Programming

Here is why Hiring a Personality is NOT Killing Radio Broadcasting

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3 minutes read

It has been announced today that Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott are to replace Nick Snaith on Magic Breakfast. They will replace Nick who has been doing the show since 2014, as he is moving to mid-mornings.

In a press release on Bauer Media’s website it states:

Having hosted shows for the brand in recent months, Ronan will become a permanent fixture at the station as he becomes a full time radio presenter for the first time. He is set to join a presenter roster which includes writer and presenter Mel Giedroyc and world-famous singers Rick Astley, Kim Wilde and Melanie C.

Ronan’s co-host Harriet Scott boasts an acclaimed and award winning radio career and joined Magic Radio at the start of 2016 to host the Weekend Breakfast Show.

When the news broke on RadioToday at 9:56am on Wednesday 5th April 2017 you should have seen some of the comments I sat and read. I’ve selected a few of my favourites to save you time.

Neil Wipperman said:

The extinction of the professional radio presenter (only) is nearing sadly as the pop singer, comedian, actor, musician and everything else is taking over! Very sad for the radio broadcasting sector.

Rod Johnston said:

As myself a professional Broadcaster for many years…The Industry needs a shake and clear out. Programmers who’s heads are up their arses…Just because you can sing or tell a gag or act doesnt mean you can make compelling radio…Too much of the old pals act these days

Simon Wilson said:

I’m sick of radio stations thinking just because somebody is famous or really well known they’ll obviously end up producing a good radio show! Yeah some do but not everyone does.

I’d much rather listen to a professional radio broadcaster who was made famous and popular because of radio rather than a singer of a tv/film star.

Why all these comments are complete rubbish

There’s a strong theme brewing here, and it has something to do with people who are (consider themselves) ‘real radio broadcasters’ who dislike anyone outside that title getting a commercial radio show.

I think we can all agree music is a truly powerful medium for a message, a feeling, a thought. Can we maybe also all agree that anyone who can get the whole of the Apollo to sit and listen to them crack jokes for 2 hours means they’ve made a human connection to an audience of people? Movies are great too, aren’t they? I love the way I get so sucked into a character and their story thanks to an actor’s performance. You get where I’m going with this.

Becoming a ‘real radio broadcaster’ is a piece of pie. Anyone can be taught to drive a desk, and most playout systems are designed to be simple nowadays. What makes a great radio broadcaster is a skill/ability to make a connection with someone. To have them sit in their car for an extra 5 minutes just to listen to the end of your story.

Here’s the shocker…

I think anyone who has that skill should have a radio show over anyone who knows how to drive a desk. Anyone can be taught to drive a desk. But people with the skill of communication, such as an actor portraying their characters message, or a singer who can put so much story and emotion into a few lines of music. They’re the ones you want on your radio station.

These ‘personalities’ are not killing radio broadcasting. People who are afraid or angry at change are.

Producer Jamie
Jamie has worked in almost every role within the commercial radio industry. He's been a music scheduler, website content editor + designer, the head of social media and more recently breakfast show producer.
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