So Jack in Oxfordshire has a cool new sister. Not that you’d know that, listening to it at breakfast, which is a simulcast of her older brother. Oh well. We listened in anyways.

Listened In is 2ZY’s weekly air-check blog. Every week we listen to a random twenty minute sample of a station or programme in the news.

WHO  Jack FM’s Morning Glory

WHAT  Jack 2, Oxfordshire

WHEN  Wednesday 21 August


Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 09.07.08

0747  Sense/The Lightning Seeds

Jack’s Morning Glory, back announce/timecheck,”The celebrations on the way in the next ten minutes. Come on, leave your messages, 01865 575106 get in touch with us and we’ll put your celebration on the radio in the next ten minutes” They return to a Jason Manford tickets competition. Nice production, a Manford gag about cyclists with the (obvious, not very funny – well it is Jason Manford …) punchline removed. Danny is on to have a guess. “You sound very cheery Danny, come on, wake up, wake up.” “This is a breakfast show, not a late night show where we’re trying to send people to sleep.” “Although we’re pretty good at that”, says Caroline. Grudgingly Danny says good morning again and there is much fake radio laughter.

“Danny erm, What’s your, Who’s your fav 1D, errr star? Mine’s Ringo … I quite like, err,  he’s a good, a good lad. He’ll go far.” Danny says he’s not a 1D fan. “Funny, that, no. It’s not something I’ll be rushing to at the cinema. That’s for sure.” “It’s meant to be really good”, says Caroline “Caroline can’t wait to get there,” says male presenter. Trev? “I don’t think I’m gonna see it at the cinema. But I think it’ll be really interesting to see it as a documentary.” They joke about her being at Leicester Square yesterday and having spotted her in pictures of screaming girls in the third row. “Some random haggard woman in the background,” jokes Caroline. “Yeah, some old wrinkler,” says male presenter. Nice.

Dan gets it right. He wins tickets to the forthcoming local Jason Manford gig “and we’ll send you to the One Direction movie as well, yeah.” Applause and hilarity.

0753  Sweet Home Alabama/Lynard Skynard

Back announce/timecheck. “Every morning, just before 8 o clock we celebrate Oxfordshire.” They sing along to Kool and the Gang’s celebrate. “Come on Richard, the engineer,” who’s not singing. He doesn’t play along.”I think there’s altogether another level of grumpy when it comes to engineers, don’t you?” says Caroline, a little incestuously. “OK, right, you can celebrate Oxfordshire. What are you up to?” Listener clip: “Morning Jack, Please wish our daughter Dakota Dollar a very happy 6th birthday. From Mummy, Daddy, Annie. Freya, Marmite and Nemo. “Usually I’d think that Marmite and Nemo are pets. But given the daughter is called Dakota Dollar, I’m not sure,” says Caroline. She reads out some more celebrations. A listener on holiday in Spain, the last day of ashes, water is back on again and off to a festival, a listener’s day off in the sunshine.

It’s 2 minutes to 8. Time to celebrate

TRAVEL: On the roads, Rich.

ID: Jack’s Morning Glory with Boiling or chilled water at the touch of a bottom for people with better things to do than wait for a kettle to boil. Or listen to this lot.

ADS: Activities for kids in Oxfordshire/Oxford Recruitment Services/Abingdon Beds/Flanagans Solicitors/Longleat

NEWS: Oxfordshire schoolchildren reading age has gone up (local phone clip) / Drugs charges (national copy) / Men more likely to get skin cancer (national copy) / Babies born with heart defects, according to Oxford research (local quality clip) / Simon Cowell a Dad (national copy) / Dogs detect Diabetes (national copy) / Kinder Eggs used to traffic cocaine in Bicester (local copy) / Sport

WEATHER: Ending on “And if you’re looking for something to do this week, head to the Jacktivities with the Malmaison on The Castle Quarter section on our website,”  and reads a what’s on.

AD: Seat Leon

ID You’re listening to Jack’s Morning Glory. Dont worry, we won’t tell anyone.

Another cheesy bed. Throws forward to a Reading Festival ticket giveaway, the question for which is ‘what was the worst thing about breaking up with your other half?’ Recap Reese’s answer, which was having to buy new lucky pants, as he’d left them at his ex’s. Got the big news cheese coming up for you next. Teases some headlines.


You Give Love a Bad Name/Bon Jovi


As breakfast shows go, this is OK. There’s a little interaction, lots of localness, three very Jack tunes. Celebrations is a clever spin on an old idea.

I didn’t like the way the Caroline was constantly interrupted, how everything was read over a slightly too far faded-down cheesy bed, and how main male presenter never told me his name. The self-deprecation meter was a little in the red, even for Jack. And the com-prod here is truly execrable. There were two FVOs-as-actors-chatting-to-each-other-scripts (that’s the polite version) next to each other in the same break – for Oxford Recruitment Services and Abingdon Beds which starts with the immortal line,  “Ooh Jan, you look radiant.”

Call me old-fashioned, but what I really don’t get is the whole single breakfast show on a brand extension lark. James Cridland is a fan of the brand extension and makes a good case for it here. And I buy the concept – it’s just here, the execution seems odd. Delivering complementary stations in the same (small) market is one thing. But when one is going after younger women and the other is after older blokes, how can a single breakfast show ever satisfy both? If Jack is the original ‘anti-format’, does spawning a Jack 2 (with positioning that’s the opposite to the masterbrand) work?

Outside breakfast, it’s using LDR to give a veneer of control to the listener, who’s informed when their song’s on. Whether that listener will bother once the novelty wears off, in a world of Spotify, or their own music library or YouTube remains to be seen. Music dedication’s USP on radio is surely that mention, that presenter endorsement? Even better-programmed listener-driven sequences offering this have failed before. XU anyone?

But hey, this is a station (to use James’s line) that’s as strong as a lightbulb and has had more names than Jan Leeming. Jack 2 gives it some buzz, and it’s cheap. Good luck, Jack 2.

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