Broadcast Magazine - September 2018

I wrote a comment piece on the latest signings across commercial radio related to Eddie Mair, Chris Evans and Matthew Wright for Broaadcast magazine. 

Radio must call time on boys' club

 Pic taken from Broadcast magazine - Broadcastnow.co.uk 

Pic taken from Broadcast magazine - Broadcastnow.co.uk 

4 September 2018

Commercial stations are splashing the cash on big signings - but where are the diverse names, asks Edward Adoo

Source: Sky News

Chris Evans: announced Radio 2 departure this week

Radio is one of our best and loved mediums. As a broadcaster and avid radio geek, it’s the best in the world. The recent signings and movements across the industry shows how radio is truly valued.

UK radio still boasts the best stations and presenters but it has morphed into a world of bidding wars, with talent commanding high fees for prominent slots.

It has become like the football transfer season. But Chris Evans announcing he was leaving the Radio 2 Breakfast show then moving to Virgin Radio earlier this morning was the biggest kept secret in radio – and Evans could only reveal the first part of the story on his show.

This, plus LBC’s signing of Eddie Mair from the BBC and Matthew Wright signing for TalkSport, indicates there is still long life in radio, with big name talents commanding mass audiences.

Yet commercial stations are fishing in a safe pool. Evans, Mair and Wright are all tried and tested middle-class white guys. Where are the women or BAME talent in the mix?

Surely they should be getting a chance to connect with mainstream audiences, not just a select few?

Many years ago, I tried to secure airtime for a major commercial radio group, but soon realised I wouldn’t be valued or respected working there. I have constantly questioned why commerical radio has been sluggish to address diversity.

In a roundtable discussion at the DCMS in 2016 with former Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, I put the question to Radiocentre director Siobhan Kenny, who assured me the industry was aware of the problem and steps would be taken to ensure it is priortised.

Kenny totally got it, and I trust that she and her colleagues will ensure the sector will be more representative. But unfortunately much of commercial radio is still a boys’ club, dominated by middle class and white decision-makers who are not always aware of talent outside of their world.

“For the next generation of diverse broadcasters, Evans’ return to Virgin will not be seen as a positive step”

Bauer Group is an exception, with its top stars Angie Greaves at Magic and Melvin and Rickie on Kiss FM Breakfast. But they shouldn’t be the only group championing diverse talent.

For the next generation of diverse broadcasters, Evans’ return to Virgin will not be seen as a positive step.

Both BBC and commercial radio are keen to target the next generation of radio listeners. It’s proven quite tricky to tap into their lifestyle and the ways they consume music and other forms of media today.

Global Radio’s LBC schedule still lacks diverse choice, with one BAME presenter at the weekend and one woman at lunchtime. There is talent out there who could easily fill these slots - June Sarpong, Trevor Philips, Yasmeen Khan, Adil Ray, to name a few.

I’m not here to knock LBC, but they and others need to change their mindset. Radio must move with the times to connect with all audiences.

The BBC is addressing diversity and making sure all of its networks from national to local stations are reaching out. Some regions are playing catch up, but they are on the right track.

Big signings should appeal to all talent in radio, it should be diverse, with more room at the top especially for BAME and female talent.

Commercial radio may be cheering about their new signings, but they’ve got a long way to go if they want to get to grips with diversity.

BBC Three Counties Radio - Drivetime

Next week I will be looking after BBC Three Counties Drivetime from Monday 29th July till 6th of August with the latest stories, interviews and breaking news.

Local panellists across Beds, Herts and Bucks will join me to go through the latest politics, business and entertainment stories. Tune in - www.bbc.co.uk/threecountiesradio

Exclusive midweek monthly DJ residency at Sanderson

Happy to announce I have teamed up with hotel, lifestyle and entertainment group SBE for a weekly monthly residency at Sanderson London on the third Wednesday of each month. 

The residency will be based on my love of soulful music. I will be playing tracks I grew up listening to along with new tracks and exploring a journey through Soul, Funk, Disco, Reggae, House, Funk and Jazz.

It's an honour to be joining the SBE team to extend their love of celebrating nightlife culture in London. Sanderson is one of my spiritual haunts - best cocktails, great staff and awesome music. 

Launch night - Wednesday April 8th - 8pm till late - 

Sanderson Long Bar

Berners Street

London W1T 3NG

Mi-Soul Radio Boxing Day special with Ed Bentley

On Boxing Day I hosted a special daytime show on Mi-Soul and got the chance to hang out with my Dad Jazz Musician Ed Bentley to find out about his life in Jazz music. 

Dad told me what it was like working with Deniece Williams, George Williams former leader of soul group The Tymes, meeting Joe Sample and getting a random phone call from Joey Negro plus working with Courtney Pine on his recent album. 

Click here to catch up and listen again. 

BBC World Service: Global Beats, Global DJ's ...

I have always been fascinated about electronic music and how club culture is embraced across the world.

Well, the BBC World Service have given me an opportunity to find out more about clubbing and host this month's edition of Global Beats.

I will be finding out what people are dancing to and why those tunes are special from DJ's based in Pakistan, Croatia, Venezuela and other countries. 

It will be aired on the BBC World Service this weekend. Tune in on Saturday 16th at 2pm. 

Click on the programme link to listen live or catch up on the BBC iPlayer

My Top 5 Summer Soul Chart ...

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There are so many good independent and authentic soul records out there in particular from UK artists. In fact so much, which has inspired me to compile a Top 5 chart. 

Keep an eye out on Blue Lab Beats, Nk-Ok and Mr DM, two guys from North West London ahead of their time influenced by jazz and hip hop. 

BBE have delivered a broken beat gem from North West London DJ Ziggy Funk. It's reignited my love of the broken beat sound, set to be one of the big tunes of the year. It's my One 2 Watch. 

Also great to see the return of Leroy Hutson with his forthcoming anthology which features two unreleased gems forthcoming on Acid Jazz. 

One 2 Watch - Ziggy Funk - Boxer's Fracture - New - BBE

5 -  Eric Roberson - Lyrics of Pleasure featuring Will Downing - taken from the album Wind  - Dome

4 - Zepherin Saint feat Sara Divine - Hurry - Tribe Records

3 - Blue Lab Beats Keep Moving - Believe Recordings

2 - Sir Piers - Long Distance feat Frank McComb - SO-UK

1 - Leroy Hutson - Positive Forces - Acid Jazz

Hear the chat in full this Sunday 3rd of September on the BBC Soul Show from 4pm on BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio Northampton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Radio Suffolk and BBC Essex. Click here to listen live - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05cp422

BBC Soul Show

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I'll be looking after the BBC Soul Show in the East this Sunday 3rd of September in for Soulman John Leech with guests and music from Brian Power, Ilana Lorraine, Decosta Boyce and Leroy Hutson. I'll be featuring my Summer Soul chart in the last hour of the show. 

Tune in Sunday from 4pm on BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio Northampton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Radio Suffolk and BBC Essex. Click here to listen live http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05cp422