Aircheck UK - Anglesey & Caernarfonshire

UPDATED: 13/04/2003

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BBC Radio Wales is the English language national broadcaster for Wales.  Since it became broadcasting in 1978, when the station's output lasted for just a few hours a day, with Radio 4 in between the local programming, airtime has now expanded to over 19 hours of programming produced all over the country, specifically for the people living in the west of Offa's Dyke, however, the internet provides ex-pats and other interested parties with a service internationally.  

The station's schedule focuses on the kind of information deemed relevant to life in the country, with all the usual features plus tide times, inshore water forecasts, surf conditions and hillwalkers information aired regularly.  From 6:00am to 6:00pm, the phone lines are open (08700 100110) to provide programme content in whatever form. Monday nights include the Welsh Top 40 Chart Show.

The station broadcasts nationally on 93.9 (Swansea, Llanelli & Carmarthenshire), 94.8 (Anglesey, Bangor, Gwynedd, Carnaefonshire & Conwy), 95.4 (Wrexham), 95.9 (Newport & Monmouthshire), 95.1 (Blaenavon, Torfaen & Carmarthenshire) & 104.0 (Cardiff, Penarth & Vale Of Glamorgan) and on AM bands 882 (South Wales), 657 (North Wales) & 1125 (Mid Wales).


RADIO CEREDIGION: Awarded it's licence by the Radio Authority in February 1992, the station actually came to air 14th December of the same year.  It's launch was planned to be earlier in the year but management discovered that one of it's transmitter sites was unsuitable - as another was chosen, this had to be given clearance for use by the relevant authorities.  Co-founded by local MP Simon Thomas, the station offers a bilingual community service across the west coast of Wales on three FM frequencies: 96.6, 97.4 & 103.3FM, all spanning Cardigan Bay.  The station can be heard as far north as Caernarfon and as far south as Carmarthen - reaching over 60,000 adults aged 15+.  

In May of 1999, the Radio Authority, announced that on 6th August, they would be re-advertising the station's licence.  The RA reflected on the licencee's (Radio Ceredigion CYF) record of compliance with licence conditions - which they concluded was unsatisfactory for reasons that we don't know here at AIRCHECK -   Please e-mail us with anyy information to update this matter!  (  As a result, the RA concluded that the licence should be re-advertised fully, without referring to the usual 'fast-track' procedure which would normally be followed.  The successful applicant would receive a licence from 14th December 2000.  Each applicant was required to pay a non-refundable deposit of 750.00 to apply.  By the closing date of November 9th, two applications had been received.  One was from Radio Ceredigion CYF and the other was by The Marcher Radio Group Ltd, operators of Champion 103 & Marcher Radio stations in North Wales - their competitor would be called Champion Ceredigion.  However, the existing licensee was considered to have made the better application by the Radio Authority and awarded a second licence to Radio Ceredigion 2000 CYF Ltd on 10th February 2000.  

The group has a board of directors elected by local members - for it's application, it restructured as a brand new company, hence determined by the 2000 part of the applicant name.  Seventy per cent of station shares are held by North Wales Newspapers Ltd.  The RA saw this involvement as making a significant plus point to the group's application, giving buoyancy to previously seen shortfalls in funding, and ensuring adequate provision of the service in future.  They referred to the large proportion of speech on the station, in comparison to other commercial radio stations, and the fact that it uses a large number of volunteers to run the station.  Research conducted by station management revealed a strong listener base, particularly those that speak Welsh and infact, the highest percentage of audience in the area.  However, the RA felt that the station perhaps didn't serve those that didn't speak Welsh as well.  This is in stark contrast to recent concerns expressed by Ceredigion MP and station co-founder Simon Thomas - he expressed concerns in local political circles about the amount of Welsh that would be heard on the station in the future.  He referred to elements of Welsh programming that were seen as decreasing with English now the mainstay language of peak time broadcasting.  Mr Thomas accused the station of undermining the Welsh language and that the English bias was having a detrimental impact on the survival of the Welsh language.  He called on future regulator OFCOM to impose stricter controls on the station's output when they next reconsider the station's licence.  This will not be until December 2008!

Radio Ceredigion broadcasts from studios at the Old Welsh School on Alexandra Road in Aberystwyth.                                


CHAMPION 103 / CHAMPION FM: This comparatively new station provides Caernarfon and surrounding areas with current and classic hits, and local and national news in a bilingual format.  Originally part of Marcher Sound Ltd, it came to air 11th December 1998 from studios at Llys y Dderwen Parc, Menai, Bangor on 103.0FM, and awarded the licence on 5th March of that year.  The licence promised a broad bilingual format of current and classic hits for 25 year olds complemented by a comprehensive local news sport and community information service.  It was, at the time, one of the few remaining areas in the UK which did not then receive any Independent Local Radio service.

By all accounts, and at the time of compilation of this part of the site, Champion FM hadn't been fully GWR'd - and hasn't yet had the 'KOKO.COM' treeatment to the station's website.  As a result, there's no 'garish' funny coloured flare logo just yet on the site, and the 'dashing' logo with target in the 'O' remains.  However, there is reference to 'Black Thunders' and Graham Torrington, clearly identifying a GWR station if there ever was one.  Visit the presenter's page and the 'flare' appears along with presenter e-mails at  

Wales finally succumbed to GWR in October 2000, when Marcher Radio was grabbed consisting of Coast-FM, Champion 103 and MFM stations.  The full acquisition showed early signs back in July 2000.  Marcher Radio asked GWR's sales arm, OPUS to sell their airtime - OPUS said it didn't normally sell airtime for non-group stations, however the deal was done when it was agreed GWR could take a 20% stake in Marcher Radio.  Marcher then gave notice to their national sales house that OPUS would be taking control.  A full GWR acquisition soon followed after it disposed of eight DMG stations earlier that year.  We apologise that there is currently no further information known about Champion 103.




STUDENT: The first student radio station for Bangor University, Storm FM, commenced a five year licence on Wednesday 19th March 2003.  The launch was the culmination of five years of campaigning and raising funds for the station.  The station provides a low-power service on 87.7FM to 1000+ students who use the main residential premises of the University (the Ffriddoedd Buildings).  Presenters Mal & Simon were the first on-air giving away a brand new television.  All students are trained on how to use the studio equipment in order to provide a broad range of programming, although mainstream hours feature pop, rock and dance music. 

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