Solar Radio Leaves Sky

Soul music station Solar Radio has ceased broadcasting on the Sky satellite television platform. Solar had been available on Sky since September 2000.

The station is redirecting listeners to the variety of online platforms available, including smart phone apps and smart speakers.

The station is also available on DAB+ in Birmingham, Brighton, central London, and Norwich.

More details can be found on their website www.solarradio.com.

Bauer Reduces Local Content

Bauer is to scrap local weekend programmes across the ‘Hits Radio’ network of stations in England and Scotland. Separate programmes will be programmes are to be aired across the local stations in England plus Hits Radio, with a the Scottish stations having their own show.

Meanwhile the number of breakfast shows on Free Radio are to be reduced, with Birmingham, Shropshire and the Black Country sharing a show, while Coventry, Warkwickshire, and Hereford and Worcester will share a show. A single drivetime show is also to be introduced for the whole Free Radio network in the West Midlands.

Hits Radio is also due to get a new breakfast show, although the new line up is yet to be announced.

These changes do not apply to any of the UKRD, Wireless, Lincs FM Group, or Celador stations that Bauer recently acquired.

Update: Radio City, based in Liverpool, is to retain its current local shows on Saturday and Sunday.

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.

Bauer Station Changes

In connection with the upcoming launch of Hits Radio, Bauer have made some changes to their DAB service line up.

Absolute Radio 70s and Kerrang ceased broadcasting in London. Their two mono slots have been combined to provide a stereo slot for Hits Radio. Absolute Radio 70s and Kerrang are now available on the Tayside DAB multiplex.

Magic Soul has left the Birmingham multiplex, with Hits Radio taking over the space.

Hits Radio has been added to several local multiplexes, using vacant space. Except in London, the station broadcasts in DAB using 80kbps mono, and should be available on most DAB receivers.

The Hits, which currently broadcasts across Scotland and northern England will become Hits Radio from the 4th of June.