Here it is… Our radio industry predictions for 2019…

Once a year we pretend to be radio futurologists and predict the future of radio, with our annual radio industry predictions.

The truth is, with deregulation and the continued movement of the top talent in the industry, anything could happen in 2019. So we’ve gone for some tongue-in-cheek predictions this year along with one or two which have a more than 50% chance of happening.

Comments are open for a few days if you want to add yours!

Happy New Year!

January

Global announces details of networking at Capital, including plans for 2BR..

Simon Mayo announces his new weekday national radio show…. a drivetime show on a digital station..

February

Iain Lee given a special honour for his heroic actions saving listeners from certain death..

Changes at Heart as the daytime schedule changes completely..

March

Bauer to rebrand Viking, Hallam and Aire as Hits Radio (Yorkshire)..

OXIS Media launches JACK 4 & Dance “Dancing when we want”..

April

Global expands the Heart brand into Northern Ireland with the purchase of Q Radio Network..

Ofcom advertises second DAB multiplex for Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow..

May

Charlie Sloth joins Beats 1 overnights..

Bauer launches Country Hits Radio on DAB ‘nationwide’, to complement Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Radio..

June

OXIS Media launches JACK 5 & Talk in Oxford “Talking when we want”..

BBC Local Radio stations drop the network branding in favour of individual idents..

July

Bliss Radio closes after 12 months of ‘successful’ broadcasting..

Podcast Radio launches with broadcast-friendly podcasts in hour-long slots..

August

Scott Mills makes the move from the BBC to Commercial Radio..

Steve Allen moved to weekends at LBC..

September

Emma Bunton returns to Heart Breakfast in time for national expansion..



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OXIS Media launches JACK 6 & Rock “Rocking when we want”..

October

Six-month RAJAR figures for Virgin Radio gives the station double the audience year-on-year..

Celador sold as Paul Smith retires..

November

Ofcom advertises first round of SSDAB licences..

Music Formats relaxed by Ofcom, meaning a large amount of ‘format flips’ are planned for January 2020..

December

Iain Lee’s honour removed after he admits the guy on the phone from plymouth was a plant..

OXIS Media launches JACK 7 & Folk “Folking when we want”..

Disclaimer… we made all of these up and have no idea if any will come true or not. Thanks for reading!

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37 Comments
  1. David says

    Jeremy Vine puts Britain out of its misery and buggers off to LBC. I wish….

  2. CaptainWow says

    Rathergood radio finally publish their “white paper” on the future of broadcasting, despite having closed down.

  3. Tony says

    Really great price and article! However, honestly really???? Will the British radio industry ever allow REAL diversity in their institutions when it comes radio professionals who’ve worked in the industry for 30 years+ and still are kept at arms length because our face doesn’t fit! Just saying! Best wishes to all who work and promote our wonderful craft!

  4. David says

    As a sad radio nerd I remember with affection some of the great BBC LR idents ( York, WM, Lincs) so would love the dull generic sound to disappear!

  5. Lee says

    I predict Global will network all output for Heart and Capital across the UK, and expand the brand’s into Northern Ireland; or will OFCOM insist Global and Bauer revert to local radio programming. Any bets on the first? I’ve got more chance of winning the lottery for the second prediction especially as I don’t play the lottery. What a mess!!!

    1. mb23 says

      No mess here – a record 36 million listeners and highest ever revenues. Commercial radio is finally giving listeners what they want to hear.

      1. Mr Boltar says

        Firstly Rajar keeps changing the way it does audience measurements, secondly there are a lot more stations. If globals reach has gone up in music radio is only because they’ve taken over so many other stations and the audience is still there by inertia. It doesn’t mean people particularly want to listen to that style of robot radio.

  6. JASON ANDREW TOPPIN says

    scott mills wilol end up on Talksport as part of their EPL commentary team

  7. Radio Rental says

    Regarding the NI prediction, I think it’s more than likely to be Capital for those Q stations. Outside of Belfast, the only real commercial competition is Bauer’s Downtown Radio with it’s AC format.

    That doesn’t mean that Global can’t stick Heart on Belfast though, the most competitive market in NI.

  8. ant says

    Virgin start a nationwide FM campaign after a drop

  9. Will says

    2BR to become Capital Lancashire (new addition to the possible Capital North West)

    Global to announce the networking on Smooth and Darren Parks on Smooth Breakfast across the UK

    Wireless Group local stations to rebrand under a new name

    Billy Butler to join Bauer on Radio City Talk

    1. Rob Charles says

      Would that name be ‘Virgin’ for the Wireless Group local stations to rebrand under a new name?

  10. John Bullass says

    Too true no regional commercial station identity anymore Global and Bauer will run a master station each broadcasting all around the country probably both stations HQ’s based in the capital then you get no local presenters just all London based all that talent going to waste just to listen to someone in showbiz allegedly that thinks He/She knows about music ie-some bit part actor or would be comedian. Well done radio freedom has just left the building.

  11. Craig Strong says

    Global takes over everything.
    Full stop.

  12. Joe says

    Bliss radio already sounds like it has closed down , it has been non stop music all over Christmas. With only maybe a couple of presenters here and there

  13. Ian Scott says

    Jack 8 & Gospel launches “Praying when we want . . . “

    1. UK Staff says

      Love that one!

  14. Mr Boltar says

    More women and minorities on the radio whether they’re any good or not since PC quotas must be filled. Radio is no longer entertainment , its a political statement.

  15. Jeff C says

    Lewis Carnie replaced following the series of disastrous scheduling at BBC Radio 2 over the last few years.

  16. Joe Smith says

    Bob Harris hosts a show where he doesn’t talk about himself or his son.

    Steve Wright hosts a show without a gaggle of sycophants.

    Jeremy Vine hosts a show which doesn’t sink to tabloid tittle tattle level.

    The BBC appoint someone on merit.

    Chris Evans apologises and joins a silent order monastery.

    Well we can all dream can’t we?

  17. Trevor says

    Missed one. Surely Fix Radio will rebrand as Jack Of All Trades FM

  18. Dendrick Snugglechunk says

    All months – Bauer make a weird decision about what direction they’re going in and rename all of their stations “Radio Ace!” before quietly shelving the plans, sacking a third of their staff and shouting about their big name booking of Dave Spikey doing Sunday mornings.

  19. Dave says

    We see more stations moving to DAB+ & possibly the return of kerange to DAB.
    The likes of virgin & Greatist hits squeezed on to freevew.

  20. Mark Budgen says

    Jon Gaunt to return to the wireless with Talk2129 People radio. It will be a winner like everything else.

  21. Lee Morris says

    Simon Mayo announces his new show which really is startling, he is not leaving Radio 2 at all but will take over from Jeremy Vine who is?.

    1. Joe Smith says

      .. an appalling tabloid presenter.

  22. Spencer Payne says

    I like the idea of Steve Allen moving to weekends, but sadly I think he will die on air. He is not a well man

  23. Lee Morris says

    Following the announcement that Zoe Ball has suffered from poor ratings, it is announced by the BBC in November that Chris Evans will become the second presenter to follow in the footsteps of the late Sir Terry Wogan by having a second stint on Radio 2’s Breakfast Show.

    He returns in January 2020?.

    1. Joe Smith says

      February 2020 Radio 2 closes down.

  24. Lee Morris says

    Sound Digital announce a further expansion of its coverage area, bringing the amount of listeners able to receive it to 90% of the country.

    This along with listeners on Smart Speakers as well as Sky increases the amount of listeners to Chris Evans on Virgin which makes him a success.

  25. Jim says

    Listeners ask their friends if they can pick up Virgin on their old car radio then forget the next day

  26. Michael V says

    We know Global will push to network capital & heart completely.

    If more services are to be launched then we will see more transition to DAB+ as capacity is limited on most Multiplexes.

  27. Bob Tovey says

    Excellent made me chuckle, and another one could be for people to remain upbeat in their comments and reflect on things in a positive manner. Rather than acting like a disgruntled presenters who cant get any work any more! Happy 2019 to all at Radio Today

    1. Michael V says

      Absolutely agree. This is a place for conversation as well as sharing our own opinions. I was recently bashed by someone in the comments for giving my opinions on a recent story. We all disagree on things but lets keep it not just honest, but polite.

  28. Rob says

    Talksport double ratings by pairing Chris Evans with Alan Brazil and Moose with Tom Ross (or grab Savage from 5 and stick him with Tom – given their past history it would be electric).

  29. Stephen barnes says

    i predict bauer launches a manchester version of radio city talk.getting missed manchester personalitys back on air.more of a hope than a prediction

  30. Bo Peep says

    Mo Dutta may return….he vanished off Radio 2 and he was good.

    I enjoy Steve Allen he makes me smile………so leave him where he is.

    Simon Mayo would make a good replacement for Steve Wright, the Pot Plant or gets a talk show…hope so. Anneka Rice I enjoyed……

    Noel Edmonds return somewhere too…….

    Matt Stadlen LBC…….I feel needs to discover USA, France, Germany…or simply listen……or Australia…….

    Graham Norton to take over Steve Wright.

Comments are closed.