The Bauer Academy is run by Bauer Media, who own various national brands as well as local radio stations across the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Local radio stations in the group include Radio Aire in Leeds, Viking FM in Hull, and Key 103 in Manchester, and the national brands including Kiss and Absolute Radio.
The idea behind the Bauer Academy is to bring forward new talent, in a way that the company can give something back to the industry that they are a major player within, and by giving the students “hands on” experience from within a commercial setting, they can bring forward new blood into their radio stations or into the wider media sector.
I first noticed the Bauer Academy courses earlier in the year, but with the other stuff going on, I didn’t feel able to commit to the sessions offered. Thankfully for me, the courses continue to run throughout 2015.
Initially, I committed to 3 courses at various stations across the North of England. “Step Inside and Present” at Radio Aire in Leeds, “Introduction to Commercial Radio” at Key 103 in Manchester, and “Advanced Presenting” taking place at Viking FM in Hull towards the end of the year. However since my initial foray into the Bauer Academy, I have also completed a further course which looks at News Journalism called “News in Today’s World”.
There are so many good points to the courses, that I sound like a sales agent for the Academy. Not only do you get training from experienced professionals within the industry, but you get to use the systems used in a commercial radio setting. You’re also with other talented people who are looking to break into the industry from a variety of backgrounds and ages, and you learn from them as well, because we have all had different introductions to the industry, be that hospital or community radio, or during their time at college and/or university.
Step Inside and Present is a 6 week course, designed to give an overview of the first steps of presenting a show in a commercial radio station. Led by Ant Arthur, who is both a Regional Producer for Bauer Media, and also a presenter on Viking FM, the style of training is both serious, but light hearted in the same manner, which allows for great interaction between the students and the course leader, both in the sessions and away from the classroom as well.
Introduction to Commercial Radio is a course over 2 days, which gives students an opportunity to record their own jingles, and develop ideas for a new radio station. The course content gives an overview to the different strands that go into developing a commercial radio station from Sales and Marketing, Show Content, Advertising, and Demographics. The course was led by Alex James, the breakfast presenter currently at Radio Aire, and cover presenter for other shows across the Bauer Radio Network.
Today’s News is a course that gives you hands on experience of what is news, and what you need to cover in order to give punchy bulletins to an audience within a 2 minute window. By going out into Manchester City Centre, looking around for stories, taking vox pops and then creating a 15 minute news package, recorded in the studio, and edited together, it gave a brief insight into what happens in news rooms across the Bauer Network on a daily basis.
I feel very honoured to be part of the Academy, and the contacts made, and meeting and networking with other people in my position, and also with industry professionals has been invaluable. The skills I have gained, together with my current experience within the industry and the first year of my degree, has given me a lot of additional knowledge and understanding of the way in which radio works in the United Kingdom.