103 The Eye – Melton Mowbray
The UK’s first community radio station was 103 The Eye in Melton Mowbray, which began broadcasting in November 2005.
It broadcasts hit music from the last 50 years plus specialist programmes, news and local community information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Managing Director Christine Slomkowska explains more about the station.
Why did you decide to apply to become a community radio station?
To keep the localness in radio; to provide an information and entertainment service within our area which was under-served by other stations; to give people training opportunities leading to careers in the media and music industries.
How has being a community station helped The Eye?
Several of our presenters (past and present) have gained work with the BBC and commercial radio as a result of gaining experience with us; others have told us how much they enjoy their involvement with the station as a hobby; we have won many awards for our community work.
What does The Eye offer that commercial radio stations simply can’t?
Localness; the opportunity for a wide range of people to produce and present radio programmes (our presenters range in age from 15 to 77); affordable advertising for small businesses; some minority interest programmes which would not be viable for a commercial station.
How does The Eye involve the local community?
Inviting listeners to participate in programmes, encouraging on-air debate; providing airtime for local schools to present their own programmes; going out to events to do interviews and also to provide roadshow entertainment; providing a platform for local unsigned bands; offering training and work experience; promoting local events on air and on the website to help people fundraise for charity. We also work with neighbouring community radio stations and exchange ideas, help with resources etc for mutual benefit.
What’s the station’s mission?
To inform, educate and entertain listeners within our transmission area. To remain financially viable in this tough economic climate and thus be able to maintain a scheme of continuous expansion and improvement of service.
Is all the hard work worth it?
Many people appreciate what we do and are supportive, but there are some who want to take unfair advantage as we are a community station.
How do listeners react to the station?
By phone, Skype, text, email, Facebook, Twitter and post.
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