Severn FM is possibly one of the most exciting projects I have been involved with, blending my love of technology with the development and growth of a community project. And recent actions have made me really appreciate just what a great project it is that we are running. Those actions were a result of a very hard decision by the Board not to go ahead with the scheduled FM broadcast but still support all the community activities that are going on this month.
We, as a board, had to make a very hard decision with regard to running the FM broadcast, though in reality it is simple economics. It costs a lot of money to run the FM broadcast month, in excess of £5000, and when you compare that to the internet service which we can run at around £300 per month, you can see which is the most economically viable to run. But there was a lot of heart in the decision too, which mad it much harder. We all wanted to run the FM broadcast, and given that we were only around £900 short of our target, it made it very difficult. Ways of raising the money in short order were thrown around, selling my children was considered, the house was nearly on the market and busking was looking popular.
But, the decision had to be made, we had not met the targets we had set, and therefore we had to say no to the FM broadcast. We had a vote and the job was done. That decision, while disappointing has probably secured the future of the station for the rest of the year. We have enough funding to pay the rent and bills for the upcoming months which is fantastic news.
We communicated the decision to our team of presenters and their response was fantastic, backing our decision and really understanding the decision we had made. What is even better is that we are still keeping all our commitments that we were going to do had we been on FM. It just shows the commitment of everyone involved, that they really believe in the future of Severn FM.
It does raise the issue about the OFCOM support of community radio stations and their costings being so high, for what is not much more than a paper exercise. But in many ways, they could be doing us a favour. I personally believe the future of Radio is internet radio and that we are in a great position to drive the “revolution”. We have a number of things in development, including our own Mobile App. With amny other stations like ours going to the wall, we are in a position to inspire and grow.
We are also really driving to be self-sufficient, getting businesses to advertise and sponsor programmes, and the scope for this is huge. Hopefully we will have a team of dedicated “sales” folks to make sure we reach our financial targets we want.
As it stands we are looking to do the next FM broadcast in December, as that was very successful last year, but the Internet broadcasting is the bread and butter work of the station, and we will continue to deliver the high quality broadcasting that we have done over the past 12 months.