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New SUNSET Radio to cease broadcasting

23 May 2016 Media Radio

Well it is with great sadness that I can confirm that The New SUNSET Radio will cease broadcasting at 18:00 this Friday 27th of May 2016.

The New SUNSET Radio has been broadcasting on DAB in the Manchester area since October of 2015 on the Niocast system.

I can say with all honesty that I have totally enjoyed every moment of the short life of this station.

The plan was as it always is, to play the very best black music old and new. Further to bring together a team of presenters who are all experts in their field with a passion for the music that we all love.

Having joined the Small Scale Trial authorised by OFCOM it soon became clear that there were two main problems. The DAB signal was very patchy in the broadcast area and further, the broadcast area was simply too small for a Specialist service, the like of which we were attempting to provide.

I have made representations to OFCOM however they are, at present, unable to increase the allocated power for the Manchester Small Scale DAB Trial. They have made some suggestions which we are looking in to but obviously there are no guarantees.

The other problem that we came across was the poor DAB penetration in the UK. At present it is believed that DAB penetration stands at about 30%. This meant that The New SUNSET Radio was immediately excluded for 70% of the population in our broadcast area.

I think what we have proved with The New SUNSET Radio, in the short time that we have been there, is that there should be a place on the dial for this Specialist service, playing music which is not generally available on the airwaves in the UK.

On the New SUNSET Radio website I have tried to list some of the playlist for the Breakfast show and Another Something Special.

I think it is obvious from those playlists, that we have no interest in playing the pop music so widespread in the radio industry. Further, we have no interest in damaging any of the radio stations already broadcasting in this area.

We are simply seeking a somewhat level playing field.

There is a place for pop music but to have 6, 8 or more stations playing pretty much the same music in a different order, is wholly wrong.

The arrival of DAB was supposed to signal a widening of choice but sadly, in my opinion, this has not happened.

We are actively trying to find a way to bring the New SUNSET Radio back on to the airwaves of Greater Manchester including the areas of • Bolton, • Bury, • City of Manchester, • Oldham, • Rochdale, • City of Salford, • Stockport, • Tameside, • Trafford and • Wigan.

We believe that a station this size playing the music that we play and broadcasting the conversations that we have been over the past few months, would be a fantastic addition to the radio scene in this area.

There are many people that I would like to thank for making the last 8 months so special.

Obviously there would be no Manchester Small Scale DAB Trial without OFCOM and we would like to pay tribute to them for the opportunity to show what we could do. We must pay tribute also to Niocast in Manchester and John and David in particular for their massive show of support throughout the Trial.

Radio.co have been absolutely amazing over the years that I have been broadcasting with them. They provide a wonderful service and If you are contemplating starting an on-line station. I recommend them highly.

Almost since day 1 of my online station and the broadcasts on DAB, the voice of the New SUNSET Radio imaging was Phil Sayer.

Phil and his wife Ellie were wonderfully supportive of The New SUNSET Radio in all its guises and I can’t thank them enough.

Sadly Phil passed away recently after a long illness and I know I for one miss him dearly.

He will always be known as the voice of the Mind the Gap announcements on the London Underground, but I will remember him as the voice of the New SUNSET Radio.

I must thank the guys at Starpoint Radio for the opportunity of joining forces to present the Breakfast Show across both stations. It was a blast.

I must also pay tribute to all the presenters whose dedication to the music made The New SUNSET Radio the station that it was.

Finally I want to thank the listeners who made it all worthwhile. The response since the announcement of the closure has been nothing short of amazing.

I will finish off by thanking all the artists and producers who have provided the music for the station. There would be no station without the music and I am sad that for the time being at least we will not be able to continue supporting the music that we all love.

Hopefully, one day we will be back and the journey will continue.

Till then….

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