POSITION Non-Executive Director  
  AGE 52  
  BACKGROUND Back in the early seventies, when the only choice on radio was the BBC, be it local or national, and Steve Harris was a young reporter, specialising in TV and Radio, with the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, he first became aware of the possibility of starting a commercial radio station in the City. It was one of the first 19 locations identified by the then Independent Broadcasting Authority for on shore commercial radio in the UK. He founded a group in 1972 which was first known as a Committee for Radio Bradford, and later evolved into Bradford Community Radio Ltd. The group attracted influential support and financial backing across the local business community, as well as the enthusiastic support of local Yorkshire TV personality, Austin Mitchell and Terry Bate, then working to develop to first successful national sales house for ILR, Broadcast Marketing Services. He was also able to introduce one of the group's major backers, Standard Broadcasting. The company faced opposition from one other group, and in what was a very close decision, the award was made to Bradford Community Radio Ltd which went on air on September 16th 1975, as Pennine Radio, the tenth commercial radio station in the UK. After a four month attachment with Radio Hallam in Sheffield, in the early part of 1975, he returned to Bradford to play a major part in the launch of the new station, helping with the choice of city centre premises, staff recruitment, choice of advertising agency and launch campaign, press and public relations, programme planning and even the design of the newsroom. The station launched on September 16th 1975 and quickly achieved a reach of 35% within a year. From its first year, the company achieved comfortable profitability. Steve worked at various times as deputy news editor, political editor - hosting the weekly political phone-ins and covering all local politics for the station - sports editor, features editor and throughout the period presented the station's two hour classical music programme on Sunday evenings. He continued as an active director of Bradford Community Radio Ltd until its acquisition by the Metro Radio group in 1988. In 1980, after turning down jobs at Tyne Tees TV in Newcastle and ATV in Birmingham, he accepted a job as an on screen reporter for what was then Southern TV. He worked on the nightly news magazine programme Day By Day, before transferring to TVS, when they won the South of England franchise. He worked on their multi award winning nightly regional news magazine programme Coast To Coast until they in turn lost the franchise to Meridian in the 1991 auction. At the end of the franchise period, he did not continue with Meridian and left to pursue other interests, the first of which was to put together and lead a consortium which applied for the re-advertised Bournemouth licence held by 2CR. In the event, the group, Prime Radio Ltd, came very close to winning that licence and at the time the Radio Authority noted that, in this instance, their decision was "a very close one" Shortly after that, a new licence for the Solent Region was announced, and building on the team and the experience that had been acquired in Bournemouth, a new consortium, Solent Regional Radio Ltd was created to bid for that licence. With the backing of established industry professionals, he was able to put together an application which combined an album orientated adult rock music format with top quality news, plus informed and conversational speech elements. Despite fierce competition from 11 other groups, the company was awarded the Solent franchise in September 1997 and launched as Wave 105 in June 1998. Following the success of Wave, he established Radio Enterprises Ltd with the support of Sir George Meyrick, the first financial backer of the Solent project, and previously a backer of Prime Radio and has since developed a range of radio and other media interests, both as an investor and as an active participant. He recently wrote the Westmorland Radio Ltd. application for the Kendal and Windermere licence, and is also involved in the development of local television services in the Solent Region, and elsewhere. In 1981, he helped to design and launch the Broadcast Journalism course at Highbury College in Portsmouth and taught part time on the course up till 1990. In 1992, he became a member of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. He also was part of the small team which wrote the NVQ standards for Broadcast Journalism around the same time.He is now Press Officer and Accreditations Secretary of the BJTC and as such is responsible for organising and leading accreditation visits to all current and prospective Broadcast Journalism courses across the UK. In 1993, he was appointed administrative secretary of the Federation of Entertainment Unions, which provides liaison and a common voice for the six TUC affiliated unions operating audio visual industries. He is an experienced media trainer and currently works for a range of organisations, including Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Probation, Isle of Wight Council and Human Resource Solutions Ltd He worked on dealership promotions and publicity for The Peugeot Motor Company from 1987 to 1999, and was host and presenter of more than 500 shows during that period, as well as providing a range of PR and promotional back up for much of that time. He is married with two children. His wife, Pat is Bradford born and bred, and they have many family and friends in Yorkshire.  
   
 

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