Ofcom has announced a further eight new community radio licenses. One of these is a larger license for an existing community station, another is an expansion of a hospital radio station, whilst the remaining six are mix of new stations or FM extensions of existing online or DAB services.
BE FM – Christian radio station for Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Cumbernauld FM – will broadcast to the Cumbernauld area of North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Juice – LGBT station for Belfast, Northern Ireland
Maldon Community Radio – an existing community station, which has been offerred a license to brodacast to a larger part of the Maldon district in Esssex. The existing license will be surrendered, if the new license is taken.
Pride Radio North East – already broadcasting online as Pride World Radio, this station will broadcast to Newcastle and Gateshead, and is aimed at the LGBT community.
Radio Saltire – community station to broadcast in the Tranent, Wallyford and Musselburgh, and East Lothian areas. Already broadcasting on the Glasgow Trial DAB Multiplex.
Radio Tyneside – an expansion of the existing hospital radio service. May replace the existing MW/AM service.
SWU.FM – youth led for Bristol, which will specialise in urban, electronic, and dance music.
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Merseyside hospital radio station Radio Clatterbridge is to hold a tribute to Sir Ken Dodd, called Doddy Day, on Wednesday the 28th March. Listeners will hear the music and comedy of the highly respected comedian, who passed away recently.
Ken Dodd was a long standing supporter of the station, and became a patron in 2004.
Radio Clatterbridge broadcasts to the Clatterbridge Health Park and is available on 1386MW (AM) and online. The website is www.radioclatterbridge.co.uk.
Chelmsford in Essex is to gain a new digital radio station. Called Chelmer Radio, the station already has an on-line stream, and is planning a DAB service.
Chelmer Radio is a actually a returning name. The original Chelmer Radio launched in 1998 as part of the Mid Essex Radio group. The station was taken over by Tindle in 2002, and re-named Dream 107.7. The station later merged with Southend Radio to become Chelmsford Radio, and then Radio Essex.
The new Chelmer Radio is owned by David Baker, a former presenter and programmer with the original station.
This radio is a fairly portable DAB/DAB+/FM radio, which can run from 4AA batteries, or via the included mains adapter. Price is normally around £45, and is available in black, white, and red & grey.
This radio is one of many that I own, and I have to say it’s one of the best. If there is any signal at all, it will find it. It out performs many of my other radios on both the FM and DAB modes, and can pick up distant FM stations with relative ease.
The usual features are included, including a stereo headphone jack (although the speaker is mono), 20 presents (10 FM/10 DAB), and a screen displaying the station name etc. The radio also features large, easy to use buttons.
There are a couple of drawbacks. The screen is only an 8-digit LCD screen, which whilst clear and easy to read, the single line of text means you have to choose between station name, scrolling text, or time. Other station info, such as genre, are hidden away in the menu. There is no RDS on the FM mode either. The radio is also heavy on batteries, which means battery replacement is frequent. Better to use rechargeable batteries (which cannot be recharged whilst in the radio), or the mains adapter (included).
Overall, a good mid-priced DAB radio, which is a good buy despite the minor drawbacks. I see a new version, the S41, has been introduced for around the same price, and will likely supersede the S40. Scores on the doors, 8 out of 10.
County Durham, Darlington, and North Yorkshire local radio station Rathergood Radio, are to go advert free on Fridays and Saturdays. Starting in April, adverts will no longer feature between 6pm and midnight.