Owen Williams interviews Tomasz Duda, CEO and Editor in Chief of Radio Wrocław.
Hello Tom, thanks for joining me today. Please tell me, what’s it like to be the CEO and Editor in Chief of Radio Wrocław?
Working for public media is very challenging, but also very rewarding, because every day is different. At the radio, we have the chance to change the region (and therefore the world), because every day our journalists are present at the events and incidents in Wrocław and in the region: we witness and report them. That gives us great opportunities along with a big responsibility.
The radio covers so many topics in, and relating to, this city. What have been some of the highlights for you?
I could say the Pope visiting, or some of the football events we have covered, but we are different to other media organizations. Our goal isn’t to have the biggest politicians, or celebrities from the world – we want to be close to the people here, in Lower Silesia. Our focus is on the residents of the city and region: normal people. The most important thing for me and the radio is the people; to be helpful and close to them is our aim. If we succeed in that, then that’s the biggest highlight for me.
I agree, public media should be focused on the people, trying to help them rather before anything else. Your company is also involved in many activities in addition to providing radio broadcasts. Which ones are your favourites?
Personally, the runners project. Why? Because as public media, our duty isn’t only to provide music and news. Part of our mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle, so we have developed a running project. We have a running team, host many competitions, and have over 25 marked running routes in the region. These routes are open for people to use all the time – they’re popular places for people to go out and exercise. We also organize events for the residents, with an emphasis on health and wellbeing – we’re not focused on the fastest runners, but on everyone having a good time (while being active).
Those events are in the running for being my favourite, too! I know you also regularly hear from the residents of Wrocław – is there something which your listeners often express discontent with?
That’s a simple question, because traffic and communication are the worst aspects of our beautiful city.
That’s true. Being stuck in a traffic is a good time to listen to the radio, though! Is there something that you would like to change in Wroclaw (apart from the traffic)?
I love the city centre. It’s a fantastic place that I’m proud to show to the visitors. However, I think suburbia should get more attention. Step out of the city centre and you’ll see development – a lot of residential development – but there needs to be a balance between residential and communal development, too. There should be more communication infrastructure, spaces for recreation, parks, and areas for children.
Ok, back to the radio. For people who don’t know, what type of music is played on your radio?
Actually, we have three stations: Radio Wrocław, Radio RAM, and Radio Wrocław Kultura. Radio Wrocław plays pop music throughout Lower Silesia. RAM is our city radio, it plays chill out, funk, and jazz. Our third station, Radio Wrocław Kultura , has a lot of variety; from rock to rap, jazz to classic. It promotes all culture.
From all of the stations, what’s the most popular show?
The talk show on daily from 12 – 1 pm. It is dedicated to helping listeners solve their problems. We invite people from specific areas like the government and encourage our listeners to call in with their questions and problems. Last year we broadcast about 2500 calls which our journalists tried to address and help with. We have a lot of calls and a lot of happy listeners.
I guess not many callers are foreign, so is there a particular show you’d recommend to foreigners living in Wroclaw?
Firstly, we play a range of globally popular music in a number of languages, which appeals to Polish and non-Polish speakers alike. We also give locally relevant information which is of importance to people living here, native or not. But, we also have a dual language show: I’d like to recommend Sunday Lunch on Radio RAM. It’s on Sundays, like the name suggests, and is provided by Terry Clark Ward from England, and Maciej Przestalski from Poland.
Yes, I like Sunday Lunch. I know Radio Wrocław is one of the oldest regional radio stations in Poland, but what things are coming up in the future?
In keeping with the modern, ever-developing world, our radio is changing, too. We have to recognize that radio consumption is changing – it’s not so popular in the home and office, like it was 20 years ago. Now more people listen in their cars and through their phones. To stay in-line with these changes, our radio is developing, too. We’re constantly working on our website, mobile application, and thinking about video, too.
Radio Wroclaw won an award last year – can you tell me about it?
„International Radio of the Year” at the annual European Radio Show. It’s a big conference in Paris, with a global competition for radio stations for around the world. We beat 100 other radio stations from all over the globe. The competition was judged on development, studios, website, music, and news: it covered all aspects of what we do here.
Congratulations! Finally, what is the English translation of your three radio stations? If you had to, how would you translate my name into Polish?
Radio Wrocław is the same in both languages. Radio RAM is just a name, so it’s also the same in English but the motto „w dobrym tonie” would translate to something like, „in good tones”. Radio Wrocław Kultura means Radio Wrocław Culture. As for your name, we don’t really have a Polish version name. You are Owen. Only Owen. But the word owen means „piekarnik”.
Only Owen, or the only Owen?!
Thank you, Tom.
Thank you, Owen.