First boss back to boost Reading 107By David Millward
May 28, 2012
The first boss of Reading 107 has returned to the radio station with a mission to turn its fortunes around.
Tony Grundy is back at the station as a consultant after the recent departure of managing director Alison Hedges.
Mr Grundy, who was with the independent channel at the beginning, says he and station owner Sir John Madejski are determined to give the station a new lease of life.
He said: “Reading 107 is in my DNA and I have got a chance to do what I did all those years ago, when I started with a blank piece of paper and we won the franchise.
“Like then, I find it quite terrifying, but exciting at the same time.”
Latest RAJAR figures show Reading 107fm has 23,000 listeners per week, or 3.2 per cent of the local radio audience, compared with 120,000 for Radio Berkshire (5.1 per cent) and Heart with 385,000 (9.2 per cent).
Mr Grundy, who launched the station in October 2002 with his late brother Tim, said he believes the channel has lost contact with the town.
He said: “We are less connected to people within the community, but I’m sure we can put that right.
“Every aspect of what we do has got to be about gaining more audience. That is what I’m faced with and the great news is we have got some great people here I can work with.
“What I have told John and the family is over the next six months I want to turn things around to where they are happy with it. To get it to a point beyond breaking even and nicely into profit.”
Mr Grundy says the station will sound a little younger because Heart’s playlist has veered more into 107’s territory.
He said: “The great thing is it’s stand alone and a truly independent station, which is a great plus for working here, but on the other hand you haven’t got the shared resources of a big operator.
“I you can’t find a way of making it work as a business then you cannot have that radio station, but that is definitely not John’s wishes.”