Real Radio Scotland in running for another gong

Scottish station Real Radio Scotland has been nominated in the Station of the Year category at the Commercial Radio Arquiva Awards, just one week after it was named Broadcast Company of the Year at last week's Drum Media awards in Scotland.

Earlier this year the station retained its title as Scotland's number one commercial radio station, according to figures released by Rajar.

Real Radio Scotland MD Billy Anderson told Press Gazette: "The industry as a whole is starting to wake up and realise that this is not a flash in the pan, this is not a one-off. There is consistency and continuity in terms of our performance."

The station will compete against fellow GMG station Smooth FM in the Northwest and Heart 106.2 in the large Station of the Year category.

Guardian Media Group purchased the station, then called Scot FM, in 2001 and Real Radio launched in January 2002 and moved to studios just outside Glasgow.

Real Radio now attracts 720,000 adult listeners a week, a year-on-year increase of 71,000 and a 19,000 increase on the quarter.

Anderson said that the station's biggest achievement was overturning 30 years of heritage by overtaking Radio Clyde to become Scotland's number one commercial station.

According to Anderson, when Real

Radio launched the aim was to create a Scottish version of Radio 2, attracting listeners from the BBC who wanted more of a local feel.

He said: "Radio 2 is a very good station, but I would question whether or not your central-belt Radio 2 listener is being serviced with regard to local and regional updates. It's difficult for Radio 2 to cover that in depth when it is covering the whole UK."

News is at the heart of the Real Radio, and in the past year it has developed a strong reputation for its news coverage. With a team of 10 reporters, a large number for a commercial radio station, the station provides a 24-hour regional news service.

In the case of the Maryhill Fire last year, for which Real Radio was nominated for an IRN award, it was so quick on the scene that Heather Kane, the station's head of news, appeared on Sky News, providing the TV channel with feed.

Anderson said: "We're very proud of our coverage and it has to have not just a local, but a regional and a Scottish national and UK national slant on it as well. A lot of people see us not just as a regional station, but as a national station as well."

The winners of the award will be announced at the awards ceremony on Friday, 30 June at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

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