In February 1966 Radio Caroline's management company, Planet Productions Ltd. acquired the services (and financial investment capital) of a new full time working director, Philip Soloman, who had previously worked for Decca Records and had been an agent and concert promoter, mainly for Irish groups, including The Batchelors.
One of Soloman's early initiatives was to launch a record label -
However, the plans did not go ahead quite as envisaged -
However, in an argument over ownership of the obsolete transmitter Radio City was put off the air by a boarding party in June 1966 and Reg Calvert made threats of violence at a meeting with Project Atlanta and Radio London. In a subsequent incident Reg Calvert was shot dead by Major Oliver Smedley. (See Radio City for the full story).
In the light of this series of events the government felt forced to take some action and the Bill to outlaw offshore broadcasting stations -
The initial reactions from the offshore stations to the Bill were defiant, containing general expressions of determination to fight its introduction and continue broadcasting.
Radio Caroline condemned the Bill as "spiteful, unimaginative and a negation of basic freedom that seeks to put an outright ban on the enjoyment of 25 million regular listeners to offshore radio, without submitting any alternative proposals for satisfying the legitimate demand." At the same time the station engaged a public relations company to help it fight the legislation when Parliament reassembled in the autumn.
Meanwhile, Radio Caroline, having distanced itself from the Radio City affair by issuing a press release stating that all connections with Project Atlanta and Major Oliver Smedley had been severed in back in 1965, continued to consolidate and improve its own programme format, particularly on Caroline South.
Following the refurbishment of the Mi Amigo, the introduction of a new wavelength (259m) and a more powerful transmitter in May 1966 the output from Caroline South improved enormously under the guidance of a new Programme Director, Tom Lodge, who had brought down from the North ship by Ronan O'Rahilly. Tom Lodge recruited a new team of DJs and he introduced the same style to the South ship which had proved so successful already on Caroline North. As a result Caroline South started to sound a far more interesting radio station and more in touch with its audience's musical demands than had previously been the case.
Despite all these programming adjustments one big weakness still remained -
In August 1966 Ronan O'Rahilly engaged two consultants to revamp the Caroline Sales organisation and generate more advertising income for the station. Terry Bate and Alan Slaight (who had both worked very successfully in Canadian commercial radio) were charged with the task of selling airtime, creating commercial opportunities, promoting in-
One of the consultant's first objectives was to cut overheads and costs by drastically reducing the size of the Sales Department at Caroline House, while at the same time managing to achieve a larger volume of airtime sales. Bate was also credited with the introduction of one of the most successful sponsorship deals ever achieved by an offshore radio station -
Click on picture to enlarge
Radio Caroline Press Release following the shooting of Reg Calvert, June 1966
Click to enlarge
Caroline Cash Casino with Bill Hearne
1st July 1967
25th February 1966
At the beginning of 1967, I changed my work schedule; week-
This was my schedule for the rest of 1967, until 15th August.
Some weeks I never left this two square block area of Mayfair. Other weeks I travelled further afield and went out to the ships, usually flying myself in my own aircraft to the Isle of Man, the base for Radio Caroline North.
Ship and Location
Don’t forget to visit the Caroline Cash Casino Exhibition in the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the Ground Floor !