Do television right first

WTF? Channel 4 has just launched a radio station. It’s online-only at the moment, but could they not have waited until their TV stations were halfway decent again first?


My XFM long-weekend of horror

My wife was away this weekend. If you recall from my earlier quest for a decent breakfast show, we normally wake up to the sound of Chris Moyles abusing the population, interspersed by clips from John Craven’s Newsround… sorry, Radio 1 news (“Tony Blair is a very important man. He’s the Prime Minister of the country you live in.” Dumbing down? Not a bit of it). But this weekend was going to be different. It was time for weekend XFM.

Continue reading “My XFM long-weekend of horror”


EMAP planning an FHM radio station

While I can see vaguely where Dee Ford, head of EMAP’s radio business, is coming from, the idea of an FHM radio station seems, erm, odd. How many people does she think buy FHM for the articles? And what’s the content going to be like?

FHM DJ: Hi Sarah Dunn from Hollyoaks! Sit down. Love the bikini, by the way. Let me describe it to the listeners at home…

I imagine that Dee Ford is thinking of something only loosely associated with ‘Junior Playboy’ – probably something along the lines of a radio station that plays the kind of music 17-year-old boys without girlfriends like. (You may think I’m stereotyping, but back in the 90s, the ad team at FHM used to pitch the mag to advertisers as “being read by teenage males without much experience of women”. I have no idea if they still do…).

And isn’t there a risk that a mediocre FHM radio station would risk tarnishing the print brand’s great image? Oh, what am I thinking…?

Disclaimer: I do some work for EMAP from time to time. Only for Broadcast though, not for FHM


The quest for a decent breakfast radio station

Lauren Laverne

My wife likes Radio 1. We wake up every morning to the sound of Chris Moyles and his hired friends being professionally stupid and offensive. I used to find him bearable, amusing even, but when you have to be clever in your stupidity every day for years at a time, sooner or later you’re just going to cut corners and end up being stupid. But she likes him, so that is who we listen to. Even when (shudder) Scott Mills stands in for him.

So I’ve been trying to get to grips with Lauren Laverne. Now XFM is my preferred radio station, normally. This isn’t because I think it’s fantastic. With airwave polluters like Magic, Kiss FM, Capital and all the other tranquilliser stations occupying most of the available spectrum, XFM is the best of a poor bunch. Only Virgin comes close, but since I’m not a middle-aged guitar-based rock obsessive, I can only listen to that if I’m feeling retro.

No, XFM simply has a tolerably good selection of indie bands and reasonably unannoying DJs. They’re best in the evening, when most of the new bands get a play, but Lauren Laverne was still an acceptably entertaining afternoon DJ before she moved to the morning show.

It would be great if I could switch to her new breakfast show in the morning. Now, theoretically, I should like it. But I don’t. I’ve just had to listen to two Kaiser Chiefs tracks in a row, interspersed with The Farm hits and a Moby track from 2002. I don’t need to be put to sleep by a breakfast show and whenever I listen to the Kaiser Chiefs, I want to happy slap their stupid pretentious faces while simultaneously getting annoyed with them for making me quite like their music. They ruined it for me.

So up your game, Lauren. Listen to your station’s tag line: “the best for new music”. Hear that? That was new music.

Until she gets with the programme, I’m going to have to be breakfast-showless. Can anyone recommend any good Internet radio stations with good shows that air between 7am and 10am?


XFM live feed

Just in case y’all didn’t know, there’s a high-quality live stream of XFM available. You’ll need to use Windows Media Player to listen.

Just in case you thought I was being ignorant and ignoring all the open source apps out there that can also listen to WMP streams, I mean you will definitely need WMP to listen to it. It actually has a user-agent sniffer that rejects other apps. Talk about pointless restrictions, but maybe they just don’t want you recording the radio.

Oh wait. That’s stupid. Anyone got any better suggestions as to why this should be?