Bauer Axes Yet More Local Programmes

Bauer have are axing all local programmes on the FM version of Westsound which broadcasts across Dumfries and Galloway. The station will now become entirely networked sharing all programmes with the Bauer City 2/Greatest Hits Radio network.

Meanwhile, Viking FM will move to co-locate with Hallam FM in Sheffield. The soon to be only remaining local show, the breakfast show presented by Alex Duffy and Ellie Brennan, will be broadcast outside of the coverage area from 2nd October.

Bauer have stated the Viking FM move is to allow for access to better equipment and a more vibrant working environment. In reality, the move is to reduce fixed studio locations in order to cut costs and increase profits.

Hallam FM, Viking FM and West Sound fail the criteria for inclusion in the station guide of the website, due to the lack of local content they provide, and being owned by domineering corporation Bauer Media.

Spectrum Radio Network Advertise London Frequency

Spectrum Radio Network have advertised availability on the 1548 MW/AM frequency which covers North London. This frequency is currently occupied by Love Sport, and it is not yet clear what will happen to that station.

Spectrum also have a London wide DAB slot, and two London DAB+ slots available. For those and the MW frequency, Spectrum are offering part time slots, to allow for smaller stations to come on-air for a reduced cost.

For full details visit their website at spectrumradio.net/airtime/.

Bauer to Face In Depth Investigation

Bauer Media are to face a phase 2 investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, following their purchase of Lincs FM Group, Celador Radio, UKRD and Wireless’ local stations.

The decision deadline is 21st January 2020, with all stations remaining in hold separate until at least then.

Seperatly, Bauer have confirmed they are axing all local drivetime shows across the stations in England (except Wave 105, CFM, and Gem). The Scottish stations also now have Ofcom authorisation to do the same, although it has yet to be confirmed if a similar move will follow.

Global Monopoly Expands Again

The dominant monopoly that is Global Radio has expanded its presence on DAB. National duplicates of Capital, Heart and Smooth have been added to the Lincolnshire DAB multiplex and the Hereford and Worcester DAB multiplex.

These services are already available on the D1 national multiplex. Capital UK has a national 80 kbps mono slot, as does Smooth (labelled as Smooth Extra), and Heart has a 32kbps low quality stereo DAB+ slot (labelled as Heart Extra).

The new versions are all in stereo ‘original version’ DAB, with a bit rate of 112kbps, offering slightly better sound quality. These services are exactly the same as the national versions, and do not widen the choice of services available.

Meanwhile, there are rumours circulating on social media that Global are acquiring the Quidem group of radio stations, which broadcast to the Midlands, and include the Touch FM and Banbury Sound brands.

Gold to Return to AM In Peterborough and Northampton

Gold will take over the 1332AM Peterborough and 1557AM Northampton frequencies from Smooth Radio. The change will take place when Connect FM is merged into Smooth Radio’s FM network.

Connect FM was acquired by Communicorp earlier this year, who decided to merge the station into their Smooth East Midlands franchise. As yet, a date for the merge has yet to be announced. Connect FM currently covers Corby, Kettering, and Peterborough.

Meanwhile, Wohnort DAB reports that Connect FM has been relabeled Radio UP on the Herts Beds Bucks local DAB multiplex.

Note: Smooth Radio is almost entirely networked across multiple local and regional licenses, and as such fails the criteria for inclusion on the station guide of this website. Connect FM has not been included due to the plan to merge the station into Smooth Radio. Additionally, Gold fails the criteria, due it being owned by the domineering monopoly corporation of Global.

Date Announced for Panjab Radio Frequency Switch

Panjab Radio will switch MW (AM) frequencies with Love Sport on 1st August. Panjab Radio will take over the 558 MW frequency, enabling the station to expand to cover the whole of the Greater London area.

This allows Panjab Radio to match the coverage of its rival stations Lyca Radio and Sunrise Radio. Panjab Radio is also available on the SDL National DAB multiplex.

Meanwhile, Love Sport will take over the 1584 MW frequency and reduce coverage to focus on North London. However, due to the nature of MW transmission, some listeners outside North London may still be able to receive the station, albeit with a considerably weaker signal.

Revolution 96.2 to Expand Across Manchester.

Revolution 96.2, independently owned by Credible Media, have announced that they will be expanding their coverage area. Currently the station serves Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, but Ofcom have given approval for the station to cover the entire Greater Manchester are.

The station have stated that due to the position of the transmitter, Revolution 96.2 can already be received across most of Greater Manchester. It is not yet clear if the transmitter will be upgraded to improved/enhance coverage. The station is also available on the trial small scale DAB multiplex in Manchester, broadcasting in stereo DAB+.

Revolution 96.2 will continue to broadcast from its Oldham studios, and continue to serve the East Manchester area. There are no major schedule changes planned.

Fun Kids Junior Launches in Surrey and South London

Fun Kids have launched a new service aimed at younger children called Fun Kids Junior. The service is available on the Surrey and South London local DAB multiplex.

Programming will be aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, with the launch of the station being promoted on the main Fun Kids service.

The new service is broadcasting using DAB+ at 32kbps. This means relatively poor sound quality, and only newer DAB+ radios can access the station.

Muxco Also Bid for Channel Islands Multiplex

Radio Today are reporting that a total of 3 bids have been submitted for the Channel Islands local DAB multiplex.

Muxco have teamed up with Tindle CI Broadcasting, the owners of Channel 103 in Jersey and Island FM in Guernsey, to bid for license. In addition to Channel 103 and Island FM, UK national stations are to be carried, as well as some new stations. Capacity has been reserved for both BBC Radio Guernsey and BBC Radio Jersey.

Small Digital Planet are a new entrant who propose a total of 16 stations. In addition to BBC Radio Guernsey and BBC Radio Jersey, community station Quay FM will be broadcast, along with 5 new local stations.

These two bids are in addition to the Nation Radio bid already announced. Ofcom will publish full details of the bids in due course.

Nation Broadcasting Announces Channel Islands Bid

Nation Broadcasting, through subsidiary Bailiwick Broadcasting, has announced it has applied for the license to operate the Channel Islands DAB multiplex.

A total of 25 stations are proposed. Based on this, the vast majority of these will be DAB+ services. Capacity has been reserved for both BBC Radio Guernsey and BBC Radio Jersey.

As neither of the national commercial DAB multiplexes are available on the Channel Islands, a number of national services are likely to be carried on the new local multiplex.