Aircheck UK - Jersey 

UPDATED: 15/01/2003

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CHANNEL ISLANDS (UK)                                                                                                                                  

BBC LOCAL RADIO: (88.8FM & 1026AM) BBC Radio Jersey launched 15th March 1982 to reflect the unique character of the island, with particular focus on the regular sittings of the island's Government, or 'States' every Tuesday.  The heritage and history of the island are the subject of weekly programmes.  News, views and information starts the day with 'Jersey Today', hosted by the island's Journalist of the Year Roger Bara, reporting and discussing local issues of finance, tourism and agriculture.

Although it may not be expected, travel news is very important with regular updates on the busy airport, situated in the west of the island, plus harbour news focusing on departures and arrivals to and from the UK mainland, other Channel Islands and the French coast.  There are regular outside broadcasts from the wide range of events such as August's annual 'Battle Of The Flowers' and events from Jersey's entertainments complex, Fort Regent, sitting high over the capital, St. Helier.  Phone-ins include regular debate with island reps, such as vets, lawyers and doctors plus members of local government.  

The arts and sporting scene is particularly prominent on the Island, and this is reflected in weekend programming 'Artyfacts' and 'Sportscene'.  Concerts are recorded for later broadcast throughout the year and there is also live commentary on major sporting events.  

Islanders are extremely supportive of charity - BBC Radio Jersey's Charity Auction raises around 30,000 each Christmas and the station's contribution to Children In Need brings in more than 1 per person for every islander.  That's more than 90,000! 

COMMERCIAL:  LOCAL (ILR)

CONTACT 94 started in September 1988, effectively a pirate service, beaming a very powerful signal to Jersey from Lessay in Normandy, France.  The first frequency used gave the station it's name -  94.4 MHz, but it later moved to spots around 93.8 and 97.7 for unknown reasons.  Reports stated that even if it did have a licence, it's terms weren't adhered to.  Broadcasting an English speaking service, with no French music, and a very clever marketing campaign, Contact 94 became quickly popular.  Following a couple of years of success, technical problems caused listening difficulties on the island - and to cap it all, transmitter and liink problems meant that a mono service went out at very low power.  Having broadcast on 94.6 MHz, it was at this stage far too close to BBC Radio 3 - broadcasting on 94.8 - a deluge of complaints flooded in from aggravated BBC listeners.

The Radio Authority then formally advertised licences for commercial radio in the Islands, and Jersey had a spare frequency - 101.3 MHz whilst Guernsey was allocated 104.7 MHz - this latter frequency had been used for RSL broadcasts to cover Powerboat racing events.  Despite a petition being signed by Contact 94 fans, in support of a licence application, the bid was unsuccessful and the station disappeared into the Channel fog.  In Jersey, 101.3 MHz is still unused but apparently allocated to the UK national independent station Classic FM who have no plans as yet to use it.

CHANNEL 103 (103.7) 'The Best Sound In Jersey' is owned and operated by the Tindle Radio Group, headquarters for which are based in Surrey, with Channel 103 broadcasting from it's studios at 6 Tunnell Street, St. Helier Jersey JE2 4LU.  (Tindle Radio also owns neighbouring island Guernsey's commercial radio station, 104.7 Island FM.)  Commercial radio came to the island on 25th October 1992 - the station won it's licence again in 2000, meaning a current licence date up to 24th October 2008.  It claims to be the Number 1 station in Jersey and across the British Isles with audience figures showing that 52% of Island Adults listen each week for a total of 499,000 hours combined per week - this based on 2001 research figures.  

There are eight broadcast presenters and ten backroom staff.  Amongst the presentation staff is Marc Curtis who started with Channel 103 in 1992, stayed until 1997, moved over to BBC Radio Jersey, but returned to commercial waters in February 2002.  Rob Gallichan retains links with the French coast which is only a matter of a few miles away, having worked for French station Radio Force 7 then joining Channel 103 in 1993.  Steve Ross spent 17 years in hospital radio, doing the same 1 hour Sunday show over that time, he's worked in European Radio, tried to settle in Finland, but finally found a home on Jersey and at Channel 103Spencer Davies has also spent many years working for both BBC Radio Jersey & Guernsey, producing and presenting but moving to Channel 103 in 1998. 

Live station programming runs from 5am to Midnight Monday to Friday and 6am to 10pm at weekend with automation filling the gaps.   

(Tindle Radio is the only family-owned radio operator in the UK. It operates six radio stations across the UK. It owns Channel 103, Jersey; Island FM, Guernsey; The Beach, Lowestoft (Suffolk/Norfolk); Dream 100, Colchester/Clacton; Dream 107, Chelmsford; Bridge FM, Bridgend; as well as minority stakes in Kick FM, Newbury; and Kestrel FM, Basingstoke.)

HOSPITAL RADIO:  Radio Lions has been broadcasting each evening since 1975.  Programmes are transmitted through an exclusive cable network serving the General Hospital in St. Helier, the Jeanne Jugan Residence, The Limes in Green Street and Sandybrook in St.Peter's Valley.  Radio Lions is run by a voluntary team of enthusiasts, from studios in the basement of the General Hospital in St.Helier.

Hospital Radio in Jersey started before the war.  It was the idea of the then Chief of Postal Services and the service continued throughout the war years but came to an end after the war when people had to put their energies into building a new life for themselves.  The present service was the brainchild of Lion John Stilwell who had been entertained by such a service whilst hospitalised in Croydon, England.  On his return to Jersey he discussed the idea of setting up a similar operation with fellow members - the Lions club agreed and the station went on air at Christmas 1975, and was called Radio Lions.

The studio was set up in one room of a small cottage which belonged to the hospital, in Kensington Place.  The room was divided into two by a wooden partition, incorporating a door and a large window - one side was the engineering studio, the other side was the presenter's.  The equipment consisted of a mixer (combines all the sounds for output on air) and two record decks.  The presenter's studio contained a couple of chairs, a table, microphones, and a small collection of records.  Due to the number of loose floorboards, moving around in the studio often resulted in some very peculiar sounds as a result of bouncing record decks!

The station was run initially by members of the Lions Club, including Lions Peter Tabb and John Farley.  Gradually people outside the Lions Club were recruited and in 1979 it was agreed that Radio Lions should run itself.  The first committee was appointed by Peter Tabb but from 1980 onwards Radio Lions held elections to appoint its own. Elections are held every year and every member of Radio Lions is eligible to stand for the Management Committee.

In 1978 the station moved from its old home in Kensington Place to a new purpose built studio in the basement of the General Hospital, as the cottage was due for demolition in the hospital's rebuilding programme.  The studio was built and fitted out with the assistance of the hospital authorities and the Lions Club.  All the costs and running expenses were met by the Lions Club until the early 1980's when it was decided by the Radio Lions members that they should begin to raise money themselves. Various fund raising events were organised and gradually the costs were covered and even new equipment purchased.

The Lions Club have always retained an interest in Radio Lions - they appoint a Liaison Officer each year - and they have pledged their support if funds are short.  In fact, they have recently paid for alterations to the studios as well as expensive new mixers that have brought the facilites up to date for the 1990's. The studios are very well equipped and often the envy of many visitors from UK hospital radio stations.

The station tries to provide a schedule of programmes to suit all tastes, most are based on music but when possible current affairs are also covered.  In the late 1970's, Sir Billy Butlin used to hold a Variety Club weekend at his Portlet Holiday Village.  Radio Lions were always invited to go along and record interviews with the show-business personalities that attended, and had the good fortune to be able to talk to stars such as Morecambe and Wise, Dame Vera Lynn, Jimmy Savile, Paul Daniels, Rod Hull (without Emu!) and even Telly Savalas!

Most people in show-business and the sporting world are very happy to take part in programmes for hospital radio and visitors to the studios have included Alan Whicker, Frank Ifield, Frankie Vaughan and John Dunn.  On some occasions they will talk to us when they will not give interviews to the media.  Two occasions which spring to mind are firstly the visit of Brian Clough and the Nottingham Forest team some years ago when although he flatly refused to speak to any of the general media, he invited Radio Lions along to his hotel and wheeled every member of his team along for interview as well as talking to members himself.   One of the presenters also went to Paris to see Phil Collins in concert and was given an exclusive interview.

Until 2000 Radio Lions had been using Private Wire circuits to distribute the output, but has now changed over to the use of fixed VHF radio links (mono, 50kHz bandwidth FM, in the bands managed by JFMG for such purposes).  Radio Lions is not allowed to promote listening to these radio links, mention them on-air, or acknowledge anyone listening in this way.

Radio Lions has about 40 active members, some of whom have been with the station almost from the beginning. The ages range from teens to 60's, so every musical interest is covered. New members are welcomed.  Radio Lions is a member of the HBA, the Hospital Broadcasting Association, and is sponsored by the Lions Club of Jersey. The fairly comprehensive record library contains over 50,000 tracks.  They can be contacted on Jersey (+44 1534) / (01534)   87 18 18  (reversed charges gladly accepted) or you can write to Radio Lions, c/o The General Hospital, Gloucester Street, St. Helier, Jersey JE2 3QS.

RSL: No details known

DIGITAL: There is no digital multiplex for the Channel Islands currently.

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