TFM leaves Teesside to share with Metro
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TFM leaves Teesside to share with Metro

The new TFM will launch on Monday with all programming originating from Metro Radio in Newcastle including Steve and Karen at breakfast.

Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 16.37.36

Bauer Media confirms all programmes on Metro Radio will be on TFM, Steve and Karen at Breakfast, Brian Moore on mid-mornings and Stu Elmore on 3pm till 7pm, but with split adverts and news. The stations already shared off-peak programming prior to today.

Offices in Stockton will close with remaining staff moving further north from Monday. The TFM Radio name, and all on and off air branding, will be retained, as will TFM’s local news and information.

The two stations are in the same “Approved Area” of the North East, so permission to merge them can be given without consultation.

Cath Ellington, Regional Managing Director – Bauer North East & Magic Network North said: “These changes mean TFM will be even better resourced whilst at the same time retain its local connections and appeal to listeners and advertisers.

“TFM is a much-loved radio station on Teesside and we are confident this move means it will benefit from even greater creativity, improved content and allow the station to further grow its audience share across the region. We want to say thank you to all TFM staff who have worked hard for the station in recent years.”

Rival station Star Radio has updated its own Facebook header saying goodbye to TFM and for current listeners to re-tune. Breakfast presenter Robin Banks is planning an on-air farewell party on Monday morning.

Star itself of course is the result of three stations merging in the past – Minster Northallerton, Durham FM and Alpha 103.2.

Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 16.36.29

An Ofcom statement on the Format, which currently says TFM has to provide at least seven hours a day of local programming, should be out on Tuesday.

0 37 4850 07 April, 2013 Industry News Sunday, April 7th, 2013


  1. Joni Patel

    It amazes me how commercial radio bosses can claim that getting rid of all a stations staff leads to it being ‘better resourced’ and that while broadcasting the entirety of it’s content from a totally different city it can ‘retain it’s local connections’.

    Total bullshit.

  2. Len Groat

    So it’s going to retain ‘local connections’ ~ I REALLY hope Ofcom monitor these VERY carefully…

    …. what an awful state I(L)R is in…….

  3. No Sleep Till Saltburn

    Too true Joni – Consider how badly the numerous simulcasts of Night-Owls have been received over the decades and how swiftly they’ve gone back to local programming!
    Imagine that impact across the entire schedule!! I grew up listening to Me Mark and Pirrie PM etc – and I used to work at Radio Tees and Tfm. so, yes I am biased but I am close to tears currently.

  4. Mike

    “An Ofcom statement on the Format change, which current says TFM has to provide at least 7 hours a day of local programming, should be out on Tuesday.”

    But local, in this context, just means from within the same Approved Area, so there’s no issue here.

  5. Tony

    What a load of wank. Who wants to listen to mackem FM when you’re from Teesside. Feel so sorry for the great DJs and staff at TFM. They will all be greatly missed. Also why are the bosses not fully honest with us all and tell us it is all about cost cutting/saving. They must think we are all totally stupid!

    1. Radio Geordie


      Metro is a GEORDIE station (based in Newcastle) not a mackem station (based in Sunderland). You’re confusing Metro for Sun.

  6. roberto

    Tfm T for tyne now it will be geordie news travel and sport, Radio tees rip and as for steve and karen rubbish on galaxy radio

  7. Jimbo

    The only way people learn is when it hits them hard in the pocket.

    I wonder twelve months down the line if this idea hits them hard audience wise? I suspect it won’t go unnoticed.

    As an example no one at Free Radio can claim their rebrand was a success with their loss of almost 28% of their listening hours.

    Let us see how many listening hours this might affect. Let’s open a book. Have your guess, how many % will they lose in twelve months?

    1. MB

      Hardly any. They might increase audience reach, the breakfast show hosts are familiar to the area’s listeners as they used to be on Galaxy/Capital.

      TFM wil still have local news & information and if the product is entertaining people will keep listening. In twelve months time it will be accepted as normal.

      The problem with Free Radio is the product, not the branding.

      1. Radio Geordie

        The stupid hormonal teenagers (which is most of its target audience) wouldn’t even notice that the station now broadcasts from either Newcastle or Manchester.

    2. Smarty Marty

      100% HOPEFULLY mate. I’m not listening to Geordies and Mackams. Goodbye TFM. I’d rather listen to Radio 1 than TFM now after this move.

  8. Graham Welford

    This is so bad for Teesside and N Yorks. Now Teesside has lost TFM, Magic 1170 and further back its own regional show and opt outs at 6pm on itv and BBC Tees is networked after 7pm as well.
    Teesside needs its own station based in its own area and does not need another network from Newcastle. Why bother keeping its name afterall it will be produced by Metro.

  9. Paolo

    I can’t even put into words my disgust for the morons who make these decisions. How on earth has it come to this? There are no words.

    1. MB

      Radio City can only share 6 hours (out of 13 hours) in daytime with other Bauer stations (and not breakfast), as they are in their own Ofcom approved area.
      The Metro-TFM merger can only happen because Ofcom have decided that they are in the same approved area (North East England).
      As with the Heart stations it’s possible that all the northern Bauer FM stations will be sharing 10am-4pm before too long.

      1. bexyh8606

        Bauer should do a UKRD and make the stations LOCAL 24-7…. look at Minster FM as an example.

        1. Mr X

          UKRD’s stations may be local 24/7, but how much of that is automated? They seem to broadcast an awful lot of non stop music on the likes of Minster, Stray, The Bee etc etc. Even Pirate has largely automated weekends. How is that better?

  10. Lee derbyshire

    Lets face it all FM stations including TFM churn out the same dross all day anyway ! It is the same music over and over with the same corny patter.No creativity or personality. In the past we had Alistair Pirrie who is comic genius and Graham Robb , another comic genius with Late On etc. Now we have nothing with the exeption of Alan Robson and Night Owls.At least he is creative and near the knuckle.
    Still it is a shame , all those jobs lost . Radio just aint what it used to be in this modern world. Short wave and medium wave are going the same way in favour of online broadcasts which just leave me cold.It is all so clinical .

  11. Radio Geordie

    I bet there’ll be a bigger outcry when the same thing happens to METRO and all programming comes from Manchester.

    Give it time, it will happen.

  12. Popalu

    If I wanted to listen to inane Geordie chatter, I would tune into Metro already, I don’t as I want to listen to a local station, with local presenter, talking about local places and things. Not a cookie cutter show, based in Newcastle, with annoying presenters.
    We already have Nightowls with moaning Geordies and Mackems and the wrong show, which the only good thing to say about it, is that it can be turned off.
    RIP TFM, won’t be listening to TyneFM anymore and the message across Teesside is the same, imaging the uproar if they pulled Metro, moved it to Stockton and started broadcasting with Smoggie presenters, we wouldn’t here the end of it.
    Sad day for Teesside, lets hope Bauer feel it where it hurts, in audience share and advertising revue dropping, like they dropped Teesside

  13. Night Moves

    The average listener cares not where the broadcast comes from and will still be there for the station they choose to listen to wherever it comes from. Star (and both its listeners) will no doubt have a private giggle for a few days but will maintain their stunning mediocrity throughout.

  14. Angielawlor

    Very bad move. I live in Teeside not Tyneside and I want to listen to local broadcasters not georgies and Mackams! It is not local radio anymore, this is regional radio. Not the same and I won’t be listening. Hope the rest of Teeside and North Yorkshire do the same!

    1. Brian Christopher Winter

      James, I think it is because basically people from TEESIDE do not want to be lumped in with Geordies and and such. Also, Radio Tees/TFM does have a very strong and loyal listner base and that maybe why it has struck such a raw nerve.

  15. Seen It

    Listeners tend not to like massive change all at once! This is the same for anything in life, if people lose a way of life they are happy with they become upset about whatever is new.

    Using BRMB into Free for example; BRMB was a legend in it’s area. Yes it has lost many listening hours over the years, however probably only in line with new competitors coming into the market, however the one main reason it has loss an immense number of listeners in twelve months is people felt like they lost a true Brummie friend when it was rebranded.

    I would be surprised if any cost saving connected with that change out outweighs loss in as revinue. The same problems await TFM. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    1. MB

      They are not rebranding TFM though, the on-air jingles will still say TFM, and the news, travel, weather and ads will all be separate for Teeside.

      It may work, it may not. TFM’s reach has fallen from 24% to 20% during 2012 so Bauer probably decided to go for it as a result. The prospect of a newly rebranded Heart NE station later in the year would also have been a factor in their decision.

  16. Len Groat

    UPDATE 9th April – Ofcom published comment:

    Ofcom believes removing a WEEKLY Asian programme would “substantially alter the character of the “Bee” radio (Bolton) service so needs to take the request to consultation”

    BUT….. Ofcom also believe it’s okay to let Metro move ALL programmes for Teesside to Newcastle- without even being asked!

    Perhaps Ofcom should look ‘for views on THAT to be made by 5pm on 30 April 2013′”!!

  17. Smarty Marty

    Sorry to sound like a football hooligan here but we on Teesside have nothing in common with Geordies which is where all (except community station CVFM and BBC Tees) our radio stations (and local TV news comes from. And even BBC Tees has Radio Newcastle programmes after 10pm that aren’t national now come from. Is Teesside, South County Durham and Northern North Yorkshire now classed as Tyneside? Over my dead body. A name change and relocation to a more central location in this new duel area wouldn’t be a bad idea. Somehow though I doubt that will happen and like everything else in the North East of England it wll be Tyne and Wear centric. Sure the name TFM will continue but it will be TFM spelt M-E-T-R-O R-A-D-I-O.

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