Radio Academy Meeting: The Future

by on 24th February 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

Tonight (24th February) at 6pm and 7pm, the Radio Academy Chair, Ben Cooper, has been presenting the Trustee’s vision for the future of the Radio Academy.


  • Chris Burns announced as new Chair of Radio Academy from April 2015
  • Radio Academy becomes a membership led organisation
  • Details of four new memberships revealed
  • Radio Awards and Radio Festival to take place within next 12 months, revamped and rejuvenated for modern world of radio
  • New Director and Deputy Chair still to be appointed

London, 24 February 2015: Today The Radio Academy, the charitable organisation representing all sections of the radio industry, announced a new streamlined structure, following a strategic review. The Radio Academy will be a membership body for all those working in radio, with its trustees elected by the membership. Chris Burns, Head of Radio Operations, overseeing the Radio Change Programme for BBC, will begin her new role as the Chair of the Radio Academy in April 2015, taking over from Ben Cooper.

The new look Radio Academy has ‘learning and networking’ as its core, and has the support of the BBC, Global, Bauer, The Radio Centre, UTV and RIG. Its vision is to become a members’ organisation that provides, through its partnerships, moments to learn, network and celebrate the audio industry.

The Academy will seek to foster a sense of community amongst its members by providing services such as online training, club membership and voting rights for all members. Four new levels of membership have been confirmed:

  • Patron Membership
  • Free Patron Membership for Fellows
  • Free Patron Membership for Community, Hospital, Prison, Student Radio and Sound Women
  • Gold Membership

Today it was also confirmed that the new Radio Awards and the Radio Festival will take place in the next 12 months. Consultation and discussion, via a sub-committee, is still in progress to discuss the future format of both events. Radio Festival will be an accessible, low cost members festival, while the new Radio Awards, underwritten by the consortium of Radio Centre, BBC, UTV and RIG, will be revamped and rejuvenated for the modern world of radio. Furthermore, Arqiva will continue its sponsorship of the Hall of Fame, Radio Production Awards and the 30 Under 30 initiative will go ahead as usual, with a series of regional branch events and masterclasses also planned.

Ben Cooper said: “We listened to what members want from their Academy and are confident that this new organisation reflects that. I am delighted the next generation now have a road map for the future. ”

Chris Burns, the new Chair, said: “I’m delighted to be the one who will oversee this transition and ensure that the services that the Academy provide are relevant and forward thinking. I want to thank Ben Cooper for his fantastic chairmanship during what was latterly a challenging time.”

The Academy will be administered by a newly appointed Director, who is expected to be in post in the coming months. The new Academy will be operational by September 2015.

Radio Academy Meeting

by on 6th February 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News


I would like to invite you to a meeting to announce the launch of a new look Radio Academy that is fit for purpose in 2015 and beyond.

Listening to your feedback on email and in person over the last few months, taking into account the Patrons’ perspectives and the Trustees desire to design an Academy for the future, we now feel ready to share our new vision.

Last week I got on a train, and despite the snow trying to stop me, spoke to students and Radio Academy members in Sunderland and Carlisle. We, also, this week met with all the regional branch Chairs to share ideas and take views. What struck me was how much the next generation and current practitioners want to learn from, and meet with, other people in the industry. Therefore I can assure you that learning, networking and a sense of belonging to a community will remain core to the Radio Academy purpose.

But there will be changes. There have to be.

When everything around you is changing it demands that you evolve. Added to the disruptive nature of the radio industry was the fact that, the financial structure of the Academy was no longer viable.

My ambition is to answer these two questions – ‘What is the purpose of the Radio Academy?’ and ‘How do you benefit from joining it?’

So please join me on Tuesday 24th February 2015 at 18.00hrs on the 7th floor at the BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA to hear the answers to those questions. Spaces are limited to a first come first served basis so please register here now.

From The Chairman, Ben Cooper

by on 19th December 2014. Comments Off .
Category: News

Many thanks to you for attending the AGM, or following it on social media or reading one of the blogs. Your interest is greatly appreciated because like you, I care about the future of The Radio Academy. It is why over the last two years as Chair of the Academy I have given my time, effort and energy. Many of us work for the Academy for nothing, putting in the calls, writing mails and attending meetings alongside our day jobs – and we do it because we want to give something back to the industry we love.

I have a vision of what The Radio Academy should be going forward. I want to maintain a sense of community and an opportunity for learning for individuals in our industry, as well as celebrating creative excellence. I want to do this with, and for, the whole of the industry, not just parts of the industry. And therefore, when Trustees have questions about the Awards, the value Patrons receive and the very existence of the Academy itself, then we have to consider those concerns. At the AGM I might have appeared diplomatic and measured in my answers, but that was because this is difficult. It is complex. My belief though is as an organisation, and an industry, we are stronger together.

In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Trustees publicly for working as a team to create an atmosphere which allows us all to have the confidence to speak with honesty, but with consideration, and to take tough decisions.

I would also like to say thank you for my Fellowship. I took great pride in receiving my decanter this month. It is unbelievable how much a piece of glassware can mean. Because for all the bad moments, setbacks and hard work this last year, there is the potential of being part of a team that sees an idea turn into a successful reality.

What is clear to me now, is that there is confusion. The Academy has become a membership organisation which is actually funded by Patrons, and a charity for learning that puts on commercial events. I believe my job is to untangle the funding and organisational structure which has built up over time and provide clarity.

So, the Trustees will meet in January and then we will call an EGM at the end of February, start of March, when we can agree a way forward in order to have a Radio Academy that is economically sound and has a clear logical purpose.

For those of you taking a break over the holidays I hope it is a relaxing one, and for those of you who are broadcasting, I hope you get some time off in the new year. All the best for 2015.

Best wishes,

Ben Cooper

Arqiva Radio Academy Hall of Fame Lunch celebrates radio greats!

by on 5th December 2014. Comments Off .
Category: News

Arqiva Hall of Fame Radio Academy Lunch - congratulations to our new inductees!

We were in the beautiful Lancaster Ballroom at The Savoy on Thursday for this year’s Arqiva Radio Academy Hall of Fame Lunch. It was a fabulous afternoon, brilliantly hosted by the inimitable Christian O’Connell, who was surprised on the day to discover he was also being inducted!

We are delighted to welcome all this year’s inductees to UK radio’s most hallowed list – Alan Brazil, Nicky Campbell, Barry Cryer, Vanessa Feltz, Trevor Nelson, Christian O’Connell, Pete Price, and Jo Whiley. Warmest congratulations to them all!

The event also featured the presentation of three Fellowships, the highest honour The Radio Academy can bestow. We are proud to welcome our new Fellows, Ben Cooper, Fi Glover and Scott Taunton!

Huge thanks to our wonderful sponsor, Arqiva, and to everyone who came and made it such a special afternoon!

Annual General Meeting

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our AGM next week. It will be held at BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA at 6pm on Wednesday 10th December. All Members of The Radio Academy are welcome to attend but, if you haven’t done so already, you need to register here.


In this week’s RadioTalk, we’ve got more magical memories from the week in radio history, courtesy of David Lloyd’s Radio Moments!

This week’s highlights include BBC Radio news programmes leaving TV Centre for their new home at New Broadcasting House; the launches of Power FM and Northants 96; the first test transmissions for the pirate Radio London; and we wish a very happy birthday to Richard Bacon! Happy listening!


Support The Radio Academy, get discounted rates for all our events and be the envy of all your friends by becoming a Member. You can sign up on our website for annual membership for just £25, but if you work for any of our Patrons it’s absolutely free! Just register with your work email address here.

Best wishes,

The Radio Academy Team

RadioTalk: Radio Moments with David Lloyd

by on 3rd December 2014. Comments Off .
Category: podcast

RadioTalkIn this week’s RadioTalk, we’ve got more magical memories from the week in radio history, courtesy of David Lloyd’s Radio Moments!

This week’s highlights include BBC David Lloyd's Radio MomentsRadio news programmes leaving TV Centre for their new home at New Broadcasting House; the launches of Power FM and Northants 96; the first test transmissions for the pirate Radio London; and we wish a very happy birthday to Richard Bacon! Happy listening!

Produced and presented by David Lloyd. Comments always welcome. Also available via iTunes.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.