Audio: Radio presenters say goodbye before GHR arrives

Dozens of radio presenters said their final goodbyes on Friday morning after years of hosting local breakfast shows.

The changes are being made to make way for Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio brand taking over many local radio services next week.

We’ve seen many messages on social media from presenters and listeners marking the day, too many to list in one article. We started highlighting some of the tributes but we’d end up missing more than we’d feature.

So radio historian David Lloyd has created an audio montage to remember just some of those presenters moving on before being replaced by a national breakfast show:

David Lloyd writes:

2020 and another slew of stations reach the end of the road, as national radio brands become bigger. This time, Bauer incorporate more of their new acquisitions into their branded world after a journey which, thanks to the competition authorities, has been more protracted than any sane person would have wished.

The arguments in favour of the brand and networked approach are well-rehearsed, and we all appreciate that the future of radio in a broader audio world – not least with the economics of COVID around us – is a very different picture, and it is dangerous to imagine that everything can carry on in the way it did in previous generations.

Nevertheless, for the human beings involved, the closures are hugely sad. Some of the individuals have new radio homes – others do not. But in this series of hugely professional and thoroughly authentic farewells, you can hear the pain.

Economics aside – as I do not have access to their accounts – some of these operations have proven that local radio can have a place – most evident in smaller proud communities where its is well run by a committed team.

The overheads of these stations will fall, national revenues will grow and one imagines, local revenues may fall. In some cases audiences may rise, and in others they may fall. It remains to be seen whether Bauer will feel in five years’ time that each of the moves were wise for the organisation overall. In smaller broadcast areas, particularly, where reach was high, yet overall audience volume (and thus national revenues) will never be huge owing simply to the TSA size, the balance of all these factors- taken together with the growth in overall brand might – is an interesting one.