So three guys in their 40s (Vaughan is 49) are spearheading a new station for a new generation, formerly known as XFM.
Opinion piece by former GMG Radio Chief Executive John Myers
While I’m not sure about the name Radio X, the news is really all about the return of radio leg-end Chris Moyles. Some might suggest he’s only back because all other options have fizzled out, but kinder and more considerate souls like myself believe this to be a positive for radio and commercial radio in particular.
Moyles is a proven winner, Vaughan is great and now on the right kind of station and Kaye, well he’s a name at least.
Much will be made about the competition between him and Radio 1. It’s a fight he won’t win and a fight Global won’t want because being compared to Radio 1 all of the time will only highlight how wide the gap between the two really is. It’s also close to 6music.
A significant rise in audience for Radio X might be great for Global but appear tiny against their competitor who’s on on both FM and DAB. Radio X is mostly just DAB.
While I applaud the initiative, I wonder if the return of Moyles is in fact two years too late. Yes, he will generate press and excite the anorak nation but I’m not sure this will mean a lot to the audience at large. Will they care enough to turn that dial? I hope so
Three years is a long, long time to be away from the ears of listeners. People have moved on, radio has moved on and the new kind of audio star doesn’t even require a radio platform at all to succeed these days.
People forget easily.
The other issue is that Moyles is well known for being a bit of a dick. He was hardly Mr Popular at the BBC. Sometimes that works for you but mostly it doesn’t. For Chris to become popular again, inside and outside of the radio fence, he will need to learn a little humility. Perhaps he’s already done that as I hear positive things and he certainly looks great.
Global will support him and the station with significant airtime but it won’t match the budget he’s had in the past when he was the self proclaimed saviour of Radio 1 and any cross-promotion will be practically non-existent.
Radio is interesting again
Nevertheless, you have to hand it to Global. They are investing in radio and for that alone, I admire them. They are driven by a self belief that comes with a passion for winning.
As I’ve said many times before, winning is addictive.
They care about nothing else and on this point alone you can bet that Richard Park will be on Moyle’s case every single day – and rightly so.
Anyone who has ever ran a station will know that if the breakfast show sucks, the station never gets going. Furthermore, Global have now gone public that on this station in particular, personality matters. Thank goodness for that.
What the jocks do between the songs is the real X.
I suspect OFCOM might be busy but on this they just need to be brave and have a budget for fines. Vanilla has been the norm for too long. Let us applaud big decisions like this.
Congratulations Global for launching a station with personality and Moyles is certainly one of those.
Just how talented he is and how much the nation cares about him…we are about to find out!