Meet the Broadcast Team – Changeable Depending on Volunteers
Kenni James has been working in radio for nearly 20 years, working at all levels and in many differing fields of programming and management. He began his career with the BBC at Radio Merseyside in Liverpool in 1981 as a Producer/Presenter and remained with the BBC until 1987. Kenni was also responsible for the programming of the national satellite radio service ‘The Superstation,’ which was carried by more than 40 local radio stations throughout the UK.
Kenni has acquired a great deal of experience in the launch/re-launch of radio stations, having been involved with launches at Red Rose, The Bay and also having doubled the listening audience of Belfast City Beat, which he programmed following its re-launch from Belfast Community Radio, and re-launched 107.9 Dune FM. He is a strong supporter of training and personal development, both personally and as a team. The Bay won the LAWTEC award for “Success Through Training” in 1998, recognising the success of the business and its commitment to Human Resource Development. Kenni James is a radio professional who has developed the skills and knowledge to operate successful radio stations.
Kenni James has a range of radio investments in Europe and the Middle East, as well as an exciting new satellite/ internet radio business based in Manchester.
Maria Bailey has a wealth of experience in Community Radio, being employed by Radio Regen (a registered charity) for approximately 2 years and currently working at their 2 Pilot Stations, ALL FM (Ardwick,Longsight & Levenshulme) & WFM (Wythenshawe) where she undertakes the administration of the Station & it’s Funding Monitoring.
She is also a volunteer at WFM having her own show each Friday – Maria on the Back Row, where she previews new films & theatre. She works especially close with local youth, arts & amateur dramatic groups.
She has a MANCAT qualification in Radio Production & is also working in additional volunteer support & community development work there.
Maria has been a resident of Tameside since 1980. & has always been involved in her local community, wherever she has lived, having been a North West Industrial Tribunal member, Justice of the Peace on the Tameside Bench as well as being a volunteer with school children for Volunteer Reading Help in the Tameside area.
She is a member of the Community Media Association & Amnesty International.
Prior to joining WFM, Maria worked for British Telecom for 27 years being a Trade Union Official for 23 of those years & serving on 1 of the CWU National Committees for 14 years. She is still a member of the CWU & GMB.
Although he has moved around the UK to present programmes for various radio stations, Tameside has always, and always will be, Andy’s home, so he is very much looking forward to being back on air in the area, on TCRFM.
Andy grew up in Newton, Hyde, and now lives in Stalybridge. His radio career began in the late 1980’s at the hospital radio station at Tameside General, 8 Towns Radio. Andy volunteered as a newsreader, and before too long was Head of News, and also presenting his own weekly show. Progress at 8 Towns was pretty quick, and before he knew it, Andy was Programme Controller of the station, during which time 8 Towns embarked on their first Restricted Service Licence community broadcast to the area. Putting together the programme schedule, and bringing together lots of volunteers and ideas was a big challenge, but Andy remains very proud of what the entire 8 Towns team achieved during those pioneering broadcasts.
By this time, he was convinced that he wanted to be working in the media full time, so after working as an assistant at Tameside College in Ashton, a computer operator at Dial-A-Phone in Hyde, and a sales assistant at Teletronics, in their old Hyde shop, Andy started to put his energies into finding a way into the broadcasting industry.
One of the early breaks came when an 8 Towns colleague got a job producing commercials at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, and Andy got the chance to be the voice on some adverts for them, and Red Rose Radio in Preston. Around this time, Andy got his first full time job in the industry, as a technical operator at Granada Television, working on programmes like Coronation Street. But he really wanted to be presenting his own radio programmes, and his involvement with 8 Towns continued to be a great training ground for progressing into professional radio presentation. During the early 90’s, Andy was the voice of Radio Top Shop in Manchester, and didn’t have to wait too long for the all important break into local commercial radio. In 1992, Andy presented his first overnight show at Red Rose Rock FM in Preston, and has been presenting local radio programmes ever since. From there, he moved on to CFM in Carlisle, where he was part of the launch team, and then progressed to his own daytime show at the well established and respected Signal One in Stoke-on-Trent. Andy’s show there in the mid and late 90s made a couple of appearances in the industry’s Top 20 most listened to afternoon radio programmes.
1999 saw the launch of 96.2 The Revolution, a new radio station covering Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside. Andy was thrilled to be invited to present the station’s breakfast show, and formed a much loved on air double act with co-presenter Mark Heywood. Andy says, “the early days of the Revolution were very enjoyable, it was great to finally realise the ambition of broadcasting to my home town.”
After a couple of years of mayhem at 6am every morning, Mark decided on a career change, so Andy and Mark in the Morning came to an end. Andy moved to the afternoon show, where he was happy to share the limelight with Joyce the Cleaner! “Joyce is a real star. People often asked if she was really a broadcaster or actress, but no, she was the genuine station cleaner!”
After 4 years at The Revolution, Andy moved on in 2003, to concentrate on more voiceover projects, and to present programmes for several other stations, including Dee 106.3 in Chester, Dearne FM in Barnsley, and currently Ridings FM in Wakefield.
“I enjoy presenting radio programmes wherever they may be, but there’s something special about broadcasting in the place you grew up, and communicating with the people you know,” says Andy. “In Tameside we deserve so much more than the local commercial radio stations give us, and I can’t wait to get back on the air in the area, and be part of a service that will be truly local, and 100% Tameside.”
Phil Hilton started his radio career in the small town of Mullingar in Ireland . . . and thereby hangs a tale of poetic radio licence! The owner ran the station from the third floor of his house, which was also a washing machine repair shop at the same time. The highlight of Phil’s time in Mullingar was when he arrived to present the breakfast show, only to find the house locked up. Apparently, the owner had had a little too much to drink in the town the night before and arrived home later than expected . . . . Phil eventually got on air at 8.15am.
Not surprisingly, Phil soon left to come back to his native North West and worked as a programme assistant at BBC Radio Merseyside, working on a shared programme with BBC Radio Cumbria. During that time, Phil received a dubious package in the post. As Phil recalls: “It smelt a bit odd and felt unusual.” The authorities were called and a brave police officer opened the parcel, revealing a Cumberland sausage sent in by a listener!
Seven years ago, Phil spearheaded the license application for commercial station ‘Dune fm’ and freelanced as an Announcer with Granada TV before joining the BBC to concentrate on station branding and on-air promotions for the BBC Local radio network. Now part of the TCR fm team, Phil is looking forward to working towards bringing a full time radio license to Tameside.
I can still remember the goosebumps from hearing the Jackson Five’s ‘I want you back’ for the first time and thinking ‘what is THAT?’ A lot of vinyl has changed hands since then but that was the one that made me realise there was more than ‘2 Way Family Favourites’ to listen to!
I’ve been a lover of Rare Soul music since my first visit to the legendary Wigan Casino allniters in the early 1970’s, when this underground scene was massive for the first time. However, the scene, 30 years later, is thriving and even bigger than it was back then!
I’ve DJ’d through the decades and spun the sounds at many of the country’s top venues, and in March worked at the Prestatyn Weekender as part of the ‘Soul In The Sun’ team*. I’ve presented Soul music shows on Tameside’s own Heartbeat and Eight Town’s Radio in the dim and distant past and was even resident Soul spinner at Hiccups in Duki many years ago! I wonder who remembers that?
Today’s scene embraces not only sixties stompers, but more mid tempo releases from the 70’s through to current releases, and it’s not unusual to have events where there are different rooms playing Motown Memories, Club Classics, Northern Oldies as well as Modern Soul – and that’s what you’ll hear if you tune into ‘Soul Sensations’ on Friday evenings between 6 & 9pm.
Simon Walker is a Radio Professional who has a track record of turning around failing radio stations in the UK. Based in Tameside Simon has extensive management experience in the commercial radio sector having lifted the audience and revenue levels at every station he has managed.
Until recently Simon worked in the East Midlands where he was a Station Director with executive responsibility for Connect FM and Lite FM. He joined the Connect and Lite fm team in May 2000 from Belfast City Beat where he was General Manager.
Simon was born and brought up within Tameside. Simon knows the area well and believes there is a huge opportunity to develop effective community radio businesses that tap into the ‘close to me’ and trust elements that very localised media have. In the context of globalisation the opportunity to implement his beliefs are already benefited Citybeat, Connect FM and Lite FM.
Not a Programmer, Simon was nominated as one of the top ten Programme Controllers in the UK. Not a Sales Executive, Simon has won national sales competition after national sales competition.
Simon is a Member of the Radio Academy and the Community Media Association.