When LBC split into two stations in October 1989 the FM station was, for a brief (6 months) and very unprofitable time called LBC Crown FM. The idea was to go head on for the Radio 4 audience with intelligent conversation and authoritative news coverage. At weekends there were a range of specialist programmes covering subjects such as medicine, the environment, arts and religion. Quite quickly it was clear that no one could out Radio 4 Radio 4.

The weekday schedule went something like:

0530 Finance Dawn Traders
0600 News Brian Widlake
0900 Discussion and Interviews Brian Hayes
1200 News Martin Young
1300 Discussion and Interviews Anna Raeburn
1500 News Richard Dallyn and Natalie Anglesea
1900 Arts Gill Pyrah

The station sounded incredibly pompous and international, posters on hoardings all round London had slogans like Capitalist Radio and Greed is Good, and it managed to turn the Company from profit to loss almost overnight.

At that time I was Science and Environment Correspondent for both LBC Crown FM and Independent Radio News – an interesting combination given that IRN was pacy and downmarket! The biggest problem was the way that news had to be written very formally with people’s titles so it was Mr Terry Waite. There were lots of special cases, for example no Mr for a convicted criminal (unless they had served their sentence) or for sportsmen.

For a while I presented a two hour Saturday afternoon Science and Environment programme World Outlook which was all very formal, but it did give me the opportunity to present phone-ins and to do long form interviews.

The station was quite short-lived and by mid-1990 had quietly slid into being LBC Newstalk.