DAB Changes

As reported yesterday, Ofcom have given permission for Kingdom FM to join the central Scotland DAB multiplex. RadioToday.co.uk are reporting that this has already taken place, but Wohnort DAB are yet to confirm that the station has joined the multiplex. There is yet to be any publicity from the station, therefore it is safe to assume that Kingdom FM is still to be added to the multiplex.

Pure Radio is also due to join the Central Scotland DAB multiplex. This will be a music led service, with a focus on Scottish content, along with local news and travel.

Children’s services are expanding, with Fun Kids Junior joining the North East Wales and West Cheshire multiplex (32 kbps DAB+). Little Radio has launched on the Portsmouth small-scale trial DAB multiplex, also using DAB+ at 32 kbps. This is a new station and is being run by Nation Broadcasting.

Radio UP is replacing Connect FM on DAB only. Details are limited at this stage, but this station is an automated service from Communicorp, and is based from the same building that XS Manchester operates from.

Connect FM Binned as Station is to Merge with Smooth East Midlands

National station Smooth Radio will take over Connect FMs frequencies, as Ofcom has given permission for Communicorp to merge the station with the East Midlands version of Smooth Radio.

Although bordering the Smooth Radio coverage area, Connect FM broadcasts via two licenses to Peterborough, Kettering, Corby, and Wellingborough in the East region. An Ofcom consultation received no responses.

The move means that Connect FM will not only rebrand, but will network with Smooth Radio 24/7. There will be no locally produced shows, with the breakfast show being shared with the existing Smooth Radio East Midlands station, and all other output from London.

Smooth Radio East Midlands is owned by Communicorp and operates under franchise from Global Radio, who produce and control most of the output on the station.

Smooth Radio fails the criteria for inclusion on the Station Guide of Scott’s Radio Site, due to the lack of local content on the local licenses the service occupies. Scott’s Radio Site regards Global Radio to be an acquired dominant monopoly, and excludes all of Global’s brands from inclusion on this website.

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.

Bob FM No More

Communicorp have acquired Bob FM in North Hertfordshire. The station will be rebrand at Heart Hertfordforshire, and will merge with the Watford franchise that Communicorp recently purchased from Adventure Radio along with Connect FM.

Upon rebrand, the station will only have 3 hours locally programmes on weekdays, with none at weekends.

Note: This station now fails the criteria to be included on the Station Guide of this website. Although Communicorp ownership is acceptable being a smaller group, the upcoming rebrand will mean the local license it occupies will be used for a near national service.

Normal practice would be for the station to remain listed until rebrand. As the plans have already been revealed, and Ofcom are almost certain to approve them, I have decided to remove the station immediately.