Stafford FM is to return as an online community radio station next month, ten years on from the first RSLs.
Former Signal Radio presenters Stu Haycock and Ray Crowther are behind the station, which says it intends to apply for an FM community radio licence from Ofcom at the next opportunity.
The online station is due to go live on Monday 5th September and promises ‘a mix of popular classic hits, as well as locally focussed new, sport, information, local issues and debate, together with specialist music shows.’
Programme controller Stu Haycock says: “Stafford FM was hugely successful the first time around, but due to the rules changing, we had to put the project on ice. However, 10 years on, and we’re back! It’s taken months to get where we are, but the hard work is starting to pay off. Once we get on air, we truly believe that the service we’re offering will be unrivalled. The station will focus on locally produced programmes, and content, which is something no one else is currently doing in Stafford.”
We’re also told the station will aim to showcase local talent and unsung heroes – starting with the station’s jingles which have been sung in-house by local unsigned musicians. Local musician Andy Meacham – one half of 90s group Bizarre Inc will also present a show on the station.
Ray Crowther will be Station Manager as well as breakfast presenter. He spent 15 years in the early morning slot at Signal Radio. “Staffords been crying out for a truly local radio service for as long as I can remember,” he told RadioToday.co.uk. “Now we’re giving them what they want. A community radio station that’s dedicated to tackling local issues, supporting local businesses – with affordable and attractive advertising packages, offering charitable organisations a voice, as well as handing new local talent the opportunities they would never have dreamed of.”
Stafford had its own 12-hour-opt out station from Signal Radio in the form of Echo 96 back in 1990, but that became Signal Stafford in 1992 and later carried only an opt-out local breakfast show until around 4 years ago.
Stafford FM ran four month-long RSLs between 2001 and 2003 but hasn’t been on air since after it was clear that there wouldn’t be a new local commercial radio licence awarded for the area. Ofcom’s latest round of community radio licensing means groups in the area will be able to put in applications in 2013.