Phonic FM report to OFCOM 2012 – 2013

Edited Report to OFCOM for the year 2012.

Two sections of the report are omitted as sanctioned by OFCOM.

Licence Number:   CR118

Station Name:        Phonic FM

Launch Date:          15/02/2008

Web address where you will publish this report:               Phonic.FM website at

The year in numbers

Average number of live hours per week:              105 hours

Average number of original programming hours per week: 105 hours

The percentage of your daytime output that is speech   15%

Total number of people trained during the year                25

Total number of volunteers involved during the year      130+]

Total volunteer hours per week                c.400

If appropriate, a list of languages you have broadcast in English, Polish

Key commitment delivery.

•             Output typically comprises 85% music and 15% speech (‘speech’ excludes programme/promotional trails).          Yes

•             Music output features a range of styles such as jazz, world, electronic, hip hop, urban, rock, folk and contemporary classical.               Yes

•             Speech output features a variety of programmes, such as preview shows, discussion programmes on local events and issues, interviews, news features, what’s ons and community information. It will include programmes presented both by professionals and informed amateurs which will focus on coverage of the arts.            Yes

•             Output will be broadcast in English. A significant minority of other community languages may feature in the music played.                 Yes

•             The service will typically be live for at least 6 hours per day on weekdays and 13 hours per day on weekends. (Live programming may include pre-recorded inserts, if applicable). The majority of the output will be locally produced.           Yes

•             The station targets listeners who are keen to hear alternative arts and local interest programming. There are specialist programmes of interest to those who feel excluded from mainstream broadcasting, such as the local BME population and young people.   Yes

•             There are review and discussion programmes with the facility for listeners to participate.             Yes

The station’s website has the facility for people to request music, provide topics for discussion and express opinions.    Yes

•             There are opportunities for volunteers to produce shows expressing their views (within station guidelines). Volunteers are invited to express their opinion about the station and give feedback to the management. This will be considered during the regular meetings between the station manager and the directors.             Yes

•             There is in-house training for all volunteers wanting to produce and present shows. This consists of hands-on use of studio equipment in the training and off-air production studio and observation, with the possibility of shadowing shows being broadcast.              Yes

•             Links have been established with a range of training providers. Yes

•             The station provides a platform for local arts, community and media groups. It raises the profile of the arts and publicises local festivals and events.        Yes

The station strengthens links with the local community through communication and accessibility making itself available to the local community through a variety of means, including the website, email, telephone and open meetings.   Yes         .

•             Phonic participates in community events, including through the use of outside broadcasts.          Yes

•             The station operates in partnership with the community. It consults with arts providers, education establishments and statutory bodies to broaden participation. There are opportunities to make inputs to the management and output of the station.         Yes

•             Access to the facilities is available by contacting the station through the website, by email, telephone, writing, contact through the advisory group and open meetings. The availability of the facilities is publicised and the use of these training facilities is not exclusive to the station’s volunteers and members, although priority will be given to them.           Yes

•             The station’s target community will have the opportunity to participation a number of advisory groups:

o The Programming Group – which determines the station’s broadcast content and schedule

o The Website & Social Media Group – which determines the station’s online presence

o The Technical Group – which determines studio developments and related broadcast/transmission issues

o These groups meet regularly and details and a contact for each is on the station’s website. A representative from each group attends Board Meetings in order to put forward proposals arising from the groups.            Yes

•             Board meetings take place at least six times a year.         Yes

•             The station’s website includes a public bulletin board for feedback. The Board will collate issues raised and present their response to the Steering Group in order to demonstrate the station’s responsiveness to feedback from the community.        Yes

•             A complaints procedure is outlined on the station website.          Yes

Volunteer Input to the station:

It is important to stress that Phonic FM is a 100% volunteer organisation. Apart from some paid engineering work nobody is paid, and volunteer support is diverse, ranging from fundraising, training, cleaning and planning. Significant hours are given to maintaining and updating the website, as well as programme planning for future developments. There are no standardised weekly volunteer inputs.

Perceived strengths of the station:

During 2012 the station continued to increase its audience reach both with FM transmissions and also online, where there has been a significant increase in ‘unique hits’ over previous years. The increasing speech based programming encompassed an ever widening set of arts based topics from film to philosophy and visual arts to performance. There was also a marked increase in studio based live music performance and increasing use of the facilities afforded by the availability of Sound Gallery recording studios.

A number on new genres were added during the course of 2012. A welcome addition was “Anna Presents” on Sunday morning which concentrated mainly on Americana and Country music, with numerous live guests. “The Infinite Wishlist” examined the relationship between music, video and film, whilst “Tom and Si’s pie fight” added a punk show to output, which featured numerous live guests.

The continued success of the CSV show has increased participation by organisations looking for volunteers. Organisations as varied as The National Trust, Age Concern and The Exeter Foyer have sought the help of the shows presenters.

The “Classical Journey” programme attracted a wide range of performers and the presenter has attended and recorded many music events both in and near our transmission area, and in common with other live music shows is under considerable pressure from performers looking for an outlet for their music.

The station has continued its commitment to be as inclusive as possible with regard to presenters with disabilities, and had 2 wheelchair bound presenters with weekly shows as well as a partially sighted presenter with a fortnightly show, and a presenter with ‘locked in syndrome’ who compiles his programmes with the aid of a specially adapted computer.

The station received an award of money from the Heritage Lottery Find to enable it to undertake a “Phonic Voices” project with the aim of documenting some the more recent “historical’ events in Exeter. This project continues through into 2013.

Presenters have been active in supporting external arts events happening in the locality, in particular this involved Exeter’s Respect festival, The Aeon Festival, the Beautiful Days events as well as events outside the broadcast area like Sidmouth Folk Week, The Ashburton Blues Festival and Teignmouth Jazz Festival.

Audience research:

No coherent sampling has been possible during the year, mainly precluded through cost. (the station exists annually on rather less than RAJAR would charge for meaningful sampling). However there has been a major increase on ‘unique monthly hits’ to the streaming and this is reflected in feedback both anecdotally and in pressure on shows to include details of local (and not so local) arts related events.

The stations fund raising events also bear testimony to the reach to multiple audiences, different genres and events being supported by varying groups who are responding to on-air information.

Readers should note; that this report was compiled by two Board members and subsequently scrutinised and agreed by the full Board of Exeter Community Radio (trading as Phonic.FM) as representing the output and obligations of the station during 2012. Collectively we are happy to receive comments and discuss any parts of it. If you wish to comment further please contact, but note that as an all-volunteer organisation response times may vary. Alternatively write to “The Chair, Phonic.FM, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter EX4 3LS”