Radio Clyde - Launch
If you're going to launch Scotland's first commercial radio station, Hogmanay is a pretty good day to do it.
Applications for the first five commercial stations had closed in December 1972, with the Glasgow franchise subsequently awarded to Radio Clyde Ltd in March 1973. Ian Chapman, from publishers William Collins, was set to be Chairman; and the station was backed by the Scottish Citizen, STV and the Ownesr of the Glasgow Herald. After the challenging launch of LBC and Capital in October 73, Clyde came on-air in the evening of 31st December. London's pioneering stations had faced huge early challenges, and Clyde is widely accepted as having enjoyed a much more successful start, albeit not always quite smooth sailing. Tony Currie's voice began proceedings, with the station then broadcasting 'a balanced diet of programmes' for 20 hours a day
Just under a year after launch, Clyde, alongside the other early stations, and indeed some advertising agencies were arguing with the BBC over audiences. The Corporation suggested that total UK commercial radio audiences fell below 1m. Clyde MD, Jimmy Gordon, pointed gleefully to ISBA/IPA-backed audience research assembled by Radio Audience Measurement Ltd (NOP) which concluded Clyde alone attracted 865,000 listeners. These loyal followers listened for over twelve hours each. Presenter Roger Day later suggested proudly that Piccadilly was 'second to Clyde'. Andy Park was 'Head of Entertainment'.
The station's national airtime, alongside that of its younger Edinburgh sister, Forth, was sold by Broadcast Media Services. Jingles came courtesy of Emison. Despite some natural rivalry, the first two Scottish stations were quick to co-operate, even to the extent of joint events and initiatives, such as the simultaneous broadcast of an Elton John concert in 1976.
Many names have passed through the doors of Clyde over the years including Mark Goodier, Steve Jones, Bill Turnbull and, of course, Richard Park. Richard, who was to host the lunchtime show amongst others, declared that working for a land-based Scottish station (after his pirate adventures) was "a dream come true".