During our day at CMe Media, we always have the radio on and tuned to local stations so we can monitor our client’s advertising.
A by-product of this is we get to hear and know all the local Radio Presenters, many of which will be unheard of outside of their TSA.
I’m sure a lot of them will be happy serving their local area, but there must be a percentage who have hopes and ambitions of getting noticed and making the move up to the big leagues. After all, the likes of Scott Mills and Chris Moyles cut their teeth at local stations before becoming household names with Radio One.
However, the route to the upper echelons of Commercial Radio may not be as clear as with their BBC counterparts.
It was announced this week that, Stoke City striker, Peter Crouch will be hosting his own show on, none other than, Radio X. This news must have local Presenters up and down the country scratching their heads and questioning the career path they have chosen.
Okay, so Peter Crouch is only covering a 2-week slot and I have nothing against him personally, but still; to use a football parlance, “what is happening to the Academy talent?”
Is local level talent being overlooked for ‘personalities’ with a proven audience rather than a solid background in radio broadcast?
Peter Crouch has over 280,000 followers on Social Media. Ronan Keating, who was announced as the new breakfast host on Magic, has over 20 million record sales as a solo artist and millions more with Boyzone. The average mid-morning local radio host can’t hope to compete with that Social following or cultural recognition. So, no matter how good a presenter they are, how well they engage with their audience or how many years they spent working up from Hospital Radio, they won’t get the shot.
Unfortunately, in this world of prolonging fame for as long as possible, Commercial Radio has become an accepted avenue to keep one’s profile relevant, when their actual career choice has finished with them. I guess there are only so many reality TV shows they can appear in.
Common sense would suggest as large broadcast brands continue to uniform commercial radio across the country, they would be dipping into their own pools and nurturing talent from within, but sadly this isn’t the case.
I suppose it leaves me pondering two things…Do Radio Presenters get into the industry today with ambition or an acceptance of the local level glass ceiling?
And secondly, are the skills gained by working your way up from the bottom worth anything when it appears Radio Presenting can be easily handled by a retired pop star and a center forward who’s good in the air…Good on the air…Actually, there might be something in that.