On The Radio: Where Have All The Women Gone?

This weeks Radio Times’ cover story reads “The Top 40: We reveal the most powerful people on radio”, and the cover features the top 4: Jonathan Ross, Terry Wogan, Chris Moyles, and John Humphries. Turn the page over, and editor Gill Hudson, is asking, at the prompting of Andy Kershaw, why is there such a lack of women on the radio? Of the full list of 40, only six are women. Radio 5’s Jane Garvey is at number 9, Radio 4’s Harriet Cass and Fi Glover are at 17 and 18, Radio 4’s Martha Kearney is at 29, Radio 2’s Sarah Kennady is at 28, and Radio 4’s Jenni Murray is at 39. What surprises me, possibly more than the lack of women in the list, is the lack of range of the list. Most of those listed are presenters first and foremost, that is, personalities on legs, like Jonathan Ross, like Chris Moyles. Of the rest, the majority are journalists, and it’s into this second bracket that most of the women listed slot into. Out of the whole list, there are only three what could be termed “specialist” music DJ’s: Zane Lowe, Tim Westwood, and Andy Kershaw. Fair play to Andy Kershaw, but I’ve heard Zane Lowe’s and Tim Westwood’s shows, and they also seemed to be more about front, and personality, than good music, so, the question I ask is: Where are all the good specialist DJ’s? oh yeah, and how come there aren’t any women? Annie Mac on Radio 1 is O.K I suppose… On a related point, I also think Fi Glover should have scored higher, if only because her technique for winding up politicians is so much more entertaining than John Humphries.