2013 Annual Report

1.1 Community Radio Annual Report Form: Year Ending 31 December 2012

Station details

Licence Number

Station Name
Cross Rhythms City Radio

Launch Date

Web address where you will publish this report

1.2 The year in numbers

Please specify the station’s achievements in the year under review in numbers as follows: (some of this may be a repetition of the information supplied in the financial report)

  • Average number of live hours per week (live material is created at the same time as it is broadcast) 39
  • Average number of original programming hours per week (original material includes pre-recorded and live material but does not include repeats or automated or voice tracked). 79
  • The percentage of your daytime output that is speech 25
  • Total number of people trained during the year 80 including 6 staff
  • Total number of volunteers involved during the year 63 + 11 work Experience
  • Total volunteer hours per week 272
  • If appropriate, a list of languages you have broadcast in English

(There may be some repetition of this information in other sections such as programming.)

Please indicate whether your station key commitments have been delivered during the reporting period: 1 January to 31 December 2012

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.

In previous years this has consistently been the one Key Commitment we have found difficult to maintain. This is because we set our bar too high and were over confident initially because we did indeed start at a good strong 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 found however was that consolidating and sustaining the hours has been as much as we could do because other aspects of running the station took on 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 over reached, and as such we will need to apply to Ofcom to consider a change to this Key Commitment. This was discussed with Soo Williams during the last year and a Key Commitment change application form will be sent week beginning April 1st 2013.

Normally we would maintain 15 hours live programming on Tuesdays, 13 hours for Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 10 hours live on Monday and Friday.

However, we have gone through quite a transition in 2012 as follows:

In 2012 we were hit by two circumstances that have affected the number of live hours further. Our live evening presenter (who broadcasted Tues, Weds, Thurs 6pm-9pm) left. As we have been hit a bit by a fall in income due to the recession we were not in the position to re-employ that position.

Separately the presenter of our lunch time show (11am to 2pm) left as well. This slot had been presented by volunteers for several years. Indeed in 2011 three different volunteers had run this show. Trying to fill a regular slot with volunteers can be difficult as they don’t have the flexibility on a daily basis. So in 2012 we were unable to consistently fill the slot with live programming, but instead put other original programming production into it.

Combined, this has meant that live hours dropped significantly in the last quarter of 2012 to 7 or 8 per weekday.

At the same time however 2012 has been a transition year and we have been re-positioning how we can run the station: Thus, after several years preparation we finally set up our Media Training Centre in the last quarter of the year and as a result we are beginning to re-position the station.

This re-position process has had an impact on the level of programming we have been able to deliver in 2012, as key personnel have had to go through training to be tutors and to give additional time in order to deliver the training.

However the arrival of our first media student in the autumn has already begun to make a difference: This graduate of our NOCN courses has now taken on the drive time show from the beginning of 2013, which will add a further three live hours back into our daytime schedule. We are also promoting our media training courses to the local community which should see new students join us in 2013 and so help us to build up our live programming once again, both in the evenings and into the weekends.

One thing that is worth noting too is that although we have had a difficult year with our live programming, our production of original output is a strong aspect of what we do. Indeed, weekly programmes that we produce are syndicated to more than 50 stations worldwide including a number of UK community stations.

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. YES

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 (see guidance notes)

Number of volunteers:
Over the year we have had 63 different volunteers with about 40-45 active volunteers in any quarter. In addition we have had 11 work experience students averaging 1.8 weeks each.

What roles are performed by volunteers:
Of the 63 volunteers the breakdown of their primary roles is as follows:

  • On Air Presenters 15
  • Off Air Production 10
  • Editorial Dept for website 5
  • Administration/Reception 25
  • Cleaning/Odd jobs 4
  • Marketing 2
  • IT 2

Approximate number of hours worked on average per volunteer per week: The total hours we receive from our volunteers comes to over 11882 a year, or 228 per week - the equivalent of 6.4 full time employees. In terms of an average number of hours per volunteer this comes to about 3.63 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.

In 2012, because we have focused strongly on setting up our media training centre we have not been able to take on as many volunteers as we usually do. This is because we have had to give space to the radio department to learn how to deliver training courses as the priority. Also 4 of our staff have had to go on courses themselves in order to be ready for running training courses. As a result we have had to reduce the number we could take in this year.

Our hope is that we will be able to transfer a number of people who would have been volunteers to actually be students. This means we can still train a similar amount, but also provide a much needed income stream through the provision too.

1.8 Significant achievements

Significant achievements for 2012

1. Training - The most significant achievement at Cross Rhythms this year was the launch of our Media Training Centre where in August we became an NOCN accredited centre, based at the Cross Rhythms HQ in Stoke-on-Trent. The NOCN evaluation commented: ‘The preparation and planning is amongst the best we have come across and the curriculum plan has been well devised. Also, all systems are in place and the planning has been well executed.’

We have always given loads of training to volunteers and work experience students throughout the years, as well as running training courses for other groups in the local community, like Staffs Uni, Media Action Group for Mental Health, schools etc. However it has been a long held goal to set up our own Centre so we can offer actual accredited training courses.

The launch of the new centre came off the back of several years of hard work setting up the centre. Four of our core team also completed PTLLS courses in 2012 so are qualified to be trainers.

What we offer is accredited courses alongside mentoring and working in a live radio setting.

In September we took in our first Media Training Student for a three month course. She completed 5 NOCN modules up to the equivalent of A level standard. She also took on the role as presenter of the daily Drive Time radio show. After her three months she has decided to stay on and keep developing her media skills. Currently she is presenting drive time and working in programme production. We are very encouraged by this first success and hope to see many more yong people go through the traning courses.

Media Training courses available at this time include: Radio Production And Broadcasting; Developing Radio Interview Techniques; Making And Producing Radio News Bulletins; Developing Radio Production Skills (Level 2 and Level 3).

Courses can range from 1 month to 4 months.

Our initial goal is to train 5 people from across the UK, and 5 people from the Stoke-on-Trent area, increasing as we test our ability to deliver.

2. Pre-Apprenticeship Programme – Off the back of setting up the Media Training Centre, at the end of 2012 we established a new initiative we call a Pre-Apprenticeship Programme, provided for disadvantaged (Not in Education, Employment or Training - NEET) young people in Stoke-on-Trent.

An agreement has been made between Cross Rhythms and the Job Centre for the Pre-Apprenticeship Programe to run as a Sector-based work academy.

To qualify for the programme all students must be unemployed and claiming benefits. All students will be referred by the Job Centre.

The YMCA and Family Employment Initiative will refer students to our programme, but they will direct them to apply via the Job Centre.

As a Sector-based work academy, the Job Centre will pay for the students bus fares and although our programme is optional, once a student commits to the programme, it becomes mandatory to complete it.

In a feedback form for our pre-apprenticeship programme, the Stoke-on-Trent Job Centre awarded us 5/5 (Excellent/meeting a vital need) for i) Concept of pre-apprenticeship programme, ii) Subjects of courses, iii) Compatibility of work experience with qualification, iv) Level of demand/need for this type of course, v) Confidence that courses would improve general employability, vi) Confidence that courses would develop skills employers are looking for, vii) Confidence that courses would increase and develop motivation for education, viii) Level of demand/need for qualifications at Level 1 and 2.

3. 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 The Lord Mayor, Mike Sassi, Editor of The Sentinel newspaper, church leaders, John Van De Laarschot, chief exec of Stoke-on-Trent City Council) and the main speaker for the morning, Tristram Hunt MP. The Civic Prayer Breakfast was organised by The Saltbox.

4. VAST Conference live outside broadcast – The influential VAST (Voluntary Action Stoke-on-Trent) organized a conference for the local vvoluntary sector. Cross Rhythms broadcast live from the event profilihng the work of numerous local charities and community initiatives.

5. Olympic Torch Relay – The Olympic Torch relay came to Stoke-on-Trent and we covered the relay with 4 on location reporters and an in-studio host. Numerous interviews and reports took place including with the 4 or 5 torch bearers to hear their stories. The following morning the torch left Stoke-on-Trent and we covered this live once again during the breakfast show.

6. Olympics coverage – during the second week of the Olympic Games we hooked up for daily reports live.

7. Police and Crime Commissioner Elections – We ran a live studio debate and phone in with both PCC candidates. We also ran a live outside broadcast from a local venue for a PCC election public forum debate.

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

9. Bethlehem – Following the endorsement in 2011 from 11 city leaders in the Palestinian Territory of Bethlehem we have continued our preparation work towards setting 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. We also started to rent a base in Bethlehem, near manger Square, in which to set up the station.

10. Warangal, India – We have continued to support a young visionary and city leaders in the city of Warangal in India, who want to set up an FM community radio station with the support of Cross Rhythms.

11. Chainat, Thailand – We have continued to support a group in Thailand who present a Cross Rhythms Thailand radio show in the Thai language. The programme goes out on Thai National Radio in that region. In 2012 the station manager said she loved the show and wanted it to continue and that she may pitch it to the national network.

12. Finance – We totally re-positioned our online donations pages to make it more user friendly and to also give donors options to support specific projects at Cross Rhythms. We also did a fresh push to find additional monthly donors, having seen quite a decrease during the current recession. As a result nearly 70 new Friends of Cross Rhythms signed up by end of year at £10 per month. We also set up an account on Easyfundraising.org so supporters to give a portion of their online purchasing eg through Amazon to Cross Rhythms. By end of year we had 40 supporters doing this. We also secured a new mobile phone tenant on the roof of our building to provide further rent income.

13. MYvoice – we launched a major new initiative called MYvoice. MYvoice aims to empower young people to ‘get their voice out’ through social media. Chip Kendall goes out to youth events and records young people sharing 1 minute of their life story, or a particular event, or a prayer, or something that has impacted them spiritually. We then edit this with some production elements and give it back to them as a ‘Podblast’ to use on their Facebook, websites, Twitter etd to get their voice out to their peers. By end of year we had recorded more than 200 Podblasts. A website www.crossrhythms.co.uk/myvoice and a new weekly radio show were also launched.

1.10 Audience research

Please provide a summary of any audience research/ data you have collected during the year.

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 2933 people listened to our live radio stream in each month of the year. In total 202,064 live radio streams were started.
2) 8732 podcasts were download from our site and iTunes over the year.
3) Each month an average of 400 people streamed a programme using our Listen Again service. In total, 16,202 Listen Again streams were started.

Overall for our website, we had over 524,849 unique users and over 669,082 visitor sessions.

 More in Community Radio Annual Reports..


Connect with Cross Rhythms by signing up to our email mailing list

A Step Change...
Cross Rhythms Media Training Centre
Artists & DJs A-Z
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
Or keyword search


Intercession Room
Care for other people and shake heaven in our Intercession Room