Commercial radio stations need to boost their production budgets, not their advertising budgets, if they want to win back listeners, radio veteran Mark Goodier has said.
Mr Goodier, the former Radio 1 DJ who now hosts Smooth Radio's weekday mid-morning show, said that many stations had neglected content and were failing to connect with listeners as a result.
Mr Goodier said: "There are very few commercial stations that attach producer responsibility to shows after the breakfast show. Many just have a DJ that sits there and reads that traffic updates, plays a list of records and that's it.
"The focus is on marketing the station and selling air time advertising. When I started out as a DJ there was probably only 30 commercial stations, now it must be nearer 300 - but don't tell me that there are ten times as many toplevel broadcasters out there.
"There has to be a greater focus on analysing what's right for the audience, rather than rolling out the format."
The DJ, who has spent 37 years in the radio industry, will have his Smooth Radio show broadcast on Smooth's FM stations in the west Midlands, east Midlands and Glasgow for the first time today.
Smooth Radio - owned by Guardian Media Group (GMG) Radio - launched in March. It combines GMG's existing Smooth network and its newly-acquired Saga radio stations.
Mr Goodier, who has been broadcasting on Smooth Radio's London station since the launch, said he was looking forward to reaching a wider audience across the UK.
He said: "I have really enjoyed working on this show and we have been pulling in some great guests that I hope the audience in the West Midlands is going to enjoy.
"This week we're going to have Christian Slater, who is a massive A-list celebrity."
Mr Goodier started his radio career in 1970, at the age of 19, in Scotland. In 1987 he moved to Radio 1 where he stayed for 15 years.
For the past 13 years he had run his own business Wise Buddha, which produces radio programmes, jingles and manages radio stars such as Scott Mills, Steve Lemack and Dave Pierce.
He has also presenter shows on Classic FM and Radio 2 and GMG's Real Radio.
He said he recognised that commercial radio was under increasing pressure from television and the Internet, but he said that it had to invest in output, if it was going to win share from the BBC.
He said: "It is a difficult market. BRMB and Capital Radio are having a hard time because they are iconic radio stations but over the last 15 years new stations have come along - such as Heart and Smooth and Galaxy - to nip off a bit more of their audience.
"But the evidence from the BBC is if you invest in output, you get results.
"The great thing about GMG, is that they are doing exactly that with the budget that they have. Look at Real Radio - when GMG bought that, it was on its knees. Now it's booming.
"Too many commercial stations blame their circumstances on the BBC sharing the same market space - but it's not the case.
"If the BBC quietly pulled down the shutters as some commercial radio executives would like them to do, the content would not be replaced to the same standard.
"There are good companies out there - this is not a a universal condemnation - but more stations need to adopt the attitude of doing the best they can on budget they have, rather than shrugging their shoulders and pointing their fingers at the BBC.
On the race for radio stations to produce more online content, Mr Goodier said it would be foolish not to realise that this was being driven by advertisers, rather than listeners.
He said: "There has been a lot of pressure put on commercial stations to move where people think the money is.
"If an advertising agency wants to plough money into the 15-to-24 age group, then it's great for stations that appeal to that age group, until the agencies decide they would prefer to spend their money online.
"Then there is a race to move content online to attract that money. It's all short-term - in five years the advertising landscape will have changed again."
But Mr Goodier said he recognised that there was an increasing need for radio to have some presence on the web.
He said: "I think people no longer care about the method of delivery.
"Radio is not something that comes out of the corner of the kitchen anymore.
"Even people aged 65 now listen to radio online or via Freeview.
"I think one of the reasons my show was syndicated to Glasgow and the Midlands on FM was because people outside of London were listening to it online."
* Ryan Seacrest - presenter of hit US talent show American Idol - will be the new voice of Birmingham commercial station BRMB on Sunday mornings.
The TV host and radio DJ has been signed up to front a new celebrity show that will be broadcast to stations within GCap Media's One Network of regional radio stations.
The show will also be broadcast the day before on London's Capital 95.8.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after BRMB announced a revamp of the station in a bid to reverse a decline in audience numbers.
At the time BRMB managing director, Sarah Smithard, had promised that BRMB would be offering more network shows with presenters that she believed listeners would be "excited" by.