Cam FM

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CAM FM (Cambridge University Radio)
File:CAM97FM logo.png
City of license Cambridge
Broadcast area University of Cambridge & ARU
Frequency 97.2 MHz (FM),
CURintheBAR cable,
First air date February 1979
Format Variety - Music & Speech (Music: rock/dance/indie/pop, Speech: news/arts/debates/comedy)
Owner Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Student Radio Ltd

Cam FM (formerly known as Cambridge University Radio and later CUR1350) is a student-run radio station at the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. The station broadcasts on an FM frequency of 97.2 MHz and online. It currently broadcasts from Fitzwilliam College and Anglia Ruskin University after spending its first 32 years located in Churchill College. Cam FM used to hold the world record for the longest team broadcast marathon, at 76 hours.[1]

In 2009, Cam FM was awarded an FM Community Licence by UK Broadcasting Regulator OFCOM. The station, then known at CUR1350, took on its current name and launched its FM service in October 2010. Cam FM is registered with Companies House as Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Student Radio Limited.

Cam FM won Best Station at the Student Radio Association's Student Radio Awards 2007 as CUR1350.[2]


In early 1979, the student-run Cambridge University Broadcasting Society founded a radio station which was granted permission to install induction loops around the Cambridge colleges of Churchill and later New Hall, allowing residents to listen to Cambridge University Radio (as it was then known) over a short-range, mono, mediumwave broadcast. The station subsequently became CUR945.

Despite successfully applying for a number of short-term FM licenses, CUR lacked a way of continuously broadcasting to the University's students, and so struggled to achieve widespread popularity.

The explosive growth of the Internet, along with many colleges installing high-speed Ethernet connections in student rooms, prompted the station to launch a simultaneous webcast in 1998. This allowed students from throughout the University to listen whenever they were near a computer. In 2004, the internet audio webcasts were upgraded, and in 2005 an enhanced online player was launched.

Additionally, in 2002 the station successfully applied for a long-term, low-powered AM license[3] Broadcasting on 1350 kHz, the station was then known as CUR1350.

In 2006, CUR1350 launched a project to install a cable service to multiple sites across the University of Cambridge and ARU. Dubbed "CURintheBAR" the station is distributed via the universities' LAN network to receiving units positioned in student bars and cafes where it is relayed over loudspeakers.

In March 2009, the station was granted an FM Community Radio Licence by the UK regulator Ofcom, to become the only FM radio station targeting members of Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin University. Regular programmes from the rebranded Cam FM began on the new frequency of 97.2 FM in October 2010.[4]

Cam FM is financially self-sufficient via on-air and on-line advertising and yearly membership fees. Profits are invested back into the station to improve the service for listeners and the experience for station members. The station receives no funding from either university or any student union.[5]

Current broadcasts

Cam FM currently broadcasts continuously, with an automated playout system filling the intervals between live broadcasts. During term time, much of the station's output is live between the hours of 8am and 1am. Programmes are produced and presented by undergraduate and postgraduate students and alumni at both the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge campus of Anglia Ruskin University. A majority of programmes are specialist music shows (e.g. drum and bass, indie rock, UK garage), though others are aimed at a wider audience (e.g. their breakfast show, theatre/film review show, or local news coverage).

Most of the technology used by Cam FM is developed in-house (such as the automated playout system, computerised playout systems and audio routing in the studio) enabling the station to be built to specification.


In 2004 the station won four awards in the annual Student Radio Awards. The presenter Val Mellon (now heard on the national DAB station Core—see below) won a gold award for Best Entertainment Show, as well as a bronze award for Best Female. A further gold award was presented to the station for Technical Achievement, in recognition of the station's platform-independent webcast system. A silver award was also given to the station for Best Sports Programming, in respect of the station's live coverage of the annual Oxford vs. Cambridge rugby union Varsity match. Sports coverage also earned the station a silver award in 2003, for their annual coverage of the May Bumps—an inter-collegiate rowing competition held on the River Cam.

In 2005 CUR1350 was nominated for 4 awards, the 2005 awards seeing twice as many competing entries as the previous year. The nominations for CUR1350 were: Technical Achievement - for the wireless internet link for the Bumps 2005 tannoy, Sports Broadcasting (Ed Bolton) - for The Sports Show including interviews with Chris Eubank, Specialist Music (Samuel Green) - for "Kol Cambridge" the UK's only broadcast Israeli/Jewish radio show, Station of the Year.[6]

In 2007, CUR1350 was nominated for a station-record of nine Student Radio Awards, making it the most nominated station of 2007[7] . These were for Best Technical Innovation, three for Best Entertainment Programme (Charles Lyon's Weekend Breakfast, Jaine Sykes' Rock Paper Scissors and Ella Belsham and Alex-James Painter's Morning Glory), Best Specialist Music Programme (Tobias Bown's Volume 11), Newcomer of the Year (Jaine Sykes), two for Best Female Presenter (Katherine Godfrey and Jaine Sykes), and Station of the Year (Michael Brooks et al.). 2007 was a successful year for CUR1350 as it scooped a Bronze SRA for Best Entertainment Programme with Charles Lyons' Weekend Breakfast and a Gold SRA for Katherine Godfrey in the Best Female category. CUR1350 also won Gold for Station of the Year for the first time in its 29-year history.[2]

In 2008, CUR1350 was nominated for Station of the year, Specialist Music (Sandy Mill), Outside Broadcast (The May Bumps) and Best Station. The station won Gold for Best Chart Show (Presenter Charles Lyons, producer Martin Steers). This was also the SRA national chart show's inaugural year.

In 2009, CUR1350 received two nominations at the Student Radio Awards. These were for Best Student Radio Chart Show (Tobias Bown and Simon Ruggles) and for Best Event/Outside Broadcast for the May Bumps 2009.[8]

In 2012, Cam FM were awarded a bronze for Best OB/Live event in respect of their coverage of the 2012 May Bumps rowing competition.[9] Cam FM were also nominated for Best Speech for the Fo' Show, and the Best Station award.[10]

The Kevin Greening Award is named in honour of the late BBC Radio One presenter whose career in radio started at CUR.[11]


Several of the station's members have subsequently achieved considerable success in the wider world of radio & television broadcasting. Notable examples include:

  • Anne Morrison, Director of the BBC Academy, was previously the Programme Director of the Network Supply Review. She worked as a director and producer on numerous factual and documentary BBC TV programmes. She became Head of Features in 1994 and subsequently ran a range of factual television and radio departments at the BBC. In 2006 she was appointed Controller, Network Production, BBC Television. In July 2014 Anne became Chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).[12]
  • Jane Ellison, one of the original founders of the Cambridge University Broadcasting Society, is now Commissioning Editor for General Factual Programmes at BBC Radio 4.
  • Simon Cooper, also one of the founders of the society, was the Group Public Affairs Director of the GCap radio conglomerate before leaving to establish a public image consultancy firm.
  • David Clouter, another of the original founders and CUR's first ever presenter in 1979,[13] returned to the station in 2010 to present a weekly rock show. In the interim, David spent 15 years in BBC National Radio and subsequently set up digital station TotalRock with the late Tommy Vance.[14]
  • Colin Philpott, another founder of the Cambridge University Broadcasting Society, is Director of the National Media Museum. He previously worked for the BBC where during his 24-year career he fulfilled a number of roles as reporter, producer, documentary maker and editorial manager. His last post before leaving the BBC was Head of BBC Yorkshire.
  • Ellie Buchanan (aka Woodstock Taylor), also one of the founders of the Cambridge University Broadcasting Society, was a freelance BBC presenter for many years and now works as a singer and songwriter.
  • Andy Gillies was the co-presenter of CUR's first sports programme. He moved to Hereward Radio (later Mid Anglia Radio) where he became programme director. He later joined BBC Radio Sport, and was editor (radio sport) from 1994 to 1996. Andy is currently working as a freelance sports reporter.[15]
  • Tony Johnson, another member of the original team, designed and built CUR's original transmission system in 1979, and went on to work with Tim Berners Lee at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and in 1992 designed MidasWWW, one of the first ever web browsers. He continues to work on browser development at SLAC.
  • Peter Rumney, another founder, is an award winning playwright, director & poet. His play Jumping on my Shadow won the Arts Council England Best Play Award 2002 and the John Whiting Award.
  • Kevin Greening, a presenter on BBC Radio 1 throughout the latter half of the 1990s, went on to present on 102.2 Smooth FM, which broadcasts across Greater London, until his untimely death aged 44 in December 2007.
  • Matt Fincham produces Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show.
  • Chris Berrow is a presenter at BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
  • Matthew Price is now the BBC's Europe Correspondent, having previously been BBC's New York Correspondent and Middle East Correspondent.
  • Spencer Kelly is presenter of the BBC TV programme Click Online and formerly presenter on Ocean FM broadcasting across Portsmouth and Southampton.
  • Kate Arkless-Gray, station manager from 2001 to 2003, is now editor at Audioboo and a freelance radio-producer/broadcast journalist.[16]

The station once held annual alumni days, on which former members were invited back to once again produce and present shows for listeners within the University.

Notes and references

External links

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