Music interrupting phone-in programmesFollow @mediaukdiscuss
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Hello, I was a regular to Radio Devon’s phone in when Justine Lee presented the programme, and there were people ringing in with Council tax complaints, State pension protesters, people rang up about this countries housing crisis, ect.
I often rang myself to speak online to the very serious Justine Lee who also had emapthy in his voice.
However, since this interactive lunch began with the light hearted presenter David Fitzgerald taking the calls, and with pop music between phone calls, I have stopped listening.
I have no doubt that confronting Radio Devon bosses on this, I will hear the usual, “people want the music because we have done a survey.
Well I dont want the music interrupting phone calls from people with something serious to say about the ongoing issues out there.
I would like Radio Devon to conduct a poll on this question. Do you want us to continue with the interative lunch with pop music between phone calls, or do you want us to return to the original formula ?
I am also sending this email to Radio Devon.
That’s a peculiar thing for a radio station to do: take a speech format and pepper music throughout it. It’s not unique to BBC Radio Devon; indeed, overnights on ABC Local Radio in Australia does something similar.
I agree with Michael – this type of format appears to satisfy nobody. Those that want to hear music will be frustrated with the chunks of speech; those that want to hear speech will find the music unwelcome. I do wonder why radio stations do this – it seems to make little sense to me.
Those involved in programming: why do radio stations do this?
Hi James, if I may call you that ?
I think Radio Devon is trying to capture the younger caller, but I could be wrong.
I would like Radio Devon to start a poll as to what people think about this, would you help here ?
If by younger, you mean 35+, rather than the standard BBC Local Radio demo of 50+, you might be right.
Personally, both BBC Radio Devon and BBC Radio Cornwall need to do something to make their talk output more interesting and relevant. It does seem to be focussed on talking about the most uninteresting and irrelevant stuff possible sometimes.
Oh and the interactive lunchtime isn’t really a phone-in show. Phone in shows have pretty much disappeared from the air. But then, nobody could do phone-in programmes, like David Bassett did on Afternoon Sou’West. He was a master of the format, and an intelligent and insightful presenter. Nobody since him has been able to come close, not Ian Phillips, not Justin Leigh, nobody. I know some phone calls are still taken, but quite honestly, most callers are boring as hell to listen to.
And BBC Radio Devon are doing something right. Over the past year, their share of listening has risen 15%, whilst Heart, the only countywide opposition, has gone down 14%.
There are times that all talk or more talk can work quite well, but not really sure the lunchtime slot is one of those slots.
Ian Beaumont, I can only assume that West Country listeners prefer the banal. And I would not be surprised at that.
Ian – does this mean that young people like a mix of music and speech? Do you have any research for that?
I don’t see the problem with mixing music and speech – the music breaks the chat up a bit and adds a bit of variety. It should also make it easier to avoid just repeating the same arguments and will allow one caller to respond to the previous one.
It’s the format GWR’s Late Night Love used in the 90s, which I assume was a popular show as it went on for years and got rolled out to more stations.
James – if people only want music or only want speech, then why bother with DJs on music-based shows anyway?
James, how are you defining young people? I’m not sure that many under 35 would go for a more talk format. No research, other than my own observations.
I do think it’s more about relevant content, than specifically more music or more talk.
I’m not sure that slinging a few records into a talk format programme makes it any more accessible to younger audiences. But then, that’s just me…
I really do feel that a format with more speech and music as the filler, as opposed to the current inverse situation, is the future for big chunks of the UK radio market, because the speech offers entertainment and content not found on a person’s iPod or via a Spotify subscription and offers an incentive to listen as such services become more prominent an option in the car and office.
That’s a very simplified view of course, but if true, it should also secure speech content’s long-term future. Dropping down to the bare bones of music with no personality and limited chat dispersed throughout surely can’t be the way for UK radio like local BBC stations to go now, given the ever-increasing competition from other mediums on the move.
On the topic of this specific scenario, however, the changes made to the format don’t surprise me. If their target demographic is getting younger, I’d have to wonder how many of their new, expanded, and I’d expect working audience would want to spend their lunchtime listening to a speech-only phone-in consisting of “council tax complaints and state pension protesters”. Furthermore, if their share in the past year has indeed gone up by 15% with a rival’s falling by similar, it seems that they’ve made the correct decision.
Also, RE: James above:
I’m not sure that slinging a few records into a talk format programme makes it any more accessible to younger audiences.
What I took from Michael’s original post is that the talk format has also become more of a standard, laid-back ‘interactive lunch’ fare, and that the serious phone-in element on current issues has been dropped or marginalised along with the addition of music. I’d personally say that making it more light and less about political and Council issues is liable to appeal to a younger audience.
To correct you its Justin Leigh and he kept a very sober format I think to appeal to the older listener. David Bassett was an incredible phone in host and few ever matched his talent. BBC Devon & Cornwall do go for the lighter subjects but they’re listener led, and a more intellectual audience find The World at One. As for mixing music & speech in a lunchtime phone in format, yes – The Jeremy Vine Show I think its called …