Spalding radio station off air after dispute with media partner

Alex Geairns (centre) with Chris Carter and Jan Whitbourn of Tulip Radio.  Photo supplied.
Alex Geairns (centre) with Chris Carter and Jan Whitbourn of Tulip Radio. Photo supplied.
  • Uncertain future for Tulip Radio following split with Hereward Media

Spalding community broadcaster Tulip Radio has gone off air after splitting with its new partners over “irreconcilable differences”.

Tulip stopped broadcasting on Friday, with directors blaming “some issues with our technical systems”, but also a falling out with Peterborough-based broadcast charity Hereward Media.

The Lincolnshire Free Press reported last month that Tulip Radio had been rescued from closure after Hereward Media came in at the 11th hour with a rescue deal on December 13 which kept the station on air.

Speaking to the Free Press yesterday, Tulip Radio station director Chris Carter said: “We had some issues with our technical systems which meant that we were unable to play any music on Friday.

“However, over the last week to ten days, we were increasingly concerned about the direction in which Hereward Media was wanting to take Tulip Radio.

“We didn’t feel that the best interests of Tulip Radio were best served by continuing an association with Hereward Media so it has withdrawn its offer of support, free of charge, to the radio station.”

We didn’t feel that the best interests of Tulip Radio were best served by continuing an association with Hereward Media so it has withdrawn its offer of support, free of charge, to the radio station

Chris Carter, Station Director, Tulip Radio

Alex Geairns, Station Director of Hereward Media, said: “We believe there has been a steady backtracking by Tulip Radio as to what had been agreed. In a crunch meeting last Friday, it was made clear to us that since we entered into the partnership, Tulip Radio had received numerous other offers of technical and presentational help.

“They seemed to consider that they would be better served by people who didn’t want anything to change and, in addition, they wanted to shut the station down immediately.

“In contrast, our original strategy was to implement what we believed was necessary, indeed in our view essential, to our rescue plan for Tulip Radio.

“At first, we were led to believe we could simply get on with things but this was not the case and, subsequently, we had to scrap our plans for a new logo, brand, on-air identity, signage, and new, responsive website as the reaction of the Tulip Radio directors was so hostile to these revisions.

“Therefore, as of 6pm last Friday, Hereward Media formally cut ties with the broadcaster after a catalogue of unhelpful behaviour.

“As a charitable organisation, we have invested a significant amount of resources to make a success of this project. But irreconcilable differences have forced us to retreat in order to protect our charity.”

Tulip Radio was relaunched four weeks ago after the deal with Hereward Media which involved providing both broadcasting and technical skills to keep the station on air and see it into its 16th year of community work.

But Mr Geairns said: “We wanted this to be ‘The Station You Can Really Call Your Own’, for the people of Spalding and South Holland, and had even begun taking on the training of local presenters.

“But you can’t keep banging your head against a brick wall when so much necessary information (financial information about Tulip Radio) is being withheld.

“As it is, we believe Hereward Media is within its rights to claim standard market rates for the hours put in and the expenses incurred.

“Something is very wrong when both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on December 18, just days after Hereward Media came forward with their rescue bid, and then we have to taken action to get clear of this nightmare.”

Spalding radio station to ‘go worldwide’ with new vision

Rescue deal keeps Tulip Radio station on air in Spalding