Dune and Central to merge

The owners of Southport's Dune FM and Preston station Central Radio have been given permission by Ofcom to share all programming across both radio stations.

The request came in the form of an application to change the formats of both to reduce locally-made programmes following the merger.

In their application to Ofcom, owners of the two stations Niocom said: "Both stations are co-located and currently share personnel, resources and non-locally made programming hours. We do not believe that this request would substantially alter the character of either service as the output of both stations will remain essentially the same. Rather than the same presenter deliver content relevant to each service as is presently the case, the presenter content will now encompass the combined larger area. Similarly, news bulletins will combine the local content of both existing services to provide a service applicable to the new larger area."

The company added: "Our local news service will retain a strong local focus. We have recently discontinued our news-hubing arrangement with two nearby TLRC stations and reestablished our in-house news team. We now broadcast what we consider to be an ‘enhanced’ news service."

Dune FM has a TSA of 159,128 and Central Radio 198,000. Both stations' Character of Service, presentation styles and musical playlists have been near identical since January 2010.

Niocom says it will retain the ability to target applicable content solely at both Dune and Central, allowing very area specific content to be carried where necessary.

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