Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of the most asked questions
Below we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about Bishop FM. If yours isn’t answered, or you’d like to know more, please get in touch.
Where can I hear Bishop FM?
Bishop FM launched on Saturday, 31st October, 2009 and is available on 105.9FM throughout Bishop Auckland, Crook, Shildon and villages in between. You can also listen online by clicking the ‘Listen Live’ button on the top right.
What does Bishop FM sound like?
Bishop FM doesn’t sound that different from most radio stations you’ll be familiar with. We have programmes with presenters, play a variety of music, some adverts, and news at the start of every hour. We have a commitment that 40% of our daytime output will be speech based, whilst the other 60% will be music led.
What music do you play?
Like most community radio stations, we play a mixture of music. During the day most of the music you hear will be ‘mainstream’ from the last four decades, and this makes up around 65 hours a week.
In the evenings and at weekends our programmes feature more specialist music, including programmes dedicated to certain genres. These come to 36 hours, or just over 20% of the station’s output.
Will you play the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players or Talib Kweli?
Yes – there’s a good chance. During the evening and at weekends our music programmes could feature almost any artist.
I hear a lot of national news? Will you do local news?
Local news is very important to Bishop FM. If you listened to it all at once, one day a week of our output would be just news and current affairs. This sounds like quite a lot, so we’re thinking very carefully about how and when you hear local news, and are looking to have a number of community reporters out and about.
You can hear our local news during Breakfast (Monday to Friday, 7am to 10am, weekends, 8am to 10am), Mornings and More with Peter Quest (Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm), as well as other local stories on weekend mornings.
The news bulletin every hour comes from Sky News Radio, who also supply clips during Saturday Sport and the Breakfast show.
Do you cover local sport?
From our first broadcast in October 2007 we’ve known how important local sport is to listeners and clubs. We feature local and national sport in our news output, on the website and there’s a live sport programme every Wednesday from 7pm and Saturday afternoon from 2pm.
If you’re a club, or simply interested in our sport programming, contact us for further details.
Who runs Bishop FM?
Bishop FM is a company limited by guarantee, with charitable aims. There’s a board of directors, an Executive Committee who run the station on a day-to-day basis, and a group of members (or shareholders). There’s an AGM every year, and members can be elected to join the committee or board.
Can I be involved?
Absolutely. Bishop FM is a fantastic place to enter radio, learn new skills and meet new people. The station is staffed entirely by volunteers who want to contribute something to the community through the station.
We often place details of volunteer opportunities online, and have more information in our Volunteers section.
How is Bishop FM funded?
Most community radio stations in the UK can receive no more than 50% of their funding from any one source, such as advertising. This regulation is set out by Ofcom (our regulator). We apply for funding from grant holders, sell advertising, hold events, provide commercial services and receive donations.
Will you read our event out on-air?
Of course. If the event is for a good cause, or a family day out, we’ll mention it for free on-air. If you’re promoting a gig or something bigger we have a range of affordable and flexible options for getting your ad guaranteed placement on the radio and website.
I’m in a band – where can we send our CD? Will you play it?
At Bishop FM we really like new, local music. We can’t play every CD we receive (and are unable to return any), but our specialist music presenters are always looking for new bands in South West Durham and the North East. Send your CD to us – see the Contact Us page for details.
I’d like to make a suggestion or provide some feedback. How can I do this?
We’re accountable to our audience and the community we serve, and we really want to receive feedback from you. You can contact us, write to us, visit and post a comment on our blog or come and see us at our next listener event. We read all feedback we receive.
Do you have an industrial metal rock programme? Can I present one?
All of our presenters are volunteers, and each programme is made up of a team including a producer, presenter and sometimes a broadcast assistant. To ensure that you receive a great experience at Bishop FM, including training and acquiring new skills, we insist that all members, regardless of experience, complete a training programme and volunteer at the station before presenting a programme.
We evaluate our schedule once a quarter, and where we can accommodate a new programme we look to do so. All of our programmes contribute towards our goals and objectives, and our Programme Controller will look forward to working with you on working with these.
We receive many ‘pitches’ for programmes, as well as offers of syndicated programmes. Before putting work into your proposal, we recommend reading the About Us and Frequently Asked Questions (you are here!) pages, as well as our Key Commitments, and find out how your programme can fit with our schedule, commitments and style.
Can I listen to Bishop FM online?
You can listen live to 105.9 Bishop FM by clicking the ‘Listen Live’ button in the top right of the screen. This will open a small radio player, and the free Adobe Flash Player is required to listen to the stream.
We are also gradually introducing podcasts to the website. Unfortunately we can’t reproduce the programmes exactly as they are on air due to music licensing, but we’re hopeful that the online content and podcasts will enable you to catch up if you missed a programme.