Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ 

17 May 2007 tbs.pm/131

Xfm stations axe daytime DJs

What do you call a radio station without presenters? Well, Xfm it looks like. The network of alternative music playing radio stations has today announced its ditching the DJ during the daytime – 10am through to 4pm to be precise.

In place of the guy with the mic, “Radio to the Power of U” – music “selected” by the listeners via text, phone and the web.

In essence it seems to turn the station into a giant iPod Shuffle of the air, with nothing but adverts in the way. Whether the listeners will take to it is another matter.

DAB only stations have long used the “giant jukebox” approach to playing music (assorted tracks plucked out of the air by computer) but few stations seem to have particularly made it big off the back of that. Indeed, many have gone down the other route, where adding a smattering of (pre-recorded) presenters is used to add credibility to the station, and attract listeners. The presenter adds the cult of personality to broadcasting and adds the ratings to boot – a good one will have a good, loyal bunch of listeners. A radio station without presenters gives fewer reasons to stick around when there’s a song on that the listener doesn’t like.

On the other hand, maybe the DJ is dying as people load up their MP3 players, hit random and go on their way. Maybe Xfm are about to show us the future of all radio in this country. And hey, you’ve got to say, if it gets rid of those ultra corny, extra-cheesy local radio DJs (it’s coming up to 5 DodgyFM minutes to nine o’clock in the morn-diddly-ing, and here’s another track from your friend and mine, Meatloaf!) maybe the world would be a better place.

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Saturday 4 February 2023