Bauer Academy – Advanced Presenting – Chart Show Radio

The penultimate session of the Advanced Presenting course covered Chart Show Radio, and the different challenges that it brings.

Creating content for day to day radio is about engaging the listener, hooking them past the next song, and then the next, whereas with chart shows, the content is the music, because that is why the listener has tuned in, to find out what song is Number 1.

Ant discussed that the format for chart shows is the most rigid of any show, with in most cases, songs introduced as “That was…at Number…, and this is….at Number…”, with very little interaction between the presenters.  The music is the key in a 3 hour chart show.

During the session, a chart was devised, and I was able to get the basics of the links in, together with back announcing the previous song, and introducing the next one.  As I was introducing the Number 2 song as part of my link, I had to recap the Top 10, which I have to admit was the plum role, and one that I relished.  Being able to use the Dalet system, with the pre-recorded numbers was something that I secretly wanted to do, so thoroughly enjoyed that.

Each of the sessions has enabled me to build on my skills, and I hope that soon, I’ll be able to cover a show somewhere on the Bauer network.  Here’s hoping!



Bauer Academy – Advanced Presenting – Breakfast Show

Week 4 of the Advanced Presenting course introduced the skills required to present the highest profile radio show of most stations, that of the Breakfast Show.

As with any show, ensuring that the station name, your own name, and back announcing is mentioned after every song, but the additional elements that were introduced were regular time and weather checks, and re-introducing the content, to ensure that breakfast radio listeners stay tuned in.

By delivering strong content, and developing a hook, radio stations and their presenters can attempt to keep the listeners with them for longer periods, which reflects in the RAJAR statistics that are published each quarter.  With a strong set of RAJAR figures, stations have more ammunition to attract potential advertisers, and keep existing ones or longer.

The great thing about this course is that we all work together as a team, and celebrate great links, but if there are any little technical issues or mistakes, we come together as a group, and work through what went right, and how things could be improved.

Radio is a family, and we grow stronger each week.

Bauer Academy – Advanced Presenting – Introductions

Viking FM

Viking FM – Commercial Radio in Hull since 1984

I’ve been very fortunate over the last few months to have worked with a great range of people within the radio industry, at Radio Aire, and Key 103.

Tonight saw a new venue, but with a couple of familiar faces, in the form of Ant Arthur, who is presenting the course, and Nick Vernon, who I was with on the “Step Inside” course at Radio Aire during August and September.

I’ve listened to radio for many a year, including Viking FM, but I have, until tonight, never set foot in the building.

As this was the first week, it was a session of introductions and plotting out the next 6 weeks of content in the run up to Christmas.

I am really looking forward to getting back in the studio, and getting used to new technology that has been introduced at Viking.  The Bauer playout system used is called Dalet, and Viking use Dalet Plus, whereas Radio Aire, at the moment, use Dalet Plus.

The courses have given me so much, and I can’t wait to get started at my local station, Viking FM.

Introduction to Commercial Radio – Bauer Academy at Key 103

As part of my training with the Bauer Academy, I attended a 2 day course at Key 103 in Manchester, which gave a brief insight into the world of commercial radio.

Key 103 is one of the major radio stations within the Bauer City Place group, and is located in Castle Quay, which is located within the Deansgate area of Manchester City Centre.  From the Key 103 studio building, a lot of the network programming is created for the rest of the group.  Most of the radio franchises have 3 individual radio stations, for example, Viking in Hull have Viking FM, Viking 2, and Viking 3.

Viking FM is broadcasts a mixture of local and networked shows, with Breakfast, Mid-Morning, and Drive from the studios in Hull, whereas the rest of the output is from other studios.  Viking 2 and 3 are all produced away from Hull, and have links and adverts targeted at the local audience but are created away from the area.

The course at Key 103 was hosted by Alex James, who is an experienced presenter and has until recently been covering the breakfast show at Radio Aire as well as covering holidays throughout the rest of the Bauer group.

The content of the course, looked at the start of commercial radio in the late 1960’s and 70’s right through to today’s business model and the way in which it serves the local, national, and online audience.

With commercial radio, there are targeted demographics for a radio station, and each of the groups within the course had to look at, and develop a radio station for one of the Bauer demographic groups.  For Bauer, City 1 (Viking FM, Hallam FM, Key103) has an audience of ages 25-44, City 2 (Viking 2, Hallam 2, Key 2) has an audience of 45-64, and City 3 (Viking 3, Hallam 3, Key 3) has an audience of 16-24.

Within the group, we were tasked with creating a new radio station that was aimed at the City 1 demographic of 25-44, and we had to look at all different aspects that go into the creation of a station.  Presenters, Sales and Marketing, Advertising, and Branding all had to be addressed very early on in the session, before moving into the studio to record jingles, beds and sweepers in order to properly brand the on-air sound.

Over the two days, the station developed was known as “Up!”, which was a blend of music, chat and comedy, which the group felt was an untapped market within the UK radio sector.

The sessions were a useful insight into what Bauer would have to look at in terms of developing radio stations within new markets, and also increasing their current market offer.

I will be using this knowledge throughout my time in the Bauer Academy, and also within my degree.  I’ve met people within the industry who are very helpful in terms of sharing skills, and their experiences within the radio industry, and I will be utilising the contacts as I move into the 2nd and 3rd years of my degree and beyond.

Proud to be part of the Bauer Academy

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.

Missing radio…you would never guess!

As part of my homework for the Bauer Academy, I have to listen to all different types of radio, be that hospital, community, commercial and BBC.  The challenge is to listen to the links between the songs, rather than just the music itself.

By listening to the links and seeing the way in which a presenter seamlessly fills the gaps between the music…or in some cases not so seamlessly, it means that I can see what I am doing right and wrong in my own career.

I know that I’m a long way from being a polished presenter, but I like to think I’m not too bad at it, but the main thing is that I’m really miss being on air.  Since moving to Hull, I’ve been two months off air, and I still get the shakes at the times when I would have been on air.

Still, I’m hoping to be on another station very soon, so if any current presenters have any advice, or want a willing volunteer to make the tea, I’m available 🙂

Immersing myself in the Radio World

During the summer, I have admit that I’ve been quite quiet on the blog front.  However, I’ve been keeping on top of developments in the Radio World.

Currently, I’m listening to Stephanie Hirst’s Nothing But The 90’s on BBC Radio Manchester, having been nosing through David Lloyd’s excellent book, “How To Make Great Radio” over the last few days.  Radio is a very powerful medium, allowing you to do other things while listening to either speech or music radio.

Radio is something I’m very passionate about, but I’m a mere newbie to the industry, so any opportunity to learn from those who have blazed a trail before, I always absorb as much of their experiences as possible.

I’m currently enrolled on the Bauer Academy’s course “Step Inside & Present” at Radio Aire in Leeds, learning about the industry from within, and have gained so much knowledge already, and that’s just week one!  In addition to this course, I’m attending Key 103 next week to have a weekend of radio, followed up by the advanced presenting course at Viking FM in November and December.

All in all, it’s been a crazy few weeks to get everything done and in, balancing life and work as well, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to classes in September, to put everything into practice ready to hit the ground running for the middle year of my degree.