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Top radio names turn out for Nations and Regions Media Conference

Thursday 5 April 2018

SOME of the biggest names in British radio will provide an insight into the medium’s future at this month’s Nations And Regions Media Conference.

Held at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus on April 19 and hosted by Radio 1 presenters Katie Thistleton and Jordan North, the conference will feature sessions on everything from radio comedy to children’s audio and science broadcasting.

Former commercial radio executive and consultant David Lloyd will deliver his verdict on the future of local commercial radio in a session chaired by TV presenter and Bauer City 2 Network Breakfast Show host Andy Crane. 

Joining them to discuss what the future holds will be Kate Cocker, Former Content Controller at Manchester Station Key 103 and Tony Mckenzie, controller of content at Pulse in Bradford. 

An audio Netflix?

BBC 5 Live presenter Sam Walker will chair a session entitled Original Online: Is it Time for an Audio Netflix?

Panelists will include Chris Warburton, who presents and produces the 5 Live crime investigation podcast Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Alex Jungius, Strategic Director of Leeds based indie This is Distorted and Ashley Byrne, Creative Director of Manchester indie MIM which is about to launch its own online platform.

The latest advances in the industry will be discussed when writer and broadcaster Trevor Dann presents a special edition of the Radio Today Programme, recorded during the conference.

His special guests including Sarah Challis, BBC Creative Director for User Experience of Voice UI, who will update the conference on voice activation developments in the industry. Will Jackson, Managing Director of radio indie trade body RIG, will talk about plans to create a content fund that could finance new commercial radio productions, while Gregory Watson, co-creator of Folder Media and Muxco will explain the anticipated explosion in new small scale DAB stations and what that could mean for UK producers and audiences.

Science on the airwaves

Dr Hermione Cockburn, Scientific Director of Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth visitor attraction, and has appeared as an expert contributor on Radio 4 documentaries as well as TV shows such as Coast and Fossil Detectives, will discuss how producers make science radio documentaries for non-specialist audiences.

She will be talking to independent radio producer and former aerospace engineer Mike Hally, co-founder of Scottish company Square Dog, which produces programmes for Radio 4, to discuss how radio explains complex ideas to people from non-scientific backgrounds without patronising its audience. 

Panels previously announced will look at successful women in radio and ground breaking Northern Irish comedy, including a guest appearance from Derry Girls actor Diona Doherty.

There is also a special focus on engaging children in listening to audio, with a session featuring John Leagas, Executive Producer from CBeebies Radio in Manchester and Gregory Watson, Co-Founder of UK children’s radio station FunKids.

The most dynamic medium

As technology continues to advance, the future looks brighter than ever for radio – particularly for broadcasters outside London

Nations and Regions Media Conference Director Beth Hewitt said: “Radio has proved itself to be the most robust and dynamic medium, evolving from a box with dials to an app on your smartphone, and now the new innovation of voice activation is leading the way.

“As technology continues to advance, the future looks brighter than ever for radio – particularly for broadcasters outside London. This year, the Nations And Regions Media Conference, always an important date in the diaries of those working in the industry, will provide some fascinating insights into where we can expect radio to go next.”  

The day will also include the popular Meet The Commissioners session where indies, producers and freelancers talk one to one with the people making the big decisions in radio and across the UK. Networks already taking part include Radio 1/1Xtra, Radio 2, 5Live, 6Music, BBC World Service, CBeebies Radio, Audible, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Radio Wales and Radio Ulster.

To book your place go to