Lisa McLean, station manager at Ara City Radio, looks back at a year of change at the English-language broadcaster and ahead to possible changes in the media subsidy law.
Duncan Roberts: Ara City Radio underwent some personnel changes in its presenter line-up in 2018. What makes for a good radio presenter and how does Ara City continue to engage with its diverse listenership?
Lisa McLean: A good radio presenter has to have a positive and perhaps quirky outlook in life. They should be inquisitive, specifically about Luxembourg, but also about the world generally. Wherever possible, as a station, we try to get involved in community events, but at the same time we have taken the virtual world of radio into the real world by creating the Ara City book club and a film club, In this way listeners have the opportunity meet up and socialise. Sam, Marina and Elliot have also launched a podcast, which is a fun way for listeners to hear their “off-air” thoughts, and how they interact with each other. We have done a couple of outside broadcasts that have gone well, so hopefully we can to do more of those next year.
DR: What was your personal highlight of the year?
LM: Getting my Luxembourgish nationality was definitely a highlight. I was really excited to go and complete the paperwork. It was, however, more emotional than I anticipated. I had a sense of turning my back on Scotland, but then I realised that my kids have probably always felt conflicted about their nationality. For the first time ever, we all have the same passport. A highlight at Ara City was Sam’s 32 hour marathon show. We are trying to convince Elliot to do one next year… so far no confirmation.
DR: Did any cultural, social or business event in Luxembourg stand out for you?
LM: Oh my, how do I choose? I really enjoyed Anne Simon’s production of “Kindertransport” and I think [den Atelier’s] Siren’s Call festival is a great addition to Luxembourg’s cultural calendar. You guys and Paperjam do a great job of mixing business and social, Delano Live works well like that.
DR: Where did you enjoy your best meal of 2018?
LM: My kids all made a surprise visit to Luxembourg for my birthday and we had a lovely meal at Um Plateau. Ambience, food and company… top notch.
DR: What are your hopes for the Luxembourg media landscape in 2019?
Prior to the election there was a new media bill proposed that should provide more security for some of the smaller media players. With the continuation of the coalition this is likely to go ahead, so hopefully this is good news for independents like us.