Edition #56 October 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of Community Media News

Welcome to the October edition of Community Media News.

We kick things off with details of two CMA Community Radio Network Meetings - one this Saturday 30th October on SSDAB and the next on Saturday 13th November on fundraising.

And we have some ticket giveaways for CMA members and supporters for the amazing Radio TechCon and the awesome 2021 Radio Academy Festival.

In Strategy, Policy & Licensing, we share some highlights from the DCMS Digital Radio & Audio Review, Ofcom's latest Radio Broadcast Update, and the research into offensive language in broadcasting.

In Small Scale DAB, new DAB consultants Digris have now set up shop in the UK. And in Sector News, the 'CMA Connects' work experience opportunity is still open for volunteers

In Community Updates, Vectis Radio celebrates a funding boost, and Corinium Radio has been nominated for a National Award. We share information on the Futures on Air collaboration between BA1 Radio, Soundart Radio and Bradley Stokes Radio. East Devon Radio celebrates 15 years since its first broadcast. Radio Wimborne starts its first FM broadcast, and Calon FM is now back on air.

In Audio & Digital, there's a new documentary series for community radio stations from Upperhurst, we share James Cridland's short history of podcasting in the UK, information on how you can get involved in the Audio Playground, the latest podcasts from InRadio and Fantastic Noise, and new appointments and promotions at Hospital Broadcasting Association and at PPL.

In Events & Training, sign up for the free-to-attend online World DAB Summit and we have details of the amazing Radio TechCon. The mighty 2021 Radio Academy Festival is also on next month.

In Awards, we send our congratulations to all the nominees and winners at the 2021 Community Radio Awards, 

In Funding, the Dream Fund is now open for applicants and the National Lottery Community Fund appoints a new Chief Executive and renews its commitment to communities. 

Lastly, in Tech Corner, we have the news of a marathon runner racing the Sandy Heath transmitter, learn about exploring DAB with the Radioscape Observa Field Monitor, discover how Facebook disappeared from the Internet at the start of this month, we take a look at the Shipping Forecast, we have a video of the demolition of the Bilsdale Transmitter. 

As usual, there's too much to cram in here so please check out our Chat Forum for more information and check out our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to keep up to date with more news and information.

We also have a wiki site to try to manage the wealth of information relevant to the current situation such as advice on FundraisingBusiness Continuity, the BBC Local Radio Content Scheme, and other General Information.

Do you have a story about your community radio station or community media project to share? Email your news, press releases, event details, and stories to

CMA Community Radio Network Meeting - Applying for an SSDAB Licence

The October CMA Community Radio Network Meeting, open to all in the community radio sector, features veteran community radio practitioner Lawrie Hallett from Future Radio, Future Digital Norfolk, and North Norfolk Digital.

Lawrie will share his expertise and helpful advice on Ofcom's application form for an SSDAB licence and the licensing process for prospective multiplex operators and service providers.

This session on SSDAB will start at 12pm on Saturday 30th October.

Please put the date in your diary and we look forward to seeing you in the call.

CMA Community Radio Network Meeting - Fundraising

Our November CMA Community Radio Network Meeting, open to all in the community media sector, features Danny Lawrence from Gateway 97.8 sharing his knowledge of fundraising.

And we will also have Richard Hilton of the CMA's Community Radio Fund Assistance Service who will share with us his expertise on successfully applying to the Community Radio Fund.

This session on fundraising will start at 12pm on Saturday 13th November.

Please put the date in your diary and we look forward to seeing you in the call.
Free Giveaways for CMA Members & Supporters

Radio Techcon - 11 bursary places

Radio TechCon is aimed at broadcast engineers, technologists and anyone with an interest in radio, audio, technology and engineering – including programme-makers and managers.  It takes a deep dive into the technical challenges and opportunities facing the radio and audio industry, as well as celebrating technical achievements and remaining as accessible as possible to all.

The bursaries offer free tickets to those from backgrounds that are under-represented in broadcast engineering, or who are facing a financial barrier to attend the conference. And as a bonus, all 2021 bursary recipients will benefit from a year of free membership to The Radio Academy.

The deadline for bursary applications is 23:59 on Sunday 31st October.  Apply here.

The Radio Academy Festival 2021 Prize Draw

We have free passes for the 2021 Radio Academy Festival up for grabs for CMA members!

We are delighted to announce that the Community Media Association has a number of free passes for the 2021 Radio Academy Festival to give away to our members!

Taking place from 9am on Wednesday 3rd November, the 2021 Radio Academy Festival will be streamed live from the 17th Floor of the News Building in London to wherever you are. There'll be live video networking with other delegates, and you'll be able to interact with the sessions by asking your questions online.

In the evening there'll be Radio Academy drinks events at venues all over the UK so you can meet with other members and talk about what you've seen (or just enjoy some free drinks). Details of the Festival can be seen online here.

Send us your entry for the draw by 6pm on Monday 1st November using the form below. We’ll randomly select the winners and let you know that week if you have a free pass for The Radio Academy Festival 2021.


Radio TechCon 2021 prize draw

Radio TechCon 2021 takes place online on Monday 29th November.

Radio TechCon is aimed at broadcast engineers, technologists and anyone with an interest in radio, audio, technology and engineering – including programme-makers and managers. The one-day conference will feature a mixture of speakers from across audio and technical disciplines as well as mini ‘how-to’ masterclasses and case studies from real-life projects.

The Community Media Association has partnered with Radio TechCon for three CMA members to attend the conference. The tickets - valued at £99 + VAT - have been generously donated by Radio TechCon.

Please complete the form below for a chance to be entered into a draw for a free ticket.  This draw will close at 23:59 GMT on Friday 12th November. We will advise the winning names and Radio Techcon will be in touch directly to explain how to register for the event. Best of luck with the draw(s)!
DCMS Digital Radio & Audio Review
The Department for Digital Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) finally published the long-awaited Digital Radio & Audio Review on 21st October.

Highlights of the report include the following:

0.5: "Community radio stations continued to stay on air, in spite of the COVID-19 restrictions, providing valuable local information to their communities".

0.7:  "There are also over 300 analogue community radio stations which collectively reach over 1 million listeners every week".

Chapter 1: "Community radio stations, through the efforts of volunteers, overcame disruption and restrictions to continue to stay on air to provide valuable local information and support to their communities. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis many community stations broadcast vital public service and health announcements and news to their communities in multiple languages, and donated free airtime to provide support for local businesses and charities".

Chapter 2.41: "Ofcom’s development of small-scale DAB, which provides a low-cost route to digital broadcasting for small independent commercial and community stations, will further strengthen the provision of local content and increase listener choice through a range of innovative and diverse services. Ofcom is in the process of the UK-wide roll out of the licensing regime for small-scale DAB, which will lead to the launch of over 200 new hyper-local multiplexes offering potentially thousands of services".

Chapter 2.42: "The appetite for hyper-local content can be seen in the strong and growing community radio offer across the UK. There are now more than 300 community radio services across the UK (including over 40 specifically serving ethnic minority communities). Community radio stations typically cover a small geographical area with a coverage radius of up to 5km (3 miles). Services offer a diverse range of output targeting many different audiences, some with a geographic focus on a particular community, others on a particular segment of their community such as young people or the LGBT community, those of particular religious or ethnic groups, or those with particular interests such as education or the arts".

Recommendation #1: " FM spectrum will be needed for BBC, commercial and community radio services at least until 2030 and that there should be no mandated switchover before that time. DAB spectrum will be needed for national (BBC and commercial), local and small-scale services beyond 2030 and for the foreseeable future".
Ofcom's Radio Broadcast Update September 2021
Ofcom's radio broadcast update for September 2021 has been published. It contains details of  Round Two small-scale DAB multiplex applications, digital sound programme service (DSP) and C-DSP licences issued, analogue community radio licences issued in this period, and licence extensions granted in this period.
Ofcom's Research into Offensive Language on TV and Radio
  • Viewers and listeners more tolerant of accidental on-air swearing
  • Audiences more concerned about discriminatory language, with strong context and justification expected
  • Older programmes with potential for offence prompt mixed views, but many felt warnings should be used

Viewers and listeners have told Ofcom they are generally more relaxed about most swearing on TV and radio, particularly if it is accidental and an apology swiftly follows, according to its latest in-depth research study.

Audiences say they still want broadcasters to consider carefully when, and how, offensive language is used. But many people recognise that, in the right context, it can play an important role in programmes.

Participants in the study felt that, in line with freedom of expression, offensive words can be used to create dramatic impact, bring humour, reflect real life, or even to inform and educate.

Read the report on public attitudes towards offensive language on tv and radio on the Ofcom website here.

Digris Sets Up Shop in the UK
A Swiss company that specialises in small-scale DAB has created a UK business to apply for multiplex licences here..

Digris Switzerland said it incorporated digris Limited in partnership with Rash Mustapha, a former senior technologist at British communications regulator Ofcom. Rash is credited with developing small-scale DAB in the UK.

In addition to applying for licences, the new business venture will offer managed services for radio stations and other network operators.

CMA Connects - Opportunity for Work Experience

Community Media Association Chair, Dom Chambers, is offering work experience to someone who is keen to get into the audio and radio industry. This is for an emerging creative talent with a passion for producing audio content.

Primarily, the opportunity might be of most interest to students or young people under 25 years but applications are open to all and is offered to those in the CMA who are either an individual member or part of a member’s organisation. This is not a geographically located opportunity and will be remote supported. The is a volunteer placement but could lead to paid work.

Anyone interested should send a cover letter, CV, and a 2-minute audio piece saying why they should be offered this opportunity. For more information and to submit applications, please email
Funding Boost for Four P's Project at Vectis Radio 

Community radio station Vectis Radio, is accelerating plans to adapt the facilities it offers to local young people – thanks to a donation from Southern Vectis’ Community Fund. 

The Isle of Wight station which has a studio in The Riverside Centre in Newport, offers training for students with learning difficulties - giving them the chance to learn ‘the four Ps’ - Presenting, producing, promoting and podcasting. 

Before the Covid pandemic, up to five students could visit the studio at a time to gain experience on what it’s like to run a radio station. Now, due to restrictions in confined spaces, only two are permitted. 

Ian Mac, from Vectis Radio, said: “We’ve decided to move our recording booth out into the main area here at the station – so we can bring more young learners in at a time within an easier and safer environment. “In order to do this, we need to invest in a range of new equipment – and that is where Southern Vectis’ Community Fund has been so helpful. Since the beginning of the pandemic, life has become harder for us all – and we want to offer those living within our community, the chance to forget about all of that, learn some new skills – and have fun. I’d like to thank Southern Vectis for this donation, which will be put to really good use."

Corinium Radio Nominated for National Award for Digital Skills Work

Corinium Radio, based in the Cotswolds, has been nominated for a national award for its work in promoting digital skills.

The online community radio station based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire is one of the nominees in the 2021 Digital Leaders 100 accolades, which recognise people and organisations that “are demonstrating a pioneering and sustainable approach to digital transformation in the UK”.

Digital Leaders brings together senior leaders who are driving technical transformation in their sector to support social and economic inclusion. Corinium Radio was nominated for the award for “encouraging digital skills and giving individuals the opportunity to develop and learn”.

Commenting on the achievement, chair Carole Boydell said: “Decisions about the award are made around November, but being nominated is an honour in itself. These national awards celebrated both community radio and the hard work and time that volunteers put into their stations, programmes and communities."

To listen to the station and sign up to volunteer, visit
Photo: Some of Corinium Radio’s members in June 2021. Credit: Tom Robinson

Futures On Air Community Radio Collaboration event

Futures On Air is a specially curated series of programmes co-created by community groups and researchers and broadcast on community radio stations across the South West.

Mining heritage, the reintroduction of beavers, hip-hop, and the mysterious world of underwater sounds are just some of the topics that have been covered in a series of programmes broadcast across BA1 Radio (Bath), Soundart Radio (Totnes) and Bradley Stoke Radio (Bristol).

Futures On Air is a collaboration between FUTURES and community radio practitioners Stellaria Media.

If you didn’t hear these when they were first broadcast you can listen again on the Futures on Air Mixcloud.

East Devon Radio Celebrates 15 Years Since First Broadcast

In 2006 Andy Green sat at The Bridge Inn in Topsham and informed his wife Julie that he was going to start a radio station in Exmouth. Andy said: "We put a small team together, built a studio in an office above an estate agent’s in Exmouth and started a trial broadcast on the 11th of September 2006. It finished on the 8th of October.  The 8th October marked 15 years since that very first broadcast ended.

Above is the Westcountry TV News broadcast about the station. Andy said that Julie was the only one presentable enough to go in front of the camera at such short notice but despite being extremely nervous she did very well. An idea that took seven years to achieve launching in 2013 has now grown today into East Devon Radio.
Radio Wimborne Takes to the Air
Radio Wimborne started its FM broadcast on Saturday 16th October during an event on the Minster Green in Wimborne Minster, Dorset. The mayor, councillor Kelly Webb and Town Cryer Chris Brown were in attendance. 
The station is delighted to at last add the 94.6FM transmission to its online service which has been running since 2014 and look forward to serving the local community of Wimborne Minster and surrounding villages. To read more about Radio Wimborne click here. Tune into Radio Wimborne on 94.6FM or online.

Calon FM is back on Air After a Nine-Month Break

After being taken off air and then taken over by a new community interest company, Wrexham Community Broadcasting, Calon FM, one of the longest-established community radio stations in the UK is now back on air. Based at the Enterprise Hub in Wrexham town centre, it has a newly installed transmitter at the top of Ty Pawb. This increased height and more central location will, subject to approval from Ofcom, enable the station to increase its reach throughout the county borough.

Wrexham Community Broadcasting chair Conrad Anderson said: "We've had quite a year with the uncertainty of the plug being pulled without much warning, the battle to retain the licence, the need to establish a new company and find a new broadcasting centre and site for the transmitter. We've also had to raise money as we had no advertising income while we were off air. It's been a huge team effort and everybody's pulled together to make it happen."

Mr Anderson added: “Calon FM is a great asset to the community and a positive representation of what can be achieved when we work together. It’s amazing to think what we have achieved in a relatively short time and there is definitely much more to come.”

The FM transmitter for the station has now been switched on, so you are able to tune into it in the car, and on portable radios. You can also listen online and on your smart-speaker. The Calon FM website, details some of the shows that will be broadcast. If you would like to enquire about advertising with this brand-new station, please email


Available from December 2021, a series of five 30-minute audio documentaries made by UpperHurst.Com 1, with support from the Audio Content Fund. Seven stations committed to this project initially, and the series is now being made available free, to other community radio stations.

“Still Alive - a look at people making things"

“Still Alive” takes us into the workshops and studios of five people who make things that most of us never see or just take for granted. Peter Brooks meets The Clog Maker, The Record Cutter, The Stone Carver, The Luthier and The Knife Maker to learn how they go about their craft and to take a look into their lives.

Please contact Peter Brooks on if you are interested.

The History of Podcasting in the UK
Read James Cridland's 'incomplete attempt' at some of the important dates in UK podcasting, with some audio attachments too, in his 'The History of Podcasting in the UK' blog post on Podnews.

Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

Audio Playground

"Each month, I'll send you an audio assignment and some inspiration, via the Audio Playground Newsletter. When you complete the assignment, send me back your MP3.

I'll post all the responses on this site, like it’s our collective refrigerator door.

The point isn’t to make something good - though fine if it is - but just to make it.  And maybe surprise yourself in the process".
Listen to the latest InRadio podcast #23 on audioboom here with Dom Chambers as he discusses the past, present and future with Johnny Beerling.  
Fantastic Noise is a podcast about making radio, from the University of Bedfordshire. Join Terry Lee as we hear from experts and professionals talking about a variety of radio topics, as well as jargon-busting, and discussion exploring how we define what good audio is.

In the latest podcast, Terry talks to  Emma Saunders talks about broadcasting on BBC 5 Live as part of their sports team. If you ever wanted to learn more about how they go around the grounds so fast on a Saturday afternoon, this is the podcast for you! Listen to the podcast here.

And here, Terry spoke to BBC Three Counties Radio's Justin Dealey - who is known at his station as somewhat of a voxpopper extraordinaire - to find out more about the origins and business of publishing a football fan podcast. Listen to the podcast here.
HBA Welcomes New Executive Director
The Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Amy Palmer as the organisation's new Executive Director.

Amy’s appointment comes as part of the HBA’s strategic review and will ensure HBA continues to be at the forefront through its offering of support and representation to over 160 hospital, health, and wellbeing broadcasting organisations across the country.

In her new role as Executive Director, Amy will have complete responsibility for leading and implementing all aspects of HBA’s day-to-day and strategic operations, including the management of the organisation’s volunteers.

Promotions and Moves at PPL

The music licensing agent PPL has promoted Lucy Cousins to Head of Radio and Online while Charlie Rogers moves to Head of Television in its Licensing team.

Lucy joined PPL from university in 2011 and in her new role she is charged with looking after and growing PPL’s portfolio of radio and online licensees.

Immediate priorities will be to work with stakeholders to further develop PPL’s livestreaming approach on behalf of the company’s recording rightsholder and performer members and to expand PPL’s multi-territory online licensing in partnership with licensees and overseas Collective Management Organisations (CMOs).

Charlie joined PPL from American Express as a rights negotiator in 2018. With his new role, Charlie is responsible for negotiating PPL’s largest and most complex TV deals and for ensuring that PPL’s audio-visual licensing framework remains fit for purpose and provides value to PPL’s members in a market that is undergoing a seismic shift from linear TV to digital on-demand services.

Read the full article about these promotions at PPL here

The WorldDAB Summit 2021 will take place on 9 November, bringing together digital radio experts from across the radio industry.  In one day you will have the opportunity to:
  • Connect with expert speakers through LIVE questions and answers 
  • Get inspired by keynote sessions from industry leaders 
  • Join us from anywhere around the world
The Summit is free to attend and is open to non-members and members. The running time is 10:00 – 15:00 CET.
Register for your free place here.

Radio TechCon 2021 - First Sessions Announced

Due to the ongoing uncertainties of the pandemic, Radio TechCon, the UK radio and audio industry’s technology and engineering event taking place on Monday 29th November 2021 will once more be in a live, interactive virtual format. Topics announced so far include: 

  • Attracting new talent to technology - how can radio and audio companies compete for new recruits when up against the lure of companies like Facebook and Google? And how do we retain the technology talent we already have?
  • South Africa’s digital plans - with the UK and much of Europe focused on DAB and DAB+, why is South Africa choosing DRM as part of its digital future? 
  • BBC Maker Box - did you know the BBC R&D team has lots of free tools for creative technologists and producers to explore? Find out how you can get on the inside track and join in at home with some live demos of the latest technology. 
  • Plus Stephanie Hirst returns with the all-important Radio TechCon interactive quiz - with prizes! 
  • And all delegates will receive 8 hours of CPD credits, accredited by the IET.

Tickets to this year's online Radio TechCon 2021 are £99 + VAT and on sale now at

More sessions will be announced soon. But see the top of this Newsletter for details of the bursary scheme and the CMA's free tickets.

Radio Festival 2021 - Redefining Talent

The Radio Academy Festival is back for 2021, and this year the focus is on TALENT.

Talent is the fuel of the Radio and Audio industry. In a world where competition for audiences is tougher than ever, talent makes all the difference. Too often, ‘talent’ is used to describe on-mic personalities, but our industry is bursting with talented producers, programmers, sound designers, engineers and others who help create the brilliant content that’s loved by listeners.

This year’s Radio Academy Festival celebrates and debates talent, on and off-air – where it’s coming from, how we nurture and nourish it, and ultimately what we’re doing as an industry to make sure the most talented people find a future right here.

See the top of this Newsletter for details of free tickets to the 2021 Radio Academy festival for CMA members!
Community Radio Celebrates at Annual Awards Night
Congratulations to all the winners at this year's Community Radio Awards! The Community Radio Awards were set up to celebrate community radio and the hard work and the time that the volunteers involved in community radio put into their stations, shows and communities. And you can now listen to all of the Gold Community Radio Award winners here.

This year's winners include: 

Station of the Year Female Presenter of the Year Male Presenter of the Year Community Show of the Year Read the full list of winners on the CMA's Chat Forum here.

The Dream Fund Now Open for Applications

Deadline 5:30pm, 1st November

The Dream Fund gives organisations the chance to deliver the project they have always dreamed of, but never had the opportunity to bring to life. Charitable organisations across Great Britain are asked to think big, be ambitious and collaborate with other not-for-profit partners to deliver their dream project.

The focus of this year's Dream Fund will be projects that are looking to deliver systemic change in the following funding categories:
  • Environment/conservation
  • Social inequality
  • Pandemic recovery
Apply here.
National Lottery Community Fund Appoints New Chief Executive and Renews Commitment to Communities

David Knott has been named as the new Chief Executive of the National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF). Knott was previously the most senior civil servant in charge of charities, as director for civil society and youth at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). He was initially seconded to the TNLCF as a policy adviser a year ago, and has been interim chief executive since June.

In a first move under his leadership, The National Lottery Community Fund has published Putting Communities First - Our Commitments to Communities. After 18 months dominated by providing crisis support, this sets out clearly what grant holders and other partners can expect over the coming year and sends out a strong message that the funder remains focussed on how to best support communities, particularly as they build back from the pandemic.

During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.

Image: David Knott, TNLCF
Bedford Marathon Runner Challenges Sandy Heath Transmitter to Race!

A Bedford runner who took part in the Bedford Running GP marathon this month added an unusual challenge to his training schedule by racing the Sandy Heath Transmitter.

Radio test engineer, Daniel Churchill, is running to raise funds for Bedford charity, Living It Up, and has been running near Sandy as part of his training runs.

“I live near Priory Country Park, which is about 10 miles away from Sandy Heath Transmitting Station, our local TV tower,” explained Daniel.

“You might see this tall 244m mast on the eastern horizon on a clear day, or if you’re driving down the A1. Read more about how Daniel is out-running the mast on the Bedford Independent here.

Sandy Heath Transmitter Image: Daniel Churchill
Exploring a DAB Multiplex With Factum Radioscape
In this video Ash from UK DAB Networks show you how the Factum Radioscape Observa Field Monitor can be used to explore a DAB/DAB+ digital radio multiplex, its services and transmitters in detail. This is not a product review - Ash says he hopes you may find this video useful to see what information is available beyond what a typical DAB receiver is capable of.

Understanding How Facebook Disappeared from the Internet

Want to know how Facebook, the world's most popular social media platform, disappeared from the Internet on Monday 4th October 2021? Basically, it was all down to the Border Gateway Protocol. Read the detailed story on the Cloudflare Blog here.
Insights Into The Shipping Forecast
Ever wondered what the script for shipping forecast looks like? IT'S ALL WRITTEN IN CAPITALS!
Bilsdale Transmitter Demolition
Anyone want to see a big transmitter falling over  as it is carefully demolished with explosives? Here you are then - this is the Bilsdale transmitter in North Yorkshire, which caught fire earlier this year, and is now needing full replacement.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Community Media Association · The Workstation · 15 Paternoster Row · Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2BX · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp