Spectrum Radio Network have advertised availability on the 1548 MW/AM frequency which covers North London. This frequency is currently occupied by Love Sport, and it is not yet clear what will happen to that station.
Spectrum also have a London wide DAB slot, and two London DAB+ slots available. For those and the MW frequency, Spectrum are offering part time slots, to allow for smaller stations to come on-air for a reduced cost.
For full details visit their website at spectrumradio.net/airtime/.
Panjab Radio will switch MW (AM) frequencies with Love Sport on 1st August. Panjab Radio will take over the 558 MW frequency, enabling the station to expand to cover the whole of the Greater London area.
This allows Panjab Radio to match the coverage of its rival stations Lyca Radio and Sunrise Radio. Panjab Radio is also available on the SDL National DAB multiplex.
Meanwhile, Love Sport will take over the 1584 MW frequency and reduce coverage to focus on North London. However, due to the nature of MW transmission, some listeners outside North London may still be able to receive the station, albeit with a considerably weaker signal.
Digital station Mi-Soul is to cease broadcasting in Glasgow on DAB. Although the removal date is yet to be confirmed, a brief removal and subsequent re-instatement has already occurred, and the stations website no longer refers to broadcasting in Glasgow.
Mi-Soul continues to broadcast on DAB in Brighton, London, and Manchester.
In what could be a first, Rathergood Radio has moved in it’s entirety, and is now broadcasting to the London area on DAB from studios in Reading.
To complicate matters, what was Rathergood Radio in County Durham and North Yorkshire has now rebranded to Vintage Music Radio, playing music from the 70s and 80s.
Both stations are owned by the View TV Group, who specialise in online TV platforms, but have also been trying to expand their presence in radio.
Rathergood Radio had recently dropped traditional ad breaks, in favour of relying on show sponsorship. Vintage Music Radio appears to have reintroduced ad breaks.
The schedule for Vintage Music Radio is yet to be established, but Craig Andrews has been confirmed to be part of the lineup.
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:
- Central London
The license extension is to allow Ofcom time to consider the most appropriate method for licensing permanent small-scale DAB multiplexes.
The change of ownership at 2BR has already been covered in a separate post, so here is some of the other stories from the past week:
Juice 107.2 in Brighton is to rebrand as Capital Brighton on the 3rd September. The station will have a complete new presenter line-up, and will take most programmes from the Capital Network in London. All current presenters are assumed to have been made redundant.
Celador have introduced Town 102 to DAB for the first time. The station is broadcasting on the Suffolk local multiplex at 80 kbps mono. Celador have confirmed that Town 102 will continue broadcasting indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Ipswich 102 (also known as Ipswich FM) have commenced test transmissions on the Suffolk local DAB multiplex, ahead of taking over the 102 FM frequency from Town 102 in October. Ipswich 102 is broadcasting at a higher bit rate of 192 kbps in stereo.
A new service has launched on the North East Wales and West Cheshire DAB multiplex. Bliss Radio is broadcasting at 64 kbps in mono. In London, ABN Radio UK has ceased broadcasting on the London 3 multiplex.
Here are some of the stories from the past two weeks:
Community radio station 88.3 Centreforce has joined DAB in London, broadcasting on the London 2 multiplex, using the newer DAB+ format at 32 kbps.
Encore Radio appears to have left the North Yorkshire DAB multiplex. Reports are conflicting with the Frequency Finder website having first reporting the change, but Wohnort DAB is shows the station to be broadcasting in North Yorkshire. More updates will follow on this story.
Radio Ceredigion, owned by Nation Broadcasting, has reapplied for the license as Nation Radio. The 96.6, 97.4 and 103.3 FM transmitters will be used to fill a gap in Nation Radio’s FM and DAB network, allowing Nation Radio to have near full Wales coverage. Radio Ceredigion achieves 16% reach and a market share of slightly under 5%.
Nation Broadcasting are applying for the Sam FM Bristol license, under the name of Jack FM. A larger report on this development will be published in the next week.
Also at Nation Broadcasting, the role out of the new Sun FM logo has been completed with the launch of the a new website. There have also bee some tweaks to the schedule, presumably relating to the untangling of the station from it’s former owners UKRD.
Original 106 has been given permission to change its music format, by dropping the requirement to play album tracks. It has been suggested, however, that the station will continue to play album tracks and classic rock music.
Here is the news from the past week:
45 Radio has joined the Norwich trial small scale DAB multiplex,using DAB+ at 48 kbps. This service is aimed at listeners aged 45 and over. Jazz FM has switched to DAB+ at 40 kbps, and is no longer available on all radios.
Flame Christian has ceased broadcasting on the Manchester trial multiplex.
The requested format change for London AM and DAB station Love Sport has been approved by Ofcom, meaning the station is no longer required to provide talk based programmes on subjects such as business.
Celador station The Breeze has retained its license to broadcast in Bristol on FM.
TalkSPORT has retained global Premier League football audio rights, and will provide coverage until the 2021/22 season.
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.
London station Love Sport, which broadcasts on 558 MW and DAB, has requested a format change from Ofcom. The move is to allow a greater focus on sports coverage.
The request is to remove the requirement to cover business, finance and entertainment news, in order to provide a 24 hour speech service focussing on sport with some local information and topical content.
Ofcom are running a consultation on the change which can be found here: www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-3/love-sport-request-to-change-format.