Black Country Radio back on-air after break in
Black Country Radio was off-air on Friday after theives stole around £10,000 worth of equipment during automated programmes.
Mixing desks, amplifiers and studio equipment were amongst the items taken in the early hours of Friday morning, with the damage being discovered by The Fizzogs, who had turned up to present the Breakfast Show.
It comes less than a week before the station’s first birthday, with Black Country Radio launching last September. The station is a merger of 102.5 The Bridge and online station Black Country Community Radio.
The station resumed programmes around 9am Saturday.
Alex Totney, Chief Executive (Operations), said: “The whole team are in a state of shock. When our volunteers arrived to unlock the building ahead of our breakfast show, they were greeted with a scene of disarray.
“It’s not particularly the equipment being taken that’s upsetting – that can be replaced. It’s just incredibly sad to think that somebody would try and ruin what we feel has become a valuable community resource.
“Our members, who all give their time here voluntarily, put in hundreds of hours each week to provide a service to the local community. They help to promote local charities, unsigned musicians and cover grassroots sport. We’re moving towards a very exciting period in the station’s future as we approach our first birthday next week and this puts a huge dampener on things.
“Although we broadcast 24 hours a day, a pre-recorded programme was being broadcast at the time of the break-in, so our premises were locked up. The safety of our volunteers is paramount, so we can take some comfort from the fact that none of our members were on site at the time.”
The value of the stolen equipment is estimated at around £10,000. The station is covered by CCTV and bosses are now working with West Midlands Police who are studying security footage.
Dave Brownhill, Chief Executive (Finance), said: “Black Country Radio exists to serve the community and we put a huge amount of effort into making it as good as we can on very limited resources. Whilst we’re all upset, we’re not going to let this get in the way of providing the service we aim to do every day.
“We’re not sure if the thieves knew what they wanted or whether it was a chance discovery, but they’ve managed to hand pick some key pieces of equipment that are important to how we work.”