Global confirms Heart expansion details
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Global confirms Heart expansion details

Global Radio will extend its Heart network to the Real Radio network of regional stations from Tuesday 6th May.

The company has already started to air Heart-style imaging on Real Radio stations, and starting today Heart talk-over beds and news sounders are also on-air.

Screenshot 2014-04-14 10.17.46Heart will grow as the biggest commercial radio brand, reaching almost 10m people in the UK, and for the first time will be on FM in Scotland, South Wales, Yorkshire and the North East. The addition of the Real brand will add an extra 2m listeners to Heart.

Heart will become region-wide in the North West when the former Marcher stations switch to Capital and Heart appears on the Real Radio North Wales and North West frequencies. A multi-million pound advertising campaign on TV, outdoor, press, online, social media and pr will take place in all the new regions.

Programming on the former Real Radio stations will change in network hours to the Heart network, with Toby Anstis, Emma Willis, Stephen Mulhern, Emma Bunton, Jenni Falconer and Mark Wright all part of the line up replacing Real Radio network presenters including Darren Parks, Debbie Mac and David Heane.

A new breakfast show with Joel Ross and Lorna Bancroft will air in the North West, and Free Radio’s Russ Morris takes over drivetime on 105.4. Debbie Mac gets the weekend shows.

In Yorkshire, Gayle Lofthouse has been replaced by Emma Lenney as breakfast co-host with Dixie and Rich Williams, recently departed breakfast presenter at Radio Aire, will take over drive.

In the North East breakfast and drivetime stay the same with Gary & Lisa and Justin & Kelly, whilst Sarah Graham stays on weekends. Real South Wales keeps the same line up too with Jagger and Wood on breakfast and Jason Harrold on drive. Dave Brookes is also staying on weekends.

In North Wales, Spence McDonald will move from the current Heart to the new regional Heart and will be joined by current drivetime host Fiona Sadler. Real North West’s drivetime presenter Oli Kemp will host Heart North Wales regional drivetime.

Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president of Global, said: “This is a huge milestone for the team at Global as we grow Heart’s reach to 9.3 million listeners each week, the biggest commercial radio station in the UK. We are investing heavily in the launch of Heart in these new regions, with quality local programming and a superb new marketing campaign. The fact that there’s now a commercial radio station in the UK that reaches close to 10 million listeners is also great news for our commercial partners.”

In North Wales, Graeme Smith will host breakfast with Sarah Story and Ben Sheppard has tweeted he will be the drivetime presenter for the new Capital FM. Here’s an interview he did with the SRA last week.

At Capital FM Anglesey, separate breakfast and drive will air due to its Ofcom Format. Alistair James will host breakfast and Kev Bach will host drivetime from 1pm till 7pm.

Here are all the new Heart presenters from May 6th:


Breakfast: Joel and Lorna (Joel replaces Glen Hunt)
Drive: Russ Morris (replacing Oli Kemp)
Weekends: Debbie Mac


Breakfast: Gary and Lisa
Drive: Justin and Kelly
Weekends: Sarah Graham


Breakfast: Dixie and Emma (Emma replaces Gayle Lofthouse)
Drive: Rich Williams (replacing Ian Brannan)
Weekends: Ian Brannan


Breakfast: Jagger and Woody
Drive: Jason Harrold
Weekends: Dave Brookes


Breakfast: Spence McDonald and Fiona Sadler
Drive: Oli Kemp
Weekends: Rachel Howarth


Breakfast: Ewen Cameron and Cat Harvey
Drive: Paul Harper
Weekends: Steve McKenna


Breakfast: Alistair James
Drive: Kev Bach


Breakfast: Graeme Smith and Sarah Storey
Drive: Ben Shepphard

PR has started today announcing the new regional line-ups, so expect to see more about “Heart is coming” in local media starting today.

0 9 5846 14 April, 2014 Industry News Monday, April 14th, 2014


  1. daniellefootychick

    On Heart Northwest and Yorkshire, drive should be moved to 2-6pm to allow for a footy phone in 6-7pm.

    1. Matt

      Probably won’t happen, as you’ll soon realise there is no Sports news on Heart, as it’s aimed at Females who are mid age.
      (The general conclusion is women don’t like sport).

      1. daniellefootychick

        The footy chick demographic is HUGE. Women do like football, the idea men like it is a dead horse trope now, so Heart should realize that. Why is Footy Chick as a brand so huge when sold via Sports Direct and the then-existing JJB Sports (who, ironically, advertised a lot on the old Marcher Sound!)

        I’m 29, so in Heart’s demographic anyway.

        Sports news is on Key, City, Tower FM, but not Heart, which is a bit of a cockup to say the least. Not even on Capital 102, which should carry some Manchester United coverage on Saturday afternoon now that Key 103 no longer carries it.

      2. mb

        They will still have to do sports news, it’s in the Real format and Ofcom have confirmed that they won’t let them drop it.
        The Real stations also have more speech in their format (similar to Heart Cornwall) so they are going to have to add a lot of speech and listener interactivity during the local hours to make up the quota.

  2. Helena Handcart

    The Heart news beds have actually been in use for over a week, at least on RR Yorkshire anyway.

  3. grovil9

    I can see Heart Yorkshire lasting 12-18 months, and then suddenly being replaced by JACK 106 Yorkshire, but with presenters replacing Toby Anstis, Matt Wilkinson, Emma Bunton, Roberto, Mark Wright, Jenny Francis – and the Vodafone top 40 chart on a Jack station!
    Well… that’s what I heard on a footy forum today!

  4. Dan

    Looking forward to the changes, will be brilliant for Heart to get in more listeners. I love heart, always playing feel-good songs :)

  5. Sarah flint

    Time to change back to radio Hallam, I’m not listening to breakfast without Gayle, why replace an awarding winning team, bye bye Heart Radio

  6. Dave WiggyWiggins

    I do not under stand this wright now what has global done to this radio presenter dave brookes on heart 105-106 south wales he is not on heart wales at weekends now please help me now please

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