Internal blog post
Programming Update

I wanted to give everyone a few updates.

Firstly, let’s talk Verulam Sports – firstly a fantastic and well deserved Award for them. Over the weekend, Nick messaged me and directed me to this week’s programme. I’m really not a sports fan, and certainly have no knowledge or interest in football. However, I know what makes good radio.

I heard some of the reporting from The Saints. I want to say that it sounds professional but that’s not fair because it doesn’t just sound professional, it IS professional. Atmosphere, excitement, and really good coverage with tremendous audio quality live from the ground. I want to say a big thanks to everyone on and off air who had made that happen.

Combined with a packed and varied sports programme it means we have some excellent output. It’s just one highlight of a fantastic schedule mixing some of the great interviews in the mornings, music and chat to keep people company during the day, and a dynamic Drive show. All of that is before we mention our great evening and weekend content which makes us a great local station for our broadcast area.

We are always looking to improve, of course, and there are really positive developments to come for some of our daytime shows (and no, no one needs to be worried about anything!).

We are recruiting for some additional GMSA presenters. Existing volunteers and presenters are just as welcome to apply as newcomers to the station. I suspect we’ll go to a regular routine of a fixed but different presenter on each day of the week for GMSA, so we’ll have a regular Monday presenter, a different person on Tuesday, and so on. If you’re interested, there’s still time to apply!

GENERAL ELECTION: Parliament will probably be dissolved on Tuesday night, which means we will enter the broadcast ‘election period’. OFCOM has very strict rules about what broadcasters can and cannot say. I know it is obvious that political coverage of any kind is strictly not allowed but there are other areas where it is easy to make a mistake.

For example, last week a local newspaper carried a story about an MP receiving death threats. It’s not a political story and has nothing to do with policies, so you might think it’s OK to mention. However, it isn’t. In an election period –it cannot be mentioned.

To keep us safe, no stories or on-air mentions about politics or politicians regardless of the type of story or content, please. Even if they are doing something as dull as opening a new supermarket or classroom in a College, please avoid it. Let the IRN news reader deal with that, please. Nick Hazell is developing our election coverage, and if this goes ahead it will be the only coverage we do.

Finally on this point, just because a newspaper has covered something doesn’t make it safe for us. Newspapers have different regulations and can pretty much do as they wish whereas OFCOM’s broadcast guidelines are much much tighter.

If you are in any doubt about something please ask and I’ll be happy to advise.

Finally, let’s talk Christmas schedules. My assumption is that we will run the normal schedule except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. There will be some other minor alternations (Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).

On the days mentioned, if you fancy putting something together, please do get in touch before you start so we can discuss it. On those days, although we don’t completely throw out the rule book, we can be a little lighter and it is your chance to do something different. It also does not have to relate to Christmas/New Year.

Programmes need to have been recorded by 14 December to give me a chance to create the schedules for the Christmas period.

Email: andy.waterfield@radioverulam.com