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.

Bauer to Make Yet More Changes

Bauer are changing their second tier of stations, by launching Greatest Hits Radio. The existing ‘Greatest Hits Network’ will lose local names in England, adopting the Greatest Hits Radio brand name. Scottish stations are to retain their local names.

The service will take over the 105.2 FM frequency from Absolute Radio, and will also take over the Coventry MW frequency of Free Radio 80s (which is presumably going to close or go digital only).

The service will also mirror Hits Radio’s DAB transmission area. It is expected that a station will have to leave the Northern Ireland DAB multiplex to make way for Greatest Hits Radio to launch in Northern Ireland.

The new services will feature no locally produced programming except for 3 hours a day on the Radio City 2 and West Midlands FM frequencies, and with only minimal local news coverage on the FM and MW frequencies.

Sound Digital Are to Expand Coverage

Sound Digital, the UK’s second commercial DAB multiplex, is to extend its coverage.

Listeners in Wales, the South West, East Anglia, and North East Scotland will benefit from the extended coverage area, and there will also be a small coverage boost in and around Eastbourne on the south coast of England.

Sound Digital is a joint venture between broadcasters Bauer Media and Wireless Group, and infrastructure firm Arqiva. The multiplex carries a variety of DAB and DAB+ stations including Talk Radio, Union Jack, and Virgin Radio.