96.2 The Revolution owner Steve Penk has spoken out on air to defend the criticism that’s followed the station’s Armistice Day tribute and subsequent sacking of a presenter.
The Oldham-based station aired a produced feature last Friday to honour those who’ve lost their lives, while presenter Big Al and a number of listeners thought they should have had a two minute silence instead.
Big Al – real name Alan Nield – subsequently left the studios after agreeing with the Station Manager that he would voicetrack the remainder of his show.
Revolution owner Penk then sacked the presenter and has told listeners on air: “You don’t just walk away from your professional responsibilities. He left me, he left the company with no alternative. He left a live radio studio in the middle of a show with responsibiliies to sponsors who’ve paid money to have their messages delivered and decided himself without asking me and simply left the radio station.”
Penk, who does the breakfast show on The Revolution, continued: “In 34 years of doing this I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. Professionally Al has let himself down and as a company we had no choice – we had to let him go. If you choose to not listen to us any more that’s your choice but I can’t run a radio station if the staff take it upon themselves to do what they want when they want – you’ll end up with total anarchy.”
Steve also wanted to set the record straight that the station did mark Armistice Day – after receiving complaints and abuse from people who he says didn’t even hear the output on Friday.
“We put together on Friday, after much thought and hard work, something that was totally respectful of our troops. On Armistice Day we did 100% respect our troops and those that have sadly lost their lives. We did the right thing,” he said.
“In all the years that I’ve done this – and all the radio stations I’ve worked for – not once has any of those radio stations taken a 2 minute silence on Armistice Day. They do on Remembrance Sunday itself as indeed we did – but I’ve worked for radio stations that haven’t even acknowledged it was Armistice Day. We not only acknowledged it but our news editor and senior producer carefully and professionally put together a caring respectful piece of radio to mark 11am on the 11th of the 11th. All of this, both Big Al and the local press have failed to mention at any time.”
You can listen to what the station did at 11am on Armistice Day here:
So, what did your station do on Armistice Day and Remembrance Day? Special programme, 2-minute silence or just continued playing the hits? Let us know using the comments box below. And tell us what you think of The Revolution’s Armistice Day tribute (audio above) or Steve’s on-air reaction…