My Media Week: Steve Parkinson

Steve Parkinson: group managing director of National Radio at Bauer Media
Steve Parkinson: group managing director of National Radio at Bauer Media

In a week of soaring temperatures, Steve Parkinson, group managing director of National Radio at Bauer Media, celebrates the Rajar results with the Kiss crew, congratulates Frank Skinner on resigning to Absolute and resists the Shoreditch House pool.


Wake up miraculously again one minute before the radio alarm goes off at 5.30am, then listen to the headlines on Radio 4.

Followed by the usual cacophony of three radios all set to different stations in different rooms plus Sky news either on TV or iPad.

Literally, drag the dog (Mason) out of his bed for my 30 minute wake up walk round Tooting Common with ears plugged in.

With six national radio stations now under my remit, I’ve learned to listen to at least 10 minutes of each before reaching work, so that I have at least a couple of links or features to refer to when I bump into breakfast presenters. Must keep that one a secret.

Today I make a point of visiting Rickie, Melvin and Charlie in the Kiss studios &ndash Mason the dog in tow today – to congratulate them on their recent Rajar audience highs.

Everyone is rightly in high spirits. They present the number one commercial breakfast show in London right now, and with Melvin just announced as an Xtra Factor presenter, and Charlie smashing it onstage DJing at Isle of Wight Festival the other week, they are all on the up and up. Smiles and woofs all round.

Monday is check-in day with the programme directors and full of catch up meetings with all the teams.

Shoot off at 6pm sharp to the relaunch of the Radio Academy at Jamie's Fifteen with the fabulous Gloria Abramoff and Chris Burns from the BBC.

Glo and Chris’s messages about the new Radio Academy strategy are warmly received.  I’m announced as the chairman of the 30 Under 30 committee which I’m thrilled about.


Usual early morning of media madness. Today I throw into the mix the need to watch the new Sheridan Smith drama Black Work and get up at 5am to watch as much of the second episode as I can before walking the dog who still seems to sleep more than any human.

Seem to have a total of seven meetings today so it's a busy one, but I have a nice lunch on the cards.

Lunch with the very lovely Richard Huntingford, my ex-boss/CEO of Chrysalis. We are both on The Prince's Trust Trading Board so get together to chat round some of the early ideas for the Trust’s 40th anniversary next year.

Lunch at the Ham Yard Hotel. This is fast becoming the modern Ivy with various agency and media types hosting tables on all four corners. I have to confess that the Yard is probably my favourite restaurant at the moment.

Another night out, this time for charity. I'm invited to Future Dreams by Bauer CEO Paul Keenan and Philippa Brown from Omnicom who is a trustee.

This is a great charity aimed at tackling breast cancer full on. By the time the speeches are out of the way our party realise that we haven’t eaten, so we bail and run for sustenance at Shoreditch House.

The temperature out has hit 26 degrees and everyone else seems to be jumping in the pool to cool off. I decide not to as the boss is in tow.


Agent and talent meetings today – always fun to chat round new ideas for shows and to look at what talent are up to.

I meet the lovely Jess from a talent agency about a range of TV and radio ideas for 2016. We find ourselves already talking about Christmas specials, just as the hottest July day on record starts to build outside.

Being Aberdonian, I hate any temperature above 25 degrees so I get a little ratty.

Downstairs I bump into Denise Van Outen who has come in to prepare her Saturday show for Magic, and she immediately brightens my day. Bubbly, down to earth and always has a great story to tell.

I complete my talent day by penning a quick note to Frank Skinner and his production team at Absolute Radio following his re-signing.

This is great news for the station as he’s a huge pull with listeners and advertisers alike.

I’m home to watch rest of Black Work, but get distracted by Long Lost Family and watch that instead. Total manipulative tear jerker – love it.


I have interviews most of today for a new position at Kiss. I meet some great candidates and am impressed with the calibre. There's a difficult choice coming up.

I meet our news heads to work out logistics of the radio silence on Friday to remember the Tunisian victims. We're reminded that any silence for longer than a few seconds can go wrong in radio.

Emergency music tracks from the transmitters kick in, which would not be good for Remembrance Sundays or serious moments of reflection like this one.

We have to dig out the tape of light birdsong and distant traffic noise to ensure that Help By the Beatles doesn't suddenly blast out in the middle of a respectful silence.

The things we have to remember in radio.

In the evening I shoot off to catch Beautiful, the Carol King musical. Absolutely amazing and I've learned something new about how many bloody songs she actually wrote or sung.


Check in with an old colleague Andria Vidler (now CEO at Centaur) who needs some last minute talent to host an interview with Duran Duran at the Marketing Group of Great Britain.

Kate Thornton thank goodness is in London and steps in – great journalist and presenter. Thanks Kate.

I prep for a meeting for the forthcoming Celebration of Radio on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament, which will be rather nice.

It's not often these days that the Beeb and all the commercial media companies come together so hope the weather holds.

Leave on time and head home to walk Mason, looking forward to a night in.

The lowdown

Age: 48
Favourite media: Other than radio my trusted mobile
My biggest inspiration: My parents
Dream job: Imagineer at Disney
Not a lot of people know this about me... I used to have the same agent as Ant and Dec in Newcastle when I was a TV presenter in 1990


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