Tuesday, 10 February 2009


The media is like football. Money to burn at one end; barely enough to light a match at the other.
Chelsea can pay off Scolari's £6million a year contract while the likes of Morecambe and Chester can barely put 11 fit players on the park.
In the other crazy circus that is the media, Sky and Setanta can pay £1.78billion for rights to cover the Premier League while Barrow's local commercial radio station Abbey FM closes down.
Abbey's demise is more than the silencing of a community's voice. It is a sign that the big players who own most of our so-called "local" radio stations are not going to pussyfoot around when the going gets tough.
Abbey, which only gained a full licence in 2006, was owned by three large national companies: CN Group (owners of the Cumberland News newspaper group), TLRC (The Local Radio Company) and The Radio Business. One would have thought that set-up would have protected the station, but no. A town which started up its own radio station as a temporary project, then saw it blossom and be taken over by the big players, is left empty-handed. It would be nice to think that the chairmen of the three stakeholders would issue the same sort of grovelling apology as the bosses of our profligate banks. But don't hold your breath. Especially in Barrow, where they wouldn't be able to hear it anyway.

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