Crisis funding for independent radio in Devon

by Radio Exe in Exeter, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 30th October 2020 we successfully raised £45,919 with 283 supporters in 37 days

Save local independent radio in Devon! As national brands take over many stations, we want to keep Radio Exe local.

by Radio Exe in Exeter, England, United Kingdom

Radio Exe is Devon’s only independent radio station, and one of the few left in the UK. Truly local, we broadcast from studios in Exeter - on 107.3FM across Exeter, Mid and East Devon, and a broader part of the county on DAB digital radio. Run by local people, we play music from the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll to the current day, with programmes packed with Devon’s news and information. Our high-quality independent journalism, on-air and online, is unmatched by any other broadcaster in the south west. We've had to change news output during the pandemic; a successful Crowdfunder campaign will help us increase Devon's news coverage again.


Radio Exe isn’t like most other radio stations. As other stations have turned into national brands and closed their Devon bases, we took the opposite approach. Local people bought the station from a London-based broadcaster in 2011 and we’ve been running it ever since. We don’t make a profit and we invest heavily in local programmes and local news.

We're truly local: presented by people who live in, and love, Devon

Just eight people who live in and love the county run Radio Exe, helped by some wonderful volunteers. Being locally owned, and not controlled by global media giants, comes with advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, we’re close to our audience so we produce programmes and online content aligned to what Devon people tell us they want. On the downside, we have high costs that can’t be diluted by running a national network. Whilst the national groups have closed local studios, Radio Exe keeps creative jobs local and buys from local suppliers. Over an average month, we reach a wide, loyal audience of about 50,000 adults on air and 115,000 people online.

Why we're crowdfunding

The coronavirus crisis has hit Radio Exe hard. All our revenue comes from advertising. In normal times about 85 per cent is from local businesses, in the leisure, tourism and hospitality sectors, the very ones hit hardest by the crisis. As a result, they’ve been unable to advertise as usual. The knock-on effect for Radio Exe is severe. 


We’ve adapted, of course. Against all our instincts, we’ve reduced our programming, losing some loyal people from our already small team. We’re more than sad about that, but we hope the changes have only a small impact on our audience. Now we’re fighting to maintain our independence. That’s where we need your help.

The funding gap

Radio Exe costs half a million pounds a year to run. We need to raise £50,000 to plug the gap we'll see between now and February 2021 (and £82.5k a month or two later) by which time indications are that, unless there’s a significant second wave of the virus, the advertising market may have recovered. If we can raise a higher amount, we’ll also be able to offer new training courses, building on our success developing the next generation of broadcasting talent.

The last local commercial radio station standing in the south west

Recently broadcasting rules changed to favour national companies. In Devon, that's led to other local stations being bought by international groups and closing their Devon studios. Radio Exe could take steps to cut back to just three hours of local programmes on weekdays and nothing at weekends if we chose. But that would go against everything we're about, which is about providing Devon programmes for Devon people, even in the face of increasing competition from national well-resourced brands.


Our promise: the most music and Devon's news

Currently we produce 85 hours of local Devon programming a week, rather than the 15 which the regulator allows us to do. We publish about 50 local stories every week online too, which generally reaches more than 100,000 people a month, plugging the gap in local journalism that's arisen as national newspaper groups also cut back their local content.

If we stay local, we'll continue to play a greater breadth of music than other similar stations. Every week, Radio Exe plays about 1,250 different pieces of music; that's double the station that's just turned into a national brand in Torbay and three times the number of the national brand in Exeter. 

The precarious situation

The sad reality is that the pandemic has meant our growing audience hasn't led to greater financial stability. It's more precarious than ever. So if you can make a pledge, choose a reward and join our listener club, you'll be helping keeping your local radio station independent so we can serve Devon's listeners in the way national brands can't. After all, you don't know what you've got till it's gone.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£15 or more

Radio Exe face mask

The epitome of style, your Radio Exe face mask will mark you out as one of Devon’s fashion icons - and you’ll be helping your favourite station too!

£10 or more

Radio Exe Listener Club member

Join our club with a year's membership and receive a monthly update from Radio Exe. We'll add your name to our website's Roll of Honour - with our thanks for making a contribution towards Radio Exe maintaining its independence.

£20 or more

Member of the day song

Member of the day! Your song played in our member of the day slot with your dedication (subject to editorial approval). We'll try to select your preferred date too if you have one, although that can't be guaranteed. You'll also be named on our website's Roll of Honour, if you'd like that, along with the song you've chosen. Let's see how many people share your taste in music!

£25 or more

14 of 25 claimed

Wednesday weather kid

Devon's weather, presented by your favourite child! We'll script the weather bulletin for them, all they need to do is read, using a smartphone app or by popping to the studio. It's not live, and we'll make them feel good, even if the weather is bad. It's broadcast once on a Wednesday after school and they'll get a recording to send to granny too.

£30 or more

You're on our Christmas special!

Say hello to someone and tell us why your chosen track means something special by recording a clip for the Radio Exe Listener Club Christmas show (subject to editorial approval of the music and your link). You'll be brilliant! And we'll add you name to the Roll of Honour, if you'd like that.

£35 or more

Personal video message

A personal video thank you message by one of our presenters emailed to you. Tell us who you'd like us to say hello to, and we'll do that in the video too. Plus your song on our member of the day slot on air and your name added to our online Roll of Honour.

£35 or more

7 of 35 claimed

The evening weather gig

Devon's weather, presented by you! We'll script the weather bulletin for you, all you need to do is read! Don't worry, it's not live, and we'll give you a bit of spit and polish if needed. Tell your friends and family, and a career in weather forecasting could be on the cards (future career not included)! This reward can be done remotely using a smartphone mobile app or at the Radio Exe studios.

£40 or more

Radio Exe goodie bag

Bag yourself a bag! This exclusive, practical and cool tote bag with our striking, understated logo will leave your friends in no doubt of where your listening loyalties lie - and that you value music from the dawn of rock 'n' roll to the current day, as well as Devon's news. It's also got a Radio Exe T-shirt, face mask, pen and sticker in it. And we'll add you name to the Roll of Honour, if you'd like that.

£50 or more

The evening news headlines

If you've always wanted to be a newsreader, here's your chance. We'll draft the news headlines - they last about a minute - and you record them, either at home on a smartphone mobile app, or at the Radio Exe studios. The headlines are broadcast at 7.30pm weekdays. We'll send you a recording too of how it sounded on air.

£60 or more

9 of 60 claimed

Radio Exe Christmas drinks reception

You and a guest can enjoy Christmas drinks at the Radio Exe studios, as we host our Listener Club Christmas reception. It comes with a Radio Exe goodie bag too.

£107 or more

Radio Exe VIP member

Become a top-notch Listener Club member. With access to half-price vouchers 24 hours before others, the chance to enter Radio Exe competitions twice, an invitation to our members' reception for you and a guest, an on-air birthday greeting with a song of your choice (subject to editorial agreement) for either you or a friend; plus your name in the online VIP Listener Club hall of fame. All that and a goodie bag too.

£107 or more

3 of 48 claimed

"It's my party 1!"

You choose the music! “It’s my party” is one-hour of your music on Saturday night while you have a party at home (subject to government guidelines, of course. You could get everyone to listen in their own homes - and share the experience that way). With name-checks and dedications, if you want them. Subject to editorial approval and availability of date.

£173 or more

1 of 26 claimed

"It's my party 2!"

Your own one-hour Saturday night show on Radio Exe. You choose the music and record seven links, so you really are the presenter. Get your friends together at home to enjoy the music and congratulate, or tease, you! (subject to government guidelines, of course, but they could listen to you at home).You'll record the programme at Radio Exe with our help. Makes a great present too - and comes with a Radio Exe face mask to spare your blushes.

£373 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Studio session: presentation or news

If you've dreamed of becoming a radio presenter or broadcast journalist, here's your chance to learn in a professional broadcast environment. With the help of a studio engineer, your morning or afternoon session will give you hands-on experience at putting together a radio show or news bulletin. We'll tailor the session according to what you want to learn and you'll take away a recording and certificate of completion. Suitable for 1 or 2 people.

£1,073 or more

2 of 15 claimed

Exe Business One-Star Package

This package offers 15 per cent off your marketing campaigns, one single-voiced commercial, with 70 transmissions; logo and link on our online Devon business directory (approx 100,000 unique monthly users), all for 12 months. Plus an edition of 'It's my party 1' for you to give to a member of your staff or family. Not available via advertising agencies.

£2,073 or more

5 of 10 claimed

Exe Business Two-Star Package

This package offers 20 per cent off your marketing campaigns, two-voice commercial, with 140 complimentary transmissions. You'll also be listed on our online Devon business directory (approx. 100,000 unique monthly users) with a link to your own website . All for 12 months. We'll also present a one-hour show from your Devon premises, or double your complimentary transmissions.

£4,073 or more

3 of 10 claimed

Exe Business Three-Star Package

This package offers 30 per cent off your marketing campaigns, two-voice radio commercial with 350 complimentary transmissions. Listing on our online business directory (approx 100,000 unique monthly users) with a link to your own website. All for 12 months. We'll also present a one-hour show from your Devon premises, or double your complimentary transmissions. Plus an edition of "It's my party 1."Not available through advertising agencies.

£10,730 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Exe Business Platinum Package

This package offers 50 per cent off your marketing campaigns, a two-voice commercial with 700 transmissions, a dedicated web page on our website. All for 12 months. We'll also present a two-hour show from your premises and a studio tour/drinks reception for up to 30 of your staff. Not available through advertising agencies.

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