"Several presenters on Bauer's AM stations in Scotland are thought to have lost their jobs as Bauer introduces networking on their Scottish medium wave stations from Monday.
The five stations, Clyde 2, Forth 2, Westsound, Tay AM and Northsound 2 have until recently enjoyed mostly local programming, but from Monday will be networking for 14 hours per day, leaving only local overnight and breakfast slots.
The new network will be managed by Radio Tay Station Manager Ally Ballingall who has been promoted to the newly created position of Director for AM Scotland for Bauer Media’s Big City Network.
Some presenters have been on their local stations schedule for decades, including Bill Smith who has been with Clyde 2 for 35 years and Father Monaghan who first hosted a show on Forth 2 in 1979.
Commenting on Ally's new position, Graham Bryce, Managing Director for Scotland at Bauer Media, said: “Ally is passionate about the future of Scottish radio and knows exactly what listeners want. He is simply the best person for this new role which will allow him to focus his energy and passion on the listener experience and deliver broadcasting excellence for the AM output."
Ally said: “I am really delighted to be taking up this new challenge and am committed to bringing quality local programming to listeners across Scotland. Commercial radio in the UK today is more competitive today than ever, so my vision is to create stations which will be at the heart of the local community for many years to come. We are broadening listener ship with new programmes which we are sure will delight audiences around the country.”
The changes will take place just a day before Lord Carter's report on digital Britain is due to be published, which is expected to open the gate for further networking and co-location for stations such as these."
They might aswell call the Bauer network Radio Wallpaper because wherever you go in Scotland you're going to hear the same uninspiring dated playlist-dominated bland radio that has been killing radio for years. Do the people in the Borders really want to tune into a Glasgow-based DJ? No, and neither do I.
The Scotsman's Recommends section recently published my Best 5 Scottish Radio Shows and not one of them was from local radio. We used to listen to Forth One in our office but we got fed up hearing the same songs over and over. The only show we did enjoy was the Top 10 at Ten with Grant Stott, very much the natural broadcaster. We now listen to Radio 2.
There's a reason Radio 2 is the most popular. It has the much-loved well-kent voices during the day for the masses and the speciality shows in the evenings and weekends. It has a playlist but you wouldn't really know it.
Talk 107, the music-free Edinburgh station which recently bit the dust, had been replaced for a trial by The Coast 107. The Coast 107 boasts "more tracks, less chat" and the format seems to work. Aimed at a slightly older audience, I think it has a place for people who don't want to hear self-congratulatory presenters.