Two community stations merge to create one
Black Country Community Radio and 102.5 The Bridge are merging to create Black Country Radio.
The new station will broadcast on 102.5 FM, and will also be added to the small scale DAB multiplex in Birmingham.
102.5 The Bridge holds a community radio licence for Stourbridge, which it won ten years ago, whilst Black Country Community Radio was recently turned down for a licence from Ofcom.
Alex Totney is the current CEO of The Bridge and will retain that directorship within Black Country Radio. He said: “The cost of regular digital broadcasting just makes it impractical for a station of our size. We’re joining with other local brands in the West Midlands for a 9 month trial of a lower cost method, however that does restrict the area we can broadcast to. If it works out then hopefully we can look to use the same methods in the Black Country too.
“The more people who support us, the bigger we become. It’s not an easy task to pull in advertisers or listeners for a new brand – but we need both of those things to keep the station going.”
Dave Brownhill, who currently runs Black Country Community Radio, and will be joining the new station as Finance Director, added: “We’re really excited to be joining forces. On it’s own, each station had some brilliant points – but also limitations. Hopefully doing what we’re doing will bring together the good bits and remove all of the bad ones.
“We want people to view this new entity as a local, community focused radio station for the Black Country; like radio used to be. However, please don’t confuse the word ‘community’ with the word ‘amateur’ because that’s certainly not what we are. Black Country Radio will have a mix of people from all backgrounds – some have worked for the BBC and the biggest commercial radio brands in the UK and some bring a lifetime of Black Country experience to the table.”
Black Country Radio will initially broadcast from Stourbridge and is making plans for new studios in the future. It’ll relaunch on September 14th.