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Paul Chantler (born 12 October 1959) is a radio programming consultant based in the United Kingdom. He has been involved in the radio industry for more than 30 years as a journalist, presenter, producer and programmer.
He currently runs his own radio programming and consultancy company. While senior partner at United Radio in London, he worked with companies in the UK, Ireland, Europe, and India. He has also worked in Australia and the United States. Major assignments have included working for GMG Radio on their Smooth Radio brand as well as work on projects with radio groups in India.
He founded a startup company in 2011 called Radio Ideas Bank which helps radio sales people find contest and promotional ideas to sell to their clients. It has registered users and subscribers in more than 30 countries.
Chantler is co-author with Peter Stewart of the textbook Essential Radio Journalism published in June 2009 by A&C Black. The book started life in 1992 as Local Radio Journalism, co-authored by Sim Harris. Its successor Basic Radio Journalism, was published in 2002. It became a best-seller and was translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
Chantler is an expert in media law and compliance and has co-written three books about media law with Paul Hollins. The first, Hang The DJ? (A radio presenter's guide to the law) was published in 2011. The second called Twibel (A guide to libel and contempt for Tweeters, Facebookers and Bloggers) was published in 2012 and the third called Keep It Legal came out in 2018.
He is co-founder and a shareholder in Fix Radio, a London DAB radio station aimed at tradespeople and builders, which went on air in April 2017.
Chantler was awarded a Fellowship of the Radio Academy in 2018 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the radio industry over 35 years.
Chantler started his career in local newspapers in Kent (Kent and Sussex Courier, Kent Messenger, Kent Evening Post) before joining Invicta Radio as a journalist and news presenter in 1984. During his four years at Invicta, he also became the presenter of the station’s lunchtime show and regularly broadcast roadshows from around the Kent coastal resorts.
After leaving Invicta, he joined Southern FM in Brighton as news editor and helped to launch the new East Sussex service from Eastbourne.
He was then recruited to the BBC, working as a breakfast show presenter for the new station in Swindon, BBC Wiltshire Sound, where he was the first voice on air at the station’s launch in 1989.
Chantler then went into radio management as head of news at the Chiltern Radio Group. He became group programme director in 1991, just as the group expanded into owning 11 stations. During his time at Chiltern, Chantler helped launch one of the UK’s first regional stations, Galaxy Radio, covering Bristol and South Wales where he became managing director. In its first year, the station achieved a weekly reach of 13%, at the time the highest ever launch audience figure for a regional radio station. Chantler was also a founder and managing director of Network News, a small-scale rival to IRN.
He left Chiltern in 1996 and became group programme director of the Essex Radio Group.
In 1997, he was named UK Commercial Radio Programmer of the Year and in 1999 won the UK Commercial Radio Social Action Award.
Chantler became group programme director of The Wireless Group in 2000. Apart from running the group’s 18 local stations, Chantler was also programme director of the national speech station talkSPORT.
Two years later he started his own radio programming consultancy business.
In 2005, Chantler joined the international programming consultancy United Radio.
Chantler worked on an exclusive nine-month assignment with GMG Radio as full-time programme consultant to Smooth Radio London in 2008. The following year, he was appointed acting programme director of Smooth Radio East Midlands in Nottingham on an interim basis.
He was invited to give the keynote speech at the inaugural conference of the Association of Radio Operators of India in New Delhi in November 2009.
In the last few years, Chantler has worked as a programming consultant for a number of radio stations and groups including Today FM, the Irish national commercial music and speech station; 4FM, Ireland's multi-city station; Premier Christian Radio, the national UK station based in London; Fire Radio in Bournemouth; Planet Rock, the UK's classic rock station; and the Indian radio group of 17 stations, My-FM. He has conducted legal seminars for presenters and journalists at a number of UK radio stations and groups including Absolute Radio, Real Radio, Smooth Radio, Jack FM, the UTV Network, Celador Radio Group and BFBS.
He is the Operations Director and a shareholder in Fix Radio, a London DAB radio station aimed at tradespeople and builders, which launched in April 2017.
In 1997, Chantler was one of the characters in the TV docu-soap Lakesiders, shown on BBC One. The programme showed his often fractious working relationship with Essex FM breakfast DJ Martin Day. Lakesiders was scheduled after EastEnders and was watched by a regular audience of up to 10 million viewers. A new series, called Return To Lakesiders featuring Chantler and Day, was shown on BBC Two on 18, 19 and 22 August 2008. 
Chantler appeared in a similar role, with very similar arguments and relationships with the presenters, in the version of the show about the MetroCentre called Trouble in Store which broadcast on BBC1 in 2005.
- Radio Today with United Radio..: Essex FM TV show returns Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
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