May 30, 2016 by johnnyseifertradio
After months of previewing the Cheesy Fm playlist, the Stoke On Trent DAB station went live this morning (30th May 2016) at 08:00 online and on DAB in Manchester. I listened to the first hour 08:00-09:00. The Breakfast show started with a nice tight remix of 80s, 90s and 00s songs that are the big hits that were expected to be played. The music has the perfect mix. I can not tell if there are the traditional A,B,C Playlists. But, in the first hour it had everything from Firm Star Trecking to the Ghostbusters theme tune.
Just after 08:00 there was a short intro by their presenter Adam introducing us to Cheesy Fm alongside his co-presenter Wedgie the mouse. Adam is also the sound of the station voicing the idents for his show and the overall station. The mouse has the connotations of Sweep off of Sooty and Sweep puppet fame and those of the Broom Cupboard where it squeaks but does not talk , open to presenter Adam’s interpretation. The problem here is that this station is not targetted at children it is actually targeting people in their 20s-30s who love nostalgic music. Therefore, what value does it add? I like the idea of having Wedgie as the mascot similar to Bauer owned Free Radio in the Midlands who have Humphrey the hamster. The second link came at 08:37 which was again a tight twenty seconds about a listener complaining about the hamster. The third link came at 08:53 to say what a great hour that was. As it stands after listening for an hour I do not see the value that presentation is actually adding. If I was presenting this show I would be filling it with factoids about the different songs and the memories attached to the time periods or videos such as when they played Is This The Way To Amarillo.
Cheesy Fm have hit the nail on the head with their cheesy jingles. They are sung, they are camp, they take you back to BBC Radio 1 in the 70s in long form thirty second standalone tracks. The only time we hear this style is on Stephanie Hirst’s Nothing But The 90s on BBC Manchester on a Saturday Night 10:00pm-12pm so it is nice to have this novelty through the week.
Adverts and News
In the first hour there were no adverts. Whilst we complain about adverts they are important for the revenue for the station. We have seen how Fubar Radio have had to really restructure with the loss of their subscription service and I do worry that their sponsorship will be low due to the lack of show features other then their version of the Golden Hour. The news started with top of the hour pips and a swoosh SFX before the recorded IRN news bulletin stated. The problem with this is there was no link between the presenter and the news. The news presenter does not have the OTT personality one would expect as part of the Cheesy FM voice. He was quite mundane and kept a serious tone throughout his bulletin read. The news finished and then went into Abba Dancing Queen. What surprised me is this is now hour two of the live breakfast show. Where was the presenter reaffirming who and what they are and why you should carry on listening?
When Would I Listen?
The station is great for long drives when you want to be singing in the car and can not decide to play. The station is great for gym workouts when you want that high energy power songs. The station is great for going clubbing to. As background radio there is not enough variation to keep a listener sustained without thinking the songs are rolled into one with the mixture of slow and fast tempos.
Because of the great music mix this station definitely has a place on DAB. On D1 there competition is Heat Radio but the difference is they are not focussing on personality led pop shows and rather just letting the music talk for itself. I can not help but feel that for it to have longevity it needs stronger presentation but that will come in time and hopefully the shows will have a proper structure for a coming back audience. As it stands I can see listeners dipping in and out. It will be very popular at night times when listeners are going to clubbing and play Cheesy Fm in the background whilst pre-drinking which they need to take advantage of.