Aircheck UK - Angus / Forfarshire

UPDATED: 09/08/2003

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SCOTLAND

BBC LOCAL RADIO BBC Radio Scotland provides a national service on FM frequencies 92-95FM & 810 MW.  The Gaelic service BBC Radio nan Gaidheal broadcasts on 103.5 - 105FM.   

COMMERCIAL:  LOCAL (ILR):

RADIO NORTH ANGUS / RNA FM: Acknowledgments are made to the source of the following information - the station website at www.radionorthangus.co.uk. One of a few, if not the only commercial radio station to come from a hospital - this being because it started life solely as a hospital radio station.  Radio North Angus is a voluntary organisation that operates an Independent Local Radio Station and Hospital Broadcasting Stations in the county of Angus, Scotland. The Service was co-founded by Malcolm Finlayson and Ian Clark, who had previously been involved with the Dundee Hospital Broadcasting Service, Radio Tayside, since 1969, holding the positions of Honorary Secretary and Chief Engineer, respectively, since 1973.

Radio North Angus, (RNA), commenced broadcasting by closed circuit transmissions at Stracathro Hospital, by Brechin, on 9 January 1979, with a two tier music based format, whereby specialist music was broadcast daily between 1830 and 1930 hours, followed by requests between 1930 and 2200 hours. The success of the Station created a demand for similar services in other Angus hospitals, but distances between these centres and Stracathro made the concept of landline rental prohibitive. Consequently, it was decided to establish a system of stand alone Stations, and the Arbroath Infirmary and Forfar Infirmary Radio Stations commenced broadcasting on 28 October 1980 and 3 June 1985 respectively. The smaller Angus hospitals were catered for by means of out-housed mobile control desks at Whitehills Hospital, Forfar, Brechin and Montrose Infirmaries, and Little Cairnie Hospital, Arbroath being utilised on a fortnightly basis in wards and day areas.

During 1995, Radio Lonsdale, the Barrow-in-Furness Hospital Broadcasting Service, was commissioned by the Radio Authority to conduct experimental F.M. transmissions, with a view to a wavelength being allocated for hospital broadcasting use, which would vastly improve reception by recipients who were hitherto restricted to hospital internal broadcasting closed circuit systems. The pilot broadcasts were successful, and RNA subsequently acquired licences for the Arbroath and Stracathro Radio Stations, commencing broadcasting in Spring 1996 on 87.7 FM, with an output power of 50 milliwatts, becoming the second British and first Scottish Hospital Broadcasting Service to use freely radiating radio transmissions. Although being designed specifically for hospitals, the broadcasts were audible on domestic receivers for two miles, which created a demand from the population of Arbroath for a local radio service.

A statement of intent was lodged with the Radio Authority for the provision of a Service for an area of Angus, and, having undergone a competitive process, RNA became the first Hospital Broadcasting Service to be allocated an Independent Local Radio licence. The remit is for a wide ranging music based Service to promote health, welfare, voluntary organisations, educational establishments, and the local economy. RNA F.M commenced transmissions from Arbroath Infirmary on 96.6FM on 28 November 1998 with a power output of 25 watts. The Station quickly became established as the Local Radio for the Area, with many favourable comments received, and a cost-free service being provided to the NHS, Angus Council, Angus College, Emergency Services, local schools and numerous voluntary organisations, which utilised the opportunity to disseminate information.

In late 1999, the Radio Authority gave approval to an increase in output power, and on 8 February 2000, the level was increased to 200 watts, facilitating transmissions being receivable over a wide area of the County. RNA continues to operate on entirely a voluntary basis, the aim being to provide a high quality, localised radio service for the benefit of the population, with the slogan “Music and care on air across Angus”.

Programmes are broadcast on a 7 day per week, 24 hour per day basis. News is broadcast frequently, national news being transmitted courtesy of IRN.

RNA F.M offers a diverse range of programming and presenters with the invitation to the listener to “Enjoy the mix on 966”. In this respect, a system of one presenter, and occasionally two presenters for each of the 55 programmes per week has been adopted, with programmes being of 1½, 2 and 2½hours duration, the exceptions being the Church Service of 1 hour duration, and the Music and Sport programme lasting 3 hours, which includes football commentaries.

Presenters are trained to develop a natural, person-to-person style, and to identify closely with the local population, in order to accord with the statement “RNA – radio at its natural best”.

The membership is in the order of 70 to 80, as a significant number of volunteers are required to maintain the policy of one presenter for each of the 55 weekly programmes. A number of the volunteers have been involved in hospital broadcasting for substantial periods, and have received long service awards issued by the Hospital Broadcasting Association for 30, 25, 20 and 15 years service.

Certain past presenters have successfully pursued careers in professional broadcasting. Prospective presenters are given a thorough training, and potential members are invited to contact the Secretary, Malcolm J. B. Finlayson, 11 Bankhead Crescent, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 2DP tel. 01241 871446.

Operational costs are extremely low, owing to the voluntary nature of the organisation, and accommodation being provided in hospitals. The NHS supplies a recurring Endowment Grant, which equates to 25% of the revenue costs, and a further 25% is derived from fund-raising activities such as collections, and the supply of music/commentary at events. The balance is met from low cost advertising, (£100-£150 per year), which is specifically designed to avoid displacement to the livelihood of individuals employed in the professional media.

Since inception, RNA has enjoyed substantial financial support from the NHS, Grant Issuing bodies, and organisations and individuals in the local area, which is appreciated.

The Arbroath and Stracathro Radio Stations each have two studios, with one studio in Forfar. 18 and 10 channel self op Alice Air 2000 consoles are on site in Arbroath, with a 12 Channel Air 2000 in one of the Stracathro studios.

Ancillary studio equipment is mainly Sonifex and Technics. The transmissions systems consist of SBS transmitters and amplifiers etc. which were installed by Andy Bantock, Delta Broadcast/SBS, 3 Burgess Road, Ivy House Lane, Hastings TW35 4NR tel. 01424 431234 and Martin Noar, Libra Solutions, 34 Furham Field, Hatch End, Middlesex HA5 4DZ tel. 0181 428 2776, whom RNA would highly recommend.

Health Care in Britain is evolving into a Community, rather than a Hospital based Service, with the concept being that patients should only be admitted when absolutely necessary. Fewer inpatents, selective admission policies, early discharge schemes, coupled with increasing numbers of individuals being catered for by the N.H.S., Local Authorities, and the Private Health Care Sector, in Community and Domiciliary settings, has reduced audiences being served by the traditional method of closed circuit hospital broadcasting.

Devised and pioneered by Radio North Angus, the Health Care Radio model, which transformed the Arbroath Infirmary Hospital Radio, with a potential audience of 100, into an Independent Local Radio with a reach in excess of 50,000, offers organisations a template to serve patients within and outwith hospitals, whilst broadening the field of activity to be beneficial to an Area at large, as per the remit of R.N.A. F.M., previously described.

Advances in broadcasting technology will allow R.N.A. the opportunity to develop the service further in terms of content, output, and coverage, in order to meet the increasing demands of the audiences.

To acknowledge the numerous organisations and individuals who have lent assistance would be exhaustive, but Radio North Angus appreciates, in particular, the input of the following:-

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DISCOVERY 102 / WAVE 102: What's in a name?  Well, quite a lot if you're talking about this Dundee based radio station, when it found itself up against a very large internationally known TV company of the same name. In 1986, Captain Scott of the Antarctic's ship HMS Discovery returned to it's homeland - this is a well known moment of history for the locals and something that the City took up as a hallmark to coincide with the local regeneration of the area.  So the name perhaps seemed a natural choice for a new radio station.  The station launched as Discovery 102 on 30th August 1999.  In the month before the launch, Discovery Communications Inc. of America, operators of the TV channel of the same name, took action against the station regarding the use of the name 'Discovery', and wanted them to change it.  At such a busy time for station launch, such a court order would have been catastrophic, with obvious branding appearing widespread across the transmission area to promote the forthcoming station.  Had the order have been made, the launch, which was by then just a week away, would have been cancelled.  The court ruled in the station's favour just a matter of hours before launch.  But this wasn't to be the end of it and the American giant made further moves.  

In October 1999, in the Scottish Court of Session's Inner House, Discovery Communications Inc, the claimant in a landmark court hearing (Discovery Communications Inc), claimed they had registered the name 'Discovery' for 'The Discovery Channel' with a disclaimer that there was no exclusive right to the word 'channel' in class 38 in respect of 'cable, satellite and over the air television and radio broadcasting'.  Management and representatives of Discovery 102 (Discovery FM Limited) (Independent Radio Group) used the 'mark' for a local radio service in Dundee referring to the return of HMS Discovery and the well publicised slogan 'Dundee - the City of Discovery'.  The Lordd Ordinary overseeing the case refused to place an injunction based on trade mark infringement but said that Discovery Communications Inc had a weak case and that station representatives would be significantly more damaged by an injunction on what he referred to as the balance of convenience.  Or perhaps more simply - the station is no where near the size of the TV group and would have more to lose.   Discovery Communications, the claimant, appealed.  Due to the disclaimer in it's name, Discovery Communications Inc argued infringement on the grounds of 'identical mark/identical goods' and 'similar mark/identical goods/confusion'.  Their appeal was allowed. 

The disclaimer on the word 'Channel' prevented actions from anyone on this word alone.  The Lord Ordinary had considered that regard had to be made to the confusion factor rather than the actual fair use of the name for the purposes of radio broadcasting.  He concluded that a difference in the nature of content - the fact that the radio station would naturally not carry the type of programming carried by the TV station - would not be sufficient to deter confusion.  The use of the word 'discovery' in the slogan for the City was not deemed to be a geographical use providing the radio station with a strong defence.  The Lord also concluded that such a defence would not be applicable where the station uses the name as a trade mark which applied in this case.  Trade marks are not revocable until they have not been used for 5 continuous years.  As long as the trade mark is not given up, any possible confusion is to assessed by the level of possible reference in a hypothetical sense and not by the actual reference to the goods it is associated with.  Perhaps considering the number of homes that can receive the TV channels, compared to the number of homes that can locally receive the radio station, throw this hypothetical train of thought into some perspective.  

No sooner had IRG launched the station, in December 1999, The Wireless Group Limited made a takeover bid for IRG to the tune of £21.5m through it's subsidiary The Radio Partnership Limited, as acquired by TWG earlier in 1999.  IRG owned six Scottish and Northern England based radio stations at the time, 96.3 QFM (West Central Scotland), Scot FM (Regional Central Scotland), Discovery 102 (as it still was then), 102.4 Wish FM (Wigan/St. Helens), 107.2 Wire FM (Warrington/Widnes/Runcorn) and Manchester's AM station 1458 Lite AM.  The takeover went ahead.

As a result of the court hearing, Discovery 102 became the 'Wave' brand of current station owners The Wireless Group (TWG) and is now known as Wave 102.  The renaming had to be authorised by the Radio Authority - following this request being processed by them, the station name change occurred before the beginning of the financial year of 2000-2001.  The Dundonians of the area were disgusted by the ruling, saying that their home town had been known as the City of Discovery for some considerable time.  A spokesperson for Dundee's 'City of Discovery' campaign said the decision was 'ridiculous' stating that Dundee went hand in hand with a name synonymous with local regeneration and that many local businesses had adopted the name too.   

Today, the station plays contemporary classic hits along with an output of local news and information from studios at 8 South Tay Street in Dundee, using 102.0FM.   www.wave102.co.uk.  

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RADIO TAY / TAY FM: It was the 17th October 1980 when what was then Radio Tay began broadcasting to Perth and Dundee.  It originally launched under simulcasting, i.e. broadcasting the same service on both AM & FM.  Upon launch, the station's presenters were criticised for being 'Dundonian' - less professional that national radio presenters who were actually better and different than that emanating from radios playing the Radio Tay service.   

In 1983, the station was heard in London!  But this wasn't a wierd atmospheric quirk.  Scottish ILR stations took out a Restricted Service Licence in Central London for four weeks using 100.5FM.  Radio Clyde, Forth, West Sound, Borders, North Sound, Central Radio, Moray Firth Radio and Radio Tay programming aired, targeted at London advertising execs who would not normally hear the Scottish stations, with the aim to get them to send some business northwards.  

Whilst other UK commercial radio stations had split a long time ago, it wasn't until 9th January 1995 that Radio Tay split into separate FM & AM services, giving the Dundee area, around 160,000 a choice of listening.  TAY FM continued on with the usual pop hit radio so recognisable and so traditional on the band.  Now owned by Scottish Radio Holdings, it originally started out as a completely separate station - however, in the 1980s,  Radio Tay merged with neighbouring Radio Forth, who in-turn also owned Radio Borders - an attractive acquisitional target - and having acquired Aberdeen's Northsound Radio SRH took over Forth, Tay & Borders in 1992. 

December 2000 saw the announcement of the start of takeover talks..  The mother group received approaches from a number of bodies and entered talks with a view to receiving an offer.  In November of 2000, SRH was the target of a stock market raid by the other big Scottish radio group SMG, owner of the two major television channels.  Shares in SRH rose and speculation was rife and the group appointed an investment banker to make a study of the group's strategies.  Groups linked with a takeover included SMG, EMAP & Capital Radio.  

However, SRH has continued under it's own steam, and Tay FM now operates on two frequencies - 102.8 for Dundee and 96.4 for Perth, broadcasting from studios at 6 North Isla Street in Dundee with a service of chart hits, AOR music, dance, sport, news and information.              www.radiotay.co.uk 

RADIO TAY / TAY AM:  It was the 17th October 1980 when what was then Radio Tay began broadcasting to Perth and Dundee.  It originally launched under simulcasting, i.e. broadcasting the same service on both AM & FM.  Upon launch, the station's presenters were criticised for being 'Dundonian' - less professional that national radio presenters who were actually better and different than that emanating from radios playing the Radio Tay service.  

In 1983, the station was heard in London!  But this wasn't a wierd atmospheric quirk.  Scottish ILR stations took out a Restricted Service Licence in Central London for four weeks using 100.5FM.  Radio Clyde, Forth, West Sound, Borders, North Sound, Central Radio, Moray Firth Radio and Radio Tay programming aired, targeted at London advertising execs who would not normally hear the Scottish stations, with the aim to get them to send some business northwards. 

Whilst other UK commercial radio stations had split a long time ago, it wasn't until 9th January 1995 that Radio Tay split into separate FM & AM services, giving the Dundee area, totalling around 160,000 a choice of listening.  TAY AM continued on with the usual classic hit and oldies format so recognisable and so traditional on the band.  Now owned by Scottish Radio Holdings, it originally started out as a completely separate station - however, in the 1980s,  Radio Tay merged with neighbouring Radio Forth, who in-turn also owned Radio Borders - an attractive acquisitional target - and having acquired Aberdeen's Northsound Radio SRH took over Forth, Tay & Borders in 1992.

December 2000 saw the announcement of the start of takeover talks..  The mother group received approaches from a number of bodies and entered talks with a view to receiving an offer.  In November of 2000, SRH was the target of a stock market raid by the other big Scottish radio group SMG, owner of the two major television channels.  Shares in SRH rose and speculation was rife and the group appointed an investment banker to make a study of the group's strategies.  Groups linked with a takeover included SMG, EMAP & Capital Radio. 

However, SRH has continued under it's own steam, and Tay AM now operates on two frequencies - 1161 AM for Dundee and 1584 for Perth, broadcasting from studios at 6 North Isla Street in Dundee with a service of chart & classic hits, sport, news and information - it now reaches an estimated 200,000 people across Tayside, Perthshire and North East Fife.           www.radiotay.co.uk

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