South West Branch

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The chair of the South West Branch is Tim Pemberton (BBC).

If you would like more information on the Branch, please contact us.

News & updates

South West Branch: Paul Smith CBE In Conversation with David Rodgers

Posted by South West at 2 May, 2014, 10:10 am

Paul-Smith_blogheader

Join us for the first Radio Academy event in Devon to hear how legendary broadcaster Paul Smith CBE (Celador Radio) has worked his way up from television to the medium that really matters, radio. Hosted by David Rodgers (Radio Plymouth).

After an unprecedented broadcasting career that has delivered Baftas, Emmys and Oscars, Paul has now built Celador Radio into a leading brand in commercial radio in the south of England. Celador Radio holds 18 FM licenses under The Breeze and Jack FM brands and reaches 620,000 listeners each week (Rajar, Q4 2013). In policy terms, Celador is critical of the government's plans for DAB; and has recently made a submission to DCMS on its consultation about community radio. More locally, Celador acquired Devon Radio Ltd from Sunrise Radio in October 2013, giving it control of Torbay's Palm FM and minority investments in Radio Plymouth and Radio Exe.

For the first time since Celador moved into Devon, Paul tells David when his interest in radio first developed, his commitment to quality local commercial broadcasting, and his predictions for the future of radio.

Compere: Ashley Jeary (Radio Exe)

Producer: Paul Nero (Radio Exe)

Details:

Date: Thursday 12th June 2014
Time: 6pm for 6.30pm start
Venue: Haven Banks Education Centre, Haven Road, Exeter, EX2 8DP (on the Quay)

Registration:

Cost: members free / non-members £5 (inc VAT). To register for this event, CLICK HERE.

READ HERE BEFORE YOU PAY:

Did you know most people working in radio qualify for free membership of The Radio Academy via Patrons or as volunteers/staff of SRA, HBA and most community affiliated stations?

Although registration is required, it’s a relatively quick process. Click here to see if you qualify.

RIG MEMBERS:

If you are a member of the Radio Independents Group then you can attend this event for free.

Use your rigmember.org email account and email Events with the Subject "SW Branch: Paul Smith CBE In Conversation" and space permitting we'll add you to the guest list.

Speakers:

Paul Smith - CeladorPaul Smith, CBE

Paul is the founder of Celador Entertainment, the award-winning TV and film production company. He is now focused primarily on radio in the south of England, with brands including The Breeze and Jack. For television, Paul created It'll be Alright on the Night, ITV's longest-running entertainment programme. Celador Productions has created hit shows such as Carrott's Commercial Breakdown, Talking Telephone Numbers and You Are What You Eat. Paul is probably best-known for bringing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to the world's TV screens. Paul was executive producer of Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Oscars, including Best Film. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year 2012 Honours List.

David Rodgers - Radio Plymouth - webDavid Rodgers

David is chairman of Radio Plymouth, the locally controlled commercial station for Devon's second city. Following a successful career in television presentation with Westward Television and TSW, in 1989 David became the founding managing director of Orchard FM in Somerset, a station he says was conceived in a boom but launched in a recession. Orchard Media grew into a company with five commercial licenses in Devon and Somerset. By the late nineties Orchard Media stations had some of the best audience figures and margins on the network and flourished as an independent company for ten years until it was sold in 1999.
Having lived in Plymouth all his adult life, David remains inspired by Plymouth’s unique history and in developing its future. He worked for over 10 years to bring Radio Plymouth to fruition.

South West Branch: Meet the Hirers and Firers – update & photos

Posted by South West at 6 February, 2014, 11:52 am

South West Branch: Meet the Hirers and Firers

Over 100 people crammed into Bristol University Students Union for the Radio Academy South West Branch event, 'Meet The Hirers & Firers'. The evening began with the presentation of the 2013 Nations & Regions Award for the South West to Somer Valley FM. Station Manager Dom Chambers said in his acceptance speech that community radio had come of age and had a thing or two to teach the traditional sectors.

The evening was hosted by Ian Downs, Breakfast Presenter - JACK fm Bristol, with a panel including David Holdsworth, Controller - BBC English Regions (responsible for all 39 BBC Local Radio Stations) Paul Andrew, Regional Programme Controller Bristol - Capital FM and Heart and Clare McGinn, Head of Audio and Music Production - BBC Bristol, who looks after all BBC national radio output produced in Bristol, and Richard Johnson, Creative Group Director - Celador.

An enthusiastic crowd heard all the panellists agree that radio would still be vibrant and important 10 years from now. Questions were asked about how committed the radio industry was to hiring people from minority communities and the consensus was that, whilst a meritocracy was imperative, all sectors had work to do here. Other people asked about the lack of specialist music on commercial radio and were told that it was a simple matter of economics and delivering a big audience to paying customers.

Lots of people offered themselves as presenters who could immediately solve the problems of eager programme controllers and the panel confirmed that it is still possible to get a job in radio and have a very successful career if people are prepared to be smart about gaining experience and persistent in their applications. One of the last questions was about the pay rates in the radio industry. All the panel from the different sectors felt that the pay rates they individually offered were fair, but they also added that nobody really gets into radio for the money, those people are more likely to be found in TV. People work in radio for the love of it.

Huge thanks to everyone who took part - see you at the next event!

Photos from Meet the Hirers and Firers

Photo credits: Richard Sykes and Phil Gibbons

South West Branch: Meet the Hirers and Firers

Posted by South West at 23 January, 2014, 5:32 pm

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"How do I get into radio?" A phrase we've all heard a million times. The Radio Academy South West Branch presents an evening called "Meet the Hirers & Firers" with some of the top industry names in the region. Here is a chance to get the answers from those in the know.

You'll get the opportunity to pick their brains about how to get yourself noticed, what you should submit and even some interview tips too! We have a panel of managers with vast experience of the industry (they have all been there and done it!).

The evening will be hosted by Ian Downs, Breakfast Presenter - JACK fm Bristol, the panel includes David Holdsworth, Controller - BBC English Regions (responsible for all 39 BBC Local Radio Stations) Paul Andrew, Regional Programme Controller Bristol - Capital FM and Heart and Clare McGinn, Head of Audio and Music Production - BBC Bristol who looks after all BBC national radio output produced in Bristol and Richard Johnson, Creative Group Director - Celador.

Plus, if you want to bring a 10 minute demo CD along, we are offering bespoke feedback to the first 20 we receive.. so get there early!

Details:

Date:Tuesday 4th February 2014
Time: 6pm for 6.30pm start - finish approx 7.30pm
Venue: University Of Bristol Students' Union Building (UBU), Richmond Building, 105 Queens Road, Bristol. BS8 1LN

Registration:

Cost: members free / non-members £5 (inc VAT).

REGISTRATION HAS NOW CLOSED FOR THIS EVENT.

Did you know most people working in radio qualify for free membership of The Radio Academy via Patrons or as volunteers/staff of SRA, HBA and most community affiliated stations? Although registration is required, it's a relatively quick process. Click here to see if you qualify.

Your Speakers:

IAN DOWNS – Breakfast Presenter – Jack FM Bristol

“Downsy” as he’s known to his listeners has been ‘gracing’ the airwaves in Bristol since 2004 and is currently the breakfast presenter for JACK fm in Bristol, as well as the Regional Programme Manager for Celador’s JACK stations in the South West.

It’s no great secret that Downsy loves Bristol – he fell in love with the city after visiting The Suspension Bridge with his father as a youngster and became an ardent Brunel fan. So much so in fact that you’ll often find him with his other hat on as a volunteer tour guide for the Suspension Bridge Trust at the weekend. Amongst his likes are cream teas and cider, although not together ... but don’t get him started on caravan drivers on the motorway or call centres, you could be there for a while. Ian lives in Portishead (near the marina he asks us to mention) with Cassie his Labrador/Collie cross, the only girl that will go near him!

That Morning Thing is on air Monday to Friday on 106.5 FM and DAB in Bristol and online

PAUL ANDREW – Regional Programme Controller Bristol, Capital FM and Heart

Paul has been a lead programmer in Bristol for the last 12 years – winner of Sony Station of the Year and 2 Silver Sony awards for his production and Community on air activity. He has built and launched several successful Breakfast and Drive shows on Heart and and is responsible for stations across the South West and Wales. Paul says – “For the first time ever I will be sharing some real secrets in terms of how I build Breakfast shows, what interview techniques I use including some of the questions I ask and some of the traits that I feel are essential in radio presenters".

DAVID HOLDSWORTH – Controller – BBC English Regions

David is responsible for the BBC's local output and newsgathering across England, which includes 12 television operations, 39 radio stations and 42 websites.

Born in Bradford, David's early career was in local newspapers and commercial radio where he was a reporter and news editor. He joined the BBC in 1985 and was in the launch team for two new BBC local radio stations, in Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester. He worked in regional television first as a producer in Birmingham and then the Editor of News and Current Affairs in the East of England, before becoming Head of Region for the North West in 1997. David ran the BBC's local TV news pilot in the West Midlands in 2005 and has also led the development of the BBC's strategy to improve local services to licence fee payers. He subsequently ran the East and then the West Midlands regions before being appointed Controller in December 2008. In his current role he is in charge of around 3,000 staff working on TV, on radio and online.

RICHARD JOHNSON – Creative Group Director, Celador – JACK fm and The Breeze

CLARE McGINN - Head of Audio and Music Production – BBC Bristol

South West Branch: Breaking Into Breakfast

Posted by South West at 30 September, 2013, 3:15 pm

South West Branch: Breaking Into Breakfast

Tuesday 8th October 2013 | From 6pm
Heart Bristol, One Passage Street, Bristol, BS2 0JF

Radio Academy South West presents Breaking Into Breakfast!

For any radio station, creating a successful Breakfast Show is critical. If you get breakfast right, the audience is more likely to stay with you throughout the day. So how do you create the perfect product and what are the production processed needed to make your Breakfast Show fly?

Another hot topic of debate is the role that women play in Breakfast Radio, following BBC Director General Tony Hall's ambitious plans for BBC Local Radio saying that, by the end of 2014, the corporation is aiming for 50% of local stations to have a woman presenting the high-profile Breakfast shows, either in a solo capacity or as part of a team.

The Radio Academy South West Branch invites you to join host Ian Downs (Breakfast presenter, JACK fm Bristol) and a panel of experts including Scott Myers (Producer - Hirsty’s Daily Dose, Capital FM Yorkshire), Emma Britton (Breakfast Presenter, BBC Somerset) and Paulina Gillespie (Breakfast Presenter, Heart West Country) for an evening of discussion and debate about Breakfast Radio - how do you create the perfect product for your audience? What are the challenges to getting it right? How do get listeners interacting with the show?

Plus, after the event Heart invites you for a tour of the building, which includes seeing the disaster recovery suite for the entire Global Radio Network and a look at their ground-breaking split link technology.

Panel:

Ian Downs (Breakfast presenter, JACK fm Bristol)

Ian Downs ... or “Downsy” as he’s known to his listeners has been ‘gracing’ the airwaves in Bristol since 2004 and is currently the breakfast presenter for JACK fm in Bristol, and the Regional Programme Manager for Celador’s JACK stations in the South West. It’s no great secret that Downsy loves Bristol – he fell in love with the city after visiting The Suspension Bridge with his father as a youngster and became an ardent Brunel fan. So much so in fact that you’ll often find him with his other hat on as a volunteer tour guide for the Suspension Bridge Trust at the weekend. Amongst his likes are cream teas and cider, although not together ... but don’t get him started on Caravan drivers on the motorway or call centres, you could be there for a while. Ian lives in Portishead (near the marina he asks us to mention) with Cassie his Labrador/Collie cross, the only girl that will go near him. JACK fm Breakfast with Downsy and his team is on air Monday to Friday on 106.5 FM and DAB in Bristol or online at www.jackbristol.com

Scott Myers (Producer - Hirsty’s Daily Dose, Capital FM Yorkshire)

Scott Myers has worked for regional commercial radio stations for nine years, producing shows for Chrysalis, GMG Radio and Global Radio. He is the Producer of the ‘Hirsty’s Daily Dose’ breakfast show on Capital FM in Yorkshire, the biggest commercial radio show outside London with over 600,000 listeners a week. In 2011, he featured in the Radio Academy’s inaugural ’30 Under 30′ list, recognising the 30 most talented people under the age of 30 in radio.

Emma Britton (Breakfast Presenter, BBC Somerset)

Emma has been a presenter at BBC Somerset since 2009. She presented mid-morning (9.00-12.00) for over 4 years and has recently moved to present the flagship Breakfast Show on the station making her the third only solo female breakfast presenter in BBC Local Radio across the country. What makes Emma’s radio journey so interesting is the fact that she had no interest or experience in the media previously and actually started out her broadcasting career as a contributor at BBC Somerset 10 years ago. It was over the course of the next 4 years or so that her talent was identified and this led to a position as a Broadcast Assistant and then her own show. Not your normal route into radio!

Paulina Gillespie (Breakfast Presenter, Heart West Country)

Paulina has been broadcasting across the West for more than a decade, and today finds herself perched between Paris Troy and Ed Palmer to make up 'Heart Breakfast with Ed, Troy and Paulina' on Heart West Country. Paulina is mum to 3 daughters (plus 2 dogs, horses and several chickens) and due to her broadcasting commitments has never taken her children to school! This dedication, along with Paulina's unique outlook and observations has set her up to co-host one of the longest standing radio breakfast programmes in the region. Previous to her work with Global Radio Paulina was a regular presenter at the BBC in Wiltshire.

Details:

Date: Tuesday 8th October 2013
Doors Open: 5.30pm
Start: 6pm
Finish: approx 8pm
Venue: Heart Bristol, One Passage Street, Bristol, BS2 0JF

Registration:

Cost: FREE - no registration is required for this event, just turn up on the day.

Did you know most people working in radio qualify for free membership of The Radio Academy via Patrons or as volunteers/staff of SRA, HBA and most community affiliated stations? Although registration is required, it's a relatively quick process.
Click here to see if you qualify.

South West Branch Event: Jeremy Vine in conversation with John Myers

Posted by South West at 4 April, 2012, 1:48 pm

Tuesday 24th April | 6pm for 6:30 | Bristol University Students' Union, Bristol

Jeremy Vine in conversation

Top radio presenter and journalist Jeremy Vine is appearing at a Radio Academy South West Branch event at UBU, Bristol on Tuesday 24th April.

Jeremy joined the BBC in 1987 as a News Trainee and has since been a presenter of Newsnight, political correspondent at Westminster, reporter on the Today programme and Africa correspondent based in Johannesburg.

He is also one of only four presenters in the history of Panorama, the world’s oldest current affairs programme. His recent special on the Dewani case, Panorama: The Honeymoon Murder, drew one of Panorama's highest ever audiences (4.6m, peaking over 5m).

Early in 2003 Jeremy took over the news and music slot on BBC Radio 2 and has twice won Speech Broadcaster Of The Year in the prestigious Sony Radio Academy Awards.
He is also presenter of Points of View and Eggheads (the cult quiz show on BBC2).

He will be talking about his life, work and his love of radio. In addition, he will talk about journalism and offer advice for all those wishing to enter the profession.

Audio:

The audio for this event was a published as a RadioTalk episode on 4th May 2012.
Click here to access.

Details:

Date: Tuesday 24th April
Time: 6pm for 6.30 start
Location: Bristol University Students' Union, Queen's Road, Clifton, BS8 1LN

Producer:

Will Wilkin - BURST

SUCCESS.. If you are good enough, will you get on?

Posted by South West at 14 October, 2011, 3:01 pm

Excuses, excuses, excuses….

"Oh he ticks the box so he's been given the gig"

"She's just too old"

"His face doesn't fit"

"Doesn't he follow a weird religion?"

There are many perceived hurdles to you getting on air - but how many of them are real? Black, white, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, atheist, able bodied or not - does it matter for your broadcasting career? What's the difference between winning and whingeing?! If you're good.. you'll get on.. or will you??

The South West Branch of the Radio Academy invites you to a special evening of discussion and debate on what part diversity plays in the industry.  It's taking place on Wednesday 26th October from 6.30pm at the BBC Bristol Club.

There is plenty to discuss…

  • Are some broadcasters better than others at finding, developing and promoting diverse talent?
  • Does the culture at your place decide who's in and who's out? Is that just the way the industry is?
  • Have you been held back or even advantaged because of who you are?
  • What about equality? Shouldn't it just be about the best voices and the most creative people getting on?
  • Do broadcasters actually care about diversity?

The evening will be hosted by Cormac MacMahon, the News Editor of Heart (West Country).

Special guests include..
Stuart Miles
Stuart Miles (pictured) - Former "Blue Peter" presenter. Now breakfast host of Heart (Herts, Beds, Bucks and Northants).

Elonka Soros - Editor of diversity for BBC English Regions.

Paulina Gillespie - Co-Presenter Heart (West Country).

Further speakers to be announced.

Send any questions you have ahead of the event to Cormac Macmahon

Register for the free event by emailing Wendy Fraser

Venue - BBC Bristol Club, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR.

South West Branch – John Myers in conversation

Posted by South West at 23 March, 2011, 9:50 am

The South West Branch of The Radio Acadamy has the pleasure of inviting you to an evening of conversation with John Myers, the soon to be Chief Executive.  It's taking place on Monday 28th March from 6.30pm at the BBC Bristol Club.

In the week that sees John Myers return to The Radio Academy as its new Chief Executive, take this opportunity to hear him speak about his new role and what he’s been up to since leaving GMG Radio back in 2009.

In a year that's probably seen more changes than ever in the radio industry and with more to come with the BBC's "delivering quality first" proposals, there is plenty to discuss -

  • Is DAB losing the battle against internet radio?
  • Should the BBC merge one or more of its national services?
  • Is it time for BBC Local Radio to only broadcast at peak times?
  • Was Ofcom right to relax the rules to allow local commercial stations to broadcast fewer hours and co-locate?
  • Should the commercial sector be allowed to take over BBC services to run them at a lower cost?
  • Is it time to find a more accurate way of measuring audiences?

Those are just a few subjects to think about, but it's your opportunity to ask any pressing questions you have.

The evening will be hosted by Cormac MacMahon, the News Editor of Heart (West Country).

Bristol comedian Mark Olver will also be there to entertain you before the event.

Send any questions you have for John to cormac.macmahon@heart.co.uk

Register for the free event by emailing wendy.fraser@bbc.co.uk

We will also be presenting the award to the winner of the South West Branch Nations and Regions 2010.

Venue - BBC Bristol Club, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR.

SOUTH WEST BRANCH: Andy Parfitt in Conversation

Posted by South West at 6 October, 2010, 9:00 am

Wednesday 13th October, 6.30pm | BBC Club, Broadcasting House, 23 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2LR

A unique opportunity to meet BBC Radio 1's Andy Parfitt as he gets grilled by local radio heroes, Bush and Troy, from the Heart West Country Breakfast Show.

Andy Parfitt has responsibility for BBC Radio 1, Popular Music, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network and BBC Switch. Appointed Controller, Radio 1, in March 1998, he has successfully refreshed both the mainstream and specialist offering on the network and seen the reach of the station increase nearly 12 million listeners a week.

To register, please email Tim Pemberton.

(Please note that entry to the venue is via Belgrave Road.)

Events Archive

How to Win a Sony & Nations & Regions Evening

2nd Dec 08 - Mecure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Redcliffe Hill, Bristol
Guest Tim Blackmore talks about how to win a Sony Radio Award and the South West Nations & Regions Sony Radio Award winner will be announced. Test your radio knowledge in a radio quiz and join us after for drinks in the bar.

Track or Treat

31st Oct 07 - BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol
Trevor and Dirk talk to the South West Branch before presenting the winning Nations & Regions entry. Trevor Dann (Director, The Radio Academy) & Dirk Anthony (Group Programming Manager, GCap Media) talk about music radio - past, present and future. Keith Warmington speaks to the two who have seen and done it all - and are still doing it. The presentation of the South West Nations & Regions Award will follow the discussion.

My Life in Radio

16th May 07 - Waterside 3, The Watershed, Bristol
"My Life In Radio" with Kevin Greening & Dr Phil Hammond is the first branch event held in the South West in 2007. Join us for a special event at to mark the relaunch of the Radio Academy in the South West. Broadcaster Keith Warmington will be interviewing two national radio figures with their roots in this part of the world. There will also be a specially tailored radio quiz run by Steve Satan with fantastic prizes for the winning team - more to be revealed on the night!

Kevin Greening grew up in Bristol and got his first taste of radio in hospital broadcasting. He was bitten by the bug. After leaving Cambridge University he trained as a studio manager and began his career with the BBC World Service. He cut his teeth first as producer and then as a presenter at BBC GLR. He went to Radio One where he presented Drivetime and then moved onto Breakfast with Zoe Ball. He went to Radio Five Live before taking the leap into the commercial world. He has worked for Virgin Radio, XFM, Jazz FM and Smooth.

Dr Phil Hammond is a doctor, a comedian and broadcaster who appears regularly on radio and television shows like 'Have I Got News For You'. He starred in the BBC Radio 4 series 'Struck Off and Die' and appears regularly on BBC Radio 4's 'The News Quiz' and 'The Now Show'. He now hosts a weekly Saturday show on BBC Radio Bristol. He has close connections with Bristol and its health services and was one of the first to break the story of the Bristol heart scandal and gave evidence at the public inquiry.

Keith Warmington has been a popular mainstay of Radio Bristol for nearly 25 years. In 2001, the one time school teacher, was awarded top local broadcaster of the year by Venue magazine but he is also known as a mean harp player recording backing music for numerous TV productions. His distinctive voice and wit have made him a favourite with audiences in the West.