Debbie Mac joins Bauer Radio’s Place Portfolio


Bauer Radio will welcome experienced music presenter and club DJ Debbie Mac to their Place portfolio North of England and Scotland on January 5th 2015.

Debbie will be the host of the hugely popular ‘Old Skool and Anthems’ show which broadcasts live across 15 Place FM stations, weekdays from 2 to 3pm including Newcastle’s Metro, Manchester’s Key 103, Glasgow’s Forth One.

Mac re-joins Bauer after previous stints on Key 103 and Hallam FM and will use her fantastic pedigree and knowledge of dance music to develop the show and reach out to the vast audiences across the Place portfolio.

Owen Ryan, Group Content Director Bauer Place North of England said,

Debbie is well known to our audiences across the North of England and Scotland and her vast knowledge and love of dance and pop anthems makes her the perfect host for the show in 2015.

Debbie Mac said,

I’m very excited to get on the show and play music I genuinely enthuse about. Roll on 2015!

The news of Mac’s appointment follows on from the announcement of an ambitious new Bauer Radio strategy which will see the influential multi-platform media company focus on audience growth through three key national brands, Magic, KISS and Absolute Radio, along with an expanded local Place portfolio.

As of January 2015, Bauer Radio’s local Place stations will have 2 brand extensions in each city to widen their demographic.

In Liverpool, for example, this means Radio City 2 will appear on AM to appeal to 45-65-year-olds, while Radio City 3 will be on digital for a younger 15-25 demographic. These will run alongside the main Radio City station on FM.

Debbie Mac will join the new-look Place Portfolio on 5th January 2015.


 Q Awards 2014

Two of Bauer Media’s flagship music brands have teamed up for an industry first.

Legendary monthly music title Q magazine and national radio station Absolute Radio have jointly produced ‘Q presents Absolute Radio Sessions’ – an exclusive CD of unique, previously unreleased acoustic performances by some of the biggest names in modern music recorded at the famous Absolute Radio studios.

The CD, which is available exclusively with the December issue of Q on sale Tuesday 28 October, represents the first time Absolute Radio has ever released their live acoustic session tracks as one album.

Included in the 15 track album are an impressive line-up of artists including Coldplay, Kasabian, Jarvis Cocker, Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini, Mumford & Sons, Bat For Lashes and Biffy Clyro to name a few.

The December issue of Q will be supported by a substantial marketing campaign incorporating advertising across Bauer Media’s digital, magazine and radio platforms. Absolute Radio will be running the adverts and promoting the December issue via presenter live reads on air, newsletter inclusion and social media channels.

Q presents Absolute Radio Sessions’ is the most recent in a series of powerful Q and Absolute Radio partnerships, a combination which together reach 2.5 million ardent music fans. In August Absolute Radio launched the weekly Q Show presented by Pete Mitchell (Sundays, 10pm) and earlier this year Bauer Media announced Breakfast Show presenter Christian O’Connell as host of the 25th Xperia Access Q Awards, the most prestigious awards ceremony in the UK music calendar.

Q’s editor-in-chief Phil Alexander commented:

The partnership between Q and Absolute Radio is less than six months old and yet it is already creating new ways of reaching people in a manner that is really unique. No one else in the UK can reach the same audience of people who actually buy tons of music in the way we can via the combination of Q and Absolute Radio. Our aim, though, is simple: to create great moments that music fans will truly love. Q Presents The Absolute Radio Sessions is a first step in doing that.

Absolute Radio Content Director Tony Moorey said:

The Absolute Radio sessions are completely unique content, full of spine-tingling music moments. This CD gives life to these sessions beyond their original broadcast, which is a fantastic celebration of how special they are.

Q Awards 2014

Q3 2014 RAJAR: Bauer Media Strengthens Lead in Digital Commercial Listening


Bauer’s digital listening grows to 52%

Record reach for National Brand Portfolio of 10.3 million (up 36% yoy)

Bauer Place Local Portfolio posts 9.5 million reach

 Bauer Radio total portfolio reaches 17.1 million listeners (up 11.3% yoy)

Absolute Radio Network delivers best ever reach, with over 4 million listeners (+18.2% yoy) following the stations innovative launch of split playlists at breakfast

Absolute 80s – record audience reach of 1.4million listeners – up 223,000 listeners + 18% yoy

The KISS UK Network grows to 4.9 million (+5% qoq)

KISS FRESH –  increases audience reach to 565,000 – (+17% qoq)

Magic UK remains strong with 3.5 million listeners (+1% qoq)

Further growth in digital listening hours to 52% of all listening to Bauer Radio stations (compared to commercial industry average of 36.5%)

heat radio –record audience reach of 965,000 listeners, up 73,000 listeners qoq +27% yoy

In terms of listening hours, the total Bauer National Radio Portfolio has recorded the highest ever listening hours at 75 million (+62% yoy). On the quarter, Planet  Rock UK’s  hours have increased to 9 million (+25% qoq) and Absolute Radio up to 12.4 million hours (+17% qoq)

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said: “Bauer is leading the way with 52% in digital commercial listening. With our recently announced radio strategy wrapped around key national brands and an extended local portfolio, these figures provide a great foundation for our ambitions in 2015 and beyond.”

Richard Dunmall, Group MD Advertising, London Lifestyle & Radio, said: “Our scaled and digitally engaged audiences are seeing significant growth – building a perfect platform for our brand partners as we move radio firmly into a digital age.”

Source: RAJAR / Ipsos – MORI / RSMB, period Q3 2014, all stations and groups results are reported on their specified reporting period and TSA.

Ric Blaxill Awarded Radio Academy Fellowship

PPL Wrecking Ball Cabaret, Media City, Salford

Music Content Director For Planet Rock, Kerrang! Radio and heat radio Ric Blaxill, has been awarded the Radio Academy Fellowship, the highest honour in our industry

Our very own Group Managing Director of Radio Dee Ford was there to present him with this incredible achievement last night at The Radio Academy Festival 2014 in Salford.  Dee’s speech covered Ric’s career and contribution to the industry with some excerpts on the man himself below.

“Ric has worked for BBC Radio and BBC TV, as well as Commercial radio and television, and in the record industry itself. Music is in his DNA and he continues to go that extra mile for everyone he works with from his programming teams, major artists and new talent to music executives, advertisers and indeed the Radio Academy, where he willingly and tirelessly delivers time after time.

Whether Ric is producing sessions, chairing judging panels, galvanising celebrity support, advising on music artists, he is always there.

Ric instinctively knows his music. When he was a fresh faced producer on Radio 1 in 1989, he immediately knew that heavy metal icons Iron Maiden had a hit in “Bring your daughter to the slaughter”.  Now all he had to do was to persuade the powers that be to make that particular song single of the week on Simon Mayo’s Breakfast show.  He did just that and sure enough, the track became Iron Maiden’s first ever UK number 1 single.

While he was working as executive producer on Top of the Pops, he was flown over to Berlin to have a private audience with Michael Jackson to try and talk him round to appearing live on the show.  He knew he had to come up with a conversation opener so as an ardent Gunners fan he had an Arsenal shirt made with Jacko’s name on it, and gave it to Michael which made for an easier and friendly conversation.

At Top of the Pops, Ric was the only one trusted to talk to Madonna (known to be a bit tricksy), about the rough edit of her comeback show and first live appearance for 10 years.

He didn’t just produce Top of the Pops he PLAYED on it… as stand-in guitarist for the Wildhearts…on the song ‘I Wanna Go Where the People Go’.

So with a career spanning Radio 1, Capital, 6 Music, Top Of The Pops, SM:TV, Q, Heat, Kerrang! Radio and Planet Rock his influence and legacy continues to live on.”


The Radio Festival 2014: Absolute Radio & RCS Win TechCon, While In-Car DAB Scores Record


Top news from the Radio Festival as Absolute Radio and RCS have won the TechCon Technical Excellence Award sponsored by Arqiva, for their outstanding work on the informally named ‘Project Banana’

The Judges said

The winning entry was unanimously chosen by the judges as the trail blazing winner.It combines both technical innovation and flawless execution. It has dramatically enhanced the listener’s experience and addresses both commercial and creative angles.

The latest in innovative thinking from the station enables listeners of Absolute Radio the ability to choose between different playlists at Breakfast. The award-winning Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show continues to be broadcast across the network of seven Absolute Radio stations, but in a world-first his audience are now able to choose the music they hear between the show’s live links, features and news bulletins.

Listeners to Absolute Radio 60s can hear songs from the likes of The Beatles, Stones and Motown; whilst those tuned to Absolute Radio 70s hear classics including Bowie, Queen and ABBA; and listeners to the UK’s #1 digital commercial station Absolute 80s can enjoy Prince, Pet Shop Boys and Madonna. The same is true if you tune to Absolute Radio 90s, where amongst Christian’s live chat and entertainment you can hear songs from Blur and Oasis; or Amy Winehouse and Coldplay on Absolute Radio 00s; Led Zep and AC/DC on Absolute Classic Rock; or everything from The Beatles to Arctic Monkeys on the main Absolute Radio station.

This is the first time that listeners to a live radio programme can choose the music to suit their tastes, whilst enjoying and interacting with the show’s entertaining speech content. The pioneering move follows months of development work by the One Golden Square team and developers at RCS, responsible for the station’s GSelector music scheduling software.

Meanwhile at the Radio Festival, Digital Radio UK have revealed a new record amount of cars have been fitted with digital radio. Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy announced that as of September 58% of all new cars registered came with digital radio (CAP/SMMT),

Almost 250,000 cars were registered in September 2014 with digital radio as standard, up nearly 50% on the previous September. Ed also confirmed that BBC coverage for its national stations on DAB digital radio was now 95%, and that this programme of work would be completed before the end of 2015.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK went on to explain that the proportion of new cars with digital radio has grown from 0% to almost 60% in 4 years and over 1.25 million new cars with digital radio were sold in the last year, according to CAP/SMMT. During 2014 the sales volume of in car DAB radios  has now overtaken domestic digital radio sales for the first time, and overall DAB digital radio sales (car + domestic) are now up 18% year to date (GfK + CAP/SMMT).

According to radio industry audit company RAJAR, the car is one of the favourite places to listen to the radio, and 61% of all radio listeners listen in the car (RAJAR Q2 2014) and overall 22% of radio listening takes place in car.

The fitting of digital radio in cars as standard is part of a transformation of in-car information and entertainment technology.

Keep up to date with The Radio Festival online here and @RadioAcademy on Twitter #RadFest2014