Radio stations across the UK have reported some of the highest ever spikes in online listening during the recent severe weather conditions.
School closures, blocked roads and travel disruption led the headlines, and the radio industry went into overdrive to keep listeners informed. Presenters, journalists and other station staff all went the extra mile to provide uninterrupted services.
Radiocentre’s members have reported some of the highest ever spikes in online listening, with record levels of social media traffic in some cases up by almost 10.000%. Huge numbers of stations extended their breakfast and drivetime shows to provide commuters and parents with the latest developments on schools, traffic, travel and weather.
Heroic tales are not limited to the emergency services, with radio stations staff working around the clock. Below are just a handful examples of the extraordinary work from the past week.
In Wales at Nation Broadcasting, local presenters Lee Juke, Mark Powell and Carl Hughes slept at the station rather than risk missing their shows and let their listeners down (see video from Carl below!)
Reporters from Heart, Capital and Radio Clyde have been camping out in hotels to be on hand with rolling bulletins, providing a lifeline to those stranded on blocked roads
Lincs FM have been running live 24 hours a day since Tuesday, with staff walking up to 6 miles through the snow to get to work. The station also recorded over a million hits during the bad weather
Touch FM are extending their local coverage into the weekend in order to cover canceled events, travel disruption and stories of local heroes
Rutland Radio’s Rob Persani presented his show from his car one morning as he couldn’t complete his journey to the studio
Stray FM reports almost 100,000 unique visitors to its website in one day during the height of the snow issues
Stray FM also borrowed a 4×4 to enable drivetime presenter Will Smith to be out in the community giving first-hand reports
In addition to news updates, KMFM provided some frozen related twitter relief with a parody video.
Bob Harris broadcast his Radio 2 Country show from his shed after he was unable to attend the studio in central London
Radiocentre research has also found that 8 out of 10 listeners believe they get helpful, concise updates on the news throughout the day.
Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny commented: “Commercial radio really comes into its own in times of crisis. The recent snowstorms have highlighted that radio is the place to go to get vital up-to-the-minute trusted local information. We’ve heard some amazing stories from stations that have gone above and beyond in order to deliver the headlines, so I want to thank all those amazing radio people whose dedication makes commercial radio so special.”