Two becomes 1 at Midwest Radio

Two radio stations operating as Midwest Radio are to become one as Ofcom grants permission for the stations to share programmes 24 hours a day.

In line with the Digital Economy Act, the two stations in The Vale and Somerset will merge full time, but will continue with local news.

Whilst most programmes are already joint, thanks to a clause in each station's format, the most recent approval from Ofcom means separate breakfast shows can now be removed.

Midwest Radio (Somerset and West Dorset) launched in 2003 as Ivel FM, whilst Midwest Radio for Blandford and the Vale launched much earlier in 1995 as Vale FM.

In asking for the change, Midwest Radio said: "Though these changes we believe that the current character of the service of Midwest Radio will continue and not be substantially altered."

Ofcom approved the merger saying: "This request has been approved under section 106(1A) of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (as amended), criteria (a) – that the departure would not substantially alter the character of the service, and because it is consistent with Ofcom’s policy on programme sharing, as set out in our published localness guidelines."

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