Remember – Radio Should Be FUN!

Quite a few things made me smile this weekend. The sun was (sort of) out, I ate more than my fair share of barbeque food, had a laugh with some good mates and celebrated the relaunch of one of the greatest names in radio.

Radio Trent – back on air, 36 years on.

Regular visitors to this blog won’t need much reminding that the Radio Trent name disappeared at the end of last year when its owners Global Radio replaced it with Capital East Midlands. So when not one, but two online radio stations decided to revive the name there was more than a passing interest from those who technically still owner the copyright.

 
But that didn’t stop RadioTrent.co.uk launching yesterday, 36 years to the day since the station first went on the air in Nottingham. One or two anoraks (myself included) were slightly disappointed not to hear a recreation of the launch broadcast, featuring the “Sounds Like You Want To Hear” jingle and Billy Paul’s “July, July, July, July” song. But we did get one out of the three original elements to that famous day. John Peters, the man who presented Trent breakfast for over 20 years (and then some more at Gem AM) was there to welcome the station back with a track called…. Welcome Back.
 
Other Trent names of yesteryear feature on the station’s schedule, including Jeff Cooper, Tim Rogers, Guy Morris, Tim Disney and Bill Bingham. And it’s all very professional stuff too – a wide playlist (from 1975-1988, when Radio Trent became Trent FM) – a bit of nostalgia in the links and some big local names sponsoring the output. Actually, that’s perhaps one of the most impressive feats of this project – with  “sponsor messages” being read out by the presenters instead of ad breaks. It certainly makes the station sound distinctive.
 
And although, technically speaking, it’s supposed to be “.co.uk” at the end of the station name, that didn’t stop the jocks simply referring to it as “Radio Trent”. Well. It’d be wrong not to, wouldn’t it?
 
In another part of Nottingham, Trent Sound has been broadcasting for a few weeks now. A recent tweet says
 
we are now the only station flying the flag for Nottingham, keep the faith
 
Not strictly true – but we get what you mean. Though it seems that even a well meaning comment can be taken the wrong way. @davidlloydradio tweeted
 
Not sure how many Take That tribute acts exist-but bizarre now two online Trent tribute stations on air: Radiotrent.co.uk and trentsound.com
 
Only to receive a reply from @TrentSoundLtd saying
 
tribute? Hmmm – I’m not really sure that’s what we are doing here! We’re trying to carry on the good work Trent did…
 
Followed by
 
“tribute” has a nasty anorak feel to it, the amount of time and money we have and are spending on this makes us serious!
 
Seems that sometimes you can’t win, even when you’re trying to be nice! Nobody’s suggesting that those behind these two projects aren’t serious about what they do. Certainly Trent Sound would like to portray itself as “Independent Local Radio” for Nottingham whilst RadioTrent.co.uk calls itself “Nottingham’s Greatest Radio Station”.
 
But here’s the thing – what’s being created here is essentially a form of nostalgia – at least in one form or another. Both stations use old Trent jingles, and feature former Trent presenters. There can be absolutely no doubt that, by its very nature, it’s a tribute. A very good one in both cases.
 
My personal view is that both of these stations are undoubtedly about recreating some of the buzz and some of the fun that went along for those listening to and working for Trent back in the day. That alone should be a cause for celebration. But whatever happens next, don’t take yourself too seriously. Radio’s a fun industry. Let’s keep it that way.
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