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Losing Good People

James Cridland is leaving Virgin Radio to join the BBC. It’s probably a superb move for James, as I suspect the BBC is infinitely more resourced and inclined to support experimentation and innovation than Virgin Radio will be in the future.

It’s disappointing for commercial radio though. Through his work at Virgin, commercial radio did get some great press coverage for innovation, and he is/was a darned useful sounding board and foil for ideas that should benefit all commercial broadcasters. Hopefully that insight will still be available over beer (but no longer at the Midas Touch, thank goodness), but it’ll be a different kind of discussion now.

I have always felt that James embraced the principles of “agree on technology, compete on content”, and I hope he’s allowed to continue doing so within the Corporation.

Meanwhile commercial radio has lost a star, albeit not one in front of a microphone. There’s historically been a talent drift from commercial radio to the BBC, as the BBC offers platforms and opportunities on a bigger scale than commercial radio. In the past that talent drift has mainly been presenters and programmers; I wonder if this is the beginning of a similar process for smart technologists?

One reply on “Losing Good People”

I think it probably will be.

Like most things in radio, historically there has been limited amount of supply – regulated businesses stopping new entrants. This has meant there has always been a ready supply of people waiting to do a job, this has kept wages (relatively) low.

Nowadays though, there are lots more operators across many more platforms – which raises the premium on good talent.

The introduction of Channel 4 Radio (on a larger scale should they be digitally successful) will cause big problems for existing radio stations (both commercial and BBC) as many staff will be applying for these new jobs.

Great news for talented people, rubbish news for existing operators.

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