Darlington and Durham station Star Radio North East is changing its name on 1st August to Rathergood Radio, with its owners promising major expansion of the new brand.
View TV Group took on the old Star licences earlier this year, after UKRD said it planned to close the station down as it wasn’t financially viable to operate.
The new owner has told RadioToday it’s invested £250,000 in the station over the last 12 weeks, and from 1st August the station will become Rathergood Radio on the FM transmitters covering Darlington, Durham and Richmond – as well as on DAB across North Yorkshire.
The Northallerton and Thirsk frequencies were retained by UKRD, with Minster FM taking them back over last week.
In May, View TV took control of not-for-profit DAB station Vale Radio, and replaced it with Star on the North Yorkshire digital radio multiplex. This will rebrand to Rathergood Radio, with the firm also promising ‘Rathergood Xtra’ on the same multiplex in the coming weeks, playing music from the 70s to the 00s.
The company also tells RadioToday it will be launching “additional alternate audio channels that cater for pretty much every taste in modern music”, which it says will be broadcast as HD and 4K television channels – though it gives no details of the platforms or areas these TV services will cover. The new ‘B’ channels listed in View TV’s press release are Rathergood 80’s (sic), Rathergood 90’s (sic), Rathergood Noughties, Rathergood Dance, Rathergood Old Skool, Rathergood Love, Rathergood Karaoke, Rathergood Movie Tunes, Rathergood Country & Rathergood Top 40.
And the expansion doesn’t end there. View TV says its new “£1m facility in Durham” will include a “bespoke Hub in the North East with the addition of an extra 25 jobs for the community”, while it also says it’s partnering with a number of local stations across the UK to provide up to 4 ‘localised network shows’ each day, which stations will be paid to broadcast via an advertising revenue share scheme.
View TV Group CEO Jamie Branson says: “With Rathergood delivering music entertainment across local radio, national radio and television formats, it allows us to demonstrate there is a need to change the DNA of local and regional radio. Rathergood, supported by View TV Group, will produce a whitepaper explaining its success story that we expect, will provoke a discussion about why the industry needs to move forward to a place that, until now, no media professional has had the confidence to lead. Rathergood promises to be at the vanguard of that change!”