2012 Annual Report

1.1 Community Radio Annual Report Form: Year Ending 31 December 2011

Station details

Licence Number
CR003

Station Name
Cross Rhythms City Radio

Launch Date
01/01/2006

Web address where you will publish this report
www.crossrhythms.co.uk/radio/cityradio/keycommitmentsreport2012

1.2 The year in numbers

  • Average number of live hours per week 64
  • Average number of original programming hours per week (this may include pre-recorded and live material but should not include repeats) 117
  • The percentage of your live daytime output that is speech 25%
  • Number of people trained during the year 75 at varying levels
  • Number of volunteers involved during the year 72 + 12 work experience students
  • Total volunteer hours per week 317
  • If appropriate, a list of languages you have broadcast in English

1.3 Key commitments: Programming

Key commitment delivery: YES or NO

  • Live programming output will typically comprise 75% music and 25% speech (‘speech’ excludes advertising, programme/promotional trails and sponsor credits, and may be calculated over any four hours). YES
  • The music output will be comprised predominantly (at least 90%) of contemporary Christian tracks, and maintain a positive theme. Specialist shows on genres such as rock, music related to the black church tradition, new independent music and contemporary worship will feature in the evenings and at weekends. YES
  • Speech output shall consist of interviews, audience interaction, topical features, public service announcements, news, weather and travel information, as well as some bible teaching and contemporary worship programming. Local current affairs will generally be covered from a Christian perspective. YES
  • Language of broadcast: English, though the station may consider broadcasting in other languages if a demand is identified. YES
  • Live programming (which may include pre-recorded inserts, if applicable) will typically comprise 15 hours a day from Monday to Friday; some live output will also feature at weekends. A sustaining service will be taken from the Cross Rhythms satellite radio service (licence number SA142). NO

Explanatory notes re non-delivery (if applicable):

We have not been able to hit the 15 hours every weekday. We have maintained 15 hours live programming on Tuesdays and 13 hours for Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Monday and Friday evenings we are running some of our pre-recorded specialist programmes meaning we are doing 10 hours live on those days at the moment.

This has been the primary Key Commitment we have found consistently difficult to deliver. It appears that we were over confident initially because we were able to start at a good level of live broadcasting. We therefore expected to be able to build on that within a short period of time to hit the 15 hours level each weekday.

What we have found however is that consolidating and sustaining the hours has been as much as we could do because other aspects of running the station have taken on the priority – in particular raising of finances to sustain the operation at its current level, managing the existing volunteers and team, and maintaining the amount of programming and production we already do.

We did not realise it at the time but we have over reached, and as such we will need to apply to Ofcom to consider a change to this Key Commitment.

1.4 Key commitments: Social gain objectives

Key commitment delivery: YES or NO

(a) The provision of sound broadcasting services to individuals who are otherwise underserved

There is no service available in the area that caters for the Christian community. The station aims to provide content and programming with specific relevance to the Christian community. YES

(b) The facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion

The station shall invite guests to the studios for discussion topics on local issues and current affairs such as community relations, health, law and order, child welfare, consumer issues and open the discussion to the listeners to participate to express their opinions. YES

Some output will address theological, philosophical, moral and spiritual themes relating directly to those adhering to the Christian faith. This will include studio discussion and interviews. YES

(c) The provision (whether by means of programmes included in the service or otherwise) of education or training to individuals not employed by the person providing the service

The service will combine training with local training providers such as Stoke on Trent College and YMCA, with courses that are broadcasting related and open to the community as a whole. YES

Furthermore they will collaborate with on-going training with local community on projects such as drugs awareness to develop appropriate programme material for broadcast. YES

(d) The better understanding of the particular community and the strengthening of the links within it

The station will promote events that will bring the whole community together and also use the station as a focal point for bringing Christian groups together. YES

1.5 Key commitments: Access and participation

Key commitment delivery: YES or NO

Cross Rhythms City Radio will encourage and promote access to the service as follows:

  • Offering on-going training by the group for those employed by the station. YES
  • Training at least 15 volunteers per quarter. YES
  • Developing linked training and projects with local educational establishments and other local organisations, such as Groundwork, Stoke on Trent College, Millennium Volunteers Project, Blackfriars School, New Deal and Mickelson House, YMCA. YES
  • The group shall actively promote on air the services that it offers and invite the community to participate. YES
  • ‘Taster’ courses to be advertised in publications to encourage participation from the community. NO

Explanatory notes re non-delivery (if applicable):

The idea of ‘Taster’ courses has been superceded by the demand we have found from other routes we use such as on air advertisements, stories in our monthly emails, and fliers in a local church network mailing which reaches all the local churches and many other groups and individuals.

1.6 Key commitments: Accountability to the target community

Key commitment delivery: YES or NO

The station will aim to:

  • Be an active participant in monthly meetings of local Church leaders (typically 30 to 70 local Church leaders attend). YES
  • Encourage direct listener feedback is via on-air promotions, letters, e-mail shots and public meetings. YES
  • Issue audience questionnaires every six months (e.g. through local united Christian meetings in the area or through local Christian mailings) NO
  • Log relevant feedback via a number of different channels, for example email, phone calls, text messages, e-text via the website, website guest book and message board comments. In addition comments book in studio reception. YES
  • Formalise its relationship with representatives of local Churches and other interested groups through a quarterly 'board of reference' to receive feedback on the station. YES
  • The group is a member of the Christian Broadcasting Council (CBC) and has agreed to abide by its code of contact. YES

Explanatory notes re non-delivery (if applicable):

We have not done a specific audience questionnaire, as we have felt that the other routes from which we ask for audience feedback are currently sufficient.

1.7 Volunteer inputs

Number of volunteers:
Over the year we have had 72 different volunteers with about 40-45 active volunteers in any quarter. In addition we have had 12 work experience students averaging 1.4 weeks each.

What roles are performed by volunteers:
Of the 72 volunteers the breakdown of their primary roles is as follows:

  • On Air Presenters 18
  • Off Air Production 10
  • Editorial Dept for website 8
  • Administration/Reception 24
  • Cleaning/Odd jobs 4
  • Marketing 3
  • IT 5

Approximate number of hours worked on average per volunteer per week:
The total hours we receive from our volunteers comes to over 15846 a year, or 305 per week - the equivalent of 8.5 full time employees. In terms of an average number of hours per volunteer this comes to about 4.2 hours per week.

Additional information:
We tend to standardise that most volunteers join us for up to six weeks in one go. This gives opportunity for more people to get a ‘taste’ of media, and also if some find it particularly difficult to connect with the working environment then the short term nature is not too burdensome for themselves or us. Some volunteers connect well with the work and we offer them the opportunity to continue their term with us on an ongoing basis. Generally these volunteers would do about 14.5 hours a week on average. We have several ongoing volunteers who do half a day or one day per week eg cleaning or reception. Occasionally when students join us they do so for a full time period, such as a summer holiday or a work placement. That then is 5 days a week, but generally their capability means they fit in well. With the current recession we have several quality volunteers who are with us three or four days a week.

1.8 Significant achievements

Significant achievements for 2011

1. Civic Prayer Breakfast live outside broadcast - The Cross Rhythms Breakfast Show broadcast live from the King's Hall, Stoke-on-Trent. Councillors, MPs, business and church leaders were all in attendance. As well as prayers for the city, the programme featured interviews with city leaders (including Mike Sassi, Editor of The Sentinel newspaper, John Van De Laarschot, chief exec of Stoke-on-Trent City Council) and an outstanding communicator called Russ Parker. The Civic Prayer Breakfast was organised by The Saltbox.

2. British Ceramics Biennial - The national festival of ceramics, based in Stoke-on-Trent, the heart of Briish ceramic production. We conducted loads of on location interviews with people taking part in the festival, artists, organisers, council officers and councillors, Staffordshire University. We also recorded Community Choice radio show, on location at the Biennial, in the old Spode factory site.

3. Council Leaders - We did major in-depth interviews with the two leading council executives: John van der Laarschott, the Chief Exec from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Cllr Steven Sweeney, Leader at Newcastle Borough Council.

4. Media Training – We ran a training day for local community organisations in partnership with Staffordshire University. It's purpose was to train people in how to connect with local media and promote what they were doing.

5. Remembering The Seventies – We produced a unique 6 part series on the history and roots of contemporaray Christian music in the UK.

6. Plymouth & Teesside - We have continued our collaboration with Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Cross Rhythms Teesside.

7. Bethlehem – In May two representatives made a trip to the Palestinian Territory of Bethlehem and met with 11 city leaders. Every one wanted Cross Rhythms to help them set up an online community radio station for young Palestinian Arabs. We have also continued to support a young man who is presenting a radio show on the main commercial station in the city.

8. Warangal, India – In November a CR representative travelled to Warangal and met with 9 leaders who wanted to set up an FM community radio station with the support of Cross Rhythms.

9. Chainat, Thailand – In June we were contacted by a group in Thailand to support them with a radio programme opportunity. Since August a Cross Rhythms Thailand radio show has been presenter by a local young Thai man in the Thai language. The programme goes out on Thai National Radio in that region.

10. Facebook, Twitter and Myspace – We relaunched these pages as well as a specific Facebook page for our Girls Night In programme.

11. Heather Bellamy and Sarah J write for a regular column in the local newspaper called Yours Faithfully.

12. RockNations TV – We launched an online TV show called RockNations.

13. Internal systems – We set up revised or new systems for:

  • Reviews
  • Inductions
  • Job descriptions
  • Risk assessments
  • Department training manuals
  • Interviewing process
  • Volunteer management guide
  • Fire risk assessment + fire safety training

14. Staff went on external training courses in:

  • Economic tracking online
  • Improve sales & negotiation skills
  • Fire marshal course
  • Successful e-mail market
  • Legacy fundraising
  • Communication telephone skills
  • Introduction to tendering x3
  • Food safety + catering
  • Health & safety in workplace
  • Data protection
  • PTLLS course x4
  • Volunteer management course

15. Radioplayer – we set up Cross Rhythms on Radioplayer and received good commendation from their website blog.

16. Media Training – We received a grant for a Laptop to do OB’s with students and a grant for 6 computers and chairs as we were running out of free work stations.

17. Won a local work experience award

1.9 Significant difficulties

As with previous years the main difficulties are finance related. We have plenty of vision and feel we could be much more effective however we have to work within our budget. We only have two full time employees and one self employed who present shows – one who is also the CEO and the other who is the head of the production department.

With more finance we would employ some extra core team. We could then better coordinate volunteers to manage and develop them more effectively. Sometimes we can be spinning too many basic plates between us.

Finance has also inhibited our ability to market the station, relying mostly on in-kind contra deals, and postcard flyers.

Having been one of the original pilot stations we have a perspective based on 10 years broadcasting in the area. We feel we are a recognised, established part of the local community but we desire to move up to a new level, because the expectations of listeners on the station grows. To maintain listener connection we need to add more to what we have ie more presenters bringing more creativity, more awareness out in the wider community through participation in city initiatives etc. To do this properly, requires putting in solid management processes, requiring finance to do so.

However, saying all that, we have sustained the service for 10 years and are confident we can continue doing so into the future.

We have continued to see a decline in sales from our online shop. We attribute this to the recession and also the change to music downloads, which we are not able to offer online.

1.10 Audience research

We have not joined up to Rajar due to costs and have not felt it necessary to undertake our own audience research. Whenever we speak at churches or events we ask who has heard or listens to the station (generally for a broad congregation we would see about 30%-50% positive response).

Data from our website usage shows:
1) An average of 3546 people listened to our live radio stream in each month of the year. They listened for an average of 5.2 minutes. In total 95,511 live radio streams were started.
2) 7805 podcasts were download from our site and iTunes over the year.
3) Each month an average of 633 people streamed a programme using our Listen Again service. They listened for an average of 4.3 minutes. In total, 25,558 Listen Again streams were started.

Overall for our website, we had over 500,000 unique users according to Google Analytics and over 670,000 visitor sessions. We had over 170,000 unique users a month according to AW Stats.

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