Paul Nero: Remembering the launch of Channel 4 and looking forward to Exe DAB venture

The Exe DAB logo

The Exe DAB logo - Credit: Paul Nero

Paul Nero, of Radio Exe, writes for the Journal.

Paul Nero, of Radio Exe.

Paul Nero, of Radio Exe. - Credit: Paul Nero

The man who designed the Channel Four logo died last week. Such a landmark was this, it made many front pages and even made Radio Exe’s news bulletins.

'How can this be?' asked one of the younger members of the Radio Exe team. 'A bloke who designs logos gets on the news when he dies?'

As I explain that the Channel 4 launch was a big thing, the first TV channel in the UK since BBC2 18 years before, there’s astonishment that a new TV station is anything to write home about – if indeed this generation would ever think of writing home about anything.

I remember gathering round a TV in 1982 in Exmouth to watch Channel 4 flicker to life with that famous logo, the first edition of Countdown and, in the weeks that followed, uninspiring documentaries about Bavarian rug weaving and Bolivian crop rotation. How we longed for Gogglebox to be invented.

Our young broadcasters at Radio Exe have access to hundreds of TV channels, of course, none of which they actually watch. And they have a similar relationship when it comes to friends, as far as I can see, whom they number in the low thousands, very few of whom they’ve actually met. “They’re Facebook friends,” they explain. “And I don’t look at Facebook anymore.”

When I begin an 'in my day…' rant, I’m interrupted to be told to 'chill' - always a word that always causes an emission of steam from my ears. 'It’s cool,' says our chap. 'know the ones who are important.'

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It’s a wise message from youthful lips and brings this to mind. A surfeit of stimuli is on the way in 2021 in the radio stations available in the Exeter area.

We could get up to 25 new ones. For us at Radio Exe, that’s a blessing and a curse.

We’re hoping that our proposals, jointly prepared with our friends the community sector, Phonic and Riviera, will run the network, which we’re calling ExeDab, is it’s based on digital radio broadcasting, known as DAB. Like Channel 4, we’ve got a neat logo we hope will last.

But how will we stand out so that people still tune to Radio Exe? You, the listeners, will decide, of course, who you prefer – and that’s how it should be. But we expect that, with an array of stations, providing all kinds of music and information, people will continue to value the breadth of local news and content that we bring. As my young friend suggests, even with a vast expanse of choice, people know the ones that are important to them.

But if you do fancy launching a radio station, we’ve can put you on the waiting list.

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