Aircheck UK - Sussex

UPDATED: 19/09/2003

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

Excellence Web Site Awards

AIRCHECK is proud to have received the above award from the most popular on-line guide to Arundel, West Sussex - arundel.org.uk - Click HERE to visit Arundel.org.uk

ENGLAND                                                                                                                                  

BBC LOCAL RADIO

BBC RADIO BRIGHTON / BBC RADIO SUSSEX / BBC SOUTHERN COUNTIES RADIO: The Southern Counties first got a BBC Local Radio station on 14th February 1968 when BBC Radio Brighton took to the air.  Blizzards hit the region whilst the studios and premises were still being built, with the sheer volume of snow almost bringing the town to a grinding halt.   And so, manager Bob Gunnell took the executive decision to go on-air earlier than planned.  There is a rumour that he borrowed a transmitter from one of the BBC networks taking it off the air and replacing it with a local service.  

Early programming came from a rapidly built studio in a small room at the Dome.  However, full service commenced quickly, with the station earning a place in listeners' hearts as a friend and companion, but also as a provider of local news and information.  It had a reputation for coverage of not only very local stories, but also major stories of national importance.

When the Eurovision Song Contest was held at the Dome in 1974, extensive coverage was aired on BBC Radio Brighton without ever actually playing Abba's massive hit, 'Waterloo', which was considered to be too noisy by station management of the time.  Major stories covered include the 1987 mud slides in the coastal town of Rottingdean, (situated between Brighton and Peacehaven), and the hurricane which hit the same week in the same year.  Local talent to have started on Radio Brighton include Kate Adie, Des Lynam and Jeremy Paxman.  

On 22nd October 1983, Radio Brighton became Radio Sussex to reflect a wider reaching audience.  On 14th November 1991, BBC Radio Surrey launched from what is now the BBC's Guildford HQ, as an opt-out service from Radio Sussex.  Both came together with a new name - BBC Southern Counties Radio from September 1994.  More recently, in February of 1992, the Brighton broadcast staff moved into new studios in Queens Road, Brighton.  BBC Southern Counties Radio broadcasts on 104 - 104.8 & 95-95.4FM.  There are no AM services.  

COMMERCIAL:  LOCAL (ILR):  

A.I.R (Airport Information Radio): Launched June 1990 on 1584AM, by the owner of Radio Mercury, John Aumonier, this station was designed to provide a traffic and travel service for Gatwick & Heathrow airport.  The creation of such a station was a brave move in such early days of commercial radio - but, pardon the pun, the service never really took off.  Poor advertising revenue figures and difficulty in monitoring audience figures resulted in a very short life for the station.  Arguably, such a station isn't likely to form the listening habits on a daily basis - more so, only when going on holiday.  Maybe the owner figured the station may have been of appeal to the business fraternity, who may have travelled by air on a regular basis.  It spent just one year on-air ending in June 1991.  

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

107.8 ARROW FM: 'Just great songs all day long for the heart of Hastings and Rother'Broadcasting from it's base at Priory Meadow Centre, Hastings, East Sussex, this is another of the 22 Radio Investments Ltd stations, this one, just down the coast from 107.5 Sovereign Radio.  However, Arrow FM came to air without their assistance on 10 April 1998, with the original strapline '...Broadcasting to 1066 country.'  Interestingly, at the time of this page's production, www.arrowfm.co.uk gets the generic RIL designed station logo only (site under development no doubt) whilst www.arrowfm.co.uk/contact.htm gets you the home page for the old site with the old logo and 'Radio For 1066 Country'!  This details the weekday nightly '1066 at 6' news show and there's local news from 6am to 2pm weekdays.  There's a comprehensive travel information service every 20 minutes 6am to 12 noon and from 4pm to 6pm Monday to Friday also.  Each hour, just before the news, there's a feature including some of the live music events across the region.  Throughout the day, community events are aired free of charge.  There's also regular Crime Prevention information with Sussex Police during the news programme on a Wednesday evening.  Programming airs 6:00am to Midnight with overnight sustain in between.  Don't tell anyone at RIL but this is obviously staying on line for a good reason - mostly nostalgia and refers to the list of the Top 40 most popular songs of the year 2000 as played on air on New Year's Eve - 'but what was the year'.  

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BRIGHT 106.4 is the local station for Burgess Hill & Haywards Heath broadcasting from The Market Place Shopping Centre in Burgess Hill, West Sussex since 31st March 2001.  Another independent station, (although UKRD has a minority stake), it started life as CSR 107 for it's Restricted Service Licence activity, but having been successful in it's application, and having been on air for 18 months, in August 2002, listeners inundated the station with complaints they were receiving static fuzz instead of Bright 106.4.  Upon investigating the claims, station staff discovered that the station had had it's transmitter aerial stolen in a night-time robbery on it's £15,000 transmission equipment at a water tower.  After some quick work, it returned to air using a weaker transmitter.  It was third station to be targeted after neighbouring stations Southern FM & Juice FM.  

Presenter Mark Wright said  "Dan Mills came in to present the breakfast show but could not hear the normal music that plays overnight.  We knew something was wrong but it was not until we got to the site we realised lots of bits and pieces were missing and we had a serious problem.  It is unbelievable. It is such specialist equipment and it is also dangerous because it uses a great deal of power. They really did run the risk of doing themselves serious damage.  It seems there is an organised gang out there doing it.  We were aware of equipment going missing but we didn't think it would be us.'

_______________________________________________________

DELTA FM serves the Hampshire areas of Alton & Haslemere - this service was the next to launch in the area on 22nd November 1992 - it uses three frequencies - 97.1 (Holy Cross Hospital, Haslemere), 101.6 (Four Marks, Hindhead relay added July 9th 2001 to provide better coverage of Grayshott & Beacon Hill) & 102FM (Alton) supplied with programme feed from studios at Prospect Place, Mill Lane, in Alton, Hants.  It is now part of the UKRD group of stations.  Originally Delta FM 102 Wey Valley, then County Sound Delta FM 97.1, and owned by Radio Mercury, it's launch day was hectic - just one hour after the local Mayor opened the station, strong winds hit Haslemere but the station remained on-air.  Mercury closed the station in 1994 - former management of County Sound then applied for the licence promising to bring back Delta as part of it.  It's application was accepted by the Radio Authority in 1995 and the station returned to air on 9th May 1996 from Weyhill studios.  Amongst the presenters on duty at this time was the legendary Tony Brandon.  It's broadcast area ranges from Bramley, Elstead & Bentley in the North, Midhurst in the South and Greatham in the West.  Interestingly, locals are given the opportunity to present community programmes which are broadcast during some weekday evenings.  The station considers itself to serve South West Surrey and North West Sussex as well as North East Hampshire 

_______________________________________________________

RADIO MERCURY / MERCURY FM: On 20th October 1984, having won the radio licence for Reigate in Surrey, Radio Mercury owned by historic media mogul John Aumonier, began it's commercial radio service from Broadfield House in Crawley operating on both FM (103.6 for Reigate in Surrey & 97.5 for Crawley in Sussex) and AM (1521 / 197metres).  The man who launched the station was Mr. Ed Stewart - however, other well known names to have worked at the station were Pat Sharp and Russ Williams.  For a time, programming was shared with listeners to Sussex station Southern Sound - predominantly evenings - this gave the stations the opportunity to swap presenters, something which happened on a couple of occassions in the early years.  In November 1984, Mercury's owner John Aumonier served a writ on London pirate station Radio Jackie for taking audience from his station.   A group claiming to be Radio Jackie reaped their revenge four years later when they hi-jacked transmission facilities of both Radio Mercury and Southern Sound.  

Gary Johnson remembers the attempts to maintain continuity where commercial breaks were different: 'Hi Ian, great site by the way!  When a commercial break used to come on during shared programming with Southern Sound, bits of music used to appear instead of commercials sometimes.  I often used to wonder why and after my curiosity got the better of me, I found out!  Both stations were airing their own commercials of course, and what with different booking schedules, one station used to finish their ads before the other - so they had to fill it.  It didn't always work I seem to remember....  Also, I could never work out quite what the station's logo from the early days, had to do with the station's name.  It was a jogger, running along huffing and puffing!  Obscure!'

Thanks Gary. Having spent such a short time on 103.6, a frequency shake up in 1986, saw the station's Reigate frequency meander down the dial to it's present location 102.7.  Radio Mercury Ltd merged with nearby station Delta FM 102 Wey Valley, which later became County Sound Delta FM 97.1 - see our entry above - Mercury's AM service became County Sound Radio in the early part of 1991 - together the group would become known as Allied Radio.  Poor AM results for County Sound saw the new branding of Mercury Extra and then again as Fame 1521.    The Independent Radio Group (IRG) purchased Allied Radio for £4.5m in March 1996.

Back on FM, the FM service finally took on the more hip and trendy radio moniker of Mercury FM.  The Mercury name has become a brand over recent years, and this can be accredited to DMG Radio, the radio division of Daily Mail & General Trust who became the owners in November 1998 for £3.75m in cash.   At that time, Radio Mercury Ltd controlled licences in Reigate (Surrey) & Crawley (Sussex) as Mercury FM, and the AM service Fame 1521.  The acquisition was subject to a public interest test by the Radio Authority due to DMG's interest in the newspaper industry. They subsequently took control of and re-branded KFM in Tonbridge, Medway FM in Medway, and Oasis FM in St. Albans all as the Mercury brand.  

DMG disposed of their UK radio interests in 2000 - enter GWR Group plc - who took control of their six stations in Southend-on-Sea, Harlow, St Albans, Rochester, Tonbridge and Crawley after a Radio Authority public interest test.  It's still not clear is it?  So, what of the Mercury brand do GWR currently own?  In short - all of it.  That's two stations on three frequencies - Crawley & Reigate on 97.5 & 102.7 & Mercury FM in Watford & St. Albans on 96.6.  The Kent Messenger Group took control of Mercury stations in Kent and renamed them as KM-FM.  To get a clearer picture, we suggest following our Aircheck UK Kent link!  

So down to today's facts then - Mercury FM as referred to here for Reigate and Crawley, currently broadcasts from The Stanley Centre on Kelvin Way in Crawley.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RADIO MERCURY / MERCURY EXTRA / FAME 1521 / BREEZE 1521 / CLASSIC GOLD BREEZE / CLASSIC GOLD:  On 20th October 1984, having won the radio licence for Reigate in Surrey, Radio Mercury owned by historic media mogul John Aumonier, began it's commercial radio service from Broadfield House in Crawley operating on both FM (103.6 for Reigate in Surrey & 97.5 for Crawley in Sussex) and AM (1521 / 197metres).  The man who launched the station was Mr. Ed Stewart - however, other well known names to have worked at the station were Pat Sharp and Russ Williams.  For a time, programming was shared with listeners to Sussex station Southern Sound - predominantly evenings - this gave the stations the opportunity to swap presenters, something which happened on a couple of occassions in the early years.  In November 1984, Mercury's owner John Aumonier served a writ on London pirate station Radio Jackie for taking audience from his station.   A group claiming to be Radio Jackie reaped their revenge four years later when they hi-jacked transmission facilities of both Radio Mercury and Southern Sound.  

Gary Johnson remembers the attempts to maintain continuity where commercial breaks were different: 'Hi Ian, great site by the way!  When a commercial break used to come on during shared programming with Southern Sound, bits of music used to appear instead of commercials sometimes.  I often used to wonder why and after my curiosity got the better of me, I found out!  Both stations were airing their own commercials of course, and what with different booking schedules, one station used to finish their ads before the other - so they had to fill it.  It didn't always work I seem to remember....  Also, I could never work out quite what the station's logo from the early days, had to do with the station's name.  It was a jogger, running along huffing and puffing!  Obscure!'

Thanks Gary. Having spent such a short time on 103.6, a frequency shake up in 1986, saw the station's Reigate frequency meander down the dial to it's present location 102.7.  Radio Mercury Ltd merged with nearby station Delta FM 102 Wey Valley, which later became County Sound Delta FM 97.1 - see our entry above - Mercury's AM service became County Sound Radio in the early part of 1991 - together the group would become known as Allied Radio.  Poor AM results for County Sound saw the new branding of Mercury Extra.   On 4th May 1992, Mercury Extra became Fame 1521, broadcasting from the same studios as Radio Mercury, with a service of hits of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s with local and national news and sport for a potential audience of 357,000 people.  

The Independent Radio Group (IRG) purchased Allied Radio for £4.5m in March 1996.

DMG Radio, the radio division of Daily Mail & General Trust, became the owners of what was then IRG's Essex Radio Group in November 1998 for £3.75m in cash. Subject to a Radio Authority public interest test, the deal was approved in March 2000.   The station later became Breeze 1521, a DMG brand name.  Breeze acted as a classic pop hit-led station targeted primarily at the over 35s in the Reigate and Crawley area, and incorporating ex-Top 30 hits taken from 15 to 40 year period prior to broadcast.  Hits aged less than 10 years old only accounted for less than 35% of the daily output.  Special themed music genre days also took place occasionally, taking a particular decade rather than a couple.  

DMG disposed of their UK radio interests in 2000 - enter GWR Group plc who rolled out the Classic Gold service, first as Classic Gold Breeze, and now as Classic Gold 1521 which is now run by UBC - who took control of the group stationss when GWR  exceeded it's limit of station ownership.  GWR have shares in UBC and have written a clause into the sale enabling them to buy back a large portion of the group when/if ownership regulations are relaxed.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOUTHERN SOUND RADIO / SOUTH COAST RADIO / CAPITAL GOLD SUSSEX: Well established in it's Sussex heartland, this commercial station started broadcasting as far back as 29th August 1983 from studios at Portslade, just outside Brighton, on the Franklin Road, with Louis Robinson at the controls.  It operated on two frequencies, 1332 AM (225meters) and 103.4 vhf FM.  1332 became 1323 shortly afterwards.  The launch logo featured an image that would return over latter years in a different guise - a cheeky smiling sun emerging from behind a fluffy cloud!  The launch team also included some other well known names - Jono's later partner Russ Williams, talkradio presenter Sean Bolger, Howard Pearce and Jim Hawkins. 

In the comparatively early days of commercial radio, some station programming was shared with Surrey's Radio Mercury.  Gary Johnson remembers the attempts to maintain continuity where commercial breaks were different: 'Hi Ian, great site by the way!  When a commercial break used to come on during shared programming with Southern Sound, bits of music used to appear instead of commercials sometimes.  I often used to wonder why and after my curiosity got the better of me, I found out!  Both stations were airing their own commercials of course, and what with different booking schedules, one station used to finish their ads before the other - so they had to fill it.  It didn't always work I seem to remember....

Thanks Gary. Networked programming came from Tim Lloyd who spent alternating periods at each studio location to present the show before moving to BBC Radio Essex when it launched.  When he wasn't around, it was a young, pre-talkRADIO & CITV Tommy Boyd who stood in for him to such great extents that he got himself a Sunday show!  And when Tommy wasn't around, the networked slot would be filled by one of his production team Gary 'Steve' Laurence.  

Southern Sound Radio were part of a 1985 frequency audit which applied to most of the radio spectrum - this saw BBC & ILR stations segregated into differently allocated bands.  Still effectively a station for Brighton only, the audit resulted in a move from 103.4 to 103.5.  The mid 80s was a boom time for commercial radio, and Southern Sound was lucky enough to be allowed to open a new transmitter for the coastal areas of Seaford and Newhaven, and the inland picturesque town of Lewes on 96.9FM.  In 1989, the station was reformatted and relaunched as 'Classic Hits across Sussex' Southern Sound - inkeeping with a general dropping of the word 'radio' by stations nationally.  Transmissions began from Eastbourne studios and from the Heathfield transmitter, on 102.4 which took the station's service inland to the north of the county and eastwards to Eastbourne itself.  There were differing services for both Brighton and Eastbourne with the new studio set up.  The expansion continued as Hastings began to be served on 97.5 but later moved to 102FM - this was long before Arrow FM launched for the Hastings area.  With presumably increasing costs, the Eastbourne studios closed only a few years after opening.

On 10th March 1991, following an industry watchdog request to split or lose frequencies, South Coast Radio launched on AM 1323.  The station was very much a laid-back oldies and easy listening station which aired across the area.  Boomtime in the commercial radio industry was followed by mergers - Southern Radio Group was created by the merger of Southern Sound & Hampshire's Ocean Sound.  Continuity is paramount in commercial radio, and in 1992, both stations dropped the 'Sound' name and the Oceansound's AM service became known as South Coast Radio.  Visit the Hampshire pages for details of Ocean FM.  Oceansound, their AM sister station also became South Coast Radio, this station emanating from Southern FM's Portslade studios.  Amongst the presenter line up was ex-That's Life TV presenter and future BBC local radio presenter Bill Buckley.  

It was something of a subtle takeover by Capital Radio in 1994 - who acquired six other stations across the South Coast - but with obviously dominant branding of it's Capital Gold format, it was obvious that eventually, South Coast Radio would be no more in a short space of time.  However, they did add Bexhill's AM 945 transmitter to improve the listening quality of those who were previously straining to pick up the 1323 service.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOUTHERN SOUND RADIO / SOUTHERN SOUND FM / SOUTHERN FM: Well established in it's Sussex heartland, this commercial station started broadcasting as far back as 29th August 1983 from studios at Portslade, just outside Brighton, on the Franklin Road, with Louis Robinson at the controls.  It operated on two frequencies, 1332 AM (225meters) and 103.4 vhf FM.  1332 became 1323 shortly afterwards.  The launch logo featured an image that would return over latter years in a different guise - a cheeky smiling sun emerging from behind a fluffy cloud!  The launch team also included some other well known names - Jono's later partner Russ Williams, talkradio presenter Sean Bolger, Howard Pearce and Jim Hawkins. 

In the comparatively early days of commercial radio, some station programming was shared with Surrey's Radio Mercury.  Gary Johnson remembers the attempts to maintain continuity where commercial breaks were different: 'Hi Ian, great site by the way!  When a commercial break used to come on during shared programming with Southern Sound, bits of music used to appear instead of commercials sometimes.  I often used to wonder why and after my curiosity got the better of me, I found out!  Both stations were airing their own commercials of course, and what with different booking schedules, one station used to finish their ads before the other - so they had to fill it.  It didn't always work I seem to remember....

Thanks Gary. Networked programming came from Tim Lloyd who spent alternating periods at each studio location to present the show before moving to BBC Radio Essex when it launched.  When he wasn't around, it was a young, pre-talkRADIO & CITV Tommy Boyd who stood in for him to such great extents that he got himself a Sunday show!  And when Tommy wasn't around, the networked slot would be filled by one of his production team Gary 'Steve' Laurence.  

Southern Sound Radio were part of a 1985 frequency audit which applied to most of the radio spectrum - this saw BBC & ILR stations segregated into differently allocated bands.  Still effectively a station for Brighton only, the audit resulted in a move from 103.4 to 103.5.  The mid 80s was a boom time for commercial radio, and Southern Sound was lucky enough to be allowed to open a new transmitter for the coastal areas of Seaford and Newhaven, and the inland picturesque town of Lewes on 96.9FM.  In 1989, the station was reformatted and relaunched as 'Classic Hits across Sussex' Southern Sound - inkeeping with a general dropping of the word 'radio' by stations nationally.  Transmissions began from Eastbourne studios and from the Heathfield transmitter, on 102.4 which took the station's service inland to the north of the county and eastwards to Eastbourne itself.  There were differing services for both Brighton and Eastbourne with the new studio set up.  The expansion continued as Hastings began to be served on 97.5 but later moved to 102FM - this was long before Arrow FM launched for the Hastings area.  With presumably increasing costs, the Eastbourne studios closed only a few years after opening.

1991 saw the launch of the launch of South Coast Radio on AM 1323.  The station was very much a laid-back oldies and easy listening station which aired across the area.  Boomtime in the commercial radio industry was followed by mergers - Southern Radio Group was created by the merger of Southern Sound & Hampshire's Ocean Sound.  Continuity is paramount in commercial radio, and in 1992, both stations dropped the 'Sound' name and replaced it with 'FM' and so became what we know today as Southern FM & Ocean FM.  Visit the Hampshire pages for details of Ocean FM.  Oceansound, their AM sister station also became South Coast Radio.  See our separate entry for this station which emanated from Portslade studios.  

It was something of a subtle takeover by Capital Radio in 1994 - who acquired six other stations across the South Coast - but, with minimal changes, Southern FM continued very much the same way and remains at the high standard of it's mother station in London.  They ensured that the logo continued to use the 'Sun' image, albeit in the standard, more cartoon orientated Sun style of the new owners London station.  More recently, the red, white & blue new Capital Radio FM branding, including the 'Smile' has now been adopted.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

107.5 SOVEREIGN RADIO: Serving the coastal resort of Eastbourne, and it's neighbouring areas including Hailsham & Seaford, and in no way connected with the 70's and 80's offshore and 90's RSL station Radio Sovereign, this station came to air 17th November 1997 from studios at 14 St Mary's Walk, Hailsham in East Sussex.  Broadcasting to a population of 146,000 adults, Sovereign plays great music from the last 30 years, as well as aiming to be first with the local news.  More recently of a logo of a simple design with a cartoon crown positioned over the letter 'O', it now comes under the banner of Radio Investments Ltd following a purchase a few years ago.  As a result, it now has the familiar blue, yellow and white logo along with the arch of different sized yellow roundels.  Sovereign Radio sponsored the 2000 and 2001 Herstmonceux Castle Medieval Festival Kid's Kingdom.   It co-operates the Restricted Service Licence station for the Eastbourne Air Show 87.7 Radio Sovereign Airbourne.  Programming of note is the weekly Crimestoppers slot on Tuesdays from 11.30am, an invaluable time for the station to talk with Police colleagues about current appeals and ways of preventing crime.

_______________________________________________________

SPIRIT FM serves Chichester, Bognor Regis and Littehampton with classic and contemporary hits, local news, information, sport and features from it's studios at Dukes Court, Bognor Road in Chichester.  It broadcasts on two FM frequencies - 96.6FM & 102.3.  Indepdently owned, Spirit FM originally launched on Sunday 21st April 1996 and was the culmination of prolonged campaigning for a local radio service for South West Sussex.  

Prior to the licence award, a group of volunteers had operated trial broadcasts licenced by the Radio Authority (Restricted Service Licences) in both Bognor and Chichester.  Eventually, a full-time licence was advertised and Spirit FM, led by current MD and founder Stephen Oates applied - Stephen has a good knowledge and experience of local radio and this proved one of the vital pieces of the application along with a dedicated team of volunteers and the financial backing of local business people. 

It's TSA, or total survey area, is 171,000 adults aged over 15 and up to 55 - and it aims to provide a friendly, professional and authoritative service with a blend of the finest music from the last 40 years, local and national news, current affairs and entertainment.   Recent figures showed an 11.5% share of all radio listening in the South West Sussex area who listen for 470,000 hours per week - that's an 80% reach of all listeners over a three-month period.  

It's outer transmission points are along the A27 corridor from Emsworth in the west to Arundel and Worthing to the East.  Transmissions also service Midhurst, the furthest major point north and the southern most tip south of Selsey.

Its initial eight-year licence expires on 20th April 2003 but it has been renewed successfully up to 2012.  There were no competing groups therefore, as no changes were planned to the format, the RA re-awarded the licence under it's 'Fast Track' licencing procedure.

As well as successfully retaining its existing licence, the station is considering expanding its transmissions through Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).  With the award of a new Sussex Coast Digital licence (see below), Spirit FM is included in the list of services carried.  Spirit FM's Chairman and Chichester resident, David Palmer was awarded the CBE in the Queens New Year Honours List 2003.                      www.spiritfm.net 

_______________________________________________________

107.7 SPLASH FM: The brand new local radio station licence for the West Sussex town of Worthing has been awarded to Splash FM.  Aimed at listeners between 25 and 70 years of age, the station plans to involve the community with local interest programmes alongside music from the last forty years.

The station has based itself in the revamped Guildbourne Centre with a high profile position at the heart of Worthing's shopping precinct.  Splash FM Chairman Jim Brathwaite CBE said at the time of award: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the endorsement of the Radio Authority for what will be a local radio station run by and for local people. We have enjoyed hosting various events like the Christmas lights switch on for the enjoyment of Worthing residents and we are looking forward to many more events in the future and we now have our most exciting challenge - getting ready to go ‘live’ around Easter 2003.”

The Splash FM team consists of Jim along with David Atkey who was an Executive Producer at Radio One for 25 years and now Operations Director for national digital radio station PrimeTime Radio; David Cunningham who was the first voice of radio in the Town when he launched Worthing Hospital Radio in 1986, along with another founder of local radio and co-director of Splash FM, Roy Stannard who is now a senior advertising and marketing director locally. Laura Raymond an experienced radio journalists, Steve Stark, former Managing Director of Brighton's Juice 107.2, whose owners Forever Broadcasting plc, hold a minority holding in Splash FM and “Diddy”‘ David Hamilton make up the board.  David hosts a Sunday afternoon show as well as kids TV presenter and Worthing resident, Dave Benson Phillips who presents his “Brunch Bunch” family show on Sunday mornings.

Worthing Mayor Councillor Eric Mardell commented: Splash FM impressed me throughout their campaign for the licence with their commitment to local issues, glamorous and unglamorous alike. Their approach has been professional as well as entertaining. I can’t wait to tune in!”

Chairman Jim Brathwaite added:Splash FM would like to thank the hundreds of local people, businesses and organisations who expressed their support via letters, e-mails and faxes over the past months, Splash FM will work tirelessly to honour that faith to bring fresh airwaves for Worthing”

Splash FM launched it's service for the 25-70 set with a forty years and today music policy on 107.7FM on May 5th 2003.  An ad campaign is being led by station presenters Dave Benson Philips and David Hamilton who are seen dressed in construction gear and hard-hats, building the studios.  Both met in Nottingham at photographer Neil Lancaster's premises to do the photo shoot.  Both Daves work in Nottingham, Hamilton at SAGA 106.6 and Benson-Philips at CARLTON TV studios filming 'Get Your Own Back', so the local shoot was convenient.  The pictures were seen in the broadcast area from two weeks prior to the launch.  The station serves the area from west of Brighton to east of Littlehampton on the West Sussex coast with a total survey area of over 160,000 potential listeners.  Studios are part of a £1m refit of the Worthing Guildbourne Shopping Centre.

_______________________________________________________

SURF 107 / JUICE 107.2: On the 3rd July 1997, the RA awarded a SALLIE (small-scale alternative local licence) to Surf 107.  With the award, the station began broadcasting on 27th March 1998.  On 19th December 2000, Forever Broadcasting plc purchased the station, from Brighton & Hove Local Radio Ltd, but the name change to Juice 107.2 didn't happen until August 2001.  This relaunch followed a similar treatment for the Liverpool sister station.  After Surf was renamed as Juice, the emphasis was on creating a reflection of the Brighton clubbing and party scene - as experienced by locals and visitors from the Capital across the UK.  Forever then went on to unsuccessfully apply to place the same brand in Reading, the East Midlands and Oxford - the respective licences were won by Reading 107, & SAGA 106.6 and retained in Oxford by existing licence holder Fusion.   

Following the acquisition, Forever Broadcasting brought in ex-Radio Trent presenter Tim Disney as Programme Director - he also went on to present at Midlands sister station, Peak 107, Chesterfield, Derbyshire but has since left and is pursuing other interests.  Juice's station's target audience is a young one - as you might expect from it's reflection of the local party scene - 15-44 year-olds in Brighton and Hove.   It's output is designed to cover local youth cultures, with a mix of features such as social action initiatives, movie and music reviews, local comedy, local sport and other targeted programming.   Local news is broadcast every hour during weekdays and on Saturday during peak hours.  IRN is carried outside of these times.  The music content is one of current and recent dance and indie tunes.  Specialist programming - 30 hours worth per week - comes where you might expect - outside of mainstream hours.  Studios are based at 170, North Street in Brighton Town Centre.  

_______________________________________________________

RADIO VICTORY: Radio Victory originally started broadcasting in the UK to Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight on the 14th October 1975.  The station was based in Portsmouth and transmitted on 257 metres MW (1170 kHz, originally promoted as 1169) and 95.0 MHz VHF. Victory lost the area franchise when it was renewed around 1986.  Victory made a return in the Solent area but in a very different guise to the original format.  Again, based in Portsmouth, initially a Restricted Service Licence on various occasions and later finding a permanent home on Cable on 95.6.  In the Summer of 1999, the frequency was dropped and the station moved to a conventional FM transmitter on 107.4, has now been re-branded as 107.4 The Quay and does not target Sussex at all.

_______________________________________________________

COMMERCIAL: REGIONAL: No details known

RSL: DOLPHIN FM / UCKFIELD FM: Established by just four people interested in both Community and Hospital Radio in September 2002, the station makes it's inaugural RSL broadcast from Monday 7th July to Sunday 3rd August 2003.  Previously known as Dolphin FM, they applied, unsuccessfully for the Mid Sussex analogue licence but are looking out for future regional and local licence advertisements.  Uckfield, situated on the A22 in the East of the county is less than 15 miles in land from Eastbourne.  The station will broadcast from the town's cinema complex and has the support of local Media students taking their GCSEs.  Uckfield FM will broadcast a 24-hours service which includes the talents of some ex-pro radio names - the news service will be presented by a pro taking a busman's holiday from his usual work.  There are a number of local businesses already supporting the station, including one which has supplied three radio cars now in use daily.  www.uckfieldfm.co.uk

More RSLs we haven't mentioned yet?  Write it yourself - e-mail us!

DIGITAL: The Radio Authority has awarded the new Digital Radio Multiplex licence for the Sussex coast, incorporating Brighton.  The award was made to sole applicant - Capital Radio Digital Ltd, who are proposing a service of eight full time channels, plus a ninth shared between two service providers.  Capital Radio Digital Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital Radio plc.  The Channel Line-Up is: BBC Southern Counties Radio, Southern FM, Capital Gold, Juice 107.2, Xfm, Saga, Kiss and Gaydar Radio plus a shared channel which will feature Spirit FM (06.00-18.00) and Totally Radio - Alternative specialist (18.00-06.00)

Broadcasting on VHF band III frequency block 11B (centre frequency: 218.640 MHz), Capital Radio Digital proposes to commence its service in January 2004. 

HOSPITAL RADIO: No details known - write it yourself - e-mail us!

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

1