Twenty years of RadioToday – happy birthday to us! Here’s how it all started

It’s exactly 20 years since this website published its first news article. The industry was full of EMAP, SMG, GWR, SRH and many more. Let’s look back!

Your Editor Roy Martin shares the full story, for the first time, on how it all started.

I don’t know about you, but one of the highlights of my week when starting off in radio was having a read of The Radio Magazine each week.

It arrived on a Thursday morning and along with the rest of the radio industry, I turned went straight to the back pages. That’s where the jobs were. Lots of jobs. Pages and pages of great radio jobs.

Then back to the front to read the editorial, the Loose Ends, the gossip, the news, views and events. Rose’s Rambling was the influence for Roy’s Ramble, in case you didn’t know. Cheers Howard.

I never knew then that I’d be running the modern day radio magazine for most of my adult life.

I started in hospital radio when I was 12, and have lived radio every day since. 33 years of geeking out at the sight of a logo, the sound of a jingle, the smell of a car sticker, and the feeling of being in a padded studio with nothing but radio equipment and a microphone to the world.

Ten years of hospital radio, along with a touch of satellite radio, school radio, community radio and RSLs led to me creating the ILR station for my home town (it’s now a Capital!) and running an audio production company.

One day I bought a hosting package to store audio and run my own website. This internet package included the option to set up forums, storage, and WordPress type websites at the touch of a button. So I bought a few domains and RadioMad was launched on January 19th 2004. It was meant as a sister-site to JingleMad – which is still going strong.

It listed RSLs at the time, and kept a calendar of the many radio industry events and moves taking place. The radio industry still had The Radio Magazine, and was the main go-to place for radio news, albeit updated weekly.’s radio forum was the place everybody visited.

I started updating news daily, and people started visiting. It was getting more and more traffic so I invested in a new domain,, and over the years the competition closed one by one.

I got my dream radio job at GMG Radio as Smooth Radio Station Producer in 2004 and stayed for almost a decade, at the same time as owning the radio industry website. As you can imagine, this generated a few interesting conversations, especially when the stories involved The Guardian, and the people around me. I like to think I kept both entities professionally separate.

I recall RadioToday getting the news about The Guardian buying Century Radio online before The Guardian did, despite The Guardian almost leaking its own story the day before and scuppering the deal. (John Myers’ book is an amazing read!) Stuart Clarkson was Editor of the site at the time, and I *may* have tipped him off that all the managers had just been called into the boardroom for an urgent announcement.

Maybe not too separate after all.

I’d love to claim a big masterplan, a solid business idea, and a long term vision. But in reality I kept at it the longest because I enjoyed it, and was lucky enough for it to become my full-time job in 2012. RadioToday has been copied in Australia, Asia, and we launched a dedicated site for Ireland ten years ago too.

We’ve had a magazine, a podcast, a radio station, and even our own event at Alton Towers. Today we keep it simple and report the ever changing face of the radio industry with facts first, and try to be fair to everyone, and provide an interesting read for everyone whether its news about an online startup, or something of interest to the directors of the big radio groups.

So thank you for reading, and sharing our news each day. Thank you to everyone who has contributed, either with a quick comment, a press release, words of encouragement, or if you’ve worked for the site over the years.

But it wouldn’t have been possible without the sponsors and advertisers, so I’d like to finish this self-indulgent ramble by thanking everyone who supports me and the site in this way – I daren’t list them all as I’m sure to miss somebody out, but they know who they are, and you can see their banners all over this site.

Here’s to the next 20 years of RadioToday!