MEDIA: LBC: An expert’s view

Kevin Deakin feels LBC will not reach a new audience with its current schedule

Kevin Deakin feels LBC will not reach a new audience with its current


Straight to the point. It sends me to sleep. I set out with the

intention of listening intently and enthusiastically to dear old Robbie

Vincent but instead my mind starts to wander. Did I turn the gas off?

Did I turn the gas on in the first place? Have I got gas?

This seemed to me to prove conclusively that the new all-talk-no-music

LBC is bang on to achieve its stated aim of attracting an audience a lot

older than me. The issue for LBC is, how much older?

Since the launch of Melody FM there has been a question mark over the

viability of radio stations that have an older audience demographic.

Very recently, a senior radio buyer was quoted as saying that all

clients wanted from radio was 16- to 44-year-old ratings. And I thought

that we were living in an age where the really, really old people of 45-

plus were wealthier than ever and were not by any means the stereotyped

Saga readers who are unlikely to switch brands.

If commercial radio has a real chance of continued growth, it needs the

likes of LBC to attract well-defined target audiences that are not

adequately cared for by other commercial stations and to sell them


The biggest challenge that LBC faces is one that was accurately

described by the programme director, Steve Orchard. The station needs to

increase the existing listener base of 55-plus women and to include new

listeners in the 40-plus age bracket. The name may be the same but the

station has to breathe some fresh programming into the new schedule if

it is to achieve this objective.

Breakfast is now a rather laboured double-header, as opposed to the

relaxed style and manner of Douglas Cameron. The rest of the schedule is

pure LBC: Fred Housego, Pete Murray, Steve Jones and the Honourable Mr

Vincent. Great for cabbies - but for the remaining 40- to 50-year-old

Londoners? I’ll ask the gas man.

Kevin Deakin is a director of the Creative Media Company

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