Bauer to rebrand heritage FM stations in England and Wales to Hits Radio

Free Radio, Gem Radio, Hallam FM, Lincs FM, Metro Radio, Pulse 1, Radio City, Rock FM, Signal 1, TFM, Viking FM and Wave Swansea are rebranding to Hits Radio.

The news has been announced to staff this morning with 15 radio stations in total making the switch in April 2024.

Programmes are staying the same, with local breakfast shows followed by nationally produced programming at all other times.

Current local or regional news, information, traffic and travel and ads will also remain.

The move, much anticipated by industry observers, means an end to heritage radio brands such as Metro, City and Hallam which are half a century old.

Wave 105 and Pirate FM continue to escape any rebranding, but Lincs FM, which moved to DAB last year, will change.

The 15 stations join Hits Radio in Manchester, Bournemouth and Bristol along with DAB services in other areas including London.

Bauer Media Audio UK CEO, Simon Myciunka told RadioToday: ‘Today marks a brand-new chapter in the history of these local stations as they become Hits Radio.

“The stations’ transformation into a nationally recognised brand ensures that we will continue to provide our listeners with the content they love, seamlessly blending the best that local and national radio has to offer.”

Gary Stein, Group Programme Director for the Hits Radio Network added: “We are passionate about radio and the unique mix of companionship, information and entertainment that it offers and want to make sure it thrives in years to come.

“The audio landscape has evolved dramatically in recent years and, thanks to advances in digital listening, there is even more choice for audiences than ever before.

“By transforming local stations into this nationally recognised brand, we’re really excited by the potential that Hits Radio has to grow.”

The following stations will be rebranded to Hits Radio:

  • Free Radio Birmingham
  • Free Radio Coventry & Warwickshire
  • Free Radio Herefordshire & Worcestershire
  • Free Radio Black Country & Shropshire
  • Gem Radio
  • Hallam FM
  • Lincs FM
  • Metro Radio
  • Pulse 1
  • Radio City
  • Rock FM
  • Signal 1
  • TFM
  • Viking FM
  • Wave Swansea

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