This morning, London’s news and talk stations, LBC, came back on air. Of course, LBC is not really new nor has it really been away. The Chrysalis Radio Group have acquired the London speech licences from London News Radio and are continuing to use the LBC names (LBC being the original London commercial news station).
Sadly, while using the name with a heritage of almost thirty years, day one seemed a bit shambolic. The most noticeable and irritating part for me is the constant paper shuffling that goes on when the presenters are on air. I suspect, back when the news talk version was on AM, that this wasn’t that audible. Now, it’s irritating. Then there are presenters whispering to each other but still clearly there. It’s as if there is no off button on the microphones. This evening, there seems to be no off button the computers that play out the commercials as poor Clive Bull seems to be suffering from the fact that the advertisements keep starting and he seems blissfully unaware that they are about to play.
Still, I am pleased that the rolling news format has moved to AM. Not because it’s on AM but because it means most of my portable radios (which are FM only) have the more interesting of the two talk stations. These early teething troubles will, hopefully, be rectified and we’ll have a decent commercial talk station for London again (although, IMHO, BBC London seems to have been doing a fine job). I just wonder who is going to listen to the rolling-news on AM.
UPDATE (7 January): Pleased to see I am not the only person who has noticed the technical glitches at LBC. Despite these, I have been listening quite a lot over the past couple of days as it’s been fairly entertaining. I just think it’s pretty sad that these problems arise on re-launch day with all the fanfare that goes with it. The new owners have had the station for a while and should have ironed all this out on the old format before now.