New Radio Station for Belfast


I have just issued the first Press Release for Belfast’s newest radio station.

Press Release

10 June 2013

New Radio Station for Belfast

Ofcom have announced that Belfast FM is to be the new community radio station for the city, serving the over-55 audience.

Following the announcement, Belfast FM Director John Rosborough said “We are now living in the decade in which the ‘baby boomers’ – those people born between the end of World War II and 1964 – have started to retire.

“For people aged 55 and over, Radio has been the soundtrack of their lives, and they currently listen to it for longer than any other age groups.”

Belfast FM will be warm, with friendly presentation and a music flow characterised by smoothness, melody and an extensive selection of material. Speech content will be an important part of the programming output.

The 55 and over age grouping is a disparate one, ranging from the relatively carefree with few responsibilities, to those counting every penny. The editorial focus of Belfast FM will be correspondingly wide, covering subjects of general relevance in which older people will share the same interest as everyone else, to ongoing issues of particular concern which need exploration and discussion.

Belfast FM will reach out online too.

“We intend to provide one dedicated programme at the weekend to connect directly with the ‘diaspora’, the many hundreds of thousands of Northern Ireland ex-pats, whether they are in North America, Australia or elsewhere in the world. We will also link with this an outreach to those who have now made Belfast their home, to hear their perspectives.” Said Mr. Rosborough.

Mr. Rosborough who has worked in radio in Northern Ireland for 36 years explained that access to the community will form an important part of Belfast FM’s activities. “In order to successfully put social purpose at the heart of what we do, we aim to meaningfully involve the community to which we will broadcast.”

Belfast FM will not only be about broadcasting to the city; it will involve the people of Belfast making programmes for themselves.

“Belfast FM will offer access to both the on-air and operational aspects of the station, developing and nurturing local talent with the aim of creating high quality user-generated content. We are also committed to maximising interaction with our audience, ensuring that those who may be disadvantaged or have special needs within our demographic are also represented. We will be located in an area that will be easily accessible to public transport routes, allowing convenient access for volunteers and guests.”

The Company will be controlled by its five Directors: John Rosborough, David Sloan, Stephen Craig, Lisa Flavelle, and Davy Sims.



1. Belfast FM is the provisional name for the radio station. When the broadcast frequency is allocated by Ofcom, it will become part of the full name.

2. Directors’ Roles:

The roles of the Directors will be as follows:

John Rosborough – Managing Director – responsible for the overall day to day running and programming of the station;

David Sloan – Finance Director – responsible for overseeing station income and expenditure;

Stephen Craig – Technical Director – responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of the studio and transmitting equipment;

Lisa Flavelle – Education and Training Director – responsible for upskilling volunteers and liaison with local colleges;

Davy Sims – New Media Director – responsible for the website and public interface.

UPDATE: I am no longer a member of the Board of Belfast 89 and cannot answer questions about the station. Their contact details are on their website.

3.  About the Directors:

JOHN ROSBOROUGH – Independent Broadcast Consultant; John has 36 years in professional radio; 21 years at senior management level at Downtown Radio/Cool FM, 8 years as Managing Director of Citybeat and U105. Holds a BSc. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

DAVID SLOAN – Director, SD Farms Ltd.; Former Director of Mid FM; 5 years radio    production and presentation experience at Downtown Radio.

STEPHEN CRAIG – Director of Maiden Technology Ltd.; 27 years as a BBC Broadcast Engineer and Technology Manager; FTC, Industrial Electronics; BBC ETSI; MIEEE, MIET, MSMPTE.

LISA FLAVELLE – Associate Lecturer, Belfast Metropolitan College; Freelance broadcaster and Community trainer. Lisa began her broadcasting career with Belfast Community Radio in 1990, and has since presented a variety of speech and music programmes on Citybeat, Cool FM, Downtown Radio and U105. She is a qualified teacher with a Post Graduate Certificate in Further and Higher Education, the Station Manager for the yearly RSL, Belfast Met Radio, and a freelance community workshop trainer.

DAVY SIMS – Head of Social Media, Public Achievement.  Davy has over 30 years experience in broadcasting with Downtown Radio and BBC in Northern Ireland and in London, including 12 years in new media and social media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.