RadioToday.co.uk has learnt that UTV Radio is to launch networked evening and overnight programming across 7 of its radio stations in the North of England. Wire FM, Wish FM, Radio Wave, Tower FM, Imagine FM, The Pulse and Signal Two will all carry the live shows from next month.
Industry regulator Ofcom have agreed the format changes to the stations to allow the link-ups. It will mean the stations, with the exception of The Pulse in Bradford, will be live 24 hours a day, albeit from a remote location.
UTV has confirmed to RadioToday that the networked programming will run from 7pm to 6am on weekdays, then 6pm Saturday to 8am Sunday; and from 4pm on Sundays.
The Pulse will only take the syndicated output until 1am every day. Signal Two networking is as the full network but starts at 7pm on Sundays, since the AM/DAB station runs the A-List instead of hit40uk.
In most cases the new network shows will be replacing automated and/or voicetracked programming. RadioToday.co.uk understands that the changed schedules will come into effect from Monday 26th March 2007 and that UTV Radio are in the process of installing software at all sites to enable local ads, local sponsor credits and local production between songs to be played.
UTV Radio's ILR Group Programme Director John Dash told RadioToday: "Networking the stations will give the listeners the opportunity to hear great music linked by a live presenter 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
RadioToday also [link=http://www.radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.1650]reports[/link] today that Wish FM, Wire FM and Tower FM are to all move into a single building in the Newton-le-Willows area. It is likely that the new facility would be where the network programmes will eventually originate.
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