Retain Matt & Michelle's Breakfast Show
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It recently came to light that Global Radio are planning to merge the stations they have acquired over the years under one 'Capital Radio' umbrella. As part of this move, Global plan to axe current regional breakfast shows in favour of a new, national breakfast show, as well as other changes.
In light of this, they are axing the much beloved Thames Valley breakfast show hosted by Matt Jarvis and Michelle Jordan. This pairing has been going for several years now, and Michelle has been hosting the show with other co-hosts long before the current show with Matt Jarvis.
I think I speak for many when I say that listening to these two on my commute is one of my daily highlights. They have fantastic charisma together and I don't think I've yet had a show that hasn't made me laugh at one point or another. I grew up listening to 2-10-FM, then Heart, on my way to school and this carried on into my adult life. Even after moving out of the broadcasting area, I went to the lengths of having a power antenna installed on my car, just so I could continue to receive the broadcast. I, and countless others, would be deeply saddened by the loss of this radio staple from the airwaves.
This move by Global is obviously primarily to cut costs, which isn't unreasonable, however I urge them to consider the following:
All global stations are not state (BBC) owned, and thereby rely on advertising revenue to fund them. The amount of advertising revenue a station pulls directly correlates to the amount of listeners it has. I can confidently say that I would have no interest in listening to the breakfast show if Matt & Michelle's show was ditched, and I'm sure many people would be of the same mindset. Less listeners means less advertising revenue, offset this against the cost savings by reducing the stations down and do the numbers still make it worthwhile? Then consider the poor reputation such a move will earn Global with it's listeners. Customer satisfaction is often regarded as the best type of 'currency' a company has available to it. People talking about the show, means more listeners. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertising.
Checking the demographics of the regional breakfast shows, the Thames Valley show is the most popular, a testament to the exceedingly talented individuals hosting it. If there is one pairing to be retained through the shuffle, to host the new breakfast show, then Matt and Michelle are the only choice for such a role.
Further to this, I should point out the recent fiasco over at BBC Radio 2. The commissioner made the decision to axe Chris Evans' breakfast show which was immensely popular and what happened? The majority of their listeners moved over to Virgin Radio. If listeners like the talent, they will follow it. Global will lose a significant number of listeners by implementing such a change, and that's just from the breakfast show, not to mention all the other changes they have planned. Add this to the uproar when R2 changed Simon Mayo's drive-time show and it should become increasingly clear that changing popular shows is a terrible idea.
Additionally, Capital does not play the kind of music I listen to. It's generally current chart stuff which, in my opinion, isn't very good. I love Heart for it's variety (it was literally in the slogan!), to lose this variety would be effectively sticking your middle finger up to massive portion of their audience, and narrowing their target demographic significantly. This could also be said for Smooth, which targets an older demographic, where will those listeners go? Likely to a competitor...
The logic detailed above further narrows the cost gap that Global are looking for, and begs the question yet again, is it still worth it?
With all this in mind, I urge Richard Park, Broadcasting Director of Global Radio, to reconsider dropping Matt & Michelle's breakfast show. I know it would be sorely missed, and would result in lost revenue for the company, without a shadow of a doubt.
Myself and all of the signatories stand with Matt & Michelle. Don't take away something that is so loved, by so many.
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