Aircheck UK - Selkirkshire

UPDATED: 22/04/2003

Want to go International? Click here!

Want to go back to the UK home page? Click here

Click here to return to the AIRCHECK home page

Add your own memories and comments on these stations!  E-mail to personalise this page!


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.   


RADIO BORDERS: This station has resisted the FM trend of ditching the word radio, and putting the term 'FM' on the end of it's name - i.e. it hasn't become 'Borders FM'.  Surprising, because it came to air in the heartland of the time when most FM stations were making the change - on this occasion, Radio Borders came on-air on 22nd January 1990.  It was the first commercial radio station of the decade and broadcasts chart and contemporary music, local news and information across the Hadrian's Wall barrier that divides England and Scotland, on four frequencies - 96.8 (Selkirk), 97.5 (Berwick), 103.1 (Peebles) & 103.4FM (Eyemouth) from studios at Tweedside Park in Galashiels.  Whilst appealing to all age groups, it particularly focuses on the 25-54 year olds of the broadcast area.  

The station launched after a frantic bit of engineering work to make sure everything was fully functional - with a 6am start compered by Danny Gallagher - at the time there was some considerable concern for the station's future, as it actually serves a smaller population that any other ILR commercial radio station in the country.  However, careful planning and structuring took control of this concern.  The first reward came in the year after launch when Radio Borders was declared 'Sony Local Station of the Year', it also received another Sony award in 1994.

Also in the station's second year on-air it launched what has turned out to be the station's most popular and longest running on-air quiz - 'The Name Game' began back in 1991 and airs from 2 until 3 each day.  Despite it's twee sounding name, it is infact a station that serves one of, if not the largest mass of land in the British Isles reaching the English coastal town of Berwick Upon Tweed across the border to Peebles-shire.  Amongst on-air features, there's regular coverage of local rugby, regular on-air appearances from the station's Veterinary Surgeon, Solicitor and Tax Advisor - there's also youth programming and the appearance of a station pet!  This being a beaver called Bobby who appears when the station goes out and about.  As you may perhaps expect, being in the North, the weather can get extremely fierce - the station has frequently provided essential travel and weather information when many areas are cut off by heavy snow - whatsmore, it comes across as an integral part of local life - and it's sound has been deeply influenced by it's listeners.  Radio Borders is owned by Scottish Radio Holdings.             


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.




Want to go International? Click here!

Want to go back to the UK home page? Click here

Click here to return to the AIRCHECK home page