Guardian Joins Radio, Podcasting Trade Groups, Positions Against C4

Guardian Unlimited is further staking out its non-core media credentials by joining the Radio Academy and the UK Podcasters Association. The paper’s former media editor Matt Wells, appointed this year as head of audio, claims “hundreds of thousands” of weekly downloads for its range of current affairs podcasts and wants “a seat at the top table at the leading radio industry organisation” (via release).
Wells is taking an aggressive stance, too: “I think the BBC have got a huge rival in this area. Channel 4 have done a lot of talking, but we’re doing a lot of doing” (via Press Gazette). Maybe so, but Channel 4 is doing a lot of winning – having secured the right to operate a 10-station DAB radio multiplex this summer including three of its own channels – E4 Radio, Channel 4 Radio and Pure4 – with the lineup offering more downloads than Guardian podcasts. Perhaps it was a surprise that The Guardian wasn’t tapped to offer a current affairs strand to some of Channel 4’s upcoming DAB output, given past close ties. Now, though Guardian Unlimited has GMG’s radio division in the background, it finds itself building a radio ambition using a rudimentary Flash player against an opponent with 25 years of broadcast experience.