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The talkSPORT News Archive (January & February 2005)
From the talkSPORT1089.co.uk News Centre

This website endeavours to bring its readers the very latest news regarding the UK's national commercial sports radio station. In bringing you news on talkSPORT, we will be using a number of sources including the Media Guardian, Media Week, Radio Times and UK Radio.

talkSPORT: Official Champions League Radio Station

Added: Monday 28th February


talkSPORT is the Champions League Radio Station with live commentary from the 2nd Leg clashes at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea v Barcelona and at Highbury for Arsenal v Bayern Munich.

Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT’s commentary team at Stamford Bridge for the 2nd Leg of the First Knockout Round on Tuesday 8th March for Chelsea v Barcelona. The 1st Leg at the Nou Camp ended in defeat for the Londoner’s despite a Juliano Belletti own goal giving them a deserved half-time lead.

The full schedule for Tuesday 8th March on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn 7:00pm Champions League Live: Chelsea v Barcelona with Chris Cooper & Alvin Martin from Stamford Bridge 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

The following night on Wednesday 9th March, Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be in North London at Highbury for the 2nd Leg of the First Knockout Round game between Arsenal and Bayern Munich. The German side are 3-1 up from the 1st Leg at the Olympiastadion.

The full schedule for Wednesday 9th March on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn 7:00pm Champions League Live: Arsenal v Bayern Munich with Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin from Highbury 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

If you believe, like we do, that talkSPORT should maintain Final Whistle after live Champions League commentary on Tuesday and Wednesday nights between 10:00pm-11:00pm instead of James Whale then email the Programming Team via the talkSPORT website and voice your support.

The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Jason Cundy on talkSPORT
Added: Monday 28th February


The Game will be hosted by Patrick Kinghorn alongside temporary host Jason Cundy, former Chelsea, Portsmouth & Ipswich defender, following the departure of Tony Cascarino from talkSPORT last week.

Jason Cundy will be the temporary replacement for Tony Cascarino whilst the talkSPORT Programming Team find a permanant replacement for the former Republic of Ireland International who left the station last week following a dispute over pay and his relationship with co-host Patrick Kinghorn.

Cundy is no stranger to talkSPORT after starting his career at the station as co-commentator on Premiership commentary matches in London, the FA Cup and stand-in pundit on Final Whistle alongside Adrian Durham and Lou Macari on a Sunday between 4:00pm-8:00pm.

He represented England at Under-21 level and has played for Ipswich and Portsmouth. His one league goal for Tottenham was rather ironically scored against Ipswich at Portman Road and is now a youth coach at Chelsea and works for Chelsea TV as well as talkSPORT on The Game.

The full schedule for the week beginning Monday 28th February is as follows:

1?:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Jason Cundy 7:00pm Evening Kick-Off with Adrian Durham 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

talkSPORT's Tony Cascarino Parts Company with Station
Added: Sunday 27th February


talkSPORT's Tony Cascarino has parted company with the station due to a dispute over money and lack of chemistry with co-host Patrick Kinghorn, reports the Daily Mail.

Tony Cascarino began his broadcasting career at talkSPORT in 2002 following the conclusion of the World Cup and the beginning of the 2002/2003 Premiership and Football League season. Cascarino, former Republic of Ireland International, became the regular co-host of Football First Early Kick-Off alongside Rob McCaffrey and the Sunday Sports Breakfast with journalist Lee Clayton later that year.

At the beginning of the 2003/2004 football season and following the departure of Bill Young from talkSPORT, Tony Cascarino was teamed up with Patrick Kinghorn as the new duo of talkSPORT's Drivetime show each day between 4:00pm-7:00pm. Drivetime was to be sponsored by The Times' sports supplement and known as The Game, a newspaper in which Cascarino has a weekly column.

A few months after accepting his role on talkSPORT's Drivetime show, Cascarino told this website: "I was a little worried by the commitment I was making because I was only doing two shows a week before I teamed up with Patrick. The show with Lee Clayton and Rob McCaffrey were enjoyable but I was eager to progress and do the Drive show and jumped at the chance when asked."

However in Saturday 26th February's edition of the Daily Mail, Charles Sale reported that Cascarino had parted company with talkSPORT and cited that there was a dispute over payment and that Cascarino had said there was a lack of chemistry with his co-host Patrick Kinghorn. The report was today confirmed by a source close to talkSPORT saying that the station wouldn't be moved over Cascarino's pay demands.

We asked Cascarino what he thought of his partnership with Kinghorn during an interview in December in 2003: "We can be the best of friends one day and then enemies another day. We're quite a fiery combination off air. I don't know if that's how the show sounds but we were thrown together at the deep end and to be honest it was worrying at first working on one of the main shows on the station."

Patrick Kinghorn hosted The Game on Friday 25th February by himself and was joined by Jason Cundy on Sunday's Carling Cup Final Preview Show, a show in which Cascarino was billed as co-hosting alongside Kinghorn. Currently there is no word as to who will be replacing Cascarino on The Game on talkSPORT but Gary Stevens, Ray Houghton and Jason Cundy have been mentioned.

MacKenzie’s Latest Attack on RAJAR
Added: Thursday 24th February


Despite losing his legal battle against RAJAR, Kelvin MacKenzie, Chief Executive of The Wireless Group has challenged the accuracy of RAJAR’s diary system once again.

MacKenzie has claimed that RAJAR kept secret the results of their meter tests in 2002/3, which showed that talkSPORT had a weekly reach of 14% using the GfK measuring device and 17% using the Arbitron PPMs - compared to just 5% under RAJAR’s diary system. The station's share of listening also shot up under both electronic measurement systems.

“I challenge RAJAR to deny these figures” said MacKenzie. “This, after all, is what the whole argument is all about. These figures are theirs not ours. They’re from their own tests that they devised and that they commissioned, administered and oversaw.”

According to the latest figures for Q4 last year, talkSPORT has a weekly reach of 6.1m under GfK's broadcast survey using electronic measurement which is more than three times the figure given to talkSPORTt under RAJAR’s diary system. However, RAJAR has rejected the GfK electronic measurement device after it failed to meet the necessary criteria in audiometer validation tests last year.

RAJAR declined to comment on the situation, a source close to the ratings body told Research Magazine: “It’s just another publicity stunt, probably to divert attention away from the fact that his takeover bid for The Wireless Group, fell apart yesterday after his private equity backer pulled out of talks.”

MacKenzie's Bid to Buy The Wireless Group Collapses
Added: Wednesday 23rd February


Kelvin MacKenzie's plans to take The Wireless Group into private ownership suffered a severe blow today when his private equity backers pulled out, reports The Guardian.

Shares in The Wireless Group have fallen 3.74% after it said Chief Executive Kelvin MacKenzie's management buyout plan had collapsed. TWG, which owns talkSPORT and 16 local radio stations across the UK, said talks finished after Kelvin MacKenzie's financial backer withdrew.

The broadcaster added that it had authorised MacKenzie to seek alternative potential investors. It also said it had been approached by other unnamed potential bidders.


"The company has received expressions of interest from other parties who are considering a possible offer for the company, and the company is in ongoing discussions with such parties," The Wireless Group said in a statement.  It added that it would consider any potential firm offer - be it takeover or management buyout - on its individual merits, although there was no certainty that any would be received.

Broadcast analysts have suggested that any offer would have to be in the region of £100m. MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun newspaper, currently owns 7% of Wireless. Other shareholders include Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns 30% of the company, and US Liberty Media, which has 28% of shares.


The Reuters news agency reported last week that Mr MacKenzie's MBO backer was US private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Shares in Wireless closed down 3.74% at 90p on Wednesday.

MacKenzie & Lord Alli Talk of Radio Ad Sales Merger
Added: Wednesday 23rd February


The consortium bidding for Virgin Radio has held talks with The Wireless Group about merging their advertising sales operation if its takeover bid succeed according to the Guardian.

Lord Alli, the executive leading the bid for Virgin Radio, has discussed combining the station's sales unit with talkSPORT‘s. Both stations own national licences & would save costs by bringing together their sales teams.

The talks are conditional on a number of factors, not least settling ownership issues. Last month SMG, Virgin's owner, turned down a £100m bid for the station from Lord Alli and the venture capital group 3i.

The consortium is approaching SMG shareholders directly in an attempt to bypass the board but the Glasgow-based group is adamant that the offer undervalues the business. The Wireless Group is also subject to a bid led by its Chief Executive, Kelvin MacKenzie. He approached his board with a nil-premium 90p-a-share offer and has until March 21 to make a firm bid. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns more than 20% of TWG, left the door open for rival bids last week by saying it had "not signed any irrevocable undertaking".

Chrysalis Group, owner of Heart FM and Galaxy, has been cited as a potential bidder for TWG but industry sources believe Chrysalis is unlikely to be interested due to talkSPORT direct competition with the BBC.

The merger of GWR and Capital Radio has forced rival companies to examine their options. GWR, owner of Classic FM, and Capital Radio, owner of Capital FM, will draw a combined total of more than 160m listening hours a week and will control just under 40% of the national advertising market.

It would also offer a one-stop shop for many advertisers. A large-scale radio ad campaign buys slots on local stations, with ad space on a national station - Classic FM, talkSPORT or Virgin Radio - on top.

The combination of Virgin Radio and talkSPORT’s sales operations would strengthen the broadcasters' appeal to advertisers, with a total of just under 32m listening hours across the UK. The audience demographics of both stations are less compatible, with talkSPORT attracting an audience that is about 75% male while Virgin Radio's male/female balance is more evenly split.

However, industry sources said the potential loss would be outweighed by the gains of combining sales forces. Media buyers, who book advertising space for clients, can cut the cost of slots on Virgin Radio and talkSPORT by playing the stations' sales teams off against one another. A sales merger would give broadcasters stronger negotiating power. It would also allow Virgin Radio and talkSPORT to strip out costs.

Disgraceful Far Right BNP Comes Second in talkSPORT Poll
Added: Tuesday 22nd February


The disgraceful, sick and racist British National Party came second in a recent talkSPORT poll of listeners to Mike Mendoza’s programme on Wednesday 16th February between 2:00am-4:30am.

The British National Party, led by Nick Griffin, was second behind the Conservative Party in a poll conducted by Mike Mendoza. He asked talkSPORT listeners the question: “If there was a general election tomorrow, who would you vote for? Any party - no matter what.”

talkSPORT, across all of it’s current-affairs programming, tends to lean towards Michael Howard’s Conservative Party and asks listeners to vote for the Tories. Despite the number of votes the BNP received, talkSPORT’s presenters always distance themselves from the far right party. The results of the poll carried out on Mike Mendoza’s show is as follows:

Conservative 939, British National Party 360, Labour 340, UKIP 90, Veritas 30, Liberal Democrats 10, Green Party 10 & Scottish National Party 10.

The British National Party received 20.1% of the 1789 votes received shocking talkSPORT presenters with Mike Mendoza, the following night when the results were announced, encouraged all the people that voted BNP in his poll to change their minds and “vote Conservative" in the General Election later this year.

Unofficial FA Cup 5th Round Replay Coverage on talkSPORT
Added: Monday 21st January

talkSPORT will broadcast unofficial commentary of Sheffield United v Arsenal in an FA Cup 5th Round Replay on Tuesday 1st March.

Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT’s commentary team with unofficial coverage from Brammal Lane of the FA Cup Fifth Round Reply between Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal courtesy of talkSPORT’s studio monitors. Kick-Off is at 8:05pm.

talkSPORT will also have updates and reports from Blackburn v Burnley with Eammon Watson and Brentford v Southampton with Andy Clarke in the FA Cup 5th Round Replays.

The FA Cup Quarter Final Draw was made on Monday 21st January with the full draw as follows: Newcastle v Tottenham or Nottingham Forest, Southampton or Brentford v Manchester United, Bolton v Arsenal or Sheffield United, Burnley or Blackburn v Leicester.

The full schedule for Tuesday 1st March on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Sportswatch with Andrew McKenna 1:10pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino 7:00pm Football First FA Cup Special: Sheffield United v Arsenal with Chris Cooper & Alvin Martin 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

Carling Cup Final: Chelsea v Liverpool on talkSPORT
Added: Monday 14th February


talkSPORT have announced their schedule for the Carling Cup Final on Sunday 27th February and includes live commentary from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff of Chelsea v Liverpool.

Andy Townsend will be on The Sunday Sports Breakfast between 8:00am-12:00pm reviewing Saturday's Premiership action, the Six Nations clashes as Scotland clashed with Italy and France took on Wales and the rest of the day's sports news. Andy will also be taking a look ahead to day's Carling Cup Final with Chelsea v Liverpool at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

From 12:00pm-2:30pm Patrick Kinghorn and Tony Cascarino are live at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to a preview of the Carling Cup Final.

Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT's commentary team from 2:30pm for live coverage of the Carling Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Commentary is direct from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. There will also be reports and updates in the Premiership from Newcastle v Bolton and Middlesbrough v Charlton. talkSPORT will also be at Lansdowne Road for Ireland v England in the 6 Nations.

Adrian Durham, Gabriele Marcotti and Gary Stevens will be on talkSPORT from 5:30pm for Final Whistle discussing the day's action from the Carling Cup Final and the rest of the weekend's Premiership matches.

The full schedule for the Carling Cup Final, Sunday 27th February is as follows:

2:00am Charlie Wolf 6:00am Fisherman's Blues with Keith Arthur 8:00am The Sunday Sports Breakfast with Andy Townsend 12:00pm Carling Cup Final Preview with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino from the Millennium Stadium 2:30pm Carling Cup Final Live: Chelsea v Liverpool with Chris Cooper & Alvin Martin from the Millennium Stadium 5:30pm The Final Whistle with Adrian Durham, Gabriele Marcotti & Gary Stevens 8:00pm The Golf Show with Ray Houghton & Andy Brookes 10:00pm-1:00am Mike Dickin.

Unofficial Double FA Cup Coverage on talkSPORT
Added: Monday 14th February


talkSPORT will broadcast unofficial coverage of Arsenal v Sheffield United and Everton v Manchester United in the FA Cup 5th Round on Saturday 19th February.

Commentary will be from 12:30pm from Highbury courtesy of talkSPORT’s studio monitors for the clash between Premiership Arsenal and Championship Sheffield United. From 5:30pm there will also be commentary from Goodison Park courtesy of talkSPORT’s studio monitors of Wayne Rooney’s return to Everton as they take on Manchester United in an all Premiership encounter.

Between 2:30pm-5:30pm Adrian Durham will bring talkSPORT listeners all the latest scores, with updates and reports from the day’s FA Cup 5th Round and Football League action including Bolton v Fulham, Charlton v Leicester and Southampton v Brentford.

The full schedule for Saturday 19th February on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Duncan Barkes 6:00am Fisherman’s Blues with Keith Arthur 8:00am The Sports Breakfast with Andy Townsend & Mike Parry 12:00pm Football First FA Cup Special: Arsenal v Everton 2:30pm Football First with Adrian Durham 5:30pm Football First FA Cup Special: Everton v Manchester United 8:00pm The Unexplained with Howard Hughes 11:00pm-2:00am Mike Dickin.

MacKenzie to Take The Wireless Group Private
Added: Sunday 13th February


Kelvin MacKenzie, Chief Executive of The Wireless Group, is poised to take the company private in a £100m deal, according to banking sources, reports the Sunday Times Business.

McKenzie floated The Wireless Group on the Stock Exchange in 1999 and is thought to have had an offer of 90p a share accepted by the company's non-executive directors. Goldman Sachs, the Investment Bank, is understood to have advised the board during negotiations. Under the proposed deal, MacKenzie would buy out The Wireless Group's other big shareholders, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and US media conglomerate Liberty Media.

News Corporation, which owns 30%, declined to comment. Liberty, owner of 28% failed to return calls to the Sunday Times about the sale of its stake. The Wireless Group and MacKenzie, who has 7% shares, also had nothing to say to the Sunday Times.

Owners of the remaining 35% of TWG included City institutioners Jupiter Asset Management and SocGen. TWG's share price closed on Friday at 90p, valuing the group at £100m, including £20m in B-shares owned by News Corporation. Banking sources said that MacKenzie was keen to take the company into private ownership in order to fund the expansion of talk-based radio at TWG.

The deal comes at a time of fierce competition and consolidation in the British radio industry. Capital and GWR are expected to complete their £711m merger in the spring, while EMAP is readying itself for a takeover bid for Scottish Radio Holdings, in which it already owns a near-30% stake.

MacKenzie believes he can create a powerful radio group to compete head-on with the BBC. In recent months he has been involved in a legal dispute with RAJAR, the radio industry's audience-measurement body, in an attempt to accelerate the introduction of new technology to record listener numbers.

Everton & Blackburn in Premiership on talkSPORT
Added: Saturday 12th February

talkSPORT have signed deals with Everton and Blackburn Rovers to broadcast their Premiership matches to listeners of the station on 1089am in the North-West region.

The deal with talkSPORT means that Everton and Blackburn join Manchester City as those Premiership clubs who have been given the right for talkSPORT to broadcast their Premiership matches to listeners in the North-West. Today's Premiership clash between Everton and Chelsea was the first Everton match to be aired locally in the region with Nigel Pearson and Jason Cundy as talkSPORT's commentary team.

talkSPORT have had deals in place with Arsenal, Chelsea and Crystal Palace for the right to broadcast their Premiership matches to listeners of the station in the Capital. This follows a change in talkSPORT's format in 2001 by OFCOM to allow the national radio station to broadcast local football commentaries.

However in December 2004, talkSPORT were given permission to further split their broadcasts in the North-West on 1089am to air Premiership matches involving Manchester City and now Everton and Blackburn Rovers. talkSPORT are also able to split their transmissions to broadcast commentaries to the Midlands with negotiations with Aston Villa currently underway.

talkSPORT will broadcast local and regional Premiership commentary matches on Saturday's at 12:00pm and 12:45pm only and not at the traditional time of 3:00pm. They will also broadcast Sunday matches during the afternoon and during midweek.

talkSPORT's next live Premiership commentary is on Monday 14th January from 7:00pm at Highbury for Arsenal v Crystal Palace and is available on 1089am in the London region.

talkSPORT TV Sells Slot to William Hill TV
Added: Saturday 12th February


talkSPORT has sold its television venture to a betting channel run by bookmaker William Hill on Sky Digital Channel 425 and will broadcast from 4:00pm-7:00pm daily.

The national sports radio station raised eyebrows last year when talkSPORT announced plans to launch a TV service on the Sky Digital platform, originally on Get Lucky TV on Channel 235. talkSPORT TV is little more than live footage of talkSPORT's presenters and pundits in a radio studio discussing sporting issues, interviewing guests and having phone-in debate.

The channel currently broadcasts between 4:00pm-10:00pm daily with an estimated annual budget of £500,000 but will now appear on William Hill's Channel 435 between 4:00pm-7:00pm after the bookmaker bought the format on a one year contract for an undisclosed sum.

"It shows the experiments and testing we did have paid off. We got the content and the look of it right and now we are in a position to market it and sell it both here and abroad. There is a lot of interest in the Premiership and we believe it will push on the talkSPORT brand," said Bill Ridley, talkSPORT's Programme Director.

talkSPORT, owned by The Wireless Group, has now dropped its application to BSkyB for a 24-hour broadcasting licence. Ridley said a round the clock channel was still an option for the station but talkSPORT would stay on William Hill TV Channel 425 for the foreseeable future.

Mr Ridley said the show on Channel 425 would follow the same format by simulcasting broadcasts from talkSPORT's Drivetime show with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino. Guest pundits and highlights from that day's Sports Breakfast will plug the gaps during advertising breaks.

Kelvin MacKenzie, chief executive of talkSPORT, said last year that the TV venture was "more of a marketing exercise than anything else. What people do is listen to talkSPORT in their cars and when they get home turn the TV on. If they have got the TV on, maybe they'll watch talkSPORT."

Live Champions League Football on talkSPORT
Added: Wednesday 9th February


talkSPORT will have live coverage from Bayern Munich v Arsenal and Barcelona v Chelsea in the Champions League Second Round First Leg.


Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT’s commentary team from the Olympic Stadium in Munich for the Champions League clash between Bayern Munich and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side for a 7:45pm kick-off on Tuesday 22nd February. Eammon Watson will be at Anfield for Liverpool v Bayer Leverkusen and Paul Breen-Turner will be at the Bernabeu for Real Madrid v Juventus.

The full schedule for Tuesday 22nd February on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino 7:00pm Champions League Live: Bayern Munich v Arsenal with Chris Cooper & Alvin Martin from the Olympic Stadium 10:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

The following night on Wednesday 23rd February will see Chelsea travel to Barcelona in a Champions League Second Round clash. Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be at the Nou Camp for the 7:45pm kick-off. Eammon Watson will be at Old Trafford for Manchester United v Milan.

The full schedule for Tuesday 22nd February on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino 7:00pm Champions League Live: Barcelona v Chelsea with Chris Cooper & Alvin Martin from the Nou Camp 10:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

The Wireless Group Unveil Solent Speech Station Plans
Added: Wednesday 9th February


Broadcaster Fred Dinenage is leading a bid by The Wireless Group to launch allTALK FM, a new speech radio station for the Solent area.

Fred’s broadcasting career began in 1964 with Southern Television and over the last 40 years he has presented a large number of award-winning ITV regional and networked programmes. Despite being the longest-running children’s television presenter in British broadcasting history, with How 2?, Fred is probably best known for presenting the daily regional magazine programme, Meridian Tonight.

Outside television, Fred has a longstanding passion for radio and has appeared on countless radio shows across the UK, including most recently his own radio show on Sunday mornings. Through his television, radio and sporting activities over the years, Fred has developed strong relationships across the region.

The Wireless Group bid for the Solent local licence is part of the group’s wider strategy to develop a network of local speech radio stations across the UK, and follows on from its successful application for the new Edinburgh FM licence in December last year. Dunedin FM will launch in the autumn of 2005.

The Wireless Group's Business Development Director, Calum Macaulay, said: "We are delighted to have Fred on board. He has an unrivalled knowledge and shares our passion for speech-based radio. Fred also understands media and broadcasting inside out and will be crucial in the shaping of our proposals as well as having an ongoing role if allTALK FM is awarded the licence."

Rumour Surrounding Future of talkSPORT TV
Added: Monday 7th February


Rumours are surfacing surrounding the future of talkSPORT TV, which currently broadcasts each day between 4:00pm-10:00pm on Get Lucky TV on Sky Digital Channel 235.

talkSPORT TV launched in November 2004 broadcasting 4:00pm-10:00pm showing the behind the scenes goings on during The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino and Evening Kick-Off with Adrian Durham, Alvin Martin, Ray Houghton & Gabriele Marcotti.

It was expected that a full-scale launch, with 24 hours a day broadcasts, was expected in January but it has failed to materialise. The channel was described as “a work in progress” by talkSPORT’s programme director Bill Ridley but a source close to the station says that the TV station will be closing very soon.

Speaking in November, Kevin West from Starcom Mediavest said: "Sport as a genre is already well served. It's quite an unusual EPG slot for sport, they won't get people who are interested in sports grazing, and if they are serious they will eventually need to be among the sports channels. The audience is different to the sports genre audience advertisers want."

Mike Dickin & Micky Quinn to Leave talkSPORT?
Added: Friday 4th February


Mike Dickin and Micky Quinn are to leave talkSPORT with Mike Parry joining Andy Townsend on The Weekend Sports Breakfast, according to a source close to the station.

Mike Dickin has been with the station since the days before talkSPORT in 1999 when it was known as Talk Radio. He presented the overnight shows and covered for James Whale in 2000 who was battling with cancer. Dickin became the king of the mid-morning talk show following the departure of Derek Hatton later in 2000 and had been in the slot for more than four years. After a short stint at the weekend's, Dickin has apparently been told he is no longer needed by talkSPORT and is understood to be leaving shortly.

Micky Quinn is also believed to be leaving talkSPORT and his co-presenting role on the Weekend Sports Breakfast alongside Andy Townsend. Quinn, a former Newcastle, Coventry and Portsmouth forward, was unveiled alongside Townsend at the beginning of the current football season as the new look Weekend Sports Breakfast but the partnership has failed to materialise into a winner. Following his three-year role at talkSPORT, is it understood that Quinn will be leaving the station in the near future.

Mike Parry is understood to be taking over from Micky Quinn on the Weekend Sports Breakfast and will be joining Andy Townsend each Saturday and Sunday between 8:00am-12:00pm on talkSPORT. Parry's weekend role means that Ian Collins will host Friday's mid-morning show by himself between 10:00am-1:00pm. talkSPORT's resident American Charlie Wolf could be in-line to take over from Dickin.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT are yet to confirm whether they will be providing unofficial coverage of the FA Cup Fifth Round tie between Arsenal and West Ham or Sheffield United on Saturday 21st February. talkSPORT's next commentary match is England v Holland on Wednesday 9th February with Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin.

Chris Cooper & Rhodri Williams on Evening Kick-Off
Added: Friday 4th February

Chris Cooper and Rhodri Williams will be sitting-in for Adrian Durham on Evening Kick-Off for the week beginning Monday 14th February on talkSPORT between 7:00-10:00pm.


On Valentines Day, Chris Cooper and Gary Stevens will be on Evening Kick-Off standing in for Adrian Durham and European Football Expert Gabriele Marcotti with debate and discussion from the world of football.

Chris Cooper will also be on Evening Kick-Off on Tuesday 15th February and Friday 18th February with Ray Houghton and Alvin Martin respectively. Rhodri Williams will be standing-in for Adrian Durham on Wednesday 16th February and Thursday 17th February with Alvin Martin and Ray Houghton respectively. Patrick Kinghorn, meanwhile, will be hosting The Game by himself whilst Tony Cascarino is absent from Monday 14th February until Friday 18th February between 4:00pm-7:00pm.

The talkSPORT schedule for the week beginning Monday 14th February is as follows:

1:00am
Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn 7:00pm Evening Kick-Off with Chris Cooper/Rhodri Williams 10:00pm-1:00am The James Whale Show.

MacKenzie Criticises RAJAR Defence as “Shameful”
Added: Tuesday 1st February


talkSPORT’s Kelvin MacKenzie has criticised IPA director general Hamish Pringle’s defence of RAJAR and electronic measurement of radio audiences as “shameful”.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) is the trade body and professional institute for agencies in the UK’s advertising, media and marketing communications industry of which Hamish Pringle is director general and member of the RAJAR board.

MacKenzie, chief executive of talkSPORT parent company The Wireless Group, claims that despite developments in technology RAJAR has failed to adopt a electronic method of measuring radio audiences. He said: “We have seen the death of the fax, the birth of emails and text messages, flatscreen TVs, DVDs and iPods. And what exactly has RAJAR achieved in these years of white hot technological advances?”

talkSPORT began to lobby RAJAR in August 2000 for the introduction of electronic audience measurement in the UK, more than 6 years after the creation of the organisation. However, MacKenzie claims that before The Wireless Group raised the subject, the electronic measurement issue was simply “not on the RAJAR radar”.

Quentin Howard, chief executive of Digital One, was an ally of MacKenzie and wrote in MediaWeek: “Kelvin MacKenzie pig-sticked RAJAR's diary and sticky label methodology as akin to reading tea leaves in a recent article in The Guardian . Good. He's right, of course. At Digital One, we've been poking our head above this unpopular parapet for some time. Two years ago, as digital radio was just beginning to roll, I raised the issue with RAJAR. - ‘Sniffy' is the best way to describe the response I got – and no repeat invitation."

Following an article in the Evening Standard in January 2001, MacKenzie realised how little they had achieved in the previous months by protesting, lobbying and going through the right and official channels. The article quoted a RAJAR spokesman as saying that, instead of criticising the memory-based diary system, we should look closer to home over talkSPORT’s Pakistan cricket test figures.

"This isn't our problem," the RAJAR spokesman told the Standard . "If you're listening to cricket, you should know which station you're listening to. If not, then that station has to look at its branding and marketing…"

MacKenzie’s last word: “Four years on and advertisers are still being fed figures that are wrong and they are still, literally, paying for it — while the man who is supposed to be championing their corner, Hamish Pringle, preens himself on how long it has taken RAJAR to achieve absolutely nothing.”

talkSPORT's Tony Cascarino's Number Is Up
Added: Sunday 30th January


talkSPORT's Tony Cascarino has become a cult hero with Exeter City fans following their two money-spinning matches against Manchester United in the FA Cup Third Round.

Cascarino co-presents talkSPORT's 4:00pm-7:00pm show The Game alongside Patrick Kinghorn each weekday and now Exeter City fans can be seen wearing shirts with the former Milwall, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Marseille and Republic of Ireland's name on their backs.

Why? Well Cascarino was the man that pulled the ball out of the bag with Conference Exeter's number on that landed them the lucrative FA Cup 3rd Round tie and replay with Premiership giants Manchester United that helped secure the club's future. Debts had spiralled above £4million. Fortunately, a band of supporters were undaunted even by these overwhelming odds and formed a Trust to run the club or, more accurately, save it.

Along the way, they fought off the Inland Revenue and a Conference plan to deduct points for going into administration - the only realistic way of keeping the club going. To date, more than 350 fans have signed up to pay £500 each by October 2005 to help meet the £300,000 needed to pay general creditors (football debts account for a further £450,000).

Exeter City netted around £1million from their two matches with Manchester United so it is a nice touch from a club, and fans, to a man who has helped save a club who deserved their good fortune.

The Sports Breakfast with 786,0000 Listeners
Added: Saturday 29th January


The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft on talkSPORT receives weekly audience of 786,000 listeners according to the latest figures released by RAJAR.


The Metro, the free morning newspaper for travellers on public transport, published audience figures released by RAJAR for the major national and London breakfast shows in the UK including the BBC, Virgin Radio, Classic FM, Capital FM, Heart FM and Magic 105.4.

Terry Wogan's Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 receives the largest breakfast time audience in the UK with over 8.05 million listeners each week. Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 is the second most listened to breakfast show with 6.29 million listeners each week. Simon Bates on Classic FM is the most listened to commercial radio breakfast show with 3.1 million listeners.

The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil and Graham Beecroft on talkSPORT is the UK's tenth most listened to breakfast show and fourth biggest commercial breakfast show behind Classic FM, Capital FM & Virgin Radio.

Below is a full rundown of the UK's biggest breakfast audiences:

Terry Wogan, BBC Radio 2:
8.05m, Chris Moyles, BBC Radio 1: 6.29m, Today, BBC Radio 4: 6.16m, Simon Bates, Classic FM: 3.1m, Nicky Campbell & Shelagh Fogarty: BBC Radio Five Live: 2.18m, Johnny Vaughn, Capital FM: 1.13m, Morning, BBC Radio 3: 791,0000, Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft, talkSPORT: 786,000, Jono Coleman & Harriet Scott, Heart FM: 748,000, Bam Bam, Streetboy & Fizzle, Kiss FM: 711,000, Graham Dene, Magic 105.4: 684,000, Mick Brown, Capital Gold: 389,000, Jon Scragg, Jazz FM: 321,000, Christian O'Connell, XFM: 297,000, Nick Ferrari, LBC: 281,000 & Martin Jay & Ash, Choice FM: 254,000

Football First International Special: England v Holland
Added: Friday 28th January


talkSPORT will broadcast unofficial coverage of the International Friendly between England and Holland from Villa Park on Wednesday 9th February.

Sven Goran Eriksson’s England side take to the field for the first time since they lost 1-0 in Spain in November, a match not remembered for the scoreline but for the disgraceful racist chanting by certain sections of the crowd in the Bernabau Stadium in Madrid.

Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT’s commentary team providing unofficial coverage of England v Holland at Villa Park courtesy of studio monitors at talkSPORT. BBC Radio Five Live hold the exclusive broadcast rights to air England’s home internationals. Wednesday 9th February is a massive day of sporting action with talkSPORT’s exclusively live coverage of the Fifth One Day International between South Africa and England from East London in South Africa followed by England v Holland in Birmingham.

The full schedule on Wednesday 9th February on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 12:00pm talkSPORT at the Test: Fifth One Day International South Africa v England from East London 8:00pm Football First International Special: England v Holland with Chris Cooper & Alvin Martin 10:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

Gillette M3Power Sponsors talkSPORT's Final Whistle
Added: Friday 28th January


Gillette M3Power, the most advanced razor from Gillette, is the brand new sponsor of post-match football phone-in show The Final Whistle on talkSPORT.

Switch on & listen every Saturday between 5:00pm and 8:00pm with Graham Beecroft and on Sunday from 4:00pm-8:00pm with Adrian Durham for the most up-to-date, match analysis and searing hot reaction on all the day’s close shaves and pulsating pitch performances.

Make sure you get closer to the days action in one unmissable ultimate update. It's your one stop shop for all the latest football results, with post match analysis and a look at the days top performing players. It’s fast, it’s first, it’s an all new football fan-fest on talkSPORT's ultimate post-match football phone-in

Plus, listeners can  join talkSPORT' swinning team of Adrian Durham, Alvin Martin & Gary Stevens on Football First every Saturday afternoon between 12:00pm-5:00pm for your chance to win some great prizes in our brand new Gillette M3Power features and promotions.

talkSPORT Jumps In Reach, Hours & Market Share
Added: Thursday 27th January


talkSPORT has increased its audience, listening hours and market share year on year, according to the latest RAJAR results for Q4 2004.


For the Q4 2004 between 13th September and 12th December, talkSPORT is up from 1.4% to 1.6% in market share, up 12% in hours listeners and up 7% in weekly reach over the same quarter last year.

RAJAR, the industry's official ratings body, uses a diary method, which relies on respondents' memories to measure radio audiences. However, GfK Media, which conducts a National Media Survey using electronic measurement of radio audiences, reports that for the same Q4 period, talkSPORT has more than three times the weekly reach than RAJAR claims it has.

This is the seventh quarter that GfK has produced figures showing talkSPORT to be the UK‘s number one commercial radio station. Latest GfK figures for Q4 show talkSPORT to have a weekly reach of 6.1 million adults, 1.1 million listeners ahead of Classic FM and 2.7 million more than Virgin Radio.

Here are the RAJAR figures for the national commercial radio stations (GfK figures can bee seen in brackets:)
talkSPORT: 2.0m (6.1m), Classic FM: 6.2m (5.0m), Virgin Radio: 2.5m (3.4m)

In London, talkSPORT's weekly reach is up by 8% year on year, according to the latest RAJAR radio ratings figures published today which show losses by rival commercial stations Capital FM, Heart FM and LBC over the same period. The speech station also had 5.1 million hours in London, which is a 13% increase year on year. This gives the station a market share of 2.4, up from 2.0 the previous year.

British Lions Tour of New Zealand Live on talkSPORT
Added: Tuesday 25th January


The British and Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand will be broadcast live on talkSPORT in June and July 2005 as part of a massive summer of live sports coverage.


Sir Clive Woodward’s British and Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand is part of rugby union folklore and 2005 will be no different as the Lions will be looking to avenge their defeat in Australia in 2001 and build on their growing reputation of Northern Hemisphere Rugby.

The New Zealand All Blacks will be looking to continue their impressive form against the Lions and will be a tour not to be missed by talkSPORT’s listeners.

The action gets underway on Saturday 4th June with a Tour match against the Bay of Plenty in Rotorua. The First Test against New Zealand Christchirch on Saturday 25th June with the Second Test scheduled for Saturday 2nd July in Wellington. The Third & Final Test will take place on Saturday 9th July in Auckland.

The 2005 British & Irish Lions Tour Itinerary (Kick-Off is at 8:10am BST):

June: 4th Bay of Plenty (Rotorua), 8th Taranaki (New Plymouth), 11th New Zealand Maori’s (Hamilton), 15th Wellington (Wellington), 18th Otago (Dunedin), 21st Southland (Invercargill), 25th First Test - New Zealand (Christchurch), 28th Manawatu (Palmerston North). July: 2nd Second Test - New Zealand (Wellington), 5th Auckland (Auckland), 9th Third Test - New Zealand (Auckland).

FA Cup Special: Southampton v Portsmouth on talkSPORT
Added: Saturday 22nd January


talkSPORT will broadcast unofficial coverage Southampton v Portsmouth in the FA Cup 4th Round on Saturday 29th January between 12:00pm-2:30pm.


Commentary team Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be providing talkSPORT's unofficial commentary from St. Mary's for the South-Coast Derby between rivals Southampton and Portsmouth courtesy of studio monitors with synthetically generated sound effects.

The FA Cup 3rd Round Replay between Exeter City and Manchester United was the first match in this season's FA Cup competition to be broadcast unofficially on talkSPORT. BBC Radio Five Live hold the official broadcast rights for the FA Cup after paying £2.5m with talkSPORT offering £50,000.

Following the conclusion of the Southampton v Portsmouth encounter, Adrian Durham will be joined by Gary Stevens on Football First FA Cup Special with updates and reports from the day's action including Arsenal v Wolves, West Brom v Tottenham and Newcastle v Coventry.

The full schedule for Saturday 29th January on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Charlie Wolf 6:00am Fisherman's Blues with Keith Arthur 8:00am The Sports Breakfast with Andy Townsend & Mike Parry 12:00pm Football First FA Cup Special: Southampton v Portsmouth 2:30pm Football First FA Cup 4th Round Special with Adrian Durham & Gary Stevens 5:00pm The Final Whistle with Graham Beecroft 8:00pm The Unexplained with Howard Hughes 11:00pm-2:00am Mike Dickin.

Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg Live on talkSPORT
Added: Thursday 13th January


The Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg encounter between Manchester United and Chelsea will be live on talkSPORT on Wednesday 26th January.

Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be at Old Trafford from 7:00pm as talkSPORT’s commentary team for the clash between two of the biggest sides in the Premiership. The 1st Leg at Stamford Bridge ended in a tightly fought 0-0 draw. on Wednesday 12th January.

The First Semi-Final between Watford and Liverpool will take place on Tuesday 25th January after the First Leg ended up with Liverpool snatching a 1-0 win. Updates and reports from Vicarage Road will be on Evening Kick-Off with Adrian Durham between 7:00pm-10:00pm on talkSPORT.

The full schedule for Wednesday 26th January on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins 1:00pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino 7:00pm Carling Cup Live: Manchester United v Chelsea 10:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

Commercial Radio Unites For Tsunami Fundraiser
Added: Monday 10th January


The UK commercial radio industry is to raise money for children affected by the Asian tsunami disaster with "UK Radio Aid" on Monday 17th January.


More than 200 of the UK's commercial radio stations will suspend their normal programming to broadcast as a single station from 6:00am to 6:00pm, attracting an estimated audience of more than 20 million listeners from stations owned by EMAP, TWG, Capital Radio, Chrysalis, GMG, GWR, Classic Gold and Virgin Radio.

The programme will be produced live from Capital Radio's headquarters in Leicester Square with each hour of programming hosted by two guest DJs who will introduce live acoustic sets, guest interviews, competitions, auctions, pledges, messages and news breaks. The effort already has the support from a range of politicians and celebrities including Prime Minister Tony Blair, Real Madrid and England's Michael Owen, Jamelia and Rolling Stone's frontman Mick Jagger.

Mark Story, chairman of UK Radio Aid, said: "I am immensely proud of and grateful to our colleagues across commercial radio who, when asked for an extraordinary response to this disaster, were all in immediate agreement to unite for this very special day."

talkSPORT will be broadcasting its live and exclusive coverage of the final day of the Fourth Test of England's Tour of South Africa but will be giving details of how listeners can make pledges to the fund on a regular basis throughout the day during talkSPORT at the Test and The Game with Patrick Kinghorn and Tony Cascarino.

Unofficial FA Cup Commentary on talkSPORT
Added: Monday 10th January


talkSPORT will broadcast unofficial commentary of Manchester United’s FA Cup 3rd Round Replay against Exeter City on Wednesday 19th January.

Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT’s commentary team relaying the action from St. James Park for the replay of the tie between Exeter and Manchester United for an 8:00pm kick-off after the original match ended 0-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday 8th January.

talkSPORT failed to gain official broadcast rights for the FA Cup last year after losing out to BBC Radio Five Live who signed an exclusive deal worth over £2.5m with the FA. It is believed talkSPORT bid around £50,000 for a limited number of matches.

However, the regulatory body for the broadcast industry, OFCOM, are investigating claims from talkSPORT that the agreement between the BBC and the FA regarding the sale of broadcast rights to FA Cup matches was contrary to article 81 of the EC Treaty and also breached the Competition Act. In the 18-page complaint the group said that the BBC is "locking” talkSPORT out of competition for the next four years.

talkSPORT said that the BBC had paid an "artificially high price" for FA Cup rights, "destroying competition" and preventing clubs from selling rights to their own matches. "This deal, which prevents broadcast of most of the FA Cup games, makes a mockery of the FA's claims that it wanted to broaden the appeal of the FA Cup competition and to develop innovative ideas for its broadcast," said Michael Franklin, the Managing Director of talkSPORT at the time it lodged its complaint.

The full schedule for Wednesday 19th January on talkSPORT is as follows:

1:00am Mike Mendoza 6:00am The Sports Breakfast with Alan Brazil & Graham Beecroft 10:00am Ian Collins & Mike Parry 1:00pm Hawksbee & Jacobs 4:00pm The Game with Patrick Kinghorn & Tony Cascarino 7:00pm FA Cup Special: Exeter City v Manchester United 10:00pm-1:00am James Whale.

Chelsea v Manchester United in Carling Cup on talkSPORT
Added: Tuesday 4th January


Both Legs of the Carling Cup Semi-Final between Chelsea and Manchester United will be live on talkSPORT on Wednesday 12th and 26th January.

On Wednesday 12th January, Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be at Stamford Bridge for the First Leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final as Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side take on Alex Ferguson's Manchester United outfit. Adrian Durham will host coverage from 7:00pm and handover to the commentary team for an 8:00pm kick-off.

Two weeks later on the 26th January, Manchester United will be inviting Chelsea to Old Trafford for the Second Leg of the Semi-Final of the Carling Cup. Once again Chris Cooper and Alvin Martin will be talkSPORT's commentary team for the tie with kick-off at 8:00pm.

The First Semi-Final between Liverpool and Watford will take place on Tuesday 11th January and Tuesday 25th January respectively with updates and reports from both games on Evening Kick-Off with Adrian Durham between 7:00pm-10:00pm on talkSPORT.

The Carling Cup Final will be live on talkSPORT on Sunday 27th February from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff with extensive coverage throughout the course of the day.