PENNY WILLIAMS, the new head of KM Radio, aims to make five commercial stations the must-listen stations of the airwaves.
Penny, 37, has moved to the Kent Messenger Group (KMG) from Capital - owner of Invicta FM - where she was regional marketing and operations director. She was previously Invicta FM's managing director in Whitstable.
"I certainly wouldn't have given up a big job with a Plc if I didn't think I could make this successful," she said in her first interview since taking on her new role. "My radio expertise will make the business more efficient."
After driving 70,000 miles in 18 months, she is delighted to be back on her familiar Kent patch.
"I love radio and the thing that appealed to me about this job was getting back to radio rather than being part of a big organisation and not getting my hands dirty any more. That might suit some people but it didn't suit me."
KM's five stations span the county, from Thanet, Folkestone and Canterbury in the East to Medway in the North and Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks in the West. KMG also has a minority stake in County Town Radio, Maidstone.
Penny sees KM-fm sitting somewhere between Invicta and BBC Radio Kent in terms of audience profile - a little younger than Kent but a little older than Invicta. "I think we sit very nicely in the middle," she said.
But she also sees BBC Radio 2 as a key competitor. "We are R2 style, not Radio One," she said. "Our advantage over Radio 2 is our localness.
"Kent's population is such that there is a place for a station that plays a good variety of music - hopefully every song you know - but quality speech that doesn't go on for hours and is local. Local is the key thing. If you are loyal and passionate about your area, KM-fm caters for you."
Apart from analogue broadcasting, Penny is also looking after the new KM-D digital channel. All the stations play music from the 1960s onwards, but Penny admits that there is no place for Sir Cliff Richard.
She concedes that many people have not yet tuned to KM-fm, perhaps knowing KMG more for its newspapers than its radio. But she believes the partnership between print and radio gives added strength, offering listeners and readers an even better deal.
Penny has arrived at a time when audience figures are rising, and the business side is showing considerable improvement. But she wants the stations to do even better. She will be happy if in two years' time, her efforts have helped raise audience figures a lot more - her goal is 30 per cent reach - and made KM-fm recognised as a quality brand in its various markets.