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Bauer rebranding 53 stations to The Hits/Greatest Hits

The majority of its acquisitions last year

CO
commseng London London
Did they ever consider a name that wouldn't have had any copyright issues what so ever, such as BRMB as the one brand?
It was well known even to the advertising industry in far away London, where they generally know little about the rest of the UK.
IS
Inspector Sands
It's not a terrible name, but when you see it written down as 'Free Radio Birmingham' it does sound like some sort of clandestine political station. I imagine that I'll hear Wolfie Smith on it - Power to the people, freedom for Birmingham
AndrewPSSP, Hatton Cross and thegeek gave kudos
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
I suspect they thought that would annoy Wyvern, Beacon and Mercia listeners more than rebranding to something totally different.

I suspect they were using the term ‘Free’ as in ‘free and easy’ but It sounded like Free as ‘cheap’ and ‘Freeview’. Most of the other successful generic brands give you a sense of what the station is about apart from maybe ‘Capital’ but, that’s a distinctive and interesting sounding word with lots of heritage in its biggest market.

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be Hits Radio soon enough.
MA
madmusician Central (West) Midlands Today
Interesting stuff, all - many thanks. I was just wondering why, when Bauer decided to network the Hits Radio feed (but with a local breakfast) for Free, they didn’t take the opportunity to rename in the way that Global do, which would lead to a clearer on-air output.

But I accept that it will probably happen sooner rather than later in any case...

9 days later

IS
Inspector Sands
Seems GHR is arriving a lot sooner than expected. A lot of the new Bauer stations are taking the network programmes outside of breakfast from Monday: https://radiotoday.co.uk/2020/07/bauer-starts-to-roll-out-hits-and-greatest-hits-to-new-radio-stations/

Interestingly the breakfast presenter, 'Rossie' is doing drivetime for these stations while they have a local breakfast. Then that will change in September with local drive and Rossie on breakfast. Which seems to suggest he's doing two shows a day fr the summer

Unless there's been a change of plan and they're doing local breakfast shows instead
AS
Ash101
It’s a bit of a mess, isn’t it. They may as well just go the whole hog and get the rebrand done.

I’m not sure how it works technically, will all presenters be doing a second version of their show? One branding GHR for the current network & one not for this new cluster who still have The Breeze/Peak FM/etc as their on air name.
IS
Inspector Sands
Well they're lucky to have a name that is a phrase in itself so easier to put into links without using it as the name of the station. A bit more easy than having to get, for example 'capital' into every other link on a station not called capital.

Some stations/programmes do have DJs that record links during songs so they can do a split link. There was a good example of this on one of the groups of stations that became Capital earlier in the year, a DJ did three farewell messages on three stations at the same time ('I'm going to miss Coventry', 'I'm gong to miss Rugby' etc)

It's possible but how complex it is to bother setting up for 6 weeks I don't know. Doing multiple links for each brand wouldn't happen, but possibly they could record generic 'hi this is Andy Crane in Peak FM'... 'hi this is Andy Crane on Signal 2' etc in advance and get the local studios to play them out at certain times. But then if they're phasing out the names then why bother.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I can't imagine there would be anybody at the local studios to play it out? I think as you say the generic sounding name is the key factor here. "This is Andy Crane playing the greatest hits" then split jingles to fire off a Peak FM branded sweeper over the start of the next track.
Write that down in your copybook now.
IS
Inspector Sands
I can't imagine there would be anybody at the local studios to play it out? I think as you say the generic sounding name is the key factor here. "This is Andy Crane playing the greatest hits" then split jingles to fire off a Peak FM branded sweeper over the start of the next track.

If they can play split jingles, sweepers and local ads from the local stations automation they can play a split generic link. It's the same thing and doesn't need anyone there to do it.
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 11 July 2020 8:32am
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Exactly, or even go further and have generic links and different music like Absolute do. The way you phrased it sounded like you were suggesting that somebody would play it in locally rather than via automation.
Write that down in your copybook now.
IS
Inspector Sands
Exactly, or even go further and have generic links and different music like Absolute do. The way you phrased it sounded like you were suggesting that somebody would play it in locally rather than via automation.

Oh no I meant the studio in a technical sense. I don't know if the actual physical studios at the stations has to be live or whether it can just sit in a rack doing its own thing

I wonder how difficult it is to integrate the systems? Surely there was no guarantee that the playout software at all their new stations is compatible with the one at Bauer and if it is things like naming conventions for the content on them will differ. Or is there a common protocol?

The Absolute model, what they do for breakfast is very clever but probably not what they want to achieve, ultimately they want them all the same
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Presumably they would have to figure all of that out so that the network studio can fire off ad breaks locally, it's just an extension of that system?
Write that down in your copybook now.

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