When your first song sticks, it’s not a good omen, but Hallam seems to have done pretty well regardless. It’s also a great anecdote to relate in later years, although it likely did not feel that way for poor Johnny Moran at the time.
Radio Hallam began broadcasting in 1974, the eighth Independent Local Radio station, amidst a blaze of “£20,000 of publicity”. The station had won the Sheffield licence against one other franchise applicant. Chairman was Bill MacDonald, former chair of the Evening Newspaper Advertising Bureau. As I found out when I met him years later, as we worked on a Barnsley licence application, Bill was proud of his station’s news policy ‘news- five minutes sooner’, as adopted by his news editor Ian Rufus, later to be BRMB’s MD. Under the stewardship of Programme Director, Keith Skues, the station quickly forged a reputation, with presenters like Roger Moffatt.
The station was a tad more conservative than some ILR stations in pace and style, and it’s ‘goodnight’ closedowns were of thoroughly vintage style. The press reported it was expected to cost £350,000 to run in the first year.