Aircheck UK - Renfrewshire

UPDATED: 13/09/2003

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BBC LOCAL RADIOBBC 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.  


RADIO CLYDE 261 / RADIO CLYDE / CLYDE FM / CLYDE AM / CLYDE 1 / CLYDE 2: An old timer in the commercial radio system, and one of the first, having commenced it's broadcasts to Glasgow & surrounding areas of West Central Scotland on 95.1FM & 1152AM, 31st December 1973 at 10:30am.  It was founded by Lord Gordon of Strathblane and started with capital of just 150,000 from backers such as Jackie Stewart & Sean Connery.  It went further to be the biggest Independent Local Radio station in the UK.  Even now, it scores really well, with half of the population of West Central Scotland tuned to either of its services. Indeed, Clyde 2 is still the biggest AM ILR in the UK, with a quarter of the population tuned in.
The Rt. Rev. Dr Andrew Herron was the first to be heard, with the first DJ proper being Tony Currie.  The station went on to be a pioneer in providing coverage of local concerts from all types of music artists, and it was the first radio station to include international, national and local news in just one bulletin.  CLYDE 1 moved to 102.5FM at 9:15am during Dougie Donnelly's (BBC Sport) show.  The previous frequency used to suffer from interference from Radio Scotland on some sets.  Other presenters include Paul Coia, Richard 'Capital' Park, ashore after being at sea on the offshore Radio Scotland and prior to his Capital era, and Mark Goodier, who had moved from an illegal Edinburgh pirate, then Clyde before the move to Radio 1.  

On January 3rd 1990, in line with broadcasting requirements to split or lose frequencies, CLYDE 1 was created on FM & CLYDE 2 on AM 1152.  Both stations broadcast from studios at the Clydebank Business Park in Glasgow.  CLYDE 1 broadcasts on three frequencies nowadays - 97FM (Vale Of Leven), 102.5FM (Glasgow) & 103.3FM (Rosneath) and is now part of Scottish Radio Holdings plc1 has been credited as attracting 1million 15-34 year old listeners per week with a mix of current chart hits, latest news, football and features.  2 is credited as the UK's most successful station ( ) targeting over 35 year old listeners.  1993 saw Radio Clyde pull out of funding Birmingham's dance station Buzz FM - it took the station over and reduced losses from 90,000 to 50,000 a month - but it wrote off the losses, and opened the way for a new backer or buyer for the station.  

Radio Clyde's two Glasgow licences have been renewed for a further eight years from 31 December 2002. The licences were renewed as Radio Clyde has committed to providing two digital sound programme services on the Glasgow local multiplex.  Clyde is the mother station of digital country station 3c Continuous Cool Country, available in the North East, North West & Scotland.


EAST END RADIO: No longer on the air, the station commenced broadcasting on 103.5FM from 25th June 1990.  Research has not assisted with the provision of any further information about the launch, the on-air history, or the closedown.  E-mail AIRCHECK with any information for a site update and credit for you!


96.3 QFM is another of the ILR stations for Glasgow, and came to air 1st September 1992 playing classic hits and today's best music with Scottish and national news from studios at 65 Sussex Street in Glasgow.  It is now owned by The Wireless Group (TWG) and, according to 1998 audience figures has well over 100,000 listeners.  On 22nd September 1999, the Radio Authority granted the renewal of QFM's licence, which therefore means the station is now licenced until 1st October 2007.  The renewal was granted partly because of the station's carriage on the SCORE Digital multiplex, and on the proviso that the station does everything it can to ensure that it is part of the multiplex.  

COMMERCIAL: SALLIES: (Small-scale, alternative local licences)


BEAT FM / BEAT 106 serves Central Scotland with 'fresh and innovative music' from studios at Four Winds Pavilion, at Glasgow's Pacific Quay using two frequencies 105.7 & 106.1FM.  Broadcasting from the station commenced on 19th November 1999.  The station is a recent acquisition for Capital Radio Group who have re-branded it with the corporate colours and typeface.  Appealing to a youth audience, aged 15 to 24, the station broadcasts a wide range of music from trance to rock, with an evening focus on dance music.  According to RAJAR Wave 3 results 2002, Beat 106 reaches 385,000 of it's total survey audience (15%) and has a listening share of 5.5%. 

Initial research carried out prior to launch indicated that none of the existing services were catering for the target audience - Radio 1 was seen as being metropolitan, with a strong bias to Southern England.  Local commercial stations were seen as narrow-minded and parochial, commanding loyalty largely through inertia.  Both sets of stations attracted criticism for 'poppy, teenybob' music played.  There was a demand for a more serious-minded rock and dance music policy - and Beat 106 aimed to fill this void.  In the first three months after launch, the station achieved an adult reach of over three hundred thousand people (13% of the populus), and 42% of 15-24 year olds - making it the most successful regional radio launch ever in the UK.  This success was put down to it's innovative marketing campaign.  TTwo tongue-in-cheek TV ads were broadcast which dramatised the consequences of listening to a station that foregrounds music - you simply don't want anything to interrupt it.  The TV campaign ran alongside bill board posters and on the sides and backs of buses.  


SCOT FM / REAL RADIO SCOTLAND: Having won the regional radio licence for Central Scotland, Independent Radio Group began operating Scot FM on the 16th September 1994 from dual studios in Edinburgh and Glasgow, serving almost 3m potential listeners.  It was the first regional radio licence to be awarded north of the border, transmitting on two frequencies: 100.3 & 101.1FM.  In December 1999, The Wireless Group purchased the station for 10m when it acquired IRG.  

One of the most openly controversial moments of the station's history was the sacking of station presenter Mark Judge in December 2000 - this is reported to have been due to the failure to press the 7-second delay button during the airing of an abusive telephone caller - resulting in the obscenities being traansmitted as they happened during a 1-6am weekday overnight show.  If the sacking of a presenter were applicable in all similar circumstances nationally, then many more jocks would have been sacked than actually have been.  In the same year, it is thought Scot FM lost 900,000 on turnover of 3.7m during the Millennium year.

By August of the following year, the Radio Authority announced it would be renewing the licence held by Scot FM Ltd, running for a further eight years from 16th September 2001, to 15th September 2009.  The renewal was made due to the station's commitment to supplying a feed on the Central Scotland regional digital platform.  Broadcasting Act '96 terms state a local licence holder can apply for automatic renewal if it is providing or is going to provide a digital programme service locally.

The Wireless Group were going through some considerable financial difficulties during 2001, but as things worsened, TWG Chairman Kelvin MacKenzie sold the station in a move of genius, to the Guardian Media Group for 25.5m (with approval from the Radio Authority) in June 2001 - a net profit of 15m.  The sale was unexpected in radio circles, with most insiders expecting TWG to sell smaller stations, which totalled 18 at the time, but nevertheless Scot FM's sale followed a fierce ownership battle between GMG, Chrysalis and the locally dominant Scottish Radio Holdings during an auction which was arranged for maximum results by TWG.  It is believed that selling just one large station cleared TWG's debts in one go and allowed it to work on it's development of talkSPORT and it's in-roads into digital radio.  Meanwhile both losers are understood to have offered more for the station but are believed not to be able to have presented a quick deal.  It is believed that Chrysalis needed more time to gather funding whilst SRH may have caused competition concerns in a market they already dominated.  GMG were able to complete a deal quickly using existing capital, and in line with it's intentions to purchase stations and further roll out the Real Radio brand which was already established in Wales & Yorkshire.  GMG closed Scot FM on 21st December 2001 and re-launched it as Real Radio Scotland on 8th January 2002.

DIGITAL:  Launched on 5th July 2001, awarded 5th October 2000, the local multiplex is owned and operated by Switch Digital, a consortium of The Wireless Group (TWG), Clear Channel International and Carphone Warehouse Ltd to cover approximately 2,750,000 people in the Central Scotland area.  Services provided are Galaxy, Heart & The Arrow (Chrysalis), Smash Hits (EMAP), Jazz FM (Jazz FM plc), Real Radio Scotland (Guardian Media Group), Beat 106 (Capital) and Radio Nan Gaidheal (BBC).  At the time of award, other Digital exclusive services promised were a classic soul service The Rhythm, Ministry Of Sound (chart hits and dance) & WSCO (Classic hits) (Clear-Channel), TWG's Big-Scotland (Classic Rock & Sport) and The Lounge (easy listening).  It is not known at this stage how many of these services made the start or are still on line, although Clear Channel are reported to have sold their UK interests to focus on their own American businesses. 



THE FUTURE:  The Radio Authority has advertised a new FM local radio licence for the city of Glasgow and surrounding parts of west Central Scotland to cover the same radius as established FM-er Clyde 1, that's around 1.7million potential listeners.  Applications had to be in by Tuesday 1st July 2003 along with a non-refundable deposit of 12,000.   A decision is due towards the end of Autumn 2003.  By the closing date, a staggering thirteen groups had submitted applications for a new Glasgow FM radio licence to serve more than 1.6million adults in the City and over Western Scotland.  Applications were received from:

THE ARROW (Chrysalis): Proposing Glasgow's adult rock station, with classic songs from the legends of rock combined with great tracks from more contemporary acts; The Arrow will also be a showcase for Glasgow's vibrant live music scene and the place to discover the great Glasgow rock bands of the future. 
The first to throw their name into the ring is Chrysalis Radio who plan to operate the first analogue service of The Arrow rock music brand currently broadcast exclusively on digital platforms.  The Arrow currently operates from their West Midlands studios as shared with regional station 100.7 Heart FM.  The Arrow is a mostly music orientated service targeted at listeners between 40 and 60.  Classic album tracks will feature along with mature and educated presenters and informative local news and information for Greater Glasgow.  The artists that will feature on The Arrow include Fleetwood Mac, REM, The Who and Travis.  Chrysalis see this proposed service as fitting in with the RA's wish to broaden listener choice as well as offering a new service that may appeal to a new set of radio advertisers.  

BASE FM: Proposing a full-service station appealing to 18-44 year olds across the Greater Glasgow area and reflect their urban tastes with a broad 'urban' mix of soul and r 'n' b, informative local and regional news and lively presentation.

CLYDE ASIA RADIO: Proposing to provide a professional mainstream broadcasting service targeting the Asian community in Greater Glasgow and beyond.

Capital Radio plc) Proposing a service dedicated to the 40-59 year-old 'Gold Generation' of music lovers in the west of Scotland, Glasgow Gold will be the home of the greatest pop, rock, soul and motown hits of the past five decades - it will have credibility, confidence and a distinct sound, creating strong local roots through the Glasgow Gold Community Trust and committing to hourly on-air support for its community partners and activities.  Capital Radio plan to bring the first FM analogue Capital GOLD format to Glasgow.  To be known as Glasgow GOLD, the service would play hits from the 60s to the 90s, with a distinct blend of music presented by big name DJs with experience in the featured decades.  Capital GOLD already airs digitally and on seven analogue licences around the British Isles.  They already operate Beat 106 in the licence area, and want to follow that station's success under their tenure.  Capital Radio feel that there is a large amount of un-served listeners in Glasgow - whom they call 'The Gold Generation' that they say would tune into their proposed service if it was provided on an FM waveband.  

105.2 Glasgow's MAGIC FM (Emap Performance): Proposing a 'more music, less talk' station super-serving the city of Glasgow, from studios in the heart of the city 24 hours a day featuring news and information for Glasgow and targeting women aged 35 and over by playing a daytime mix of soft classic and contemporary songs - the greatest hits from the greatest artists - and showcasing classic soul and rock in the evenings, with a football-free zone at weekends.

GO-FM: Proposing a dynamic music and speech service for those who work, live or play in Glasgow.

105.2 my-FM (Absolute Radio Scotland (AR-Scot): Proposing a soft adult alternative radio station for Glasgow offering the over-35s quality music with local news and information about life in our great city; my-fm is about the people we know, the things we do, the places we go and the music we really love - radio for the rest of us, finally!&nbssp;
Absolute Radio Scotland Ltd (AR-Scot) have brought execs from the local tourist industry, the Chamber of Commerce, and prominent business people too.  The on-air name for the station will be the highly unusual my-fm - designed to appeal to the 30 and 40 somethings who want a great mix of music, and local news and information.  AR-Scot say that existing services, who whilst stating they state are 'excellent', also add that they their target audience are least served by the same.  They invite support via their bid website -  Amongst radio personnel on the bid, there's the former Head of Programming for Capital Radio plc, Clive Dickens, and Capital's former head of International Development and ex-RTL man Donnach O'Driscoll.  my-fm submitted their application to the RA's Great Queen Street HQ in early July and expect an award date in October 2003. 

SAGA 105.2 FM (Saga Radio): Proposing a full service format of easy, familiar, melodic music, mixed with news and lifestyle oriented speech designed to cater for the tastes and interests of listeners aged 50 years and over.  Aiming to be the third analogue SAGA radio service.  

SMOOTH FM (GMG): Proposing a music, news and information station for Greater Glasgow adults in 'middle youth' (45-64);

FM 105.2 The Storm (GWR): Proposing a locally- originated, music-led radio station playing quality rock music, promoting local rock talent and providing information about and opportunities for entertainment, live music and sport that complement the listener's lifestyle in Glasgow.

SUNRISE RADIO SCOTLAND: Proposing to bring commercial analogue listening choice to the Glasgow Asian population - particularly 15-54s - through a vibrant, locally produced mix of music, news, Asian views and local community information, modelled on the established success, popularity and professionalism of the Sunrise brand elsewhere in Britain.

3C (Scottish Radio Holdings):  Proposing a full service radio station for Glasgow, serving a cool continuous mix of today's country music with relevant information and a 24-hour news flow.  Currently only carried on Digital networks.  

Virgin 105.2 (SMG): Proposing a rock radio station for Glasgow.

The winning applicant is expected to be on air during the middle or latter part of 2004.  We'll bring you more details right here, and on our AIRCHECK NEWS page

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