One Love Breakfast: two stations, one show

How can sharing a breakfast show increase your station’s profile and reach and better serve your audience? The question was one facing Bristol community stations BCfm 93.2 and Ujima Radio 98fm.

By collaborating together on One Love Breakfast, the two community stations found they could benefit not just their respective stations as a whole, but the communities they serve. Pat Hart, station manager for BCfm and Donald McTernan, general manager from Ujima Radio hit on the idea when they realized that they shared a lot of common goals. Driven by a desire to change the culture of both stations, they were keen to get staff at both stations on side and to see each other as partners, not competitors or rivals.

However trust was key in their working relationship. With the show produced at BCfm but with input from Ujima, both Donald and Pat try hard to make sure that both stations are reflected in the show, with each pushing for greater coverage of their partner station. As Donald says, “We’re looking out for each other in order to support the whole.”

“We’re not rivals. The fact is that we have far more in common that brings us together than keeps us apart.”– Donald McTernan

A shared breakfast show means a combined audience and increased reach, something that’s very attractive to sponsors. For an NHS public health campaign aimed at hard to reach communities, the stations were able to show that through promotion on One Love Breakfast the campaign could not only reach those communities but the mainstream ones as well. 

It’s also raised the profile of both stations. Their One Love stage at Bristol St Paul’s carnival attracted over 25,000 people for the majority of the day. It really reflected both station’s messages of celebrating diversity whilst also promoting unity and community cohesion. As Pat says, “If we’re promoting the fact that these communities should get together, it would be really stupid and hypocritical if two community radio stations can’t work together.”