The radio revolution starts this week with the launch of BEAT 106,
Scotland's new music station. The List is part of the group that won
the licence earlier this year and we talked to Richard Wilkinson, Beat's Head of Music. WorcszAbi Bremner
IT SOUNDS LIKE MANY PEOPLE'S DREAM TICKET: the opportunity to broadcast 24 hours a day coast to coast across Central Scotland. And the man with the dream job of heading up the music programming is 25-year-old Richard Wilkinson. who has just returned to Scotland after a stint at Radio I. With the countdown to launch well underway. final touches were being added to complete installation work at the new state-of-the-art digital studios across the Clyde from the SECC. where Richard has been busy fine-tuning the schedule and selecting the playlist.
‘This is a radio station that hopefully will relate to young Scots in a way that other stations don’tf explains Wilkinson. 'because
music. If some of the tracks are unfamiliar to the audience. well that‘s kind of adding that extra dimension which. at the moment none. of the radio stations are doing.‘
Part of the extra dimension will be The Beat 106 Mix going out at six o‘clock each day. ‘This is an hour-long sort of mix selection. similar to that Dave Pearce had at Radio I but without the annoying shouts. It‘s kind of like that's just setting you up. and on a Friday night. that will be done by Seb Fontaine and Tall Paul.‘
With the high profile signing of George Bowie for the Breakfast Show. plans for a drivetime dance show and an evening session hosted by new music expert Jim Gellatly. Beat l06
'Beat 106 will relate to young Scots in a way that other stations don't.’ Richard Wilkinson
the sort of stuff they‘re playing isn't focusing on what younger people here want to listen to.‘ If anyone knows what young Scots want to listen to. it should be Beat 106. The group that won the licence earlier this year against stiff competition includes Ron McCulloch of The Tunnel . Stuart Clumpas of DF Concerts and T in the Park along with The List magazine and others. This background has given Beat l06 a strong independent streak and Wilkinson‘s own track record. at Glasgow University‘s SubCity and at T in the Park Radio. fits into this mould.
The programming manifesto for Beat l()6 is a mixture of cross-over rock and dance. moving into specialist selections in the evenings. Another major pillar of the remit is that the music should be contemporary. with few of the tunes hitting the airwaves being more than a year old. 'What we have to do is almost change people's lifestyle.. is how Wilkinson explains the Beat mission. ‘Because. as dramatic as it may sound. a radio station - whatever radio station you listen to - is a lifestyle choice. So you have to play fantastic
10 THE LIST 18 Nov—2 Dec 1999
already seems to be gearing tip for a unique mix. Wilkinson. however. is keen to stress that things won‘t be too exclusive. ‘We‘re trying to appeal to as many people as possible. so there will be something there for everyone — it'sjust a matter of focusing the right things to the right people.‘
So if Beat 106 is so proud of its Scottish roots. will it be supporting new Scottish talent'.’ ‘In time — not necessarily to start off with ~ but in time we'll be having sessions and bands
coming in. We're hoping to have a kind of
bedroom DJ with slots and to give new DJs the opportunity to play on a Friday or Saturday night.‘
When pushed to reveal specifics. however. he shies away: ‘I hate talking about the station or trying to describe it — I just want people to listen to it.‘ If you want to find out more. you’re just going to have to do as the man says.
Beat 106 goes live on Fri 19 Nov at 1.06pm. Tune in on 105.7MHz (east Scotland) or 106.1MHz (west Scotland).
See over page for full programme schedule