Echo (radio station)
|Slogan||The Music that matters to you.|
|First air date||May 1992|
|Former frequencies||100.5 MHz
|Owner||Farnborough College of Technology|
FCOT FM and previously as FCT-FM, Echo FM and Passion is a community radio station broadcast for four weeks each year from two studios at Farnborough College of Technology. The station's management, presentation and production teams are entirely composed of further and higher education students. Throughout its annual broadcast, FCOT FM operates a 24-hour music radio service with live presenters from 7am until 9pm every weekday. Originally operating a highly localised service, the station now covers the entire Rushmoor area with a broadcast radius of approximately fifteen miles. Echo 2012 was set to be the biggest and best yet with a refurb on everything including the logo. The station now runs 24/7 during its licence period and ran from 27 February 2012 until 30 March 2012, with new imaging, a new website and a new presenter line-up. The radio station for 2013 was renamed to "FCOT FM" and will be returning for 15 April 2013 until 10 May 2013 with a new management team.
FCOT FM was originally broadcast under the name FCT-FM, based on an abbreviation of Farnborough College of Technology where the station was, and is, based. It operated, and still operates, for four weeks per year on a Restricted Service Licence. The station first broadcast during May 1992, with 24-hour output starting in 1995. In 1994, the station was first sponsored by Guildford-based radio station County Sound; having originally broadcast with 1 Watt of power, from 1996 FCT-FM was awarded rights for a 15 Watt transmitter, funded by County Sound. Students also recover costs through additional sponsorship and advertising from local businesses. In the year 2000, FCT-FM was rebranded Passion; the same year, the station was nominated for the BBC Radio 1 Student Radio Station of the Year.
2012's typical weekday's programming consists of four standard slots:
- Breakfast (7–10am) - Hosted By Martin Willingham
- Mid-Morning (10am–12pm) Hosted By Graham Cutbil-White
- Bitesize (12pm–1pm)
- Afternoon (3–5pm) Hosted by Chris Macro
- Drivetime (5–7pm Monday to Thursday, 4–5pm Friday) Hosted by Michael Pritchard
- (Weekly) Friday Afternoon Sports Show (1pm - 3pm) Hosted by Tommy Anderson
- (Weekly) Monday Night Football (9pm - 10pm) Hosted by Tommy Anderson
Invariably, the Breakfast, Mid-Morning, Afternoon and Drivetime shows have each had distinct on-air teams who present and produce content for the same timeslot each weekday throughout a given year's Echo run. Late Lunch programmes usually have different presenter(s) and producer(s) each weekday. Echo broadcasts a news bulletin hourly between 7am and 7pm inclusive, with information collated from both local sources and Independent Radio News (IRN). From 7–9pm, Echo airs a range of specialist music programmes, each focussing on particular genre. The station also broadcasts a live-music focussed programme called Echo Sessions featuring live performances by Rushmoor-based bands. Since 2011, live studio-based output on a Friday has finished at 5pm.
Academic work and weekends
The normal programming schedule is sometimes adjusted to accommodate 30–60 minute one-off programmes, produced as coursework by students of Farnborough College of Technology who are not necessarily otherwise involved in Echo. Such programmes were originally branded Lunchbox and now air as Bitesize. A significant academic link-up occurred during the final week of Echo in 2009; to cover the Rising Starz singing contest, Echo simulcast the audio from an internet TV stream produced by students of Media & Creative Arts as well as using their text message short code to collate votes. Finally, until the 2011 running of Echo the station operated a limited live output on Saturdays, with a Late Breakfast programme leading into sports-themed discussion show Saturday Sport. Live presenter-led output is supplemented by an automated music service overnight and at weekends.
- "New Radio Station Manager appointed". Farnborough College of Technology. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- O'Hare, Sean (20 June 2011). "Farnborough College of Technology guide". Universities and Colleges. London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Echo FM Choose Sonifex S2 Mixer For Refurbished Studio". Sonifex. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Rushmoor radio on air". Surrey & Hants Star. April 1995.
- "Support for students". Radio Magazine. 210. 20 April 1996.
- "Farnborough calling". Surrey & Hants Star. May 1996.
- "Airwaves Echo to sound of students". Farnborough News & Mail. 1 March 2005. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- Castle, Pete (3 April 2009). "X Factor contest comes to Farnborough". Farnborough News & Mail. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Farnborough College of Technology, Echo FM licensee and studio owner.