What happens to a station when it goes legal?

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What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Polecat » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:38 pm

Various members have commented on pirate stations losing their vibe when they get a licence. I agree.
Is it that the thrill has gone? Or do the rules stifle creativity? Something else? I'd like to know what you think.
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by famefm » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:11 am

Good question. And I don't know its like the legal djs are actually more amiture sounding than the pirate ones flex being the main exsample just unlistenble no still don't know why. Probably only rinse that is okay sometimes

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by g33ky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:47 am

Probably has a bit to do with the "key commitments" that Ofcom gives them. If a station is only live for a few hours a day and automated the rest then they're pretty unlikely to meet the "live" requirements Ofcom gives them, so they have to get in less-experienced people to fill the time. In London especially you'll often find some requirement to allow radio training, but its common across all community stations. That, and possibly trying to broaden their audience by playing less "piratey" stuff.
famefm wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:11 am
Good question. And I don't know its like the legal djs are actually more amiture sounding than the pirate ones flex being the main exsample just unlistenble no still don't know why. Probably only rinse that is okay sometimes
Flex is third on my "dial" (not in London so tunein is all I got :() and it's alright at points. If you're listening in the mid-morning then you're probably going to get the training stuff I was referencing, but in the afternoon-evening slots its got some good house vibes sometimes, or maybe some funk and soul. One of the better legals imho.
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Polecat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:39 am

Ah yes the training. It does seem like training is performed Live on air.

But then isn't that also the case with pirate stations?

Maybe the difference is that Legal stations are obligated to attract and train.m whereas pirate stations act as a gravitational force for passionate and knowledgeable music lovers. Well mainly haha.

Speaking of which, I listened to Vision over the weekend at various times I wouldn't normally tune in. It was energetic, entertaining, and more varied than I'd expected. More importantly, it didn't sound like any legal station on the dial. Surely that's what music radio should deliver, whether legal or not.



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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by g33ky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:29 am

Polecat wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:39 am
Ah yes the training. It does seem like training is performed Live on air.

But then isn't that also the case with pirate stations?

Maybe the difference is that Legal stations are obligated to attract and train.m whereas pirate stations act as a gravitational force for passionate and knowledgeable music lovers. Well mainly haha.

Speaking of which, I listened to Vision over the weekend at various times I wouldn't normally tune in. It was energetic, entertaining, and more varied than I'd expected. More importantly, it didn't sound like any legal station on the dial. Surely that's what music radio should deliver, whether legal or not.



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I wouldn't say pirates are "trained" on air, they largely just do their own thing how they want to do it. Thats in comparison to legal community stations which are in large part a gateway to commercial radio jobs/other media sector jobs.

I mostly listen to Select and its top notch. Really professional production and they aren't even legal! I think its just Ofcom putting too much regulation (aka restriction) on small stations which makes them go down in quality. Select do their own thing their own way while maintaining professionalism and thats the way radio should be. If you don't like it tune out!

Talking of Select I'm surprised not so many people on the forum like it as much. It plays similar-ish music to Vision. I sound like a shill for them but trust me I'm just a fan :lol:.
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by thewisepranker » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:49 am

g33ky wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:29 am
(Select) plays similar-ish music to Vision.
I don't agree. I've never heard Select play anything other than house.

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by g33ky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:54 am

thewisepranker wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:49 am
g33ky wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:29 am
(Select) plays similar-ish music to Vision.
I don't agree. I've never heard Select play anything other than house.
I guess it depends on the time of day. Mid-day it is pretty much exclusively house and its derivatives but I've heard soul, funk. Vision are definitely more diverse in their genres though
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Albert H » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:04 am

The rules imposed by OFCOM on small legal stations make them (largely) financially unviable and they seldom last more than a year or two. Every ex-pirate station that's "gone legal" ends up owned by one of the big radio corporations - the OFCOM rules effectively ensure that!

"Community" Radio in the UK is a sad joke. I engineered a couple of them a few years ago, and they all started out the same - a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs who didn't realise just how difficult it is to fill 168 hours every week with very little budget! They were all massively enthusiastic at the beginning, but when reality began to bite, when they realised that their advertising revenues were not allowed to be big enough to cover their basic costs - let alone pay the staff - people started to drop out. Disillusion set in after just a few months, and each of them sold out to Bauer, Global or Wireless Group, to become just another clone.

The assimilation of little stations by the big corporations is "Borg-like" - resistance is futile!
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Polecat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:53 am

@g33ky that's what I was trying to say about pirates. They are generally knowledgeable and passionate about their music and it comes across on air without training.

@wisepranker I agree and would have said something similar about Vision and UKG as that's all I ever heard. But it was down to the times I tuned in. Sunday lunchtime I heard some old 80s stuff that I thought was mostly shite when it came out but the presenter was so good he gave it all new energy and I enjoyed listening. In the evening I heard something I haven't come across before - DnB with spoken word lyrics over the top. It sounded fresh but maybe I've just been out of the game too long?

Maybe Select has more up its sleeve too. I'll find out at the weekend.

@Albert the day is always darkest before the dawn....

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by famefm » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:50 pm

Select might be another one going legal soon they have applied for the Croydon area

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Re: RE: Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Polecat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:18 pm

famefm wrote:Select might be another one going legal soon they have applied for the Croydon area
Something's puzzling me now.

Given what's clear for all to see, why would any station go Community FM when they could go DAB+?

I'm not saying DAB+ is worth doing (it was a negative experience personally) but legal FM seems even less worth doing if that makes sense?

Anyone any thoughts on that?

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by g33ky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:40 pm

famefm wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:50 pm
Select might be another one going legal soon they have applied for the Croydon area
I saw that a while back but I never heard anything after that. How long does an application usually take?
Polecat wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:18 pm
Given what's clear for all to see, why would any station go Community FM when they could go DAB+?

I'm not saying DAB+ is worth doing (it was a negative experience personally) but legal FM seems even less worth doing if that makes sense?

Anyone any thoughts on that?

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They're on FM now so they must get some usage out of it at least. Better to be legal on FM than run the risk of Ofcom seizing it. They must see FM as still being viable plus FM has much more reach than DAB+ (assuming they're using the trial mux which I can barely get on my visits down there). Plus if they were on DAB+ they'd probably be using 32k which just sounds like ass. I do wish them the best since they clearly care about their station.
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by famefm » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:18 pm

In the last round of 4 community station's flex took 14 months to get on air and the slowest was the samalian station for Fulham and Hammersmith and that was 2 and half years on 92.2 and its got such a feeble signal a lot weaker even than Hayes fm I only knew it was on when I checked online. And 92.2 was in use by metro love radio so I wonder where they have gone to?

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Polecat » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:27 pm

g33ky wrote:
famefm wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:50 pm
Select might be another one going legal soon they have applied for the Croydon area
I saw that a while back but I never heard anything after that. How long does an application usually take?
Polecat wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:18 pm
Given what's clear for all to see, why would any station go Community FM when they could go DAB+?

I'm not saying DAB+ is worth doing (it was a negative experience personally) but legal FM seems even less worth doing if that makes sense?

Anyone any thoughts on that?

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They're on FM now so they must get some usage out of it at least. Better to be legal on FM than run the risk of Ofcom seizing it. They must see FM as still being viable plus FM has much more reach than DAB+ (assuming they're using the trial mux which I can barely get on my visits down there). Plus if they were on DAB+ they'd probably be using 32k which just sounds like ass. I do wish them the best since they clearly care about their station.
I too wish them well.

Agree on DAB+ sound quality. The multiplex I was on broadcast at 48kbps which they said was equivalent to 128kbps listening quality. It still didn't sound great....

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Re: RE: Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Polecat » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:37 pm

Albert H wrote:The rules imposed by OFCOM on small legal stations make them (largely) financially unviable and they seldom last more than a year or two. Every ex-pirate station that's "gone legal" ends up owned by one of the big radio corporations - the OFCOM rules effectively ensure that!

"Community" Radio in the UK is a sad joke. I engineered a couple of them a few years ago, and they all started out the same - a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs who didn't realise just how difficult it is to fill 168 hours every week with very little budget! They were all massively enthusiastic at the beginning, but when reality began to bite, when they realised that their advertising revenues were not allowed to be big enough to cover their basic costs - let alone pay the staff - people started to drop out. Disillusion set in after just a few months, and each of them sold out to Bauer, Global or Wireless Group, to become just another clone.

The assimilation of little stations by the big corporations is "Borg-like" - resistance is futile!
@albert h

I've been doing some research on this and I see where you're coming from.

In your view, how does the story end?

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Albert H » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:39 pm

Polecat:

You'll see that the takeover of the small local stations just provides "fillers" for Heart or another of the bland national auto-stations. They don't even bother with real DJs these days - most of them are just using "voice tracking" automation.

The rot started a few years ago with "Crapital Gold" - it was just a Sony CD jukebox with a bunch of compilation albums loaded. They had about 500 tracks to choose from. If a listener requested a particular track, they were fobbed off with the "greatest hit" of that artist / band. They soon stopped taking requests altogether. The audience realised that they'd been fooled in a matter of a couple of weeks when their numbers took a nosedive and never recovered. Their 198m / 1548kHz "Gold" station had practically no listeners whatsoever. They then spread this crap throughout the UK as they took over small AM stations.

The FM scene is just as bad - there are three commercial companies (or is that just two now?) and the BBC.

The BBC aren't interested in proper broadcasting any more - their "news" is just left slanted polemic and their "music" output is woeful. Even Radio 6 (that started out well enough) is unlistenable now. Radio 5 Lies is abysmal - especially since their very few good presenters went elsewhere. Radio 4 is just full of "woke" drama, abysmal "comedy" and "news" output that has little to do with reality. Radio 3 is nearly good sometimes, but suffers from their insistence upon modifying everything to "improve" it - they've spoilt a good station. Radio 2 is play listed to the same extent as the bad commercial stations and has too much talk. Radio 1 is a sick joke - middle-aged producers who think they know what the "kids" want to hear, and presenters with no clue whatsoever.

I'm looking forward to Boris ridding the UK of the Telly Tax and splitting up the BBC.

Unfortunately, the few UK pirates I've heard lately aren't offering much. They're not covering much in the way of new music - perhaps this reflects the dire state of the music industry. It's sad.

There are a few internet streams that are worth bothering with, and now that unlimited data connections are becoming easier to find, these are fine for listening to in the car, office or (right now) in the workshop. I seldom listen off-air any more - except when I need to check the quality of something I've installed and commissioned.
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by famefm » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:48 pm

Well I like 5 live football coverage Albert

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by famefm » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:54 pm

I forgot to say radio 1 is the worst station from all the stations

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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by Albert H » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:19 am

famefm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:48 pm
Well I like 5 live football coverage Albert
Fair enough. Footy's never really been my thing. I watch Cricket and Rugby (Union). Both available on Sky.
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Re: What happens to a station when it goes legal?

Post by g33ky » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:50 am

Albert H wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:39 pm
The BBC aren't interested in proper broadcasting any more - their "news" is just left slanted polemic
You'll find lefties that think the BBC is biased right wing :lol:.
Albert H wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:39 pm
Radio 3 is nearly good sometimes, but suffers from their insistence upon modifying everything to "improve" it - they've spoilt a good station.
Agree about R3. Classic is just the same thing every day while R3 actually goes into the more obscure stuff (other than opera, I can't stand it).
Albert H wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:39 pm
I'm looking forward to Boris ridding the UK of the Telly Tax and splitting up the BBC.
Agree here. The fee is outdated at this point with the rise of the Internet and independent media easily beating the BBC, especially with the younger generation. Thank god Corbo didn't get in otherwise he'd be asking for a license fee to watch Infowars :roll:.
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