@johnco online

the internet home of John Collins

JC at work

I started working January 1985 as an Audio Assistant at BBC Scotland in Glasgow. That was 8 years after my first outing as a presenter on my local hospital station Radio Royal.

Aged 22 in 1985 in the ‘Type D’ Con at Wood Norton.

Check the cart wall of Radio 1 jingles and upside-down faders!

The BBC has a wonderful thing – attachments. This meant that I got to work on a number of programmes on TV & Radio as a sound guy, but also to produce and present them.

JC in G9 at Queen Margaret Drive in Glasgow.

So in 1987 I did my first stint in news, working on Radio Scotland’s “Good Morning Scotland” as a Producer and in later in 1990 in what was then known as “Light Entertainment”, producing and presenting a number of programmes for Radio Scotland and the initial version of Radio Five.

Radio Forth: Presenter, June 1992 to January 1996. Production co-ordinator, May 1994 to January 1996.

I joined in June 1992 to present the 1800-2200 slot on what was then known as Radio Forth RFM!

It was fun, but not as much fun as putting together “Hot In The City”, Forth’s coverage of the Edinburgh Festival. Unusually for an FM music station, HITC won the Sony Gold Award for best Arts Magazine in 1994, and set a number of broadcast careers into overdrive. Presenters included Lisa Kerr, Edith Bowman and Kevin Brady . Not bad for a show that was fuelled by enthusiasm and Guinness!

Wearing a tie at Q fm.

As PD in 1997. I had to wear a tie occasionally.

96.3 Q fm

Programme Controller, January 1996 to August 1997.

Programme Director, August to December 1997.

Managing Director, January 1999 to September 1999.

Q fm, serving a million adults in West Central Scotland was the first acquisition the Independent Radio Group made, doubled it’s audience in three years from 64,000 to  130,000 adults every week (RAJAR, Quarter 1&2, 1999)  with “The Best Music” and a genuine commitment to Paisley & Renfrewshire. After a spell in the wilderness, it’s clawed its way back on top in Paisley & Renfrewshire, broadcasting as Q96 again, but following a change of ownership in autumn 2006, it’s been reformatted as a rock station, broadcasting from Bailieston.

Scot FM: Programme Director, January 1st to December 31st 1998

Seems such a short time ago! I’m one of the dozen or so programmers to have had a go – and luckily came up with the formula that was to provide IRG with it’s best audience figures. Scot FM is now rebranded “Real Radio”, offering much the same programming as the old station with they same key personnel. It’s now quite successful…

Beat 106: Launch Consultant from October 1999 Programme Controller from 1st March 2000 to July 2000

Beat started out with the premise that Scotland didn’t just need a ‘youth’ station, but it needed a station that somehow fused the dance & rock camps and adopted a left-field approach. The initial format was so successful that it achieved it’s year three audience levels in just six months. The downside is that stellar achievements attract attention and now it’s part of a larger group. None of the original programme and management team are still associated with the company, which is now known as Capital Scotland.

Kingdom: July – December 2000 ‘Swing’ Presenter – Kingdom FM

I really enjoyed being a presenter and not a manager for a while, though ‘show & go’ was never my cup of tea! I only meant to dep one show and ended up covering every show on the weekday line-up over a six month period! Kingdom is hugely successful – reaching over 30% of it’s service area every week. During my time on the station I also realised that they have a huge unmeasured audience in Edinburgh. It’s a straightforward local radio station that gets on with playing the music and I love it.

Dalet: Jan 2001 – August 2001 Managing Director – UK Radio

Click on the logo to find out what they do. I managed the UK operation and specialized in radio & news including BBC stations and the mighty EMAP group. If you want to email then – info@dalet.com and tell them you linked from this page!

JC on air at Clan FM.

Clan FM: Managing Director: August 2001 – October 2003

Clan was UKRD’s most northern outpost. Most recently rebranded “107 The Edge”, it served Lanarkshire from studios in Newhouse before collapsing. The license was sold to another operator who opened ‘L107’, which is no longer on air…

Having decided I didn’t want to do radio any more, I was coaxed back to Scotland to “sort out” the station, which had had a difficult first two years.

Whilst there I assembled a team that more than doubled revenue and took audience levels to the best in the licence’s history – 33,000 listeners a week (RAJAR, Q1, 2003).

Whilst with UKRD in Scotland, I was a member of the groups that applied successfully for the West Lothian licence, now on air as “River FM” and unsuccessfully for the Glasgow FM licence which was awarded to SAGA.

Freelance: October 2003 to January 2008

Then I started having the most fun I’ve ever had at work, with only myself to answer to!

My work split into 3 compartments. firstly I teach media (mostly radio) at Reid Kerr College. In fact in August  2006 I took up a 0.5 staff post at RK, where I’ve not only delivered HN units but also worked out of the college delivering a pilot course for Skillset at Awaz FM. The latter won a national training award in 2008.

I also produced radio programmes for the BBC at Neon Productions – notably ‘Brand New Country’ and ‘Asian Overground’ for Radio Scotland and a documentary for Radio 2 – ‘Birmingham to Bollywood’ for Neon Productions in Glasgow.

Another project has been ‘Lesley: On the Bike’ for Feisty Productions and BBC Radio Scotland. You can find out more – and listen to the programmes – by going here.

Through Neon I managed delivery of the ‘Determined to Broadcast’ project, which I’ve been involved in from the outset.

I’ve been described as the busiest man in Scottish radio. That’s not true, but sometimes it feels like it!


“Extended Lecturer”: Reid Kerr College/ West College Scotland

…but still multi purpose!

The job at Reid Kerr became a full-time post in January 2008.

The responsibilities were as before, but being full-time I did a lot more. I taught on two courses – ‘NQ Introduction to the Creative Industries’ and ‘HNC Creative Industries: Radio Broadcasting’. I spent time with the SQA on the development and maintenance of both courses.

There was a lot of work looking after the college’s involvement with the Creative Loop. This lead to a number of interesting trips and missions – which you can keep up to date with on my Facebook page and on Twitter.


I’m back on the radio!

I grew jaded of the college work and it seemed to me that there was no real will to drive the radio program forward. Luckily in 2019  City of Glasgow College showed me how determined they were to commit to the medium and take an already excellent offering and drive it forward, so I jumped at the chance to join the team.

I still do cover work for Bauer City 2. You can also also hear me every weekday 4-7pm on Chris Country on their drivetime show.

As well as that I dep around the place, voicetrack a number of shows for the Hospital station I started at (Radio Royal) and pop up on podcasts too.

So you could say I’m still busy…