I have recently decided to close the Concept php forum, as there is not enough interest and it was being invaded by spammers. For updates, you can join Tom Webb's eGroup, Concept World where you can either recieve email updates or view posts on line. Pirate Radio is slowly dying on Merseyside as there is no new blood coming into it. Unfortunately, this results in much of the programme content (and I am including myself in this) consisting of people talking about the old days of the 80's and even the Caroline days of the 1960's.
The 1980's was the heyday of pirate radio on Merseyside with MAR, SCR, Merseywaves and Jackie North. There is no point in playing the top 40 tunes nowadays, as most people in the that age group listen to iPods and don't bother with the radio. There is some interest in dance music but it's not on the scale of the 1990's when we had stations like Sound FM, CFM and Zee 100. The problem is, everything has been done before, so there's nothing new left to do. After the Pirate Radio revolution in the 1960's came Radio 1 but until the 1980's Radio 1 was only a part-time service on an inferior Mediumwave network which never had satisfactory national coverage. In 1988 Radio 1 was allocated an FM network and went full time but then a new boss was brought in who got rid of most of the original presenters in order to target a younger audience which was the end of Radio 1 as we knew it. Nowadays it sounds more like a London dance pirate station. As for the Merseyside scene, there were some succesful station who achieved their success through the club scene where club DJ's promoted the stations and organised nights out etc. These included Radio Jackie North, MAR, Radio Merseywaves and Storeton Community Radio. Unfortunately, their success was their downfall as the DTI, as it was then took them off the air gradually through a number of raids and in 1990, the Wireless and Telegraphy act virtually criminalised unlicenced broadcasting. Other stations managed to survive for years through infrequent appearances, but only the more successful ones had any significant listenership. Many station operators claimed to have had 30 letters a week but but that's a mythical figure in most cases. The best way to approach pirate radio as an operator is to regard it as a hobby.
London still has a pirate radio 'problem' but the London pirate stations are run by people who make money through advertising events etc. and are generally regarded as part of the criminal underworld by the authorities and by the legal stations.
Legal commercial radio nowadays mostly consists of music formats, which seem to come from playlist packages which are rotated daily. Many are syndicated at times. Dune FM on Merseyside and Central Radio in Preston often have the same music and presenter with the jingles and commercials seperated out for the individual transmitters by computer.
You don't really need many skills to be a DJ nowadays as it is often just a matter of clicking a mouse. Most commercial stations are just digital duke boxes with no individuality.