Hard times and the launch of LBC/IRN

LBC/IRN launched at possibly the worst moment (1973) to start a new commercial venture, depending as it did on advertising revenue at a time when the British economy was in difficulties. This list of economic troubles included:

“The Middle East war, which led to a quadrupling of oil prices, had just begun, and the Prime Minister Edward Heath launched his controversial Phase Three prices and incomes policy. Shortly afterward, a miners strike led to widespread power blackouts, and to the country’s being put on a three day week.” (Rudin 2004, p876)

The economic pressure did not let up during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with a balance of payments crisis (1976), strikes during the Winter of Discontent (1978-79) and mass unemployment. LBC/IRN as a company faced a constant financial struggle with difficult industrial relations. Not unsurprisingly LBC/IRN had an interest in reporting on economic conditions [ audio clip ], industrial conflicts [ audio clip ] and the growing unemployment statistics [ audio clip ]. The reporter in the last clip, John Perkins, then LBC’s industrial correspondent, went on to become Managing Editor of LBC/IRN in 1982, Editor in 1986 and Managing Director of IRN in 1989. A period that coincided with an a general economic improvement and financial success for IRN. John Perkins has also voiced his support for the LBC/IRN Digitisation Project.


Rudin, R., 2004. London Broadcasting Company. First British Commercial Radio Station. IN: Sterling, C.H. ed. Museum of Broadcasting Communications Encyclopedia of Radio. Vol. 2., 876-877.


1 comment so far

  1. Fiona Wilson on

    The economy certainly seems to be a recurring theme and although some things are very different such as the numerous long drawn-out strikes and wage negotiations others seem to be still topical although i have yet to hear the term credit crunch on one of the tapes!

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