If you use the word relaunch then you have already admitted you have failed. If you haven’t failed why would you change?

I listened to the relaunch of a community radio station in Northampton this weekend and was shocked with the lack of preparation that became evident from the start and obvious throughout the day.

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One presenter was so ill-prepared and technically inept that he went out live out on air for over ninety minutes continuously repeating “can you hear me? I can’t hear you” over the music. It was also evident that preparation was lacking when he eventually got in contact. The reporter started her interview with “oh by the way, whats your name”

I don’t understand why those who say they have experience in local radio both managing and executing broadcasts can make such basic and very embarrassing mistakes live on the air and expect to be a credible broadcaster.

Perhaps I should expand on the fundamental mistakes heard here. Every professional broadcaster knows the must monitor off air for reasons that are obvious. If you monitor “on air output” you will know your communication to OB is actually being broadcast and you can fix the problem. Allowing this to happen for ninety minutes without fixing it is ridiculous and extremely embarrassing. Secondly, if you are going to interview someone on air, at least have tho courtesy to know and address them by their name before you go to air. It is a sign of complete lack of preparation and experience if you don’t introduce your guest by name… Simply shocking!

My point is simple. There is a minimum competency level for every radio station no matter how small that station is. If you don’t recognise this you will fail. I am told by a fine broadcaster that during his hospital radio days each new broadcaster started with a broadcast assessment. If they failed that assessment they didn’t go on air.

Is there a lesson for Community Radio here?