Richard Wheatly dies after short illness

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Richard Wheatly dies after short illness

Former Jazz FM CEO and executive chairman of The Local Radio Company Richard Wheatly has died following a short illness, aged just 69.

Richard had been an integral part of Jazz FM for many years and is responsible for shaping the sound of the station today. Following a career in global advertising, Richard joined Jazz FM as Managing Director in 1995 until it was sold to the Guardian Media Group in 2003.

He then went on to lead The Local Radio Company, in charge of over 25 local radio stations across the UK. TLRC also bought the rights to use the Jazz FM name from GMG.

He then ran Jazz FM once again in 2008, buying the brand back from The Local Radio Company, and has been part of the company ever since, most recently hosting a weekly Sunday night show.

Richard was a well-known figure in the industry and served as Chair of both the National Jazz Youth Collective and First Radio Sales.

Siobhan Kenny, Chief Executive of RadioCentre, the trade body for commercial radio, pays her own tribute: “We are so saddened to hear the shocking news about Richard’s sudden death. He was a maverick in our industry when he launched Jazz FM. By creating Jazz’s Listen in Colour positioning along with the brand’s well-loved chameleon, he was successful in creating one of the most recognisable radio offerings of its time. He was driven by an entrepreneurial passion and a deep love of jazz music.

“The people who worked alongside him over his long career will testify that he was a decent man who brought something different to our industry and was always a calm presence in the room offering sage advice. Our thoughts are with his family and everyone at Jazz FM.”

Comments are open for your memories and condolences.


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Communicorp UK looks for the next generation

Communicorp UK is continuing its investment in new industry talent with the launch of a new student programme.

Just last week the company was announced as the official supporter for the I Love Student Radio Awards, to be held later this month and today Communicorp UK has announced a new initiative, Communicorp UK: The Next Generation, designed to further support rising talent within the industry.

Communicorp UK will work alongside the Student Radio Association to offer members of the SRA the chance to gain experience with any of the eight stations within the group in a bid to help develop and nurture the industry’s future talent.

The new initiative will provide the students with the chance to spend the day at a station and sit in on a breakfast or drive time show, spend a few hours with the programmer planning the next show, meet with the station director to find out more about the group and how to run a successful station and shadow the marketing executive.

Grace Hannah, Director of People at Communicorp UK, said: “Being the official support of the awards is a great opportunity to meet the stars of the future and the awards do a fantastic job in recognising the hard work, effort and talent in student radio. We don’t want our support to end there, being a new company we know what it feels like to be the new kid on the block. We are excited about being involved in developing and nurturing the industry’s future talent with students across the country and we’re really looking forward to welcoming them to our stations.

“We have stations in many areas of the UK, from Capital FM in Glasgow to Smooth East Midlands and Heart Yorkshire to Capital FM in Cardiff, so hopefully there is a station close by to any student who is interested in gaining more hands on experience and learning from our dedicated and knowledgeable team.”

Stu Manton, Student Radio Association Chair said: “One of the most valuable experiences for our student members is being able to spend some time in a professional studio setting to help shape their skills and showcase the talent that student radio has to offer. I know that our members will jump at the chance to take part in Communicorp UK: The Next Generation project.”

To apply for the chance to work alongside the Communicorp UK team, SRA members should email, with ‘SRA opportunity’ in the subject line and tell the team what their dream job in radio would be and why they think they would benefit from this opportunity. They should also remember to include which student radio they are part of and their preferred Communicorp UK station.

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Is Juice FM set for Capital FM rebrand?

UTV could be selling its Liverpool-based dance music station Juice FM to Global for a reported £10m.

If the deal goes ahead, as reported by the Guardian, the station will no doubt give the Capital FM network coverage of another major city.

UTV has already announced it is looking at options to sell its portfolio of local radio stations.

Capital FM is heard in Liverpool thanks to transmissions on 97.1FM from Birkenhead just a few miles away, but Liverpool is not part of its official coverage area.

Juice FM broadcasts from a new city centre location and currently employs former Capital FM London programmer James Brownlow as Content Director.

Capital FM Liverpool would be the 12th station in the network, adding to Birmingham, Cymru, London, East Midlands, Manchester, North East, North West and Wales, Scotland, South Coast, South Wales and Yorkshire.

Both UTV and Global have no comment to make on the sale but RadioToday understands it could be completed in the next 10 days.

66 7124 01 April, 2015 Alerts, Industry News, Today more