Communicorp UK is taking Heart North Wales off the Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex from April 1st.
The station was missing from the launch line-up of the neighbouring North West Wales mux in December, and this move means the station’s only terrestrial output is now FM.
Mark Lee, Communicorp UK CEO told RadioToday: “We decided to come off DAB in North Wales in April last year in order to focus our investment in local programming, marketing and improvements to the FM transmission. We fully intend to move on to DAB in North Wales in the future when the Dab network is built and the Heart North Wales audience has been fully established.
“Our plans to grow audience in North and Mid Wales are going well, the team are doing a great job and audience results have been very good. We are fully committed to DAB and have been investing in extending our transmission in other parts of the UK.”
Multiplex owner MuxCo says they are sad to see Heart go, and as a popular local service, they expect listeners to feel the same way.
“It is always up to individual stations whether they join, or leave, a multiplex. As the multiplex operator we are keen to provide as many stations as possible and work with a variety of operators across all of our areas to find ways that work for them to broadcast on DAB. In the Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool area we’re pleased that there’s a variety of services from the local – Dee on DAB, Wirral Radio and Juice to the national – BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and Nation Radio,” said MuxCo’s Matt Deegan.
Heart North Wales is a new service created after Global sold a number of stations to Communicorp 12 months ago. Heart Mid and North Wales was previously a relay of Heart South Wales but the two had to split programmes after they became owned by separate companies.
A spokeswoman for DigitalRadioUK told RadioToday: ““Communicorp is of course fully committed to local DAB across their stations and have recently expanded their DAB coverage for Smooth East Midlands. The NE Wales and West Chester local DAB multiplex is an imperfect fit with their FM TSA, and part of the area will continue to be able to listen to the North West England version of Heart via the Liverpool local DAB multiplex. They will continue to review as local DAB coverage is expanded over the next 18 months.”