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Former Radio One boss Johnny Beerling heads Skipton station bid
A former controller of Radio One is bidding to run a new station, on a somewhat smaller scale, dedicated to Skipton.
Former BBC boss Johnny Beerling has joined forces with John Evington, who has over 30 years experience in commercial radio, to provide the town with a local service, giving Skipton communities a voice whilst bringing an “exciting, vibrant and diverse” new station to the FM dial.
OFCOM, the media regulator in the UK began licensing community radio stations in 2005 and more than 250 stations are already broadcasting. Now the third phase of community radio licensing is under way and applications were invited for North Yorkshire earlier this month.
Community radio serves a diverse range of communities, with the majority of stations serving a general audience in either an urban/suburban area (16 per cent) or a town/rural area (43 per cent).
If successful in winning a licence, Radio Skipton will serve a very broad audience, with particular emphasis on those groups currently neglected by the mainstream media.
Mr Evington said: “Rather than ‘talk at’ its community, the intention is that Radio Skipton will become a central part of it.
“This means creating direct links with our listeners, offering training opportunities and making sure that members of the community can take an active part in how the station is run.”
A board of trustees will oversee the running of the station. Its chairman, Johnny Beerling, moved to Skipton 14 years ago and, having run BBC Radio 1 during its most successful phase in the 1980s, he is relishing the prospect of being involved with something new and exciting so close to home.
Mr Beerling, who has recently hit the national headlines because he worked for many years with Jimmy Saville, said: “Apart from reflecting local news and events we will embrace local sporting clubs, schools, youth activities, churches of all faiths, hobbies, societies and so on. In fact it is our intention that everything that’s happening in Skipton will be reflected on the airwaves.”
The station is already running trial programming online at radioskipton.co.uk and plans are in place for some live programming in the run up to Christmas.
Anyone wanting to get involved should contact John Evington either via the station website or by telephoning 07917 138358.