Dennis Maitland speaks in 80s - (MD Trent, Aire)

Episode 524,   Aug 18, 2012, 12:50 PM

Dennis Maitland was one of the generation of radio managers who transferred from the pirate ships to the early land-based licensed commercial stations (ILR).

Dennis was a commercial man, venturing into radio from Odhams, having worked for the Daily Mail group. His radio career started in earnest in 1964. Philip Birch (who went on to launch Piccadilly) invited him to join 'Radio X'. This was the project name for the station which was to launch on air as Radio London, a station recognised as being the key influence for the launch of Radio One. It was Dennis too who physically 'turned off' the station in 1967 as the pirates transcended from legitimate to illegal.

After an interlude following Radio London's demise, Dennis moved to Radio Luxembourg, taking them from sponsored programmes to an airtime-driven model. He went on to an involvement in TV and radio commercial production.

Dennis's first foray into ILR came as launch MD of Trent. Like many early ILR stations, Trent suffered a combination of industrial action, regulatory frustration and a confused remit, coupled with the pains of a tardy 1970s birth; although its 'sound' was ahead of its time. Dennis left Trent at the end of 1979; later turning up at Radio Aire in Leeds, another station which faced huge early business challenges.

Here, Dennis speaks in the early '80s from Radio Aire; and reflects on the state of ILR under its IBA governance and the launch of Trent.