dedicated team combining considerable local RSL experience with the professional backing of an existing radio operator, The Radio Partnership. The board represents a combination of both members of the local business community and individuals with relevant radio backgrounds. Overall, the applicant presented a sound business proposition involving investors who bring a high level of experience gained within similar markets, thereby providing credibility to the group's financial assumptions.
In programming terms, the target age range of 25-54 will be served with a mix of 1960s-1990s classic hits and local speech elements, adding to listener choice. Members considered that the combination of speech elements, containing local news, weather, traffic, and 'what's on', supplemented by competitions, financial news, 'crimestoppers', a job spotlight as well as studio guests and interviews, was likely to provide a popular and locally relevant service, meeting the needs of listeners.
Tower's research provided evidence of demand for popular music from the 60s to the 90s, and local news and information features, as reflected in their programming proposals. This was bolstered by considerable local support arising from both specific publicity efforts and the group's RSL activity.
Another long-established RSL group forms the core of Oldham FM, with corporate partners UK Radio Developments and local newspaper publisher Hirst, Kidd and Rennie. The proposed 15% shareholder, the Oldham Chamber of Commerce, agreed to reduce its shareholding to the maximum allowed of 5% following the Authority's determination that it is a publicly funded body. Members were impressed with the applicant's board of directors who combine strong local knowledge, business experience, and a solid understanding of the media generally, and radio in particular. The applicant submitted a sound business plan, based on prudent income and expenditure forecasts.
Research conducted on behalf of the applicant provided evidence of demand for the proposed service of 70s-90s hit music combined with a comprehensive local information service. This was supplemented by documentary evidence of substantial local support.
Members considered that the programming submission reflected a good understanding of the local population and market by including a sensible and popular music format with a strong community focus to the speech features, thereby broadening choice. These features include an hour-long news and entertainment-based community programme each weekday lunchtime, hourly community noticeboards, business news, sport and an advice line, which Members felt would enhance the local relevance of the service. Proposals for local news suggested a good quality of output, as news will be produced by a well-supported team of three with access to the resources of the local newspaper, the Oldham Chronicle.
At this stage, the award of the licences I have decided not to update these pages any more - there seems little point in duplicating the stations own publicity material! Tower FM launched on 20th March 1999 on 107.4FM and Oldham FM Ltd. launched under the name 'The Revolution' on 30th August 1999 on 96.2FM.