Supporters of BBC Radio Suffolk presenter James Hazell have presented the radio station’s bosses with a petition against programming changes.
The reshuffle will see the return to the station of Terry Baxter to present the Breakfast Show. Mark Murphy who has presented the early morning slot for the past 10 years moves to the mid-morning programme, a position currently held by James Hazell. Mr Hazell will move to a new slot on Saturday and Sunday mornings (9am-12 noon).
Following the announcement in June fans of the James Hazell programme mounted a campaign to have the show remain in it’s weekday slot. Listener Chrissie Love, her husband Barry and friend Terry-Anna Chisholm started a “Save James Hazell” Facebook page in support of the presenter. This then led to an online and paper petition which resulted in over 500 signatures being collected.
The petition was delivered on Wednesday (3rd August) to Broadcasting House in Ipswich. The petition was received by Peter Cook, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Suffolk and David Holdsworth, Controller of BBC English Regions, who was visiting the station for the day.
Mr Cook told Ipswich24, “This is a demonstration of just how passionate our listeners are about the radio station. All feedback for us is useful, whether it’s good or bad, and the conversations we have with listeners help to shape the station. We’re very excited about the new schedule and I do hope that the people who’ve signed the petition will listen in and give it a chance. I’m certain they’ll enjoy Terry Baxter at Breakfast, Mark on Mid-Morning and James on his new weekend programmes.”
On the same day that the petition was being delivered the station learnt that it’s listening figures for the period January-June had increased by 14,000 (figure from RAJAR). The figures show that 147,000 people now listen each week – an extra 14,000 listeners across Suffolk compared to this time last year (June 2010) – an increase from 24.9% to 27.5%. Peter Cook, Managing Editor, BBC Radio Suffolk, says: “We’re delighted with these audience figures; this increase is a real tribute to all of the hard work by the fantastic team here at BBC Radio Suffolk.”