The regional winners for the Radio Academy’s Station of the Year under 300,000 category have been announced.
The winner from each region will go on to battle it out between themselves at the 2012 Sony Radio Academy Awards in May next year.
The list of regional winners are:
Scotland – Winning Station: Moray Firth
Judges’ Comments: In the opinion of the judges, MFR demonstrated a passion for the highest standards in local radio with superb local content across a wide range of programming. This was delivered by a dedicated and experienced team that are a credit to our industry and to the community they serve.
The mix of local news, sport, events and community connections was outstanding and imaginatively produced and presented. The team spirit on air was obvious and appealing with a well prepped breakfast show and excellent content across the day.
It was especially good to hear MFR continue to invest in some specialised programming and live outside broadcasts from events across the TSA.
Northern Ireland – Winning Station: BBC Radio Foyle
Judges’ Comments: BBC Radio Foyle is a station with a strong heritage which serves a distinct area and relatively small population. That region had much to celebrate and much to examine in the year in question. The station proved equally adept at addressing the positives and negatives and proved it could ride the rollercoaster from the happy times to the sad.
The compilation included some stand-out moments, especially the holding to account of NI’s Deputy First Minister and the health authorities. The judges felt the entry was one which clearly demonstrated a station at the heart of the community.
East Anglia – Winning Station: KL.FM 96.7
Judges’ Comments: KL.FM is a great listen with a dedicated staff and a finger firmly on the local pulse.
Being instrumental in stopping the closure of RAF Marham; supporting ‘Festival Too’ and the local ‘Race For Life’ illustrate how at one with its audience the station is. In addition, the high production values and content of their breakfast features rival even national efforts.
KL.FM’s entry was a brilliant shop window for all they stand for: informative, strong, local knowledge, entertainment, approachability and fun!
East Midlands – Winning Station: Rutland Radio
Judges’ Comments: Rutland Radio is a warm, friendly, ambitious, truly local and wholly professional station that excels in telling the story of life in Rutland and Stamford.
Despite its small team and resources, the station has gone the extra mile, supporting local events and causes, rewarding local businesses and providing essential news and information that is totally relevant to the area.
The station has connections with some of the biggest local events and its presenters are actively engaged in these. General presentation and news bulletins demonstrate a genuine understanding of this unique county and its immediate surrounds, while the outside broadcasts provide a very real sense of community spirit.
All in all, companion radio of the first order.
London – Winning Station: Resonance FM
Judges’ Comments: Resonance demonstrated a genuine passion for radio in all its forms. Fresh, creative and bursting with ideas, this station provides opportunities for people who would not easily find space elsewhere in the radio family.
North East – Winning Station: 107 Spark FM
The judges were impressed with 107 Spark FM’s original and passionate content. High production values and impressive presentation combine with local speech content you might not hear elsewhere, demonstrating breadth of content and creativity
North West – Winning Station: Manx Radio
Judges’ Comments: An excellent and professionally crafted entry which truly reflected and encapsulated the lives of its listeners.
Ambitious in its range of stories and how those stories were told, this station has the sound and production values of a high quality national radio station. Its content was both engaging and relevant, tugged at the emotions and surprised the judges with unpredictability, humour and pathos.
The station’s grown up presentation and ability to cross generational boundaries in an effortless way leaves the listener feeling both informed and represented.
South – Winning Station: Newbury Sound
Judges’ Comments: This is a station with boundless energy and a genuine commitment to be really in touch with its audience – Newbury Sounds lives up to its claim to be the local “feel good” station.
Despite their short time on air, the station has developed an impressive community of listeners, providing entertainment value and informative services. Judges praised the professional approach and well-targeted music policy, the reaction to local news and confident sense of identity within the community.
Reflected in the breakfast show sample was a warmth, passion and knowledge of local news and events, in tandem with broader issues; the team know their area and people.
Particular mention must also be made of the news bulletins which were written and delivered confidently and authoritatively.
Where local radio finds itself under threat, this is an example of a station that is passionate about community output and gets involved with local events and stories, without over stretching the remit or the budget.
South West – Winning Station: BBC Radio Jersey
Judges’ Comments: BBC Radio Jersey offers a highly personal service that caters very effectively to its target audience.
Their proactive approach to every aspect of island life is exemplified by their promotion of events such as the Island Games and ‘Languages Day in School’.
These interest-stories are complimented excellently by BBC Jersey’s more serious content such as the grilling of a local deputy, where the presenter’s style and pressing questions made for a very compelling listen.
The mixture of informative content and listener interaction helped to paint a rich picture of life on Jersey and reflected the pride people have in their Island.
Highly Commended: Channel 103
Judges’ Comments: The judges would like to give a special recommendation to Channel 103 for its lively, upbeat presentation and strong sense of community. The station sounded fun and engaged, and it came a very close and worthy second.
Yorkshire – Winning Station: Garrison FM
Judges’ Comments: Garrison FM showed that they truly excelled in their desire to serve their audience.
The station is not only there to entertain and inform but it is also clearly seen by its listeners as a vital part of everyday life, where the lifestyle and needs of listeners is somewhat different and more specific than most.
Despite limited resources, Garrison FM has brought its audience interviews with senior politicians and Army commanders, and reported from some of the most dangerous warzones in order to connect those at home with loved ones abroad.
This station really shows how a local radio station can not only serve its community, but be the heartbeat of it.