Aircheck UK - Dorset

UPDATED: 22/10/2003

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ENGLAND

BBC LOCAL RADIO

BBC RADIO DORSET FM: A short-lived BBC Local Radio station, it was actually an opt-out service from BBC Radio Devon and first went to air on 26th April 1993.  Dorset could have had it's own full-time BBC station - but plans were scrapped.  In 1996, the opt-out was done away with when it merged with BBC Radio Solent (see below).

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BBC RADIO SOLENT covers Dorset, one of the country's most picturesque counties, including Lyme Regis, Swanage, Shaftesbury and Portland Bill.  A dedicated news and information service is broadcast on Solent's 103.8FM frequency every hour with an hour long evening news show from 5pm.  The service is supported by a team of six journalists spread across the county, in Dorchester, Bournemouth and Poole.  BBC RADIO SOLENT broadcasts an addtional service for Hampshire on 96.1 FM and also on 999 and 1359 AM.  The station came on-air 31st December 1970.  Dorset is served by the Bincombe Hill transmitter on 103.8 and by the Bournemouth transmitter on 1359AM.  www.bbc.co.uk/england/radiosolent/dorset.shtml

COMMERCIAL:  LOCAL (ILR)

OVERVIEW: In June 1998, the Radio Authority announced that a total of 14 groups had applied for radio licences for the Solent & Mid Hants region.  The successful applicants would be classed as 'SALLIES' or 'small-scale local licences'.  Central Hampshire Radio Ltd proposed a service with a broad mix of music for the people of Winchester, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and the neighbouring localities, Harbour Radio targetted the 25-44 age group in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant area,  Hope FM focused on a Christian and community format for Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and surrounding areas, Max FM proposed a 70s to 90s and today format for Hythe, Totton, Chandlers Ford, Hedge End and Eastleigh, The NRG was to be a dance and soul station for Poole, Bournemouth, Wimborne, Christchurch and Ferndown, Poole FM was another broad music mix station for Poole, SouthCity Radio would be a broad appeal station for Southampton, Mix FM focussed on a younger audience around Southampton, Eastleigh and the Waterside, Splash FM offered a family service for the same locality, V107 (Vanguard Radio) would take a 'past 35 years format for the Havant area, Verwood Radio was to be a classic rock station with a community slant, Victory FM for Greater Portsmouth was again a broad appeal station, Voyager FM for Southampton was to be a community and music led youth service, and finally, Win 107 for Winchester was to be a strong mix of local news, info and popular music.  The RA selected The NRG, Win 107, SouthCity FM and Victory FM as suitable for licences.  

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107.6 The NRG / FIRE 107.6 FM: Serving the Dorset coastal towns of Bournemouth & Poole with rhythmic contemporary hits and information, Fire 107.6 FM is part of the Radio Investments Ltd family, but launched as 107.6 The NRG on 26th June 1999.  On 10th December 1998, the Radio Authority announced it had awarded four licences for the Solent & Mid Hants area.  Fourteen applicants applied - four came out, SouthCityFM for Southampton, Radio Victory for Portsmouth, Win 107 for Winchester and The NRG for Bournemouth, Poole, Wimbourne, Ferndown and parts of Christchurch.  The station was to have a format of rhythmic contemporary hit radio with a high proportion of dance and soul music and a high percentage of the speech element revolving around relevant local issues.  Of the fourteen applicants for licences, It beat off localised competition from Hope FM (see below) with it's Christian focus, Purbeck Radio Ltd's Poole FM, a 60's to today format for Poole only and South Dorset Radio Ltd's Mix FM targeting a younger audience.   Fire 107.6 replaced The NRG as the station name approximately 18 months after the 1999 launch.  It currently broadcasts from studios at Quadrant Studios on the Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth.  

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TWO COUNTIES RADIO / 2CR / 2CR-FM: 15th September 1980 was the launch date for Bournemouth's first commercial radio station, and is therefore one of the old school of ILR stations.  Along with Berkshire's Radio 210, Bournemouth's 2CR was part of a now defunct group called "Consolidated Radio Holdings".  Little is known about the group's history.   In 1989/1990, about to set about a prominent acquisitional program, CRH was taken over by Bristol's GWR, and the station now continues as part of the mother group's MIX network of FM stations, featuring the corporate 'flare' logo.

Licenced to cover the Bournemouth area on 102.3, a 24-hour a day service is offered, 13 hours of peaktime output per weekday must be local, 12 hours Saturday and 8 hours Sunday.  Programming is networked from Bristol's GWR HQ or other satellite studio outside of these hours.  The character of the service is explained by the licence as being a contemporary and chart music station with information for the under 40s in the Bournemouth area. 

Music programming will be current chart hits, new releases or hits up to ten years old. Up to 25% may be hits over 10 years old. Specialist music programmes for the target audience, which complement the main music mix, may be broadcast for up to 30 hours a week, mostly in non daytime.  There are no specialist programmes aired on the station, even though the licence permits it.  

The station is further explained as being music-led, but information and/or features of particular local relevance will be in evidence (via at least three informational inserts/drop-ins during each hour of non locally produced programming, except for occasional syndicated shows such as the Sunday afternoon Chart Show), with hourly bulletins containing local news run at least during peak-time. National news will feature at other times. Speech should account for at least 10% of daytime output.

www.musicradio.com Warning: Visiting this link and selecting a station from the map will set that station as default in your browser.  Next time you visit the web-address, you will be taken instantly to the exact GWR station you visited first time, unless you clear the PC of any brower / history settings.  You have been warned!

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TWO COUNTIES RADIO / 2CR / 2CR CLASSIC GOLD / CLASSIC GOLD 828: 15th September 1980 was the launch date for Bournemouth's first commercial radio station, and is therefore one of the old school of ILR stations.  Along with Berkshire's Radio 210, Bournemouth's 2CR was part of a now defunct group called "Consolidated Radio Holdings".  Little is known about the group's history.   In 1989/1990, about to set about a prominent acquisitional program, CRH was taken over by Bristol's GWR, and the station now continues under the AM oldies music brand name Classic Gold, (known within radio circles in previous years as 'Classic Gaps' due to networking problems), once a lively jingle and classic oldies led station, which has been rolled out, to such an extent, from it's humble beginnings as Brunel Classic Gold (15/11/1988 - 936/1161/1260kHz AM), to be a National Network, also launched on Digital platforms..  Bournemouth's 2CR AM service was branded 2CR Classic Gold 828, along with Reading's 210 Classic Gold 1431.   2CR & 210 took output from Brunel in Swindon at one stage.  As GWR's acquisitional strategy reached the upper and maximum levels of the Radio Authority's ownership points system, further takeovers could not be permitted until others had been offloaded.  In a deal with Unique Broadcasting (UBC), (of which GWR owns 20%), the GWR AM frequency Classic Gold stations were sold, firstly in part, then totally, leaving the group with just FM services in it's exclusive portfolio.  However, it is understood that the 'sale' included a clause that GWR could buy back the stations if (and when) the broadcasting authorities relaxed the rules on ownership.  Each Classic Gold station, including this one, includes minimalistic locally originated programming, (approx four hours per weekday for example) with the rest being networked and containing celebrity as well as lesser known broadcasters.  www.classicgolddigital.com 

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GOLD RADIO / 97.4 VALE FM:  Shaftesbury's local station came to air as GOLD RADIO on 25th June 1995 and was the second radio station to be launched by Radio Investments Ltd to serve the Dorset town of Shaftesbury and surrounding areas of Cranborne Chase and Blandford, from Longmead Studios in Shaftesbury.  As well as it's primary 97.4 FM transmitter, there is also a secondary transmitter working on 96.6FM. (Radio Investments Ltd's first station was Salisbury's Spire FM)   It is whole-heartedly a community-based station funded by advertising and sponsorship - with sharp emphasis on promotion and work with community groups.    Programming runs from 6:00am to Midnight and 7:00am-10:00pm at weekends.  Vale FM is one of the most listened to radio stations in the area of the Blackmore Vale.  Over the last ten years, there's been a steady increase in audience figures - predictions show that this growth will continue.  

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WESSEX FM: It was 4th September 1993 when this station launched for Weymouth and Dorchester under the behind-the-scenes operating name of Wessex Broadcasting Limited.  The station was set up with the help of 70s & 80s radio presenter and writer for the band 'The Strawbs', David Cousins - who was also heavily involved in the applications for Minster Radio & Orchard FM and founder chairman Peter Bolton.  Stephen Oates launched the station in 1993, and despite a capitalisation of only 172,500, the station quickly moved into profit achieving a 12% return in its first year.  In it's history, the station has been part of Orchard Media Limited, a group which included Orchard FM, Lantern FM & Gemini FM.  The group was fairly successful.  In 1999, the OML management sold out to GWR who, not surprisingly, turned the station into another 'indenticlone' with the 'Better Music Mix' line heard so often in so many places.  As recently as early 2000 it's been owned by TLRC (The Local Radio Company), who owned a total of 11 stations including Wessex FM, and more recently acquired by current owners Radio Investments Ltd.  In May 2000, the station was the only applicant for the readvertised licence and was, after not stating it would be changing it's licence format, re-awarded it's licence under the Radio Authority's Fast-track procedures in May of 2000 for a further eight years from September 2001.  

Wessex FM broadcast to nearly 120,000 people in South and West Dorset on 97.2 & 96FM from studios at Radio House, Trinity Street in Dorchester, playing 'just great songs all day long with the best local news and information.'  The broadcast radius spans from Lyme Regis in the extreme West, through Bridport, Weymouth, Portland and Swanage along the coast in the extreme East.  2003 industry audience figures (RAJAR - IPSOS - RSL) showed Wessex FM to be the most listened to Radio station in the area.        www.wessexfm.com 

COMMERCIAL:  REGIONAL

HOSPITAL RADIO:  

RSL:  

FOREST FM have celebrated their fifth birthday by carrying another RSL broadcast from June 8th - June 20th.  Infact, the station has become so well established that station management are forever having to explain to people why they have to go at the end of each broadcast period, however, they hope to be able to apply for an Access Radio full time licence when and if one becomes available after the end of the RA's consultancy and consideration period.  The most recent RSL covered the local Verwood carnival weekend. We hope to bring you more information about the station very soon - in the meantime, we'll direct you to ttheir site at www.forestfm.co.uk 

HOPE FM provides community Christian Radio to Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch in Dorset, 'seeking to provide positive and uplifting music and chat whilst focusing on all that is good and true in the local community.'   It's next scheduled broadcast is in June 2003.  The station started in 1993, and was initially part of the Radio Cracker project which provided 'Care On The Air' in support of world-wide famine and global issues plus the promotion of a Christian fellowship, as well as to give young people a chance to develop and hone their radio skills.  Cracker staff remain with Hope FM in it's current activities.  The station rates it's potential audience as high as 500,000 people, this sum particular during peak holiday season and incorporating foreign students staying locally for educational purposes.  The target audience is 30+, whilst providing programmes for children, youth and older listeners.  Music to speech balance is 60:40 with a contemporary Christian music format.  The station broadcasts from purpose-built studios at the YMCA in Bournemouth, with a group of volunteers at the controls.  Whilst they acknowledge the current restrictions, they see an opportunity to broadcast on medium wave full time - benefits outweighing the plus points of Stereo broadcasting.  Their website refers that there will be some divine intervention to grant a licence that they so desire.  They look towards London Christian broadcaster Premier Radio who have recently been re-awarded a licence assuring Christian radio in the Capital until 2011, and are working with them to bring a licence to the Dorset area.

ROCK 24-7: Supporting the Community Foundation for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, local giving, local needs for disadvantaged local people, this station broadcast from Wednesday 25th June to Tuesday 22nd July 2003 on 106.6 from purpose-built studios in the Gander bar in Bournemouth.  Manned by a team of 38 volunteers and experienced presenters, the station plays a mix of classic tracks and the best from today's rock music.  The broadcast featured non-confrontational panel discussions led by a presenter from the private and public community businesses.  Evenings and weekends featured specialist programming including R&B, heavy rock, 70's progressive, soundtrax, rock legends, alternative and indie rock.  Live broadcasts also came from bands playing from the Gander bar.   

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