Community Radio Awards 2019
Sage of the Year 2019
23 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5BX
Stationmanager@heartlandfm.co.uk 01796 474040
The original UK small broadcaster and is now the oldest community owned station in the UK
Sage of the Year 5 Minute audio clip
Howard Simpson is one of the original members of the Heartland FM team from 1992. Howard’s interested in Heartland began when he saw an advert to join the Heartland FM Team Howard came to Heartland FM, like most of the presenters, with no broadcasting experience, but putting forward the suggestion that he would like to help with religious broadcasting. Very soon after being shown how to use the radio equipment found himself being the co-presenter of very first edition of Heart and Soul. Howard’s background as a Systems Operations team member with Scottish Hydro Electric, saw him well placed to prepare, check and recheck his work before broadcast. The excitement of the station going on air for the first time grew, and Howard’s first broadcast was on Easter Sunday in April of 1992 of Heartland FM and he remembers the emotions of fear, anticipation, excitement, and expectations of bringing a new and unique radio station on air. The station was seen as an innovation being the first community owned radio station in the country, bringing together the rural community of Highland Perthshire with Howard being involved in the management committee and The Friends of Heartland FM, raising much needed funds for the running and publicity for the station Howard’s leadership with the Religious Broadcasting output from Heartland FM still continues 27 years later and now has a team of regular broadcasters bringing words and music of comfort and inspiration to our listeners Howard's love of music also brings our early morning Sunrise Programme to Heartland FM, this series began in late 2012 and brings back memories music for which he preferred to listen to rather than studying for his exams at school. Howard plays this likes of Glen Miller, Jo Stafford and Vera Lynn but also plays the likes of Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart and Robbie Williams who have also recorded tunes from The American Songbook. Our listeners appreciate the variety of styles and he has found a niche in playing music of the “older type” which is enjoyed by many. As the technology has changed, so has Howard’s skills from reel to reel taps, record decks and cassettes in the original studio to the introduction of mini discs, CD’s and now digital playout system, Howard’s skills have developed to include digital editing, which he does at home and sends programmes and music to the studio via the internet and Dropbox to ensure efficiency of work. As someone I (the station manager) has only known for a short period of time since I joined the station in late 2017, Howard’s dedication to our output, involvement in the religious broadcasting, courtesy and professionalism is an inspiration to us all. Howard volunteered this year to be part of our street team for our Valentine's Day Promotion proving to us all to prove that age is no barrier for being part of a successful team. Here’s to many more years on air at Heartland FM.