Byddai Reith yn falch o rhain 

11 April 2024

Reith would be proud of them. Cardiff Broadcasting’s original programme plans submitted to the IBA were in the great tradition of Reithian ideals. Dan Damon, the station’s programme controller, had the job of turning them into schedules. Here we print extracts from the original submission, against Cardiff’s first published programme schedule.



Cover of Radio Month

From Radio Month for June 1980

Independent Local Radio is a unitary service. It has no opt-outs; no minority or specialist channels. It presents one service to one audience — the community. This is the unique opportunity of local radio.

Therefore, popularity — in the true sense of the word — must be the essence of local broadcasting. Responsibility and sensitivity to the listening public must be the essence of our programming. We achieve nothing with worthwhile programmes that reach a tiny band of the faithful. We achieve little more if we win a mass audience with a minimal programme effort.

Our basic aim is therefore to win a popular audience with programmes that contact listeners at every level of their lives, and to every degree of their potential.

Our means will be to accept nothing as predefined. We will seek to dissolve barriers of taste and understanding; taking the special and making it general and popular; taking the trivial and mundane and making it special. We will win converts, create enthusiasts, stimulate involvement and promote concern. And this we do in Cardiff because we believe this is what Cardiff wants…

The price of a popular radio station in Cardiff will be programming that expresses and promotes the full diversity of personal and public life in our city. We propose to achieve this by means of a thorough collaboration between listeners and broadcasters… Therefore we have built communication between listener and broadcaster into every aspect of our station’s work; both formally and informally.

Listeners participate in the control of Cardiff Broadcasting. They have already participated in the creation of our business and programme plans because this is their application. We expect that feedback from listeners on programme matters will be exceptionally vivid and extensive precisely because of this participation in control. Advisory Boards concerned with specific programme areas will involve listeners and broadcasters directly in programme planning, and will be serviced in future years by the Broadcasting Trust…

Dan Damon

Dan Damon

But informal contact is just as important to us. For this reason, regardless of the location of our main studios, we will open a city centre unit, which will become the key contact point between listeners and their radio station. The people of Cardiff must see as well as hear their radio station; and half our listeners in the inner area of Cardiff have no telephone…

The main elements of our programming policy can be summarised as follows:

  1. Speech programming derived from central production areas and with a high information content: Newsdesk and Action Desk,
  2. Speech programming with a higher creative content: feature programming and children’s interest sequences,
  3. Music for entertainment,
  4. Special interest music.

Different times of the day, and different types of content, call for different programming styles. We intend to vary the balance between a continuous informal flow of programming and a more structured approach, with defined expectations at set points of the day.

We will always be prepared to alter or interrupt programming to put matters of immediate interest or concern on air; and also to alter schedules to allow temporary programme strands to follow their natural growth. Several seasons of snow and drought have provided a convincing case for the value of local radio as an immediate and accessible contact point. We see no reason why local radio should wait for Acts of God to stand the schedules on their heads. If the programming requirement justifies it, then so be it…

Cardiff Broadcasting will be a strongly speech-orientated station. We believe that this is required by local listeners. Our evidence comes from extensive consultations in depth with local groups, organisations and individual listeners…



Our aim is to make speech programming accessible to a wide popular audience, to give it the pace and vitality of the best ILR music programming. Indeed, at peak listening times, our style will have clear similarities with the informal, high speed, non-stop approach typical of pop presentation.

We intend to match the vigour of our speech programming style with high intensity of content. Our aim at peak times will be to present listeners with the greatest possible variety of output within a given time span…

Action Desk will occupy a significant part of the city centre premises, and, as far as the public are concerned in their visits to the unit, Action Desk and Cardiff Broadcasting will be indistinguishable.

Action Desk is a cross between a radio newsdesk and an advisory service. It brings the ‘Helpline’ concept back from the edge of the radio’s operation to the very centre. It is at one and the same time a public information and advice centre, and a radio production unit. The nearest equivalent in media terms would be Granada’s Reports Action. Action Desk will be a permanent and continuous Reports Action, able to go on air at any time with immediate or long term programming.



We have developed the Action Desk from two distinct lines of argument. We want to redefine and extend the practical meaning of the term ‘news’ — independently form the work of our Newsdesk. The word ‘news’ seems to mean that which is new and unexpected, but the pressures and constraints of daily journalism compel all journalists to develop shorthand ways of doing their job: otherwise their job would not get done. The practical consequence of this is that information has to reach a certain threshold before it will be accepted into the news making process. The threshold depends on many factors: pressures on the Newsdesk’s time and resources; competition for scarce broadcast time; professional and organisational preferences and judgements.

Action Desk will initiate and sustain coverage of the affairs of our community in detail. This will provide early warnings, continuous reminders, and extended feedback, and will create the context for understanding ‘news events’ when they ‘happen’.

The second line of approach to Action Desk involves a redefinition of the role of a radio-sponsored advisory service.



The original concept of such services grew naturally from the use people were making of their local radio station as a friendly and accessible point of contact — for some, the only point of contact.

h was a logical step to formalise the radio station’s advisory role, and give it a name and a budget. The value and success of a service like Capital’s Helpline has been well noted.

We intend to take the process a stage further. Our service will not only be able to respond to people, it will actively promote the concerns that involve them…



Personal callers will arrive in an open, informal reception area. There will be comfortable seats, a coffee machine, displays of aspects of the station’s work, and updated information on Cardiff today/this week.

All input to Action Desk will be treated as potential broadcast material, to be assessed and produced for transmission in the same way as input to the Newsdesk…

Action Desk will involve staff from two distinct backgrounds: journalism and community work.

Phil Longman

Phil Longman, news editor

The journalists will be part of the station’s complement of programme staff, working with Action Desk on a regular periodic attachment. They will work with people who have a community work background, as one team, drawing on the complementary skills of the two groups… Team members with community work background will meet personal callers not only to create a welcome, but also to make effective decisions on the immediate requirements of callers. They will have three main options: to pass straight to the journalists, to offer or arrange work support, or to refer to another agency. Telephone and postal contacts will be dealt with in a similar way…

The community workers will be on duty through the normal opening hours of the Action Desk — 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Saturday. At other times while the station is on air, calls to the Action Desk number (different to the station numbers) will be routed automatically to the main newsroom, where they will be filtered by the duty journalist…

It will be vital to define clearly the boundaries of responsibility. Action Desk workers are problem brokers, not problem solvers. That is why the operation is essentially journalistic. But we are well aware that the art of communicating a problem is a large part of the business of solving it.

We are equally aware of the danger of attempting to achieve too much too soon. It would be fatal and dishonest to promise more than we can provide. For all these reasons, we intend to develop Action Desk step by step, with a flexible approach, and under the close guidance of an Advisory Board…

The importance of Action Desk as a major element in programming will grow with time, as its staff gain experience of working in a new situation, and as the public comes to use the service in every possible way…



In the first stage, therefore, it will have access to broadcast output at any time, on a flexible basis. At a later stage, we intend to present a daily lunchtime show from the studio that we will build at the Action Desk premises. In addition to giving the work of the Desk an extended hearing and greater immediacy, this sequence will put the life of Cardiff at lunchtime on air.

At other times, this studio will be available as a key public training facility — available for use by individuals and groups who will be encouraged to learn and experiment with the medium, free of the pressures of broadcast schedules.

Monday to Friday

Jennifer Poston

Jennifer Poston, co-presenter of Capital Daybreak

6.00am Capital Daybreak with Mark Williams and Jennifer Poston: music, news and travel, the CBC Newsdiary, and the Reekfoot Files (a comedy soap opera).

Our approach comes into its own particularly in the breakfast time sequence, to which we intend to devote considerable programme energy. This sequence will set the tone for the station’s whole approach to programming. It will be co-ordinated by the station’s Newsdesk.

The rationale of our approach is that the peak radio listening time coincides with the period during which we all have the greatest need for information.

A breakfast sequence can only be as good as the quality and quantity of its information. For example, it is of passing interest to know that there is black ice around this morning. But it is of the greatest concern — and value — to be told that it is actually on the road you are about to travel over…

Detail, accuracy, immediacy, relevance and comprehensiveness are the essentials of the morning package — and this package adds up to good entertainment too. A similar mix, but with perhaps less pressure and more reflection and relaxation, will form the content of two further leading sequences — at lunchtime and early evening.

Music will provide a very necessary element in all three sequences, but it will only be used if it is relevant in its own right, relevant to a speech item, or to highlight a clear break in the programme flow or as a standby for programmers when live sequences are produced at the last moment.

The Newsdesk will be the coordinating centre for these three sequences…

9.30am Claire Pollack learning about you and your city, looking out on the world beyond; including new ideas on homes, food and health, and a chance for you to ask our advice and put your point of view in Action Desk from 9.30am to 10.30am.

Mornings: the key daily sequence here is the mid-morning show… The morning sequence will provide stimulus, information and entertainment for those who are still at home (a clear majority of our listeners at this time) — housewives, the very young and the old, the unemployed, the sick and disabled, and those who are simply having a day at home.

We believe that this particular audience has a distinct requirement from our service — an approachable mix of entertainment, stimulation and challenge…

This is the time of day when we present our live Job Shop — with contributions direct from Action Desk, the Job Centres, prospective employees and employers… Knowhow — a sequence intended to turn fuse-fumblers into Superpeople, undaunted by noisy neighbours or recalcitrant teething children… and the education equivalent of Job Shop — a Learning Exchange. This feature will be an educational clearing house, putting potential learners and teachers in touch with each other, and monitoring and supporting the progress of teaching units created by the Exchange… Its thrust will be to stimulate a self-creating network of teaching and learning.

We will produce a mid-morning Playgroup item. This will have two distinct roles: it will provide material of direct use to local playgroups; and it will give parents and playgroup leaders an opportunity to share experiences and discuss progress… On at least two weekdays every week, we hope to produce as we develop a soap opera…

There is an important role for music in this sequence, and for the first time in the broadcast day we will be presenting sequential music items here.

12.55pm Wales at One: the Cardiff Broadcasting news team in a full report of local and world news.

1.15pm Eifion Jones. A leisurely look at your packed life today and yesterday. Flashback at 1.15pm looks at charts and chartmakers since the 50s; Tradio at 2.30pm gives you a chance to swap unused goods; with record industry news (Monday), South Wales hobbyists (Tuesday), Science Made Simple (Wednesday), antiques (Thursday), vet (Friday).

Our afternoon sequence will follow a similar pattern to the morning, with a balance between creatively-oriented speech and music for entertainment. We expect that balance to be distinctly in favour of music at this time, emphasising light pop in the early afternoon, and top-40 style music towards the end of the afternoon, when children and teenagers arrive home.

After four o’clock the speech element will be strongly oriented towards children, and items will include a children’s What’s On, a children’s phone-in… and a thriller serial scripted and performed by local children.

4.30pm Street Life. Dan Damon showing you the way to travel, or wait for the others to get home; and previewing entertainment and arts for the evening.

6.30pm Tiger Bay Rock, Tim Lyons (Monday); A Poke in the Ear (folk), Ned Clamp (Tuesday); Near Enough for Jazz, Dave Greensmith (Wednesday); Classical Scene, Rian Evans (Thursday); CBC Sport, Mike Miller (Friday).

The third major speech-dominated sequence comes during the evening. It is not easy to win a popular audience at this time of day, and for that reason many ILR stations reserve the evening for most of their specialist programme output. We certainly intend to produce many items of special interest during the evening, but we believe that the strength and popularity of daytime programming will depend on our using this evening period as a powerhouse, a seedbed of ideas and new ventures, continually piloting material for transplanting into popular listening time…

These are some examples: Welsh learning items will be based in the evening sequence — but headlined and featured throughout the day… The Learning Exchange will mount its extended items at this time, again providing an extension to the highlights of the day… ‘Soft’ feature pieces of every kind — Vale Talk, Cardiff Chatter, personal accounts and recollections, ‘enthusiast’ items — will have time to develop at leisure…

Dur approach to all forms of special interest music is identical to our approach to evening speech programming. We intend to use specialist music sequences to give initial exposure to performers and styles with the explicit intention of putting the best, the liveliest, the most musical, in front of the general daytime listener… It is important to state here that we intend to do everything possible to provide employment, performing and recording opportunities for local musicians of all styles and status…

7.30pm-8.00pm A different programme each evening in Welsh, for learners and natural speakers.

Our Welsh programming will have three distinct functions: to provide a service of programming of all kinds for our large Welsh-speaking audience… to provide support, encouragement and practical assistance to the large and growing number of Welsh learners in our area… to provide programming, predominantly in English, that demonstrates and investigates the links between our area and the broader life of Wales.

Welsh language programming: We propose a minimum output of 14 hours per week on the following basis:

  1. Peak-time regular Welsh learning spots.
  2. Regular use of Welsh discs during normal programming.
  3. Daily participation by various societies around the area who are already providing the powerhouse of Welsh social life in the community.
  4. Regular recorded services each Sunday from Welsh chapels in the area, and
  5. A late-night spot within Cardiff Tonight of off-beat happenings based on the paper Y Dinesydd, the magazine Curiad, and the activities of Aelwyd yr Urdd in Conway Road.

Programmes to attract and interest the Welsh-language audience will be of two kinds:

  1. A look at Wales through the established figures, both within the community and visitors. There will be a regular spot for the promotion of Welsh events in the city in the early morning and in the evening, in addition to two news bulletins in Welsh…
  2. The more off-beat fringe activities designed to appeal to younger people, which will use music, gossip and comments to vitalise this section of the community…




Mike Millar

Sports editor: Mike Millar

6.00am Capital Saturday with Ray Collins and Claire Pollack.

10.00am Dancing in the Streets. Meet your radio station in your street, with music and competitions, jokes and very few arrests.

1.00pm Sounds Special. A local celebrity or character plays his or her kind of music.

2.00pm Saturday afternoon. Mark Williams with the music and prizes. Mike Miller with the sports team keeping you in touch with local sport and big-match battles.

6.00pm Generation. Bored with fruit-juice, discos and kids’ telly? Generate your kind of radio, your kind of music, and your kind of life. From 7.30, phone-it-in-Welsh.

8.00pm Memory Lane with Ed Hurford. Big band sounds and memories of the 30s and 40s.

The major additions to our programme mix at the weekend will be a comprehensive leisure sequence on Saturdays, and an extended Sunday round-up of the past week on and off radio, with a preview of the coming week.

Our leisure sequence will run through the day on Saturdays, from the breakfast news sequence until teatime. It will have three phases: morning (leisure, recreation, non-competitive sports); midday and early afternoon (children’s interests: games, competitions, jobs and swaps, what’s on); late afternoon (competitive sports: round up and results).

We intend, throughout this sequence, to move away from the exclusive concept of a ‘sport’ programme. Leisure is something most of us have, and use or misuse as we will. Our aim is to involve listeners by offering the widest possible choice of interests, and matching our mix to people’s real, as opposed to imagined, interests…

We have discussed coverage of ‘minority’ sport with local club secretaries, and found considerable frustration at the lack of recognition their activities receive. If we do not fill this need, it will remain unfilled…

Our approach will be to present the enthusiasts themselves… Our question will not be “who won?” but “what did it feel like to win, to lose, to reach the semi-final, to build up a team from scratch?”

We will present a service of information vital to many activities: wind and weather, tides, underground conditions, times of competitions, traffic hold-ups. Just as we recognise the personal, self developing element in recreation, we also fully acknowledge the excitement and glamour of spectator sport… But top sport coverage continually tends to excess in existing broadcast media… In Cardiff we can afford to be selective and partisan. Our listeners will in any case demand it of us…

The late afternoon will be reserved for our local and national results service, and for extended coverage of the games local listeners want to hear about. IRN will provide a commentary and results service for a period in the afternoon, which we will use to supplement our own coverage.

The mid-day children’s interest section of the leisure sequence will include a spectrum of items besides those already discussed: a children’s What’s On, produced in a similar format to the weekday items; a job exchange (since schoolchildren do take paid part-time work, we intend to promote a more lively and critical interest amongst young people in the jobs they are offered); a volunteer shop (Action Desk will work with established groups to coordinate appeals for and from young volunteers); a team shop (teams looking for key centre forwards; key centre forwards looking for teams; teams complete with centre forwards looking for fixtures).




7.00am Sesiwn Sul, with a bible story phone-in and entertainment for children.

8.00am Alan Taylor invites you to share Sunday breakfast with him and his friends. Look ahead to the week’s events, look back over church and parish affairs and join in with discussions and laughter.

10.00am Playstreet, or how to shatter the peace of Sunday morning in no time flat. Andy Bell fights a losing battle to control Cardiff children as they sing, play, insult and decide the future of the cosmos.

11.00am Frank Hennessey on the trail of the Lost Winkle, with prizes, requests and dedications and tear-tugging phone calls to lost aunties.

1.00pm One Man’s Week with Phil Suarez, and the rest of you.

2.00pm Retrospect. The antidote to current affairs, with Dan Damon and Vaughan Roderick reviewing the week’s news and music on CBC.

4.00pm Old Gold. An hour of the best from the charts of the past.

5.00pm CBC Countdown. Local singles charted by Ray Collins.

6.30pm Tiger Bay Rock with Tim Lyons. Contemporary and local rock music.

In contrast to Saturday’s self-contained programming, Sunday programming will be closely integrated with the rest of the week.

Sunday will be the occasion for round-ups of the week’s work on Action Desk, for the ‘Omnibus’ edition of the Soap Opera and children’s thriller, for the review of the latest appeal or campaign, for extended news reviews, and for an entertainment and arts review. Beside the round-up of past broadcasting, we will open new themes and issues on Sunday, to run through the forthcoming week.

The personal view and the phone-in will have a more prominent role on Sundays, particularly when we present religious, ethical and personal issues.




You Say

1 response to this article

Andrew J Bell 12 April 2024 at 9:32 am

What an amazing time.
Dyddiau da, allweddol yn fy ngyrfa.
Diolch am yr erthygl
CBC was a hot mess of talented people with a more or less unworkable schedule.
There was no money, but so much energy.
A delight to hear one of my CBC hat promos … although my fave was my Johnny Cash-esque beanie hat effort.
A blast to hear the fabulous Phil Miles’ voice – we did a breakfast zoo thing without realising it AND we liked each other.

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