Due to a difference in rules between Wikia and Wikipedia, this article can expose the apparent lies by Ryan Dunlop, but the Wikipedia article cannot without press coverage. Any edits made to this page to change the nature of the article will be changed back.
Hitz Radio is an online radio station based in Ayr, Scotland, which has attracted lots of controversy regarding claims made, and regarding the apparent illegal status of the site. Set up and run by Scottish student Ryan Dunlop, It started primarily as a hobby in 2004 under the name Hitz Radio Classic Rock. In January 2006 the name was changed to Hitz Radio Unsigned and according to reports was given a £250 pre-test market grant from the Princes Trust. In October 2006 the 'Unsigned' name was dropped and Hitz Radio was incorporated as a private 'Ltd' UK company (No SC309461) by Companies House in Edinburgh.
The station hit the headlines in 2007 when the press got hold of word that the station was receiving hundreds of thousands of listeners, millions of website hits and 5 million listening hours a week. It was reportedly also well on the way to make a £1 million turnover, most as profit, in the first year of trading and looking likely to turnover £25 million in the coming years. Annual projections of £37 million were also mentioned in some press articles.
Most claims have been highly disputed from various sites and discussions. Such as discussions on Media UK, a discussion in which radio experts and those interested in internet radio exposed lies and uncovered that Ryan Dunlop has lied and intentionally mislead the media, awards bodies, awards judges and even his parents (presuming they aren't involved).
Lies and Insiders' ResearchEdit
It has not been possible to make references for most allegations, but in most cases simple research is all that's needed to confirm allegations in this section.
As a result of these claims, many industry insiders and those with an interest in radio started to delve deeper into Hitz Radio to discover how a station nobody seemed to have heard of could appear with such bold claims out of nowhere.
Despite the claims of the station's Managing Director, Ryan, that the station was fully licensed by the relevant authorities (PPL, MCPS & PRS), enquiries towards the licensing bodies by those looking into the story revealed that the station in facts hold none of the licenses required, and in fact makes the station an illegal internet broadcast. Hitz Radio did not hold the necessary music copyright licences from 2004 until at least mid 2007. All of the media reports were reporting about what was essentially a 'pirate' radio station.
Further claims by the station, including those regarding the stations listener figures, were soon proved to be the result of an overly active imagination when it was calculated that the monthly cost of supporting the number of claimed 80000 Drivetime listeners would be in the region of £25,000 per month and if the station were to be licensed by the authorities, that would add an extra £28,000 per month on top, giving an overall monthly running cost of over £50,000. Ryan Dunlop has been quoted on STV News to say that the radio station has 5 million listening hours a week. These figures would drastically increase the running costs quoted above. People recognised that this was impressive for a station that carries little to no advertising.
Dunlop has also made claims that the station has London offices, sending a prospective business partner photos of what was claimed to be their office complex. It was quickly pointed out that an external building photo was of Quay House Business Centre in London's Docklands. It's fair to assume that were Hitz Radio UK to be leasing London premises, this is the kind of place they would use, however a member of the Media UK forum living in the area made a trip down to Quay House to enquire, only to be told that Hitz Radio UK were not leasing office space on the premises and had never done so.
A member of the Digital Spy forums who does not live in London also contacted MLS Quay House to check if Hitz Radio was moving there. After checking, the receptionist there had no record of either Hitz Radio UK, Ryan Dunlop or any other name supposedly associated with the station.
Several paid advertising sales positions have been advertised on radio industry websites. There has also been recruitment drives to hire world reknowned DJs. Some of the jobs have given John Lyndsay (Head of Sales) as a contact name, who was thought to be Ryan's father. After checks it appears that a named director is Ryan's father, but the name is slightly different to the job postings according to various online director search engines and he is also not 'Head of Sales'. This means that a person with the name John Lyndsay does not actually exist in relation to Hitz Radio UK. There is a Company Secretary, again as seen on various online director search engines, with a similar name to the other two names. Both Ryan's father and the Company Secretary are registered and named by Companies House in Edinburgh, along with Ryan. The Company Secretary is not officially, or locally, known by that given name, but it is thought to be registered as a business name.
Besides Hitz Radio never having music copyright licences from 2004 to mid-June 2007, Ryan Dunlop's business has also been alleged to infringed several other copyrights. Hitz Radio UK's logo of a spinning white record on a red background (pictured) is a downloadable brush for Photoshop. Despite this, Dunlop threatened apparent legal action against a site which was using it to illustrate an expose of Dunlop's falsehoods, claiming it as his own.
Hitz Radio also used Sky News Radio bulletins on-air for several months during 2006 and until March 2007. The use of these were unauthorised by Sky and subsequently dropped by Hitz Radio after widespread discussions about it. Hitz Radio and Ryan Dunlop now cliams to be starting it's own UK news service, Hitz Radio News.
In 2006 Ryan Dunlop alledged that Hitz Radio won the Web Radio Awards 2006. However there is no evidence that these awards were ever in existence.
Shortly after the intitial media coverage, it was revealed that Ryan Dunlop was a nominee for the Daily Record Business Hero Award 2007. He later went on to win this Award, based on part, on the claims of Hitz Radio's company size, turnover projections and current listener figures. This is despite the media not fact checking their stories to any of the claims.
It was also revealed that Ryan Dunlop (Hitz Radio Ltd) was also the regional finalist for the Shell Livewire Scotland Award. He did not win this, or take the runner-up spot, so getting the chance to represent Scotland in the UK final.
It seems that the media and awards processes are, or have been, manipulated to create a sort of snowball effect. In the link to the Shell Livewire Award, it can clearly be seen in the photo that the media coverage and the blue Daily Record Award to Dunlop's right, are there to influence people's perception, despite it 'snowballing' from original untruths.
All claims here are disputed, and no formal proof has been provided or released
- "Going to around 5 million listening hours a week now". - STV 
- Hitz Radio UK gets 250,000 Listeners (this value has been changed constantly throughout different interviews with Ryan Dunlop).
- Hitz Radio UK have had an interview with David Bowie and Paulo Nutini 
- Hitz Radio UK's TV Station will be unveiled in 2009.
- Parker Pens advertised with Hitz Radio UK and got over 3 million pageviews and more than 4,000 competition entries. 
- Hitz Radio UK is "the worlds largest independent radio station" 
Numerous articles have been written. Each of these articles have been written without the truth of the claims being checked before published. Some of these articles include...
- 28 November 2007 - Ayrshire Post exposing Ryan Dunlop. See article here
- 23 May 2007 - FlashHumor (Flash Player Required) View it
- May 2007 - Daily Record Our Heroes Awards: See article here
- May 2007 - Shell LiveWIRE Scotland Finalists: See article here
- 23 May 2007 - Ayrshire Post: See article here
- 21 May 2007 - Daily Record: See article here
- 21 May 2007 - Daily Record: See article here
- 21 April 2007 - The Scotsman: See article here
- 4 March 2007 - The Times: See article here
- 26 February 2007 - BBC Television News: Clip unavailable.
- 26 February 2007 - STV Television: Watch it
- 26 February 2007 - Daily Record: See article here
help - Know of an article? Add it by clicking "Edit" at the top right of this section. Be sure to cite your source by linking to it.
- ↑ STV Video
- ↑ The Times Online
- ↑ The Times Online
- ↑ Pro Boards Discussion
- ↑ The Times Online
- ↑ Hitz Radio UK Official Site
- ↑ Radio Talent