Hits Radio Rebrand Rollout
#1

Bauer has announced that 15 of its heritage stations in England and Wales will rebrand as Hits Radio in April.

radiotoday.co.uk 

Whilst it’s sad to see the end of names like Viking, Metro and Radio City, it’s probably about time, given everything outside weekday breakfast on these stations is the Hits Radio network already, so retaining the heritage names seems a bit farcical.

The Scottish and NI stations aren’t included. I also note Pirate FM and Wave 105 are keeping their existing names (for now at least) – are there are others I’ve not thought of?

I think the only surprising thing about this news is how long it’s taken them to do this.
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#2

Surprised it took this long. I guess the radio city tower will need a name change
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#3

(10-01-2024, 01:45 PM)Spencer Wrote:  I also note Pirate FM and Wave 105 are keeping their existing names (for now at least)
They're still fully local stations. The playlisting for Pirate FM and Wave are not similar to either GHR or Hits, more of a hybrid between the two.

What does that say about a channel if it scares fish? Just talk me through that.
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#4

(10-01-2024, 01:45 PM)Spencer Wrote:  The Scottish and NI stations aren’t included. I also note Pirate FM and Wave 105 are keeping their existing names (for now at least) – are there are others I’ve not thought of?

I think the only surprising thing about this news is how long it’s taken them to do this.

I guess the difference with Pirate and Wave 105 is that they're not actually taking the Hits Network like all of the to-be-rebanded stations are. So they'd need to change their format before they could be rebranded as something else.

An interesting one because would Wave 105 turning into GHR really hit their figures too much? There is already Capital & Heart on FM in the area for people who want more contemporary music. Not that I'm saying it should happen of course, as it's a joy to still have a fully local station....

Agree on your last point, Bauer have been really slow with their networking compared to Global & even now the 'Hits Network' will still be a bit of a mess as those to-be-rebanded stations are keeping local breakfast shows, whereas the Bournemouth & Bristol versions of Hits actually take the Manchester Breakfast show and have a local mid-morning opt out......
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#5

(10-01-2024, 02:12 PM)Ash101 Wrote:  Agree on your last point, Bauer have been really slow with their networking compared to Global & even now the 'Hits Network' will still be a bit of a mess as those to-be-rebanded stations are keeping local breakfast shows, whereas the Bournemouth & Bristol versions of Hits actually take the Manchester Breakfast show and have a local mid-morning opt out......

They’ll almost certainly standardise that at some point, surely. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local breakfast presenters are switched to a daytime slot before long, allowing them to promote the networked breakfast show more effectively.
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#6

(10-01-2024, 02:12 PM)Ash101 Wrote:  An interesting one because would Wave 105 turning into GHR really hit their figures too much? There is already Capital & Heart on FM in the area for people who want more contemporary music. Not that I'm saying it should happen of course, as it's a joy to still have a fully local station....

When Greatest Hits Radio was on FM in the same patch as Wave 105 (with Nation Broadcasting running it under a licensing agreement with Bauer), if anything, GHR appeared to be eating into Wave's audience share. Wave has since recovered, with Nation dropping the GHR brand licensing arrangement and going with their own brands instead.

(10-01-2024, 02:37 PM)Spencer Wrote:  They’ll almost certainly standardise that at some point, surely. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local breakfast presenters are switched to a daytime slot before long, allowing them to promote the networked breakfast show more effectively.

It's certainly a weird anomaly, with Fleur East on some Hits Radio stations at breakfast, but not others. But as full deregulation inches ever closer (quite possibly with the full abandonment of all the local shows as a result), I don't expect it to last in the long term.

Which is a shame - not least because those regional variations are part of what makes it interesting for us geeks Big Grin
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#7

Couple things

1: even about 5-10 years ago I would have said losing Radio City was a sad move - but they have totally stripped all localness from this stations clearly in preparation for this.

2: the Hits Radio brand, let’s be honest, isn’t very good (the logo is dire) and hasn’t been a massive success, will be interested how long it actually lasts before they do something about it

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#8

(10-01-2024, 03:09 PM)VMPhil Wrote:  Couple things

1: even about 5-10 years ago I would have said losing Radio City was a sad move - but they have totally stripped all localness from this stations clearly in preparation for this.

2: the Hits Radio brand, let’s be honest, isn’t very good (the logo is dire) and hasn’t been a massive success, will be interested how long it actually lasts before they do something about it

I've always said it's such a generic, bland name for a radio brand, but I do get the feeling it's finally starting to find its feet, with Rajar showing some signs of going in the right direction. It's probably not done them any harm that one of their presenters recently won I'm A Celebrity too, although they could do with moving him to a higher profile slot.

They were also always going to struggle without a big, national marketing campaign, which they can't do when most of the stations have a different name, so maybe now they can give it the big push it needs.

And, I agree about Radio City – and I'll be interested to see how the news goes down in Liverpool – but as with all the other heritage stations, it's pointless pretending it's a local radio station anymore. Time to move on.
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#9

(10-01-2024, 04:30 PM)Spencer Wrote:  I've always said it's such a generic, bland name for a radio brand, but I do get the feeling it's finally starting to find its feet, with Rajar showing some signs of going in the right direction. It's probably not done them any harm that one of their presenters recently won I'm A Celebrity too, although they could do with moving him to a higher profile slot.

They were also always going to struggle without a big, national marketing campaign, which they can't do when most of the stations have a different name, so maybe now they can give it the big push it needs.

And, I agree about Radio City – and I'll be interested to see how the news goes down in Liverpool – but as with all the other heritage stations, it's pointless pretending it's a local radio station anymore. Time to move on.

Sam Thompson is a strange one - he seems to veer quite wildly between 'quite good' and 'awful'. He could definitely do with toning down the shouting, that gets quite grating. Oddly I felt he was a little better when he recently covered drivetime, versus his regular show!
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#10

(10-01-2024, 01:47 PM)Toby brown Wrote:  Surprised it took this long. I guess the radio city tower will need a name change

Not that much comes from there these days anyway... and most of what does it outside of public opening times, so you don't get much chance to see the presenters in the studios any more. I went there last year and they were all completely empty, which was sad.
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