Poor radio branding

What do you do if you’ve just bought a loss-making radio station, where things have got so dire that it’s almost down to just one presenter and has gone for long periods repeating the same tunes for hours on end? The South West Radio Limited approach seems to be to jump on the biggest passing media bandwagon.

THE new owners of Brunel FM are inviting comic Russell Brand to take a presenting role on the radio station…. Brunel FM is currently searching for a breakfast presenter and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of attempting to lure the witty motormouth to Swindon….
“Russell, give me a call,” said South West Radio director Paul Roberts, who hails from Wales. “We’ll sit down and discuss the possibilities.”

For a station that’s had the financial difficulties Brunel FM has experienced recently, those ‘possibilities’ could more accurately be described as Mr Robert’s fantasies.

We want the station to relate to the listener. It needs to be engaging listening. There has to be on-air personality. It shouldn’t be that you are just listening to a DJ, it should be like a chat in a pub or a conversation in a park.

In what way would recruiting Mr Brand help the station achieve that? The current breakfast show presenter, Kate Constance, may only be on that show as a temporary measure, but her presenting style is far closer to ‘a chat in the pub’. And neither Mr Brand nor anyone similar would attract the sort of listener that would bring in the best-paying advertisers — a significant factor for a hard-up station like Brunel FM.

We have been at the station a week now and the format hasn’t really changed. There should be no major internal changes.

Aah… some reality at last. With very little money to spare, big-name changes are unlikely soon.

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