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Bauer rebranding 53 stations to The Hits/Greatest Hits

The majority of its acquisitions last year

BB
BBI45 Central (East) East Midlands Today
BBI45 posted:

One issue that I've thought of is that on Radioplayer, there will be 60 stations listed as Greatest Hits Radio. I get that they will be listed with their coverage area, but that'll be a lot of stations with the same logo, playing the same songs, to search through in a bid to find your local version.

Er, have you seen Heart on RadioPlayer?

Also surely there won't be 60 GHR's? There's only 43 Hearts

Just done the maths.

12 current GHR stations + at least 40 rebranded stations (based on this list + KCFM, Sam FM (South Coast), & Radio Aire) + 3 new GHR stations (Cornwall, East Mids, and Lincolnshire) = 55

Not quite 60, but 12 more stations than Heart.

EDIT: Forgot Nation Broadcasting stations
Last edited by BBI45 on 16 July 2020 4:35pm - 2 times in total
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IS
Inspector Sands
I've lost track of the Heart stations as they've been merged and restructured several times. Apparently there's only 13 now.

The 42 (I accidently counted Heart Dance) listed on Radio Player are presumably local advertising and news versions they seem to be based on the older bigger ILRs, but I think they're made up of more constituent stations. Heart Sussex is Mercury and Southern Sound for example. One of the ones in Hertfordshire is Bob FM and something else etc

The GHRs will be consolidated and there'll be far fewer, even if that doesn't happen on 1st September they will over time

Town 102 is counted as a station that's being replaced but its not on FM and is being subsumed into a neighbour
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 16 July 2020 5:29pm - 3 times in total
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
What’s interesting with Bauer is that they’ve kept its London FM stations away from Hits and Greatest Hits Radio brands. Not sure that will change as they’re all much more tightly targeted in a more crowded market. But I could see Bauer turning round in a year or two and decided to replace Greatest Hits with Magic or Absolute and Hits with Kiss outside of London.

Bauer always seems very reluctant to change things and then when they do decide to do something totally different 6 months later. Look at the merry go round of formats at 105.2 in the West Midlands or launching the Big City 2 network. Whereas once Global decide they’re going to do something they do it and don’t look back.
Last edited by Jon on 16 July 2020 5:21pm
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IS
Inspector Sands
Jon posted:
What’s interesting with Bauer is that they’ve kept its London FM stations away from Hits and Greatest Hits Radio brands. Not sure that will change as they’re all much more tightly targeted in a more crowded market. But I could see Bauer turning round in a year or two and decided to replace Greatest Hits with Magic or Absolute and Hits with Kiss outside of London.

That's the big difference between Bauer and Globals main networks - all of Globals are on air (on analogue) in London whereas that's not the case with Bauer except for the few Kiss's around the country, and Absolute which is a relay of a national station

On the plus side though it does mean that Hits and Greatest Hits have a USP of being non-London networks, although I'm not sure if they've ever marketed themselves as that. Problem now is that they're traditionally northern networks now being introduced into the south which could be more difficult than say Heart or Capital
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BB
BBI45 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I've lost track of the Heart stations as they've been merged and restructured several times. Apparently there's only 13 now.

The 42 (I accidently counted Heart Dance) listed on Radio Player are presumably local advertising and news versions they seem to be based on the older bigger ILRs, but I think they're made up of more constituent stations. Heart Sussex is Mercury and Southern Sound for example. One of the ones in Hertfordshire is Bob FM and something else etc

The GHRs will be consolidated and there'll be far fewer, even if that doesn't happen on 1st September they will over time

Town 102 is counted as a station that's being replaced but its not on FM and is being subsumed into a neighbour

This is what it comes back to. Most of these individual stations will only exist because of local news requirements. If you take away that requirement, the GHR network would consist of the following: North West, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, Central, East, South, South West, Scotland, Wales, Hull & The Solent.

Unless OFCOM decides to relieve stations of their local news requirements, then I can't see the long list of stations being consolidated.
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JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
I’ve got a feeling there are Ofcom defined regions, so for example stations in the North West could all become one station with one set of local news.

Yes, they can just request ‘approved areas’ and merge all the output in a region that way.
https://radiotoday.co.uk/2020/05/bauer-media-requests-own-ofcom-approved-areas/
NW
nwtv2003 Granada North West Today
Jon posted:
I’ve got a feeling there are Ofcom defined regions, so for example stations in the North West could all become one station with one set of local news.


I believe they use the ITV regional structure as their defined radio regions, I think Scotland is counted as one however.
steve
steviegTVreturns
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
Jon posted:
I’ve got a feeling there are Ofcom defined regions, so for example stations in the North West could all become one station with one set of local news.


I believe they use the ITV regional structure as their defined radio regions, I think Scotland is counted as one however.

Yes, so basically any Greatest Hits station in the same ITV region as others can merge their output. They can also request to adapt these if it doesn’t quite make sense.

So basically Greatest Hits is likely to have a shared local programme in each of each regions and shared news with the only thing differing possibly advertising.

So local news requirements aren’t really in place anymore only regional news requirements.
BB
BBI45 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Jon posted:
Jon posted:
I’ve got a feeling there are Ofcom defined regions, so for example stations in the North West could all become one station with one set of local news.


I believe they use the ITV regional structure as their defined radio regions, I think Scotland is counted as one however.

Yes, so basically any Greatest Hits station in the same ITV region as others can merge their output. They can also request to adapt these if it doesn’t quite make sense.

So basically Greatest Hits is likely to have a shared local programme in each of each regions and shared news with the only thing differing possibly advertising.

So local news requirements aren’t really in place anymore only regional news requirements.

But if they don't need to provide local news under current regulations, then why will they be continuing to do so? Bauer says the reason why they're making these changes now is to ensure commercial viability in the aftermath of COVID-19. If this is the case, then why would they spend more money than they need to on local news?
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CI
cityprod West Country (West) Spotlight
BBI45 posted:
Jon posted:

I believe they use the ITV regional structure as their defined radio regions, I think Scotland is counted as one however.

Yes, so basically any Greatest Hits station in the same ITV region as others can merge their output. They can also request to adapt these if it doesn’t quite make sense.

So basically Greatest Hits is likely to have a shared local programme in each of each regions and shared news with the only thing differing possibly advertising.

So local news requirements aren’t really in place anymore only regional news requirements.

But if they don't need to provide local news under current regulations, then why will they be continuing to do so? Bauer says the reason why they're making these changes now is to ensure commercial viability in the aftermath of COVID-19. If this is the case, then why would they spend more money than they need to on local news?


Because local news is actually the one thing that listeners most want from their local radio station. Survey after survey has demonstrated that. Besides, the alternative is having BBC local radio as your only provider of local news on radio.
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
Worth remembering that while Nation stations will take Hits or Greatest Hits programming as part of a franchise agreement, Ofcom rules stipulate that the franchisee must provide three hours a day on weekdays of programming from within the regional approved area.

This leads to GHR Solent (currently Sam FM) having to provide a regional drivetime show for that station as Bauer aren't allowed to provide programming, except news during that period.

They'll also be a similar situation in Hull where the current KCFM also owned by Nation will have to provide another local show, while sister GHR stations owned by Bauer can share with stations across Yorks and Lincs.

Global have been franchising their brands for a few years now. There are Capital franchises in Cardiff and Central Scotland owned by Communicorp, another Capital franchise which covers areas surrounding Birmingham owned by Quidem, while Communicorp also run franchises of Heart in Yorkshire, Hertfordshire and North Wales, along with Smooth in the East Midlands, North West, North East, Kettering and Peterborough.

Warehousing isn't new. GWR sold Classic Gold to UBC, while GWR continued to provide studio space for the stations.
BB
BBI45 Central (East) East Midlands Today
BBI45 posted:
Jon posted:
Yes, so basically any Greatest Hits station in the same ITV region as others can merge their output. They can also request to adapt these if it doesn’t quite make sense.

So basically Greatest Hits is likely to have a shared local programme in each of each regions and shared news with the only thing differing possibly advertising.

So local news requirements aren’t really in place anymore only regional news requirements.

But if they don't need to provide local news under current regulations, then why will they be continuing to do so? Bauer says the reason why they're making these changes now is to ensure commercial viability in the aftermath of COVID-19. If this is the case, then why would they spend more money than they need to on local news?


Because local news is actually the one thing that listeners most want from their local radio station. Survey after survey has demonstrated that. Besides, the alternative is having BBC local radio as your only provider of local news on radio.

I'm aware of that. My point is that I thought that OFCOM requires local news to be maintained and that is why stations aren't being consolidated left, right, and centre. Not that Bauer was keeping them separate for advertising only.
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