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UK commercial radio turns 40 this week

LBC 40th AnniversaryCommercial radio in the UK turns 40 years-old this week. Here in the US we tend to take for granted that broadcast media would be funded by commercials interrupting our programs several times an hour. But the rest of the world came to embrace the commercial system much more slowly.

The development of commercial broadcasting in the UK was driven as much by commercial forces and a desire for independent, privately-owned broadcasters as it was by the pressure pirate stations put on the BBC and regulators by stealing away the young audience that wanted to hear the newest rock and pop music all but ignored by the Beeb.

LBC Virtual Cart Machine LBC was the first commercial broadcaster to launch in the UK, and only the 2nd FM station. Radio Today is celebrating its anniversary with a story each day this week. Today’s is a recollection of LBC’s early broadcasts written by radio historian David Lloyd.

LBC also has gathered together some memories from its 40 years, including a fun virtual cart machine that lets you play some of its well-known jingles.


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