Guardian Media Group celebrates Real success at Arqiva radio awards

The Real Radio network has swept the board at this year’s Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards.

The Guardian Media Group-owned network, which broadcasts to Yorkshire, Scotland and South Wales, won four awards, including the prestigious Arqiva gold award, which recognises industry excellence in all aspects of radio from production to presenting.

Real Radio Yorkshire picked up the commercial radio news prize, shaking off competition from LBC and GCapowned BRMB in Birmingham.

James Rea, Real Radio Yorkshire’s news editor, said: “News is at the heart of Real Radio and in the past year the team, made up of some of the best people in radio news, has developed and broadcast some amazing stories.” In addition to the radio news award, Real Radio Yorkshire also picked up the commercial radio programme or feature of the year award for what the judges described as a “moving” documentary feature, marking the 20th anniversary of the Bradford City stadium fire, in which more than 50 football fans died.

Real Radio Scotland added to its collection of awards. It was named Arqiva commercial radio station of the year (for areas serving more than one million people). Last month, the station was named station of the year at the Guardian Media Group awards.

Radio Pembrokeshire, which launched four years ago, won commercial radio station of the year (for areas serving fewer than 300,000 people) for the second time in a row.

Figures from audience research body, Rajar, show the station has a 60 per cent weekly reach and 40 per cent market share — one of the highest of any radio station in the UK.

A month on from his success at the

Sony Radio Academy Awards in May, LBC’s breakfast presenter Nick Ferrari was named radio presenter of the year, having previously won the award in 2003.

The judges were particularly impressed with Ferrari’s unique radio style and added that “throughout his remarkable career, [Ferrari] had never lost an ounce of his passion for communicating with listeners”.

Paul Eaton, Arqiva’s head of radio, said: “It’s a truly exciting time to be involved in the industry. These awards recognise the talent, accomplishments and innovation of all those who work in radio.” â– The Guardian Media Group has bought Paisley-based music station Q96

from UTV, with a view to sharing premises with Real Radio Scotland, writes Hamish Mackay.

The group has asked for permission from industry regulator, Ofcom, to move Q96 into Real Radio’s headquarters in Baillieston, near Glasgow.

Q96 has registered a string of successive declines in listening figures over the years. Figures from Rajar show the station currently has a 7 per cent weekly reach and a market share of just 2.3 per cent.

Real Radio Scotland’s managing director, Billy Anderson, told Press Gazette: “We’ve bought a station and we don’t want to run it at the current performance levels. What we have to do is arrest that decline.”

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