TALK OF THE TRADE

Annoying Auntie

"All part of the rich tapestry of political life," said one BBC news executive philosophically about the weekend attacks on John Humphrys. To those with a long enough memory it seems an uncanny, even shameless re-run of the 1986/87 Conservative attack on the Corporation's output - except that Jonathan Aitken does not have the rottweiler aggression of Lord Tebbit. But the message is that an election cannot be far away, and the Conservative Party is turning again to BBC-bashing to divert attention from its own agonies.

Talking turkey

The talk on Talk Radio UK is not good. Apart from significantly upping the broadcast quota of "bollocks" and similar profanities, the industry consensus is that Britain's newest commercial station adds precious little to radio output, either in quality or innovation. The real measure of its success - official audience figures - will not be available until late next month. In the meantime, we have to make do with the station's internal data on listener calls.

Statistics for weekdays between the 4 and 10 March show that a fairly impressive total of 813,769 calls were made to the station. However, the figures for individual shows reveal wide variations. The runaway success is shock-jock Caeser the Geezer's late-night show, which accounted for two-thirds (527,612) of all calls made to Talk Radio. In contrast, Samantha and Sean's four-hour breakfast slog attracted a meagre 0.5 per cent or 4,093 calls. One half of the team, Samantha Meah, left Talk Radio UK last Monday, after it became clear that she would not be part of the station's revised thinking for the slot, which appears to involve transforming it from a forum for idle chat and showbiz gossip into a more consumer-focused, daytime-TV style show. "It's good that things are changing," a spokeswoman said. "It shows we're learning from our mistakes."

The other big line-up change is the departure a fortnight ago of Wild Al Kelly, the mad-dog host of the 1 to 5am graveyard show. Despite being the station's second most popular weekday presenter in terms of calls made (16.4 per cent or 133,496 lights on the switchboard), Wild Al left after rubbing up rather too closely to the Radio Authority's guidelines on taste and decency. Tommy Boyd's afternoon show from 3 to 7pm appeared to be the station's only other significant other, accounting for 10.8 per cent of calls made. The mustachioed Antipodean heavy hitter, Scott Chisholm, proved a speech radio lightweight, provoking just 14,397 callers for the week, while Anna Raeburn's two-hour show managed only 9,205.

Voices of the nation

Some of Britain's leading newspaper companies last week accused the Government of paralysis as it faced the challenge to reform the existing rules on cross-media ownership. Failure to act decisively could damage the economy and drive domestic investment abroad, warned Sir David English, of the British Media Industry Group, which comprises Associated Newspapers, the Guardian Media Group, Telegraph Plc and Pearson. It now seems likely that the Heritage Department's long awaited review will come next month. Stephen Dorrell's final list of options is likely to shy away from any radical shake-up in the short term. Instead, Mr Dorrell is more likely to play with thresholds, perhaps raising the stake in an ITV franchise that a newspaper can own, from 20 to 29 per cent.

Sir David was speaking as the BMIG published its contribution to the debate. Using a new methodology (partly modelled on the points system used by the Radio Authority) for measuring a media company's influence, the BMIG has established a national media market from which share of national voice can be calculated. All the Government has to do is determine the maximum share of national voice it considers healthy and leave it to media groups to decide how they wish to achieve it. According to the report, the BBC's dominance of television and radio means the corporation has a 20 per cent share of national voice, nearly double that enjoyed by News International.

Teenage blues jeans

Jeans ads conjure up a predictable set of images - male models with jaw-lines to die for overlaid with a pop classic destined for No 1 on re-release. Pepe Jeans, historically a willing accomplice to the stereotype, now looks determined to debunk the genre with a series of press and cinema ads which dwell more on adolescent angst than teenage dreams. A Mintel report last week found that young people were increasingly worried about jobs and financial security and are developing a "new spirit of rebellion" against a world which they see as having largely failed them. In Pepe's cinema ad, a disillusioned youth takes his father's Mercedes and hangs it from a crane in the shadow of Canary Wharf tower. Another features a press cutting about a teenage suicide. The message? Life's a bitch, so buy a pair of jeans.

Correction

On March 14 we ran a piece about breakfast television. GMTV has asked to point out that it has consistently commanded the highest ratings at 8am over the last six months, being topped on only one occasion by The Big Breakfast. It also says that its weekly viewing reach of 17.7 million viewers (Oct 1994) compares favourably with TV-am's 15.2 million in October 1989.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballI have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official, writes Paul Scholes
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: External Relations Executive

£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...

Guru Careers: Sales Director / Business Development Manager

£35 - 45K + COMMISSION (NEG): Guru Careers: A Sales Director / Business Develo...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee