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BBC Local Radio is changing
  • VinnahVinnah January 2012
    Simon, I don't think that the regional shows not being local has ever been a secret though. Nick Risby sometimes says the stations he's broadcasting across and I've heard Sue welcoming another station on a Friday after their sports programme had finished.

    Keith Skues also names every single station at the start of his show though I've noticed he classes Radio Cambridgeshire & Peterborough as separate stations for some reason.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 January 2012
    Skues is old skool bless him, there was once a split for Radio Peterborough but nothing major, actually John Major was pictured when P.M "in the studio at Radio Peterborough" in some L.R publicity brochure ...

    Vinnah yep you are totally correct, they've not hidden the fact on air that they broadcast on all said stations, I think there was a phase tho' when it was questioned how it should be imaged so as not to mislead the listener, they may hear Essex imaging and think Essex produces more local material when it does etc, of course there's an argument there that if you are openly regional & all inclusive of your affiliate stations that you may as well do away with localised imaging (as per the generic news etc now) the local imaging works better inserted into a generic programme as per the old Mix / One Network than it does on openly regional shows ... I don't really think there's a set formula for imaging & networking, across the country it varies so much, I hope with talk of a national 7pm show if forced on us then the subject of imaging is looked at, opts would have to work slickly wherever possible, historically in the UK radio networks have been far from slick at localising, interesting to watch/listen & see mind :)

    On the subject of money, the formula to me seems to suggest BBC Worldwide get performance royalties when the LR's play the cuts ? But surely that's then mere internal charging ? Taking from one BBC pot to another ? Or ... is it a clever form of (in the nicest possible way) "laundering" money from the licence fee funded LR's to the commercial arm that is BBC Worldwide ;) who knows ... they were reluctant to release the full info on this following my freedom of info request (see a previously attached letter back to me from the beeb)
  • VinnahVinnah January 2012
    I've just found out that the clicking on the iPlayer also continues into up all night (Because 3CR hasn't switched to CL Smooth for some reason) on 5 live. But not if you're listening to it from the 5 live feed it's self so it must separate the local and 5 live version that seems like an inefficient use of bandwidth.

    You make a good point Simon about having a generic East logo but I think that still having the local jingles playing makes more sense especially if you don't have a radio with RDS and you're travelling through the area or something, it would be useful to know which station you're on rather than "BBC In the East", if they want to use generic ones they should use those ones I posted a few weeks ago when there's a technical error just for some variation of course :) .
  • local_12local_12 January 2012
    Just noticed that BBC Radio Jersey seems to have refreshed their news build from the Shropshire version to the Essex one. Have any other stations done this?
  • simon_t123simon_t123 January 2012
    Not that I know of local_12 ... but they ruddy well need too ;) Essex itself needs to update it's own ! it's been in use for like 3 years now ? I was wondering if the stations got the whole lot delivered at the start of the project with either their own logo or literally the whole lot ? the previous network-wide "twinkles" imaging in the early 00's appeared to have a massive library of material for use that could be seen on loads of 'BBC' marked CD's in Essex's studios & other stations. It would make sense for stations using Mcasso to be able to update their sound as required, as I say Essex is sounding very stale by now, the early adopting stations should do something surely within the next year ?
  • local_12local_12 January 2012
    Not a lot to talk about but Mcasso have redesigned their website with LR coming under the heading 'Station Branding'. On the demo the caption states that the package is 'airing on all 40 stations across the UK' but Cumbria and London haven't changed yet.
  • wixy1360wixy1360 January 2012
    'airing on all 40 stations across the UK'

    Just to nitpick a tiny wee bit...technically Jersey & the Bailiwick of Guernsey are NOT part of the UK; and Scotland IS part of the UK (for now...) but there's NO BBC Local Radio here.
  • LenGroatLenGroat January 2012

    Wixy: "Scotland IS part of the UK (for now...)" For now (?)

    Extrapolating that comment, what do you think may happen to a certain syndicated station claiming to be the 'Capital' (even though they are in Glasgow!) and another that broadcasts 24 hours a day from London to Scotland? This referendum may rather put HEAVY pressure on them to do at least 12 hours a day LOCALLY ? That might mean some jingles more in tune with the locality?

    "but there's NO BBC Local Radio here"

    Maybe the BBC know something the English politicians don't?

    The Old Man

  • wixy1360wixy1360 January 2012
    Good topical question Len!
    I won't go into this one deeply here - maybe its more for the D-S/Radio Forum.

    The fact though that "Capital"'s output is "controlled" by a certain Scot (ex-Kirkcaldy...) might or might not be a factor at some point. Considering though that Global are likely to have "exited" and flogged it all off to another "foreign venture capital company" long before potential Scottish Independence is more likely.

    "no BBC Local...here" - official population total 5.25 million (plus the ones that aren't "on the books"...but that's not for on here...) so really probably was never likely to achieve a proper BBC set of even individual "city stations" - e.g. Glasgow/Edinburgh/Dundee/Aberdeen - that might have had comparable audiences to the 50-million-plus-population "down South" of English cities or "Radio County/shire" - so BBC Radio Scotland is the lot (the "opt-outs" and the "teuchter station" don't really have any meaningful audiences).

    Don't get me wrong though - BBC Scotland do a VERY good job indeed within their own particular remit and the technicalities of covering a land area equal to nearly 40% of that of the size of England!
  • simon_t123simon_t123 January 2012
    I never thought of wixy1360's point actually about the population of Scotland, I think without thinking about it you see this huge land-mass on a map so I, myself question why the country has just the one, main BBC station whilst making very little use of opt outs even, there would be potential there, for localised breakfast & drive but it's never been that way, same in Wales & N.I too I suppose, tho' N.I have an opt out with BBC Foyle ... I've always wondered mind why the output of the BBC Nations stations sounds so high-brow, so serious, more Radio Four than your typical BBC Local & maybe that's a reason why listener-ship has never really been spectacular ? From a jingles & imaging point of view they've been dire over the years, apart from Wales it has to be said (even BBC Cymru) who have in recent times employed sung ID's and a more modern presentation format, there's so much that can be done with these large areas tho' I am sure ... with Scotland, I've been wondering what Scottish independence would do to the BBC north of the border ?
  • local_12local_12 January 2012
    By the way, BBC Radio Cumbria has changed with the Gloustershire version of the news build and travel.
  • star+tetleystar tetley January 2012
    Is it just London left?
  • local_12local_12 February 2012
    Yes, London is left, also I noticed BBC WM tweaked the schedule with Joanne Malin and Adrian Goldberg swapping their weekday shows. They also refreshed the presenter ID's bringing in longer talkover beds.
  • local_12local_12 February 2012
    Sorry if this sounds stupid, but with the DQF cuts cancelling split breakfast shows does that mean Sussex and Surrey will stop seperate programming, if so a return to the Southern Counties name may be inevitable.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 February 2012
    still nice to see the news dribbling in for Mcasso stations :) I'd hope to see the first stations refreshing their cuts soon ... I was comparing Essex with Kent & there really is no contest, Kent wins hands down !!! it's a fresher, more commercial sound anyway than Essex which has grown old within itself, as the old Radio 1 was accused of doing ... a new broom might be needed there, and some new imaging ;)

    London is still Music 4, tho' with recent Mcasso'd bigger stations sounding actually quite ok, London may as well hang up their 'Music4' boots & make the change ...

    local_12 I'm not in the know, but DQF cuts have recently been lightened, to what degree I'm not sure but with Sussex / Surrey operating as separate entities I wonder if it would be classed as being a split breakfast show ? I know they share almost everything but name but with patches as big as theirs I'd like to think the individual shows might not be cut ? where there might be cause to make savings could be Peterborough with it's award winning brekkie show, might as well take your best troop & run him countywide from Peterborough & axe the 2nd place show ... they've invested a lot of money in Peterborough, a complete Calrec X studio way before Cambridge changed from Mk3's but they axed the Radio Peterborough name many years ago, I'd consider that a split brekkie show, not sure actually if there are any others ? ones that divide a county say ? I think if it's one county it should be one station, one set of shows, no English county is big enough to really need splitting but individual counties like in the case of Sussex & Surrey should be separately represented, dare I say MORE than they are already, they've gone to the trouble of using separate names so why not make the chop and return to running separate stations ? Berkshire holds it's own since the days it was bundled with BBC Oxford & that Thames Valley FM business ...
  • local_12local_12 February 2012
    Yes, I think Sussex/Surrey should have seperate breakfast,drivetime and news updates...like they had before! About split breakfast, Milton Keynes should keep its own what with being part of a big region: Three Counties but I'm a bit biased to MK having lived there ;-) . Plymouth and Swindon are the other two but I don't know how successful they are. It's funny how a place like Teesside gets its own station only simulcasting late nights when East and West Sussex have to share with Surrey :/
  • simon_t123simon_t123 February 2012
    I notice the sharing drive with Kent pilot scheme dies a death, now that was totally flawed from the start ! it was imaged OK mind & Dominic King is a slick presenter but Sussex, Surrey AND Kent ?! Someone was taking the wee wee with that idea, and ... as for saving money, the displaced drivetime presenter from Sussex/Surrey seemed to always be located in the S/S studios just for reading travel out to the whole region ! Perhaps it was set up to fail ? The stations can't of wanted that degree of sharing, which does make a mockery of 'Local Radio' ... I think we're safe mind as MP's are jumping on the bandwagon, I think it works out that LR cost peanuts to run compared to the likes of Radio 4 anyway ... if anything is to be cut, let it be add-on services the Beeb churn out that we don't really need, Local Radio should be the grassroots of it's UK news gathering operation anyway ! I shall get down off the soap-box now haha ;) Seriously mind I hope they don't slice off any localised brekkie shows, I'd imagine a lot of thought went into the planning & launching of each one & if you get rid of those then you may as well backtrack & close down BBC C&W again !!!

    The theory on BBC Tees ... hmmm I went into BBC Essex once for a meeting about an automated programme for the overnights to keep things local, and I used the fact Newcastle, Manchester & even Sheffield at the time were local all night ... The reply I got was all to do with audience justification, it would appear up North the locals are better resourced & sound sharper in main as a lot of their areas are well to over-populated, I think the Teeside are is a busy place ? Tho' I don't know my Geography to know if the old "Cleveland" patch is a part rural county or what really ...

    Interesting stuff anyway :) as for your interest in MK, that's justified, the Beds, Herts, Bucks are is HUGE & historically has been 'bundled' together by the beeb & ILR when maybe it deserved to be otherwise so, again I don't know the areas intimately but does MK have much in common with say Luton or does Herts have much in common with Bucks ?

    Finally ... if anything the beeb should roll out a seperate service to Dorset !!!!!! Especially in light of the Somerset situation, where not only did Somerset get kitted out with the latest Calrec X type spec but also pinched Radio Bristols wider area frequency for itself lols, Dorset does not deserve to be bundled with Solent really as it's a massive area to cover ... Nuff said lols ...
  • wixy1360wixy1360 February 2012
    Looks like someone else has cottoned-on to the BBC Local /Radio 2 dodge of wanting to keep the "publishing rights" to their jingles to themselves, even if a jingle producer (maybe a small one?) actually does the audio work...

    http://radiotoday.co.uk/2012/02/absolute-radio-introduces-new-sonic-logo/

    If "they" really want to destroy the ID jingle industry by "forcing" production companies into "competing" for no-royalty / no syndication revenue just (maybe) basically "the recording session" then they're certainly hell-bent upon it.

    We'll soon be back pre-PAMS-era with stations with their own "house band" to do their home-made jingles...and its already happening...
    (..but please make an exception for the BBC "live" jingles for Chris Moyles...the BBC Concert Orchestra has got to be THE ultimate "house band" for any radio organisation - and would they do "Personal cuts"...) :)
  • tom_htom_h March 2012
    Mcasso have updated their website. Now includes some individual BBC Local Cuts and states that BBC London's package is coming soon.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 March 2012
    Some great editions to the Mcasso site :) and darn that BBC London square for playing a 2 second blank sound clip haha ... from the names given to cuts there it looks like BBC Manchester may have commissioned it's own travel theme, the others are duplicated across the network, Sheffield sport mind, I'd not heard that before ... now off to Adobe Audition to 'dub' the cuts haha :)
  • local_12local_12 March 2012

    Some great editions to the Mcasso site :) and darn that BBC London square for playing a 2 second blank sound clip haha ... from the names given to cuts there it looks like BBC Manchester may have commissioned it's own travel theme, the others are duplicated across the network, Sheffield sport mind, I'd not heard that before ... now off to Adobe Audition to 'dub' the cuts haha :)



    Yes, same dissapointment on the BBC London clip...the question is how soon until the new jingles? By the way, the Manchester travel is also used on Wiltshire, Kent and I think Leicester. Also the Sheffield sport is a rare one but I've also heard it on 3CR.

  • star+tetleystar tetley March 2012
    'London 2012 is mentioned on the site. Could they be launched at the start of the Olympics?
  • mbmb March 2012
    I think the Music 4 package will be on London until the very last possible moment that they cab be and thier licence covers them. I don't think they will implement them a moment before. I draw my own conclusions from them holding out so long that they might not be the biggest fans of the Mcasso sound.
    The revenue from the jingles on countywide FM is peanuts but once they air on BBC London they start earning some sizable dosh - That BBC Worldwide want!
    It is a sad fact that Mcasso were paid to make the jingles and they are not licenced so the BBC can air them forever and keep paying themselves royalities.
    These jingles could be around for a VERY long time, I suspect stations won't get new cuts but they'll be "Rotated" to give the package a "fresh" sound.
    We might be listening to them in 2012 - i'm sure someone in BBC WWW will argue if Radio 2 can make thier cuts last 18 years BBC Local radio can do the same with the ones they have.
  • NickySNickyS March 2012
    I've heard some of the London stuff so I doubt it will be that much longer before it's on air.
  • LenGroatLenGroat March 2012
    MB

    "The revenue from the jingles on countywide FM is peanuts but once they air on BBC London they start earning some sizable dosh - That BBC Worldwide want! " That sums it up, it's all moneymoneymoney to go back into the BBC coffers... and another nail in the coffin of the radio jingle industry.

    I 'monitored' BBC Radio Nottingham's breakfast show recently. A 22 year old 'woman' 'journalist' interviewing a very elderly lady, live, who moaned at great length;it almost made the McCasso idents sound lively. The all-speech breakfast shows deserve these awful idents...

    I made the point elsewhere, that the 'older listeners' these stations focus on were (for example) GEM-AM or Trent FM listeners 20 years ago, so WHY do they produce such DRY brittle, boring, music-less programming for them now?

    60 is then FIFTY!!
  • nickmozznickmozz April 2012
    BBC LONDON HAS RECIEVED THE MCASSO TREATMENT!

    Thought I would bring you the breaking news. The new jingles kicked in this morning.

    I thought they were on the way as they ran a trail yesterday for the Eddie Nestor programme and I thought "mmm that production bed sounds distinctly Mcasso". But it's all change this morning.

    They've gone with the "BBC Lon...Don" - sonic ending.

    Can't wait to hear of Danny Baker's take on things during his show from 3. No doubt it will take him forever to get his head around them... for the last few years he managed to play the travel jingle when it's supposed to be the news and vice-versa!

    Nick
  • local_12local_12 April 2012
    I wanted to break the news! ;-) Anyway, the BBC London sound is different with a new travel bed but it seems Mcasso tried to replicate Music4 as the news jingle sounds quite similar. One of the hour openers sound like a remix of the BBC Surrey news build and I suppose there'll still be some new cuts during the week on BBC London.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 April 2012
    Ahh about time, nothing on the Mcasso website has changed in terms of a demo, it's still "Coming Soon" for BBC London but here's the travel sequence into a Vanessa Feltz ID, I'll try & grab the news & hour opener later :) Not bad so far but lacking in terms of the power the Music4 imaging gave to the station sound ...

    Travel sounds like a custom jobby as local_12 points out, but Vanessa's ID sounds very similar to existing themes.

    BBC London Travel & Vanessa Feltz ID (Mcasso April 2012) by flamingoodmedia
  • tom_htom_h April 2012
    Vanessa's ID is a short version of one of the news themes. Not sure if I like this batch of cuts for London, they seem to be lacking - possibly because the sonic logo is just so short unlike the rest of them.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 April 2012
    WOW, what nickmozz was saying about the BBC Lon - Don sonic ending is not something that disappoints ! it's the first time a real custom sonic logo has been used I think (?) certainly as the main station logo ... most of the others of course have the 3 note B-B-C then their simpler local logo rounded off by another B-B-C logo ... here's travel, news in & hour open from mid-day on April 2nd 2012 :)

    Actually it would seem a number of the cuts have had the BBC Lon - Don logo worked in rather than using the 3 note B-B-C style :)

    BBC London Travel, News & Robert Elms Opener (Mcasso April 2012) by flamingoodmedia
  • fredgreekfredgreek April 2012
    A couple of presenters mistiming their links in to the news at the top of the hour - both Vanessa Feltz just before 9 and Eddie Nestor a few minutes ago spoke right over the voiceover!
  • mbmb April 2012
    It just sounds so feeble compared to the powerful Music 4 package. Taking a big city station to sound like yokel FM is some doing but Mcasso have managed to make it sound small time and dated at the same time. if someone told you this was from the Mid-eighties I wouldn't have been surprised. I think this is a reall low point for BBC local radio imaging and for BBC London to replace a s trong identity with this dreadful product.
  • thelistenerthelistener April 2012
    A sad day. mb is right. To lose Music 4 in London, IQB in Manchester, and some good Steve England work in places like Humberside is a real shame. London in particular sounds like a dog's breakfast. Some parts of the old LR package showing through some London additions like the brass. And wtf is going on off the vo '2012'?! There appears to be some kind of spurious 5 note logo, with different notation and time to the proper one.
  • danwxdanwx April 2012
    I have to say I quite like the new jingles used across BBC Local Radio, but then again I end up hearing them everyday so it becomes habit I guess.

    I feel quite lucky to be able to talk over some of the jingles and beds being a weather presenter for the BBC Local Radio stations in the 'Eastern Counties' (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northampton and Three Counties).
    Only Northampton and Three Counties have a 'bed' that they use while we present the weather, Cambridgeshire keep the travel bed going into the weather during their breakfast show, but all the other stations don't have a bed for the weather.

    I think out of all 6 of these stations, I prefer Northampton's package as it seems to work quite well.
  • mbmb April 2012
    How many logos has BBC London got ? It's all over the place presenters crashing the beds, beds just trailing off different logos on diferent cuts and a beep through the news build that sounds like an alarm has gone off. What sounded tight and big now has the imaging of a community station.
  • ShaunMooreShaunMoore April 2012
    Mcasso Demo is now up!
  • mbmb April 2012
    hy does the news have a different logo for everything else, why the beeps!! Still at least this brings thier contract to a close and all production is complete. Hopefully BBC LR at some point can move on from this dreadful imaging and process and get a company who know about radio branding other than instrumental stabs to do the job. Trouble is you pay a pittance and what do you get...mcasso imaging.
  • timbotimbo April 2012
    Just added a BBC London News build to the soundcloud (not entirely sure how to link it into this page.

    Will also pop a Danny Baker bed as I suspect this could be the only place it'll be heard!
  • LenGroatLenGroat April 2012
    These BBC Mcasso 'themes' (or whatever they call them) sound straight out of the 70s, the kind of safe instrumental packages various UK companies made .. and SO easy to do.

    In contrast most commercial stations are using synthetic Kylie Minogue-style rhythms with screechy solo vocals.

    British Radio ID's have gone to two EXTREMES with these, leaving a demographicVOID in the centre.

    Between them BBC local and most commercials stations only cover under 30s and over 55s.. WHY ON EARTH are they ignoring the 30-55s !?
  • mbmb April 2012
    What I think makes it worse for BBC London is that ( although I don't lilke it ) The LBC Package was made by a proper Orchestera and at least has a degree of gravitas and authority ( oddly as the output does not ) so comparing the two station sounds the flimsey commerceial rival sounds better in terms of production than the BBC.

    BBC Local radio has no talk rival ( outside of London and possibly Liverpool ) so it has no competition to sound poor against but this imaging on BBC London would not sound out of place in the early eighties. Some of te themes would not sound out of place as break bumpers on some middle of the road afternoon TV show on five.
    And is the logo BBC, BBC London, BBC, or BBC Radio Blah blah they don't seem to have made thier mind up.

    And those bloody awful beeps in the news Jingles - If you are David Lowe you can make beeps an integral part of a theme it seems when Mcasso do it it sounds like a submarine radar. And why do the beeps continue when the newsreader is talking its distracting.
  • mbmb April 2012
    If ever there was a track that didn't suit Danny or his show it's that one - Remember the fantastic Iiam Lee LBC track a few years ago - But I can't see Mcasso being able to produce something like that.
  • simon_t123simon_t123 April 2012
    lols @ the comments about Danny Baker ;) I was listening to Baker for jingles that day I upped the airchecks on my way down to jollys on the South Coast, not only was a I treated to a very surreal show but jingles were not part of said show ! apart from the fact he took the mick out of the new sound "they've brought in a new travel jingle just to confuse London's over 50's, the old logo we sung 'he's fell on his head' too & the new logo (plays the travel in many times, each time singing) 'this isn't working' ..." which I thought summed up his views on the new BBC London sound ;) I have to say I agree with many of the comments here, some awful segs & bed tag plays on day 1 & I too thoughr that 'beep' on the news was bloody annoying ! the fact it goes on at full volume as news does the read, it's not right at all, expect a remix of the package before too long methinks ;) it's the same old Mcasso but with a quick 'special' logo for BBC London tagged on, so weak in places (Vanessas cut) that I missed the notes of London althogether ! only in cans did I hear anything extra to the usual "BBC" logo ... This has not been a great move for BBC London, tho' overall I can live with the Mcasso sound, it is just lacking something, well lacking a lot ! and the BBC refused to disclose under freedom of information any package specifics, as BBC Worldwide as a commercial entity is not bound by the same rules of disclosure as the BBC 'proper' ...

    welcome to 'danwx' it's always good to have a user of said product with us, and from my patch also (Essex) I think there's only one weather bed in any case that I've heard, but with a little creative thinking any of these beds could be used for any purpose ...

    that being the problem tho' BBC locals are news & journo focused, there's a lack of creative thinking when it comes to station imaging & trails in some areas !!! to economise ... CENTRALISE ... at least in the field of station sound, now everyone's on Mcasso, let a team do everyone from BBC Locals HQ ?!!
  • simon_t123simon_t123 April 2012
    Thanks to ShaunMoore for the Mcasso demo heads up ... here it is :)

    BBC London 2012 Demo (Mcasso) by flamingoodmedia
  • local_12local_12 April 2012
    On a slightly different note, voiceover James Knight has mentioned that he will be the new male v/o for BBC Three Counties after Easter and was recorded on 21 Feb this year according to his website.

    Also, I was wondering why a lot of stations have taken the 'a passion for countyshire life' slogan as well...
  • simon_t123simon_t123 April 2012
    yeah local_12 I can't remember where but Kent had "a passion for Kent" for a while now but I do recall hearing other stations beginning to have a passion about their own areas, but that can only be a good thing lols ;) nice to think stations can change the VO's to bring in a little refresh, I'm still listening to a very bland BBC Essex mix of imaging & thinking, well you aired these 1st, along with York & Lincs so these stations should really be thinking about a refresh ? get some of the more recent (and much improved) news & travel builds into use, that should surely be the benefit of a group package ?

    checking on Mcasso's demo cuts mind, the numbers don't go very high there, you've got a news v5 I think and production v3 but there's nothing to suggest there's 100's of cuts to choose from, does anyone in the locals know if there is a kit to select from ? or the cuts were 'dished out' or any policy on updates or refreshes ?

    oh for the a copy of the 'kit' ... just for anorak value of course ;)
  • mbmb April 2012
    As far as I understand the contract and production is now complete, there is no continuious update al la reelworld one :)
  • wixy1360wixy1360 April 2012
    So do we think that Mccasso will be "invited" to "pitch" for the follow-on package in 15 years time then, when the existing "package" will have surely become "tired"? >:-)
  • local_12local_12 May 2012
    After 2 years of Mcasso, BBC Lincolnshire have gone back to BBC Radio Lincolnshire with a refreshed Mcasso package from Merseyside as well as new station voices.
  • wixy1360wixy1360 May 2012
    " a refreshed Mcasso package"

    I'm sorry, but isn't that what the school teachers (and headmasters!) in our band of discerning proper-jingle fans would describe as an oxymoron? :-D

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