Chorley FM Closes and Hand Backs License

Chorley FM, a community radio station for the Chorley area of Lancashire, has closed abruptly, and have handed back their license to Ofcom. No reason has yet been given for the closure.

A police investigation had been launched In March after allegations that a director at the station had been sexually assaulted whilst working at the station. The complainant, Sam Martin, chose to go public after making the complaint to the police.

It is alleged that the board of Chorley FM ignored complaints, instead suspending Sam Martin without pay. She later resigned. The board of Chorley FM had subsequently changed.

Whilst it is not known if the two events are linked, the investigation may have contributed to the stations closure.

North Cotswold Community Radio Appeal for Volunteers

North Cotswold Community Radio, a community radio station based in Chipping Campden, have announced that they are at risk of closure due to a lack of volunteers.

The station launched in 2007, broadcasts online with a variety of programmes specifically for the North Cotswold area. They would like to hear from anyone with an interest in broadcasting on the station, or working behind the scenes.

For details on how to contact the station, see their website at nccr.co.uk.

BCfm Suffers Fire

Bristol community radio station BCfm suffered an unfortunate fire recently, destroying their studio. Although the full cause is not yet known, an electrical fault is the suspected cause.

The station has already recommenced limited broadcasts, and have launched a fundraiser to raise some money towards rebuild costs. Whilst the station does have insurance, it is not yet known how much will be covered.

To donate to the fundraiser go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-rebuild-bcfm-after.

Nova Radio and NE1 FM Merge

Online station Nova Radio and community radio station NE1 FM have merged. Nova Radio can now be heard on 102.5 FM across the West of Newcastle, and parts of the Gateshead area.

The exact date of the merge is unclear, but it appears to have taken place in the past 2 weeks. A new website can be found at www.novaradio.co.uk.

The station a variety of programmes lasting 2 hours. In between programmes, news bulletins are aired from Radio News Hub.

Newcastle and Gateshead have four community radio stations. Alongside Nova Radio, there is Asian music station Spice FM, hospital station Radio Tyneside, and LGBT station Pride Radio.

Update: Nova Radio and NE1 FM merged back in June. According to Wikipedia, attempts had been made as far back as February to restructure NE1 FM, which were unsuccessful and led to the merger.

Station Updates

There have been a few changes to some local DAB multiplexes:

On Trial Glasgow, Gaydio has switch to 128 kbps joint stereo, whilst Radio Saltire has ceased, and Timeless Radio and Your Radio have been observed without audio streams (possible either closing or have ceased).

On Trial Birmingham, 45 Radio has joined using DAB+ (receiver dependent) at 48 kbps. Solar FM and Gorgeous FM are running without audio, and Colourful Radio has ceased.

Resonance Extra has joined the Trial Norwich multiplex, and About Norwich has ceased.

On Herts Beds Bucks, Bob Home Counties has ceased, but the service still continues on FM.

On Trial Brighton, Juice 107.2 has ceased broadcasting ahead of the launch of Capital Brighton on FM and the Sussex multiplex. As the station now has a stereo slot on the Sussex multiplex, the slot on Trial Brighton is no longer required.

On FM, Banbridge, Northern Ireland, community station Bounce FM has launched on 102.4. Gaydio Brighton has launched on 97.8. Yeovil community station Ninesprings Radio is due to launch on 104.5 in October.

Small Scale DAB Extensions

All current small-scale DAB multiplexes in the UK have had their licenses extended until March 31st, 2020. These multiplexes allow small commercial and community stations the opportunity to broadcast on DAB at an affordable cost.

The current small-scale multiplexes are:

  • Aldershot
  • Birmingham
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cambridge
  • Glasgow
  • Central London
  • Manchester
  • Norwich
  • Portsmouth

The license extension is to allow Ofcom time to consider the most appropriate method for licensing permanent small-scale DAB multiplexes.

Pride Radio Launches on Monday

The second of the new community radio stations for Newcastle and Gateshead, Pride Radio will launch on Monday 9th July at midday. The station will be available on 89.2 FM. The station is aimed at the LGBT community.

Pride Radio is owned by Pride World Media. The company owns Pride World Radio, an online radio station which has recently been providing programmes for NE1 FM, the existing community radio station for Newcastle and Gateshead.

Presenters on Pride World Radio include Peter Darrant and Mel Crawford.

Radio Tyneside is Nearly Ready to Launch on FM

Hospital radio station Radio Tyneside will launch it’s FM service on Thursday 5th July (the 70th birthday of the NHS) at midday. The service will use the 93.6 FM frequency. The station successfully gained a community radio license for 5 years, allowing it to expand to cover a wide area of Newcastle and Gateshead.

The station already broadcasts to the RVI and Freeman Hospitals in Newcastle, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. The station also broadcasts on 1575 MW in Newcastle, and will continue to use this frequency until October, when the license for that frequency is up for renewal.

Radio Tyneside first launched in 1951, and today has 35 volunteers working for the station, which broadcasts 24 hours a day.

21/06/2018: News Round Up

The latest radio stories:

Sun FM has a new red and white logo, with matches the corporate style of it’s new owner, Nation Broadcasting. The new logo is on the Facebook and twitter pages, but the Sun FM website still retains the previous logo and colour scheme.

Ofcom are inviting applications for new community radio stations, and is also inviting applications for existing community stations to extend coverage areas.

A new online radio station has launched following the closure of community station Wirral Radio. The similarly named Radio Wirral is currently available online at radiowrirral.com, and also plans to join DAB. Radio Wirral is a commercial service, unlike its predecessor.

Upload Radio has ceased broadcasting. The service has left the North East Wales and West Cheshire local DAB multiplex.