Plans announced for The Bay and Lakeland Radio

Global is rebranding The Bay as Heart and Lakeland Radio as Smooth Radio.

The rebrands were announced today after Global bought the two stations from CN Group last year. The move adds a 23rd local station to the Heart network and a seventh station to the Smooth network.

Heart will be broadcast from Lancaster on 96.9, 102.3 and 103.2 FM and Smooth will be broadcast from Kendal on 100.1, 100.8 and 101.4. In the latest RAJAR, The Bay has 85,000 weekly listeners whilst Lakeland Radio has 16,000 weekly listeners.

Ashley Tabor OBE, founder & executive president of Global, said: “This is an exciting moment for Global as we continue to grow our coverage across the UK and continue our successful strategy of national brands delivered locally. We’ve wanted to introduce Heart and Smooth to more listeners across the North West for some time and so it’s fantastic we’re able to do this in 2018. We’ll announce more details soon!”

The Bay launched in March 1993 and enjoyed success with its early classic hits format, reaching almost 50% reach across North Lancashire and South Cumbria. Lakeland Radio was launched to cover Kendal and Windermere in October 2001 as an independent station and the two have always broadcast separate programmes 24/7, despite more recent common ownership.

Current Government and Ofcom rules state at least seven hours a day of programmes (including breakfast) for these stations must originate from Lancashire or Cumbria, preventing the sharing of peak-time programmes with Heart North West or Smooth North West.

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  1. Mark Levy says

    More presenters getting their P45s. What a joke!!!

  2. Rob Charles says

    You can already pick up Heart & Smooth in Cumbria with no problem what so ever. Seems strange!

    1. Martin Kong says

      On the rab mapping website you can’t.

  3. Ray Woodward says

    Well! Imagine my surprise …

  4. Shumba93 says

    It’s all about the money folks. Its a business. Roll with it because it won’t change. Remember the ‘feel good’

  5. Joe Smith says

    Two stations ruined.

    Do they give OBEs for destroying radio nowadays?

  6. Radio Geordie says

    Maybe I should rename myself Mr Psychic?
    Then again, maybe not. It wasn’t the hardest thing to predict was it?

  7. Radio Geordie says

    No. You get a Knighthood.

  8. Jeff C says

    The award for destroying UK radio in the last decade goes to……

  9. Lee says

    No suprise here then. I dont know about you but I fed up with Global as they just keep destroying local radio one after the other for what what would seem for greed. An absolute farse!!! You can already recieve many Global tstaions in the area on DAB. Who can feel good about this move? More P45’s on offer from Global! OFCOM need to rethink their strategy as the larger radio groups seem to guide OFCOM not the other way round. More 45’s on the way. Now wonder listeners like me are turning away from UK commercial radio stations (who play narrow playlists and have robic presenters who can’t finish a link without saying “on Heart” or “on Capital”) to other radio stations on the inernet. So so sad. I wonder if any of the other Global executives will get Knighthoods or similar, perhaps for
    services to the “destruction of quality local radio in the UK”.

    1. Neal says

      So agree Lee. I’m fed up trying to get anybody to listen. All you ever hear is they would go to the wall if Global did not buy them up. Everybody thinks Global, Bauer et all are the future. Nobody will hear anything said against them anymore and there are no governing bodies left to deal with this complete destruction of local radio. I appreciate stations like BBC 6 music will never fill the local remit but at least the music is varied and the DJ’s have a passion for music. Other stations I am tuning to these days are Paradise Radio-92.5 The River in Boston-Radio Sutch (great for 50’s and 60’s Rock And Roll) They are internet based but for me that is where the future lies and I firmly believe these stations will one day kill off the likes of Global. A fall I hope I will still be here to see!! Around the BBC also recommend Iain Anderson on Radio Scotland, Eve Blair weeknights on Radio Ulster. Chris Needs on Radio Wales (more mainstream but always a million times more varied selection than Heart etc). These shows do clash all being somewhere between 10pm and 1am but BBC iplayer makes it easy to catch up with them all and I just stream them from my phone to my car stereo on the journey to and from work. So much more entertaining than anything being broadcast live during the morning/evening rush hours!!! The AM/FM radio we loved from the past may be gone but I can’t be bothered writing or complaining to the people responsible any more because they really are up themselves and don’t give a four X. I’m just grateful to be of an age where I was around to listen to radio when it was great. As always I challenge the plebs at these big brother swallow them up companies to visit where you will find a tribute website to the late Roger Scott built by his son Jamie. Listen to any show on there Global and the rest and hear how it should be done. Your DJ’s don’t come up to Roger’s little finger !!!

      1. Carol says

        Obviously there is something wrong with your ears the presenters are fantastic and very professional and loyal seems like something you don’t understand .Do you not think things are hard enough for these presenters at the moment not knowing what the future holds how insensitive can you get. Hope it happens to you one day

        1. Carol says

          This reply is aimed at Shumba 93 just a little bit insensitive when people’s futures are at stake

  10. Chris says

    Dreadful news, and really reduces the choice of listening,well done Global, you have ruined local radio,and well done Ofcom for allowing it.

  11. Liam Kennedy says

    Sad news but not surprise. Great reaction in times of crisis but what about the rest of the time? 86, 000 weekly listeners – great! But this is down on 106, 000 six months ago and 104, 000 in 2009. Less listeners means harder to sell airtime and that’s why CN had to let it go. When the mid-morning show is still doing backwards song contests and surveys (the meaningless stuff they did in the eighties) then perhaps it’s time for a 21st century refresher.

    1. Vic Ging says

      WRONG! Global are willing to pay over the odds for stations. They don’t care how much they are as money is no object and they just want to expand their brands. The sale by CN was one they couldn’t turn down as the millions ther received for Bay & Lakeland helped bail out all their newspapers who make a loss. The Bay was a profitable station as anyone in the business could work out! With the ad’breaks noticibally creeping up and up to 17 minutes regularly, it was also obvious the RAJAR would take a hit! Global buys it, solves CN’s money problems, whittles down the staff, saves money, pumps out mostly networked shows & ads and ends up making money but the RAJAR will go down further but global willing and able to take the hit

  12. Denis Horan says

    The bay is a fantastic local radio station that wins arqiva awards every year.
    The local identity will be lost forever.
    We already reveive heart and smooth on normal radio loud and clear.
    R..I..P THE BAY

    1. Denis Horan says


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