It was March 7th 2005 when UTV won the Belfast licence, beating off competition from ten other groups.
Then this morning at 6am the station finally went live after a 105-day countdown on their website with the strapline ‘U105 – where great music lives’. A ?2million marketing campaign also kicks off this week.. The first song played was Wavelength by Van Morrison.
The website has changed to a listen live link providing an online stream of the station. This station had a last minute frequency change from a suggested 105.1 to a confirmed 105.8 just two months before launch.
The station was officially launched at 1.05pm by John B McGuckian, Chairman of The UTV Group. He said: ?This is a fantastic achievement for all at UTV – not only is this the first major city licence awarded by Ofcom to go on air, but thanks to the hard work of all concerned, U105 has arrived several months ahead of schedule.?
Roy Bailie, Chairman of U105 said: ?There is a tremendous sense of excitement in UTV today to see U105 go on air. We intend to broaden choice in the commercial radio market by appealing primarily to the 45 plus audience that is not currently being addressed.
“Seven out of ten listeners in this age group do not currently tune to local commercial radio and we intend to change that with our strong line-up of presenters who are looking forward to providing an attractive new listening alternative for local people.”
John Rosborough, Managing Director, U105 said: ?This is a hugely exciting time for radio, and we look forward to providing a station that the ?grown up? audience can really call their own.?
U105 will appeal primarily to those aged over 45 living in Belfast and the surrounding area and will provide a strong new listening alternative for this age group. It will be entirely locally produced and presented combining topical speech with a wide choice of music from the 60?s through to the present day.
Presenters include Ivan Martin and Richard Young at Breakfast, Ronan Kelly on Mid Morning, Lynda Bryans at Lunch, Maurice Jay at Drivetime and Carolyn Stewart in the evening.
The station is also broadcasting online, and on freeview channel 726 in Northern Ireland.