Get ready for five more years with the Girls Around Town!

Although your favourite show is off air at the moment, as Newark and the rest of the UK headed towards the eighth week of lockdown there was good news for the town, Radio Newark – 107.8FM and the Girls Around Town

After five years broadcasting live 24 hours a day, seven days a week from its purpose-built studios at Barnby Road Academy, the station has now been awarded a second five-year licence by Ofcom, securing its future all the way to 2025.

Which means that as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted JuneRosalynRachel and Claire will be back in the studio between 10am and 12 noon every Sunday, chatting to lots of lovely guests and keeping their equally lovely listeners entertained and informed for a very long time to come!

Watch this space to find out when they’ll be back on air and, in the meantime, find out what two of the station’s directors had to say when they spoke to June about the new licence and what it means for the whole team, the town and the local community.

First up it’s technical director Phil Johnson, who began by looking back to the station’s beginnings. “As someone who’s worked in local radio for many years, when I moved to Newark I was keen to explore the possibility of setting up a new community station within the town,” he said.

“The idea very quickly became a reality after a conversation with the then headmaster of Barnby Road Academy at a parents’ evening. Within weeks, we’d accepted his generous offer to set up a studio in the school and started to recruit a team of experienced presenters ready to take to the airwaves as soon as we were given the nod by Ofcom.”

Almost a year to the day after trial broadcasting began in November 2013, Radio Newark – 107.8 FM was granted its first five-year licence and full time broadcasting began on Saturday 2 May 2015.

“Since then, it’s been a roller-coaster of a ride for everyone involved,” added Phil. “We’ve had our ups and downs of course but through it all the unwavering support we’ve had from so many organisations and individuals has ensured we’ve achieved what we set out to do and created a station that is truly at the heart of the community.

“Installing a new transmitter in the tower of Newark’s parish church has extended and improved our reach locally while the development of two free apps has enabled us to increase engagement across the country and the world, with over 70,000 unique listeners tuning in online to the FM station and the commercial station Radio Newark DAB  last year alone.“

A member of the board of directors since it all began, former Mayor of Newark Tony Roberts was appointed managing director of the station last year. “From the very start, I’ve seen first-hand just how much hard work and dedication everyone has put into giving the town a radio station of which it can be proud,” he said.

“Whether they’re presenting excellent live shows on air, providing valuable business and technical support, working with local businesses to help promote the town, engaging with children from local schools or taking part in a wide range of events, they’re all passionate about what they do and why they do it.

“It’s no coincidence that one of the one of the phrases most often associated with the station, heard regularly on air and used in many of its promotions, is ‘We Love Newark’. Those three words sum up perfectly not only their own feelings about the town and the station but also their dedication to inspiring the same pride in Newark among its businesses and residents.

“Spurred on by the news of the second five-year licence, which comes at what is for all of us such an unsettled time, it’s great to have a brighter future on which to focus. The directors are already exploring different ways to build on past successes by working even more closely with the community, especially where local schools and families are concerned

“I’m immensely proud to have been part of what we’ve achieved so far and, along with everyone else involved, I look forward to helping to build on that success in the years to come.”

The board of directors all paid tribute to everyone involved, thanking not only the 18 volunteers who between them gave 6,960 hours of their time over the past 12 months alone but also the school, the district and town councils, local businesses, St Mary Magdalene parish church, guests taking part in several of the shows and listeners in Newark and beyond, whose continuing support has helped the station to achieve its aims over the last five years.

Like them, the Girls Around Town have their eyes firmly fixed on the future and they’re raring to go – make sure you’re ready to join them on 107.8FM when the next leg of the journey begins!

Full time radio returns to Newark!

on airChristmas 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!”