James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Can your presenters publish to your website?

James Cridland, radio futurologist, is a conference speaker, writer and consultant. He runs the media information website media.info and helps organise the yearly Next Radio conference. He also publishes podnews.net, a daily briefing on podcasting and on-demand, and writes a weekly international radio trends newsletter, at james.crid.land.

A great tweet from Amanda White highlighting just how hard it is to get anything done at the BBC. I can corroborate much that’s in this tweet. Choice quote: “I can take control of a radio station and open the mic to hundreds of thousands of people; I can broadcast live on television; but I am not trusted to post anything on the BBC website.”

Although it’s twenty-five years ago now, when I worked at Virgin Radio we gave our presenters the tools, if they wanted them, to be able to post directly onto the Virgin Radio website. Why wouldn’t we? And, I hate to mention it to Amanda, but as a BBC senior manager in the late 2000s, I was able to publish directly to the BBC website (without any editorial oversight, which I found very strange).

BBC Local Radio journalists went on strike last week, protesting at the loss of local programming on these stations. Full marks to BBC Radio Leeds’s Gayle Lofthouse, who ended her live show this way, before giving over to the strike-breakers.

Here’s the audio: https://files.james.cridland.net/bbc_radio_leeds_strike.m4a

AM’s enforced switchoff in the car in the US is getting people quite worked-up. Popular Science magazine uses the “but in times of emergency” defence; yet no data is put forward as to how many AM stations actually bother to broadcast any emergency information. Particularly on weekends, most AM stations in the US are an empty studio rebroadcasting something from satellite or something from computer, and wholly unable to . Unless, you know different, of course: but I don’t think, in the US, this defence stacks up. I’d love to see some data to the contrary. The evidence isn’t good.

Australia’s new radio audience figures came out. ABC Radio Melbourne (on AM) posted its worst-ever figures. 2GB (on AM) slipped from #1 in Sydney. 4BC (on AM), 6PR (on AM), and FIVEaa (on AM) also post large drops in audience. ABC Local Radio in other cap cities (on AM) showed a small rise in audience after, for most, their worst figures. ABC RN (on AM) is currently near its lowest figures, too.

Walking to your local electronics store and trying to buy an AM radio would be a good thing to try, too. They’re beginning to be quite rare, too.

AM is increasingly unfit for purpose. Broadcasters relying on AM for their flagship services need to have an urgent plan to fix it.

James Cridland