Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette
It’s a very challenging time for all of us at the moment but it’s particularly complicated for Phoenix FM as we seek to keep running as much of a “normal” service as possible.
Community radio has been recognised by the government as a public service broadcaster – a vital resource for the 33% of Brentwood residents who never get their news from the internet.
We’ve been focusing on how the crisis has been impacting on local lives, and regularly broadcasting help messages, from Brentwood Borough Council, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, Essex County Council and local organisations like Brentwood Covid-19 Mutual Aid and BRAG Brentwood.
Our presenters are getting the hang of recording interviews online and producing shows which can be emailed in to the studio if necessary.
We’ve noticed a 20% increase in listeners during this period – in line with similar increases experienced by the BBC and commercial radio. Music streaming has fallen, as people turn to their radios to keep up to date with latest developments. Listeners have told us that while it’s important to get news and information, they still value music, entertainment and companionship.
As a non-profit organisation it’s going to be a challenging year for us financially too but we are working hard to ensure that the airwaves don’t fall silent.
If you have any news or information that would be of benefit to our listeners please get in touch on 01277 203032 or by email at email@example.com.
Photo: our breakfast show presenter Mike Porter, who is still coming in live every morning to talk about the latest news for residents.