Focal Radio, based in Stoke on Trent, started broadcasting to the area at the beginning of November and was saved from administration in February by businessman Mo Chaudry.
Now the multi-millionaire has made the decision to shut Focal with the loss of 23 jobs.
Station Manager, Verity Hilton said “I told the staff about Mo’s decision on May 8th. They have worked relentlessly through this difficult time to sell advertising and obtain investment. Although the station has 23 members of staff, the majority of them are freelance and once again they face the possibility of not being paid for the work that they have done. This is a fantastic station with a growing listenership and it would be a tragedy if it had to close. Focal Radio has received interest from listeners who would like to own a share in “their” radio station – but we need to ensure that there is enough in the pot to buy the equipment off Waterworld Holdings and re-pay Mo for his investment.”
Focal Radio was partly the brainchild of Potteries broadcasting legend Sam Plank and he has personally paid the staff since May 13th in an attempt to keep the station broadcasting while an investor was found. “ I am saddened over the way the situation has developed,” said Sam. “However, there is now a golden opportunity for the listeners of this area to invest in a radio station that is truly theirs and looks positively at what happens in their patch! I would love to hear from anyone that feels they can help us move forward at this moment in time! We are now shouting “Broken Arrow!”
Broken Arrow was a call sign used in Vietnam to alert available troops to support quickly and that is exactly what the team at Focal Radio hope will happen over the next 24 hours.
Anyone who feels they can support this venture - from as little as £10 - should contact Focal Radio on 01782 574580 or 07888 730061.