'Norwich will miss local radio breakfast show'
PUBLISHED: 15:50 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:06 26 February 2019
Heart FM is to ditch its Norwich-based breakfast show. Here journalist NEIL PERRY remembers his time working at the station
More than three decades after radio broadcasting first started from the studios on Colegate in Norwich, it appears that we are about to witness the end of another era in broadcasting.
It’s an expression which is bandied about casually these days but if Global, the owners of Heart FM, go through with their plan to network more programming across its stations it will be the end of 35 years of local media history.
The proposals would see an end to the locally-produced breakfast show presented by Dave Taylor and Heidi Secker and change the local afternoon programme into a more regionalised show.
I spent eight years of my career as a journalist at Radio Broadland and Heart FM and throughout my time there witnessed an industry in a constant state of flux.
The reaction from the listening public is always very similar whenever these announcements are made: there are the regular listeners who are devastated by the news that their favourite presenters may be going off air and who feel as if they will be losing a trusted friend and an important part of their lives.
There’s a group who may have listened in the past but who have moved on to other stations and then there are those who will hark back to the “good old days of proper local radio”.
For this last group, the unfortunate truth is that the old model would struggle to work in today’s financial climate with the advertising pie chopped up into so many digital pieces and ever-rising overheads.
Whenever this kind of news was announced during my time, staff would have to take solace in the knowledge that the decision wasn’t an indication of the quality of everyone’s work, but rather the result of a commercial business evolving to be part of the modern media landscape.
The people I feel most for are the talented group of staff who may be at risk of losing their jobs. Whether you like the shows, agree with the music policy, or long for a simpler time of 24/7 local programmes with phone-ins about your favourite kind of biscuit, all the staff involved are hard-working professionals who face losing a job they will all have worked for years to achieve.