2014 Annual Report

1.1 Community Radio Annual Report Form: Year Ending 31 December 2013

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 live plus pre-recorded material, but does not include repeats or automated output). [This figure cannot be less than the station’s live hours alone] 79
  • The percentage of your daytime output that is speech 25
  • Total number of people trained during the year 74
  • Total number of volunteers involved during the year 71 + 12 Work Exp
  • Total number of 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 2013

1.3 Key commitments: programming

Key commitment delivery YES or NO

  • The programming aims, first and foremost, to satisfy the needs of the community for local news and information. It also airs issue-led content that provides opportunities for discussion and interaction, which addresses moral, social and ethical issues. Listeners are encouraged to participate in such discussion-led programming. Music is predominantly of the Christian genre. YES
  • Live programming output typically comprises 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 is comprised predominantly (at least 90%) of contemporary Christian tracks, and maintains a positive theme. Specialist shows on genres such as rock, music related to the black church tradition, new independent music and contemporary worship feature in the evenings and at weekends. YES
  • Speech output consists 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 are generally 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
  • Programming (which may include pre-recorded inserts, if applicable) typically comprises at least 12 hours a day of original output from Monday to Friday, and at least 16 hours of original output per weekend. YES

1.4 Key commitments: Social gain and other commitments

Key commitment delivery YES or NO

  • The station aims to provide content and programming with specific relevance to the local Christian community. YES
  • The station invites 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 opens the discussion to the listeners to participate to express their opinions. YES
  • Some output addresses theological, philosophical, moral and spiritual themes relating directly to those adhering to the Christian faith. This includes studio discussion and interviews. YES
  • The service combines 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 the station collaborates with on-going training with local community on projects such as drugs awareness to develop appropriate programme material for broadcast. YES
  • The station promotes events that bring the whole community together and also uses the station as a focal point for bringing Christian groups together. YES

The station encourages and promotes access to the service as follows:

  • Offering on-going training for those employed by the station, and training to new volunteers through the station’s Media Training Centre, including some accredited media courses. 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
  • Actively promoting the services that it offers and inviting the community to participate through various means such as on air promotion, internet and email communications, local publications or mailshots. YES

The station:

  • Is an active participant in monthly meetings of local Church leaders. YES
  • Encourages direct listener feedback via on-air promotions, letters, e-mail shots and public meetings. YES
  • Logs 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
  • Maintains its relationship with representatives of local Churches and other interested groups through a ‘board of reference’ to receive feedback on the station. This is done through 2 physical meetings annually as well as occasional communication updates. YES
  • The group is a member of the Christian Broadcasting Council (CBC) and has agreed to abide by its code of contact YES

1.5 Volunteer inputs

Please provide details of the contribution made by volunteers to the station and its operation of the station, such as:

  • The approximate number of hours worked on average per volunteer per week.
  • Any other information to help Ofcom understand the input of volunteers to the station.

Number of volunteers:

Over the year we have had 71 different volunteers with about 40-45 active volunteers in any quarter. In addition we have had 12 work experience students.

What roles are performed by volunteers:
Of the 71 volunteers the breakdown of their primary roles is as follows:

On Air Presenters 14
Off Air Production 14
Editorial Dept for website 9
Administration/Reception 26
Cleaning/Odd jobs 3
Marketing 2
IT 3

Approximate number of hours worked on average per volunteer per week:

The total hours we receive from our volunteers and work experience comes to over 12662 a year, or 272 per week - the equivalent of 7.6 full time employees. In terms of an average number of hours per volunteer (exc work experience) this comes to about 3.43 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.

With the development of our Media Training and Pre-Apprenticeship Programme some people who would previously have been volunteers have instead been students. This means we can still train a similar amount, but also provide a much needed income stream through the provision too.

1.6 Significant achievements

Significant achievements for 2013:

1. Media Training Centre and Pre-Apprenticeship Programme - As part of our Media Training Centre, which was newly launched in September 2012, and offers OCN accredited courses in Radio Production And Broadcasting, Developing Radio Interview Techniques, Making And Producing Radio News Bulletins and Developing Radio Production Skills (Level 2 and Level 3); in 2013 we also added a new Music Journalism course written specifically for us with OCN.

Encouragingly our first Media Training Student, who did a full three month course, and then stayed with us for most of the year before returning to Chelmsford, manged to go straight into a presenting role at Chelmsford Community Radio Station upon her return.

In addition we also launched our Pre-Apprenticeship Programme: This programme, as outlined in last year’s report, is specifically provided for disadvantaged (Not in Education, Employment or Training - NEET) young people in Stoke-on-Trent. Over 2013 we developed the courses on offer to include: Music Journalism (Level 1 & 2), Receptionist Skills (Level 1 & 2), Customer Service & Business Administration (Level 1 & 2), and Developing Radio Production Skills (Level 1 & 2).

The courses includes an OCN qualification, work experience, a work ready session delivered by the HR manager at the Emma Bridgwater pottery company, input from their business or trust sponsor and a work reference from Cross Rhythms.

Business and trusts sponsors are local organizations who sponsor individual students. As well as paying the cost of the course they also offer letters of encouragement, meet the students at Cross Rhythms and host them at their own business workplace.

In addition to our partnership with the Job Centre on this programme we now also partner for referrals through Clay Housing, Unity Residential Care Services, Talent Match, VAST, Foodbank and Alsager Job Club.

In 2013 we received sponsorship to offer courses for the first three students. These having been successfully completed at the end of the year we managed to secure sponsorship funding for a further 11 students starting from 2014.

For student feedback visit:

To support our Media Training and Pre-Apprenticeship Programme we secured a grant to provide a state of the art Smartboard for the training room, along with laptop and necessary software for the production department.

Separately, we also sent three of our team on a week’s training residential in Oxford called the Wilberforce Academy which looks at today’s world and how to engage the topics through media.

2. Plymouth, Teesside, Warangal (India) & Chainat (Thaliand) - We have continued our collaboration with Cross Rhythms Plymouth, Cross Rhythms Teesside, Cross Rhythms Warangal and Cross Rhythms Thailand.

3. 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. The base, near Manger Square, has been decorated, communication lines and furniture installed, and encouragingly a studio playout software company agreed to partner us to provide studio software. A significant gift also enabled us to start work on the website for this new online Arabic community station.

We have also continued to support a young man who is presenting a radio show on the main commercial station in the city.

4. MYvoice – in 2012 we launched a major new initiative called MYvoice, which empowers young people to ‘get their voice out’ through social media. Throughout 2013 Chip Kendall continued to go out to youth events and record young people sharing 1 minute of their life story, or a particular event, or a prayer, or something that has impacted them spiritually. We also managed to secure funding to employee a young person for one year to work on the editing and production elements aspect that turns these clips into ‘Podblasts’ for young people to use on their Facebook, websites, Twitter etc to get their voice out to their peers.

5. Radio Web Console – We re-wrote and started using the latest version of Radio Player console which also provided us a Mobile App for the station.

6. iTunes – we set up as an iTunes affiliate for music downloads.

7. Transformation Conference – a significant national three day conference took place in Stoke-on-Trent with speakers from the UK and USA, and Cross Rhythms was a major partner, broadcasting live for the entire conference from the venue and helping coordinate and build collaboration between local church leaders in preparation.

8. Christmas Carol Concert – as part of our involvement in the City Centre Partnership we worked with them and the council to help deliver a Christmas Carol Concert in the city centre.

9. Sponsored Events – we set up a specific income stream through regular Sponsored Events, not only through challenges performed by Cross Rhythms members but to encourage listeners and supporters to take on their own challenges to raise funds for the station. A dedicated webpage was set up. The first challenges organised, for delivery in 2014 is the CEO’s Abseil Off The World’s Tallest Abseil Tower, and two CR presenters take on the Manchester Marathon.

10. City Centre Partnership – the Cross Rhythms CEO is increasingly active in the City Centre Partnership. As such the Cross Rhythms HQ regularly hosts these meetings; we have helped organise a CCP recruitment event; and we have been significantly involved in lobbying for new Public Realm work within the city centre. As a result in 2013 European funding became available and £3million of new Public Realm work is scheduled for 2014/15. The CEO is also very involved in working with Appetite, an arts initiative aimed at raising awareness of arts and engaging the local people with it.

11. Developer Community – to support our IT department we set up a ‘Developer Community’ inviting web designers and programmers to work with us on IT projects remotely and so help speed up our web development.

12. Rates Discount – remarkably, in addition to the standard 80% charity rates discount, we managed to secure all of the remaining 20% discretionary relief from the council because we so well met the criteria for local community value and contribution through the work we provide.

1.8 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 2,219 unique people listened to our live radio stream in each month of the year. In total 186,048 live radio streams were started.
2) 7,392 podcasts were downloaded from our site and iTunes over the year.
3) Each month an average of 347 unique people streamed a programme using our Listen Again service. In total, 14,055 Listen Again streams were started.

Overall for our website, we had over 492,229 unique users and over 625,876 visitor sessions.

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