Christmas came early for the team at Radio Newark when Ofcom today officially confirmed the success of its application for a full time licence.
Just over a year after its launch last November, the station now has the go-ahead to start planning full time on air output for Newark and surrounding towns and villages from early summer 2015.
Station director Phil Johnson was the first to hear the news, in a phone call from the broadcasting regulator’s office on Monday afternoon.
“The news was embargoed until Ofcom made its official announcement at 11am today,” said Phil. “Getting the heads up only a few hours in advance was probably a good thing – keeping a lid on it even for a short time has been difficult, when our first reaction as broadcasters was to do what we do best and broadcast good news for and about our town!
“To say we’re excited is definitely an understatement. The whole team has worked hard to get to this point and we’re delighted that Ofcom has recognised both the strength of our application and everything we’ve done in our temporary broadcasts and online over the last year.
“One of the factors that influenced the Ofcom decision was almost certainly the strong links we have already forged with local schools. As far as we know, we’re the only community station to work so closely with this sector of the community; our media centre is based in Barnby Road Academy, we’re also working with the Magnus School and Newark Academy and pupils from across the Newark Family of Schools play an increasingly active part in the station’s output.
“Coupled with the unstinting support shown by residents and businesses in the area, this gave us the confidence that we were putting forward a winning application and today’s announcement demonstrates that Ofcom has the same confidence in us.”
Members of the Radio Newark board of directors greeted the news with delight and were quick to pass on their congratulations to the team.
“I am so pleased that all your hard work and persistence has paid off,” said Tony Roberts MBE. “It will be good to have a radio station that is relevant to our area. All too often Newark is forgotten by the other ‘local’ stations. Now we are back in the news. Excellent!”
“I am delighted that, after all the hard work and effort of Phil and his team to get this project off the ground, this good news for Newark has been received,” commented Joanna Parlby. “As chairman of the Advertiser Media Group, I look forward to being involved as a director and wish Phil all the best of luck with the new venture.”
When the news broke, Radio Newark was in the first week of its third temporary broadcast which runs until Friday 26 December.
“Completing this four-week broadcast to a high standard is our priority at the moment,” added Phil. “After Christmas, we’ll continue to broadcast online while we get on with all the work involved in preparing for the full time launch around June next year.
“There’s a lot to be done between now and then, both by ourselves and by Ofcom. But the whole team is raring to go and ready to bring Radio Newark to the town 24/7, 365 days a year for at least the next five years!”