All good things must come to an end and my 40 year journey on radio has done just that.
Radio City Talk has been closed down and my phone-in is no more.
It was a bold proposition when it launched 12 years ago.
Over the years it’s tackled many important issues and made a difference to so many.
Dee Ford CBE is the group MD for Bauer Radio UK. She said: “The unfortunate reality is that it is a niche format distributed in one locality.
“We found it very difficult to be profitable, and the station has struggled to secure the level of listening to generate the revenue required to operate profitably.”
Having worked there since it began, I understand exactly what she means. I am a great admirer of this very powerful lady who is respected around the world in the radio industry.
She has always been very fair with me and totally respects my passion and dedication to the City brand over 40 years.
She is a self-made woman who started in sales and climbed through senior positions within a number of newspapers, magazines and radio, so she knows her stuff, and totally gets radio.
She will have done a lot of soul-searching before making this decision.
I am sad for all my colleagues, who are devastated and have lost their jobs.
The radio industry is changing so fast, in my opinion not for the better.
But it has to, because people’s listening habits have totally changed because of social media and smartphones.
Looking back, I’ve had the most amazing radio career.
I’ve won so many awards and the icing on the cake was when I was inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.
I’ve had some amazing radio producers working with me.
Some of them have become close friends.
Two in particular – a very talented lady called Carmel Nolan and Jay Hynd who owns the Guide, Liverpool.
Having said that, I produced my own show for ten years.
I’ve loved all my bosses except one, most of them have become friends.
The City brand over the years has given me the most diverse family of radio listeners.
My demographic ranges from 10 to 100 years old.
Sadly over 40 years I’ve lost listeners who have passed away, some of life’s characters who used to ring in that made the show what it was.
But we must not forget the famous pranks and cranks.
To go to work every night and get paid for having conversations, ranting and interviewing some of the world’s greatest stars and interesting people.
Also breaking stories which would appear in the papers the next day.
I’ve loved every minute of the job.
The bonus for me when we moved from Stanley Street to the Radio City tower, to witness the sunset and magnificent views, and get paid, I still pinch myself.
I was very privileged to eat at the tower when it was a revolving restaurant, all those years ago.
I always remember going to the toilet, coming out and wondering where my table had gone.
This last week my phone and social media has exploded with people wishing me well for the future and also saying how sad they are.
They will miss me coming into their homes and their lives.
People have said that I have gotten them through difficult times, just by being there.
Many people have stopped me in the street over the years to thank me for keeping their late grandad, mum, friend company.
I still can’t comprehend how many people’s lives I’ve touched and in the later years of social media people also around the world.
Students have thanked me for being there while they have done their degrees and dissertations.
I did the first dateline on radio, and went to ten weddings of people who met because of the show.
For many years I’ve interviewed Paul McCartney’s step-mother and McCartney, live from Hollywood, the list is endless.
So it’s the end of 40 years working for the City brand.
There is one man who got me thinking about being a talk-show host, many years ago.
He now works for the BBC and is a great broadcaster but has definitely calmed down.
In his day, he was so controversial and over the top. His rapport with the listeners was brutal, and he had a dislike for Scousers, which was part of his broadcasting act.
In fact, he’s cut me off a few times.
I’m talking about Allan Beswick, Red Rose late night radio show.
So he has a lot to answer for.
Only met him once, but the other day I got a personal email which meant so much to me.
So that’s it, 40 years of my life, but I can tell you now.. I’m not going anywhere.
The lizard will be back.