It is just over a year since I first had the wacky idea that the London Taxi Trade should have its own Radio Station. I looked at various mediums to broadcast on but quickly found that the only option within our budget was internet radio as the others were either not available or totally out of our price range.
When I initially posted up the idea on Twitter the response from drivers who wanted to get involved was extremely promising but despite numerous requests for drivers to do shows very few have actually taken up the challenge to actually produce a show or podcast that could be broadcast on London Taxi Radio. The lack of response led to Mac and myself becoming a little despondent about the project and letting things slip a little. Due to this and what we thought had been a lack of listeners to the station we had decided to close the station down on 17th December when our licenses were due to be renewed but a few things have prompted us to change our minds.
After a conversation with Mac he remonstrated that we should keep the station going and try another big push to get people interested, Mac believes as do I that internet radio is before its time and will become more popular as time goes on, other factors such as the BBC closing down its AM services and the planned shutdown of FM (which I believe wont actually happen) and the very slow uptake of DAB radio combined with the news that car manufacturers have started to fit Internet Radio in cars in the UK makes us think that it will be the preferred medium for radio delivery in the future. Also this week I had to file a report for the stations listener hours for which I was very surprised, our listener hours had actually increased when we were thinking that they had gone down, in fact they had increased quite considerably.
I also had a conversation with a Taxi Driver from outside of London but who is currently doing the Knowledge to become a London Taxi Driver, Rachael, who said that she would be interested in getting involved and maybe doing a show on the station, during the conversation we concluded that London Taxi Radio in its current form was targeting a very limited audience of around 25,000 people and considering the response from the London taxi Trade that maybe we should look further afield for drivers who may want to produce a show or podcast or maybe even doing a chat show on the station, this got me to thinking that maybe we should offer the station to drivers around the UK and that maybe a change of name could benefit the station in order to achieve this aim so after a conversation with Mac it was agreed that maybe a name change would be beneficial so I promptly registered taxi-radio.co.uk and I was about to start building a new website to promote the station to the trade around the UK but then I had another conversation with Rachael in which she said that Taxi Radio as a name wasn’t very inspiring and that we should be looking for a name that is a little more quirky a catchy than just plain old Taxi Radio, after a lot of brain storming between the two of us we came up with a name that was staring us right in the face! Well I bet you want to know what it was? Well, I will tell you that later.
I had another interesting telephone conversation last night with Allen AKA Rockin Cabby Allen who does a 50s show on the station where I explained how disappointed we were that not many drivers were coming forward to volunteer to do a show or a podcast, Allen offered what could be an explanation as to why this may be? he said that it might be because people are either scared of doing it wrong or that they do not know how to do a show live or how to record a show or podcast, now this is something that I had considered in the past but that we had not really tried to combat. We decided that the best way to tackle this problem might be to run some sort of workshop, maybe once a month, in order to show people who they can go about making a show or podcast that can be broadcast on the station. We can also then ask people to bring their laptop along so that we can provide them with the necessary software in order to enable them to produce a show or podcast. So we will announce details of the first radio workshop that we will hold sometime in November.
Even though we are going to change the name of the station the London Taxi Radio website will remain and shows that originate from London Taxi Drivers will still be branded as London Taxi Radio shows and we will still play London Taxi Radio Jingles during those shows but we will be arranging for our preferred production houses to produce new imaging for the station in the new name that will be played out most of the time.
So back to the name! What have we decided to call the station? Well, we decided that the name should be Sherbet, either Radio Sherbet or Sherbet Radio, which way round we use the words I cannot decide. I was a little worried that the slang word Sherbet may not be recognised around the Country but Rachael thinks that most people around the UK should associate the word Sherbet with Cab, so there you have it, we are to be called Sherbet Radio or Radio Sherbet, please let us know what you think, which way round we should use the wording.
So the Radio Station has been given a reprieve and will be broadcasting for at least another year, we are already adding new shows that are produced by Taxi drivers and we are open to any suggestions for Taxi related content for the station so if you know of a Taxi driver who does a radio show or produces a podcast then please let us know.