James Rea is Global’s Director of Broadcasting and Content. Promoted to the role in September 2019, James oversees all programming, content and output for Global’s radio brands – Heart, Capital, Capital XTRA, Smooth, Classic FM, LBC, LBC News, Radio X, Gold and Global’s Newsroom – as well as Global Player. James is also on the main Global Radio Board. James joined Global in 2011 as Managing Editor of LBC and Group Head of News for Global. Under James’ stewardship, he led the national roll-out of LBC, now the UK’s number one commercial talk brand. In the latest audience figures from RAJAR, 3.5 million listeners are tuning in to LBC across the UK each week, with the station celebrating its ninth consecutive record increase. Since it launched nationwide in 2014, LBC has more than doubled its audience. In August 2017, James also became Managing Editor of Global’s biggest brand, Heart. With 10.2 million weekly listeners, Heart is the UK’s most popular commercial radio brand – built on a winning formula of feel-good music and an all-star cast of presenters. James joined Global after five years at the Guardian Media Group where he was Deputy Group Programme Director for Radio following a stint at BBC Radio 1 as a senior journalist. Previously, James was News Editor at Real Radio Yorkshire (now Heart Yorkshire) and before then, Real Radio Wales (now Heart Wales) after beginning his career in regional television in 1999. James is a Director of the RAJAR board. He was named one of 30 Under 30 Young Directors by the Institute of Directors and one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential people and has won accolades at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards and the IRN Awards.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the birth of commercial radio in the UK which was officially launched by LBC, the news talk station, followed a week later by Capital. Both stations are owned by Global, the Media & Entertainment Group and the UK’s leading commercial radio company which reaches over 26 million listeners every week and has the top three commercial radio brands in Britain – Heart, Capital and Smooth. Not only does Global own the first ever commercial radio station, it recently launched the two newest radio brands in the UK - Capital Chill and Radio X Classic Rock. James Rea is responsible for broadcasting and content at Global across all live radio as well as Global Player which includes chart-topping podcasts like The News Agents. He’ll be joining John Simons in conversation to tell us about his career and life at Global.