Updated: Wednesday, 16th October 2019 @ 4:53pm

'Inclusive brand for women': Presenter defends Radio X's 'sexist' male-focused rebrand

'Inclusive brand for women': Presenter defends Radio X's 'sexist' male-focused rebrand

| By Frankie Tobi

A female XFM presenter has rallied against protestations that the radio stations ‘male-focused’ rebranding is sexist.

An online petition has been created to save XFM Manchester from the axe, following last Monday’s unpopular announcement that the local radio station is to be rebranded Radio X.

The move will welcome the return of Chris Moyles to Breakfast Radio, and with Vernon Kay, Johnny Vaughan and Ricky Wilson also announced, it is being described as ‘the first truly male-focused’ station.

Speaking to MM last week, Hattie Pearson confirmed that she would indeed be making the switch to the newly titled Radio X, that she believes that the radio brand is ‘inclusive’ towards women and that she has been taken aback by the negative responses she has seen.

She said: "It probably has not been branded in the best way possible, but it is not stipulating that we do not think women like guitar music, or should not listen.

“XFM is more progressive than Absolute, TalkSport and so many others, and they are definitely an inclusive brand for women.

"Change is an inevitable thing, but everyone seems to freak out about it.

“A lot of people have got carried away with thinking that the music is changing.

“They don't realise that it is more of the same, but only bigger than ever.

"We will still have John Kennedy on X-Posure championing new talent, and Clint Boon, who if anyone knows him is "Mr Manchester", will still be presenting the Sunday evening show.

“The full schedule hasn't even been announced yet, so there are a lot of assumptions going on.

“All four of the women who were on the station previously – myself, Lliana Bird, Sunta Templeton and Jo Good – will all be on Radio X.

“No woman previously working at XFM has lost her job as a result of this rebranding."

The DJ who presented the Early Weekend Breakfast slot, will now host her programme every weekday, between 1-4am on Radio X, and is adamant that the change will be an overwhelmingly positive one.

"These are three massive heritage radio names and one massive rock star.

“This does not mean that Global think only men are good at doing radio, but it is what is right for the brand, and these guys probably suit it better.

“If you had told me three years ago I would be presenting on the same station as Chris Moyles, Vernon Kay and Johnny Vaughan, I probably would have punched you in the face!"

Stephen Miron, group CEO at Global, spoke of his pride of bringing ‘a completely new national music and entertainment property for 25-44 year old men to the market ‘.

But with several programmes due to be broadcast up from London, has the North West station that gave us Tim and Jim sold out to the South?

Twitter users would certainly think so, with people taking to the website in their droves to voice their disappointment.

One user, Dan Hulston, tweeted: "I've not seen one positive comment about this since its announcement, and rightfully so. If it's not broke etc..."

The petition, created four days ago on Change.org, calls for Global CEOs Ashley Tabor and Stephen Miron to tune into what XFM listeners have to say.

Fans of the station are signing to ‘say STOP to the XFM Manchester take over and keep the music we love alive!’

Created shortly after the announcement, the petition states: “We feel the station has 'sold its soul to the devil’.

“XFM Manchester play and promote local indie/alternative music and ensure that the music aired is what the listeners actually stand for."

Radio X will go live for the first time on Monday September 21, with Chris Moyles launching the station.

Image courtesy of wavelengthNI, courtesy of Youtube, with thanks.