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New Live 89.5 station manager hits airwaves

PHUKET: Live 89.5 FM’s new station manager Steve Johnston brings a wealth of international radio experience to the team, and plans on using that experience to improve the station.

By Claire Connell

Monday 14 May 2012, 02:02PM

Steve Johnston.

Steve Johnston.

Steve replaces former station manager Ryan Jon who left last month to work in Australia.

“I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty – but it will be a softly, softly approach. I’m not going to come in and shake everything up. I want to organically move the station along, give it a shape, and strengthen the product.”

Steve is hosting the station’s new Lifestyle show, which runs from midday to 3pm weekdays. Sam Clarke has taken over the Breakfast show from 7am to 11am weekdays, while Jason Wilder remains the host of the Drive show, from 3pm to 7pm weekdays.

Steve’s Lifestyle show is conversational, lively, and often brings guests into the studio.
He also plans to keep things simple, saying that many listeners have English as a second language and he wants to get the whole community involved.

“It’s not just about the expats, it’s about the island’s listening audience.”

Also important to the station’s continued success is its relationship with The Phuket News, he says, and he wants to connect the two more closely.


The Brit has spent 20 or so years working in radio, including the last five based in Dubai and around the Middle East.

Steve’s first job was working for CBS Records (now Sony Music) in the UK, working as a promotions manager for 12 years and looking after artists such as George Michael and Bruce Springsteen.

In 1997 he moved to Dubai and helped set up two national English language radio
stations, Radio One and Radio Two, plus Rock Radio UAE, as well as a stint working as a DJ on a cruise liner.

He also took on a job with the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) in the Falkland Islands, which included postings to Kosovo, Iraq, Cyprus and Serbia, where he worked on the troops’ inhouse radio stations.

Steve is mad keen on football – he supports Everton in the English Premier League as well as his local team the Tranmere Rovers, based near Liverpool.

He’s also a qualified English FA referee at non-league level and is looking forward to getting involved in the island’s sports scene.



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