The Potteries get Focal
Listeners in Stoke-on-Trent woke up to their first new commercial radio station in 25 years this morning, as Focal Radio took to the digital airwaves of Staffordshire and Cheshire.
The new station made its debut on the Stoke-on-Trent local DAB multiplex and online at 8am with breakfast presenter Glyn Johnson, who played the first song [i]Wake Up Boo[/i] by the Boo Radleys.
Other presenters involved with the 24-hour station include city radio stalwart Sam Plank, formerly of BBC Radio Stoke and Signal Radio; Ray Crowther, also previously heard on Signal and new drive-time presenter Katie Johnson. The station is managed by Verity Hilton, wife of Sam Plank.
Focal Radio features evening specialist shows including the Asian Connection with Abdul Wahab, local bands show New Sounds with Gaz Ryder and a Look Back in Time presented by Tony Mullins, manager of the nearby Moorlands Radio community station. Local news is a prominent feature of the station with regular bulletins throughout the day.
The station was first mooted around two years ago and has been set back by problems with premises. Originally set to launch from the prominent Ceramica building in Burslem, to the north of the city, Focal Radio now broadcasts from studios in Trent Vale.