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.
Heart 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In Yorkshire, Gayle Lofthouse has been replaced by Emma Lenney as breakfast co-host with Dixie and Rich Williams, recently departed breakfast presenter at Radio Aire, will take over drive.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
CAPITAL FM ANGLESEY AND GWYNEDD
Breakfast: Alistair James
Drive: Kev Bach
CAPITAL FM NORTH WALES/ NW
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.