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What Next For BBC Radio Newcastle?

5 years ago
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I’m a regular contributor to BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport, which for those who don’t know, is a nightly football phone in that covers Newcastle and the mackems, as well as the likes of Gateshead and Blyth Spartans. It’s now the region’s only phone-in programme since the demise of the Three Legends.

Normally it’s a pretty good listen – John Anderson (a favorite of mine, as a bairn) is Newcastle pundit, with the likes of Steve Harper and Steve Howey filling in. Running the show are Simon Pryde and Matthew Raisbeck who do a canny job, with Mick Lowes providing the commentary on match day.

radio newcastleHowever, with the recent bad form for the team as well as off-the field issues, I’m beginning to question the station/show as it seems to cosy up to the club too much. A lack of searching questions from Mick Lowes, when interviewing Alan Pardew – both before and after games. The pundits seemingly unwilling to criticise the club too much on air, instead leaving it to us fans.

We all know that Ashley has bombed out the local papers, but are Radio Newcastle running scared of him binning their coverage and access too? I can understand a relationship needs a bit of give and take on both sides, but at the moment it seems a bit too one-sided.

For me, the danger is that the show becomes seen as a mouthpiece for the club and regime, something which the show’s editor has been moved to comment on and deny, in recent weeks.

If that is allowed to happen, then the show will lose credibility with supporters and for me, that’s a bad thing given that social media aside, it’s something which a great many people rely on and listen to.

For myself, I’ve always enjoyed Mick Lowes’ commentary over the last 20-odd years (yes it is that long!) but in recent times, there is too much slava/fawning over Pardew and the regime, instead of trying to get to the root cause of the problems.

The tide is beginning to turn in terms of more people are asking questions of what is going on. Radio Newcastle should not allow themselves to be cut adrift in this process.

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