Magazine article Marketing

One Year on and talkSPORT Is Rather Surprisingly Flourishing

Magazine article Marketing

One Year on and talkSPORT Is Rather Surprisingly Flourishing

Article excerpt

Last week there was a strange scriptwriter on BBC hospital drama Holby City. He was not one of those adventurous people who sent an obscene message to his employers by mucking about with the first letter of every sentence, but a heartfelt message was inserted in the script all the same.

The story involved a seriously injured football fan taken to casualty. As seriously injured football fans do, he naturally inquired whether the doctor treating him was interested in football.

"I'm a QPR supporter," said the doctor. "Ah, then you understand suffering," replied the injured man.

The supporter would almost certainly nave been a regular listener to talkSPORT, although it is rather more likely that the fictional doctor would have been a listener of Radio 5 Live. In media terms, the miraculous trick is not QPR's survival to face Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, but the survival of Kelvin MacKenzie and his concept of talkSPORT.

A year ago Kelvin took the astonishingly courageous decision to tell half the listeners of Talk Radio to 'piss off out of it' by turning the station into a sports broadcaster, despite having hardly any sport.

There was a bit of cricket from foreign parts but when it came to live footy, there was always a bit of adept interpretation from the TV screen, which, after all, is a mirror of reality. There were many who thought that Kelvin was off his trolley.

In fact, for a time he was a hero of the Matthew Bannister appreciation society. After all, hadn't Bannister got rid of a statistically significant proportion of the Radio 1 audience by changing the format and the personnel? …

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