Hits Radio Rebrand Rollout
#51

This morning, I started to gather recordings from all stations in the Hits Radio network with a view to tracking how the rebranding progresses. Don't know if it will be of any interest to anyone here, but here's the recordings I have gathered so far,

1drv.ms 

I kissed a gull and I liked it!
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#52

Nation are reviving Swansea Bay Radio on St David's Day - in response to The Wave's rebrand.

This is a licence that has always been a bit of a problem child to Nation - it's the seventh time it's been rebranded and the sixth time they've changed format (currently known as Smooth clone Easy Radio, whose RAJAR figures - like the format - have been abysmal)

Their daytime line-up is made up of ex-Swansea Sound presenters, including the return of local legend Kev Johns, who was unceremoniously dropped by Bauer despite being acquitted in a court case three years ago.

Nation's own PR about the return pointedly mentions The Wave's drop in listening hours since it reverted to networked output post-Breakfast. Funnily enough, Easy's hours have also fallen considerably in Swansea Bay...

www.nationplayer.com 
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#53

Glad listeners are turning away from networked output. I guess the big channels like GHR etc. can get away with it with a solid line up of network presenters but the more locals they convert the harder a job it is for the others not to lose audience in the process.

Just shows in many cases the local model is still sustainable.
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#54

In real terms, The Wave is down by around 8k listeners (to 85k) in that period quoted by Nation - but isn't it pretty ironic that they're reviving a local brand that

a) will be sharing most of its output with other stations in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Bridgend
b) has probably had more name and format changes than any other FM station of its ilk - hence its considerably low ratings

Swansea Sound was on the slide as well when it became GHR (down to around 14k listeners before 1170 AM was switched off and its TSA was expanded to cover the whole of South Wales)
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#55

The Wave went on air from Bauer's new Swansea studio for the first time this morning (based at a business park called The Waterside), having moved out of its original home in Gowerton last November.

twitter.com 

Rather unusually, they've been using Nation's base at the St Hilary transmitter (near Cowbridge) as a temporary studio for their breakfast show until the new place was ready.

www.instagram.com 

AFAIK, Nation's presenters have been based remotely since Covid - but all of the technical infrastructure for their stations is still in place at St Hilary.
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#56

And inevitably, Pirate and Wave 105 are rebranding too.

Pirate will rebrand as Hits and go digital-only - but keeping local breakfast (Neil and Saffy) rather than taking Angellica / Fleur. Pirate's FM frequencies will flip to Greatest Hits.

GHR takes over Wave 105 - but they will retain their own local breakfast show with Rick Jackson instead of taking Rossie in Liverpool, with Mark Collins in the 1-4pm slot.

www.bauermedia.co.uk 
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#57

Blimey - I am a little shocked at this, as I thought Wave 105 was genuinely being treated as a special case by Bauer. I guess to some degree, it still is? A bit of a strange decision to retain a local Breakfast show when they aren't doing that anywhere else in England on Greatest Hits Radio....

But it's all a bit of a mess in a 'classic Bauer' way, as both Wave 105 & Pirate share music right now, but one becomes GHR and the other Hits.
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#58

I'm from Hampshire originally but live in Cornwall most of the time so I know that both pirate fm and wave 15 are great stations who serve their communities really well. I'm sad to see them both to and send my thoughts to everyone at both stations who are going to lose their jobs
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#59

The fact they didn’t announce this six weeks ago at the same time as they announced the rebranding of their other heritage stations, and, as Ash points out, the fact that Pirate has been positioning itself closer to GHR, leads me to conclude that they really are making this up as they go along.
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#60

(27-02-2024, 06:27 PM)Spencer Wrote:  The fact they didn’t announce this six weeks ago at the same time as they announced the rebranding of their other heritage stations, and, as Ash points out, the fact that Pirate has been positioning itself closer to GHR, leads me to conclude that they really are making this up as they go along.

Reminded of the scattering of announcements about various FM frequencies flipping to GHR in the run up to Ken Bruce's arrival.

Then, as now - and bearing in mind, there's also been a lot of turnover Bauer management of late - they really don't seem to have a coherent strategy.
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