Will Central Scotland’s new radio
Radio bids set to lien up airwave
station be pumping out the sounds of clubland, rolling news or Christian sermons?
Words: Stephen Naysmith
CANDIDATES are emerging in the battle to set up a new radio station to cover Glasgow, Edinburgh and Central Scotland. The Radio Authority advertised the licence at the beginning of April and it is expected to be hotly contested.
This week Beat FM, a group which includes The List, announced its intention to bid for a new music and dance based station for Scotland (see panel).
Other contenders include Chrysalis Radio which already runs Manchester-based Galaxy FM, and the Independent Radio Group (IRG) which is behind Scot FM and Paisley-based 96.3 QFM. Alan McGee, chairman of Creation Records, is collaborating with Greater London’s X-FM radio, and London News Radio have announced plans to bid for a speech- based station.
The winners WI” broadcast to more than 2.3 million people across Central Scotland. Because the franchise Will be one of the largest in the UK outside London, competition is likely to be fierce.
When applications close in late July, Radio Authority members will award the licence, based on various criteria including increasing listener choice, the quality of the application and issues of financial viability. Bids are expected from as many as ten companies, offering everything from religious radio to heavy rock.
The IRG proposal, in association wrth magazine publisher M8, is for a dance music station. A spokesman explained: 'Central Scotland is one of few areas left without a significant dance station. Two Vibrant Cities with large populations of young people are not being catered for.’
Scottish News Radio lS a new company formed specifically to contest the licence, and would offer rolling news, sport and entertainment on a speech- based station.
Managing director Nigel Reeve said the station would be based in Scotland and fully staffed by Scots. ’lvlusic stations play a role but we believe a speech-based station lS better geared to promote and
Ally McCoist and Sharleen Spiteri: getting with the Beat
The List joins bid for new radio station
THE LIST is delighted to be working with many of the leading figures in Scotland‘s music and entertainment scene in the bid to launch Beat FM. The proposed new radio station will offer a dynamic mix of music and dance for 1S—30-year- old Scots. Profiling new talent and picking up on new sounds, it will offer a fresh alternative to existing stations.
Ron McCullough, founder of the Tunnel and the Big Beat group, together with Stuart Clumpas — the man behind T in the Park and King Tut's - are
the leading players in Beat FM. They have unique experience of programming the best in music and entertainment for tens of thousands of young Scots each year.
Launching the bid earlier this week, McCullough said: ‘Beat FM will mirror the spirit and tastes of young Scots. It will be a popular, stylish, surprising combination of new music and dance. Beat FM will pulse with energy, passion, personality and creativity.’
TV presenter, Carol Smillie, and Scotland international Ally
McCoist are also part of the Beat FM group, as is Mike Soutar, former editor of the magazines FHM and Smash Hits. Hailing originally from Dundee, Soutar now heads up London's Kiss FM.
Beat FM has already won the support of many in the Scottish music and entertainment scene including Sharleen Spiteri and Johnny McElhone of Texas and Justin Currie of Del Amitri. More details of plans for the station will be announced over the coming months.
But Chrysalis Radio is also likely to promise a music- oriented station, reflecting a feeling in the industry that a talk-based application is unlikely to be successful as the franchise covers the same area as the established Scot FM.
Details of Chrysalis' plans will be announced this week, but chief executive Richard Huntingford claimed they w0uld be ’listener-led’. ’We will deliver a new Scottish station of which Scotland can be
Alan McGee, famous for Signing OaSis after seeing them in Glasgow, said the X—FM bid would prowde the ’missing link’ for the music industry north of the border: “Scotland has a rich legacy of musical excellence and I want X-Flvl to shout about it.‘
A spokeswoman for the Radio Authority commented: ’We want to see something that broadens chOice and caters for people IiVing in the area. We hope the public will tell us what they would
reflect the region,’ he claimed.
proud,’ he said.
like to see.’
And ﬁnally. . . Barmaid and nurses looking for redress
PUTTING THE PAST behind you, moving on, forgiving and forgetting about bad deeds from the past - it's what makes humans great. Except not many of us are any good at letting bygones be bygones. Falkirk's dandiest duo, Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton from Arab Strap are in the mire from both Falkirk Council and a local barmaid — the former are miffed at the portrayal of the town in the band’s songs while the latter is upset that she may have been the subject of the band's entire first album. Don't know about you, but if I was in an album by a band on the up and up, i would be telling all my mates, not my lawyers.
STlCKING A PIN in the past are fed- up nurses, who are sick and tired of their uniform and looking for a more practical and less fantasy- inducing garb. The Royal College of Nursing is recommending trousers
and polo tops instead of the traditional white frock, belt, hats, red garter etc. ‘Dresses restricted my movement and compromised my dignity,‘ said one angel. Yet the most bizarre of all opinions came from Bupa. ‘People want to be nursed by someone who looks like a traditional nurse,’ a spokeswoman insisted. Surely it's hardly their top priority? I can picture it now — 'Don't come near me with that life-saving medicine. Not while you‘re wearing breeksl'
IAN OLIVER, YOU would think, would be one guy who would be glad to see the back of the past — yet he is set to appear at an international chief police officers' conference in Aberdeen in May with an assault on the politicians he blames for forcing him out. Certainly, Donald Dewar was keen to see the back of him. As were the editors of the tabloids. And his colleagues. Oh, and the general public. Take the pension and run, mate.
Arab Strap: odes to a barmaid
APOLOGISING FOR THE past is all the rage. What with Tony Blair apologising to the Irish for the price of tatties, Bill Clinton‘s ‘sorry’ for slavery, and 20th Century Fox eating humble pie for their portrayal of the
Titanic‘s 'women and kiddies first’ policy. Now, the Scottish Landowners Federation are getting out the hankies over the Highland Clearances despite successive leaders' dismissal of the ethnic cleansing of the 18th and 19th centuries as irrelevant. Next week, Margaret Thatcher disembowels herself live on telly in remorse and we laugh ourselves senseless.
BUT IF YOU think the past is bad, the future is no less scary. And a recent survey by a life assurance company was guaranteed to terrify. They reckon within twenty years we will all be living like the Waltons, with several generations forced to save cash by staying under the same roof. Just imagine it, you've got your freedom, bought a neat little pad in a fashionable bit of town, only to find that residents of Euthanasia Avenue will be overstaying their welcome for the rest of your life. Is this what I haven‘t fought in any wars for? (Brian Donaldson)
30 Apr—14 May l998 TllEllST19