Row over shift for Swansea Sound’s Welsh show


A pressure group has criticised Swansea Sound’s plans to move its nightly Welsh language show to later in the evening.As we reported last week, the medium wave station is sharing an 80s show with sister stations Pulse 2 in Bradford and Signal 2 in Stoke from tonight, presented by Ray Rose.

But Welsh language pressure group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg has told the BBC it’s not happy about the change, which sees the station’s Welsh programme move to the 10pm slot instead.

“Is Swansea Sound a station for Swansea or a region in England?” said Aled Powell, the campaign group’s broadcasting spokesman. “Downgrading the Welsh language like this is part of a wider pattern of commercial radio stations broadcasting less and less Welsh and Welsh language content. They’re less local than ever before.”

Swansea Sound is required by Ofcom to produced 12 hours of Welsh programming each week – and the station has confirmed that this will continue.

Terry Underhill, group programme director at Wireless Group said: “Our commitment to Welsh language programming remains unchanged and we continue to produce more dedicated Welsh language programmes than any other Commercial Radio Station in Wales. This means we will continue to produce 12 hours of Welsh programming every week.

“Our research confirms that the 80s is the most popular decade for music in Wales and this listener demand has prompted our change.”

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  1. Adrian says

    Rather a dismissive comment-likely to stir-up annoyance when a far more positive spIn could have been put on it-after all i doubt there was any clamour for an 80’s show in that particular time-slot.The fact is that there are now presenter-led shows around the clock on weekdays instead of a non-stop love songs show in the late slot plus the country show now on Saturday evenings which is a change from all the disco shows on most other stations-also still 12 hours per week of Welsh.Did I miss the commotion when the nation owned stations reduced their Welsh output to just 1 hour per week recently?-I don’t remember much fuss and that was in areas where Welsh is spoken more.

  2. Dan Dean says

    As someone who has worked in both languages within Wales…for the BBC and Commercial radio i think i speak with some experience of this issue, which has been going on for 35 years. Please read this to the end before you judge me !!!!!! Personally i agree with what SS have done,and i don’t think commercial radio within Wales should have to provide any Welsh content. My experience of it has taught me that it is simply a token gesture that the “stations” have to provide it as part of their franchise agreement….but in truth nobody really cares about it and it simply a “slot” that filled by anyone who is available and speaks Welsh ….furthermore the audience figures for them are usually some of lowest if not the lowest….which proves that it does not work for the station or the language, and so i understand the reason why the stations are reluctant to provide Welsh language content because it is not viable in any way shape or form. Having said that i also understand why people see the reduction overall within Wales as an attack on the language. They can dress it up as they like, Welsh language content on commercial radio within Wales is down , over 50% in ten years….BUT tells it own story….so what is the way forward?
    Lets put Radio Cymru on one side here as that is a totally different ball game….they provide an exellent radio service which commercial radio will never be able to match, thatis due to a number of reasons including the 18 million pounds the receive from the licence fee. They provide specialist shows, sessions with bands etc and over an 18 hour day they have a mix of something for everyone….whether that is relevant and works is another matter and not the source of my post.
    Commercial radio as it stands cannot do that…it would be commercial suicide. So …what next?
    I believe Wales needs a commercial Welsh language station which would be networked thought Wales. It would “sound”exactly the same as any other commercial brand but the spoken word would be Welsh….the music would predominantly be English, interspersed with some of the best of a thriving modern Welsh music scene….but those artist would need to be up to scratch…simply recording in Welsh would not be a guarantee of being on the playlist..people would have to up their game. The nearest to this at present is Capitol North Wales…but it is still some way from my idea. The technology is there so that is not an issue and it may be that there would need to be some Welsh government involvement, but i would prefer not, as i believe in stand alone and the less red tape the better. The aim of it would be to entertain….it must not become a political animal seen as being there to save the language, and scoring political points, Without a doubt it could capture a market that may not otherwise have listened to a Welsh station for a number of reasons, and that could include non Welsh language speakers, along with people who feel that they are not part of what is on offer at present and feel alienated and disenfranchised from what S4C and Radio Cymru provide.
    Without doubt the current situation does not work for anyone and change has to come.It has never worked and never will.

  3. Andrew says

    I enjoyed the Welsh shows. As someone who is not fully fluent they were accessible and the Welsh language playlist is excellent. Over the last few years more English spoken and less Welsh mysic (it used to be strictly every other song) . No doubt a directive from Stoke.

    Caught a bit of last night’s Welsh show. clearly now voice tracked and you can tell. No Welsh news and show now 2 hours not 3. Whilst there is now a show on Monday still less hours of Welsh a week now. A shame for a station with such a proud local history

  4. Christopher Stringer says

    The only company providing Welsh commercial radio is Capital Cymru which anyone can get on capital app and fair play it’s listed next to Capital London.
    I listen to it on my Bose radio I agree like the previous post they should be given a national Dab licence in Wales.
    But you can’t make young people in Wales choose the Welsh language option pitty is, it’s not marketed on TV in schools neither is Calon fm another online station in Welsh they depend on word of mouth.

    1. Christopher Stringer says

      Cymrufm is another online station and Radio Beca do podcasts with so much free space on Dab muxes in Wales pitty ofcom doesn’t licence them commercially.
      You tube is where you’ll find plenty of well known Welsh artists videos and TV recordings and as with the English radio audience young people are migrating online.

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