Radio Stations are like Pubs!


Whilst reading the endless debate on Media UK about radio groups and takeovers it struck us that actually the Radio industry is much like the Drinks industry:

whitworthPhoto: Adam Bruderer

  • There are large breweries (radio groups), small breweries and plucky independents that run pubs (stations)
  • The industries follow fashions, and occasionally a pub needs a refurbishment or re-invention with the addition of mock beams, rows of old books or leather sofas (name, format, music etc).  Inevitably the regulars moan, but usually the update brings new punters.
  • People (especially “radio people”) are fiercely loyal about their pub/radio station preference – it’s a head not heart decision that no amount of debate can change.


Next we started wondering about what kind of pub each station would be – for fun we list some below:

Wetherspoons (Capital, Kiss…) Packed full of twenty-somethings drinking lager out of the bottle and downing Jagermeisters

Harvester (Heart, Smooth…) The safe bet where people go for breaded mushrooms or a prawn cocktail washed down by a nice glass of Chardonnay.

Yates’s Wine Lodge (Real Radio, GWR, BRMB, Piccadilly…) Although once very popular, now looking a bit run down and shabby and need of a refurb/reinvention

Old House at Home (BBC local) Patterned carpets and aging pine kitchen chairs.  Where people go for a good old gossip and chin-wag over a game of cribbage.

Busy Freehold Pub (Jackie, Sunshine…) Great atmosphere, friendly service, good range of well kept beers and good honest pub grub

Brewery Trip (Community radio) Where enthusiasts go to find out how beer is made and talk to people about making beer.  They do home brew with varying degrees of success.  Breweries have a limited distribution network (coverage) and are limited to 50% of their revenues selling beer.  They survive by begging and holding cheese and wine evenings (OK we made that last bit up!)

Village Local (Radio Caroline) Full of character with wonky old beams and an open fire.  Normally frequented by aging men with beards talking about the good old days.

Boose Cruise (Pandora, Spotify) Hire a van, drive abroad and load up with tons of whatever you want, siphoning profits and taxes away from the UK.

Please don’t take offence – it’s only a bit of fun.  See you in the Village Local for a pint!


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