Backlash as station asked to stop making Relay announcements

The Buchan Radio base at Peterhead's Broad Street
The Buchan Radio base at Peterhead's Broad Street

Moves to stop a north-east radio station from publicising Relay for Life events have been slammed by Peterhead folk.

Buchan Radio had broadcast details of a Relay for Life team meeting on February 21, in a bid to raise publicity for the event.

However, Joyce Cameron, subsequently sent a message, on behalf of Peterhead Relay for Life chair Lorraine Coleman, to station manager, Ronnie Arthur stating that she had not requested this.

The message said: “Waves Radio are our media sponsor and they make all our Relay radio announcements. For the future, please do not make any Relay for Life Peterhead announcements”.

A stunned Ronnie then took to social media to explain why no further announcements would be made.

He said: “I know there are a lot of people on here who are involved with this event and previously have asked me to speak about things on air.

“I want to let you know that myself and Buchan Radio in Peterhead are 100 per cent behind what you’re doing and we wish you all the best with your fundraising cancer research.

“We are a local community radio station here to play an active part in the local community providing a community service, but of course we say yes, no problem, we will add it onto our what’s on guide on our commuunity announcements. And of course, that’s letting people know about it.”

He added: “I wouldn’t like people to think that oh, they are not interested and not speaking about it. Or don’t care about it...that’s not the case folks, we do care and want to speak about it but we have just been told not to speak about it which is very disappointing as you would think a big event like this would welcome all media cover on it.”

Some of the station’s listeners, and those who regularly take part in the Relay, were quick to condemn the decision via Facebook.

Posting on Ronnie’s page, one said: “I’m absolutely disgusted with the way you have been treated! You have done nothing wrong apart from advertise the Relay.”

Another said: “You’d think the more advertising then the more people that it reaches, therefore a bigger turnout.”

There was disbelief from another stating: “You would think that they would be willing to let both stations advertise it as they will both have different listeners and it’s all good publicity for a good cause.”

In a statement to the Buchanie from Lorraine, she said: “Myself and Joyce Cameron (chair and vice-chair of Relay for Life Peterhead) contacted Ronnie Arthur of Buchan Radio privately through Facebook after being aware that he had announced our Relay team meeting without our knowledge.

“Waves Radio have been our media sponsors for many years and always make our announcements. Out of loyalty to Waves, I asked him not to post announcements from our Relay on his station in the future.

“Ronnie Arthur then phoned me to ask about this request. When Ronnie said that some announcements from Relay teams had been made in the past on Buchan Radio, this was news to me. I therefore explained that the request to not make Relay announcements was from me, when I am making announcements on behalf of the committee.

“Ronnie asked if I would ban teams from using Buchan Radio and I said that I couldn’t do that but the committee does advise teams to advertiser using Waves Radio, who are our official media sponsors, as we want to show them loyalty as they do so much for Relay.

“In response to Ronnie saying that Kenny King (of Waves) was behind the message, I told him that Waves knew nothing about us contacting him therefore any comments that have come since the phone call regarding Waves had been so unfair.

“The comments that have been made about us - myself, Joyce and Relay for Life - are also unfair as we were being loyal to our sponsor Waves Radio and doing what we thought was best for Relay and Cancer Research UK.”

Chelsea Stuart, Cancer Research UK’ s fundraising manager in Aberdeen said: “Relay For Life Peterhead raises a phenomenal amount of money for Cancer Research UK and we are very grateful to the Committee and teams for their dedication to the event, which has raised an incredible £1.7 million for life-saving research.

“Relay For Life is a fantastic opportunity for families and friends to come together to beat cancer and we are thankful for the support of everyone involved.”