ONLY a few days ago we reported that new local community station Gateway FM had been granted its five year licence by OFCOM. Not an easy feat to get a licence. Several years of RSL broadcasts ,which means they get a chance to broadcast for 28 days at a time at certain periods in a year. If they pass the “test” they are granted a licence.
Thurrock is surrounded by these stations. To the north there is the long established Link FM which serves Havering, to the north east Phoenix Fm for Brentwood and to the west Safe Radio which covers Dagenham although we understand are interested in Thurrock as well.
The big problem, with all these stations, is that they struggle for cash which means they canot afford professional presenters. Advertising revenue is very hard to come by and the circle begins again. Good presenters are normally between jobs and their time is limited, so how does a new station like Gateway aim to solve this problem?
The team at Gateway think they have cracked it but only time will tell. For them, it’s education and lots of off-airtime practice before a recruit is let anywhere near a microphone. That may solve the problem. Like the others they will struggle to present news ,they will struggle for continuity but these will be lessons they will learn along their journey.
There are some sensible people here and if they get the breaks then Gateway should succeed.
The station hopes to begin broadcasting in August or September
We wish them the best. Mike Jones popped into the studio