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Radio role will be a Breeze for Celador's new Thames Valley Region managing director
Radio role will be a Breeze for Belinda... A ONE-time auctioneer is now bidding to take The Breeze radio station to the next level.
Belinda Allen has joined Celador Radio as managing director for the Thames Valley Region.
She is based at The Thames Valley Broadcast Centre, in Festival Place, where she is in charge of The Breeze Basingstoke & North Hampshire, The Breeze Andover, The Breeze Newbury and The Breeze East Hampshire & South West Surrey.
No stranger to the area, Belinda grew up in Newbury and has returned to this neck of the woods after being away for 27 years.
“I know the area really well, but obviously in 27 years, it has changed dramatically, especially Basingstoke,” she said. “Now it seems to be an incredibly vibrant place. Festival Place itself seems to be a really buzzing shopping centre – it’s always busy so I’m certainly very impressed.”
Belinda has been involved with commercial radio for 15 years, but has enjoyed three very different careers.
“My very first job when I was 18 was in Kingsclere, where I trained as an auctioneer,” she said.
“I was 19 when I qualified and I was the youngest female auctioneer in the country.
“Having had children, I then went into publishing, and from there I went into radio.”
Belinda brings with her considerable experience in local radio.
She was previously the managing director of Orchard FM, now called Heart, in Somerset, before she moved on to work for the CN Group, in Cumbria, where she was station director for Lakeland Radio and also Citybeat, in Belfast.
Full of energy and keen to get on with her new role at Celador Radio, Belinda said: “I’m a local radio specialist so my brief, as we expand and get bigger, is to ensure that we are still delivering to our local audiences.
“We are consolidating what we have got as Celador has gone through a very rapid period of growth, in that it now owns 18 different licences across the south. We will be making new appointments in terms of new presenters locally – in fact we have a new presenter who we will be announcing in September.
“One of the things we are really keen to expand is local events and, of course, we’ll still continue our Connecting Biz networking events – that’s really important to us.”
Belinda praised former station manager Sue Reynolds, who has left Celador but is soon to take up her new role as managing director of Reading 107.
Belinda said: “I think it’s important that the work she’s done here is recognised and certainly in the business community. I think she has left a good legacy.”
Last September, Celador Radio acquired the licence of Kestrel FM, which had broadcast across Basingstoke for 14 years, from Tindle Radio Group.
Celador Radio is part of Celador Entertainment, whose chairman is Paul Smith – the man behind TV hit Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
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