Local radio returns to Wirral

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

An online radio station has launched in Wirral 4 months after the surprise closure of Wirral Radio.

Financial pressures were blamed for the decision, which saw the station close down with immediate effect, after 15 years of broadcasting. Crowdfunding campaigns and a 50 hour radio lock-in couldn’t raise enough cash to keep it going.

Now a team of experienced broadcasters have teamed together to create Radio Wirral.

Unlike its predecessor, this will only be available online and through an app.

The management team includes Jason Harborow, who’s presented on BBC and commercial radio, but more recently was chief executive of Liverpool Culture Company and managed projects in the Middle East, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Government.

He’s joined by former Radio City, Key 103 and Rock FM CEO, Tom Hunter; Pete Silcock, the headteacher of Wirral WRAP; and Ian Kenyon, previously of BBC Radio Merseyside and 5live. Kenyon is the former head of media and communications at Merseytravel and was the news and sports editor as well as breakfast show presenter on Wirral Radio.

The station is promising: “a classic and contemporary music-led service for 20 to 60 year olds.”

It stated that the music would have an emphasis on “quality material by established and emerging artists.” However, “current fads” and the extremes of music would be avoided. There would be an emphasis on Merseyside’s musical heritage, with at least one track of “local significance” being played each hour.

The station is based at the Wirral Media Centre and includes established presenters, such as Jason Hardy, Steve Ball and Ian Kenyon as well as up-coming talent.

They believe 16-year-old Joe Evans is the youngest presenter on British radio. He’s got the weekday 7pm-midnight slot, having cut his teeth on Arrowe Sound Hospital Radio from the age of 14. He also presented on Wirral Radio, hosting the weekday afternoon show at 15.