Crisis sees redundancies and departures of executives

AFTER A major financial crisis which saw the departure of its top executives and numerous redundancies, Premier Radio, Britain's first commercial Christian radio station, is to re-launch in February after the Radio Authority approved a new programming format based on more music and less speech.
In November the station's chief executive Peter Meadows and programme controller Mark Seaman both made shock exits from the station with the revelation that the station had clocked up huge financial losses. Premier ran into difficulties soon after its launch in June 1995 due to what it now calls "over-ambitious station infrastructure involving excessive costs." The new management led by David Heron, who has relinquished his post as a trustee to take on the role of managing director have overseen the cost reduction activities which have included several staff, including presenters, being made redundant.
At the time of the station's launch, much surprise was expressed at the station's aim to feature 60 per cent speech in its programming. This has now been dramatically reduced and music will now make up the major part of its programming. Commenting on the Premier shake up David Heron said, "We accept that Premier has had a difficult time. We believe the station is part of God's agenda for London and the Home Counties and we are determined to succeed. Now thanks to the renewed generosity of a number of supporters, we can make a fresh start in 1996. Premier won an audience of 210,000 listeners a week in its first official RAJAR figures. We aim to build on this and keep people listening for longer by developing a more consistent sound with a change of programme style and a higher music content."

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