Gathering round the wireless to listen to family programmes may well be a lost tradition, but radio stations are experiencing a boom, thanks to digital radios and apps.
Figures from radio audience monitor Rajar for the first quarter of 2018 show that 50 per cent of radio consumption came via digital receivers, apps or online players.
This has doubled since 2010, when 76 per cent of us still preferred to tune in to traditional FM or AM broadcasts.
And one radio station in Mansfield has thrived throughout a changing scene, to bring sports, news and music to listeners as it celebrates its 20th anniversary today (February 1)
Mansfield 103.2 has been at the heart of Manfield’s community since it began on Febuary 1 1999, and is still going strong, with 28,000 listeners tuning in each week.
Station managing director Tony Delahunty, aged 73, has had a long career as a sport orientated presenter, reporting on events including the Bradford City fire in 1985, which claimed 56 lives.
The veteran broadcaster, who is originally from Liverpool, now presents a weekly discussion programme on Fridays, from 6-7pm.
He also presents a bi-monthly legal eagles slot on Tuesdays, from 6-7pm.
Tony said: “I originally came here for three months, but I stayed and was asked to be news editor.
“Within three months I was the programme controller, and when the manager left I took his place.
“In the early days, the staff were far from local and were soon gone, as they couldn’t understand Mansfield.
“There was so much talent in Mansfield that I hired local people, rather than people from big cities with high incomes who couldn’t understand Mansfield.
“Everything in commercial radio has changed, it doesn’t resemble what it once was.
“My favorite part of radio used to being on it, but now I enjoy the connections with places like the University of Derby.
“But for Mansfield, the people here are as good as you can get.”
As well as presenting, Tony is a lecturer in broadcast journalism at Derby University.
Programme controller Ian Watkins presents Watko In The Afternoon every weekday between 1pm and 6pm, and the ’80s School Reunion on Fridays between 7pm and 10pm.
He said: “I’m a Mansfield lad born and bred, and I’m so proud to be a part of the Mansfield 103.2 story. Twenty years is a fantastic landmark for the station, I’d like to thank those that have worked here over the years, our wonderful advertisers and, most importantly, our listeners – you are simply the best.
“I personally think Mansfield and Ashfield is a brilliant place to do business, and definitely a great place to do radio.
“So keep listening and celebrate our birthday, because our success is your success too.”
Former breakfast show presenter Katie Trinder has been part of Radio Mansfield before it even had an official full-time licence, and then joined Mansfield 103.2 when the station officially launched in 1999.
The 42-year-old, who was born in Sutton’s King’s Mill Hospital, grew up in Kirkby, attending Jeffries Primary School – now The West Park Academy – and then Ashfield School, where her teachers suggested she trained in journalism.
Katie, who still presents a Sunday morning show from 9am-1pm after leaving the breakfast show in late 2016, to concentrate on her role as marketing director of Dalmatian Systems, said: “Local radio is still incredibly important.
“My favorite part of presenting is getting to know listeners, I’ve heard some incredible stories over the years and some listeners have become friends.
“I started at my first ‘proper’ job here in 1999, and I remember being stuck in the newsroom putting stories together on the day we launched. It was very exiting, we didn’t know how the station would be received, but other stations didn’t pay attention to Mansfield and Ashfield like they deserved. My favorite memory of the station was the Mansfield Town play-off final in Cardiff in 2004 - I was broadcasting from a pub around the corner from the stadium. The pub was three storeys high and I was worried it would be empty, but when the pub doors opened, it was flooded with Mansfield Town fans!”
“Radio has changed, but I think we will see a return to more personality-based radio – people listen to radio because presenters have such great personalities.”
103.2 programming schedule
Non-Stop Music – 10pm-6am;
Breakfast with Barghy – 6-10am;
10 til 1 with Jason Harrison – 10am-1pm;
Watko In The Afternoon – 1-6pm
Varies daily – 6-10pm