RIG Skills Training
RIGtrain is a wide ranging programme of inexpensive specialist training courses and free masterclasses for adults working in Radio and Audio in England*. It is an initiative of RIG, supported by Creative Skillset and partly by HM Government with 'Employer Ownership' funding. More details at www.rigtrain.co.uk or to join the RIGtrain mailing list email email@example.com
Indies on Air this week
Indie programmes are on the radio at home and abroad throughout this week, including these 75, some of which are featured in BBC Radio's highlights of the week, from Somethin’ Else (21), Wise Buddah (11), Unique (5),We Are Grape (5), TBI Media (4), The Noisehouse (4), Whistledown (4), Folded Wing (3), Smooth Operations (2), USP (2), Wire Free Productions (2), Brook Lapping Productions, Cast Iron Radio & Recording, Falling Tree Productions, Foldback Media, Hat Trick Productions, Howlett Media, Loftus Media, Ora et Labora, Sweet Talk Productions, Testbed Productions, The Foghorn Company and Trevor Dann's Company.
Click here for more details
International Relations - South Korean delegation
A delegation from the Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) the state broadcaster of South Korea, visited the UK recently to find out in particular how BBC Radio 4 works. KBS is a major broadcaster at home and abroad, with multiple national networks and global radio services in 11 different languages as well. The delegation was interested in Radio 4 as it is the nearest UK network to its own speech network KBS Radio 1.
As part of their visit they requested a meeting with RIG to learn about independent production in the UK, and the establishment and achievements of its trade association. Pictured here is KBS Radio Programming & Planning Deputy Director Hyuck-whee Lee with RIG Vice-Chair Mike Hally.
New Futures for Radio - Major Guest Speakers at our 12th AGM
RIG’s 12th AGM was the best-attended and probably most significant since the founding meeting in 2004. In addition to the routine business, such as the adoption of an Annual Report that shows our most active year to date – including the RIGtrain project – members were treated to three major guest speakers, with the unveiling by the BBC Director of Radio of the largest-ever change to commissioning programmes.
James Cridland, futurologist, (james.cridland.net) presented his views of where radio is heading. In particular he pointed to the steady growth of digital listening (mostly DAB, but also online and via digital TV), the meteoric growth of smartphones, and the growth of services that assemble content like building something out of lego bricks. These changes are both a challenge and an opportunity for traditional radio producers. The presentation can be seen here (members only)
Steve Carsey, Director of Original Programming at Audible, summarised developments in commissioning original audio (other than audiobooks) in the eight months since his presentation and meetings at the ‘Nations and Regions Media Conference’ in November 2014. He then went on to describe current and future strategy, and opportunities for independent producers to supply content. The presentation can be seen here (members only)
Helen Boaden, Director of Radio at the BBC, set out her team’s proposed response to the Director-General’s aim, revealed in a speech last July, that all BBC services should be subject to the principle of ‘Compete or Compare’. In the case of radio, this is to ensure that the BBC Trust’s stated aim of ‘commissioning the best programmes regardless of source’ is achieved. The key points of her speech were:
- the opening up over six years of nearly 60 per cent of eligible BBC Radio hours to indie competition (following negotiations with RIG), thus tripling the potential commissions for indies
- programmes not ‘competed’ for would be ‘compared’ on performance, to ensure best quality and value for money
- abolition of all in-house output guarantees, with the indie ‘quota’ to wither away during the six-year period
- proposals subject to BBC Trust approval and dependent on licence fee funding
This was the first public announcement of these major proposals, and it reinforces RIG’s growing importance and influence that the Director of Radio chose to make the announcement at our AGM.
UK radio indies break own record at the "New Yorkers" Awards
‘D-Day’ production wins record number of awards for one programme
UK indie radio producers were celebrating as they posted another great haul of awards at the prestigious New York International Radio Festival.
TBI Media, founded and run by RIG Chair Phil Critchlow, once again led the way with 11 awards including seven Golds plus the 'Grand Award' for ‘D-Day 70 years on’ (BBC Radio 2) in addition to being named ‘Production Company Of The Year' for the third consecutive year.
Overall UK indies won 12 Gold, 13 Silver and eight bronze awards, with another eight finalists, totalling 43 awards and finalists, and the total of 35 actual awards won is the UK indies’ highest ever.
As well as TBI, the indie Gold award winners included Pozzitive for ‘Cabin Pressure’ (aired on BBC Radio 4), and Loftus Media for ‘Where are you Going?’ (BBC World Service).
Silver awards went to 11 companies including Campbell Davison Media for ‘The Danny Baker Show’ (BBC Radio 5 live), Quidem Productions for ‘Big Band, Big Man - The Billy Cotton Story’ (BBC Radio 2), presented by Cotton’s great-niece, Fearne Cotton, B7 Productions for 'the Martian Chronicles' ... and more.
Ten separate companies from outside London were represented at the awards, including Manchester/Dublin based Athena Media who won a Silver for ‘Vocal Chords: In Conversation with Peter Gabriel’, also Swindon-based Fresh Air Productions won a Silver for its radio promotion content for BBC’s one’s ‘Eastenders - Who Killed Lucy?’, and Oxford’s Overtone Productions won Bronze for Archive On 4: Malcolm X In Oxford (BBC Radio 4).
Awards were won in a wide range of genres, including drama; history; music; travel; profiles; entertainment; culture and the Arts; comedy. In addition to radio programmes genres, there were also awards and finalists in specialisms such as: audiobooks; on-air promotions; Station ID; Live Sound; writing; and editing.
RIG MD Will Jackson said:
“We’re delighted that once again the creativity, professionalism and quality of the UK indie audio-led sector, has been recognised at these awards, against excellent competition from companies around the world.”
“RIG is working to increase opportunities for indies from all around the UK nations and regions to make these types of programmes, both in the UK and internationally. Having this addition to our excellent track record at the NY Radio Festival reinforces the position from which to argue our case.”
for full details click here