Radio ga ga quiz

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It’s a long way from Llandaff to Cardiff bay…

All eyes will be on senior BBC Wales figures as they try to defend the shockingly low listening figures to politicians in the Welsh assembly tomorrow.

The Editors of Radio Wales and Radio Cymru are to be quizzed by Assembly Members on the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. 

Colin faces a hard task

But Colin Paterson and Betsan Powys could have a hard task.

We have shown how the RAJAR statistics reveal that BBC Radio Wales’ listening figures are near an all-time low of less than two years ago.

The weekly ‘reach’ suggests 48,000 listeners are only tuning in for just over an hour a day.

Betsan may not be smiling at the questions

Radio Wales is now just 2,000 listeners above its worst figure of 333,000 revealed in August 2016.

At the time it was reported that the station lost 47,000 listeners between April and June, and 75,000 fewer people tuned in compared to the same period the previous year.

For the second half of last year Radio Cymru had 126,000 listeners per week, just five per cent, and with a market share of 2.9 per cent.

Rhodri likes ‘incisive’ minds

Yet when Mr Paterson arrived next to Ms Powys as the Editor of Radio Wales in November 2016 from BBC Radio Scotland, there appeared to be high hopes of a change in direction.

He soon, though, became a controversial figure.

Last August, cuts to commentary for Wrexham football games on Radio Wales were condemned as unfair.

The North Wales Assembly Member (AM) Llyr Gruffydd demanded officials rethink the decision to reduce radio coverage of the team’s matches, and put them on the BBC’s website.



Llyr was not happy

Mr Paterson had outlined a radical plan to axe the FM radio opt out for North Wales except for “key games”.

But his senior managers supported him.

When Mr Paterson was appointed, his new boss BBC Wales Director Rhodri Talfan Davies said:  “His incisive mind, his passion and his deep understanding of radio will be invaluable as the station nears its 40th birthday in 2018.”

Aled Jones’ behaviour ‘will never be repeted’

Yet it has not been plain sailing.

The Eye showed how Radio Wales was rocked by scandal recently

Officials confirmed to us that the controversial singing star and broadcaster, Aled Jones, would resume duties on his Sunday Radio Wales show, after apologising profusely following an investigation which we first revealed.

They do make changes

We reported that angry listeners had contacted The Eye once it emerged that Mr Jones’ programmes had been suddenly dropped from the airwaves.

We were told by BBC Wales it was a standard alteration in the schedules, and informed that they do “make changes to when programmes run”.

Is anybody listening?

But news soon came of a very different sort.

In fact it became evident afterwards, that Mr Jones had decided to remove himself from certain commitments, while an investigation was undertaken into alleged ‘inappropriate behaviour’.

Then it was disclosed that Mr Jones was to resume presenting on the BBC, including on Radio Wales, after his suspension, following a full apology.

Perhaps this is the way to reach an audience

A statement from his spokesman said that he “has given his assurance” that his past behaviour “will never be repeated”.

BBC Wales though appears upbeat.

In evidence officials have already said:  “The BBC welcomes the opportunity to contribute…” 

Perhaps the Editors will not welcome the kind of questions they may get.




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