BBC continues to switch off local radio AM transmitters
BBC Local Radio stations in Lancashire, Humberside, Wiltshire, Devon and Surrey & Sussex are each losing at least one of their AM transmitters in December.
In a new trial to save money, three of the stations are now broadcasting a message asking listeners to re tune to FM or DAB instead.
“The BBC is required to make savings and one potential way to do this, and maintain value for money, is to switch off medium wave transmitters in those places where FM or digital radio coverage is also available,” the corporation said today.
In the first phase, BBC Radio Lancashire’s medium wave 1557 KHz transmitter will be switched off from 1st to 5th December, but with no DAB multiplex in the area, the only retune option is FM.
At BBC Surrey, all medium wave listening is affected. Listeners can re-tune to 104.6 FM in west Surrey and 104.0 FM in east Surrey or DAB.
And at BBC Sussex, listeners can re-tune to 95.3 FM in Brighton and Worthing, 95.1 FM in Horsham, 104.5 FM in East Sussex, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, and 104.8 FM in the remainder of West Sussex. BBC Sussex is also available on digital radio along the Sussex coast.
Then in the 2nd phase, BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio Wiltshire will switch off all medium wave transmitters from 8th December to 12th December. A recorded message will start on November 24th.
BBC Radio Humberside listeners can re-tune to 95.9 FM or DAB, whilst listeners in Wiltshire can re-tune to 103.6 in Swindon, 104.9 in Marlborough, 104.3 in Chippenham and West Wiltshire, and 103.5 in Salisbury and South Wiltshire or DAB.
At BBC Radio Devon, only Torbay medium wave (1458kHz) affected. Most listeners can re-tune to 104.3 or 103.4 FM, although listeners nearer Exeter might find 95.8 FM or 990 medium-wave are better alternatives. 990kHz Exeter has a significant coverage overlap with 1458kHz Torbay. BBC Radio Devon is also available on digital radio.
A BBC spokesperson told RadioToday: “Some BBC local radio stations will not be on medium wave frequency for the next three weeks while we carry out trials to assess the impact of reducing transmissions using medium wave. You can still hear your favourite station on FM, Digital Radio and Online. The stations will be back on medium wave after three weeks.”
The BBC carried out similar trials in 2012 but no results of the experiments were ever published.