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.
Gold on the London 1 DAB multiplex has been relabeled to Gold London. The station has also had a bit rate increase to 40 kbps from 32 kbps (still DAB+) to match the new national service.
The changes, although small, are a sign that Gold will remain on the local multiplexes that already carry the station. The bit rate increase suggests that 32 kbps delivers unacceptably poor audio quality for listeners.
Global Radio’s Gold is to launch on the D1 National DAB multiplex on Monday (10th June). The service is expected to use DAB+, and occupy some of the space vacated when Heart Extra and Smooth Extra switched to DAB+ earlier this week.
Despite some reports suggesting that the service has already gone live, Gold is yet to appear on the D1 National multiplex. Nor is the service returning there, as to my knowledge Gold has never been broadcast on the D1 National multiplex before.
Gold is currently available in some areas on MW (AM) and DAB (normal format, 128 kbps stereo). It is unclear whether the service will stay on these platforms.
It is anticipated that Global will also launch another DAB+ service on the D1 National DAB multiplex. Details of this service have not been revealed.
Note: Gold fails the criteria for inclusion in the station guide, as the service is owned and operated by Global Radio, who are a domineering monopoly. Additionally, the service quality is deemed to be poor, as the majority of the service is automated without an obvious reason or benefit.
2BR has now ceased broadcasts, ahead of the extension of Capital Manchester to form Capital North West. All programming will now be from Manchester.
Despite the programming sharing, Capital North West will be know as Capital Manchester and Capital Lancashire on air. This is despite the Lancashire part having no local programmes, and the Manchester part only having 3 hours local programmes on weekdays, with no local programmes at the weekend. Both stations will carry a limited amount of local news provision.
On DAB, as Capital Manchester was carried on the Lancashire DAB multiplex, the existing service has been relabeled Capital Lancashire. The 64 kbps mono slot that 2BR occupied is now being used by Gold. Both Capital and Gold are owned by Global.
Note: As both Capital and Gold are owned by Global, who have a monopoly over the commercial radio market, both stations fail the criteria to be included in the Station Guide on this website.
Additionally, Capital North West (Lancashire and Manchester) fails the criteria, as the local licenses it occupies are being used for a near national service.