Apologies for the absence of recent posts, as I have been away on holiday. There has not been a huge amount of stories from the radio world recently, but here are a few updates.
The service Upload Radio has left the Surrey North Sussex (Surrey-NSussex) and North Yorkshire DAB multiplexes. This radio station is still available in Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool.
More Radio has lowered its bit rate on the Sussex DAB multiplex from 64 kbps to 56 kbps. This means a slight drop in sound quality for listeners. This station had only recently joined DAB.
Jack 3 has joined the SDL National multiplex. This multiplex covers around 75% of the UK. This station plays easy listening music and is broadcasting at 32kbps using the newer DAB+, meaning only some radios will receive it. The current national output is reported to be different from the local version available on DAB in Oxfordshire.
NME1 has joind the trial Brighton local multiplex, broadcasting using DAB+ at 48kbps. This station will also only work on DAB+ compatible radios.
Radio Caroline has added central London to the many areas the station now serves. The station has now joined the Trial London DAB multiplex, one of several trial small scale multiplexes that the station broadcasts on.
Radio Caroline is using the newer DAB+ format (at 64kbps, stereo), meaning that not all DAB radios will receive it. Look for a digital radio tick mark or DAB+ icon on the radio or packaging, to see if it is capable of receiving DAB+. If your radio receives Fun Kids or Union Jack it will be able to receive Radio Caroline when in the coverage area.
Radio Caroline also broadcasts on 648MW in East Anglia.
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.
You may have noticed a new logo for the website. I have tried to match the colours in the logo to the theme colours for the website. This logo is currently on trial. Feel free to let me know your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the twitter or Facebook pages. Once the new logo is confirmed, it will role out across the social media pages too.
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.