TV Home Forum

Bauer rebranding 53 stations to The Hits/Greatest Hits

The majority of its acquisitions last year (May 2020)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
Out of curiosity I listened to Wire FM for a little bit earlier for the first time they switched to the Greatest Hits format, and the jingle for the station felt like it had been written by someone who didn’t bother to check its transmission area.

‘For Liverpool with the Greatest Hits Radio, this is Wire FM’

Wire FM being for Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn only. It’s not a Liverpool station, nor one where I think the signal stretches that far. That jingle felt very out of touch.
Fire Radio, Pulse 1, Signal 1, and The Wave have been added to Planet Radio. The other stations are yet to be added to the site.
Added to the Bauer radio apps too. I checked the Hits Radio and KISS KUBE apps but it should work on all of them as long as you update it.

12 days later

Interesting to see former Radio 1 Controller Ben Cooper join Bauer in a newly created role:

Ben Cooper is joining Bauer Radio UK in a newly created role of Group Director, Content and Music, Bauer Radio UK.

This role will add further energy to Bauer’s strategy and ambition to develop differentiated creative audio products, grow audiences and offer access to valuable audiences for advertisers.

Ben brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked for over 20 years within the radio, music and live music industry having previously worked at both the BBC and within commercial radio. He has a strong track record of leading and developing successful teams to deliver creative content alongside strategic, bold decision-making driving digital innovation and change in order to meet the new ways audiences consume and interact. He was most recently Controller, BBC Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra & Asian Network.

Ben will sit on the Radio Exec UK and will work with the Managing Directors and Content Directors to recruit, educate, support and celebrate talent and people initiatives which underpin Bauer’s commitment to being a more diverse and inclusive place to work.
I've just been having a look on Wikipedia, and on at least two articles, it says that local studios will be closed when the stations are rebranded. However, there is no source for said statement. Does this mean that "local news" will be coming from a regional hub, or will local studios be staying open for the purpose of local news?
Steve Founding member
BBI45 posted:
I've just been having a look on Wikipedia, and on at least two articles, it says that local studios will be closed when the stations are rebranded. However, there is no source for said statement. Does this mean that "local news" will be coming from a regional hub, or will local studios be staying open for the purpose of local news?

I think the chances of them retaining the studio centres - as they currently are - are about zero. Huge cost to maintaining them, and no need for them. There’ll be a regional hub and reporters in the local TSAs (for now, at least) and that’s it.
Inspector Sands
Yep, and that's exactly what happened when Global did the same thing a few years ago.
The last I heard, about a week ago, was that no announcement had been made about the various buildings staying open or not. I suspect sales staff who are being kept on will need to be consulted first if their work location changes significantly. You can’t just tell someone previously based in Scarborough that they’ll have to commute to Leeds instead.

I also know of at least one station which has several years to run on its building’s lease, so it’s possible that they might not all close immediately, with some maybe remaining as bases for sales teams. Or they might just get mothballed.

As for news, I understand journalists are not being kept on at the acquired stations, but that new roles are being created Bauer’s regional hubs. So, in short, yes, news will almost certainly be hubbed regionally.
Inspector Sands
Realistically they aren't going to keep a premises when they've no need for it. If there's no programmes or news coming from a former station then it's surplus to requirements. Leases can be terminated early or if its a major problem they can just decide to hub in those that are

Any sales staff will be for local advertising so there's probably no point relocating out of the area, they'll just work from home or small rented office space, not rattling around in the space that once housed a whole radio station.

Mothballing won't happen, there's no chance of the process being reversed a few years down the line, and the technology would be out of date anyway
It’s not always that easy to terminate a building’s lease. Obviously it depends on the terms of the contract, but the one I’m aware of apparently is a problem.

I understand when Lincs FM Group moved Ridings FM into Trax, they had to retain the building in Wakefield for a significant period even though no-one was working from there. Apparently someone used to go in twice a day to turn the lights on/off... which is kind of what I meant by being mothballed - probably the wrong term - but just that the building is kept serviceable whilst empty. Of course I wouldn’t expect studios and transmission kit to be retained.

16 days later

The regional drivetime presenters have been confirmed, and which stations will fall under which region.

GHR East - Drivetime presented by Rob Chandler:
GHR Suffolk (Town 102)
GHR Essex (Dream 100)
GHR Norfolk & North Suffolk (Radio Norwich, The Beach & North Norfolk Radio)
GHR West Norfolk (KLFM)

GHR Midlands - Drivetime presented by Andy Goulding:
GHR Staffordshire & Cheshire (Signal 2)
GHR Herefordshire & Worcestershire (Signal 107 Kidderminster - Joining pre-existing station)
GHR Shropshire & The Black Country (Signal 107 Telford, Shrewsbury & Wolverhampton)
GHR Stamford & Rutland (Rutland Radio)
GHR East Midlands (New Station)

GHR North West - Drivetime presented by Darren Proctor:
GHR Lancashire (Radio Wave - Joining pre-existing station)
GHR Greater Manchester (Tower FM - Joining pre-existing station)
GHR Wigan & St Helens (Wish FM)
GHR Liverpool and the North West (Wire FM - Joining pre-existing station)

Darren also remains on Greatest Hits North East, Greatest Hits Radio London, and Greatest Hits Radio UK.

GHR South - Drivetime presented by Martin Starke:
GHR Surrey & East Hampshire (The Breeze East Hants and Eagle Radio)
GHR Berkshire & North Hampshire (The Breeze Thames Valley)
GHR Dorset (Wessex FM and The Breeze Shaftesbury)
GHR Salisbury (Spire FM)
GHR Bucks, Beds and Herts (Mix 96)
GHR West Sussex (Spirit FM)

GHR South West - Drivetime presented by Tony Wright:
GHR Swindon (Sam FM Swindon)
GHR Bath & The South West (The Breeze West Wilts)
GHR Somerset (The Breeze Somerset)
GHR Gloucestershire (The Breeze Cheltenham)
GHR Bristol & The South West (The Breeze Bristol)
GHR Devon (The Breeze South Devon)
GHR Cornwall (New station - Launching in November)

GHR Yorkshire - Drivetime presented by Steve Priestley:
GHR Yorkshire Coast (Yorkshire Coast Radio)
GHR North Yorkshire (New station)
GHR York And North Yorkshire (Minster FM)
GHR Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales (Stray FM)
GHR West Yorkshire (Radio Aire, Pulse 2, and Ridings FM - Joining pre-exisitng station, replacing GHR Yorkshire)
GHR South Yorkshire (Rother FM, Trax FM & Dearne FM - Joining pre-existing station)
GHR Grimsby (Compass FM)
GHR North Derbyshire (Peak FM)
GHR Lincolnshire (New station - Launching in November)

Other stations:
GHR South Wales (Swansea Sound - Drivetime presented by Dave Brooks, but retaining full local daytime schedule)
GHR South Coast - Owned by Nation Broadcasting (Sam FM South Coast - Drivetime presented by Chris Wright)
GHR Hull & East Yorkshire - Owned by Nation Broadcasting (KCFM - Drivetime presented by Matt Hutchinson)
Any news on what will happen to the existing AM GHR stations?

Where I am we currently have 'Greatest Hits Radio East Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire' on AM, but the FM versions will be different versions for Grimsby and Hull, which are both in the existing AM area. Will they just keep the AM version how it is (completely national except for adverts and news), and separate from the FM version?

This situation is made even messier by the fact GHR Hull (KCFM) will have its own separate drive-time programme, meaning at drive-time GHR Hull, GHR Grimsby and the GHR East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire will all be airing completely different programmes.

Newer posts