Baby boom at 96.9 Viking FM
96.9 Viking FM is experiencing a baby boom after TWELVE members of staff have become new parents in the past two years – and there’s still more to come! A massive 30% of Viking FM’s workforce of just 40 staff has gone radio ga-ga while working at the Hull-based radio station.
Staff at Viking FM think there is something in the airwaves! During one week alone no less than three pregnancies were announced. The newest mother is 96.9 Viking FM’s Breakfast Show presenter Sam Heywood, who’s son Harry is three weeks old. Sam was back on-air just 42 minutes after giving birth to tell listeners she was a new mummy. Sam’s co-host Mark Somers said “Sam’s really impatient so it’s typical that she was back on air so quickly.”
The newest Dad at the radio station is Ben Dixon, presenter on Viking FM’s sister station Magic 1161. Ben’s wife Debbie gave birth to Lucas just four days ago.
Other members of staff that have celebrated recent arrivals include Deputy News Editor Alice Bailey with Ruben (6 weeks old) and News Editor Kirsty Moore with Blake (age 7 months). Inventory Manager Julie Dimaline is mum to Emily (9 months old), Presenter Paul Green (a.k.a Monkey Boy) has son Joel (14 months) and Sales Support Natalie Harvey has Grace (18 months old). And Marketing Manager Sarah Harrison’s son Thomas, Senior Account Manager Sam Brennan’s daughter Abbie, Receptionist Amber Pattison’s son Ace and Presenter Ian Skye’s son Finlay have all recently celebrated their second birthdays!
And that’s not all, Julia Dixon who is mum to two year old Joseph has just announced that she is expecting again! Julia, who is the Sales & Promotions Manager at Viking FM is expecting her second child in February.
Mike Bawden, Managing Director said “Viking FM’s aimed at a family audience but I think the staff are taking this to the extreme!!! I’m really delighted our creative office environment extends into the home – it brings a whole new meaning to work/life balance!!”
The radio station has been very accommodating with its new parents, with some staff working reduced or flexible hours. Presenter Sam Heywood in particular enjoys a great arrangement, having had a studio installed in her spare bedroom so that she can work from home whilst her co-host Mark Somers still presents from the usual Viking FM Studio. Sam said “When I’m ready to return to work, I can present the show from home to start with which is really helpful. It will be weird though, talking to thousands of people from my back bedroom- but I can’t wait to get back on-air!”
Staff at Viking FM are speculating as to why there have been so many births in the last two years. Chris Youngson, who has been a cleaner at the radio station for 17 years said “I’ve never known anything like it. Everyone says that it’s the toilet seat but we’ve had it for several years and it’s never had this effect before!”
However, the main theory at the Radio Station is that Elton John has had a bit of an effect on the staff. Elton was on the Viking FM playlist with “Are You Ready For Love” when Sam Brennan was pregnant with the oldest Viking FM baby, two year old Abbie.
Head of Music Darren Dalby said “I didn’t think putting Elton John on the Playlist would affect the productivity at Viking FM but it appears to be the case. I’m sure the man himself will be delighted (and surprised) to hear about the number of children he’s helped create!!!”