Successful Radio

“5 Live is getting straight to the heart of things.” These were the words of Adrian Van Klaveren controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra. Adrain was the speaker for last Thursday’s Coventry conversation.

He began his presentation referring to the world of radio as an old medium that has survived the years and still has a resonance with modern life. Radio he said has been under all sorts of threats; threats from television and threat from the age of the internet.

Talking about radio having a place in people’s hearts in Britain, he said: “Radio has a special place in the UK with forty-eight million listeners a week.” Unlike television and reading which require a vast amount of concentration, radio he added can be used effectively as a secondary activity.

Radio depicts the power of speech. It has a sense of drama, immediacy and involvement. He expressed that radio sport commentary is central to what 5 Live is does. Speech radio is in a strong position in the UK and more people are seeing what live radio had got to offer. Radio stations he cited in the category of speech radio included 5 Live, Talk Spots and BBC Radio 4.

Adrian highlighted the changes in the past three to four years because of the improvement on advance technology.

“We always acknowledge the fact that somebody out there might know more than we do. They may have experienced what we talk about emotionally or have a connection to it in another way.”

In highlighting the changes in the world of radio he also stated: “The world of radio is changing very fast. The radio is no longer the box that sits in the corner of the room. People tune in on their phone; and follow either on facebook or twitter.”

His passion for 5 Live was evident when he stated 5 Live is about breaking news, live sports and original Journalism. Further adding to this affirmation he said 5 live studios it is one of the few places people come together and talk about the same thing.”

A successful radio station is a station that is clear about what they do. 5 Live does news and sport and there is an audience that likes both. Radio becomes part of people’s daily life and it’s habitual.

Talking about presenter on radio he said: “you want presenters with character. Ones that can connect with the audience and stand out. We want people who will go to the edge and not over it.”As a radio station, involvement in big event and multi-platform makes you stand out.

The future for us is a digital one he reiterated. With digital becoming the key to success he stated: “Digital means more choice and better quality.”

Summing up his presentation, Adrian Van Klaveren said successful radio is one that has things that are relevant. With that he said: “Things that I want to know and care about.” It has to be information and adds to the listener’s knowledge. Stressing on the entrainment audience like to get from listening to radio he said: “If they don’t like it, they will turn it off.”

He concluded saying: “If you do these three very well then you are guaranteed to be successful.”




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