Aircheck UK - Gloucestershire

UPDATED: 14/06/2003

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ENGLAND

BBC LOCAL RADIOBBC RADIO GLOUCESTERSHIRE: It would be difficult to trace another BBC station that has provoked so much action in the Houses Of Parliament - it was October 1998 when Gloucestershire got it's very own local BBC station.  In 1989, the Home Office held a meeting with the BBC - the Home Office required it to give up unused FM frequencies which it had been holding for the expansion of FM services into rural areas.  The HO told the BBC it could keep it's AM frequency if it gave up those lucrative FM frequencies - a deal which made sense to both parties.  July 1991 saw an about turn by the Home Office - who revoked the AM agreement as it didn't fit with the new 1990 Broadcasting Act.  The BBC fought tooth and nail for extra FM frequencies - the Home Office only offered one FM filler based in Cirencester.  There was no further change for four years.   In December 1995, a debate was raging following the ceasing of simulcasting by BBC Radio Gloucestershire from 31st January 1992 on the Radio Authority's request.  It was in the late 1980s when it was concluded that simulcasting (carriage of the same service on different frequencies) was a waste of spectrum space.  As the new BBC station was getting established at the time the new regulations came into force, they were allowed to continue on the House Of Commons permission until the RA had issued a licence for it's AM 603 frequency.  December 1992 saw the launch of test transmissions on the old BBC frequency for new commercial station CD603 / 603 Radio / Boss 603.  Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the MP for Cirencester & Tewkesbury raised the subject of his constituents and their problems in receiving the BBC service - Mr. Clifton Brown initiated the subject on his appointment to office in 1992.  He argued that there had been a 'blackout' of Radio Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, and referred to pre-AM frequency loss audience figures from 1991 which showed a weekly listenership of 27% from 0% just three years previously when the station launched.  

As of December 1995, he argued that the situation was no different to that of 1992 when the AM frequency fell silent.  Technical explanations bogged down the debate amongst Ministers, but perseverance oozed.  Mr. Clifton-Brown referred to 'Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd (RAJAR) figures which showed that it was 'technically possible' for 338,000 of 471,000 adults to receive the BBC service - which he stated meant that 150,000 people - 133,000 adults plus a quarter of under-16s, were not - many of whom were his constituents.  20,000 people, he said, in each of the South-West, the Forest of Dean and the North Cotswolds couldn't listen.  He referred to neighbouring commercial station Severn Sound which, he claimed 'retained licences for 'light music' on both FM & AM stating that the BBC were forced to relinquish it's AM frequency on Home Office instruction.  He continued to say that whilst Boss 603 Radio was there, it didn't serve the wider needs of the Cotswolds, it's programmes and advertisers aimed at a Cheltenham audience and that it 'struck him and his frustrated constituents that it might be better off with an FM frequency', a view he claimed was shared by many commercial stations and their advertisers, because they can get a better quality of broadcasting in their immediate local areas.  

He pleaded to the Minister concerned to review decisions made following the initiation of the 1990 Broadcasting Act, stating that it made good sense, but was less relevant now due to the evolving nature of the radio world since the 1980s, when he said the BBC held the 'lion's share' of the AM and FM frequencies, and compared this to today's swing to RA control - he said that the situation needed to be reviewed and reversed.  His Parliamentary address continued to say that he felt that some commercial stations were stuck with AM licences when they wanted to upgrade to FM - and said that cross-media ownership rules prevented operators from doing so.  Also public service stations, i.e. Radio Gloucestershire were prevented from getting an AM frequency.  The complaint was exacerbated by the fact that so many other services could be heard in the area from various other BBC & Commercial services outside the county.  The geographical lie of the land caused frequency/reception blocks in rural areas.  The Department of National Heritage, the successor to the Home Office in respect of these issues, stuck to their guns that the BBC should use 'filler transmitters' using just one frequency - the Minister said that this was costly and complicated, and would still not achieve complete coverage.  

On 30th November, the Chairman of the BBC at the time, Marmaduke Hussey, wrote to Mr. Clifton-Brown, stating it would cost at least 500,000 to provide five or more 'fillers' which would achieve some results, but not a complete one.  1m would achive this, but this sum was seen as a 'scandalous waste of licence fee money'.  Mr. Hussey suggested an answer to this long and heavily raging debate.  Mr. Hussey referred to the lower than anticipated level of pressure on medium wave frequencies - that the BBC had taken the decision to look at using the band again and that Auntie had taken part in informal discussions with the Department of National Heritage who offered an olive branch in reciprocation.  The Beeb also intended to fund the additional transmitters from the following year's budget.  Mr. Clifton-Brown pleaded that this solution was adopted to end his constituents' suffering.  He was however worried that procedures would take too long for this new frequency to come to fruition.  He referred to a 1994 problem regarding a 'filler' for Coleford in the Forest Of Dean which took many months to sort out, only to result in the BBC deciding it couldn't afford the FM costs, and he didn't want his time to have been wasted if that was to be an outcome.  The Minister of State, Department of National Heritage at the time, Mr. Iain Sproat congratulated his colleague for his vigour and persistence but said this was not an isolated case and that the BBC was not obliged to provide satisfactory access, recognised as far back as the Annan Committee report of 1977.  He did however state that he did not want to be dispiriting and that the BBC hadn't given up on the county either, whilst also commenting on the impact of the 1990 Broadcasting Act regarding simulcasting and that new services must be given the best frequency available.  The BBC had been given access to the 105-108 FM segment.  In response, Mr. Clifton-Brown compared FM costs (1m) to AM costs (10,000-20,000) and hoped that his colleague would push hard for the BBC to be favourably considered.  

All the debating, arguing and discussing finally paid off - and BBC Radio Gloucestershire began using 1413AM throughout the county, particularly for the Cotswolds in the East and the Forest of Dean in the West, alongside it's FM frequencies of 104.7 (Cheltenham, Gloucester & Tewkesbury) 95.0 (Stroud and South West Gloucestershire) and 95.8 (Cirencester and South East Gloucestershire).  The station broadcasts from studios at Portland Court on London Road in Gloucester.  

Radio Gloucestershire's general history includes significant success and accolades.  In 1994, it won the Sony Local Radio Station of the Year - covering the Cromwell Road West family murders.

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COMMERCIAL:  LOCAL (ILR):

FM 102 THE BEAR: Comparatively, one of the babies of commercial radio, this service commenced transmissions of classic and contemporary hits and local and national news and information for Shakespeare's home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon on 24th May 1996.  It broadcasts from The Guard House Studios in Banbury Road and is currently owned by the CN Group along with Centre-FM ( Tamworth, Staffs) & Oak 107 Loughborough, Leicestershire amongst others).  It's music policy is one of classic and current chart hits serving 217,000 adults aged over 16 who live across South Warwickshire, East Worcestershire & North Gloucestershire.

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CD603 / 603 RADIO / BOSS 603 / CHELTENHAM RADIO / 107.5 CAT FM / STAR 107.5: The creation of what started off as CD603, 603 Radio & Boss 603 can be traced back to the beginnings of BBC Local Radio in the area - BBC Radio Gloucestershire (see above) which started broadcasting in October 1988 - this was in the days when most radio stations provided the same service on both FM and AM.  It was around this same time that conclusions dictated that it was a wasteful use of the frequency spectrum and that the extents to which simulcasting was permitted should be at the lowest level possible.  Auntie was given permission to bring on the new service for a limited period only - mostly to allow the service to become established.  The simulcasting/establishment period elapsed and Radio Gloucestershire should have continued on FM only.  However, the BBC hinted that there would be little gain for the frequency to be silent now that it had started being used.  In a House of Commons Hansard debate, agreement echoed from the corridors of power and therefore the simulcasting period was extended until the Radio Authority licensed an FM frequency in the commercial radio sector.  The transmitter finally fell silent on 31st January 1992 following an RA request.  The AM frequency of 603 was reassigned for an independent radio service.  That service was Boss 603 Radio.  

Test transmissions for CD603 / 603 Radio / Boss 603 commenced on AM 603 kHz in December 1992 - and launched 3rd March 1993.  Whilst the AM commercial station broadcast, locals who wanted to listen to the BBC service heavily pressed the local MPs - see more in our BBC section above.  The name change to 603 Radio was later followed by a successful application to the Radio Authority to move over to FM.  They were awarded an FM licence by the Radio Authority in May 1998 and began transmitting on the new waveband on 7th September 1998 where they then launched as The Cat later becoming the more radio friendly Cat FM to serve approximately 103,000 people aged over 15.

In July 1999, members of the Radio Authority fined 107.5 Cat FM 20,000 for 'serious irregularities in the running of three competitions - this was the highest fine the Authority had ever imposed on a licensee up to that date.  It stemmed from a complaint received by the RA in May 1999 about how the station had been conducting it's competitions.  It alleged that that a competition to win 40 CDs was run, but that the prizes didn't exist and that a fictitious name was used as a prize winner, that in the following week, the same circumstances applied to a competition to win 20 videos, and that a competition for a cash prize had been won by a person connected to the senior station manager to ensure that the station wouldn't have to pay out an accumulation of money.  The RA's investigations showed that the CD & Video prizes weren't available when the competition was running and that they were ended by the invention of fictitious winners.  Additionally, the cash prize competition proved impossible for listeners to solve and that the associated 'winner' was selected to get the end to the competition.  Whilst no money was paid out to this person, the RA still considered it to be a serious breach of Programme Code, and noted that the breaches were sanctioned by the station's MD at the time.  The RA's Chief Exec, Tony Stoller said that the station 'wilfully and repeatedly misled listeners, hence the severity of the fine' which 'would have been significantly higher for other than a small station.   (Info Source: www.radioauthority.org.uk/newsroom/news-release/99/pr107.htm

Cat FM was mostly owned by TLRC (The Local Radio Company).  In January 2001, Westcom Media Limited, who operated Somerset commercials station 107.7 WFM for Weston-Super-Mare, purchased Cat FM for an undisclosed sum.  Westcom, led by MD Jon Darch, was set up in 1998 to apply for new local radio licence for the Somerset area, but quickly started carrying out it's expansion plans.  At the time of the acquisition, Cat FM was serving around 140,000 adults - RAJAR audience figures showed listening hours had risen to over 150% of the levels shown a year previously.  Subsequently, UKRD purchased Westcom Media Limited at the same time as it took over X-Cel FM in the Fens. They then began the role out of the STAR branding in all areas, and in March 2002, re-launched Cat FM as Star 107.5, whilst also similarly re-launching other recently acquired stations.  Cat FM broadcast from Regent Arcade in Cheltenham - it's successor, Star 107.5 now comes from the West Suite on the 1st floor of Cheltenham Film Studios, Arle Court, Hatherley Lane in Cheltenham.                www.star1075.co.uk 

(Other STAR stations are: Star 107.3 (Bristol in Avon/Somerset - previously Kute FM & 107.3 The Eagle), Star 107 (Stroud in Gloucestershire - previously 107 The Falcon), Star 107.7 (Weston-Super-Mare in Avon/Somerset - previously 107.7 WFM), Star 107.9 in Cambridgeshire formerly a Dawe Media owned station - previously known as 107.9 The Eagle, Red Radio 107.9FM, Cambridge Red 107.9FM, Cambridge Cafe Radio 107.9FM and  Cambridge Community Radio (RSL)) and The Fens Star 107 in the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire - formerly X-CEL FM) and Star 106.6 (for Slough, Maidenhead & Windsor - Berkshire)

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EASY FM / 107 THE FALCON / STAR 107: In 1993, an established hospital radio presenter, Mike Ganley, who also worked at Radio West, Severn Sound, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Ireland's CCR, set up a new station to trial a service for the Stroud area of Gloucestershire called Easy FM.  (Our research shows that this name has been attributed to the students of Stroud College - however, after a period away from radio projects, they relaunched their student service as Legacy FM in November 2002).  Over a period of five years, from 1993 to 1997, a total of eight RSLs were operated as Easy FM.  Following a formal advertisement for a licence for the area, and with a bid coming from The Bailey Newspaper Group based at Reliance House in Long Street, Dursley, on 7th May 1998, Easy FM (5 Valleys Radio(Stroud) Ltd) were awarded a full-time licence for the area.  (The application was one of four submitted to the Radio Authority - two licences were handed out, the other going to a previous AM licence operator, making the switch to FM, Cheltenham Radio Ltd broadcasting as The Cat. See above)

On 29th November of the same year, the working title was dropped and the station was officially launched as 107 The Falcon.  UKRD was the joint largest shareholder (40%) alongside Southern Newspaper Group, and went on to own more than 75% of the Falcon by 1999.  Serving Southern Gloucestershire, the station offered a mix of music from the last 30 years along with the more melodic elements of today's chart - this was in line with it's aims to target the 25-50 age group living in the broadcast area.  It operated on two frequencies - 107.2 (Dursley - 50w) & 107.9 (Stroud - 100w) with programming coming from the Brunel Mall on London Road, Stroud.  

In March 2002, The Falcon, was re-launched as Star 107 - this was in line with a general roll-out of the Star brand in the group by UKRD.  Offering an adult contemporary service for the 25-54 age bracket, music still encapsulates a mix of tracks from the 60s to today.  Speech content is prominent in daytime output including community and travel information.  Regular local news bulletins operate throughout daytime hours with longer bulletins at 1pm and 6pm weekdays.     www.star107.co.uk 

(Other STAR stations are: Star 107.3 (Bristol in Avon/Somerset - previously Kute FM & 107.3 The Eagle), Star 107.5 (Cheltenham in Gloucestershire - previously The CAT/CAT FM), Star 107.7 (Weston-Super-Mare in Avon/Somerset - previously 107.7 WFM), Star 107.9 in Cambridgeshire formerly a Dawe Media owned station - previously known as 107.9 The Eagle, Red Radio 107.9FM, Cambridge Red 107.9FM, Cambridge Cafe Radio 107.9FM and  Cambridge Community Radio (RSL)) The Fens Star 107 in the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire - formerly X-CEL FM) and Star 106.6 (for Slough, Maidenhead & Windsor - Berkshire)

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SEVERN SOUND / SEVERN SOUND HOT FM / SEVERN SOUND FM: 23rd October 1980: this is the date that commercial radio came to Gloucester broadcasting on 102.4FM & 774AM.  Little can be traced about the launch and ownership of the station at the beginning although the licence was won by the Cotswold Broadcasting Company Limited.   E-mail us with more information to ianmsperry@hotmail.com.

In the September of 1993, the Radio Authority announced that three groups had applied for the ILR licence for Gloucester. They included Severn Vale Radio, the Broadcasting in Gloucestershire consortium and then present licence holder Severn Sound, then part of the Chiltern Radio Group, having recently been acquired and added to the CRG stable.  When joining at night, all group stations became the very exciting 'Hot FM' network.  Severn Sound Hot FM's schedule as of 1995 included Breakfast with David Cloak, John Peters on the morning show, a continuous hour of music called 'The Hot FM Hitmix'; with ex-chart hits at 1:00pm, and Gregg Upwards on the afternoon drivetime show which featured 20/20 news and travel and a short community programme which didn't even last 15 minutes.  Programmes came from the old Southgate Studios, although today, things stem from Gloucester's main shopping centre and Severn Sound FM's Bridge Studios.  

After Gregg's show, at 7:00pm, all group stations networked, resulting in weather forecasts for other areas being heard in the Gloucester area.  Networked shows came from Luton and aired on Northants Radio, Chiltern Radio and Severn Sound.  Presenters on the networked bit included Emma Scott, (who moved to EMAP stations up north when the group was acquired in the same year), and David Francis on the late show.  Also on the Hot FM were Chris Moyles, later to join Radio 1 and a replacement for Emma Scott, but whom also moved upon takeover to a late night slot to find himself replaced by Graham Torrington when the takeover really started to bite.  (He left for greener pastures with Capital FM.Dave Sanders presented a networked Sunday show of mainly album tracks, to wide acclaim.   Presentation style was as listeners had come to appreciate - lively, entertaining, local, unscriptted, unrehearsed, and above all, a great mix of music and stunning jingles.  

That very same year, all that would be gone.  Fresh from acquisitions in the East Midlands, the mighty Chiltern Radio Group was the next to fall into the hands of GWR.  Shareholders were approached by GWR who said they rather wanted CRG and were prepared to throw over 20 times the company's turnover for 1994 to get it.  GWR were particuarly excited about the prospect, lifted by the Government's lifting of the ownership ceiling from 20 to 35 stations.  And so, early on in 1995, the takeover took hold and Severn Sound - The Hot FM became 'The New 102.4 Severn Sound - today's better music mix' from 16th September 1995.  

Six years later, in the May of 2001, the Radio Authority invited declarations of intent for the licence - only the present licensee applied and the 'fast-track' procedure was invoked meaning that GWR had until the end of June to throw a deposit of 20,000 for FM along with it's unchanged but satisfactory application, to the Radio Authority to get it's licence re-awarded for another eight years.  The licence was re-awarded.  

And so, another GWR clone continues to broadcast on 103FM for Cheltenham as well as the original 102.4 service for Gloucester from Bridge Studios in Gloucester's Eastgate Shopping Centre.  Other clones around the country are renowned for 'not being as they were' and playing more or less the same music mix.

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SEVERN SOUND / SEVERN SOUND SUPERGOLD / CLASSIC GOLD 774: 23rd October 1980: this is the date that commercial radio came to Gloucester broadcasting on 102.4FM & 774AM.  Little can be traced about the launch and ownership of the station at the beginning although the licence was won by the Cotswold Broadcasting Company Limited.   E-mail us with more information!

The Supergold network sprung to life at 10:00am on 24th June 1990 after the requirement to split AM & FM services by the broadcasting regulator.  Services came from Dunstable HQ and aired on Bedfordshire's Chiltern Radio 792AM and 828AM frequencies and Northamptonshire's Northants Radio 1557AM frequency.  A short time later, Chiltern Radio Group purchased Severn Sound and their 774AM frequency was added to the Supergold service.  The programme line up featured Colin Wilsher on Breakfast, Bill Overton's phone-in at 10am, Dave Foster as far as  3.00pm, and Tony Lloyd on Drive, up to 7:00pm.  Paul Burrell presented a show on Sunday too as well as Willie Morgan.  Today, Colin Wilsher is the Classic Gold network Managing Director.  

By 1995, all that would be gone.  Fresh from acquisitions in the East Midlands, the mighty Chiltern Radio Group was the next to fall into the hands of GWR.  Shareholders were approached by GWR who said they rather wanted CRG and were prepared to throw over 20 times the company's turnover for 1994 to get it.  GWR were particuarly excited about the prospect, lifted by the Government's lifting of the ownership ceiling from 20 to 35 stations.  And so, early on in 1995, the takeover took hold and Severn Sound Supergold became Classic Gold from 16th September 1995.  

Six years later, in the May of 2001, the Radio Authority invited declarations of intent for the licence - only the present licensee applied and the 'fast-track' procedure was invoked meaning that GWR had until the end of June to throw a deposit of 26,700 for AM along with it's unchanged but satisfactory application, to the Radio Authority to get it's licence re-awarded for another eight years.  The licence was re-awarded.  Subsequently, due to station ownership restrictions, all Classic Gold stations were 'sold' to UBC, but GWR wrote in a clause in the sale, stating that they would be able to buy a large proportion of the shares back again 'when' restrictions are relaxed.  It hasn't happened yet.  GWR own shares in UBC in any case.  

And so, another clone continues to broadcast with minimalistic localised programming on 774AM for Cheltenham & Gloucester from Bridge Studios in Gloucester's Eastgate Shopping Centre - the rest comes from the network centre in Dunstable - ironically, the birthplace of Supergold. 

COMMERCIAL:  REGIONAL

100.7 HEART FM: One of the first regional radio stations, and the first for the West Midlands, appearing on air 6th September 1994, and launched by Nick Wright.  Studios are based at 1 The Square, 111 Broad Street in the centre of Birmingham.  The station is licenced to cover Warwickshire & the West Midlands which contains a potential audience of 3.4million people.  The station has over 90,000 adults listening per week and targets the 25-44 year old age group.  

One of the 'bug-bares' quoted by radio listeners is the commercials - however, Heart-FM never play more than four ads in a break and never more than 16 per hour.  As you would expect, the station takes revenue from various methods of commercial opportunities - sponsorship of features or events, tailor made promotions, and opportunities to advertise on the station's website or via SMS text messaging to mobile phones.  

Heart-FM's signal needs to be strong to cover it's intended area, however, counties lying outside the broadcast radius hoard loyal listeners who have found the station provides a better alternative to the local ILR or BBC station.  It has even featured advertising for a furniture store which, in it's commercial, credits it's branch at the Kingsway Retail Park, just off the A38 in Derby.  Since it launched, several presenters have moved over from BRMB as they 'outgrew' it to move the regional station - for example, ex-Piccadilly Radio's Carl Emms (Carlos) & Paul Bryant.  Another presenter to have appeared briefly is ex-Trent & Century 106 presenter Colin Woolley.  

It has to be said that Heart is radically different now to how it sounded back in 1994.  It launched with a strapline 'Radio across Warwickshire & the West Midlands just got 100.7 degrees cooler...' and the station was very laid back.  Nowadays it is more likely to feature more pop-dance material and numerous artists that wouldn't have been considered back in 1994.  It is owned and operated in conjunction with it's London sister station Heart 106.2 by the Chrysalis Radio Group, who also own the Galaxy regional radio brand.  

The station's 8-year initial licence was renewed by the Radio Authority in August 2001.  This was because Chrysalis Radio are set as a provider of a digital sound programme service on the West Midlands regional multiplex.  A little known fact is that it shares the building with three other Chrysalis broadcasters, Galaxy 102.2, The Arrow and Digital News Network.

There are 6 studios. Studio 1, is the Heart FM on-air studio. The Arrow broadcasts it's digital service from Studio 2. Studio 3 is a production suite. Studio 4 is mainly used for commercial production.  Studio 5 is the Galaxy on-air studio and Studio 6 is the back up studio. There are additional studios for the news team.

The Heart FM play list is formed by a panel of programming staff who listen to all the forthcoming releases. The play list combines both new artists and established acts who are of interest to the over 25s. Eminem won't be heard but other arguable bad boys Robbie Williams and Oasis will! 

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SAGA 105.7FM: The history of how this station came to air can be traced back to the heady days of the Midlands Radio Group - home of stations such as Radio Trent, GEM-AM, BRMB, XTRA AM, Mercia Sound & Leicester Sound.  At the helm of the Radio Trent stations was a man called Ron Coles.  In 1994, GWR, as part of their mass acquisition of any radio station that moved, took control of Midlands Radio Group.  Through the revolving doors went Ron along with a whole host of other staff, to all points of the radio compass.  Ron wasn't out of things yet.  

On 23rd September 1997, Ron, with the backing of Border Radio Holdings, launched East Midlands regional station Radio 106FM.  This, in time, became Century 106FM, a Border brand, and out went Ron again - to take up the helm of SAGA plc's radio division.  It had already launched Primetime, a digital radio service for the over 50s, but SAGA, owned by the De Haan family,  had other ideas too, and Ron's radio division, set about applying for analogue radio licences across the UK.

In 2000, the Radio Authority advertised a 2nd regional licence for the West Midlands.  As with all regional licence applications, the West Midlands 2nd regional licence application process was a busy one.  By the closing date at the end of August 2000, there were 12 applicants in the running.  Having already been operating BIG AM stations, The Wireless Group applied as Big FM, Central Radio was proposed by Forward Media, Jazz FM, Radio Minar, N-Joy Radio, Score Radio / Scottish Radio Group / Lincs FM Group proposed a country station called Route 105, and there were also bids from Spice FM, The Storm (GWR), Today FM, Variety FM (GMG) and Voice FM.  However, the winning applicant was set to provide a service for the over 50s, up until then, largely uncatered for, especially from a musical perspective. 

From a total of 12 applications, they awarded the new regional radio licence to Saga Radio.   For years, SAGA had previously tried to get a terrestrial / analogue licence to offer their 'over 50's' service - now, they'd finally done it.  On making the award, the Chair of the RA, Richard Hooper, said that Members of the Authority found deciding on which applicant should be awarded the licence was a challenging decision.

Having departed the Border Radio East Midlands station of Radio 106 after setting it up and watching it morph into Century 106, ex-Midlands Radio plc boss Ron Coles went to take the helm of SAGA's new radio division - and it was Ron that took them to licence application success.  It launched with the expected appearance of a lot of ex-Radio Trent/GEM presenters - Tony Lyman & Andy Marriott for starters - the latter as the station's head of music  - at 6:00am, on 16th October 2001.  Also on board for the launch, was Peter Tomlinson, Mike Baker, Tony Brandon, Jane Markham, David Yarnall, Mike Hollis, and Jeff Harris.  It was the first commercial radio station in the UK to be programmed specifically for people aged 50 and over.  Ex-Trent/GEM presenters were also joined by ex-Radio 1, Radio 2, Capital Gold, Melody Radio etc presenter David Hamilton, who presented breakfast before moving to it's sister station in the East Midlands when it launched in 2002.  Les Ross took over from David having left BRMB.  SAGA 105.7FM broadcasts from studios on the 3rd Floor of Crown House, Beaufort Court, 123 Hagley Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, playing easy, melodic music from the past six decades mixed with news and lifestyle oriented speech, and with the now familiar catchphrases of '...your life, your music' and 'From Frank to Hank & Bing to Sting', the station broadcasts on 105.7FM from studios on the 3rd floor of Crown House, Beaufort Court, on the busy Hagley Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham.  The station reached it's first-year audience target in quick time, just nine months - this isn't surprising - as 40% of the area's population is reported to be aged over 50. 

HOSPITAL RADIO:  

RSL:  

DIGITAL:  

THE FUTURE: On 30th January 2003, the Radio Authority advertised a new 8-year regional independent local radio licence on the FM band for the West Midlands, to serve around 2.3 million adults in the main conurbations of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and surrounding areas, and parts of Warwickshire & Staffordshire.  This will be the third regional station after 100.7 Heart FM & SAGA 105.7FM.  (See above)  The RA is looking to broaden listener choice in the area, further than has already been done, and will look to applicants to prove why their services should most suitably do that.  Each applicant is required to pay a non-refundable fee of 12,000 in order to apply and must do so by Tuesday 13th May 2003.  The RA expect to announce a decision in the Autumn and will then expect the winner to begin operating as quickly as possible.

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