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Nine more Hearts makes 33

Nine more radio stations will be re-branded as Heart on June 22nd, including the former Marcher Group stations in North Wales and North West England.

The nine stations are Southern FM, Ocean FM, Invicta, Essex FM, 2CR, Marcher Sound, Coast 96.3, Buzz 97.1 and Champion 103.

Last month, twelve new Heart stations in Bristol, Bath, Wiltshire, Reading, Oxford, Plymouth, South Hams, North Devon, Exeter, Torbay, Somerset and Gloucester joined the nine stations which launched across Anglia in phase one of the Heart roll-out in January. The Heart network now comprises a total of 24 stations across the UK, including the three original Heart stations in London, the West Midlands and East Midlands.

But the final number could be one less than anticipated, if the expected sale of Heart 106 in the East Midlands to Bauer takes place. Industry experts predict Bauer will take full control of the regional (as opposed to buying a franchise), and re-brand the station as Magic 106.

Speaking of the latest re-brand, Global Radio’s Director of Broadcasting Richard Park said: “We are looking forward to expanding Heart into these new areas, as we build a strong national brand while delivering quality local programming to our target 25 – 44 year old audience.”

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