Apple FM to close due to loss of funding and staff

Taunton’s Community radio station Apple FM is to close due to a number of operations issues, the directors have announced today.

The group says it was unable to find a satisfactory resolution to a number of issues including loss of funding and staff retention in key areas of the business. The station is due to cease broadcasting at 6pm on Friday 29th March.

A spokesman for the station told RadioToday: “This is so desperately sad for our listeners and team of loyal volunteers. The directors sadly couldn’t find a way around the ongoing issues that the station had and opted to go out on a high rather than watch the station decline slowly.

“We are immensely proud that we achieved our objectives to bring a different radio experience to Taunton Deane. This was recognised when we were awarded the Queens Award For Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups. It’s a tragedy that we aren’t able to continue.”

The radio station, based in Musgrove Park Hospital, started life exactly fifty years ago as a hospital radio station and went on to become a medium-wave station Apple AM before becoming Apple FM in May 2013.

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  1. Alan Hall says

    What a very sad thing to happen to this hospital radio station.
    This must also mean that the hospitals that they serve will now
    be without a hospital radio service.
    Surely there must be a way of only retaining the hospital radio only
    service for the patients, and to come off FM meaning a saving in money in
    that area, the station could continue to broadcast online.Hoping the station can be saved as a hospital only radio service. R.I.P Apple FM.

  2. Iona says

    Two community radio stations in a small town like Taunton was always going to be difficult to sustain.

  3. Radio Geordie says

    I’m with The Local Radio Group on this one.
    Community Radio licencees should be allowed to gain up to 50% of their income from ‘local’ advertising instead of having to rely totally on a hand-to-mouth existence that many of the more recent services have to do. The commercial big boys aren’t interested in the little advertisers and have priced them out of the market so where are they going to advertise? Or is that what Bauer & Global are scared of? The little community service becoming more popular than their identikit stations.

    If Ofcom try to make it harder for community radio services to be financed, then many more are going to close. If Ofcom don’t make it easier for community services to be more financially fluid then they [Ofcom] will be accused of behaving like Robin Hood in reverse.

  4. Alan Hall says

    Apple FM should do everything to keep going even if they come
    off FM and remain as a hospital radio station there to entertain
    the patients in the hospitals they serve, it could be called and
    known as Apple Hospital Radio and they could still be online too.
    They should do a recruitment campaign to get more new members
    who can help do ward request collecting.
    Again, R.I.P Apple FM.

  5. Ken Windsor says

    As one of the founders of The Taunton Hospital Radio service over 50 years ago but now living in Glasgow -I have to say that it is indeed very sad to hear this news. I was also a member of the National Executive of Hospital radio for 12 months. One of the important things that hospital radio contributed to the lives of patients in those days was the ability to keep them in touch with what was going on in the local community outside of the hospital that they were confined to. Today that service is very much provided by social media. At the very least maybe someone could set up a Facebook page with this in mind, with reporters covering local news events and even playing patients requests in the form of You Tube videos. The volunteers who currently make up the station personnel could still make a valuable contribution whilst harnessing the power of the online generation and take the service forward into the future.

    1. Alan Hall says

      Hi Ken,
      As you live in Glasgow, how would you fancy
      joining us at southern sound hospital radio.
      We would be happy to have you come and see our station.
      If you are keen in joining then do phone 0141 445 1701
      and something I am sure could be arranged.
      Do listen to our station online by going to our station website
      and click on listen live. www,
      Look forward to you contacting us.

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