Andover Radio says sorry for drunken reporting

Andover Radio has issued an apology for what happened after its attempt to cover a local news story went wrong.

Two directors from the station attended the Ocado warehouse in Andover where a major incident was declared following a fire.

Andover Radio Founder and Director David Harber and Community Development Director Maurice Sweeney arrived at the scene but were asked to move away from the area as police attempted to place a cordon around the incident, but an argument broke out as police said they were being obstructed.

David Harber says: “Andover Radio is a small team, working from Andover High Street, which delivers local information to listeners and users online. We do not have a huge team of journalists and we care passionately about this town.

“Last night, it became increasingly impossible to avoid having to go to the scene and report the situation as it unfolded. The alternative would be to not respond to the increasing expectation that the radio station would be at the incident. Our behaviour was uncommonly unacceptable. This morning we have spoken to Hampshire Constabulary and apologised unreservedly. Additionally, I have personally offered to apologise to the female officers who were attempting to make the area and bystanders safe.

“We took our dedication to reporting incidents in this town to an unacceptable level.”

Director Maurice Sweeney added: “Whereas we appreciate some of the positive comments we have had regarding our commitment to reporting on the fire, we also accept the less eloquent comments which have been made regarding our attitude to the requests to leave the scene.

“We absolutely accept the criticisms we have received and accept the consequences.”

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  1. Joe Smith says

    ‘”David Harber adds: “We were singled out by Police, as other bystanders with cameras were permitted to stay.”’

    Presumably because they weren’t drunk and were able to conduct themselves in a professional manner which with his additional comment to the statement it seems he still can’t manage when he is presumably sober.

  2. Joe blogs says

    Your spot on with that Joe. My thoughts entirely.

    David is also listed as a commercial manager for radio today.

    The last comment worries me that they aren’t actually sorry, just sorry they got caught. Brings shame to proper journalism

  3. James says

    David is in it for the money. He does not give a sh%t about the community.

    1. John says

      There’s no money in community radio – so that’s just a stupid thing to say.

      1. James says

        Watch the video. He reckons 160K turnover in first year. He will have employed himself and he can decide how much he pays himself.

        1. John says

          So long as the rest of the board agrees. And if it does get £160k a year, it won’t go far when you account for everything it takes to run a radio station.

          1. Ricky Spanish says

            If he earns £160K for his community radio station he deserves to pay himself a good salary (as long as there’s plenty left over for the actual station).

            However, like his sales house operation, I dare say that his claims are full of sh%t.

          2. James says

            He has been on the piss with the other director so they probably have a good “working” relationship. “Community” means reduced/nil costs. There will be a big surplus in that 160K.

  4. James says

    Ricky. So making as much money as possible is the way to run a community station? How is that different from a commercial station? (And yeah, I agree he might be a bit of a bullsh%tter!).

    1. Ricky Spanish says

      Social gain, mate. And yes successful non-profits should make as much as money as they can to enable them to further their social gain objectives – as long as they don’t stray from them in the first place, of course.

      Some CR stations have healthy turnovers but none as far as I’m aware are anything close to £160K pa.

      1. James says

        Yeah, that is how it should be. Listen to their output. No different from a commercial (and now with a ofcom power increase). Social gain seems a bit lacking. If I ran a small commercial station I would be a bit narked with someone freeloading under a community banner.

  5. Matt Smith says

    David Harbor is a commercial manager at Radio Today. Why hasn’t this been mentioned in the story?

    Surely there’s an issue of impartiality if you’re covering a story by an employee who’s happy to include Radio Today on their Twitter profile?

    Is this why the story doesn’t appear on Radio Today’s homepage, unlike other articles posted today?

    1. UK Reporter says

      Hi Matt Smith

      David Harber was Commercial Manager at RadioToday around four years ago – he’s not worked for us since. We’ve advised him to update his profile on Twitter.

      This story is on the homepage – in the area about community radio.

      Thanks for your feedback.

  6. Toploader says

    Great content at the weekend–

    12:00 am – 8:00 am: Just Great Songs
    8:00 am – 11:00 am: Just Great Songs
    11:00 am – 6:00 pm: Just Great Songs
    6:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Skool Daze with Steve Randall
    9:00 pm – 11:59 pm: Just Great Songs All Night Long

    12:00 am – 8:00 am: Just Great Songs
    9:00 pm – 11:00 pm: Heard In Andover with Marc Burford
    11:00 pm – 12:00 am: Just Great Songs

  7. colin andrews says

    As a former resident of Andover when I started receiving calls from my former Fire Fighter colleagues in the town about this fire, I was astounded to find the outrageous video recording online of the confrontation between your two drunken employees and the police trying to move them away from the scene for their own safety and that of the general public. They should have been arrested on the spot and hats off to the young policewoman who repeatedly gave them opportunities to comply with instructions to move away. The police officers deserve medals and shame on these guys. A disgrace. The station apology, requires yet another apology. Its weak, insincere and appears to offer nothing but empty words. Well done to the emergency services for an excellent job in a very tricky incident. Colin Andrews, USA

  8. rabC says

    Don’t know what the fuzz is about its only a live emergency , those females should chill and smile

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