Heart is coming, and for a number of Real Radio stations, a new studio is also being used from today.
Co-location for the new Heart stations with existing Global and new Communicorp stations has been planned for some time, and from today, the plan becomes a reality ahead of official rebrands on May 6th.
We’ve picked up a number of posts on social media, from studios being used for the last time, to photos of complete rebuilds. So region by region, here’s a breakdown of all the changes as Global Radio and Communicorp share buildings and studio facilities:
In South Wales, Real Radio broadcast its last show from the Ty Nant Court studios in Cardiff last night – the birthplace of the brand in 2000. Real Wales (owned by Global Radio) is now operating from the Red Dragon Centre in the same building as Capital FM (owned by Communicorp).
In North Wales, the current Heart will stay at its studio base in Wrexham and change its name to Capital FM. Mold Road studios in Gwersyllt will also be the home to the new Heart, which will broadcast to mid and north Wales on the licence awarded to GMG Radio in 2010. The output, on frequencies ranging from 88 to 108 FM, has previously been fully shared with South Wales’ Real Radio. The sharing of output is no longer allowed under Ofcom rules preventing the sharing of all programmes without a common owner. Real (Heart) mid/north Wales is owned by Communicorp and Capital FM north Wales is owned by Global Radio.
In the North West, Real Radio’s local programmes has moved out of Laser House – its home since launching as Century 105 in 1998 – to Exchange Quay, both in Salford. Laser House is now home to Communicorp stations Smooth Radio and Real Radio XS, whilst Exchange Quay houses Capital, XFM and (technically) Gold. Until Monday, Real’s network output remains in Laser House.
In Yorkshire, Real Radio has moved from Sterling Court at Tingley – its home since launching in 2002 – to Capital FM’s base in Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk. Sterling Court was previously the head office for GMG Radio and once housed the biggest newsroom in commercial radio, along with numerous on-air and production studios, management offices and contingency studios spread across three large floors.
In the North East, Real Radio will remain in Team Valley as it rebrands to Heart, but Kingfisher Way-based Capital FM will move in. Smooth Radio has also returned to the building, using the same studio it did before all programmes were shared with London and Manchester. Real Radio (Heart) and Capital FM are owned by Global Radio whilst Smooth is now owned by Communicorp.
Finally, in Scotland, all stations stay where they are – Capital FM will remain in Four Winds Pavilion at Pacific Quay but will be a Communicorp building and Real Radio (Heart), Smooth Radio and XFM are in Parkway Court – now Global Radio’s Glasgow HQ.