Radio revolution proves a turn on

Date published: 20 October 2008

MORE listeners are tuning in to Oldham’s revamped radio station, new figures show.

The latest Rajar survey into radio listening shows a 12 per cent increase in the number of people tuning in to 96.2FM The Revolution, recently taken over by TV and radio personality Steve Penk.

But the figures cover a period to just before Mr Penk took charge, meaning it’s not yet known if his changes are proving successful.

The station, which is based at the Sarah Moor Studios, Henshaw Street, was purchased from UKRD and Oldham Evening Chronicle owner Hirst, Kidd and Rennie.

There had already been a change in format before he arrived from local alternative music to more mainstream pop and classic hits.

Mr Penk said: “It’s great to have more listeners. But the length of time people were listening for during the survey period has fallen from 7.5 hours a week to just 4.9, proving, once and for all, that we were right in dumping the ‘indie’ format as it was clearly totally unworkable.

“These latest figures relate to the period from March 24 to September 14 and we didn’t get the keys to the door until September 15.”

Manchester-born Mr Penk made his name at Manchester station Key 103 and worked at Capital Radio and Virgin as well as presenting the television programmes “TV Nightmares” and “TV’s Naughtiest Blunders”.

He said the station has changed beyond recognition since the research, returning to a broad-based mainstream format firmly focused on the key areas of Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside.

He is hosting the flagship weekday Breakfast Show himself — complete with his hallmark wind-up telephone calls.

Mr Penk added: “The response we’re getting to the new station sound is just phenomenal.

“But it’s so frustrating knowing that the results of what we’re doing now won’t show through in Rajar for many months.

“All our key indicators are heading upwards, and the positive vibe towards ‘The Rev’ both inside the building and out there is incredible.”

The next Rajar results will be published in January.