Question Time Extra Time, the Sonys and Rajars

Thursday 16 May 2013, 17:39

Jonathan Wall Jonathan Wall Controller, Radio 5 Live

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Sony Awards This week on 5 live has seen the start of our new schedule changes. 

As I write this our late night news team are busy planning the first of our new Thursday night politics shows – 'Question Time Extra Time'.  This is a chance to partner with a great brand like Question Time and showcase how we do politics on 5 live.  Stephen Nolan and John Pienaar are the hosts and, within the programme, they will simulcast BBC 1’s Question Time and then will continue the debate after the show.   If you can, join the show tonight from 10pm and have your say.

In other changes we’ve also added a 'Late News Hour' between 10.30pm and 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday hosted by Phil Williams and, in typical 5 live-style, the running order was ripped up and put back together for the very first show as news came through of Roberto Mancini’s sacking from Man City. It was also great hearing Tony Livesey settle into his new role on weekend breakfast, with Eleanor Oldroyd on Saturday and then Sam Walker on Sunday. He already sounds at home.

We were very happy earlier this week to get recognised by our colleagues across the radio industry at the annual Sony Radio Academy Awards.  Danny Baker triumphed yet again with a gold award for the Best Entertainment Show. He also picked up a bronze in the Best Speech Broadcaster category. Peter Allen and Colin Murray won Best Sports Programme for their Olympics show, and we also won the Best Live Event award for our Olympics and Paralympics coverage.

The icing on the cake was UK Station of the Year award, reflecting what a truly memorable year 2012 was for us here at 5 live. We are very grateful to our listeners for the huge part they played in this; we were very proud to share 2012 with you.

Special mentions should also go to Victoria Derbyshire who won a silver award in the Best Speech Broadcaster category (which was won by our colleague from Radio 4 Eddie Mair), Not Just Cricket - presented by Greg James, Graeme Swann, and Jimmy Anderson - which won a silver award for Best Sports Programme in its inaugural year and Adventures of a Blue Badger, Nikki Fox’s documentary on disability in the UK which won a bronze award for Best News Feature.

Today we’ve also received our latest audience figures. It is a mixed story for us.  There's the good news - our total audience reach is very strong at 6.3 million for 5 live (up 160,000 on the quarter) and for 5 live sports extra at 860,000 (the 2nd highest ever for this time of year) and there are challenges - we, as do lots of other parts of radio, need to find ways to keep our audiences listening for the same amount of time as they used to. The average amount of listening to our linear radio output has fallen by 10% over the last year.  There are some good stories coming through around the growth of those listening to our best clips via social media, and listening back to programmes via our podcasts, so we’ree focused on looking at all the different ways we can get our content to our audience.

Anyway, the huge presence that is John Pienaar has just walked in the building and he looks raring to go so I better go and wish him luck. 


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    First off: the Olympics. Second: your turn, Sonys seems to travel round. Third: don't kid yourself, there is a reason people switch off and that is all the drivel that has fortunately disappeared for the moment, text us with when you last ate anything off the floor, being a good example.
    One extra night of Nolan=another night of all his pretending to be bothered when people say anything remotely dodgy - no on else does it! - and paying for yet another night in a hotel for him. Why you just couldn't have given that programme entirely to the great Pienaar I don't know.

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    Comment number 2.

    You really need to get a grip of the daytime schedule as it is in urgent need for freshening up, particularly Victoria Derbyshire. The 10-12 programme is so tired with same depressing topics week after week. Victoria can’t even be bothered to turn up in Salford most of the time (what makes her so special that she gets treated differently from other staff and presenters and presents from London – time to man up Jonathan and make your own mark and replace her with somebody who actually wants to do the job!?). When listening it is so clear she is not in the studio with all the silences when she has no idea if the travel reporter etc. is ready. It is like she is on autopilot churning out the same show year after year. Why if it is necessary to fly Nolan in from Belfast it is not necessary for Victoria to be in Salford?

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    Comment number 3.

    What is going on with press conferences, 5 live seems to be become more and more inept at covering them. Half of the time they go to it late missing the main point, or we can’t hear what is being said or the questions being asked. Is it really necessary to hear a solicitor reading out a statement on the steps of a court live? Can’t you just record it and play the main points a few minutes later or in the news if there is actually anything relevant or interesting rather than breaking the flow of a discussion to go to a press conference?

    Also why lead the news with a sports story then say you can hear more in the sports news only for the same headline to be repeated in the sports news? Just leave sports stories for the sports news.

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    Comment number 4.

    Congratulations to Danny Baker- Saturday morning is easily the best radio of the week for me. I'd love to know if only one BBC National Station applies for the 'Station of the Year' award as it seems bizarre that the final 3 stations are completely different to last year. How can a station's output change that much in a year that the best 3 all change within 12 months?

    I know he isn't everybody's cup of tea, but I'm really missing Tony Livesey already.
    Now we have to listen to Stephen Nolan trying his best to make controversial radio and an hour of Question Time which I'd watch on TV if I was interested. I suppose it makes an hour of cheap (i.e free) radio.

    It's interesting that the RAJAR figures are being reported as being up on the quarter when the year-on-year figures are down by 100,000 as these are usually the stats that are used when it's good news!

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    Comment number 5.

    The average amount of linear radio out put has fallen by 10% over the last year ...

    Amongst all the gobbledegook we have this little nugget and strangely enough this was not in bold type.A minor detail to any interested in the writing of blogs I am sure though..Any way well done on your SOTY award, I am sure are we all absolutely ecstatic and mightily impressed by this result and so richly deserved by your splendid team.No words can express how delighted I and many others are.It is truly a momentous day for 5live and radio in general and I will drink a toast to all you 'special ' people.I am totally overwhelmed.Please, if can, will you please continue being such a brilliant, brilliant radio station.Listening to you day and night makes my life complete in all sorts of ways.5live is a true and valued friend.I am sorry and please forgive me, I have come over all emotional.Just a quick mention for Victoria Derbyshire on her much deserved silver award.She gives us hours and hours of pleasure in this household !

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    Comment number 6.

    I listened to the new Nolan/Pienaar programme. Nolan cut people off when they were trying to develop their points. He should listen to Anita on Any Answers. Frankly a waste of time because you couldn't tell who was speaking on the first part, and in the second, Pienaar was overwhelmed by the intrusions of Nolan.
    Not a great success and I repeat, give the programme to Pienaar, you don't need Nolan at all.

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    Comment number 7.

    Why is Quesion Time not avaliable on iplayer to watch, it keeps saying " coming soon" yet it is avaliable to listen again on 5live?

    As for the haters, Stumps and the rest, you can only beat what is put in front of you, 5live is station of the year get over it, there are Millions who enjoy 5lives coverage on Sport, News, thats a fact!

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    What is AVK doing on that photo?

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    Comment number 9.

    @carrie - "What is AVK doing on that photo?"

    He’s as bad a gate crasher as John Terry

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    Comment number 10.

    Great to see Robbie Savage in the picture.What a find he has been for 5live. A truly talented broadcaster who can only go on to better things.He should be presenting more evening shows during the week.Being on 606 doesn't really give him the time and justice his talent deserves.I can forgive him his minor indiscretion ( and of being a former bluenose ) of predicting that the Villa would be relegated to which he swiftly backtracked after the 6-1 Sunderland result. .I am sure he will soon apologise because he is top,top man.

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    Comment number 11.

    I too will greatly miss Tony Livesey on the late weekday nights programme. I appreciate that 5 Live's main remit/ licence objective is as a rolling & breaking news and sports service but, he manages to engage with the listener and achieve that whilst injecting his output with humour!
    Many of the other presenters could learn from this. I work from home and have FL on most days as background. Now, to be honest, I generally dial surf. I appreciate that people such as Victoria Derbyshire are excellent (Sony) award winning presenters and have to report and debate on often harrowing and distressing news items but sometimes y it honestly feels like you're permanently sitting on the front row at the crematorium!
    Peter Allen manages the mixture with aplomb also. Most of the other presenters do show that it can be mixed alongside covering serious issues and are aided by the excellent George Riley, Will Perry, and all the other sports, weather and travel people who interact well and weave into the programmes.
    I don't understand 5 Live's obsession with Nolan though. I appreciate he is the Marmite of radio listening. I can't listen any longer to his 'faux sincere bear trap' style interviews ‘ (when all along) you know he's just got his mind focussed on his next addition to his burgeoning cabinet of Sony Awards. With that in mind, I guess he must be doing something right. Personally, to me he's more irritating that a red hot shower after a 12 hour sunbathe with no lotion.
    Now, he's got the ultimate prize. Another weekday night on air this time shared (with the legendary and excellent, authoritative, John Pienaar).
    Eventually I think Five Live will develop Five Live Nolan Extra on DAB (or 909 AM) where 24 hour replays of old Nolan output will be broadcast to the adoring masses Kim Jong-Un style!
    I have nothing whatsoever against the man himself, just as a radio presenter. Not my cup of tea (so yes, I do reach for the off button now). I just find he's the media equivalent of placing a dormouse, a meerkat, a new-born puppy, a great white shark, and a scorpion into a DC-10 fan blade.
    NO LANd should be without him! Happy listening.

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    Comment number 12.

    The BBC must be paying Nolan so much for daily Ulster TV and radio, and four nights a week here. Is there really such a dearth of good broadcasters that so much investment is put in to this bloke?

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    Comment number 13.

    I have to agree with carrie msg 12. Nolan is dreadful, jumping in when people are trying to make a point, cutting them off if he doesn't appear to agree with them. There must be better presenters out there.

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    Comment number 14.

    .... the problem is Zelda / Carrie that they live in a bubble of self congratulation in Salford. It's no big deal these days to get a Sony - he who pays most gets best rewarded seems to be the mantra - and some of the rewards this year (BBC and outside) were laughable. Pity there aren't as many laughs on Fighting Talk.

    Mr Wall's reign so far is deeply disappointing: He inherited a punctured ship and has only re-arranged the deckchairs at best. He's probably hampered by contract lengths ans smug presenters not prepared to move on - I mean where would Derbyshire without her morning sigh fest on Five Live?

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    Comment number 15.

    Today, from Woolwich, Lesley Ashmall, a seasoned "reporter" on 5Live, actually said "the people round here are still really cut up about what happened".

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    Comment number 16.

    On the Sonys...How can you possibly compare a classical music station, say, with a commercial pop one; a news station with whatever it is you do here? And as others have said, did last year's finalists and winner (?) fade so badly as to not be in contention!? It seems to matter most and only to those who should (& probably do) know better.

    On the much trailed new line-up:it's going to take more than a mini reshuffle and a simulcast to cure the problems at this station; especially as the ship is about to enter the perfect storm of little/no sports coverage all summer. But then there's always the Bump Club!

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    Comment number 17.

    I know it is early days but I think dear Phil' show isn't really working. It is no worse, in some ways it is much better, than Livesey as we now don't have all the laughing Tony sycophants, but somehow he seems to be always reading trails out for the rest of the programme, or not quite making headway with the interviewees. The thing with Walker isn't happening at all.
    He is so good yet he is not quite right for the slot - much better in the afternoon.


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