Robin Valk

Robin Valk

Radio To Go
Author, Producer, Host/presenter, Voice Artist, Music Supervisor and Sound Designer

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Member Since:
March 2014
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
Invites sent:
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About Robin

I have worked in music and music radio and, more recently, software and digital media, for well over 40 years.

I helped launch University Radio York, the UK's first college stationm in 1968. After graduation, I landed a gig at WPHD-FM in Buffalo, in upstate New York, who felt they could use an English accent on their Prog Rock FM format. There were few English broadcasters in the US at the time, and English music (especially Rock music) mattered to a US youth audience much more then than it does now. I stayed at WPHD for just over a year, during which time the station went to number 1 in the Buffalo market.

Back in the UK, I joined the new Independent Radio sector, moving to BRMB Radio in Birmingham, again as Rock DJ. My stint coincided with a host of music developments throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s: the end of ‘traditional' rock, the arrival and departure of punk rock, the 2-Tone movement centered on Birmingham and Coventry, the first wave of great Midlands Reggae bands in the 70s and 80s, and the growth of corporate rock and international megastars in the 80s and 90s.

I did shows for BRMB in all specialist and mainstream formats, and interviewed just about everybody there was to interview. Under my direction, BRMB embarked on a series of recording sessions of local bands, and this kick-started the careers of artists like UB40 and Ruby Turner. There was also close involvement with the CBSO, as, by the 80s, I was also presenting Classical shows. At the end my time at BRMB, I was Head of Music for two stations, Group Head of Research for all stations in the Midland Radio Group, and an acknowledged Selector expert.

Capital Radio bought the group in 1993, leading to a wholesale loss of jobs. I then formed the Radio To Go partnership (now simply Radio To Go), and started consulting. This took me to Bulgaria (FM-plus, Sofia) Scotland (Scot FM, where I built the database and implemented Master Control), Sweden (Selector training for the P4 network of local stations) and back home to Birmingham, where I produced the Radio 2 Overnight shows, a quarter of the station's total output, from the old Pebble Mill studios, over a five year period. This involved implementing playback software and building the first all-digital library and playout system at the BBC, and a quadrupling of the overnight listening figures.

When the Radio 2 Overnight shows returned to London, I took on training and database development for RTE Lyric FM, training staff in programming and scheduling at the Limerick-based national Classical Music and Arts station. This overlapped with more consulting work for Swedish Radio, work with a number of European stations, Program Director duties at Riviera Radio in Monte Carlo, and the start of a ten year stint with RCS, makers of Selector, at their New York head offices. I authored online help and produced training videos for RCS’s leading products from 2000.

While at RCS, I continued UK consult work, retraining the entire programming staff of the UTV regional network of stations in 2007/8, followed by the then Coast 106 in Southampton and Amazing Radio in Newcastle in 2008 to 2010. The newest members of my consulting portfolio are the Classical and Folk channels of Magyar Radio, Budapest, Hungary, and Bauer Media outlets Clyde 1 and Forth 1 in Scotland. The total number of station consult clients from 1993 to now is well over 70, across all formats and a range of scheduling and playout systems. ..

I am acknowledged a highly experienced Music Radio programmer. I have extensive format and market experience. To this I can also bring deep scheduling systems knowledge with established global leader RCS Selector / Master Control and UK-based PSquared AutoTrack Pro / Myriad. This system now has more installations in the UK than any other. I beta-tested the latest version of Autotrack Pro (version 4), and authored a new online help document for PSquared.

I still present occasionally, with DJ sorties at selected events. I produced a one-hour documentary, Handsworth Evolution, in 2010 for Birmingham Music Heritage. This was transmitted on several West Midlands stations, and in 2013, aired on PBS Radio in the USA.

2011 productions include In The Treehouse, and Steve Gibbons in the Studio, and in 2012, 360 at the Elephant House, all available through the blog pages at www.radiotogo.com. I am a big supporter of local music talent in the region, and I still believe that local music and local radio can be extremely good for each other.

For the past four and a half years, I have been working on a music archive programme for the British Library, which seeks to capture and document the best new British online music. The first experimental website, the Pilot Project, launched in November 2010.

I am based in Birmingham, a great city from which to build a national and international client roster. I speak passable German, and am fluent in French.

Unique traits: Massive radio and project management experience. Solid voicing experience. Ability to see the big picture.

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