Radio 1: Change for change’s sake

So Monday saw the first shows after the announced changes of the daytime schedule of Radio 1, with Scott Mills getting a radio demotion to the afternoon show, and young blood Greg James taking his well molded and established seat in the drive time slot.

The changes, as we all know, were reasoned by Ben Cooper as a way of “attracting even more young listeners by bringing in new and fresh talent to the stations. At the end of last year we announced changes to the specialist music line-up, so I’m really looking forward to hearing the new line up in full when we launch in April.”

Changes for the sake of it?

All well and good for new controller Ben Cooper, seen to be making changes to make Radio 1 finally hit their target audience, all well and good for the younger listener too, not to mention Greg James who has, understandably, found it hard to contain his excitement for his chance to shine on one of the flagship shows of the network, he posted on Twitter Scott is one of the reasons I got into radio and it’s an absolute boyhood dream to take over 4-7 show from next week. Love you @scott_mills’

But what about Scott Mills, who has been silent about the change in schedule? Luckily for him the radio is still a blind medium, so his listeners could not see him grimacing as he reminded them of his ‘new show’ starting on the 2nd of April. Mills has been with Radio 1 for 14 years, and held his drive time slot for 8 of those. He is a widely popular and very talented presenter, but has he just had outstandingly bad timing? His time at Radio 1, like many others around him, will almost always be in the shadow of Chris Moyles. Scott had always been tipped to take on the breakfast show if a change was ever to be made, but does this change of schedule show Ben Cooper’s feelings towards Moyles successor?

I would say almost certainly.

New faces for radio

 (Full changes by Ben Cooper: Greg James at 4pm – 7pm, Scott Mills at 1pm – 4pm, Jameela on the Request Show – Sundays from 7pm to 9pm (replaces Tom Deacon), R1’s Dance Anthems with Danny Howard Saturdays from 4pm to 7pm, Gemma presents Weekend Breakfast (leaving 1Xtra to Sarah Jane Crawford) at 7am.)

A young Scott Mills

More unfortunate timing for Mills, but the Breakfast show is not the be all and end all of Radio 1, he has made some outstanding radio and bagged himself a Sony Radio Award in 2010 for best music radio personality of the year and built up an impressive and loyal audience over his duration occupying this coveted position. But still, you would feel a little hard done by… At Greg James’ age of 26, Scott was occupying the airwaves between 4am and 7am, and now the fresh (and somewhat nurtured) talent of Radio 1 Greg James is taking listeners from work to their homes, something any radio presenter would feel privileged to do.

So why keep Scott Mills at all? If the changes have been made to attract younger listeners does it matter where he sits in the schedule? Is this just a show of loyalty so Mills can leave on his own terms? Or maybe even foresight for when ‘the legends of Radio 1’ i.e. Moyles & Mills, decide to walk together. Talent like Dev Griffin and hard working Huw Stephens must be chomping at the bit and waiting for their call up from the wings surely? There is no denying that there is plenty to entertain the 16 – 24 year olds on this station, but is the continued success of the last decade with names like Moyles and Mills going to be replicated with James, Dev and Jamil at the helm?

Not many of us like change, but it certainly is exciting.

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