Strange Fruit Radio service closure CONFIRMED for end of this year.

Strange Fruit Radio goes off-air.

The Founder and Content Manager of Strange Fruit Radio who put the service together back in 2004, re-booting it after Global Radio re-branded XFM to Radio X has confirmed its closure date as being 31st December, this year.

In our last post, Nathan King suggested there was a strong likelihood that this would be the case, but would do all he could to save it – and he has tried.

“It’s been a struggle for the last few months, we’ve advertised for more people, but got minimal replies, so the decision has been, effectively, made for me”, admits Nathan, but is quite pleased with the reaction to the news on social media “Quite a few people have expressed dismay that the service is to close, but there are too many financial and technical restrictions and issues to make it worth continuing for little, if any reward”.

However, for those who have taken to the idea of the service, all is not (quite) lost, explains King “One of the original members of the team contacted me and said the brand and idea of the service should not just disappear, and he is going to see that it continues in the way he feels it should”.

Mr. Robin Dee who has been involved with many different online stations said “I just thought that such a good brand and idea shouldn’t go to waste. I thought Mr. King’s ideas were good, but he had an outdated approach for today’s society and way of life”. Dee’s idea is to essentially drop the ‘live’ streams/broadcasting and resort purely to pre-recorded, available on-demand programmes, essentially podcasts.

Nathan added “I have nothing against podcasts, but I’ve always felt that they are and should be an add-on to an existing live broadcasting service. I’ve always had an intense dislike of pre-recorded programmes, as it enables the presenter to edit ‘bad’ bits such as errors out and produce a much smoother, if not ‘slicker’ production. I’ve always enjoyed live radio for that essence of it being raw, and that anything could and might happen”, This is reminiscent of the late, great John Peel who had a reputation of being a technical ignoramous, and towards the end of his careeer particularly, on occasion, played some records at the wrong speeed! However, Mr. Dee strongly disagrees with Mr. King’s views.

“If we look at today’s major radio operators, almost all of them – especially overnight – resort to either pre-recorded or automated programming. B.B.C. Radio 2 made no secret of this fact, earlier this year when they dismissed long serving presenters Janice Long and Alex Lester, and were quite open about the fact that all overnight output would be automated. As for s ‘cleanly’ pre-recorded and edited.programme, I disagree entirely with Nathan”, admits Dee, “I think the audience much prefers a professional and smooth sounding output”.

Eerily, Mr. King’s comments echo that of Ronnie O’Sullivan, five times Snooker World Snooker Champion who after getting knocked out of the recent Irish Open held at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, commented that he preferred the venue where the tournament was held last year:, The Titanic Exhibition Centre – in an interview with Mr. Colin Murray on Eurosport, Mr. O’ Sullivan stated that “…the problem with the Waterfront was that it was a bit too posh and upmarket, Snooker players are used to playing in dingier, grottier places – I preferred the Titanic Exhibition Centre last year (sic)”.

One major advantage Mr. Dee claims the service under its new system will have is flexibility. “At the moment, when you want to listen to a programme, you have to listen when it’s on, which also means the presenter has to record on a regular basis, which isn’t always convenient”, suggests Robin, “the advantage of having a podcast format is that (within reason) the presenter can record whenever they like, and the listener can listen whenever they want”. Robin Dee also suggests that this format of radio could actually become more popular than live radio.

In response to this, Nathan King stated “I hope not, if it does, that’s probably my relationship with radio over, there’s no feeling like live radio”.

As part of the deal, King will also be dropping out of the service for an unspecified time, “It’s important that Robin is given as much of a free hand in this as possible”, admits Nathan, “so I will be taking a back seat for a few months” – but he has no intention of resting on his laurels: “My intention is to get the finances together to put a new server for the service together, and also recruit enough people to sufficiently make sure the new service isn’t entirely relying on my input”.

Robin Dee said, “I think with Nathan’s current financial and technical restraints, it will take a long time for those two factors to be readily available, and he could be absent from Strange Fruit Radio for the foreseeable future, I wish him all the very best of luck and thank him for his efforts in starting the service and helping a smooth transition take place”.

The new website address for Strange Fruit Radio, from 1st January, will be: http://strangefruitradio.tk