Whilst the rumours spread around the industry that Capital FM might replace the Galaxy brand, nobody could bring themselves to believe it.
But the news was confirmed by RadioToday.co.uk on Monday evening that Galaxy, which started life as a local station in Bristol in 1990, will be replaced by Capital FM in January 2011.
The Galaxy network we have today is a mixture of local and regional licences, from the smallest in Southampton to the largest in Yorkshire.
The enlarged Capital Network will also include East Midlands' stations Ram FM, Trent FM and Leicester Sound (to be merged as one) and Red Dragon FM in Cardiff.
These are the stations which will switch on January 3rd to Capital FM:
[b]Galaxy South Coast[/b] was born in 1988 as Power FM (as a result of Ocean Sound splitting its frequencies). It was owned by Southern Radio plc until Capital Radio bought the group in 1994 and re-created the sound of Capital FM for the South Coast (Ironic?). The station survied until Global Radio was formed and renamed the station as part of the Galaxy network at the end of 2008. It has a TSA of 1.1m and 215,000 listeners.
[b]Galaxy Birmingham[/b] also has a varied history. It started out as Buzz FM in 1995 and later rebranded as Choice FM. It then became part of the Galaxy / Hit Music Network despite it having an obligation to play RnB music. It has a TSA of 2.1m and 383,000 listeners.
[b]Galaxy North East [/b]launched in 1999 as Galaxy 105-106 and although has had three owners, the station name never changed. Until now. It has a TSA of 2.2m and 553,000 listeners.
[b]Galaxy Scotland[/b] will be going through its third rebrand in five years, having originally launched in 1999 as Beat 106. The station changed name to Xfm in 2006 under new owners GCap Media. Global Radio came along in 2008 and made it part of the Galaxy Network and will now change the station to Capital FM. It has a TSA of 2.7m and 429,000 listeners.
[b]Galaxy Manchester[/b] started life as Kiss 102, which replaced Sunset 102 on the same frequency. Sunset was closed down due to breach of licence and the licence re-advertised. Kiss launched in 1994 but was sold to Chrysalis Group three years later and rebranded to Galaxy. It has a TSA of 2.8m and 539,000 listeners.
[b]Galaxy Yorkshire[/b] also started life as Kiss (105) and was rebranded in the late 90s. It is the largest station in the network, and currently provides programmes for the rest of the group outside of breakfast and drive. It has a TSA of 4.5m and 1m listeners.
[b]Trent FM[/b] is a heritage station in Nottingham, having launched in 1975. It started life as Radio Trent 301. [b]Leicester Sound[/b] launched in 1984 after its predecessor Centre Radio closed in1983, and [b]Ram FM[/b] was born in 1994 using Trent's Derby transmitter. All three stations will merge as Capital East Midlands.
[b]Red Dragon FM[/b] is based in the Capital of Wales (luckily) and has been on-air since 1980 under various owners and names. It started life as CBC (Cardiff Broadcasting Company) but changed in 1985. It has a TSA of 986,000 and an audience of 290,000.
All stations will carry programmes from London with the exception of seven hours on weekdays and four on weekends. Each station will be known as "[freq] – Capital FM" – or just "Capital FM" during network links. "[link=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.6266.2]Smart Networking[/link]" will ensure at last some local information is provided by presenters, and local news/adverts will continue in each area.