Biggest radio stories in 2021…. and some 2022 predictions

The UK radio industry didn’t see any major changes in 2021 compared to previous years, but that didn’t stop us from bringing you over 1000 unique stories on our website.

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We celebrate our 18th birthday next month too, when we’ll have a look back at how the industry has changed since we started writing about radio.

In the last 12 months, radio stations continued to cope with the pandemic, some of us continued to work from home, and RAJAR returned with some new data.

The year started with the launch of Boom Radio, despite the introduction of another national lockdown, and many more startup radio stations came and went.

It was the year of Simon Mayo’s new Drivetime show, small-scale DAB awards and Absolute Radio Country.

Bauer continued to grow by expanding in the UK and Europe, including the purchase of Communicorp Ireland.

We had an Obit for Prince Philip, a few complaints for Steve Allen and Global almost went, er, global.

Next year, we’re promised the launch of GB News Radio, talkTV, dozens of small-scale DAB multiplexes and even ANOTHER Absolute Radio branded station.

And if we were to predict a few things for the new year, we’d go with:

  • More local Hits Radio and GHR services on FM through rebrands and acquisitions by Bauer
  • Capital and Heart expanding on FM through deals or acquisitions at Global
  • A new national talk and/or news service from Bauer
  • More content creation companies and tech starts up acquired by radio groups
  • Bauer Ireland to look at operating a DAB multiplex full of services in the Republic
  • Wireless branding making way for a more uniformed News UK Broadcasting
  • BBC Sounds app to include more commercial content dropping the BBC branding
  • A major name to leave BBC Radio 2 daytime
  • Another new direction for Local BBC Radio
  • A major newspaper group enters the radio market with radio versions of its local newspapers
  • A couple of independent national DAB services to close
  • More AM transmitters will be turned off
  • More deregulation announced by the Government for commercial and community radio
  • New city and town-sized local radio stations launching filling the gap left by ILR

So finally, here are the top 10 stories on RadioToday in 2021;

    1. Steve Allen and his LBC complaints
    2. Simon Mayo to host Drive on Greatest Hits Radio
    3. Major daytime schedule changes at BBC Radio 1
    4. Graham Norton to drive his own desk at Virgin Radio
    5. New daytime schedule announced at BBC Radio London
    6. Adrian Chiles confirmed as Emma Barnett replacement
    7. Ken Bruce named as Britain’s favourite radio presenter
    8. Audio: Radio stations enter OBIT mode for Prince Philip
    9. Schedule and presenters announced for Boom Radio UK
    10. Stephanie Hirst leaves BBC Radio Leeds show

So not too quiet after all!

Thanks very much for reading RadioToday, and we hope to continue bringing you the best of the radio industry in 2022. Happy New Year!