Media in the Press 9.2.11

JOURNALISM student, Aleksandra Jurczak, from Edinburgh Napier University, casts her eyes over the media stories making the press today…

There is a mix of media news in today’s papers, but one story hits all the titles.

Two weeks after Andy Gray and Richard Keys were stripped of their jobs for allegedly sexist comments, the former Sky Sports presenters are making the news once again. Reports the Scottish Daily Mail (page 12), both were last night offered a post at the talkSPORT radio station, which so happened to be used by Keys to make his first public apology for remarks about a female football assistant referee, Sian Massey. The paper suggests both Keys and Gray will earn a salary of more than £300,000 a year for hosting a three-hour weekday show starting on Monday. Gray is reported saying: “I can’t tell you how excited I am about joining talkSPORT. It’s an ideal opportunity for Richard and me to do what we do best, and that’s talk about sport.”

Reports the Scottish Daily Express (page 3), the pair will now work with two women on the show, an assistant producer and a technical operator, and quotes an insider saying: “Nothing is being moved around them.”

However, the Daily Record, which mentions the story on their first and third pages, report that Mike Parry, who worked for the station in the three-hour slot, is said to have resigned after hearing he would be replaced by Keys and Gray.

The Scotsman (page 8) quotes Andrew Jones, a senior lecturer in communication and media at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, saying: “The truth is that talkSPORT will get a bit of a publicity boost, and the station’s listenership has a very male skew.”

In other news, a review of BBC Radio 4 is said to have concluded it is failing to respond to the needs of a wider audience. Says the Scottish Daily Mail (page 10), the BBC Trust – which reviews each of the BBC services at least once every five years – has found that the ‘national treasure’ station still needs to change to “build loyalty among younger, lighter listeners” and to appeal to ethnic minorities.

The paper quotes Radio 4 presenter, John Humphrys, seemingly none too pleased: “Radio 4 is not too white, too middle-class or too old… Our listeners come to us as they mature, but also because of the content.” Former MP, Anne Widdecombe, is also quoted saying: “Radio 4 is probably the only thing that caters for middle-class audiences.”

In the meantime, BBC Radio 7 has been given a new name: Radio 4 Extra, in order to attract more listeners, reports The Herald (page 12). Radio 7 is said to be the least well-known BBC radio station among the public, according to the BBC Trust. As a result, the station is set to refocus on more ‘family-friendly content’, which should result in a ‘stronger speech service’.