With the successful launch of the brand new community radio station ‘DCR Online’ on Friday the 26th of October, the people of Dumfries have never had such a great choice of local radio stations to listen to. But the big question is’ is there room for 3 radio stations in a town the size of Dumfries?
We spoke to all three local stations to see what they have to say about the future of radio in the town.
The brand new DCR online, a Dumfries based community radio station, with a tiny studio at the Crichton Campus, ran by a very small team of 3.
Graham Anderson one of the co-founders told DGWGO “I think all 3 stations have a lot to offer the whole of Dumfries and Galloway and if we all work hard for our community the only winner is the community and our community is from DG1 to DG16……”
Graham continued “I feel that for radio to really work the music has to be the main focus, at DCR Online we believe that the type of music and the way it’s planned throughout the day will attract new listeners and retain them. People can download our android or iphone app and take our music with them 24/7 by clicking HERE, we really offer a convenient way to listen to great music and keep updated with local community news.”
The town has had a Westsound station and studio in the Dumfries since May 1990 and their music proposition is ‘Greatest Hits’. The station features many local presenters such as the well known Tommy Jardine from Dumfries who presents his popular breakfast show, and has been with the station for over 20 years. The station primarily target adults over 40. Westsound is owned by global media giants Bauer Media, Bauer manages a portfolio of more than 600 magazines, over 400 digital products and 50 radio and TV stations around the world with over 11,000 employees in 17 countries.
Mike Richardson from Westsound FM told DGWGO “As digital listening continues to increase and with the arrival of new technologies like the smart speaker, listeners now have more choice than ever before. This can only be a really good thing for everyone involved in the radio industry.”
Westsound is well known for all the great community work they do with the fundraising for the charity supported by Bauer Media ‘Cash For Kids‘. Cash for Kids is Bauer Radio’s network of local charities, which operate across 22 areas around the UK. Their mission is to respond to the needs of children in local communities, and they aspire to enable all children to live life to the full and achieve their individual potential.
Alive 107.3 Community Radio for Dumfries was established in 2009 and is a non- commercial organisation which has been broadcasting online and via FM from Dumfries 24/7, all the presenters and team that work there are Volunteers. Alive 107.3FM’s shows are primarily produced for a Dumfries and Galloway audience.
We spoke to Hugh Taylor from Alive and he said “Having a continual online presence means that our specialist music shows have a considerable following throughout the world. Alive 107.3 is very active and is well supported in the community through involvement with events like Youthbeatz, Lochside Gala, Apple Pie Day and Summerhill Community Centre.”
Hugh Continued “We have a great variety of output including our award winning country music show ‘Country in my Veins‘ presented by local Dumfries lad Ali Donowho. The birthday rollout continues next month when our new schedule will add a community based cookery show, specialist blues, soul, guitar and classical music shows and the return of the popular Friday magazine. From the Globe Inn comes a ground breaking, anarchic, poetry show presented by two of Scotland’s leading poets and in January the launch of a brand new travel show produced by award winning travel writers in Dumfries and Louisiana that will also include holiday reports recorded by members of our local community and Alive will be running a special free travel writing course.
Recent equipment updates let us broadcast live from Moniaive Bluegrass Festival and over the last two weeks we transmitted two of three, planned, live shows from our portable studio in Rome. Throughout the year we will broadcast from as many small community events, festivals and concerts as possible. To enable people outwith Dumfries to get involved with Alive we are rolling out remote production hubs with the first already operating in Moniaive and discussions underway for the establishment of the next three.
Alive has always been at the cutting edge of live music broadcasting and encouraging young local musicians. The new hubs will give even more people the chance to get on air. So how have we managed to buck the trend and still be here after nine years? Well apart from our content we have two enormous strengths. We are very, very good at fundraising plus no one working at Alive gets paid as much as a penny piece. We are not in it for the money. We are all volunteers.”
So as you can see Dumfries is now pouring out a fantastic array of music, news and local information for us all to tune into and listen to via FM or online. There has never been a greater choice or variety of local radio stations for the people of Dumfries and Galloway to enjoy. We wish them all the best of luck and hope that our region can support even more radio stations in the future.
Written by RB exclusively for DGWGO